Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Come. Sit. Stay. An LTC Resident's Life Part 2

In many facilities the practice is to ensure "resident safety" and that means "get them into a wheelchair as fast as possible". 

What happens when a call light isn't answered from a resident who's semi mobile but really needs assistance and can't wait any longer as it's already been twenty minutes?  

Independent as they want to be, limited as they are, they find a way to stand, usually cannot balance and what happens is what's predicted -- THE FALL.  

Repeat. Generate Report. Repeat.

Family and resident are "encouraged" to use a wheelchair.

Family members who are concerned may follow suggestions to "remove the walker" as "that's the problem".

Family visits occasionally but relies on "professional staff" for direction and "oversight".

After a few months the wheelchair is ordered.
Mission accomplished.

Many Long Term Care residences do not have the time or the staff to "assist" residents and most families do not have the financial ability to augment and hire outside caregiver believing "the facility" is supposed to provide ALL services -- especially when costs are at $6,000+ per month/per resident for the "basic provisions".

In reality, Long Term Care has become the "shelving level" for Seniors who are about to transition or who have transitioned into being stationary or highly limited -- except for those who come in because it's the only level of care Medicaid will cover.

It's the "haves" with the money or the family support who can stay out of the "State Supported" system. 

The rest move in and move on but few ever return to "outside living" because this is not a place to "rehab", this is not a place to "strengthen". 

This is a place to sit, to stay and to come and go when you're told.

Some once highly capable, independent people, become social manipulators and users of people to ensure they maintain a semblance of autonomy until the time when their body and their mind no longer can assert themselves.

Like children and pets who want to "please" they come, they remain seated and they stay where they're told.

It's not a life any of us want for ourselves.

It's a life many are in and deserve better!