Another fall

About two weeks ago Don fell. It was in the dining room, after lunch, and he cut his eyebrow and scrapped his forehead. I guess the blood was impressive, but head wounds do bleed a lot.  Doc came ( the joy of a good family doctor, you are not alone in these events) and applied a zillion Steri-strips, hoping to avoid the trauma of stitches.

To everyone’s surprise, the bandages remained on long enough to start the healing, and it worked.

There has been a pattern of him being left in the dining area for hours after lunch, sleeping upright in his chair.

“Oh he’s fine,” says one care aide when I protest. To be fair, When they do put him to bed for an afternoon nap like we often had at home, he often gets up again. But for some reason this means they don’t have to try. I personally suspect they don’t want to interrupt their afternoon end of shift sit-and-gossip sessions with “useless” work.

I suspect that was the situation, and when, mostly asleep, eyes closed as is his habit, he staggered up, he got entangled in chair and table legs and went down.

I can’t prove this and no one is talking. But — hmmmmm – ever since, he has snoozed after lunch in a soft chair by the window. Coinincidence?

A couple of days ago I moved him to the one couch in the ward so we could sit together. After about 15 minutes of assorted talking – to creatures in the air, to the wheelchair next to us – he opened his eyes. “Oh!” he said. “oh…. you’re… you’re my person!”

The other day the next shift noticed he was so tired, they put him to bed at 3.30 and he slept until 9.

Hmmmmmm.

In any event this time he slide off the chair to the rug, no harm done. But as the nurse said, sadly, he continues to be at risk.

And I continue to refuse to tie him down in a chair like the victim of a medieval bedlam.

This is the Chinese-owned private care home contracted by BC public health to care for our aged elderly. It has been running without a general manager, and without a director of care, for over a month. The quality of care is now entirely dependent on the staff themselves and they are of course mostly doing fantastic caring work.

Nonetheless there is no access to higher levels of training or expertise to problem-solve issues such as this one we face. Who knows what other families are also dealing with?

I wonder at what point Island Health becomes liable for inadequately supervised care?

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