Geri Joseph (Part 3)

Reporter for the Minneapolis Morning Tribune, who did a series of articles on the institutions in 1948 and 1950

Geri Joseph Looks Back at 1948 Conditions

(Run time 2:10)

The first series, of course, did make a tremendous impact on this case. It was like opening up the doors and seeing, "Here is what you've got here." You've got people who have... may live... they may be in a hospital that is quite remote from their own homes and their own families. And many of them had been there for years, literally for years. They came there maybe in their teens and would die there.

And many times the family after all those years just completely lost touch, so they had no visitors.

It was... you should know that after that first series, I used to wake up in the night really with nightmares. I could smell the hospitals in my hair, if I moved my head. I took the clothes that I had worn in the hospital, had them cleaned, and still couldn't stand the scent of them, because there was a very definite odor connected with these places. And it's just there all the time.

But the second series was... you could see what can happen when money is appropriated and when people are alerted to the fact that you need good staff, you need trained staff.

And the hospitals, they had improved, they had improved. It was really... it was a wonderful thing to see, even though you knew they still had a long way to go. They were still short of staff.

The training programs were just beginning. And then there was... many people were beginning to think that this was not the place for a lot of these people, anyway.

That the kind of care that they should have would much be closer to home.