Category Archives: celebrations

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….

 

Adelaide Credit Union Christmas Pageant

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Have you ever seen it or taken your children to see it?
This Pageant is the biggest in the southern Hemisphere and it’s fabulous! and we have it here in little old Adelaide..

I’ve seen many a pageant but nothing like this one..
The colour, the floats, the costumes over 250 clowns… Dancers from dance schools, Pipe bands, Brass bands.. my favourite is the South Australian Police band.. Excellent.

They even had a ‘Bollywood’ float and it was terrific. Then the two horses ‘Nipper’ and ‘Nimble’ the two pageant horses with very lucky little girls riding on them dressed as fairies. Something every little girl would give her eye teeth to do..
The keystone cops run around a tiny yellow car and joke around… ‘Nellie’ the elephant which has been in this pageant since 1950 and it still rattles and rolls along. The giant worm, huge Christmas tree, octopus garden, ‘Nasty Neville’ the Pirate, ‘Peter Pan’ The music the atmosphere, it’s a wonderful beginning to our summer and Christmas.
The mechanics in the floats are very good indeed and never once did I ever witness a float breaking down although a year or so ago, Santa fell off the sleigh due to over heating… (poor bugga, he wears a satin outfit which doesn’t breath and it was stinking hot that day) He soon got back on his float and continued the parade, not wanting to disappoint the kids.. Robot Christmas, Aussie cricket team, A Indigenous float (lovely and well presented).
Mother Goose, Grandpa’s Christmas workshop, Elves, pixies, gnomes, and fairies. Stardust Castle,The Cupcake Christmas designed by a school. Jazz in the Park with a miniature Elder park rotunda, The Candy Carnival… I could go on and on but you have to see it to believe it.. 3 wise Men riding camels and the Nativity scene float.

Last but not least is the biggest float of all and the most important, carrying the one character every child is waiting to see. Father Christmas.. He rides in a gorgeous float with an enormous sleigh pulled by all the reindeer on a huge float covered in ice and snow, with beautifully wrapped presents in a huge bag in the back of the sleigh. He gets off the sleigh and is welcomed by the Pageant queen and in to the ‘Magic Cave’ they go with thousands of kids and adults squeezing in as close as they can to get a glimpse of him.. This year is the 80th anniversary of the Christmas Pageant.

This brought back a lot of memories of taking my son to see it and then my grand daughter..I would get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and get my pack ready.. Blanket, 2 chairs, coffee, food, sunscreen, book, and numerous other bits and pieces and catch a taxi into the city and get a seat. I would be there by 4.30 in the morning and sit with all the other people and wait for everyone else to turn up. Blankets spread out for the kids, coloured chalk to draw on the road while they waited and a lot of other things the kids needed. I would have the best seat and it was great to see their faces. I always made sure any other kids had a spot on the blanket with their parents standing at the back.. Oh what fun..

So if you didn’t take your kids to this amazing event, they’ve missed something they might not ever see again. It used to be the ‘John Martin’s’ Christmas Pageant, then they didn’t want to fork out for it anymore so the Credit Union took it over. How long do you think this company will keep it up? It would be a crying shame to lose this as it’s part of Adelaide’s History and I hope and pray it continues. I don’t have any photos because I’m sitting here in my loungeroom watching it. Dropped Grand daughter off at her dance studio for dance class and had to take the long way round due to the traffic chaos around the city for this pageant.

Her dance studio was so close to the Pageant and there was no room to drive anywhere with road closures everywhere but I took my time and went really slowly.. Now it starts… The decos, the cooking,, the pageantry of Christmas and making it special for all the kids who come here.. oohh I can’t wait..
Hope you one day got to see this wonderful event with your kids..
Marilyn xxx

Is the love of your life really a dog?

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Mine is.. Boo is my one and only. The one who makes me smile. The one who greets me at the door each night I get home after work and if I happen to go out for a time, I can always count on a sweet bark (more like a squeak) when she hears my car pull in the driveway. She has the funniest attitude to life. Endearing love which I am blessed with because I know she gives it to me with any qualms or reservations. She is a delightful little thing. She also knows her place on the bed at night.. At the foot of the bed wrapped around my hot wheatbag if it’s cold. If the weather is warm, she will lay on her back with all her little legs in the air which is the coolest way to sleep when you have to wear a fur coat.

A very loyal little dog. I often look over to see where she is and what she’s doing and I see her laying on the floor or on the lounge just watching me. I wonder what she’s thinking at the time too. She is a most beautiful little Papillon and I’m glad to have her in my life. Tomorrow is Valentines day and I took a photo of her to show everyone how sweet she is and how very special she is within my family. I am proud to have her on the cover of my book as she represents all the pets in the world who are loved and cherished. She is also my first trial for animals on my Plan. She was overweight but lost it qhickly and easily on the Plan.

My Valentine

http://www.marilynsplanforweightloss.com.au