Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Administrators & Caregivers

This is what a visiting nurse said to me when I said a ratio of 1 caregiver to 15 residents is not adequate: "If we hired more caregivers, they would just stand around visiting with each other."

Caregivers work so hard for low pay; they put up with all kinds of crap - not just the bodily kind. Instead of assuming responsibility for complaints about administrative and corporate issues, management blames the caregivers. It's like a trope.

Yesterday I checked a nursing home where the ratio of staff to resident is 1 to 8. Doctors are around all day, nurses, social workers --a medical (non-profit) model as opposed to a corporate one. So, do I put him in a place that looks like a hospital and is worse than grim in appearance or do I keep him with the corporation? Last night I accepted the "we have one male bed available" offer. By this morning I knew I'd turn it down.

That visiting nurse also said: You're missing a lot when you don't have fun with us. Excuse me? When I come to see my husband, I say, I'm there to cuddle with him, not to participate in a group activity, unless he wants to.

When I talked to the regional director the other day, he said, Well you wouldn't want to move him to go to a place with linoleum.

I'm not moving him at all. Who knows what it would be like for him in another place. I'm going to leave it alone for now.

NY son's here. He has an academic/corporate job, gives me some pointers on how to survive. "You can do it, Mom. You're doing great. Just keep your distance." I'm gonna try. "Thank you, Sweetheart."

Happy Halloween.


Peter said...

Tough decisions, Esther.
Best wishes to you and Abe.

rilera said...

You know what's best for your husband. Go with your gut.

Unfortunately the US is ill prepared for the coming deluge of long term care. Our leaders just don't care about this issue. I've posted a link to a really good article that compares long term care in the US to the situation in Germany. Seems like Europe has a better grasp on these things than the US where it is work work, make money and forget about the real things in life.

Esther Altshul Helfgott said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, tough decision, butI made it - keeping him where he is.

Hi Rilera,

Thanks for the link to the article. I'll be stopping by your blog soon.