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Advocate for loved ones (10/21/2012)
From: Steve Cooker

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected at a senior care facility, contact the POLICE and an attorney. A lawyer won’t charge you to talk about your concern.

The administration may try to cover up the abuse or negligence. I am somewhat of an expert on this subject, having tended “closely” to two grandmothers and a good friend up until their deaths at a facility. At one one “anonymous” facility, my grandmother received excellent, impeccable care for 7 or 8 years. At another, my other grandmother was admitted for a broken hip. Shortly after arriving, she began talking stupid. Babbling nonsense. I went to a nurse with my concern. Useless. I am not a member of M.E.N.S.A. however I am “well above average intelligence” so, when she handed me a mouthful of double talk, I stepped over her and spoke to a supervisor, who uttered the same double talk using multi-syllable medical terms that would confuse most people. I informed her that my grandmother was there for a pelvic fracture, not frontal temporal lobe dementia or head trauma. A broken bone won’t make you babble like a drunk on crack. However, medication might. I then asked for her attending physician’s name. So, after plowing through the German front line in Normandy, I tracked him down. He happened to be there, but I was barred from seeing him. I then regathered my assault and barged past the woman with a name tag that said something like Brittney/Ashley/Tiffany, and approached him in a back office. Startled, he shook my extended hand. I asked him politely and sternly to re-evaluate her “meds” and he AGREED to. SOLVED.

A week or so later Gramma was “herself again.” She conversed, was lucid, coherent and cognizant. She squeezed and squeezed my hand and would not let go, thanking me over and over for “grabbing the bull by the horns.” Dammit! She knew she was doped up but couldn’t express it. The rest of my family [assumed] the “staff” knew best. The staff didn’t know best. The vast majority of staff are right on the money. Good conscientious providers. However, many facilities have at least ONE rogue employee. Like weeds growing in the corn. Consider the facility in a nearby town where a handful of young women were criminally charged for SLAPPING and HITTING our parents and grandparents! They thought it was “fun.” The administration didn’t alert the police and media, a whistle-blowing employee did. (Whom I’m sure was fired later for not parking their car in the right spot or being 8 seconds late.)

I have a friend whose daughter is an LPN at a facility who is KNOWN to STEAL analgesics (pain meds) from family members’ medicine cabinets! Is she holding them back from YOUR loved one? Has anyone informed her employer of her addiction? Of course not. And some of that family are actually [employed] IN NURSING. Nobody will watch out for you. YOU have to. Your loved one has NO WAY of telling you they are being denied their required pain medication. They just cry  


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