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Thread: Just need a little advice about work...

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    Default Just need a little advice about work...

    It's been 6 days, and I am still mad as can be and I thought maybe I should ask for everyones advice....Maybe I am mad for no reason, but I don't believe so.

    As many of you know, my real full time job is caring for an elderly gentleman with Alzheimer's. He lives in an assisted living community and I am his friend/companion/patient advocate. I have been with him for going on 5 years. I work 5 days a week 12 hours a day and then there is another person that works 5 days a week 3 hours a day...before I come in, and then one other person that works Friday and Saturday while we are off and he works 15 hours a day.

    For months now, the employees of the assisted living community have taken advantage of our willingness to help and have been neglecting their duties. He is supposed to get 4 showers a week, and I actually can't remember when they gave him his last one....it's been months! He is supposed to be a 2 hour check, which means the staff comes in every 2 hours to check his brief and change him if needed. Some days, no one comes in, so we end up doing it!

    His rent is $16,820.00 a month...that is just his room and meals...everything else is ala carte. That also doesn't include our salaries. He is charged for showers, incontinance products, our meals also (we can't leave during our shift), he's charged for his medicines being administered twice a day and any other incidentals.

    They did his laundry one day and turned all of his under shirts pink. I complained and was told they would replace them. Well, after complaining about it and staying on them for almost a month and a half, they finally replaced them. Then his towels and wash cloths came up missing....another 2 months to get them replaced!
    The assisted living coordinator didn't follow through and I had to stay on her to finally get it done!!!

    They are supposed to shower and dress him, but for almost 6 months, the other person who comes in before me comes in and he is in bed....soaking wet in urine! Pajama bottom, top and his sheets top and bottom and brief are just completely saturated!!!!! They keep a log of when he was changed daily and it says every day that he was changed at midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am....How is it possible if he was changed that many times, to be that wet 2 hours later??? I don't see how it is possible!!!! So I complained to the assisted living coordinator about that....2 months and still happening, so I take it upon myself to talk to every single care employee and then it finally stops happening! Assisted living coordinator drops the ball again!!!!

    His neighbors toilet over flows 2 weeks ago....his room stinks to high heaven....smells like mold and mildew. I ask housekeeper to take care of it and she says she will and to remind he, as she is dealing with another issue at that time, so I ask the assisted living coordinator to make sure his room is shampoo'd....she says she will make sure it is done that day....GUESS WHAT??? I come in the next day and it still isn't done! Housekeeper comes in cause I ask her to, and she says I am so sorry I forgot, as I was real busy. Then she says you really should have told the assisted living coordinator. I told her I did and she says, that she never said a word to her!!! She didn't follow through AGAIN!!!!!

    The next issue.....Food!!!!
    Since he is no longer able to walk very far, we eat in his room. I go down and get his and my tray and bring back, but most of the time I would go down and order it and would be told to come back in about 20 minutes and pick it up. I go back down and it's the same thing all the time....Oh, i forgot to put the orders in, come back in another 15 minutes. I come back and then I'm told, we ran out of food.....we'll make you a sandwich!!!! HOW DO THEY RUN OUT OF FOOD????

    I finally got tired of running back and forth and just started having the care person bring up the trays....I would just go down and order our food. So 2 weeks ago I go down and order our food. I told the dining room person, his care person and another worker in the dining room....that's 3 people I give the order to....his care person comes up and says an hour later....they ran out of food! They are putting another pork roast in the over and I'll bring it when it's done. So an hour and a half after lunch time, he finally gets lunch! Throwing his schedule all outta whack!!! then at 5 pm that same night, his doctor his here to see how he is doing.....the night time care person comes in and announces they ran out of food!!!!! I brought him a egg salad sandwich!!! I flipped and started cursing and told him it was unacceptable and I didn't care who he called, but he better get on the phone and get someone and tell them to deliver at their expense!!!! For $16,000 a month, something is not right!!!!! The doctore wrote it in his chart to make sure he gets a main entree daily for each meal....she said that way the assisted living community can be help accountable if he doesn't get it!!!
    In the last 6 months, they probably have run out of food 50 times!!!!

    All of this has been building, and this past week the vice president of operations for the entire company was in the building. I asked to speak to him and he came to the room. I was very nice and stayed professional....I asked him, how long a new person was trained before being left to work alone......I asked how patients were assigned to care givers and who decides..... I asked how reports were done and how often and to whom......then I asked him who does quality checks....he asked me why I wanted to know. So I tell him all of my issues with the place and I never named any names of workers...it was pretty much just asking questions and then voiceing my concerns.

    The next day me and the person before me were summoned to the office and they kept saying to me....I can't believe you would go and talk to the highest person you could talk to in the company instead of us! Said it about 6 times, we were in the office for an hour basically so they could grill us and try to get us to name names of people who didn't do their jobs and we wouldn't do it.
    The ones grilling us were the ones that are the lazy ones who don't follow through on anything! So the assisted living coordinator pulls all of the day staff into a meeting and says to them That we threw them all under the bus and not to let us do anything or else they will be fired! Then they lied and said we tape conversations so watch what they say to us!!!! She did the same thing with evening shift. She told one of my friends that works nights separately from everyone that can you believe he threw us under the bus....then she said he didn't mention your name specifically, but it was implied!!!! I am so mad!!!!!!!

    Any advice??? what would you do??? call corporate and complain? I mean it just proves that she is immature and too young for the job....she is 23, and is not qualified! I could talk to her boss, but she tries to cover for her....we saw that when they both pulled us into her office. I am at a loss on how to handle this!!!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    Having worked for a nursing home I can tell you there is nothing more fearful for the staff than when the State Inspectors come in following up on a complaint. My advice, document everything and file a complaint with the state.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    I would do what Bruce says. I mean if you are there with your patient daily, could you imagine what they do with the patients that have no one there? I would hate to think.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    I agree with Bruce. No way all of that should be happening. You have tried to get them to correct it internally. Call the State Department of Health and Human Services.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    I agree with Bruce and all the above.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    Report them. That is just disgusting that they are taking advantage of this man financially and neglecting his needs. Sorry that is not a little bit of money they charge for his room and board. To neglect their duties is beyond. God knows what they are doing to those that are not fortunate enough to have caretakers that actually care for their charges.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    I agree also. My gawd! Like Leslie said what DOES happen with the ones who have nobody on their side?!?!?!?!?!?!? Seriously heartbreaking! You are a wonderful person by far and if everyone was half as devoted as you this world would be such a great place. Thank you for being a voice for him even if it isnt being heard. I am outraged at the thought of this and I say raise hell. I mean out of food?!?!?!? For the money he is paying they should have his food catered in from a restaurant if they are "out of food". Give me a break. Not bathing or changing him?!?! My gawd. These homes can be so sad if they are in the best of shape but this.... My gawd imagine what it does to their moral? When getting up in the morning and trying to take those steps and even trying to eat is so hard, a moral and a healthy spirit can make all the difference. Thank you for being such a strong voice!!!! Please let us know what happens!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    I am furious and sad at the same time..... do as Bruce stated, get a complaint to the State
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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    I agree with all of the above. Your patient is so lucky to have you. Document everything and go to the state.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    Do these people have family that oversees their care? My first instinct is to get all your observations - good and bad - documented in a journal on a daily basis. Send a copy of this journal to the family (if they have one) and notify the doctor that he may also review the journal if he feels it necessary. Then send a copy of this journal to the assisted living coordinator and his boss. Yes, we, as human beings, are emotionally invested in these types of service jobs. This is the same as nurses and doctors and... just anybody really in the care industry. But, it is better if we deal with issues in a pragmatic way (just like how doctors and nurses have to do it) so that you can bring up issues without the emotional aspect - I guess, that's how you brought these issues up with the "big boss".

    It is not your job to name names - it is the facility's job to determine from the issue where the ball is dropped and to correct it. In the care industry, we cannot afford to let a problem go on for 6 months. I would give 3 strikes and you're out. Hence, the importance of the journal. If they have not corrected the problem - or if the problem crops back up after a few days/weeks/months, the State is the next in line to get a copy of that journal.

    All of these places need to have an accountability process in place. It's not about who gets to keep their job and who gets to be fired. It's all about the respect we give our elderly who cannot fend for themselves.

    Disclaimer: I am clueless when it comes to the care industry. Yes, you must be Filipino if... you're a nurse, a physical therapist, or a care provider... I'm the exception. LOL.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    Rob..I can't believe how fortunate this patient is to have you in their corner. I also thought right away the family should be notified..and as far as I'm concerned...they've used up all their chances and I would file a complaint with the state.

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    Default Re: Just need a little advice about work...

    @reallyrob...I'm so sorry to hear you are having to deal with this. I work in a memory support facility and I can tell you one thing for certain...you are your residents biggest advocate. It's really sad that the emloyees of the assisted living don't feel like they are advocates as well. It sounds like they are truly working there for a paycheck and not because they love those residents (sadly I have run across people who are in it for a paycheck as well but you can bet I turned them in right quick!)
    The best advice I have for you is to document all occurences of things not being done (dates and times, corporations are sticklers for details), meet with your resident's family and tell them what you have found and that they need to have a meeting with the Director of Nursing and Executive Director of the assisted living facility to bring up the issues, and lastly...do make a complaint to the state. BruceP is exactly right when he said that homes fear a state inspector to come out on a complaint (especially if the complaint is valid!)
    Again...I am so terribly sorry to hear this is happening to you and your resident. I hope that something gives and either your person can be moved to a better facility or the staff finally gets what you are trying to get them to do (their job!!!). I wish you the best of luck with everything.

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