Tag Archives: death

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.

 

 

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“Sheen’s Act of Kindness”

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I read the Sunday mail today. Yes it was a couple of days late but at least I had a few minutes to get through it without interruptions..

On the top left hand corner of the right page was a small article about Charlie Sheen and his generosity towards a mother who lost a son. The young man was a paparazzi following Justin Beiber in Los Angeles. He was taking pics of JB and was run down and hit by an SUV and later died in hospital. Very sad ending to a young life..

 

Well, Charlie Sheen heard about it and wrote a cheque for $15,000 and sent  to the mother of the victim to help pay for his funeral.  This is a selfless act of kindness. There aren’t too many people in this world who would think about doing something like this especially the ones who do have money to burn.  How generous of him. How kind. Charlie might be a ‘Bad boy’ for whatever reason but you have to hand it to him.. He does have a very big heart and he was so touched by this event he had to do something.  When money is so scarce, he helped a desperately sad woman to bury her beloved son. The public already love him but this has raised him and his profile to a brand new height.

Good for you Charlie.. Wish there were more like you. What a bloody marvelous world this would be if there were  xxx

The Pet left behind

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I have managed to pull myself out of the hole I fell into. I am so lucky to have been able to do it. I do have emotional strength and am able to analyze a situation, come up with a solution and get on with it. Thank goodness for that.

I have been worrying about my little Papillon ‘Boo’ who has lost her little friend ‘Lovey.’ It’s been hard on all of us losing that little girl and I believe Boo has been feeling it too, so 2 days ago I thought to myself ‘she needs some sort of replacement or something to take her mind off her loss too.’ I had already ordered doggie items from a great online site called ‘My Pet’s Wardrobe’ and I visited the site again and saw the smallest pink teddy bear for little doggies.. It’s a great idea. Pet’s can’t be left to grieve without you helping them get through it. They need guidance, after all we do take care of them, and their emotional wellbeing is just as important as ours. A few days ago, Boo tried to tear the jacket I bought for ‘Lovey’ apart so this was the closest I could get to something fluffy and light…

It arrived today. Yes 2 days later I got my order and as I was talking to the delivery girl about our lost pet, I pulled the teddy from the packet and gave it to ‘Boo.’ No explanations needed really. I squeezed the teddy over the sticky tab wich said ‘Squeeze me’ and it squeeked.. ‘Boo’s’ ears pricked up and she jumped up to grab it so I threw it and off she went. That was about half an hour ago and she is still playing with it. Having a wonderful time.

Have given instructions to the family not to allow Boo to take it outside as it will get filthy dirty and the squeeker inside the teddy will fill with water rendering it useless if I have to wash it. At his moment, Boo is under the coffee table near me and chewing this poor teddy. Maybe I should have ordered a few of them because I can’t see this thing lasting too long.

This is part of the healing process for her and us too. If she is happy them we can be happy. Nothing worse than seeing a pet fretting over the loss of another family member or pet. Having a lovely sunny day here today so it’s now time to go outside and let Boo have a run. Yeah right… how do I get the teddy from her now??? Here goes..
Boo and her Teddy
Marilyn xxx
Boo and her therapy Teddy

Boo!

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OK so now what?
What do you do when you have experienced so much grief and in such a short time?
Our year began with a bang! Our home electrical appliances began to explode or just give in!
We lost our fridge, our clothes dryer, the iron, the microwave, the phone.

Then my father passed away and about 6 weeks later I lost the dearest sweetest little dog. All she ever did was smile and ask to be cuddled and loved. Crap. could it get any worse???
I work in Aged care a lot and I deal with death as if it’s a release for them. They’ve had a full life, and the illnesses and problems they have don’t give them any quality of life. Some elderly residents pray for death. They will refuse to eat and drink. They will cry out in pain. They will refuse treatments and medications because they’ve had enough. I feel for them and I understand their emotional and physical pain. When my Dad passed away it was sudden, but I know if he had been given the choice he would have opted for the quick way out. He didn’t want to linger and it was something I had discussed with both my parents.
I felt relief for him when he went because he was in no more pain. I will say though it was very hard not to lose it. It was a sad time for all.

Then the loss of ‘Lovey’ last friday evening. I didn’t have time to deal with my Dad’s passing and I was faced with a loved one’s death again.

Now we have Boo! We got Boo soon after we got ‘Lovey’ to be a housemate so ‘Lovey’ wouldn’t get lonely if we had to go out and couldn’t take her with us. Now Boo is left and looking a bit lonely. Hmmmmmmm tricky situation. ‘Lovey’s’ cothes will never fit Boo. Boo won’t sleep next to me as that was ‘Lovey’s’ spot on the bed so she curls up on the warm wheat bag at my feet. She is doing some odd things now and looking a bit forlorn… I need to keep her busy to keep her mind off it… Ok so the other night I ordered a little teddy bear. It should be delivered tomorrow as I paid for express post..

When I received the little fluffy jacket I ordered for ‘Lovey’ and pulled it out of the packet, Boo thought it was a teddy and grabbed it and tried to run… She thought it was a teddy. Ooohhhhh… Poor little bugga. I had to take it from her and put it away. In actual fact I had to nearly pry her jaws open to get it from her. Come on the teddy. It’s pink and fluffy and it comes from a wonderful online pet store call ‘My Pet’s Wardrobe’.. It might give Boo something to do.

I thought of purchasing a small soft toy in the shape of a dog for her to play with but that thought brings about some pretty odd imaginings…

Have you ever wondered about people who have loved a pet so much they wanted to have it cloned??? What a stupid idea. I mean really.. How many times do these nitwits want their hearts broken. That pet will never outlive them and they’ll be left to mourn the same dog again… Nah! Dumb idea..
I personally couldn’t do that. As much as I would love to have this precious, tiny little baby back in my arms… I still couldn’t do it. That pet wouldn’t be the same either. They wouldn’t have a lifetime of experiences, they would only look the same. I suppose a few of their mannerisms would be identical but that’s probably it.

I did some soul searching tonight and asked myself how I could be so devastated and lonely by the loss of this little pet and after considerable time and thought, I realised.. The passing of my Dad was difficult and someone had to do all the things needed so my mother wouldn’t have to do it and go it alone. I never had time to grieve then. After that I went to work to keep myself busy and it did help. Then we lost ‘Lovey’ and the pain has doubled… It all came back with a vengeance and has been haunting me. I have never felt so desolate in my life. I have been crying and sobbing for 4 days now. It’s been said.. ‘Time heals all wounds’ It does too. I am waiting for ‘time’ to heal my wounds… and it better bloody well hurry up too. I have a life to get on with and a family who rely on me… Does any of this make sense or am I just babbling away???

How do I get a doggie hoodie on Boo with her ears?

Boo’s ears naturally stand up..

A DYING MAN!

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I received some awful news from a lovely friend of mine regarding her bother who lives in the Phillipines. It seems he had contracted a deadly disease called Schistosomiasis. This is a worm which burrows into the skin of humans and lives and breeds in the blood vessels, destroys the Liver and the Spleen etc..

This poor man suffered with the debilitating effects of this for 3 years and just prior to Christmas 2009 he was given a dreadful prognosis. He had been given 6 weeks to live. When I heard this I immediately gave the lady one of my books to send to him. She did this and called him as well and instructed him on the use and benefits of ‘The Clincher’ in my book.

He began this part of my Plan and got progressively better. The Detox effects of ‘The clincher’ provided him with a very powerful boost to rid him of this unwanted disease. I am waiting for his sister to contact him to ask him for a few details on his diagnosis, tests, treatments and prognosis. I am hoping to add it to my website for all to read.

I have since heard he is going to survive this terrible thing. When I did some research into Schistosomiasis, I found out Bill Gates and his wife are working towards eradicating this major cause of death in these countries. What a wonderful outcome for all if it can be done. So there you have it. I am so very happy for him and his family. What a worry this would have been to them all. I have some of the family as my Facebook friends and they are the sweetest, most kind people. Absolutely lovely.

I already knew how fantastic the effects of my Plan was and is and will keep helping people. I am so sick of the pedlers of these other diets. They are all the same. They just change the food choices around. I can take the food you have chosen for your days menu and make them a Marilyn’s Plan menu. That is how easy it is. If you have been dieting for years and tried them all but are a bit sceptical, then all I can say is. You will get my book sooner or later because you will have no other choice especially when you realise the other diets you are on aren’t working for you. xxx