Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I try to be understanding of those who choose to care for the elderly as their career. They have to have a certain kind of compassion and love for elderly people as well as health care. The physical therapist with Mom in this picture is one of those kind of people. They have to deal with all those bodily functions, blood, throw up...you know... the list goes on. I couldn't do it. I would never do it. That said, some people just do it as a job for money and you can tell who they are. This is sometimes referred to as "Bad Judgement." on their part.
Here's some examples:
Case # 1- Mom broke her hip, had surgery and for awhile ,she had to be in a mechanical lift. It's sort of like a swing and it lifts you from your bed and into your chair. No toilet use. She hates that. The wonderful caring people in physical therapy worked with her and did a very good job at solving this problem by making her strong enough to be able to "transfer" meaning to be able to stand and pivot with help so she can use the toilet. One of her nurse aids started threatening her everyday about it. "Ms Wright, if you don't try harder, you are going to have to go back to the lift." I don't know whether this guy said it just as a way of encouragement or if he's just lazy but Mom didn't like it one bit. This was a case of "bad judgement" on his part. I was really proud of her because she just got sick of it and told him in no uncertain terms that she did not appreciate his threats and didn't want to hear them again. With my mom, it's sorta like when you have a kid in school and they are getting picked on. ( It's better for her to put up for herself and solve the problem than for me to bust in and solve it for her. It makes her feel more in control) So I waited to see what would happen. The next day, when asked about it, she said he was doing much better. He said, "You know what? Ms. Wright, I think you are getting stronger! You have improved!" :)
Case # 2 One of Mom's room mates had some kind of disagreement with one of the nurses. I found her crying one day stating that this nurse didn't like her. She was very hurt and it had been upsetting her all day. I asked one of the other nurses about the situation, "Why would this nurse just let this kind sensitive elderly woman stay so unhappy? Why doesn't she just apologize and hug her and tell her she loves her?" The other nurse said, " Do you know that nurse? She will never apologize." So I told Mom's room mate something I always have to remind myself from time to time, "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world. And there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." and hugged her myself. Mom's room mate was moved to another wing shortly there after. This was most likely, "Good Judgement" on someone else's part but still "Bad Judgement" for the unyielding nurse.
Luke 6:37 . "Forgive, and you will be forgiven". (Someday, she may not be forgiven)
Case # 3 Yesterday, a male nurse came into the dining room and spoke loudly and sternly to one of the residents. It seemed she had gotten into a desk that didn't belong to her and used the phone. This stern rebuke was in the middle of a large crowded dining area. He said something like, "You KNOW what you did was wrong. YOU got into someones desk , moved around files that were not your own and used the phone. This kind of irresponsible behavior could jeopardise the care of other residents" This poor old lady was so embarrassed, she just broke down sobbing. He continued this loud reprimand and didn't slow down one bit until he saw me giving him a really dark dirty look. He got quiet and soon left. There was another nurse there and I shook my head and commented, " I'm sure what he had to tell her was important but he should have had more sensitivity and told her that in a private place!" The nurse replied, "Yes, you are right. That was "bad judgement" on his part." I think I may have to dish out some " bad judgement" on him tomorrow by talking to the administrator. (This woman doesn't have the fortitude to put up for herself like my mother, so she needs someone else to do it.) Guess that's me.
If you see something happen like this happen to an elderly person who can't put up for themselves, do something about it. It IS your business and it's not just "Bad Judgement". It's abuse.