Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Someone tell me, what is the point of putting one's elderly parent in a facility with nurses on staff if they don't do, well, nursing? I understand that what we are paying for is an assisted living facility, not a nursing home. I understand that my mom is there because she can care for herself. Mostly. However, I know there are sicker people there than her (at least physically) and I know the nurses must check up on them occasionally, I know the nurses are actual medical nurses too. So how can they be fine when a woman is descending into her 80th round of pneumonia just faxing a request to her doctor for some cough syrup and then forgetting about it?

I don't mean they waited a few hours. I mean they forgot about it. They faxed the doctor Friday morning. They're afraid to give her any cough syrup without his approval, which makes sense since she's on a cocktail of drugs that is hard to imagine already. However, she's had cough syrup before, so can't they just look that one up? Secondly, I understand also that Saturday and Sunday they could or would not be able to do anything because doctor offices close on the weekends. Fine. That still leaves the time between 4 and 5pm Friday to re-check why we haven't heard from anyone and be concerned that my mom will be there all weekend with nothing to assist her and THE. ENTIRE. DAY. OF. MONDAY.

Nothing happened Monday. Different nurse apparently, and apparently they don't talk to one another. Or leave post its. I mean is it real that the Monday nurse has to walk in knowing nothing from the Friday or Saturday before and figure it all out herself? And meanwhile, my mom, who is not entirely blameless herself, is slowly filling up with mucous while acting like she's fine all day. She's going to exercise class for the first time in weeks, heading over here to my house to cough all over my children and so on and doesn't think to herself, 'hmm, maybe I should call the nurse this morning to make sure they're still on the case.' No, that would be like asking for help. Which is against her personal bible of how to live life.

But I mean really! Nurse? You have a sick patient. Do you care? She is in your facility. What is your duty exactly? What are you there for? To distribute pills only? Because while you may count them out, I'm aware that you have actual assistants who carry the pills to rooms. So in between pill countings? What do you do? Read magazines? Because to fax and forget is very pharmacy of you. I fully expect a pharmacist not to care, although that pisses me off too. But you? You are supposed to act like you care about the people in the building. My mom is one of them. One of the more annoying ones perhaps, but still. Most people seem to like her. Why don't you take 5 minutes to go listen to her lungs? Call the doctor one more time. Fax them even for chrissake? Is it really too much to ask?


  1. Oh, believe me, we went through similar things at both the Champaign Co. Nursing Home and Meadowbrook/Clark Lindsey. CCNH was mildly more understandable, since it is a completely underfunded, problematic place with lots of temporary nursing help. Meadowbrook, not so much, since it's supposedly one of (if not THE) "premier" facilities in Chambana. Anyway, in answer to your rhetorical question, NO, it's not too much to ask...but the assisted living industry & its employees seem to think otherwise. Hang in there.

  2. Thanks! I guess I expect too much for thousands of dollars....

  3. Unbelievable..and yet believable based on the terrible stories you hear. Different impact when it is your own mom. Its not too much to expect either!