It’s going to be a tough year, Safety and the Covid 19- it’s going to be tough to get into seeing what is going on inside the nursing homes and the assisted living facilities. Faith is all we have to go on. Faith that the workers will stay strong, stay happy, stay giving, stay concerned about the folks they are caring for.
My opinion is that Covid will be around until the end of next spring- May 2021. I hope I’m wrong- but I don’t think so. How are these facilities going to change and adjust to the way they operate and give back to their “customers”? There is so much taken away from them. What changes are they going to make for the families to be able to go inside and visit their loved ones, go into their rooms, see with their own eyes what is going on. I hope they are getting their ideas together to make these changes- because I do not believe we will be going back to the “old days” anytime soon in these facilities.
I made my appointment to go see mom and was able to see her both days this past weekend. She looked good. She was a little stressed out on Saturday. She came out with her walker and a face mask on. As soon as she sat down in the chair, she took her facemask off. She told me that she was worn out because she had been cleaning her room all morning. She stated that she did not think it had been cleaned for a long time. This tells me she is aware that she is in a new room- she said the same words two years ago when we moved her in- and it also tells me she is ok. She is still able to do what she thinks needs to be done- which is a good thing.
Several of her friends came to the window and knocked on the pane and waved at her. Her face lit up as she smiled and waved at each one of them. Yes, I started crying- mixed tears – some tears of sadness, that she was taken away from her friends and some tears for the happiness that her friends reached out to her. When it was time for me to leave, we did air hugs and words of love and appreciation were exchanged. (-: I called the receptionist back after a while and told her that it would be ok with me- if moms for Dorothy’s friends to come out and visit with us whenever I came. She said that they could do that and that is exactly what happened on Sunday when I went.
Sundays visit was much so much fun! Mom came out looking very, very good- happy and “with it” and without her walker or a facemask. (it must depend on who is working on what procedures are followed). I’m assuming they had adjusted her medicine- I still haven’t heard from the nurse that I called Friday afternoon- but it seemed to me her spirit was much calmer than I’ve seen in a long time. Soon two of her friends came out and she was so excited to see them- they were equally as excited to see her. They sat around and visited, and they talked of current events- both inside the facility and outside in the world. I sat and listened and joined in when I was asked to- I did get teary eyed when one of the ladies asked me how I was doing- with that look of sadness as to where they had sent mom. I told her I was fine and that it would all work out. I do believe this- I do believe that mom will be back with her friends within the next two weeks.
I have been asked what I want – from my outreach of concern about how they handled the situation with mom. When I was first asked this question, I was taken back- I don’t want anything. You people need to fix this. After thinking about this question for a few days I have finally figured out what I want.
- I want the residents to have a safe area where they can come and go outside without seeing a wall up (privacy fence) one with a porch to keep them out of the rain and one that can be windowed in and heated where they can go out in the winter. It needs to be safe, clean, dry, shady, and sunny with chairs, table and comfortable with flowers. This will eliminate any fear the staff may have for those who might “walk away”. But, most importantly it will allow the residence the freedom to come and go when they want.
- I want them to be able to listen to live music and live entertainment again.
- I want them to be focus on moms’ medicine and get it right so she can go back to her own room.
- I want the facility to not make these mistakes again to someone else.
- I want the facility to take the time to write a dossier on each person in the facility- different than their medical record, it needs to be about the individual person. This will also help in an emergency or when a buyout occurs and people are fired or quit and all the knowledge will not be lost when those folks leave.
- What they like, what they dislike,
- Who their friends are?
- Who do they dislike?
- What do they like to do, read? play games? watch tv? dance? visit? walk? sing? listen to their era in music? watch old movies?
- What time of the month or day is the happiest for them?
- What time of the month or day is the most depressing for them?
- What words sooth their soul?
- What makes them smile? What makes them sad?
- What is their daily routine?
- Assist them when they need assisting- in whatever area it may be. Some folks at sometimes need a little extra assisting.
- What do they like to “push to the edge”- just to have the feeling of fighting authority?
- This should not be too difficult to do – if you’ve been around them for a few months you should know all this information
- Ask the family they will know different things you wont’ see or the resident wont’ tell you
- I want communication open, by phone call or via email – not social media, Facebook (yes, I was told you can find out what’s going on on facebook) or the company website – and I would like it in a timely manner and for it to be truthful.
- I want open discussion on what to do with your loved one- not told what to do or that it’s the doctors’ orders and there is nothing you can do about it.
- I want the staff to follow through on what they say they are going to do, not change their mind without notifying you.
- I want all parties who made this experience so difficult for me and my family to be educated going forward.
- I want to be treated like the customer you do not want to lose.
This is what I want. I hope I can get it, for mom and where she is staying. And if possible, for all the assisted living facilities all over America.
In this situation – what would you want?
Love and Light,