After the kidnapping incident – Stan seemed to ‘lay low’. I hardly saw him. Now that was a good thing as I really didn’t want to see him – but it was also a bad thing because he was obviously not treating Mum.
Once more I was furious. As the registered nurse he was meant to be tending to the infection. Mum also had another fall. I heard that she was trying to call for help from her room. A miracle happened – the lady in the room next to her – who did not speak and could not see well – raised the alarm. She managed to get help – such is the power of people in a crisis – she was able to come out of her ‘shell’ and do something heroic.
When I arrived, Mum was shaken – but fortunately nothing was broken. However, each fall traumatised her body so much – it added more stress to an already stressed body. After the relief that she wasn’t too badly inured I turned my attention to her leg. I had had a day or two off visiting – we’d had flooding rain and I couldn’t get out of our property.
I was suspicious that the bandage hadn’t been changed in my absence – I was right – it was wet through. Stan had been on duty – and in fact was on duty again that morning. I went to the ‘nurses station’ (the room where they kept all medications) to ask if the RN could come and change the bandage. Someone went to find Stan – he said he was ‘too busy’ dishing out medications and I’d have to wait……….
Something exploded in my brain – I started yelling at whatever assistant was nearby – not yelling at them – but yelling about Stan. They looked at me – both startled and amused. I stormed out of the dementia unit and straight to the manager’s office. The manager had just returned from extended sick leave and was in a meeting with the acting and deputy manager – I really didn’t care…
I walked in screaming – my mother is slowly dying – in pain – and Stan has not been near her – for days!!!! I demanded that he be moved – right then. I said ‘Get him out of my sight – he’s useless – he has it in for not only me – but Mum as well – I demand you get him out of the dementia unit’. They told me to ‘calm down’. I said why should I calm down when they were playing with people’s lives! GET HIM OUT – NOW!!!!!
I said I had been away for two days because I couldn’t get into town and Mum’s care is non existent! What sort of a place were they running???
Suddenly there was a flurry of activity – Stan was whisked away and another nurse put in his place. Lee was due to visit that day and I was so relieved to see her. I told her what had happened – although I didn’t have to. She had heard about it! She knew very well Stan was neglecting his duties.
People starting coming in – the nursing aids and general assistants – they congratulated me on my outburst. They said Stan was a bully and acted like he was in charge – other RNs also agreed. I started to hear ‘secrets’ about what had gone on – I heard about good RNs leaving because of Stan. I wondered why management tolerated him – why was he able to get away with so much?
The whole mood of the place started to change. We had lots of ‘visitors’ to Mum’s room. A lot of the staff were talking to me about work issues and also how they would like to see things run. I made a few suggestions. The assistants wanted more activities for the patients – they knew Julie was run off her feet. They also needed more staff – there just wasn’t enough of them to go around.
I reported Stan to the accreditation board and he was kept away from the dementia unit for several weeks – pending ‘investigation’.
Lee was so frustrated that they weren’t managing Mum’s leg infection properly. We had talked a lot about nursing homes in the area and she suggested I get her moved to another one close by which had a great reputation. Lee rang the home and I also visited there – they put Mum on a waiting list and couldn’t give me any idea of when a spot would be available – but would ‘fast track’ Mum on Lee’s recommendation.
I realised it was something I should have done earlier – but hindsight is a wonderful thing..
I debated whether to post this photo of Mum’s leg – but it needs to be seen… This is considered ‘no big deal’ in the aged care world. We wouldn’t leave an animal like this. I took many photos and videos – some are distressing. I sent them where I could – it would have a little ripple – but it wasn’t going to change the mindset in the aged care industry.
In my many meetings with management – and many emails – I would say to them “Don’t you get it?? If we don’t make changes now – this will be us in 30 years time!! These people aren’t different from us – they are just older. Don’t we want it to be better – for them and for us?????
It seemed to fall on deaf ears – I would go home – stand with the horses and cry – for Mum, for me – and for the stupidity of some humans and lack of compassion for our elderly….
COMING UP – TALL TALES AND DR EGO
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