This is a powerful book review read, written by one of my blogging students.
I haven’t read this book, but I can relate to this post, because I was not happy about the way my Grandma was treated in the nursing home, which she died in last year, on Friday 13th of June. There were a few staff who was nice to her, but when she died, the chair in her room was riddled with wee stains. When I went to visit her one day she was upset when I got there because they refused to take her to the toilet in the night. When I confronted a nurse about it, she said the residence go to the toilet before bed and one other time at 3am, she has a pad to pee into. It was disgusting and it makes me angry they treated her that way. There was a lot of stuff I was not happy about in that nursing home and I am so glad that she no longer has to put up with that.
What I don’t like, is society seems to think that memory loss (dementia) is a blanket term for anything that person (with dementia) says, is not true, because they don’t know their own mind. This is not actually always true. It can be an excuse for the nursing home to treat residents like, how can I put it politely, with no respect or dignity (worse than they would treat an animal) and use the un-‘fact’ that their mind isn’t working properly, as an excuse to fool the families who only like to think good about the home. I could ‘see’ what was really happening and some people dear to me, couldn’t or chose not to. I have never spoken to you about this before. I have kept it a secret and moved on with my life. I could not prove what was happening, the owner of this private nursing home, seemed not to care. I had meetings with two Managers and was under threat with being banned from the nursing home for, it would seem, interfering.
I could tell you more. I could tell you about the fact they kept residents in the lounge waiting to go to the toilet, and poor old (S) had to wait twenty minutes before they came back to take him. By that time he had pulled his trousers down to reveal his pants, he was that desperate to go. This was an occurrence I had seen before, including the pulling down of his trousers and a half an hour wait. An insider also confirmed that one nurse did shout at residents. Just as I suspected things were not as they seemed, they weren’t.
So, I have finally come out with what you weren’t expecting. This book review has sparked me off in this direction. It’s amazing what the power of the written word can do.
Keep writing and keep blogging, keep being you and trusting your gut instincts, despite what anyone else says.
My Grandma would want me to move on with my life and fulfil my goals, ambitions and dreams, not waste time trying to prove the nursing home did wrong. I had no solid proof anyhow. That is why more than ever I want to accomplish everything I set out to do in my life, so she will look down from the heavens and say ” that’s my Sandra and I love that kid.” I haven’t cried about my Grandma in ages, but now I am. I miss her and love her so much. It’s my birthday on Friday 24th of April and that was the last time I saw her before the night she died. My Grandma didn’t have that much dementia when she was with me – in terms of memory, she remembered and told me about a birthday card that she had written for me, prior to my birthday, and asked me did I get it. I said no it wasn’t my birthday yet, but thanked her so much. If she wasn’t in her ‘right mind’ she wouldn’t have remembered this. I have unconditional love for my Grandma and did then too – It’s this that eased her mind. I told her she had memory loss, she was 96 – So how much of her condition was dementia or simply loss of memory due her age, I guess we will never know. What I can say, is the doctor was called to the nursing home when I was there one night. The doctor said it was not dementia that was causing her such confusion, but the fact she was dehydrated from lack of fluids that the nursing home was responsible for giving her – Again – An outsider would not think about stuff like this. I have the ability to see things that others can’t. Sometimes I can see things for as they really are.
So next time you have a relative or friend in a care home and the care home staff are blaming the ‘dementia’ for what your friend or relative is telling you is bad about being in the nursing home, think twice…….ask yourself…..
Are they covering up?
Is your friend or relative confused because of a lack of care – not enough fluids, or food, or poor sanitation leading to water infections and not because of ‘dementia’.
Is their dementia really that bad, that they don’t know what they are saying at all?
My Grandma was not in the dementia ward and she didn’t have full blown dementia. Some doctors said her memory loss was partly to do with her age, at other times it was a water infection.
I know some people have full blown dementia, I get that, but what about the ones that ‘are not that bad’ to be in that ward. Is it being used as an excuse to not care enough to give proper care??? Something to think about.
If you have Liked this post, thank you. It would be great if you could show my student some blog loving by Liking her original post that I have reblogged, on her own blog. Thanks in advance for doing that.
Embrace Your Quirky and write soon
Very accessible and readable. This book follows the experience of a son and primary carer from the point at which his mum is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
There is plenty of light in this account and I was banned from reading this in bed when I couldn’t stop myself from snorting with laughter over the mother and son visit to dog obedience classes. The experience of loss is very vividly illustrated and the most distressing part of the book concerns his mum’s experiences in the first care home.
It is of course one person’s perspective and one family’s experience but it has a huge amount to say about memory loss, cognitive difficulties and the response of medical and social services. I felt it had some really helpful ways of thinking about this type of progressive memory loss, in particular the consultant who likens the loss of…
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