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A change of perspective

December 30, 2013
by Kathleen Mears
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Molly (pseudonym) has worked as an aide here for over a year. She does a good job and usually does it quickly and with a smile.

Molly's dad is in his 50s. Last week he felt on black ice and broke his hip. He was in the hospital for surgery and then transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

One morning Molly's dad called to say he was up and having eggs and toast in bed. He enjoyed getting therapy and really liked the therapist. She thought he was doing well and was told he would be out by Christmas. Molly told me she planned to take her children to see her dad to keep him occupied with their company.

Then, he called her last Sunday here at work distraught. He had been sitting in a wet bed for two hours and was frustrated because no one had yet changed him. Molly was concerned and was allowed to leave work and go to her dad's nursing home. She talked with him and tried to calm him down.Later she told me about the experience. She had expressed her concern about her dad to the staff. She told them she felt he should have been checked on sooner.

Molly told me she spoke with the director of nursing about her dad's situation but she did not get much satisfaction. She briefly considered moving her dad to another facility. However, his insurance coverage has limitations so he will stay where he is until he is released.

I told Molly that her dad is probably uncomfortable, and pain medication is causing him to sleep a lot. I added that he's probably just getting tired of the whole thing. I told her to tell him to try to be patient and to hang in there because in time his situation will end.

Molly said she feels she is a good aide. But after hearing of her father's experience, she said she knows she must stay on top of her game when doing care. She said she "gets it." Now she better understands how residents feel.

I told her the only way she will really "get it" is when she is the one experiencing life in a care facility.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...