Tag Archives: health



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.



Beware of eating Rice dishes?


I was cooking all my food for my two little doggies and one of them became violently ill.. resulting in her suffering from IBD  (Inflamatory Bowel Disease). This can happen to anyone after a traumatic event to the intestines..

I didn’t realise how important it was to rinse rice prior to cooking it or the correct temperatures to keep it or cool it before eating it..

Now I do..

My little ‘Lolly’ suffered untold pain and vomiting along with diarrhorea and is now having to eat canned paste..

I’m on top of that now and am determined to get her off it but that is another story and will let you know how it goes..  Groundbreaking…

I did some experiments with rice over a period of 5 days using clean areas and utensils. Being a Uni graduate I am aware of the need for specifics when determining scientific data  and my experiment was done using the best methods..

The photos I took are of rice cooked on day one day four and day 5. Rinsed prior to cooking and not rinsed pior to cooking.The results were clearly astonishing and showed the massive growth of the bacteria ‘Bacillus Cereus’ in the un-rinsed subjects.

There are a few sites on the net which will give you good information on cooking, storage etc of rice and other foods which carry the spores of this bacteria so please have a look at them and commit them to memory. It might just save you from giving someone food poisoning…

1.  Rice ‘Rinsed before cooking. Rinsed under running water.

Day 1.


Day 4 Rice rinsed.


Day 5 Rice rinsed.


This is Rice not rinsed.

day 1.


Day 4 Not rinsed.


Day 5 rice not rinsed.


For each bowl of rice cooked…..

All amounts were exactly the same as could be measured using the equipment I had.

Temperatures and times were the same. Method was the same.

So please be careful when buying, cooking, serving rice. Make sure it is rinsed  under running cool water before it is cooked to get rid of the bacteria spores first.  These spores can survive cooking, temps between 30 to 37 degrees Celsius and as low as below 5 degrees Celsius..

Fresh versus frozen muck…..


Saw a program about someone who decided it was a good idea to cook food, freeze it for weeks, defrost it,reheat it and then serve it up to her family.. I’m gagging as I write…

This is a disgusting thing to do to food… Food which has been cooked and reheated is waste, leftovers.. garbage..So why would anyone think this is a good idea???? Do they think this is good food to serve to their families???

I think it is just being damned lazy and nothing more… or less….

Food is fragile and should be eaten fresh. always..  To cook it kills off most of the vitamins and minerals if not all of them.. But to cook it twice and make people eat is is horrible…

I have a small orange tree in my backyard and it has a few gorgeous fresh oranges just ripening up…

Now, if I took them and popped them into a pot of boiling water and cooked them, how much nutrition do you think would be left??  None.  Zich.  Zip. 

How good do you think these ripening strawberries would be if boiled??


The only positive thing I can say about this food is that it is not full of artificial additives, colourings and flavourings which we all know are really dangerous to your health.. But there is really no nutrition in it at all..  Sad… Very sad…

Food should be fresh. If cooked then it should be eaten immediately it is cooked… Oh and don’t forget, there are a lot of benefits to eating some raw foods too…. A lot of fruits and vegetables taste better eaten raw…


This is my little Washington Navel Orange tree after I have eaten all the oranges… Yummy…

I’ve also noticed we don’t eat as much food as other people now either. We get more nutrition than a lot of people because we get a good mix of fresh fruits and vegetables etc… No Processed foods… so we aren’t as hungry… More fresh means more nutrition means less food needed…


This fruit is what’s left after it was purchased yesterday..We have already eaten half of it and will replenish it after tomorrow.. The grapes were in the fridge and cooling…. The nuts will take us about 2 weeks to devour…

Ever wondered about the nutritional value of jam? If jam was good for you, then do you think it could be a nutritional food source?  NO! Absolutely not.. The fruit has been boiled and boiled and preserved in cans and jars and is just sweet crap so no of course it’s not good.. Hey, we do have some jam now and then.. We don’t go without entirely.. we do enjoy a few old fashioned treats…


Turkish bread drizzled with olive oil and toasted, with some tuna and fresh finely chopped salad veges… A light sprinkle of white wine vinegar for a zesty flavour and that was my lunch today.. It was really nice…

I suppose this is why we don’t get fat now… We get plenty to eat and we are never hungry….

“Marilyn’s Plan” (My book) has a great deal to do with this as well.. Lost weight, got my health back and I’m loving it…

So if you think doing disgusting things to food and giving it to humans or animals to eat is a good idea, maybe you should get my little book and learn something… Please stop killing food…..

Marilyn xxxxx


Brain injury


We should all know when you hit your head your brain suffers from an injury. No matter how small or insignificant you may think it is, it’s not.  Hitting your head is serious.  Your brain is floating in a fluid inside the skull and if you hit your head, the brain does bang against the wall of the skull. Researchers are now asking for all children’s sports to be non contact. Even wearing a helmet does very little to protect the brain from injury.. The brain still gets quite a thump even within a helmet..

Ok so I work in the health care industry and at least once per shift I am confronted with someone who has ‘had a fall’

After we assess the severity of the fall and check for physical injuries. We begin the arduous task of doing Neurological obs.

Physical signs are bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth.

Swelling around any part of the body.

Broken bones.

Neurological obs are taken over a 24 hour period and involve charting…

Eyes, reaction to light and pupil size.

Any weakness in either side of the body.

Response to our questions.

Patient awareness to time and space unless they are not able to vocalise this due to dementia etc..

Blood pressure.




These Neuro obs are taken every 15 minutes for the first 4 hours.

Then half hourly for the next for hours.

Then hourly and then 4 hourly.

If any specific problems arise it will be after the first hour post fall (unless it is observed immediately) so we must  monitor the patient closely and prevent further falls.

Giving medications which cause drowsiness, such as sleeping tablets, antispyschotic medications etc must be reviewed and their use carefully measured as the patient can easily be mistaken for a brain injury when they are actually suffering from the effects of a sedative.

Researchers are now stating anyone who suffers from a concussion due to a head injury should rest for a week.

This allows their brain to recover.. The worst case scenario is a form of dementia in later life..  Look at Muhammad Ali, the world famous boxer.  He is now suffering from Parkinsons disease. Footballers are also at risk of this too and there is a couple of them here in Australia who have been told they have Parkinsons disease/dementia due to severe brain injuries whilst playing their favourite sports.

Children are particularly clumsy and quite often fall/trip and hit their little heads..

If this is a regular occurrence with your child,you may want to ask yourself why? Why are they tripping over so much? Do they wear correct and properly fitting shoes? Do they have orthopaedic problems? Are they so tired in the day time due to lack of sleep they are not able to get through their day without tripping and falling? Sometimes this is the answer..

Does your child go to a day care centre, Kindy or school? Do they get enough rest whilst there?

How much sleep do they get at night?

Do the day care workers observe them and prevent them from running especially if they are prone to falls etc…?

Is there a particular time of the day these children fall over? There could be a pattern.

If your child has a fall and hits their head I would advise you to take them to see the doctor asap and get them checked out. The doctor will check their neurological responses and give you advice on how to care for them at home. Make sure they get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep in babies can cause seizures too.. Didn’t know that did you?

So if you have a child who has had a fall and hit their head or just hit their head on anything, keep an eye on them for the first 24 hours. Look for either sided weakness in their grip, with their legs (can they lift their legs up in the air). Is their grip the same on both hands and can they lift their legs up one at a time to the same height?

Do they sleep too much? Are they overly drowsy? Not able to wake them “as usual”..

Is their facial expression vague? Do they forget things?

There are so many signs and symptoms of concussion from a hit to the head but you will know the capabilities of your child so keep an eye on them and get them to the doctor for a check up asap…..

I have witnessed a worst case scenario post fall and it is not pretty so I urge you to keep in contact with your doctor and document anything you can so you can show the doctor.

Doctors rely on our documentation so they can see what has been happening.. We keep the records and they get this information which helps them to diagnose the problem…

There is so much to it but this is it in short.

Marilyn xxx



Detoxing for kids???


Who are these people?  By accident I saw a TV show last night where someone was promoting a ‘juice only’ diet.

Then this morning I see someone detoxing their children using only fruits and vegetables.. Like I asked.. Who are these people???

No one has the right to do this to children or promote this type of thing without medical/ nursing/ allied health supervision. Where is their knowledge of food? Do they realise the body needs all the other vitamins and minerals to survive? Are they aware there is a vitamin similar to vitamin B12 called ‘cyanocobalamin’ which contains ‘cobalt’  This is “Vital to life”

I don’ think you would find anyone in the health profession who would say detoxing ok…

The other complex B vitamins are necessary and without consuming them, the body is subject to poor muscle control, neural deficiencies, menstrual disturbances, deficiency of antibodies, less formation of blood cells, lack of K and Na regulation. 

Thiamine assists in the breakdown of carbs into glucose etc…  without this daily dose there will be problems with the nervous system, loss of appetite, irritability, reduced intestinal motility, heart irregularities, and beriberi.

I am only mentioning a few problems involved with a lack of B vits.. Don’t have the room here to name them all…

We have all heard about the benefits of folic acid haven’t we?  (Pregnancy etc..) A vital vitamin of the B complex. Deficiency causes poor growth, graying hair, diarrhea, and many more but which I won’t mention here because you probably won’t have heard of them and wouldn’t understand..

These important vitamins are all found in meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, grains, organ meats, leafy greens, and many more foods.. The list is big.. Did you know you can obtain vitamin B from wheatgerm? Yummy… I add it to our foods and it tastes great… 

It’s so imperative for the body to get a balance of the main foods. 

To put any child on a juice only diet is ‘Child abuse’  These children will be suffering from ‘Malnutrition’ and it is due to the ignorance of parents.  If adults do it then they will be suffering from malnutrition too but it is their own fault.. I have to ask why are these TV shows promoting these ridiculous bloody diets?  I know they think they are covering themselves by also having a dietitian give their view but that view is so quick it makes no difference. I should perhaps petition the Australian Medical Ass to stop the charlatans from doing harm.

At the moment I am assisting a mother who has a very young child who has decided he will not eat anything but fruit. He eats minimal carbs unless it is sweet and will not eat meat or meat products..  He has slipped under the radar and if I hadn’t been observing his pooh, I never would have realised.  His pooh was runny, lumpy with undigested pieces of food and sweet smelling. To my trained nose and eyes, this pooh came from the fruit only, passed through his gut very quickly without being masticated (chewed), no iron or other elements to give it a nice dark colour to indicate there is iron from Vit B complex and the pooh was very runny..

He had no intestinal noises to indicate he had anything like a tummy bug which his day care said he had.

I had to tell the mother his Pancreas is under stress from all the sugar and he will be verging on brain damage from lack of these ‘Vital to Life’ vitamins. I also had to say it is no one’s fault!  Not many people are aware of the need for specifics when it comes to food and why if they are not consumed there will be consequences.  My interventions are having an effect and for the good, but if by the end of this weekend this child is not improving he must be seen by a doctor as there could be absorption problems or other.  I am happy to say he has shown some improvement this morning after one and a half days.  But no child can live and thrive on fruit only..

So getting back to kids detoxing.. The body is constantly detoxing itself so there is no need to push this onto innocent children or anyone else.  They are just being denied important foods.

Three things to assist detoxing if you are so inclined..

1)  Cut out all processed foods.

2)  Cut out sugar

3) Cut out fast foods and eat all natural foods.

So there you have it in a nutshell..  I have a visitor and have to get this done quickly but I could not go on for one more hour knowing there are irresponsible people in the media and the uneducated public plugging such rubbish.

Sure I do have a ‘Juice Up’ in my book but I would NEVER tell anyone to just live on that.. 

If you want the best of everything and to lose weight etc..  http://www.marilynsplanforweightloss.com.au

I have a small army of followers who absolutely love my Plan….. I love them for their loyalty…..

What is that pain in your chest?


How many times have you had that gnawing pain in your upper chest and wondered if you’re having a cardiac arrest or is it just reflux?

What type of food do you consume? Do you drink alcohol? 

We will all get reflux at some point in our lives and I can tell you it’s not nice. The pain can be crushing, thinking you are going into cardiac arrest and causing you to panic.. 

I remember about 15 years ago I was researching reflux medications and the causes, signs and symptoms of reflux…  What I found out was interesting to say the least. People were comfortable knowing that if they drank milk it would line the stomach and protect it from that gastric acid burn which as we all know is powerful enough to burn through plate steel.  The only reason the stomach is able to deal with the production of gastric acid is that it also produces a thick, highly viscous fluid which protects the stomach from being burned by the acid. Unless of course your stomach is producing too much gastric acid, then you are at risk of an ulcer forming in your stomach  etc…  This can if not dealt with cause an internal bleed with the possibility of a hemorrhage.. Does that frighten you at all?

There are reflux medications available which can begin from the simple over the counter type to the far more serious need for prescription medications…

Milk has animal fat in it. Got that?  The animal fat in any food or drink will cause the stomach to produce more gastric acid to break down the animal fats.  Fats are more difficult to break down than the composition of fruits and vegetables.  There are some days when my cook will do the simple lunch of a cheese and ham sandwich which will have me running for the simple over the counter medications and loads of water.. Anything to stop the excruciating pain and the feeling of nauseousness…… These simple remedies don’t do much and the pain can last for hours.  Ok so now I make sure I have some raw vegetables with my sandwich. Grated carrot in the sandwiich can do wonders to prevent reflux. If you have had an extremely fatty meal or food which is flour dense with little or no vegetable matter in it, then I will suggest you chew on a carrot soon after.. I found the carrots from our local supermarket have been so sweet and delicious, I can hardly wait to get one… The fibre in vegetables has the ability to absorb the bad from your stomach but make sure you don’t cook it.. It must be eaten raw. Don’t tell me you hate carrots. They are truly a wonder food and should be eaten with or after every meal… Cooking your vegetables, especially carrots softens the fibre and kills most if not all the nutrients so you are eating dead food.. No wonder there are so many sick people around…

Oh and alcohol doesn’t help either… If you must drink, have minimal amounts….

So.. eat a carrot and enjoy! xxxx

If everyone ate according to marilynsplanforweightloss.com.au  there wouldn’t be too many sick people in the world.. or overweight ones either..  bye for now…




Looking outside the square


Reading the Sunday mail this morning and I saw a two page spread about diet books, the pros and cons etc  and the experts favourites.. Well, that made me mad..

If they are so darned educated then why can’t they come up with a diet to suit everyone?  They learn the basics of nutrition and apply it to their knowledge base and go from there.

Just because they have a degree in nutrition doesn’t mean they can help everyone with a weight problem. There was one overriding factor though, and that was to agree on how diets should be easy to stick to and maintain…

I am a Registered Nurse. I went through university and part of that study was to learn about food and nutrition. So what is it about my book which makes it different to all the others?  I made it easy. I kept the difficulty to a minimum. In fact it’s not difficult at all. I think we are thought of as stupid, dumb individuals who can’t think for ourselves and need to be led by the hand when wanting to lose weight. Honestly, I have tried most of these books and the ones I haven’t tried… well I know what their basic idea is and I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole because it is too restrictive, and some are just dangerous.  Restricting foods should not be a part of any healthy eating Plan. 
We the people do know what constitutes a good healthy meal. We are not stupid.  We just cannot put it together in a weight loss form… We get hungry, we get bored.

When I wrote my book, I took into consideration the fact that we all know we need to eat good food and we know which foods to avoid..  Don’t we??  Yes of course we do. I just looked outside the square and made it easy. I gave a list of foods you can eat for each meal of the day.. The list is not huge but you might be surprised to know they are foods you already eat.. Hamburgers, roast, spaghetti Bolognaise, sausages,  soups, stews, casseroles,  cold meat and salads, hot meat and salads.  There is nothing different to the food I suggest and your normal type of food you eat now.  I just know what to do with it and when..  It’s all good tasting foods too. There is nothing tricky about it at all. It’s simple to read and understand.. I am not in favour of kids dieting but this is so close to what you and they normally eat, they can do it as well. Food provides the basic building blocks for a healthy body and restricting any healthy choices will just make you sick…..  Sick and tired too hehehe 

So before you go out and spend your hard earned money on something you think you won’t be able to do.. think about it..  Millions of dollars are spent each year on diet books and products.  Doesn’t that make you wonder why?  Does me.. If they work then there should be less spent each year..  I often wonder if they are counting on getting your money with their fancy schmancy adds and not giving a rats bum about you or your ability to stick to it.  Once they have your hard earned cash, they have succeeded and you have failed again!     How many diets have you tried?  Did they work?  How long did you persist with it? Was it successful? Did you write a diary to look back on?

That’s it for me today.. Off to work…  Hope you have a great day.

I would love to hear from some of you to get your feedback on these diets.. so feel free to leave a response. It would be great to hear from you. 

Marilyn xxx