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Site last published: 6/7/12

Got Your Attention Yet?

Yesterday was spent primarily at the hospital waiting. Yeah, I show up early and my dad was already taken to get his MRI. He was supposed to have gone the night before. I was waiting patiently for a call from his senior complex from the ‘man in charge’. I was ready to scream at this guy for the lack of oversight and real care for my dad. The last six months of his stay at his complex haven’t been the best. Don’t get me wrong he has some incredible helpers who truly go out of their way to love on him; the challenge is little things, following through and ongoing mess-ups.

I had really hoped that the Executive Director of the entire complex would have called. I am a friend with the director of my dad’s floor. She is a sweet lady who tries hard but the system doesn’t seem to be working. There seems to be a disconnect with some of the staff when it comes to following through and what is best for the residents not for their time table. So destroying my dad’s shower and then leaving an open pit for the last 6 weeks isn’t a good thing. I tired of asking what was happening when I get a text with the cell of the guy working on it with the excuse we don’t have the materials. I guess I am supposed to call him and light a fire to get it finished.

I was truly afraid that my dad would have an accident by falling in his bathroom. The real challenge is that anyone with memory loss issues tends to fixate onone thing and then ignore other things. He had a sign that said don’t use the shower. Yet, in his mind this meant don’t use the bathroom. So this led to him having a few accidents and I am sure out of frustration not knowing what to do. So you can see how upset I was when this was something that should have been fixed in one day.

Now you will understand when it comes to getting the Executive Director’s attention with the next mishap. This last Sunday there were some issues with the toilets on my dad’s floor. The maintenance guy decided to put signs on a few of the resident’s toilet’s saying don’t use or flush. The unfortunate thing is that he didn’t tell any of the staff and totally forgot to tell the senior staff. My dad can read quit well and did exactly what the sign said. So I can’t imagine the frustration my dad had internally when it came time to go to the bathroom. So he has an accident after holding it forever expecting someone to help him. There wasn’t any helper to guide him to the communal toilet down the hall.

Sundays we do church at night and the last thing I really wanted to do was drive to see my dad but I sensed I had better. So I zip into the parking lot and break in through the night entrance. I make my way up to his room only to discover a huge mess and a pile of sheets and clothes waded in a pile. My poor dad had tried to clean up his mess and even with a little help from the RA it wasn’t close to being clean. At first I was a little ticked at my dad for what had happened until I looked into the bathroom to discover the problem – the SIGN. What was my dad suppose to do?

I cleaned him up, gave him a shower, a change of clothes and then a shave. I changed his sheets and did a quick shampoo job on the carpet. After all of this work I’m ready to go after the guy that was too lazy to tell anyone what he had done. I quickly text the director of this floor expecting an explanation for the mess. I am assuming she knew what was going on and would have an explanation.

I arrive early the next morning because I am concerned about my dad now thinking his bathroom is off limits. I come into the room and am shocked to see him fast asleep on his recliner but in his birthday suit. He had a little accident and had taken off his soiled clothes but obviously ran out of steam. I was now really ticked because it was obvious no one had come in to check on him during the night otherwise he would have been dressed.

I’m trying to keep my composure so as to not loose if I see the director gal. My brother had come the night before to see grandpa so I was going to quickly go back home to get him up and ready. So as I am exiting I see her and she has this look like I’m so sorry. She quickly explains that she didn’t know what had happened and that the maintenance guy didn’t notify her? So I was now ready to march into the Executive Director’s Office but it was too early.

I was thankful that grandpa was now clean and dressed for breakfast. My brother is still in slow motion when I arrive so I encourage him to get moving. We go back to dad’s and I leave my bro to eat lunch with dad. I do another cleanup of the room because it still smelled from last night’s episode. I was starting to wonder if anyone in the upper management at this senior complex really cared about all of the mess-ups?

The next day I come to see dad around 7ish before my real day starts. I had been up since 4:30 and had already blogged and done e-mail. So as I approach his door I hear one of the RA’s talking to my dad. As I walk in I realize that grandpa is sacked out on his chair and is totally out of it. The RA explains what was happening and I am fearful that he had another stroke. We do a couple of things and decide its best not to play doctor and just get the paramedics to help us. So grandpa ends up at the same hospital where he was treated for his stroke.

Yesterday I end up talking with the Social Worker and get some referrals to other senior complexes. She actually calls one of the care centers that is close to my house. I knew that talking to a salesperson would only give me a hyped presentation with a closing tactic to get me to place my dad in his complex. So after complaining to him for a few minutes he applauds my zeal and knowledge of the health care industry. My simple point is that the resident had better take center stage or I am not placing my dad anywhere. He was aghast at the lack of communication from the senior staff at my dad’s place. I agreed and listed to his presentation, which was actually enlightening and could see that his facility was better thought out and at least had the potential of working.

I e-mail the head person at my dad’s complex with a long list of mishaps that would have pushed most people to move their loved one. I have considered this but am fearful the move would hurt my dad. Now that he is in the hospital and will have to do some rehab it is the logical time to move him, if I’m going to do it. I typically respond to my e-mails in a few hours max. Most management types have smart phones and are able to monitor e-mails. I had thought that this gentleman would have responded understanding not my frustration but the liability issues his complex had created in my dad’s unit.

So I am at a loss as to how to get this individual’s attention? My priority presently is my dad not picking a fight with an administrative type. So as I pray this morning it isn’t Lord ‘wipe this guy off the face of the earth, but God please help this guy show some real concern for your residents which are your business!’ God has convicted me to lay everything aside for a few days and give my dad full attention. So because I love my dad I become his bulldog protector!

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