Thursday, December 10, 2009

A hard talk with ALF Director and I still don't feel better

I discussed the "plunger incident" with the ALF Director on Monday afternoon and I didn't feel much better afterward. Though she was nice, I don't feel the matter will generate the attention and actions I think it deserves.   Apparently she got a call Friday evening and the staff discussed it that morning in their "stand up" meeting - I guess that means they all stand around and relay news.

I wanted to hear that she'd taken some more proactive approach to investigating this and then making a plan for prevention.  First,  she wanted me to relay exactly WHAT happened so I did in great detail.  I told her that I suspect the plunger full of poo had been sitting in the corning since morning because Mom said she smelled something earlier in the day.  The Director said basically said you're not SURE it was there all day?   That didn't make me happy... I finally said, I don't care WHEN it was used, I care that it was left in the corner full of poo and it's unhealthy and unsafe.   I care that my mom's room smelled like a fetid sewer for hours and no one investigated!

After 10 minutes I was not getting any idea of what she planned to do so I directly said: Look, I'm a "fixer", that's how I've made my living so here's what I want to see from you:
  • identify the aides that worked that day, if you can't identify the specific aide, talk with them ALL
  • train them on how to properly USE and CLEAN a plunger after it's been used
  • train them on the proper way to empty a commode and do it in two flushes
  • get different plungers that don't have so many surfaces for stuff to hide
I WANT to believe that she planned to do something like this but I want to hear it from her - I want to see PROACTIVE measures to prevent stuff like this. It seems totally absurd to me that I have to tell her this.  I HOPE that she planned to do this anyway and she just didn't feel comfortable laying it out for me or perhaps she thought I'd feel better if she just left me vent.   If that's the case - she's patronizing me and I don't like that either.  I'm not paying for patronizing, I'm paying for decent and dignified care for my mom and I'm not seeing it.

I ended the conversation by saying that I believe she WANTS mom to get good care but things like this are a risk.  If something EVEN CLOSE to this happens again, I'm calling the state to report it. Dealing with the "inputs and outputs" - food and poo - are the most basic necessities we have whether we're dealing with babies or elderly parents so I'd hope they'd have techniques and processes to deal with all kinds of scenarios.