Seniors in Assisted Living: Trusting Caretakers

Mar 2nd, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Assisted Living is a rapidly growing phenomenon. Care needs have exploded with the increased longevity of seniors and the arrival of baby boomers. With that, facilities are popping up like dandelions. Some are nicer than others, some are well staffed, while others have difficulty attracting and keeping competent personnel. Costs escalate annually and those with limited income are faced with meeting those costs if they wish to have reasonably good care.

Among the issues that come with competent personnel is the issue of trust. Seniors in caretaking facilities are vulnerable on several fronts.

A resident in a care facility requires a variety of support services. For example, if a client wishes, for extra cost, there is the matter of sorting and taking prescription medications. This is a serious need which if done sloppily and without attentive discipline can even be life threatening. Trust is placed in those staff who are assigned this responsibility.

Another matter of significant import is trusting personnel to honor privacy and to protect the security, safety and sanctity of all residents . A resident is literally in his/her own home. If the resident’s home is violated, the question of trust becomes quite serious.

An example occurred recently in a local care facility. Several residents experienced the theft of cash, jewelery. Such a violation strikes at the very heart of a resident’s comfort level and trust quotient. Everything should be done to protect and support the residents and their needs. Searching out and identifying who the culprit is should be an exhaustive undertaking.

Reports suggest that little to nothing has been done by the supervisory staff. This is the point at which further inquiries and investigation needs to be done by upper level management. Whatever it takes to restore the serenity of care facility residents should be done, including determining whether staff or a resident was involved in the theft. Lacking a caring environment in any respect calls into question the integrity of the institution itself. Brushing it off because it is just old people with poor memories is inexcusable.

An update indicates that upper level management has indicated a need to birng in the sheriff.  This action, if done, will help in repairing the image and involvement of staff toward resolving the situation.  

Before any person is admitted into a care facility, check local police records for information that may reveal such insensitive and uncaring behavior on the part of the instituion being considered. No one should be subject to such insult and injury in their own home, particularly in an assisted living residence.



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