Jennifer Meagher RN is the owner of Senior Life LLC, Advocates and Consultants. Meagher founded and oversees the Better Business Partners Serving Seniors. She is on the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Committee and has specialized in geriatrics since 1998. She is called on by doctors, attorneys, and financial advisors to care for their clients and their families. Contact Jennifer at www.SeniorLifeGCM.com.
I read that letter last week and your answer. I went through the same thing with my father. When I told them they weren’t doing their jobs, the called security! Then they started telling my father that I was out of control and might be allowed back. That’s no way to treat family. Of course I was upset. They were letting my father say he didn’t want to get up, and they weren’t making him. So if he didn’t want to eat, would they just let him starve? It isn’t good for him to just sit in that chair all day. I called the Ombudsman and was a lot of help. She got them to stay in line. After that, I only talked to the Ombudsman. Those people needed to go back to school and learn some respect. To anybody reading this: call the nursing home Ombudsman. Just ask. They gotta give you the name and phone number. Print this for your readers.
Been There Done That,
Dear Been There,
Your letter is a great example of how frustrated family that starts yelling are perceived to be the problem. This style of communication blurs the real problem, which is the question of care integrity. I am thrilled that the Ombudsman Program worked so well for you. Your father is lucky to have such a good advocate as his daughter. Please read today’s article.
EMOTION vs. COMMUNICATION
Some of us have a very hard time watching our parents’ age. (I’m not saying this is what’s happened with Been There, merely that this is common.) It is hard for everyone to watch our parents decline. It is extremely upsetting to see our parents receive sub-standard care.
There is a clear rule: If the family makes a scene over their dissatisfaction it is common for the team to label the family as “difficult,” “hot heads,” or “unreasonable.” It is imperative that family cool down before issuing complaints. If you have a critical complaint speak with administration and have a witness with you. Sometimes when our heads are spinning we miss important details or don’t realize how we are coming across.
There is another rule: If the family presents their complaints with emphasis on the message, results are much better.
Name calling decreases results. State the facts. State your expectation. Ask what will be done to resolve your complaint. If you are dissatisfied, get an Ombudsman or Professional Advocate and include the facility administrator in the next discussion. It helps to know what reasonable resolutions are possible. A Professional Advocate will do the best with representing your interests and no one else’s.
Brain Workout Trivia
What baseball player was known as the "Yankee Clipper"?
A. Joe DiMaggio
B. Mickey Mantle
C. Roger Maris
D. Yogi Berra
Brain Workout Trivia is the brainchild of John C Sproul
For more trivia visit www.funtrivia.com
The correct answer is A. DiMaggio got the nickname the "Yankee Clipper" during the 1939 baseball season from NY Yankee's stadium announcer Arch McDonald, who compared DiMaggio's speed and range in playing the outfield to the then-new Pan American World Airways Boeing 314 airliner (called Clippers). The term “clipper” was first used to refer the very-fast sailing ships of the 19th century used primarily for trans-Atlantic trade. DiMaggio was an extremely private man and at first was very upset with the lines "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?" and "Joltin' Joe has left and gone away" (from the song "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel). He became the second husband of film star Marilyn Monroe (1954 elopement, married only nine months). After she died in 1962, DiMaggio had flowers delivered to Marilyn’s grave twice a week for two decades. Although he never acknowledged doing this, she had requested while they were married, that if she died before him, would he promise to place flowers at her grave every week? He promised he would. In 2006, a baseball signed by both DiMaggio and Monroe sold for $191,200.