Category Archives: writing

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.

 

 

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…….

 

 

Blahhhhh!

Blahhhhh!

Sitting next to me…..

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When I sent Peter Goers my book to read, ( he is an avid reader) I didn’t realise How friendly I was in my writing.
He said ‘it made him feel like he was at home’ when he read it.

Then, the other day I received an email from a lady who bought my book and she said she ‘felt like she was sitting right next to me when she read it.’ That was so nice.

I even have this on a T shirt.

When you create something for the benefit of others and someone says something nice about it, it’s normal to feel a little shy because you pour your heart and soul into the project, not thinking or imagining how other’s might percieve it but I was so chuffed. It was a lovely compliment. I must admit, I do like to put myself into the other person’s shoes and imagine how they will receive it. I like to teach and I thoroughly enjoy showing other’s ‘How To thingies.’ Pouring your heart and soul into a project is an extension of your personality and it shows the kind of person you are deep down.

I wonder if we can be categorised? Snide, smart aleck, empathetic. apathetic, sweet, determined. smart a..s, cynical, the list is endless. I’m afraid I’m not very good at being snide or smart alecky so I stick to honesty and integrity. It works for me. It also makes me feel my book is a good piece of work and worthy of all the advertising dollars I spend on it and the time I’ve spent talking about it. ( I could talk about it for hours)

No other book on weight loss can say that. For the most part, they are just full of scientific facts to convince you there is no other way but their way if you want to lose weight. My Plan is based on the science of food but I kept it all to myself and just wrote it for you to follow and to learn from. I love it and i’m proud of it.

http://www.marilynsplanforweightloss.com.au

Marilyn xxx

Writing. Got ideas yet?

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I have been blogging about writing but I didn’t talk about getting ideas and how to put them on paper. You don’t have to write ‘The great Literary novel of the century.’ You just need to make sure it is written to inform the reader of something newsworthy or to get them excited about some event. You can capture them with your opening chapters and titles etc. I know it can be hard trying to think of a catchy phrase or story line to snag the reader but imagine you are talking to someone you haven’t seen for a long time and explain your story to them as if you are telling the story for the very first time. Give it all the emotion and descriptions it needs to make it a grand story. Remember too, it is important to stay within the boundaries of your own knowledge base.

I think that’s why true stories do so well. They are pretty easy to write because it’s a true event and your role in writing it is only to relive the event and put it on paper. Embellish a bit if you want. All the major script writers do it so why not you? They will take a 5 minute story and make a 2 hour film from it. Make it exciting and have fun. I have 2 other books on the go here and I write them as I go. As I experience an event or incident, I jot it down and add it to the chapter where I know it fits. One of these books is going to shock and probably horrify a lot of folks but I figure they will appreciate my position after they read it and act on it. The other book is a little sad but has a happy ending……. I hope!
Cheers.
Oh, one more thing. Don’t sit for hours without getting up and doing some form of exercise to prevent DVT’s in your legs.
marilynsplanforweightloss.com.au It’s all in there for you and the most brilliant weight loss Plan of the century. Hoo Hoo!!

Do you want to contact me?

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I have been wondering if anyone would like to be able to contact me re; my book. It gives a website and or business a bit more credibility when there is a phone number to call so in the next few weeks I will buy another phone and add the phone number to my ‘contact me’ page on my website. It will only be for enquiries for the book and for people to feel at ease prior to purchasing and for queries.

There are so many scams online these days and it makes everyone nervous so I will bypass all that and provide a contact number. You should do it as well for your website. I won’t purchase anything online unless I am 100% positive it’s for real. Well that’s it for me for a day or so. I must get back to my book. ‘The Queen and I.’ I love reading it and am taking my time with it. Bye for now and have a great Easter break. xxx

PS. and if you eat that much chocolate over easter and worry about weight gain then go to my website and see for yourself how easy it is to lose that weight and keep it off. There is not another Plan in the world like mine. xxx

http://www.marilynsplanforweightloss.com.au

‘The Queen and I’

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I read a book years ago titled ‘The Queen and I’ by Sue Townsend. I thought I would mention it here for you if you are writing a book. It is a most beautiful little book and well written. The English slang is written beautifully and Sue has a way of writing exactly as you would imagine the Queen would speak. Eloquently. This is how you should write your book. Your style, your words. Don’t be fazed by highly intellectual words and profound phrases. These types of books I find very boring. You are probably not interested in that either.

I have been wanting to buy the book for years and I decided to go for it and search ‘amazon for it. I found it on amazon.co.uk. I’m up to the third chapter and enjoying it all over again. If you buy the book, take note of how Sue writes. Straight from the heart. Editing is important too. You don’t want to have a book full of grammatical errors etc…

Well that’s it for me for now. Have lots to do. xxx

Want to be a household name???

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I couldn’t help the name of my book. I was in the office building for the registration of a business name with a handful of papers and names to call my business. I didn’t really have a clue what to call it and settled on a few very ordinary names.

While I was standing there in the line waiting to be served, I became a bit anxious and worried the name I had chosen for my book and my business would not be as great as the contents of my book so I hesitated a little when the lady behind the counter called me. I handed her my papers and she looked at them and read the names quietly. Arghhhh! There was no ring to them. Not any of them were standing out. All my hard work was sinking behind mediocrity and blandness.

Then my mobile phone rang. It was my ever patient hubby who had dropped me off in town and was driving around the city waiting for me to ring him to pick me up. He said… ‘Why don’t you call it Marilyn’s Plan.’

He also said other weight loss experts put their names on their books so why not me. I changed the name then and there and it stuck. The book and the Plan are mine and the name is becoming a household name. Mostly by word of mouth now. I don’t advertise much as I don’t need to. My book sells itself. I’m not too crazy about having my pic on the book but that in itself was a bloody nightmare. Trying to find something suitable for the cover. I didn’t want the book cover to look false or artificial or overdone so I made an appt with a photographic studio and had some pics taken. It all fit together well and I was happy. When you get the book you will be very happy with the Plan and the ease of the principal. Enjoy!