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I picked up my mom from her memory care facility last night to take her to dinner. I was a little late arriving, so the aides herded her into the dining room and sat her at a table, telling her they didn't think she was going out after all - one actually told her I had called to let them know this. When I arrived, they seemed surprised to see me. Mom has told me that when no one is around, they are quite verbally abusive to the residents.


Another resident had mistakenly taken my mother's walker back to her own room and one of the aides went to retrieve it. When she came back with it, my mother went to thank her and touched her shoulder. The girl batted my mother's hand away saying she thought my mother was going to touch her face and she "never allows anyone to touch her face." My mother told her that was not her intention and the aide said with quite a nasty tone "I know what you were going to do, so don't tell me you weren't." My eyebrows hit my hairline. As we turned to go, I remarked to my mother "Wow, if I had spoken to an elderly person like that when I was her age, you'd have slapped me flat." The aide followed us asking in a combative tone "what did you say?" I repeated what I had said and she began arguing with me. I simply told her she had spoken disrespectfully to my mother and it wasn't warranted and I hoped she didn't treat any of the other residents in a similar manner. I know these aides aren't paid well - they could make more at the local fast food joints, and there is a huge turnover, but they are working with old people who are sad and confused and they show them very little kindness or respect.


Now I'm worried that she will be even more hateful to my mother. I'd like to mention it to the facility director but that woman is totally ineffective and I doubt she will do anything about it. Any suggestions?

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I had this happen to me and found out this nurse had also accused mother of doing something that mother didn't do when I wasn't there, but in front of other residents. I took it to the DON or whatever the top lady was called and she was totally ineffective. So I took it to the board that governed the place (which was what policy recommended)and was assured by the chairman that this nurse cared very much for the residents and did a good job, I was not impressed. We found mother an alternate placement and by way of compensation the board offered mother $xxxx (not a large amount) if we agreed to never mention it to anyone again. Mother did not agree to this so the cheque was never cashed. I told him that he was fortunate that mother had blood vessels like copper pipes (her blood pressure shot up during this time) as had she had a stroke as a result of this upset, I would have pursued it further and in public.

It cost me as I stayed in a hotel for a week (I was a distance caregiver). Frankly they should have offered me some compensation.

Find out what their policy is as regards incidents and follow through.

ETA. This nurse was a seasoned staff member and not a young untrained aide. I was appalled at her lack of skills.

After this my dd said to me - if there is trouble I want you on my side. Chances are I would be.
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jrwalk Jun 11, 2019
Ombudsman can and will intervene for positive results in Allegheny County PA. Do not know where you are located. Should be the same in PA everywhere.
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As a former Director of Social Services in a SNF, it was my job to investigate and follow-up on all allegations of abuse, neglect, etc. Bethcares 40 is correct in saying that there is no excuse and all long-term care facilities must follow strict state guidelines for care. It is good that you confronted the aide and subsequently spoke with the woman in charge of them. What you need to do is find out what is their protocol for this kind of behavior? Who is it reported to, etc.? Normally, it is either Social Services, the Director of Nursing, the Administrator. If that doesn't work, call the state's Hotline which should be posted or ask for it. You and other family members, etc. are the eyes and ears to these residents. I understand about the retribution, as I have my mom in AL. I'm not worried about it, b/c they know what I will do if anything were to occur. I make myself seen and heard, so they know what to expect. I pick my battles, but draw the line with anything inappropriate. If they are mistreating your Mother, they have to answer for it.
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lablover64 Jun 11, 2019
Thanks for the advice. I addressed past problems with the director's supervisor and even notified the NYS Department of Health when I felt it was warranted. I worked for the NYS Attorney General for 4 years and know who to contact. The director is well aware that I will do whatever I feel necessary to get problems addressed. She deliberately ignores my sister and me whenever we visit and refuses to return our calls, but she is very careful what she says and does regarding my mother.
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Something similar happened to my wife. An aide, which in Florida is a CNA with a state license, was involved. My wife was able to get herself onto the toilet, but was unable to get herself up. She called for help and the aide who asked her who put her onto the toilet. When my wife said that she did it by herself, the aide replied "since you got yourself on it, et yourself off". I overheard most of the conversation.

I talked to my wife and got all the information from her and when the CNA came back into the room, I calmly asked her not to be rude to my wife, She threw her hands up into my face and said "don't talk to me, don't say any thing to me" She continued her tirade and I kept my mouth shut.

We had had 2 previous events with this aide, but directed at me, not my wife. Say anything you want to me, out of hearing range of my ife, but don't be rude to her or anyone else I care for.

I wrote a 3 page report, typed, single spaced, and professional including all details of the event. I was very thorough, with times and quotes.

At the end, I asked " If the CNA acts this way in front of me, what does she do with patients who cannot speak for themselves or have someone to speak up for them?

I made 5 copies and asked for a meeting with the DON and Loss Prevention. I gave them both copies and gave them a copy for the administrator and "lead CNA.

By FL law, they had to contact the local police or sheriff's dept, the Elder abuse hotline, and the Division of Children and Family Services.

After a week of investigating, during which time my wife was in the hospital so she was not in the facility, I got a call that the aide had been terminated.

A well written report, that covers all the necessary information, without any "fluff" or suggestions as to what you think should happen . Anything you put in your report that you did not witness, state "My ______ told me ________" . Avoid any other thoughts or opinions. Don't allow your anger to show through your writing.

Good luck. If we don't stand up for our loved ones, who will?

Later, I wrote
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thepianist Jun 12, 2019
What a great job you did for your wife! Everything you say is spot on. These dear, vulnerable people cannot stand up for themselves; we must. You took the time to document things and then you had an impressive distribution list; the 'home' (I use the term advisedly) had no choice but to take corrective action. Unfortunately this doesn't happen often enough. Thank you.
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I would get your mom out of there asap, if it were me. You are obviously fighting a losing battle if the facility allows this type of behavior, or uses excuses about a rude aide being a "germophobe" yet allows her to work in a business where she is expected to clean up bodily fluids?? Come on. I had my folks in an ALF that was going downhill quickly as their prices were going up. I visited a couple of other places and spoke with the RESIDENTS about their experience before making a switch. Mom has been there over 4 years now and the caregivers are absolutely wonderful. In fact, at Christmas, I buy them tins of cookies in addition to making a cash contribution to show my gratitude for all they do. Nobody should put put up with abusive caregivers for any reason, and especially an unresponsive and uncaring management.
Brest of luck!
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TekkieChikk Jun 11, 2019
Absolutely agree! If they talk like this in front of you and their residents, I shudder to think what they say (and possibly do) when you're not around.
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Call the state hot line immediately! Repeat everything you just posted to the person interviewing you from the state. Also ask your parent if they are afraid of any one in the facility, and if so have your loved one placed under protective care. There are good facilities and good caregivers out there! The facility is under strict legal obligation to report abuse and act accordingly . I'd also report everything to the facility administrator in person, and demand it be taken care of immediately. Record how the administrator responds and turn it into the state. I've been a health care worker for years, and there is NO excuse for elder abuse, none! I've reported co-workers myself, and do not tolerate anyone absusing vulnerable elders and the disabled. (If caregivers are burned out then they need to quit immediately and go work at Taco bell. They are under legal contract to protect, and care for your loved one. The state will investigate your report. )
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lablover64 Jun 10, 2019
These are girls just out of high school with no job skills, no formal training, and very self involved. They are barely making minimum wage. If the facility would cut the director's hefty paycheck, then take some time training the aides and paying them appropriately, things could change dramatically. My only comfort right now is knowing this aide will likely quit within a month or two - they never seem to stay longer. However, if I intervene and get her fired, I'm afraid to have her friends/coworkers handling my mother's food and treating her badly.
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Get your mother out!
You did the right thing to confront her. Never argue with them. You told her she was rude, then firmly tell them what you expect and you will settle for nothing less and walk away. Usually, when this type boldness by staff is experienced it usually means their intimidating behavior has been unchallenged. In other words they have gotten away with it. This staffer's behavior warrants immediate termination.
Take what has just happened directly straight to the director again. Report that your mother was threatened and by how she appproached you, so were you.
Get you an elder attorney immediately. Since the director is ineffective, arbitration will probably take place. The director's ineffectiveness, high staff turnover, and how present staff's behavior is, etc., are indicators that the entire elder community is at risk.
Document everything! Date, time, situation, activity, persons, things said.
Be proactive and get your mother out!
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I agree, aides aren't paid well but that gives them no right to talk to anyone that way. This aide needs training on how to deal with the elderly and have respect for family members. My daughter is an RN and would have gotten written up for behaviour like this. Very unprofessional.

Aides are under the RN or DON. Who ever is the highest in the facility. Go to her and tell her about this aide. She should be reprimanded. When my daughter was an LPN she oversaw the aides. The RN oversaw the LPNs and the DON oversaw them all.
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lablover64 Jun 10, 2019
I just got off the phone with the woman who supervises the aides. I've always had a good rapport with her. I had called about another routine matter and she asked to talk to me. The receptionist had told her about the incident. She apologized, said that aide was a germaphobe (really?) and tended to be sassy. She said she'd have a talk with her about how she could have handled things differently.
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Find another facility for her..ASAP. Tell the one in charge & file a complaint immediately!!! Also you can withhold $$$ since it’s probably paid out of pocket. Have everything in writing & make sure you get snot nose’s name so she can be fired. No excuse for this!
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The ombudsman for the facility is also a valuable resource. The ombudsman's sole purpose is to reinforce the rights of the residents.
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lablover64 Jun 10, 2019
I'll have to try and find out who that is. I think if the director or one of her cronies observed the aides in the dining room without their knowledge, she would learn a lot.
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Report the incident in writing and file a formal complaint with the state ombudsman.

File a written complaint with management. Be sure to note in the letter to management that you have filed a complaint with the Ombudsman. Tell management that you no longer trust that aide with your mother. Ask them to come up with a plan to protect your mother from retaliation.

If management refuses or comes up with an inadequate plan -- file a complaint with Adult Protection Services
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