Friday, August 22, 2014

A CALL FOR CHANGE

One of my caregivers was fired for mentally abusing me. It's true, she used  threats and intimidation to, for lack of a better term, keep me in line. Threatening to call my family if I didn't go to bed when she thought I should, threatening to abandon me and asking if I wanted the police to come help me, threatening to drop me to the floor and call an ambulance if I didn't stand up when my knee was hurt. I knew the things she said were inappropriate, but I was used to it, used to her. I didn't want someone new i my home. On her last night, when those in the office heard her yelling at me and she was replaced, I began to wonder how many other clients she had treated this way? How many others had put up with her treatment as I had? How could the agency not have known?

Two weeks ago, I couldn't wake up a fill-in caregiver. Turns out, the caregiver could not hear well and that was the reason I had difficulty waking her up. Again, how could the agency not have known this? 

I know that agencies run background checks. I think more needs to be done. Perhaps monthly home visits by someone from an agency to make sure things are going well in the client's home. I had someone from my agency visit me after the caregiver had been fired . They wanted to make sure I was satisfied with the care I am receiving. Why did it take a caregiver being accused of abuse to have someone visit me  to ask how things were going in my home?

Why do many nursing homes smell of urine when you walk the halls? I suppose I am a hypocrite for asking this question because I have many carpet stains from Lucie's accidents and  caregivers use Fabreeze to try to hide any odor. Lucie is my dog. She's old and she is family, so I make allowances for her, but a health care facility should not have an odor. I  also know there are many accidents in nursing homes. I know of someone in a nursing home, who fell out of their wheelchair and broke their hip. I guess the reason is facilities are understaffed. Employees can't monitor all residents one hundred percent of the time.

There needs to be better monitoring of the staff who work in agencies and facilities. Don't wait until a crisis has occurred to put changes into effect.  I am  asking that those who work for agencies and facilities remember that the people they serve deserve to be treated  with dignity and respect. Those in charge should ask themselves,, Is this how I'd want to live? Is this how I'd want to be treated? If one person in charge would stop and ask themselves these questions, it would be be the first step towards a cycle of change.