Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Drug Abuse of Seniors Is Cause for Concern

QUESTION:  Do we give children drugs when they fantasize? When they have "pretend" playmates? When they dress up and "become" someone they saw in a movie, read about in a book or invented their own "playmate" or "companion"?

Or, do we see this as a part of a child's development, even if not all children experience this "state of mind"?

What are the statistics of how much of our Senior population both inside facilities and living outside their walls are on drugs to "alter" behaviour or "adjust" their lives?

What research has been done to determine how commonly prescribed drugs for blood flow and circulation or water retention might affect the brain and cause delusions and hallucinations?

NOTE: Reading the advisories on many prescription drugs commonly given to the elderly a side effect can be disturbed sleep patterns, impaired vision, etc. 

WHY AREN'T WE CONSIDERING MEDICATIONS IN THE ELDERLY  as a primary source of many of the "symptoms" we now associate with the Dementias?

What exactly is "normal"?  Who within our society determines what's acceptable?

  • Behaviours that once were cause for arrest and imprisonment as "deviant" are now allowed
  • Actions that once violated State laws are now being adjusted to allow practice and participation
  • Individuals who were once subjugated for the color of their skin, religious practices or speaking a language other than English 


We, those of us who join together and those of us who raise our voices, are the ways and means for change and for reform

WHAT IF:  Delusions were occurring in Seniors similar to daydreams and fantasies in children -- a way of occupying time, escaping unwanted situations or even a means of "mind exercise" -- signs of creativity and/or confusion with the world they lived in?

WHAT IF:  Delusions and hallucinations were being "placed" by people with ulterior motives -- gaining undue influence and/or control of the person and/or their possessions?

WHAT IF:  Delusions and hallucinations were simply memories that no longer could be singularly separated and filed away for easy access but were "jumbled" and "tumbled" together due to information being inaccessible or "misfiled" due to circulatory problems?

WHAT IF: A primary cause of Delusions and Hallucinations were the "common" medications given to the elderly for medical challenges -- either a drug sensitivity, reaction or even overdose.


Fund Geriatric and Neurological Research and protect one of our most valuable resources, those who have contributed and given their lives in so many ways for their families, their communities and their country.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Justified Anger

Mom's Undue Influencer played games with Mom and with us

Just like the tennis she loved and still plays competitively, she seemed to enjoy "slamming" Mom and us by removing something -- clothing, jewelry, makeup, anything we brought or provided -- and then it would "reappear".  

Yes, I realize other residents can "borrow" items but many of these things did not have Mom's name on them and they would come and go right after Julia visited -- which seems to be a pattern other than a resident "shopping" in Mom's room. Besides, we were friends with many staff and they would tell us they looked everywhere -- as did we-- to no avail. 

This woman seemed to enjoy setting people up for a major "slam" in life as much as she has during her many years of playing competitive tennis.

She seemed to enjoy playing games with people even if they don't know they're participating

Did she do it to try to keep or place another wedge between Mom and us? 
Did she do it because she derived pleasure from watching Mom be confused? 
Did she do it to try to advance Mom's Dementia or to have the facility or us see Mom as having more advanced Dementia?

to provide more guidelines as to what is considered Elder Abuse to the Hotline.

I like to believe I had a positive effect on getting this much needed adjustment. That some good has come from the tragedy of what we experienced.

How much has she gained from this little enterprise she's had for years?

Mom said the woman had gotten a new car not too long after Mom's Social Security money Mom had been accumulating for several months had "disappeared" from our home. 

It was also shortly after Mom "permanently moved" into the first facility.

It was also not very long after Julia had taken Mom to the bank, opened a safety deposit box with her and kept both keys.  

We knew Mom's burial fund was missing, money we'd worked to accumulate for Mom and let her keep in her room, but we didn't think about Mom's months of Social Security.

Looking back, it's easy to understand. From the time Mom received her first Social Security Check when she was 62 (she was then 95), she controlled every penny of the money deciding what to do with it. Most of it went on trips all over the world (along with significant sums we were able to provide as our businesses grew and were successful), gifts for grand children and then great grandchildren.

THIS WOMAN WAS AWARE OF THIS PRACTICE. You see, I was stupid, I admit it. Julia befriended me by befriending my Mother; she knew I was vulnerable and she knew Mom was strongly into Dementia and I’m almost certain she knew it was Lewy Body Dementia based on what I shared with her about Mom’s behaviour.

NOT A PENNY PAID TO US OVER ALMOST FORTY YEARS BY MOM FOR any part of her living or any needs she had -- we paid for whatever she needed and she offered a few dollars here and there -- even though she lived in our home, part of a multi generational family unit, from the time she was 57 until the woman tore our family apart accusing me of Elder Abuse to the Missouri Hotline -- financial and emotional.

When you don't handle money, you don't think about it. When you're faced with a husband critically and chronically ill, constantly at the hospital, enduring endless days of not knowing what next medical challenge might separate you and finally seeing a possible light with an end to the hospitalization, rehab and "coming home"  but facing 24/7 care giving for two, you live from day to day and sometimes minute to minute often not thinking but just reacting.

Yes, Mom received her SS money once a month and I took her to the bank or went and brought her back every penny. But, quite honestly, looking back and even yet today, survival living isn't conducive to planning, thinking or even considering options. 

You move as though you live in Jello and one day is the same as the last and the next.

STILL TODAY. This woman walks among us. As far as I know, she’s still “caring for” the elderly with Dementia of “advanced stages” and still a part of our Church’s St Vincent de Paul Society managing the home visits and getting to know who in the community has what needs – especially the elderly.

This woman is shrewd. She is calculating. And she probably believes she deserves whatever she “takes” or “receives” from the elderly she “serves”. After all, they can’t use it and don’t need it. She does.

A planner and someone who’s used to winning at games in life.

This woman moves among you as she moved among us. Every day I hope and pray someone will be better at catching her in the act and end her career of undue influence and abuse of Seniors. 

This woman called the Elder Abuse Hotline, she knows the consequences for Elder Abuse in the State of Missouri are incarceration. Believe the new law would consider what we believe but find difficult to prove because it was cash, the amount qualifies as a Class C Felony 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hospice Denied: End Of Life Making The Best of What We Could Provide

Mom's roommate removed to another room; not Mom. Mom not taken to the "Hospice Room".

Corporate Headquarters made a big announcement and PR was spread through local media about the conversion of one room in Mom's facility for use by residents who were imminently passing.

Mom didn't "qualify", I suppose, because we wouldn't do the facility's "Hospice". 

The PR didn't mention this as a condition of "use". More exposure, I suppose, to withhold the whole truth.

We'd had too many incidents with Mom's facility where neglect and what I would cite as direct physical abuse were encountered to warrant our entrusting her care in the last stages of life to the people who'd abused this privilege for almost two years.

We wanted an outside, independent of the facility,  Hospice service and were NOT ALLOWED to have this choice. 

We went to both the Missouri DHSS and the Ombudsman but no one seemed to think this was worth investigating or handling.


Skilled Nursing Centers are BUSINESSES.  Businesses can serve whom they want, how they want, with certain Rules and Regulations. 

Ever read those R & R's? They're written by people who are influenced by groups who Lobby for legislation that's "facility friendly" and ensures wide interpretations and standards that are so low a mouse can crawl through but a lion, a protector, is denied access.

As mentioned in a previous blog entry, the reason we weren't allowed an "outside facility" Hospice Service was concerns the facility had after an outside agency provided worker was accused of fondling and touching inappropriately a woman while showering. He was a licensed clinical social worker and worked for a Hospice organization. The news story says he "admitted touching them in their private areas while showering them". He made this admission because of "religious beliefs". Hmmmmm.  

What about the Aides who "touch" residents when they wipe them? Or the Aides who physically abused my Mom, directly employed by the facility, who used a rough hand towel barely dampened to SCRUB dried fecal material off Mom's back and front "private areas"?

I'm sure someone had to do this when they gave her a shower, too. Don't know the facts but there's been no follow up to the original story in the news.

MY QUESTION:  Why aren't there two attendants supervising the shower during the process anyway?  Especially due to the fact that probably a large number of residents have some form of declining Dementia where they might see this as "fondling" or "inappropriate touching". Not saying it isn't possible or didn't happen but see the facility denying Mom of her right to get Medical Treatment which Hospice is considered, especially when she was in the process of passing, as withholding proper medical treatment and therefore ABUSE.

By the way, have you ever really examined the shower facility in a Skilled Nursing Center?

It's not like what you have at home and the level of cleanliness is often suspect in many facilities where this area is the least attended and cleaning isn't done from one individual to the next but simply once a day or perhaps if there's an "accident" some slight additional cleaning is performed.

WHY NO ADDITIONAL STAFF? SIMPLE ANSWER:  That raises the cost and that would mean additional staff which is not part of the economics of a Long Term Care Facility either For Profit or Not For Profit.

WE BECAME MOM'S END OF LIFE CARE GIVERS AS WE HAD BEEN HER DURING LIFE CAREGIVERS.  Of course, Julia, the person we call the Undue Influencer, left after she saw Mom's mental capabilities were so far gone she was safe from Mom providing any additional incriminating information or evidence. We believe Julia arrived when she thought there might be something to gain -- an old woman living with a family who'd cared for her and paid all her expenses who probably had a "hidden stash" of money or had made some investments she could get her hands on. 


Daughter made a pallet on the floor and I crawled into Mom's reclining chair that had broken. we'd been told the staff would repair it, they never did. 

The chair was in full recline so this was quite a challenge --  especially getting out or trying to turn my body while in the chair. I'm not that young anymore and even my daughter in her mid twenties was finding the getting in, getting out and even getting into a position for any length of time to be very uncomfortable.

STILL WONDERING -- how long was Mom not fed or underfed during the time we couldn't get to the Skilled Nursing Facility that last week.

We received no calls to alert us to any changes in Mom's behaviour or care plan or care giving -- just the call telling us to come immediately as the Head Floor Nurse considered Mom to be imminently dying.

Mom had an inoperable hernia or ruptured disc in her upper back and the thin Hospital bed mattress was most uncomfortable. That's why she slept in her reclining chair as it provided the ability to at least recline and had a softer pad than the thin mattress covering the bed. Like inmates in prison, the beds were minimal and not considerate of very old muscles and bones.

The Social Worker could have gotten her a special mattress; the facility Dr could have prescribed it. Something we didn't realize and of course, no one cared enough to tell us.

But then, I'm not even sure there was a Social Worker during this time. They were "between" SW's for a long time. And the Nurse Manager had been "moved" up a floor and so that was also a "vacancy" on Mom's floor.

MISSOURI STATE REGULATIONS ONLY REQUIRE "A SOCIAL WORKER" FOR AN ENTIRE FACILITY the size of the one Mom was in. We have no idea if they had one; they sometimes had as many as three, then two and then one. With the departure of the one on Mom's floor, cannot say whether they had any for some time.

FORGOTTEN. SET ASIDE. CONSIDERED TO BE TOO COSTLY. I remember constantly pleading for Mom to get pads/liners for the flimsy paper pants they provided. She would soak them constantly along with her clothes which we took care of laundering -- we couldn't ask the facility to do them because Julia was making regular visits and at least this way we had better ability to see what was missing and what was "returned" after being gone for a week or longer.

A DOCTOR IN THE STATE OF MISSOURI MUST DETERMINE THESE PADS ARE NECESSARY FOR MEDICAL REASONS.  They add an additional patient cost factor. Doctors are "approved" by the facility to "practice" within their walls. Mom's "Dr" was associated with the facility and continuously denied her these pads. 

On our limited and often non existent funds due to both of us never seeming to have a job that paid for more than the bare necessities, we managed to get Mom pads and whatever else she needed, including an additional piece of clothing here and there from Goodwill. We gave up other things as we did those last months when we cared for my husband and mother. 

We believed then and we believe now, their lives were priceless.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Generation X: Welcome To The Ranks of The Elderly Beginning In 2015

Did you know . . . the Baby Boomer generation began in 1946 and is said to extend through the birth year of 1964?

Generation X came along about 1965.  
You cross the line into being a Senior this year.

You are officially OLD. You are offically past your prime even if 50 is the new 40 as Baby Boomers have been known to say. 

You have a little longer to bask in the sunlight of "acceptable" ages as some famous Hollywood personalities are working hard night and day to tuck, trim and use their millions to "look" and "act" as though 60 was the new 40.

Welcome To The Ranks of Old Age and all its negativity; where time passes quicker and you move into becoming a member of the "forgotten generation" -- passed over, set aside and too many members becoming a strain on society if it notices and cares.

Old saying "Too much powder and too much paint makes a little lady what she ain't."

New aging rendition: "Without powder and without paint the marks of time regenerate."

Men can "get away" with aging physically much easier than women. Grey hair and wrinkles are distinguishing and even "sexy" -- on a man, that is.

What's interesting about the different "generational segments" is how closely their lives intercept and overlap as the years pass. 

What's challenging is how they don't notice this relationship until they cross so many timelines and by that time their power and their voices become less strong, less viable.

I find the fact of the "melding generations"  amusing because I have a niece who was the flower girl in my wedding and just four years old at the time is actually in the same generation, The Baby Boomers, as I am. 

Of course we're at different ends of the spectrum of the group, but we're still "in it together" and affected by all the challenges it brings.

I'm almost positive she doesn't find that amusing because each generation, until the years rapidly pass by, don't give a thought to their own place in the time cycle, the generations cycle, and how it actually relates to others.

Tick Tock. She's going to be 51 this year. Wonder how becoming 50 felt to her? 

Wonder how she felt when she received that greeting from AARP to join their ranks?

Imagine she felt a lot like I did

Five decades. 
Where did the time go? 
Measuring by the children's ages and our marriage. 
Looking back but still looking forward seeing possibilities and opportunities. 
Thinking of grandchildren and other positive pleasures even for those who married late and began families later as she did.

Suddenly, another decade passes. A warning light appears.

Sixty. Retirement, if it's not happened or happening (by choice, hopefully) is looming. 

Admittedly, some savor the possibilities and have active lives. Some, however, are headed for the challenges of choices they made in life or potential medical challenges they had no warning would occur and put a quick end to all their plans, hopes and dreams.

From the word "senior" comes the word "seniority". Once a valued and highly sought after position and reference.  

Today, that reference often puts the worker in a position to be the first up for dismissal or "early retirement". No wonder people don't want to age, don't want to climb the ladder too high and often find ways to sidestep or avoid having "seniority".

Funny/Sad -- we all want the Google positive definition and positiveness of the word:

  1. 1.
    the fact or state of being older or higher in position or status than someone else.
    "one by one, in order of seniority, employees' names were called"
  2. 2.
    a privileged position earned by reason of longer service or higher rank.
    "pay and benefits rise with seniority"

Marking the years on a calendar from birth to whatever day it is, the reality is, we get this definition from Widkipedia of SENIOR, the base of the word "seniority"

Senior may refer to:

  • Senior citizen, a common polite designation for an elderly person in both UK and US English

INTERESTING:  "a common polite designation"  WHOA!  Guess we all know how many not polite, how many derogatory, designations are given to "seniors".

Most importantly, we all eventually gain that designation, thanks to the popular movement of the "Senior" Organizations who build their businesses on this base and so have moved the bar down to the age of 50 .... FIFTY!?!

What exactly does that do to the ages of 70, 80, 90 and beyond?

That would mean we'd spend half our lives being SENIORS.
Actually, that would make fifty MIDDLE AGED if you divide the years equally.

Google provides this more common definition of senior tagging on the "title" citizen:

sen·ior cit·i·zen
  1. an elderly person, especially one who is retired and living on a pension.

  3. Well, maybe a private pension but who can live on Social Security alone today?  

  4. Very few can exist let alone actually live in a society that demands we pay higher and more taxes, mandate significant additional costs esp Insurance, doesn't give adequate tax breaks to Seniors living in homes they've spent years paying for and high taxes long after they had children in school or used many of the services or facilities constantly added to the "base" of the tax.

  5. LOOK. LISTEN. LEARN.  We become what we see, what we feel, what we decide to listen to and apply:


  1. (of a person) old or aging.
    "she was elderly and silver-haired"
    synonyms:agedold, advanced in years, aging, long in the tooth, past one's prime;More
    • (of a machine or similar object) showing signs of age.
      "a couple of elderly cars"

PAST ONE'S PRIME         AGED            OLD           ADVANCED IN YEARS      AGING  

I love the one Google uses that says LONG IN THE TOOTH -- thought this was a time in life when many lost teeth?


It's like we have an expiration label. 
Like a can of green beans or a frozen bag of some meat or vegetables.


Withered?  Smelly?  Nonflexible?  


Give it away?  Throw it away?  Never want to look at it again?  

IS IT A WONDER, DEAR BLOG READERS -- We give so little value to those who have given us to much of their lives, their blood, their sweat and their tears?

THE GREATEST GENERATION aka The Silent Generation
GENERATION X a title once bestowed on the young people of the 1950's but it didn't stick

LOOK OUT, GEN X'ERS   Very rough and tough times ahead. 

For some reason, some "authorities" have categorized this group into a smaller span of years, 16 instead of 20. 

Could it be they want to give less voice by reducing the number due to the challenges faced when they have to deal with the large population of the Baby Boomers raising their voices for change? 

And, isn't this the group that "sprung from" The Baby Boomers and thus would be a "formidable force" in numbers if grouped into the usual twenty year span?

Think about it: 

Gen X was the first really ENTITLED generation. 

First to look at a car, their own TV and other objects as their "needing" and "must have";
beginning to be tech saavy and require the equipment; 
believing life "owed them" rather than they "contributed"; 
that college and a job were a given right of passage;
and that alcohol and drugs were just "entertainment" used by many who were trying to escape what their parents and society saw as "their responsibilities". 

Not all, of course, but a larger majority than any generation before them.

Is it really a wonder the powers that be are reducing the masses to a more manageable figure of SENIORS? 

GenXers are reaching SENIORITY as some begin that jump into their fifties THIS YEAR!


You enter the ranks of the soon to be forgotten and set aside as of 2015.

UNLESS, OF COURSE, you heed the warnings and begin to take up the banner alongside The Greatest Generation and The Baby Boomers .

Raise your voices, GenXers, use your techonology saavy and parts of your current income (while it's still there coming in regularly) to advocate and be seen as making changes in how others and eventually you will live on a daily basis.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Who Cares, Anyway? I Do. You Should, Too.

What difference does it make. Any of it. Who cares? Just walk away and don't look back.

Visit occasionally. Smile. Check your watch or phone for the time. Get on with your life.

After all, what else can you do? Why beat your head against a brick wall?

You're so busy with your own life. You have your own problems. Besides, all old people complain and they're often "out of it" and so what they say probably exaggerates what really happens.

Are you willing to have someone else make all your decisions?

Can you eat, sleep and move as you want when you want -- with some restrictions but still when you decide and when you choose?

Can you lock the door to your bedroom if you want?  

Do you live with someone you never met before, didn't ask to join you, has habits you find disturbing and disruptive, goes through your things and you have no way to stop them,  who just walks in and takes over a part of your everyday life?

When you need to go to the bathroom, do you have to wait for someone to put you into a wheelchair or use a Hoyer lift to move you from one place to another?

How much of life do you live depending on someone else? 


Teach them a lesson. Let them wait. After all, you're busy, you only have two hands, you can only do so much. I only work here because this is the only job I can get. I'm overworked and underpaid. I do all the dirty work. I'm always pushed to do more in less time. 

I'm afraid. I have to operate this equipment by myself and the man/woman is twice my weight and can't stand without my help. I'm supposed to use this standing lift but he/she is like a rag doll or doesn't like the lift and so struggles and fights me when I try to use it.

This is the way I have to do this procedure. He/she screams and sometimes fights me. I have no choice. If I don't do it this way, I'm written up and could  lose my job.

I'm exhausted and I have a two hour bus ride after my shift. This is my second job; with minimum wage and the responsibilities of paying all the bills and my kids needs, I can't afford to quit.


Skilled Nursing Centers, especially in large metropolitan areas, change staff as frequently as they change bedding in resident's rooms and often use Staffing Services where there is little current and accurate knowledge of the resident and no real interest.

But whose problem is this, anyway?  NOT MINE many say. WHY BOTHER others add.

Average stay in Skilled Nursing Center is about three years . . . that's a short time...they're dying anyway...the facility does the best it can.....I can't afford to pay anymore so I have to take what I'm given.....

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  Billions spent on programs to explore space -- billions spent each day on coffee beverages and hamburgers....entertainers paid for a gig or performance more than the total cost of the three years of average residence in a Skilled Nursing Center ... causes for children, pets and "select" diseases raising millions and billions and making some progress but constantly needing more and more.



We have more disclosure of ingredients in our food than we do what's happening behind closed doors in Senior Residential Communities.

You can make the difference. Write about your concerns, observations, violations you've witnessed.

Make a Senior's Life Better Today --- Raise your voice on the internet, call those Elder Abuse and Neglect Hotlines -- Write, Call, Send Email.

We have YouTube and Blogs and networks always available -- USE THEM.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ireland Puts A Dollar Sign In Front of 60+ Contributions To Their Economy

In the United States, we pride ourselves on many things: democracy, home and land ownership, clean water and abundant food, etc.

However, the United States is behind many other countries in our care providing for Seniors and our practical and provided services to ensure the safety and well being of our aging population -- even Ireland, a small country, with a big heart, values its aging population and cites statistics to show the benefits of the aging population.

Here's an excerpt from a great resource you should bookmark: The International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing

Northern Ireland Reports on "Appreciating Age"

On November 18, the Northern Ireland Assembly presented a report estimating £25 billion in economic contributions from people 60 and older over the next 50 years.
The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland entitled the report “Appreciating Age” and recognizes older adults as a socially vibrant and economically powerful cohort of the Ireland community. The importance of this report can be attributed to the fact that Ireland, similar to many other countries, has shown a 20% increase in people 65 and older during the past 10 years, and projects a 64% increase in adults 65+ between 2012 and 2032. As the country continues to see demographic shifts, the Assembly believes it is important to shape the conversation around aging to be positive and cognizant of the contributions older adults provide to the community.
Too often the discourse around aging is one of loss and financial burden. Ageism, which is prevalent throughout the world, isolates older adults and relegates them to that of dependents who are often ignored and invisible. In contrast, this report highlights a perspective of aging to be one of inclusion, contribution and value. Several Northern Ireland Assembly representatives reflected on this point, mentioning that the report is a step toward “challenging the one-dimensional view” of aging “by telling the untold story of the positive ways older people contribute to our society”.
The announcement of the report comes on the heels of recent whistleblower allegations regarding the management and treatment of patients in aging care homes which has spurred a review into the regulation of these care homes.

We see an economic gain in "severing ties" and expanding into separate places to live; of starting "new" lives and "cutting away" from the old ones.

As the article above states:  AGEISM is prevelant throughout the world.

Personal Opinion: It's more prevalent in "progressive economies" who value consumption or who are moving forward into a higher level of world economic standards of living. 

After all, economic status depends on purchasing: homes, food, clothing, entertainment, etc. And, multigenerational living, for example, cuts back significantly into some of the biggest ticket items -- like shelter and food. And the older population usually isn't feeding a family or building "status" through purchases of the newest, the latest, the best or the better.

As a group, we become ambivalent in many ways to the needs and to the lives of our aging men and women primarily because we are focused every day on concentrating on personal consumption and personal benefit.

It's time we realized the benefits as so clearly outlined in this article, brought about as noted by recent "whistleblower allegations" regarding the management and treatment of patients in ageing care homes.

READERS:  Are we who live in supposedly the "greatest nation on earth" going to trail behind Ireland and other countries in how we care for and ensure those who have given so much of themselves for so long to build, develop, support and protect our United States of America? 

Will we continue to sit back and wait until we have no more time to be the activators, the action makers and takers?


Friday, February 6, 2015

Molding and Shaping Long Term Care Residents

Children Learn What They Live  -- Dorothy Law Nolte

This poem originally appeared in Reader's Digest back in the early 1970's. The copyright says 1972. We were married a few years and had our first child, a son, in August, 1971. 

As with many young mothers, I was focused on being a "great parent" and although Dr Spock wasn't who I wanted to follow like my Mom's generation did, I eagerly sought the advice of many "new" child rearing authorities. 

This poem spoke to me and continues to contain a message that's timeless and applies to human relationships at all ages and stages of life.

Seniors reflect the world around them just as children do. 

Administrators and Staff at Senior Living Facilities would do well to follow these guidelines about how you speak and what you do with children reflecting in who they become..

Seniors have long established habits and expectations, tolerances and intolerances.

Seniors enter facilities from either living by themselves or with others and have developed specific behaviours and attitudes. 

Many of these are not seen as conducive to "facility operations" and often financially costly.

Seniors have RIGHTS and the DHSS and States proclaim these rights and even mandate their being posted.

As with all RIGHTS, the writing and the posting do not ensure the practice.

Facilities cannot afford the guidelines handed down by the DHSS and the Federal Legislative Authorities on Individualized Care -- or so they'll tell you.

To change the person into a more "acceptable resident" and less "costly" to the facility, a"reconditioning" occurs.

The "older" and "more experienced" staff, especially if there's a Nurse Manager, or floor nurse in charge, who "sets the tone" and "sets the pace".

Residents "learn" as do children in schools, at camps, in organizations, what behaviors are allowed, tolerated, supported and rejected. 

ONLY they are in a 24 hour, 7 day a week, 12 months a year environment.  They're not "going home". No one is coming to get them and take them out of this environment.

Seniors lives are totally dependent on the people who run the facility, make the rules and provide the services.  

They are incarcerated. They are often hopeless. Those ads you see on TV, the marketing materials and ads, they're the "dream" of someone paid to project a positive image and entice you to "visit" and to "commit".

COMMIT. COMMITTED.  No real difference.

And then there's the "professional advice" you may receive not to visit for at least a week or even longer. Why? The "resident" needs to "adjust".

ADJUST?  To what?  If it's somewhere they want to live, what's the adjustment?


And above all, MAKE NOTES. TAKE PHOTOS. And don't sign anything that deprives you of this right to ensure your loved one is safe,secure and not being mistreated.

Skilled Nursing Centers are artisans in the practices of changing appearances to alter what is seen and heard by visitors spending only a couple of hours occasionally with loved ones. Lewy Body Dementia isn't the only "human behavior" wearing masks

Consider how we make environmental choices influencing the lives of children versus Seniors:

CHILDREN.  We check out preschools, investigate individuals we're choosing for child care and if choosing a school, we move heaven and earth and are there constantly watching, listening and ensuring "we're getting what the child needs and what we're paying for".

SENIORS.  We act out of necessity or from a visit or two with our "sensory impressions" from a guided tour or perhaps a "lunch" paid for by the facility. Marketing. Advertising. Promotion. Maybe a few testimonials. Maybe a few "conversations" with residents who are pleased with the facility and who are functioning at a high level.

We do less placing human beings into facilities than we do in buying a stock on the market. Which has more liklihood of causing extreme life effects?

Do you really know the facility and are you prepared to step away and entrust life and limb to a facility without more information than you'd get picking up a "new" item at the supermarket to try and see if you like?

DID YOU KNOW once you spend thirty days in a facility, you "live there" and if you don't have the personal ability through private pay, YOU ARE COMMITTED..... in more ways than one. Check out Medicare; less than thirty days is a "respite" or "temporary" stay. If you're private pay, you now have the challenge of moving your loved one to another facility, going through another period of adjustment which is difficult on them and you, and ensuring this "choice" is the "right choice". All the while, you're triying to keep up with your life, your job, your family, etc.

DID YOU KNOW the facility will be on their best behaviour, will ensure your first thirty days are "filled" with positives and personal attention because they're aware this is the "trial period"and after that you won't have an easy time moving or getting assistance to move yourself or your loved one to another place.

When Mom had more "capability" both physical and mental, she'd tell us about how 'ugly" the staff could be. Voicing our concerns on many occasions we were told that was someone who was a "temp" and the facility would look into it. NOT TRUE. These were employees as well as temporary hires but the more you're concerned, the more you speak up -- you're labeled, you're often not listened to and you become "a trouble maker" and someone to see but not hear.

There's a Not For Profit Organization I know little about but have found on the internet called THE EDEN ALTERNATIVE

The Eden Alternative recognizes helplessness as one of the three plagues of

They write about institutional settings and the harsh realities of living in them.

For example, "In the institutional setting staff learn that if residents cooperate with their ability to help them, it is a more efficient use of their time. 

"The price paid is for the resident to learn to wait to be helped. 

"This squelches autonomy, skills atrophy, residents become even more dependent on care givers, and have even less control over their lives. 

"Staff’s style of speech encourages learned dependency. 

"Intonation is often similar to what is used with children which causes an adult to feel devalued. 

"Research shows the person loses faith in their ability to affect outcomes in their own world."

I've spent many days and nights during Mom's lifetime and her stay in Long Term Care Facilities observing neglectful and abusive behaviors. I never realized there were others more knowledgeable than I who have recognized the same actions and practices and who have categorized them and substantiated them.

This blog is meant to open eyes, to stimulate ears to listen and hear and to move many people into positive action to reform and to restructure Senior Care in Facilities through active involvement and research.

EACH OF US holdS the keys to today and tomorrow's treatment of the elderly, of which you may play an integral part as one of the many needing care in a facility or in your home.

Action for any reform takes time and it takes people.

Will you choose to be active or will you choose to sit back and wait?

USE THE INTERNET. SHARE THIS SITE. SHOW PEOPLE THE WAY. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest -- pictures of actual residents (mask their faces) who are your loved ones and what you've witnessed and they've endured in bruises, breaks and cuts. You have that right, especially if you have POA and Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney. 

WORDS INFLUENCE. PICTURES STIMULATE. How long will it be before Seniors are protected and legislation ensures a higher level of care in Facilities?

HOW ABOUT SENIORS IN FACILITIES often stacked in rooms or placed in spaces where light and access to windows in a room are controlled by a roommate and no one cares enough to ensure they get "out" and get sunlight and/or socialization.

The choice is yours. The freedom to act and to speak are yours. Drop me a line. Let me know. Ask questions. Add your experiences. My voice has been raised for some time; time to raise yours. You are most welcome on this blog and wanted.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Our Loss Can Be Your Gain: Save Our Seniors -- A Movement

The Haves and The Have Nots or Have Less

If you have the ways and means you may avoid or at least minimize the challenges and even the atrocities --neglect, abuse and other ways and means of jeopardizing the lives of residents of Skilled Nursing Centers/Long Term Care Facilities.

If, like us, you don’t, you may endure a life of hell on earth trying to survive what “THE SYSTEM” does to you and to your loved one.

Please don’t think it can’t happen to you. You may have Long Term Care Insurance; savings accumulated; a strong family unit. You believe you’re “safe” and have “planned for” the future, the inevitable, whatever.

Join the line of people I’ve talked with who had these and more and still found:

·        LTC Insurance declined coverage of many items and they assumed the burden of paying or not getting needed services

·        Savings ran out; lifespan miscalculated or term of insurance not enough or coverage didn’t pay rising costs

·        Family members were supportive in the beginning but conflicts arose, or people living at a distance couldn’t provide their “share” of support or some other lessening of ability to help

·        Once in the Medicaid System, which all were forced to enter, their “loved ones” were considered “on the dole” and those services so widely advertised as available were reduced due to cutbacks or running out of funding.

·        They tried diligently to work to support themselves and their own families only to find the “support” from the DHSS and other agencies was limited to directing them to websites and other local agencies that told them they didn’t qualify or their loved one could receive one hour a month of “help”.


Read the next entry about legislation giving United States Chickens better living conditions. 

Ever read about United States Senior Citizens in Facilities being given better living conditions?    SAVE OUR SENIORS -- a movement we need to start