Author Topic: Nursing Home Woes  (Read 4919 times)

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Offline luise.volta

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Nursing Home Woes
« on: June 29, 2010, 04:24:49 PM »
Good one!

I'm struggling right now with things that I see at the nursing home that I think are neglectful of Val and he doesn't notice them and isn't hurt by them.

My question is: "Is this anger and hurt about him...or is it about me?" (Clue: I'm crying over it and he is sleeping like a baby.)  :'(
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

BellaTerra66

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 02:41:28 AM »
Luise, you have every right to cry (and even if you didn't have a good reason, it would still be all right).  I worked or volunteered in hospitals/nursing homes for the past 20 years.  Even if a hospital is non-profit, the bottom line is still money.  I have watched hospitals not fully staff a unit to save money and, consequently, deaths have occurred.  One of the reasons I no longer will work at any hospital or nursing home.  And nursing homes are worse when it comes to patient care.  And for the very elderly and for the very elderly with dementia, it's much worse.  Unless we can be there 24/7 to take care of our loved one (and no one can do that), neglect is going to occur. 

I would not complain to Admin because Val might get worse care or get kicked out.  But if you think their care of Val is bad enough, I would make an appointment with my local congress person (and take your son with you).  Be sure to have dates of bad care, the specific incident, and the names of medical personnel written down.

My heart goes out to you.  I have seen first-hand what you are talking about.  One of my most fervent prayers for myself is that I go from a heart attack or in an accident where no one else is hurt. 

You and Val are in my thoughts and prayers.




kathleen

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 02:56:39 AM »
Bella,

Thank you so much for this very enlightening piece.  I have heard of bad care in nursing homes but never experienced it; my mother was in a very good one (except for the fact that attendance at religious services was required daily, and she was not of that Protestant faith) and my father died as you said, very quickly from a heart attack. I will keep your advice on mental file should I need it for my own husband some day.

I am certain that we all hope Val is not in a truly bad situation.

We can perhaps understand some of this as working in a nursing home can be such a low-paying job.  My son is a school teacher and I often wonder if the people we value least in our society are those who care for our kids and our elders.

Luise, you and Val are in my prayers as well.  I have so enjoyed all your posts about him, especially the wonderful story of how you met and married.

Kathleen

cremebrulee

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 04:18:42 AM »
Good one!

I'm struggling right now with things that I see at the nursing home that I think are neglectful of Val and he doesn't notice them and isn't hurt by them.

My question is: "Is this anger and hurt about him...or is it about me?" (Clue: I'm crying over it and he is sleeping like a baby.)  :'(

I am so sorry to read this Luise....
unfortunately, Val's care is out of your hands, and they are not taking care of him, like you would...however, your emotions are normal...

I think, it's both, the hurt and anger you feel b/c all this is happening, morning his absence....and this is happening to someone you love, it's also taken away the comfort zone of your relationship....the worry of what they are doing every second, there is really no peace of mind when it comes to Val's care. 

Lets face it....we all realize, as much as we tell our selves, everything is ok, but it's not, he's not with you, and your unable to control his care, not being there with him every second, is an unknown, and the unknown scares us, along with all the what if's....your probably also feeling guilt....and anger for having to face each day alone without him....it hurts lady....big time....plus a certain amount of purpose has been taken away from  your daily routine....we women are care takers....and we give of ourselves and time, to our loved ones before ourselves....so when that routine is taken away, we feel lost and not so needed....yanno....I think by understanding our own emotions, helps....so, be aware of these things and when you start feeling as you do...understand, the love of your life is your priority...has been for years....and he's not with you, so, you are unable to watch over him and feel, like no one else will do it as good as you can....and that, dear one, is perfectly human and normal....so cry, let it out...while understanding those emotions....it's not one thing, but many and your overwhelmed with all this unknow uncertainty.

It happens to some of us, when our children leave home....for so so many years, we put our lives on hold and give up so many things, so many dreams, to provide for them...why, b/c it gives us joy to see they're happiness and success....and we become used to putting our dreams on hold, what we'd like to do...we actually let our husbands and children make all the decissions of where to go for vacation, etc....we allow them to watch what they want on TV....and we tell ourselves, we love what they love....

So, we actually loose our own identities for all those years....we compromise those things we were and wanted....so now, your facing a whole new life....with time alone....and youself starts to surface again....you start getting to know you all over again....and let me tell you, it's such a good thing, if you allow it to be.....life isn't always fair, and sometimes it's down right crappy Luise....but with the bad, always comes good, we just have to look for it....identify it....life has a way, of making us realize the joy in it, the preciousness in every second...if we look for it....there are more sad moments then happy ones, however, if we can learn to identify the happy moments...we start to realize how very paramount they are, which takes over our whole being...that is why, as we grow older, stuff that really bothered us when we were young is so unimportant now....we realize, life is getting shorter and learn to identify the peace and harmony that is there for  us, and how to find it...what to do with it....

We can rejoice when we read so many testimony's on this forum, b/c the people these ladies are taking about are so unhappy, to the point that they make everyone else around them unhappy....it is essential, that we realize, how we effect the lives of others....our husbands, parents, children, friends, co-workers....and then all else doesn't seem so important....that, to me, is the great picture...if we're unhappy and obsessive, everyone around us is tense....learning to allow, is a great challenge....allow things to be and simply take they're own course, instead of trying to control it...cuz the more we try to control destiny, the more difficult we make our own lives...plus everyone else around us....not that you are....these are just thoughts which are coming to my mind, through my own experiences, plus learning from you and the other ladies here....

In everything that happens to us, there is always, a very important lesson for us to learn along the way...when I was having problems with my DIL, I used to constantly say, there has got to be something in this for me to learn...and when I stopped blaming her, and took a long hard look at myself....and realized, this ugly thing that is happening to us, is not worth winning....not at all, b/c life is to short...I started to realize, even though I didn't mean to hurt her, I did....and when we're young, some of us can surely hold a grudge and chalk it up remembering.  Women don't forget...they count the bad things that happened and can't let them go and move forward....that is why it's so hard to forgive...however, when we start to learn, that forgiveness is essential in providing peace to our own lives, and not the lives of others, things start to change.  I realized, how small some of these incidents were, and said to myself...sheeesh, it's just not that big of a deal, and it wasn't, but I made it a big deal....and made myself so unhappy...I learned, to feed the soul with goodness, instead of anger....look for the good, which most everyone has and ignore the other stuff....I learned that I am no picnic either, with faults of my own that I need to work on....and to stop being so critical of others and myself, which helped change the insecurities...it all ties in together....what we think, is how we feel....in other words, it's who WE are...

I agree with Kathleen's post, as my cousin worked in a nursing home, and it is unwise to complain to much....very sad, but true....

I know you know all this Luise, due to your spiritual background....however, I also know, when we're going thru something so devestating, it shocks our own systems, and it's difficult to rationalize and understand things....let go, and let things be....life loves us and everything has a purpose for us to recognize, experience and know....
We have a gift, which is life....and the heart of memories....and if we remember those good times....that's what gets us through and lets us know, change, once again is occuring and we must acclimate, and utilize life in a different way now....we can't control it or others....we must learn to sail with the waves...

Sorry for the rant....

Maybe something I've written may help you, maybe not, I just know I wish I could do something to make it all better for you....and all the other ladies here....your all so special and indeed, significant in the whole of things....I've learned so much from you all and am so thankful for you all...

Hugs and love
Creme

« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 04:53:51 AM by cremebrulee »

cadagi101

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 04:50:13 AM »
My love and thoughts are with you Luise
Creme what you have posted is wonderful

Offline Pooh

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 05:57:22 AM »
Luise, I think it is probably about both.  No different than when our kids were little and we found out some bully was picking on them.  We were angry and wanted to go whip the snot out of some 8 year old (even though we knew we couldn't).  It is about US because we want to protect the people we love, and about THEM because we know they deserve better.

I think it is totally normal and understandable what you are feeling.  Is the neglect you are witnessing dangerous to Val?  I think there is going to be a difference between neglectful abuse and not doing things in a timely manner.  Every nursing home I have been in, even good ones, there seems to be a delay in providing things they need in a timely manner.  I think that is the nature of the beast (understaffing, underpaid, etc.).

I am sorry you are hurting but you are entitled to a good cry.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2010, 09:40:41 AM »
Bless your hearts, one and all. I sometimes feel so alone with this and get overwhelmed.  :'(

This nursing home is on our campus and highly rated by the state for both nursing care and salaries. Val and I are well known here because we have lived (and volunteered) on campus for ten years. I went to our social
worker and she is checking to see who had Val Sunday morning and has taken it to the DNS. Things look better this week.

I too worked in a nursing home before I went into nurse's training and it's not a fun place to be, work or visit. Going twice a day is my commitment and sometimes it is so hard. Even though I previously volunteered on our nursing reception desk for three years, it is so different when you are the spouse of a resident. So heart-rending and devastating.

I see neglect and oversights in things that are not really important to his overall well-being if they happen rarely but they are still important to me. Most of my anguish is about not wanting his life to end and what have we all learned abut having it be how it is? He's almost 99. I know it is time and I try to be accepting. But...it's Val.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pooh

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 10:52:45 AM »
Just because you know it's his time, doesn't make it any easier on you.  You may have learned a lot about life, but you are still allowed to grieve and feel loss.  Sending great big hugs your way Luise.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 10:57:09 AM »
Yup, it's a package deal, Pooh. Some days are better than others...it's a roller-coaster. And it's also wonderful to have an e-family that cares at hand. :)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 11:08:52 AM »
I tried to split the topic and add this thread to an existing one and now I think I have two identical topics. I think I'd better quit before I make a bigger mess. I had messed with the existing topic and was trying to fix it.  :(
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pooh

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Re: Reporting in on Val
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2010, 01:28:56 PM »
You are sooooo worth two identical topics!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Nursing Home Woes
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2010, 02:24:52 PM »
How wonderful to be cut some slack!  ;D
(I think I did it!)

I was pirating the "detached and resentful"  topic.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

willingtohelp

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Re: Nursing Home Woes
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 04:58:02 PM »
Luise...my thoughts and prayers are with you and Val.  I can't imagine how hard the transitions are to go through (caretaker to visitor, living together to living apart, etc), but I hope that you know you've got a group of gals who are willing to hear your sobs or vents or laughs and support you through it.  In a way, I think this is a testament to how you've lived your life...you've set up these websites to help others and drawn people to you.  And now it's our turn to help you a bit, if you'll let us. 

There was once a counselor touting the idea of a love bank.  That by doing for others, you deposit into the bank and if you need something, you make a withdrawal.  It should tell you how many good deeds you've done that your "love bank" is overflowing with people who want to wish you well.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Nursing Home Woes
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2010, 05:09:37 PM »
Well, Clover, I can't see to type...so I will be back later. I feel such gratitude. That's what the tears are about. You are all so wonderful. Thank you so much. (I'm sure glad I have my withdrawal slips.  :)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Hope

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Re: Nursing Home Woes
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2010, 06:34:56 PM »
Luise,
My heart is with you.  Your pain and tears are inevitable during this difficult time - with the tears being a good outlet.  I spent a couple hours almost daily in a nursing home for 2.5 years when my Dad was there and I could write a book.  I was so upset about some of the things that went on that I finally began sending letters to the health department.  Every action I took was warranted and the health department did respond.  I think I would do it again if faced with the same situation.   I always say that if you have someone in a nursing home or hospital, they need an advocate.  With your experience, I'm sure you know your rights and what's best.  Someone mentioned non-profit.  To me, it's a joke - someone is making money.  When you charge extremely high living costs, the money has to be going somewhere.  I believe that money is the bottom line as someone wrote.  I know the nurses and nurse-aides aren't the ones gaining the money, but someone is benefiting.  Anyways, you are a dear soul and one of the most loving wives I know.  That's why it hurts so bad, your love is so real and so intense.  Just keep writing to us - there is a healing power in it.  We care about you so.
Love you, sweet Luise.
Hugs, Hope