Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Therapist FINALLY gets it but it's too late to help Mom

After finally getting Mom's therapist on the phone, some changes are made but I'm wondering if it's too late to do good for Mom.   I learned a lot from talking with Mom's therapist.  Mom's supposed to go to therapy for an hour a day.  The doctor ordered 30 days of it then a review to see if it's doing any good.  The therapist is frustrated with Mom because she thinks Mom's not trying to get stronger. The therapist spent 10 minutes complaining to me about how uncooperative Mom was.  "She'd rather have a Pepsi with a friend than go to therapy." She seemed pretty upset over the whole situation.  The therapist didn't realize Mom is 89 nor that she's grown increasingly weaker over the last year.   She didn't know Mom was successfully using a lift pole in assisted living.  She didn't know Mom was complaining about her wheelchair, that she couldn't work the phone or TV, or that she was willing to try using the bathroom by herself.   I was ASTOUNDED and mad as hell because this information wasn't transfered at the time Mom was transferred to this joint! (One that her physician INSISTS is the best in town.) This time it was MY turn to get mad and frustrated.   I had conversations about her history, abilities and such with the Executive Directior and with Social Services staff, and, a few days later, the nurse on mom's floor.  All of them said they'd "spread the word". None of them suggested that I speak with the therapist.  They all knew she was there for 30 days of therapy!!  It's quite logical to me that the therapist would need to know a LOT about Mom to judge her improvement.   Unfortunately, I didn't realize they would not communicate.  I never expected that I would have to DO THEIR DAMNED JOB!! 

Unfortunately, this seems all too common.   No one seems to have the time to do more than the immediate task in the moment.  Being a process person, and one who's made a living moving data around into usable information - I am VERY frustrated by this and wonder how much harm has been done to my Mom because of their inability to see that they need more understanding.  They need processes to look at a patients WHOLE condition and history when they arrive.  They need to orient the patient/resident to their surroundings VERY well and spend some extra time for a few days to get the resident/patient out of their shell and involved.  They need to ask lots of questions of the patient/resident and family. They need to LISTEN to what each says.    The therapist didn't realize how old my Mom was for crying out loud!!!  How can she provide good therapy if she didn't think to look at her age.   It doesn't give me much confidence in the ability of this place. I'll finally get to visit next week so they'd better get ready - the inquisition is about to begin!