Saturday, February 8, 2014

another stressful visit ...

so we headed over to visit my dad yesterday afternoon after some running around for the farm and groceries, banking etc. We got to his room to find his door partially open and voices coming from inside. Dad was being woken up, cleaned up and put into his chair. I was not overly bothered at first at the door situtation -- as it was most likely over looked and just not closed tightly and no one could see in .... but we could definitely hear what was going on inside.
There were two aids getting him up and they were talking to each other (which is not a big deal) but they were talking to each other about pay cheques and amounts and other work related issues (we were thinking that contract talks must be happening by the sounds of the conversation) and  they were obviously talking over dad and ignoring him completely. He was becoming quite vocal and loud ... he was moaning and swearing at the ladies and becoming belligerent. Now my dad has severe brain damage and for the most part has the mentality of a 7year old(and most likely it is less than that). So his go to answers when he is frustrated is "my bum" or "f--k you" or the most recent and most used "I'm gonna f--k you" which is what was started last night ...again. As dad was trying to stand up for himself the aids ignored him, which made dad get louder and more vocal which made them louder to talk over him!
After a couple minutes of this I knocked rather loudly onthe door and told them who I was and that they were ignoring my dad and he was stressing out! They apologized.... then closed the door! I was not impressed.
When they left (very quickly and not making any eye contact I might add) we went into see dad and the swearing and belligerence continued. Dad was in full gear, so I went and spoke to the lady who is supposed to be our liaison with the staff. I am not going to go into detail about what she did (or rather didnt do) but I will just say that when you have a job working with people, whether they are healthy and are capable on their own or not, and the most important thing to note is that there are other expecting your help in caring for their loved ones! The care you deliver on a daily basis to our loved ones is not just for them, it is for those of us who come to see them too. I would love to be able to look after my dad but I can't. I KNOW I am not mentally strong enough to be able to be his caregiver, I am his daughter, not the person who can change him and clean him. I know for the most part my dad is well cared for where he is but of late our visits with him have been extremely stressful and not happy, smiles and rainbow visits and after hearing and seeing what we did yesterday makes me wonder if they have been talking over dad a lot lately which would explain the past behaviours with our visits. They have been told to not do this as dad will also bite as a way of expressing (or posisbly he feels protecting) himself, but since he has had his teeth all pulled (they were rotting due to pocketing food and acid) they do not seem to be as conscience  of watching their manners (because his 'bites' no longer are 'dangerous' enough to draw blood or break the skin).
One of the comments that dad made to the laision was what he was going to do to her and she laughed and said "you can say that all you wants but it isn't going to happen'. She laughed it off and turned to me and said 'its been years since anyone has said that to me'... I was in such shock over it that my reply of "well I never want to hear my dad saying it, especially to me" didnt come out of my mouth until she had left!
 I know people can say he doesnt realize he is saying it, but put yourself in my shoes. All my memories of my dad and I are being replaced more and more frequently with these visits. What would you do? What do you tell yourself to get through those doors of the PCH? How do you want to visit your loved one when you know your visit will be a negative one that has the potential to stick with you longer than the happier ones?

3 comments:

Gin G said...

I am sorry you have to endure this, and that the norm seems to be to talk over and ignore the patient. You keep on being the great daughter you are, and keep on speaking up. I know it drains you, adds to your already over stressed life, but you are doing a great job. Too bad, life shouldn't have to be a JOB. Hang in Jodi. Gin

Marianne's Focus said...

Sorry this happened to you. As a care aid for years sometimes care aids can become complacent..they follow routine & schedule not thinking of how the patient/client may react with a loved one visiting because of the way they handled him/her. . Each patient is different and I (they) are trained on how to deal with a patient to not put them in a bad mood. It's not fair to you that they have upset him during the process and you get the brunt of his anger that should be towards them. If you have regular visiting times, which if memory serves me correct, you do. They could try their best to have him happy and settled for when you arrive so that your experience is more positive. If they can't change their schedule and If they know their patient they will know when his happy times of the day are and you could visit accordingly.

Cameron Von St James said...

Hi there! My name is Cameron and I was wondering if you'd be willing to answer a quick question I have about your blog. You can reach me at cvonstjames AT gmail DOT com - thank you! :)