Today has been quite the day for scandals. This morning I was reading about a political figure who was having an inappropriate relationship with an intern. Mid-morning, I read a post about another fallen pastor, caught in a sex scandal involving the youth of the church. But this afternoon, I am deeply troubled by the scandals of long term health care.
One of the definitions of the word “scandal” is “A person, thing, or circumstance that causes or ought to cause disgrace or outrage” ( ttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/scandal).
Recently a news/educational channel did a series on the horrors of assisted living facilities,with focus on their memory care units. The documentary presented mostly all negative information regarding the care a person receives when placed in a facility. They used words such as “horrible care, unsafe environment, untrained staff.” The picture that was painted for the viewers was very bleak, and downright scary. If I were not familiar with what really happens in assisted living facilities, I would probably be mortified to leave my loved one in a any facility, at any time with anyone!
Having dedicated my entire career to the care of long term heath care residents, especially dementia patients, I am outraged! There are so many facilities in the US, most of which I believe, really do the best they can. We as providers are not money hungry savages just doing this job to become the next Donald Trump. Has anyone ever seen a paycheck for a health care worker??? Not many zeros before the decimal point. But yet, media reporters catch wind of something that happened in a long term care facility and suddenly we are all labeled, and stamped as one and the same. That is simply not fair.
There are some some facilities that NEED to be shut down, but not the ones who are in it for the right reason. I think every consumer should study, investigate and know what the facility is all about before ever stepping over the threshold of the doorway. Once inside, consumers should ask the difficult questions, ask about training, ask about any abuse lawsuits. Ask ask ask. Go online and look at the facility violation reports. No facility is perfect, but my goodness, be fair in your judgement.
Imagine the widow or widower who just placed their spouse in a facility. Then imagine them sitting at home alone in the evening, casually watching a nice news documentary about a nursing home or assisted living facility..
Imagine the horror that spouse will experience internally by the time that show is over;having “exposed the industry and it’s low standards of care”.He/she will be mortified, fearful and enraged! By morning, that spouse will have driven to the facility and jerked their loved one out, explaining how this TV show proved the facility was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Unfair. If you see a BMW or Mercedes broken down on the side of the road, do you totally discount the entire maker of the car? Do you run an ad on TV exposing how this type of car breaks down? No. Yet, let one resident fall in a nursing home, a “faultless fall” ( no wet floors, no trip hazards, safeguards in place), and see where the media takes the story. Scandals.
I appreciate the wonderful people who have dedicated themselves to the long term health field. I highly respect and regard them. They provide good care, enabling the family to be confident in the care given. It’s my opinion that the “good facilities” outweigh the bad 99 fold. Most of us are committed, dedicated workers and have chosen this profession for the love of the people we care for. Why can we not be recognized for who we are????????