Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yesterday was supposed to be a fun filled day at the nursing home. I had a big day of girly pampering all planned for Granny and I. I'm talking facials, hair, mani-pedi, the whole regalia.

I get there and she is alone in the day room. This is a small rec room across from the nurse's station. The front of it is all glass so you can see in from quite a distance down the hall.

I see several aides (at least 3), and 1 nurse on my way to get granny. When I get in there, she has something in her hand and it is not her hat if you get my drift. Fortunately, there was a towel on the table behind her and I was able to get it out of her hand so we could get to her room.

I am beyond furious. When I get that angry, I have to be very careful. It is very easy for me to slip into using very graphic and more often than not, profane ways of expressing myself. But, because the welfare of my grandmother is at stake, I was able to maintain some semblance of control.

I stopped an aide and a nurse on the hallway and inquired as to who should be taking care of my grandmother at that point. No one seemed to be able to come up with a name. Imagine that. So, I take granny to her room and proceed to clean her up. This is not a short process considering the condition she was in when I found her. I won't go into graphic details but she did have on 2 "pull ups" and her clothes were dirty. I went down the hall and tried to speak with one of the head nurses on duty at the time. Since she was tied up on the phone, I went to the main nurse.

I voiced my opinion and told her what was going on with my grandmother. I did not use any profanity, but, I did catch myself getting a little loud as I am wont to do when greatly agitated. I was told she would "investigate the matter" and get back to me. She seemed more interested in who had the authority to do anything, my mother or me. I told her that I had a copy of the POA and so should she. I also told her to make whatever phone calls she needed to make to assure herself of my authority.

Today my mom goes down there to follow up. She is told that my grandmother did not have diarrhea and that I was mistaken in stating that she did. This has only poured gasoline on an already burning issue with me. Had I stopped to think, I would have taken pictures of granny. I have done that in the past when I felt an issue would be swept under the rug. But, my biggest concern at that moment was getting granny taken care of. She was so pitiful. I almost cried. She told me she was ready for the Lord to take her. She has never said that before.

Normally, granny has very good care. The aides there know my mom and I and they know that we are very involved with granny's care. Granny gets a visit from one or both of us almost everyday.

I will be better prepared for the next episode. I will definitely take photos and this head nurse will not be able to deny the condition I find granny in the next time I can assure you.

I am writing this for 2 reasons. The first one is to educate others. It doesn't matter how often you visit or how long you stay, there will come a time when your loved one will not taken be care of as they should be. You need to have a plan of action when this occurs. The other reason is to get it off my chest. I feel so bad that I did not do anything more to help granny. In hindsight, I can see where I should have done some things that I just didn't think to do. I won't make that mistake again.

On the upside, we did do nails and hair. I painted granny's nails for Halloween. Alternating orange and black. She thought that was very funny. I also fixed her hair and perfumed her up so she could feel pretty. When I left she told me, "I look pretty good today." That makes it all worth it.


  1. Kate said...
    Wow that post is really kind of heartbreaking. I have a close family member in a similar position but luckily the care has been amazing. I wish you and your granny all the best.

    Take care

    John said...
    It's really sad that things like this has to happen to our loved ones. And shame on those responsible.

    Glad things ended fairly well.

    God bless.
    Greg said...
    sorry she was in such a bad way. Getting help from others sucks sometimes.... hope it gets better.

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