For several weeks I have been immersed in elder care. The way our elderly are treated is repugnant in every way. My heart aches for those who have little or no family and, therefore, few to no visitors. Patients in facilities must have advocates, otherwise they are treated as though they are disposable. The manner in which our “care” facilities are run is abhorrent to every moral and ethical fiber in my body. And yet, not a thing is being done to fight against the companies who run all facets of our healthcare systems. Money is always the bottom dollar. Our elderly are robbed of their dignity and respect. It makes me ill.
What can one citizen do? I have no idea. We are always told we, as individuals, can make a difference. Can we really? I don’t know. I’m not even sure how to find out. I look at the state of our country right now, the lack of cooperation that exists, and I feel demoralized. Somehow, I must figure out how to make a difference.
It hurts me so to see individuals who were so productive and vital, just sitting and staring. Many of them cry out because they need a small bit of attention but the health care aides can’t be bothered to answer their calls. I’ve overheard too many comments like: “I’m not your aide,” “If you keep using the call button, I will take it away,” “What do you mean you have to go to the bathroom again?” This is a tip of the iceberg but it hurts me too much to go on.
Workers who tend our elderly are not well paid. Patients are often made to feel they are doing the patient a favor by tending them. Hello? It’s your job. I’m sorry you have to work two jobs to make ends meet. I worked two and three jobs until I was 40. I know I’m resented because I’m there each day with my loved one and obviously “don’t have to work.” I’m retired. Give me a break. I worked hard. How dare you judge me, someone you don’t know, and then treat my loved one poorly because you resent me. Why can’t you just do your job?
Just as nursing is not performed as it was initially intended…when nurses really fussed over and cared for patients, our whole healthcare system is shot to hell. It is dictated in 10-15 minute increments because that is what the healthcare companies deem appropriate. I often feel like a cow being prodded along as my doctor, or more commonly physician’s assistant, keeps an eye on the clock. They “hear” me and don’t actively “listen” as they are too busy typing things into their laptops. Now I’m just in full-blown rant mode. Time to stop.
To quote Peter Finch’s character in Network-“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”