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Getting weighed

November 4, 2013
by Kathleen Mears
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When I moved to a nursing home more than 17 years ago, I had to get used to getting weighed on the weight chair. It was challenging for two aides to assist me to get into it properly. The weight chair was rusty and I wondered how accurate it was. The one good thing about the process was that I got weighed the shower room in relative privacy.

A few years later the facility got a battery-operated, roll-on scale. I could easily roll onto the scale and get weighed. Then the aides subtracted the weight of my power wheelchair from the number the scale displayed to determine my actual weight.

Although getting weighed was easier, the scales were in the activity room, which was also used for restorative feeding. Since I was weighed before breakfast, there were several residents and some staff in the room. I know they were not paying much attention to me, but it still made me uncomfortable.

Over time the roll-on scales began to show great fluctuations in the residents' weights. In an effort to improve accuracy, the scales were rigged to plug into an electrical outlet.

When I got a new power wheelchair, it was made differently and the aides were unable to get an accurate weight. Every time the chair was weighed the number varied. So I had to use my manual wheelchair to be weighed. The process was more time-consuming, but my weight was accurate. Eventually, the scales were moved to the copy room where I can be weighed in privacy again.

When I came to this facility, I was weighed in the chair scales. When it became difficult to weigh me and other residents on chair scales, a battery-operated, roll-on scale was used. These scales have no gradual ramp and there is a bump to get on it. When the batteries are running low, resident weights can be off.

The scales are kept in the dining room, which is in use when I get weighed. I usually transfer to my manual chair in the lobby. Although the residents may not be paying attention to me being weighed, I still feel uncomfortable.

Last week an aide reweighed my manual chair and said it weighs 42 pounds. That chair weighed 41 pounds at a previous facility. I guess may be these scales weigh heavier.

I should be used to being weighed in front of other people. But I would suggest that nursing homes weigh residents in an area that gives them some privacy.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...