Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Raisin' Heck!

Today after work I stopped by to see Mom. The social worker and the chaplain from hospice had both stopped in to see her and left note. She was in bed when I got there so I searched out the RN asked what was up. Had she eaten today? Taken her pills? Been out of bed? No one seemed to know. They said they asked her if she wanted to get up for dinner but she refused so they left her in bed. I asked if we could get her up as she seemed amenable to it when I asked her. We got her up (after I had a dressing down from the LPN who told me that she didn't have staff to give one resident 'special treatment') I told her that we are paying a lot of money for extra care that we had better be getting or else! Then I told her that it seemed like Mom was being left to languish in bed and I was not going to put up with that. I said that I'm concerned that now that Mom is in hospice that she was being left to let nature take it's course. I will not stand for that. And I put this woman in her place. The caregivers told me that there is a sign in the break room that instructs them not to get Mom out of bed. I asked what the purpose of that is. No one seemed to know. The aides are only doing as they have been instructed. I'm trying to get to the bottom of who is instructing them. Tomorrow I plan to speak to the executive director and voice my concerns. BTW, Mom ate quite a bit of her dinner, and she expressed impatience when I was too slow to feed her. She drank her juice and took all of her pills. Is she just doing this for me or are they not trying hard enough? I know that this is a thankless job, hell I did this job for 3 years! but this is a living, breathing person who is loved very much by her family. I guess for the workers this is just a job, and I understand that I guess. That is why it is important for me to remain as involved as possible. The caregivers seem to be so kind to her and so caring. But are there enough of them? I need to learn more about what I can expect from assisted living memory care I guess.

I'm soliciting ideas for things I can take for the caregivers to thank them. Candy? Some have expressed their love for chocolate. Maybe a nice box of chocolates? Any other ideas? Many of the caregivers are Somali and I'm not sure if there is something that they might really like.

6 comments:

Annie said...

You can certainly expect your Mom to have been gotten out of bed and fed, and someone there should certainly know if she has had her pills or had anything to eat. Special treatment? That is basic care! Holy crap, I'm getting riled up. And the note about not getting her out of bed. Don't they have the special bed and lift and everything? A talk with the director is definitely in order. Let us know how it goes!

cornbread hell said...

get all your ducks in a row and give 'em hell!

(vt has a policy against giving gifts to the staff. i gave them all blockbuster gift cards for christmas anyway.)

~Betsy said...

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, Robyn. I'd certainly get to the bottom of this and find out about the sign. What's up with that?

I suggest you take some time and show up at off hours. If you normally get there around 7 in the evening, get there at noon or so. It gives you an idea of what goes on at different times.

By all means, give them hell. Just be diplomatic about it - but give them hell just the same.

Lori1955 said...

Don't get her out of bed??? I would be fuming!!

Anonymous said...

Somali caregivers - as a general rule of thumb - go for the savory. Treatwise, this is like popcorn and nuts. I had gifted one Somali caregiver with black pepper in a pepper grinder and later learned that she treated herself to the flavor and wonderful aroma of making a black pepper tea. Goat meat is home to the newcomers, much like beef steak to a Texan. Fresh greens and other rich, whole (nonprocessed) foods. Perhaps a gift certificate for a local retailer of Somali home foods? Another gift they will appreciate, always, is a gift of your heart. Mittens, scarves, a warm and beautiful hat, socks. Are all of the caregivers Somali or are some from other countries, like Ethiopia or Kenya? If the Somalis are being dominated by what sounds like a -lazy?- LPN, earn their trust in confidence and then you will hear some truth. If "how to" tips re: Mom or ANY other resident are posted in a break room, then it is a gross HIPPA violation!!! There is absolutely NO reason any resident remains on total bedrest without a direct Dr. order stating as such and even then there absolutely must be position changes and skin cares every 2 hours (minimum). If Mom is not incontinent, are they taking her to the toilet? Is there a sour or foul odor? Are they brushing her teeth/cleaning her mouth? Good luck...

Joanne said...

My heart goes out to you and your mom, Robyn. I agree with the others...getting her out of bed is not special treatment. You have an axe to grind with this facility and any of us would be happy to help you sharpen it and get to the bottom of their nonsense. Sending you love and hugs and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.