My father has been living in a LTC facility for almost 2 years now. When he went in, he had some medical issues and slight dementia. Most of the medical issues are under control, but the dementia (unfortunately) is still there, and for the sake of this post - my main focus. Most of the time dad is pleasant and quite lucid. When something goes wrong, goes missing, or just isn’t right, he reaches out to me. I haven’t been able to go inside recently, so I call or email to try and address it with the facility. Usually this is a lengthy process. If I speak to someone, they say they’ll check and get back to me, and it goes into a black hole. If I email, days go by with no response (the black hole again). If I push and push to try to get to the bottom is something, their reply makes no sense. They always twist the story and blame it on dads dementia.
I can honestly say that I try to be advocate for dad. He only has me in his life, so although I try not to be a squeaky wheel, I think that’s what I must look like. Dads facility is 5 star. It’s beautiful and I used to think there were many nice, capable, employees there. But I’m starting to think that maybe I’ve been looking through rose colored glasses. 99% of the time, my issues concerning dads care are valid (not everyone who works in a LTC facility is there because they love the elderly, and some are not as responsive, compassionate and kind as I thought). When I call to investigate an issue, I’m put off. When I squeak my wheels, I’m looked at as a pain - and their response is always so vague or if they just want to dismiss me, they say it’s the dementia. I KNOW DAD HAS DEMENTIA. IM OK WITH IT. But dad also is a human being. He has emotions just like anyone else, and when something is wrong, I expect to figure out why it happened. I hate to say this (because truth be told, they know and I know that moving dad would be a nightmare) but I’m speaking on deaf ears when I reach out to them for help. I’ve spoke to the administrator (who is very nice, but has no clue what’s going on day to day), I’ve spoke to the patient Liason (horrible - she just tries to use her finesse to convince me they’re right and dad is wrong), and I’ve spoke to the Director of nursing (let me rephrase, I had to literally send multiple emails, of which she made me wait days for a response). I promise, I’m not a squeaky wheel. I’m just a daughter who loves her father. I promised to be his advocate, and that’s what I’m trying to do. He pays a lot of money to be there. Should I settle for anything less than professionalism when I’m looking for an answer? How do I find someone I can trust and not just try to cover up a “whoops”. Is there anyone who works in these places who is a true advocate for the residents? I’m sick and tired of everything being blamed on dementia.