Monday, April 17, 2017

True/False Questions Families Must Read About Caregiving Facilities

True or False:  There's great help, assistance, guidance and resources for caregivers and people with Dementia.

The help comes with many strings attached and for us some of the strings were:
(1) Knowledge of where to go, who to talk with and what to ask.
(2) Qualifying with some agencies and organizations
(3) Being in the right place at the right time which often means before the group, organization or agency's funds for a specific program or offering run out
(4) Funding for programs, including Meals on Wheels, that while mandated by Federal Law is left to each State to fund. 

I watched as Missouri's funding was reduced by 1/4 one year. That's a large number of elderly men and women who could not receive a daily prepared meal.

True or False: Family Caregivers are supported and encouraged.

FALSE. Most of us don't get time off from work for "Elder Care" unless death may be imminent. Friends often pity the family member and other family members often believe you do such a good job, they couldn't do as well and so they turn away, walk away or stay away. Some family members even believe you're "abusing" their parent especially when they only talk with them on the phone or visit once a week, once a month or even once a year.

True of False:  Caring for a loved one in a facility is much easier than care at home. Sure, it takes some time but all you have to do is visit once in a while because the residents are "taken care of" and "safe" in a Skilled Nursing Facility.

FALSE.  The laws, rules and regulations are wide statements allowing for various interpretations, on the whole. They are businesses, first and foremost, almost all of them are operated this way. If you find an exception, it probably has no vacancies and a very long waiting list. Facilities love it when you don't visit, seldom call and generally "turn over care" to them. Broadens their abilities with residents who can easily be led when no one is there as a "sounding board" or to question the facility's actions or decisions.

WEBSITE:  Here's a website for Missouri for checking out the broad base and limited spectrum of areas covered by the Department of Health and Senior Services regarding rules and regulations for Skilled Nursing Facilities and others.

Remember to read realizing the statements provide loose ends, open interpretations and limitations on specific, itemized or detailed entries and instead allow large ranges, self interpretation and circumvention:

True or False:  There are systems and checks and balances in place for any question or challenge you face and especially if you feel your loved one is being neglected or abused.

FALSE. From the Department of Health and Senior Services through the Ombudsman program, help and concern about significant issues and problems depend on the person, the time, the money allocated to the program and most of all to the laws, rules and regulations of the State in which you live. 

It also depends on staffing. In the St Louis, Missouri area, the Ombudsman Program, known as "Voyce" has huge turnover in staff, is underfunded and usually has less than 50 people to visit multiple hundreds of facilities.

With the DHSS, depending on where you live, in Missouri, their workers don't need to be Social Workers or MSW's or even have attended college. They can come out of working at McD's, take a test and become someone who fills out paper work and makes decisions about the lives of our most valuable Senior Citizens including determining their "capability".

Social Workers in Long Term Care Facilities are often non participatory with families and although supposed to be advocates for the residents under their "supervision" seldom are given authority or respect in the care giving and care planning process. 

Unfortunately many practitioners within these agencies are ill informed, grossly undereducated or mis-educated and they actively spread their inabilities through writing reports and submitting evaluations of individuals with Dementia that they fail to recognize either for its existence or actual stage of development.


Laws may be there but unless you are willing to make your voice known, present documented (generally pictures speak volumes) information to the highest level of authority, usually the DHSS, the problems you're experiencing will only continue. 

Visiting a Long Term Care Facility is challenging -- think about what it's like if you can't walk out the door you walked in when you arrived.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information! Always keep a healthy life by consuming healthy food and doing exercise regularly.


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