Ask Jennifer: Week ending 10/26

Updated: 10/06/2014 11:48 AM
Created: 08/04/2009 11:50 AM WHEC.com

Dear Jennifer,

My Auntie raised me. She’s like my Momma. She went to the hospital and they stuck her in a nursing home. The people there are nice enough but it don’t’ seem like nobody knows which way is up.  One of them tells me one thing and the other says something else. Then they start in like this: “What must have happened is…” and it’s like they make a story up. It’s like nobody really knows what happened when she fell, and what happened to her eyeglasses that’s gone missing, and what to do about the lady that wanders into her room in the middle of the night. What’s with that? My Auntie has so many troubles it about breaks my heart. I’m worried if they don’t know these things, then they won’t know if something real real serious.  Even the doctor is upset. He told me I should take my Auntie someplace else. How do I do that? I’m worried if they find out I’m looking around, they’ll take it out on her. What can I do? I tried calling the police, but they said I should call the social worker. My neighbor said I should write you. I’m praying you know what to do.

Bless You,

Dear Wanda,

Here are the questions I ask myself in a situation like yours:

1. Does this seem to be a problem among most of the staff, or just one or two?

2. Is this something I think they are likely to fix?

3. Is all trust lost, or could we work towards a resolution?

4. If your Auntie is clear minded, is she concerned too?
It is important for you to trust that your Auntie is getting the oversight and care she deserves. Careless reporting is often at the center of disgruntled families. It could be that everything has been done correctly for your Auntie at the time of each situation, but that the staff isn’t careful about communication.  Either way, if the right hand doesn’t know what the right is doing and if the staff isn’t inclined to obtain the correct information before speaking; then we have a recipe for things to go very wrong.

From your report, I share your concern.  First, write out a calendar of past events and staff responses. Call a Care Plan Meeting.

A Care Plan Meeting is a recommended first step. This shows you as loving family who respects the staff enough to work on a resolution. This also documents your concerns and staff responses (keep your own notes.) this builds a clear ground work to demonstrate whether the situation resolves or not. It opens a clear path for you if you wish to change her location. You might consider:

1. Transfer to another unit in the same nursing home.

2. Transfer to another nursing home altogether.

See today’s article for more. You are a wonderful advocate for your Auntie.



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