Monday, August 6, 2012

Venting on Health Care and Negative People

Coming from a family that made it against all odds, I have no patience with anyone who says "I can't, it won't work, this cannot be done," or one who just gives up without trying. My husband was a glass-half-full kind of man. I learned from him and my brothers that being positive and believing I could almost always meant I did conquer the challenges before me.

On more than one occasion lately, as we scoured stores, online businesses, and interviewed every caregiver we encountered, for the best way to help my ailing older sister, I have become frustrated with the negativism we faced.

Perhaps because my sister is an octogenarian, nurses or caregivers, who have dealt with other people her age, want to write her off. That is the only way I can explain their actions. The most recent example came about when my younger sister, Gay, found a brochure at Mobility Express for this piece of equipment that she and I thought was the answer to transferring my sister with the broken hip. When we approached a couple of certified nurse assistants to help us try it out, all I heard was, "That won't work. She can't do that. It ain't gonna work, I tell you."
  A New Place, A New Attitude
I am happy to say that, in a new facility where the staff learned to use the stand-sit transporter, they love it and it makes moving my sister a totally different experience. It is much easier than having her try to slide on a board to transfer from one place to another and safer than having one staff person try to lift her and another move a seat under her. 
The staff at Sunrise Assisted Living did not take the negative attitude of the former CNAs, but learned immediately how to make the new equipment work for the patient.

As I said, I came from a family that didn't except no for an answer until they had exhausted all possibilities. That is how they grew a small company into a top international one. That is why we didn't accept the medical opinion that our mother would be "like a vegetable" for the rest of her life. That is why we took her home, cared for her and she recovered from a ruptured brain aneurysm; she lived happily for ten more years.

Perhaps managers and directors of senior housing could take a more positive view in their training of staff. That might turn around their hopeless outlook for patients and families who only want the best care possible in exchange for the extremely high costs paid to assisted living and nursing homes.

Without a positive attitude June could become discouraged with her health issues but she continues to smile, keeps her sense of humor and concern for her loved ones.


Assisted Living San Diego said...

You need to take an effort to contact them. You are the one who need them so you initiate the communication.

DJan said...

Glad you finally found the right people to help. There is a fair amount of age-ism in the world, especially in nursing homes, it seems.

Shen said...

Wonderful that you continue to push for what you want and need - and for the needs of others.

Glenda said...

DJan,you seem to be a positive person who lets nothing deter you from your goals. Yes, age-ism prevents many older people from living a better and more fulfilling life.
Stereotype is another problem. Making jokes about ethnic groups, women, and gay people is frowned upon but older adults are free game. No wonder young people have a stereotype in mind when they think of "old."

Anonymous said...

Glenda - June looks so happy. Am glad that you were able to find people that listen. I hope one day that the attitudes of the people at Sunrise are not so uncommon.

Glenda Beall said...

Rebecca, thanks for stopping by. I visited June today. I was also with her yesterday. She is having problems with aphasia, but I was greatly encouraged to see how she can pull herself out of the chair, stand for longer than a minute or two, while the seat is folded under her. She is improving every day even though we were told she would not.
The staff is very good to her and she is not complaining even though it is not easy for her being there without her husband. I admire her wonderful attitude.