In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
Third Movement of the Symphony

I’ll digress a bit to give you a flavor of living in such a care home. All such facilities seem to have a hard time being adequately staffed, but this somehow seemed to be worse.
The more menial the work, the less training they seem to receive.

For example, after one young man gave me a hair-raising ride down the hall in my wheelchair at top speed, dodging oncoming old people walking toward us within inches of hitting them head-on, I asked if he had had any training about that. He said that, no, he hadn’t had any training about that or anything else. It scared me to death, so you can imagine the reaction of people who are barely ambulatory. It was also common for staff members to open doors with the toes on your foot when navigating in close places and not to notify the passenger in advance about when they were going to turn, so that they could adjust their bodies accordingly.

There was one old man who wandered the halls saying that he had never received his breakfast. I was told by a staff member that he had had his breakfast already and that he had done that for years, so they just ignored him. I realize that they are overworked, but it is terribly sad to me that they couldn’t just have given him something to chew on or at least a kind word so that he knew someone cared for him.

The cords to our reading lamps and our red light calling for assistance were often left hanging at the wall, so that you couldn’t reach them if you were unable to get up, and the red lights often stayed on for some time before they were answered. There was also a woman down the hall who called for help almost ceaselessly. She may have had mental problems, but her plight was pathetic in any case.

Caring for the old and infirm is tough work, no doubt about it, but no tougher than being the old one being cared for.

End of Chapter 3. (Two more to come.)

3 comments:

Indicted Plagiarist said...

This is excellent writing. This is publishable. This is better than what is commonly published.

Yellow Dog said...

I agree, I.P.! I have a short post to make but I don't want to interrupt LittleBill's train of thought. In the meantime, I'm certainly enjoying the read!

an average patriot said...

You know little bill, That place you were in sounds like a horror show and you should report it. Atleast let the owner or manager see your story. That is not normal.
your first hand account is insightful and not often heard from the source I am sure. My in laws are in a nursing home and the things you describe is a no go.
I can't even envision someone racing down the hallway pushing a patient or opening a door with your foot. That is unacceptable.
Though everything you describe about the concern and lack of humanity when caring for them is right on as you know.
Little bill this is very insightful and you are getting better. Glad to see this. Keep up the good work.