Sunday, August 21, 2005

the care facility era is not “drop and run”

The care facility era still requires caregiver time above and beyond quality time. Maybe it should be labeled advocacy time? These are examples just from the last few days.


One afternoon I dropped in on lunch. Patti eats in an assisted dinning room. She needs to be monitored when eating. Her level of MS presents many challenges to eating; choking is a very real threat.


When visiting home recently she has been struggling with meals and I wanted to compare. I also like to randomly check out different aspects of daily care. As a veteran home caregiver observing an assisted dinning room is like watching choreography as the staff team efficiently, safely, and with kindness assists the residents with eating. There is no cookie cutter plan each resident has a specific program. The dinning room ratio breaks down to 3 to 1 for each staff member. Aides and volunteers improve the ratio even more at any given table.


Later in the afternoon I received a call from the nursing staff informing me Patti’s doctor had ordered a new round of therapy related to re-evaluating and improving her eating and swallowing.  … Hanging up I did wonder if my visit was a catalyst or coincidence in the timing of new therapy.


Another time I had to stop in to meet with maintenance department to discuss and “get approved” some shelves Patti’s father had built and wanted to put up in her room. Furniture and modifications usually require ‘approval’ for a variety of reasons, some which makes sense to me and some which may not appear to make sense. However with so many regulatory and oversight agencies involved it is best to play by the book.


Friday I picked up and delivered a dresser to Patti’s room. Over time “stuff” quickly accumulates just like at home. A bedroom is a bedroom no matter where it is. <grin> Furniture always needs tinkering with. Patti is unable to deal with such things herself and housekeeping staff is primarily focused on keeping rooms clean and straightened up. Over a year Patti’s ‘stuff’ simply outgrew existing furniture.


Then there is paperwork. Looking at my day planner for the past week, (if I were a “professional” something) I spent 15 “billable” <grin> hours either on the phone, on hold, writing, copying, filing,  etc, and responding to medical insurance related issues.


The care facility era is not “drop and run” at least I do not believe it should be.

1 comment:

  1. Don't you just love " billable hours" lol  I have been doing double duty with my mother 1200 miles away on the phone each morning at 6 my time.  Wonder what those "billable hours" are worth.  Thought when I retired I would make myself available to people in her situation,  to pay bills, transport, and that sort of thing.  I know it is a going type of business.


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