Category Archives: Books

EXPIRY DATE

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There comes a time when you have to think about putting your loved one into an aged care facility. This decision is not to be taken lightly. I have been asked numerous times to advocate for a ‘Good Nursing Home’  sorry I cannot do that. I can only say I am not completely happy with any aged care facility I have ever worked in and I’ve been working in aged care for approximately 20 years.

When I began working in aged care, things were so different. If I managed to get a tea break, I would go to the staff room to make a coffee and sitting in that staff room were carers and Enrolled nurses who would all be discussing the care of the residents. These wonderful people (miss them terribly) knew everything about their residents. Off the top of their heads they could give you the run down on their likes and dislikes, allergies, at risk behaviours etc. They would discuss new ways to help their residents. for instance if an elderly person was having trouble with dressing, eating, showering, they would put their heads together to come up with new and inventive ways to address the situation, approach the Registered Nurse with this idea and we would work on it together. From there, it would be taken to an allied health specialist such as Physiotherapist, doctor, nutritionist etc and the life of the resident would be made so much better. These brilliant carers knew about equipment which would make their jobs easier and using it on the resident to make it safer. Safety was a big issue and they understood it and complied with regulations.

Those were the good old days.

Now, walking into a staff room all you see are staff sitting around the tables talking to their friends and relatives overseas. Ask any one of them about a resident and you get an answer like this, ‘Look at the notes’ ‘Look at the care Plan’ or ‘I don’t know’ They have absolutely no idea or any intention of understanding the care of the elderly they are there to care for. Even if the resident had been there for a number of years. They weren’t interested. To the carers these days, it’s just a job and to get through it as fast as possible so they can go home. Now don’t get me wrong. There are a few excellent carers working in aged care facilities. They are the ones who do care. They do their jobs well and will even stay behind to finish doing what they need to do to make it easier for the next shift and to ensure the resident is left the way they are supposed to be left. Clean, well fed, in no pain, comfortable and any issues they have spotted reported to the RN.

If the RN needs to know anything about a resident now, we need to go into the shower to examine the resident ourselves. We are checking for fragile, dry skin. Skin tears, toenail and fingernail length, pressure areas, we check their ears and eyes, nose and a lot more. Ask a carer now and I doubt if they even know who they just showered.

This might sound like I’m bagging carers but it’s the way things are now. Aged Care Facilities cannot run without money, and to make a profit they need to have the least number of staff on the floor at any one time. If there is 35 residents there will be 4 long shift carers for the entire shift and a few short shift carers. The short shift carers are there to help with the showering and meals. They go home early. Meanwhile the long shift carers will remain to assist with toileting after lunch and helping the residents with lunch. They will do a ’round’ which is to check continence pads and to toilet other residents who are able to go to the toilet but just need some assistance. There is no time to sit and talk to a resident. To ask them how they feel or do any little minor thing the resident would like.

Every time I see a commercial showing how wonderful an aged care facility is and how splendid the smiling, cheery staff are I seriously want to barf.. What a load of rubbish.

To see the picture clearly, you need to go there and see staff running their legs off, Sweating under the strain on heavy lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling and count how long each staff member has to attend each resident. I did a count once and it was frightening.

Read my next post for the breakdown.

Aged care facilities are not designed for the happiness of residents, they are there to make money. Full stop. Now I know this is going to sound really disgusting but I was at a facility one day and I asked where all the usual carers were and was told, “They are having an inspection and they only want to see white faces here” I nearly fainted. How racist and bigoted can anyone be??? I wondered who was coming and what sort of people they were to  say this..  If I had called the media over this, there would have been hell to pay. But as I have said before. Nobody wants to know. And it would have been difficult to prove.

I sort of feel fortunate working as an Agency Registered Nurse at times because we get to move around from facility to facility and we see it all.

Every Aged Care Facility has at their front door a charter of rights and responsibilities. These points are a legal requirement and they need to provide evidence to show it. To prove this, they have reams and reams of paperwork and documentation and the staff are required to fill out all documentation to show they are doing the right thing. Ha!

Aged Care Facilities also have people (Accreditation Team) come to check on all their paperwork to make sure this ‘Evidence Based Practice’ is being adhered to. (Stop laughing)  I was hired to do an afternoon shift one day and when I arrived, I saw 4 RNs sitting in the Nurses Office completing forms and filling out papers ready for the inspection. They were even signing medication charts where there were many, many signature omissions. Some signatures were from other Agency Registered and Enrolled nurses from months previous. But as long as the tiny little square had a squiggle in it, it was ok.  All care plans had to be updated with the correct information included which should have been done on admission. If and when the facility passes all their ‘standards’ they whoop whoop for days after and throw a celebration. This is a very serious issue. To not pass ‘Accreditation’ is the worst thing for all staff, the residents and the facility not to mention the boss who runs the facility. It doesn’t reflect well on any of them.. The Government will impose sanctions on the facility to prevent them from taking in any more residents until they meet the ‘Standards of Accreditation.’ The facility will only be allowed to have a certain number of residents. Cuts to funding is taken very seriously.

The one thing you need to make sure of if you put your family member in an Aged Care Facility is to be there on admission and make sure they have all the information on your relative/friend. The admission form is paramount to ensuring staff know who is responsible for having the say over financial matters, who makes decisions regarding their health and welfare, are there any toxic relations between family members which could impact on the health and happiness of your family member. Allergies, every aspect of daily living is included and should be addressed. Do they have a funeral organised and with whom? What are the details? Burial or cremation? Who is the funeral Director? Sleeping times, food likes and dislikes, clothing requirements, continence. Do they use continence aids? Do they have enough clothes and shoes? Are they labelled oh and please remember to label their dentures and spectacles. There’s nothing worse than removing dentures or spectacles to find out your family member has been wearing someone elses. Do they have an ‘End of Life’ care form completed? Don’t leave until it’s done. It will save you so much time and make it a bit easier for staff in the case of a death or an emergency. Do they have any old injuries? Do they have pain? There is so much but it must be included. The admitting nurse needs to get baseline readings. This is Blood pressure, temperature, pulse, weight, height, urinalysis and a whole lot more. So if the resident has any health episode the Nurse has the baseline to go by. Any differences will show us there is something wrong. There is a change in their health status and it needs to be investigated further.

Read my next post for the times given for each resident attendance.

 

 

Winter food…..The stuff we love to eat….

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It’s been really cold here in Adelaide and so we’ve been cooking a lot of stuff to warm our bodies and give ourselves energy… and eating highly nutritious foods for health too.

Dieting?  No.. We don’t need to because all the food we eat keeps us healthy and trim.. You can do it too. marilynsplanforweightloss.com.au

Here is a few pics of the meals we have been chomping down on the last few weeks.. Don’t get a lot of time to take pics of all our meals due to our rushing to get things done and by the time I remember to take photo, I have eaten most of it…

Here we go…

IMG_0716 My super salad.. I added a little creamy dressing mixed with some white wine vinegar.. Buy the book and see why I mix it with vinegar…

IMG_0717Hubby’s creation of partially cooked pumpkin tossed in a pan with a little olive oil and with a handful of fruit and nut mix sprinkled into it at the finish cooking time.. Gorgeous…

IMG_0720Beef  hot pot.. Had mushrooms and bacon in it too.. He put too much potato on the plate… Yummy…IMG_0723I love a fresh garden salad.. With raw onion.. I ate most of it…

IMG_0725This was one big hamburger… With all the trimmings… Finger lickin’ dripping good fun…

IMG_0726Apricot Chicken..  One of my favs…. With chips of course….

IMG_0748Have to teach hubby how to make the best Pea and Ham soup… This was nice but he always adds too many peas…. It was so thick…. Tasty though.. I am wondering if he forgot the ham?????

So just looking at all this food we eat.. I can tell you it is wonderful to be able to eat the foods you want to eat, and fresh foods too. Not delivered in toxic plastic containers which cause cancers….

Get out your knives and cooking pots and pans and go for it….

Weight loss???  ‘Marilyn’s Plan..’ Keeps us healthy and fit…. and trim too….Love it…

Summer is on it’s way and we are ready for it….

 

Insurance for pets and people????

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We have two sweet little doggies who we love to bits.. Ok so one of them got sick last Christmas eve and it cost us a few thousand dollars for the vet bills.. Ugh!  We had been discussing signing up for pet insurance but when I checked the insurance companies who give pet insurance I was surprised to see many of them were underwritten by ‘People’ Insurance companies. Know what that means??

It means they have the best insurance investigators who will try every trick in the book to avoid paying out on an insurance claim if your pet gets sick.. Some of these companies I have noticed have even stipulated a clause to say if your pet is on food which contains artificial preservatives and additives then too bad… They won’t pay.. Now I have been promoting  Raw Meaty Bones and BARF for years and included it in my book (Marilyn’s Plan), knowing all too well the disastrous effects of preservatives and additives in our foods and researching the best way to feed pets.. There are plenty of groups on the net who will tell you how and what to feed your pets to maintain optimal health.  So, if these insurance companies are on the ball with their investigations into foods and their effects on the body then why do we give these foods to our pets?  Beats me.. All I know is they won’t pay for vet bills for sick animals when those animals have been consuming processed foods.   My girls haven’t had processed foods for years now and have been healthier for it..  Back to pet insurance.. If your pet is over a certain age and has no medical history (no illnesses recorded) then you might be lucky enough to get health insurance for them but the pet insurance companies will not pay claims on previous illnesses. They will pay for desexing and that is about it. Gum disease is rife in pets, caused by them eating rubbishy processed foods. Think of it like us eating a packet of biscuits every day for our nutrition. This crap gets stuck in your teeth and you cannot clean it out unless you have a toothbrush. Try to get an older dog or cat to take on a toothbrush.. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.. Ours screams and cries if we approach her with one..This is where the insurance companies make their money. At three years of age, a pet will have rotten teeth. There is a 3 to 4 week waiting period to be able to make a claim so don’t let them get sick in between then. We worked out it would be more expensive for us to insure our pets now as one is not well (food allergy) and the other pet is an older doggie so we would be paying insurance for nothing.. No claims.. So that is it… We are working on some research into T cell behaviours on the human and animal body to try to help our little girl overcome her illness.. Fingers crossed we can get her off the prescription tinned muck she is on..  (Paste).  We work very hard at cleaning her teeth too because she is not able to eat anything to clean them… The vet is querying IBS.. I wasn’t aware animals get IBS… (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)  Big job, but I’m sure we can do it..

So if you are considering getting pet insurance.. Get it for your pet the day they are born…. read their clauses very carefully too.. Either that or start saving now for the vet bills…….

 

 

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Update of Eczema

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I had to hold the camera in my left hand and upside down to take this photo of my right hand.
If you look close you can see the edges of the wound are healing and there is less scaly skin visible. I did debride it again to clean it up. Debriding means to cut away dead skin…. We do it when there is sloughy (infected) skin and to help it heal.
My skin might be a bit on the red side but it’s healing nicely now. It is looking very moist and smooth. Can only use the ‘Novasone’ cream once per day now, and in between and regularly I massage in some ‘Caroline’s Cream’ to keep the moisture up. This is working very well.

Looking a lot better

I do like to tell people what works and what doesn’t!

If you haven’t heard of ‘Caroline’s Cream’ before, it’s made by an Australian Mum who had a child with really bad skin problems and nothing was working so she researched and developed this amazingly beautiful cream. As a moisturiser it’s wonderful. I even put it on my Grandson’s head due to a small area of cradle cap.
So I am very happy with this. I don’t suffer from itching skin on my hands anymore and they are clearing up nicely.
Monday I got the ‘Novasone’ cream and today is wednesday. By friday it should look fabulous! It had better because I’m back at work then and the integrity of my skin needs to be excellent! If it’s not I don’t go to work. The skin is the best defence against invading bugs!
Marilyn xxx

Nah! I don’t need drugs…

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to admit you do need medical assistance with more than just your physical wellbeing. Your emotional and mental health is just as important and any deviations from the norm can be crippling.
In my last blog I talked about discussing me need for medication for my ‘Depression’ with my doctor and on his advice I began the said medication yesterday. Day one I had a headache within minutes after taking the first dose.

I took the second dose today and I feel so much better. No headache or other sypmtoms of adverse reactions.
These adverse reactions can be a little daunting if you have any medical/Nursing knowledge of medications and you know what to expect. I will tell you…
Increased Blood Pressure, cholesterol, palpitation, tachycardia, chills, irritability, tinnitus, vertigo, hot flush, insomnia, anxiety, rash, dizziness, seizure, mania, decreased appetite and so much more…
I am sitting here eating a scone with cheese and chives, I have no headache or any other reactions to the medication and I really feel good today. In fact I feel better today than I have for a long time.

I wonder if it’s due to the fact I don’t eat much of any processed foods with all the nasty additives in them. Our bodies have to fight them as well as fight diseases so how can the body win when it’s full of these toxic chemicals? The human body was not meant for chemical consumption. Why do we consume so much of it then? Are we just naturally lazy? Can’t be bothered so I will just open a tin of something… Blah..

I get a kick out of going to my kitchen cupboards and drawers and having a good clean out! I throw out anything I haven’t used for a while (usually those stupid ‘Makes life easier’ rubbishy utensils I buy on special). I sharpen my knives, polish my silverware, scrub the cupboards and drawers and just generally make everything shine. Then bake or cook something fabulous. Even if I’m the only person in the house who is there for a meal, I do eat properly. So it must be the way I eat which makes medications work so well on me without the adverse reactions. There are now quite a lot of medical articles being written about the dangers of additives in the foods we consume. Pets too! They should eat real food not processed. Any wonder why they suffer from so many maladies and die horrible deaths?

I’m surprised at the baby formulas too. What do they have in them? Why do so many babies die of such horrible diseases now? They have low immunity if they are not breastfed and I dare say if the mother is a processed food junkie then they will be consuming additives anyway via the breast milk.. Oh do yourself a favour and don’t eat processed foods.
There, that’s my grizzle for the day. Jump in and have grizzle too if you want.. below in the comments box. I look forward to reading it.
Marilyn xxx

I’m not sobbing anymore

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I went to see a doctor friend of mine yesterday and we argued over my need to take a medication for my ‘Severe Depression’
I couldn’t believe it. Me depressed? When I thought about it I had to agree with him. I decided I would begin the medication but only for a short time until I was back on track. I needed a mental break from the trauma…
I think with all the deaths I’ve had in my family, and I had been the one trying to hold the family together I’ve had no time to grieve myself and it hit me like a ton of bricks when my little dog ‘Lovey’ died. I couldn’t help sobbing and sobbing.

Lovey in the Pink Pot.
The photo of ‘Lovey’ when she was about one year old.

I went to work for 4 days and my concentration was so great on the job, I got through it quite well, but as soon as I got in my car to drive home at the end of the shift, I burst into tears and sobbed the whole way. That’s a lot of sobbing. My work shirts would be soaked with tears when I got home. Oh, it was awful.

So today after I commenced the medication, I get a bad headache about 15 minutes after (one of the side effects) but took care of that with my alternative therapy (will post it on youtube soon).

I was also suffering from separation anxiety too and as soon as I got ‘Lovey’ home in her little pink pot, I felt better. I was able to talk to her. Sounds crazy to someone who hasn’t been through it but it did help. Now I feel on the mend and am able to get on with my life. My family has had a lot of tragedy in our lives and I only hope it is over soon. I got an email from a friend of mine who equated it all with the Mayans and their prediction for the destruction of the Earth in 2012. More like the destruction of my family…

To be able to write things down and read them back it is like putting your troubles in a box and out of the way. It takes about 2 weeks for the trauma or change to soften in the mind. Like any change. Although there are some who just cannot put it away and they can suffer for years. I do feel for them. I am a very strong person but I will admit at this point in time, I have weakened a little. I hope to regain my mental strength. It will be a challenge as each and every day of life is a challenge and I’m not about to turn my back on a challenge.
Up to some exciting things and will let everyone know about them soon. Winter is time to work and summer is time to benefit from that hard work so watch out. Great things to come.
Marilyn xxx

Our little Papillon ‘Lovey’ has gone….

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Yes we lost her in a most tragic way. It was so sudden too. I don’t know why it is so hard to get over the loss of a beloved pet but I suppose it is due to the fact they play such an important part of family. Decisions are based around them, time is essential to them, their health and well being is most essential too.
It can be heart renching to have to go through a loss in this way. One day she was fine, the next day, paralized with such significant nerve damage to her tiny little spine, there weren’t any signals getting through to her lower organs or her little back legs.

Boo.. left / Lovey.. right


My hubby tells me I did the right thing at the right time by getting her to the vet as soon as I could. I do know when animals need medical intervention and Lovey was in distress. I think she was falling from heights and we didn’t know. We have a few steps in and around our house. If I saw her struggling to get up or down a step I would always lift her. On and off the bed too but I think maybe the ramp was too steep for her and she was falling down it. The big ‘IF’ If I had done this or If I had one that….. It doesn’t do any good now becasue she is gone. The only thing which I know makes me feel a little better is that she isn’t suffering anymore. I hate suffering in animals or humans. It’s cruelty at it’s worst. I held her in my arms for the end and sobbed the whole time. I only hope she was comforted in her last moments. I loved her so much. She took whatever was dished out… (more of that to come) and was loved, hugged and cuddled so much I hope it made up for any suffering… Now I’m left with little Miss Boo who is running around the house looking for her little friend. She is now very lonely and we are having to decide on things to do with her to take her mind off it.. This will be a trial… but as they say… ‘Time heals all wounds’
I miss you ‘Lovey’ Mummy xxx