At That Age, You’ve Earned The Right To Sleep In

, , , , , | Related | July 5, 2020

My eighty-four-year-old grandmother recently moved into a nursing home. Naturally, it’s been a bit of an adjustment for her. I’ve called her up to chat and she’s complaining that she has to wait until 8:15 to go down for breakfast.

Me: “Well, can’t you just go down an hour earlier so you eat at the same time you would at home?”

Grandmother: “No! I wouldn’t go down that early. There are old people there then!”

We both promptly started laughing hysterically. She meant there were older men down at that time that she had no interest in talking to, but it’s nice to know she doesn’t think eighty-four is old!

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No Particular Emphasis On “Assisted” Living

, , , , , , , | Healthy | June 24, 2020

A few years ago, I — a sixty-four-year-old male — had a bad bicycle accident. The damages included a concussion, broken right collarbone, broken right elbow, four broken ribs on my right side, and three fractures in my left pelvis; if you can explain the physics of that, I’m all ears.

Four days in the hospital got me stabilized, but then I needed rehab and was sent to a nursing home. That’s when the fun began.

I was transported to the home at about 6:00 pm. After intake, I struggled for a few hours to find a comfortable position and finally got to sleep, only to be awakened at 11:30 pm (!) to have them take pictures of my bare backside to see if I had bedsores already. Two days later, I was awakened at 4:45 am (!!) because the traveling technician was going to take my blood and wanted to get done early.

I was getting both physical and occupational therapy from the same outsourced company. The routine was to do the PT first at one end of the building and then get wheeled back to my room for the OT. The third day, the occupational therapist was taking me back to my room and one of the physical therapists came with us. The two men were discussing a barbeque they were going to have that weekend.

No problem, except that when we got to my room they stopped in the hallway and talked over me for five minutes. I called out the OT when we were alone; to his credit, he apologized and said that I wasn’t their typical patient, meaning I had no dementia.

I was on a schedule where I was given two assisted showers a week. This wouldn’t have been too bad, except that the home had no air conditioning and we had a heatwave in the nineties the second week. I was waiting for the aide to take me when I noticed five young women hanging around the door to my room. When I asked, they told me they were going to watch my shower as part of their training. I informed them that no, they weren’t, so they waited outside the shower area with my wheelchair.

By that point, I could walk slowly with a cane, so after getting dressed, I limped to my chair with help from the aide. One of the women was standing behind the chair with her hands on the grips. I let go of the cane, grabbed a handrail on the chair, and almost fell on my face as the chair moved out from under me! She hadn’t set the brakes on the wheels and hadn’t held on to the chair. I was lucky there was no damage but it hurt like crazy.

In addition to the therapy for my hip, I needed to wait until the swelling in my broken elbow went down before surgery. When it was ready for the procedure, I went to the hospital having had no food or drink for over twelve hours. I was lying on the gurney about to go into the prep room when I was approached by a young doctor I’d never met. She wanted me to give her permission to perform a “nerve block” on me after the operation. In her telling, this would keep me from feeling pain afterward.

This had not been discussed before, I had no knowledge of what a nerve block entailed, it sounded dangerous, and this person was a total stranger. She was persistent, I’ll give her that, but she finally took the hint when I told her to get the h*** away from me.

The surgery went fine and I had no real discomfort afterward, even to the point where I never filled the prescription for the opioid painkiller I was given. So much for the nerve block. I was not, however, forewarned about another side effect of the anesthesia. It is common that urination is inhibited after the procedure, and by 6:00 pm, I was in real pain.

The nurses’ aides didn’t have the authority to give me a catheter and had to get permission. An hour later, I got my first experience with the process. Then, they took it out. And a few hours later, the pressure built up again.

This time, they didn’t want to put the tube back in; their training said they had to wait four hours. My wife had to yell that she’d take me to the emergency room and file charges against them before they fixed the problem. This time they left it in, and by the following evening, the plumbing worked.

As to the home itself, my stay confirmed my fear of the places, even without a contagion situation. Most of the other long-term residents had some degree of dementia and there was lots of moaning and shouting at all hours. And the food was just as bland as the stereotype; luckily, my wife brought me meals a couple of times a day — including the occasional illicit cold beer.

I got out three days after the elbow surgery and was able to navigate my house, including the stairs, immediately. In another week, I rarely used the cane and have a story for my grandkids.

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Can’t Put Our Finger(prints) On What’s Wrong With This Employee

, , , | Working | June 23, 2020

I work in HR at a nursing home that fingerprints employees when they’re hired. We use a local agency and provide paperwork and a check to pay for the fingerprinting, which the new employee is given to take with them. A newly-hired employee comes in to pick up her paperwork this morning.

Employee: *To the receptionist* “I need to pick up my fingerprinting paperwork.”

[Receptionist] momentarily forgets I gave her the paperwork and motions the new employee over to me.

Receptionist: “She’s got it for you.”

Me: “[Receptionist] you have the paperwork, remember?”

We all laugh a little and [Receptionist] gives the employee the envelope with her paperwork in it. The phone then rings and [Receptionist] answers it.

The employee comes over to my desk with the clearly labeled envelope in hand.

Employee: “I need to pick up my fingerprinting paperwork.”

Trying desperately not to roll my eyes, I just motion to the envelope in her hand.

Employee: “Oh, this is it?”

Me: *Nodding* “Yes.”

We all have another chuckle and the new employee goes on her way.

An hour later, [Receptionist] answers the phone and starts saying something about the caller picking up the wrong check. Our payday is on Friday, and this is Wednesday. There’s no way someone has just picked up a paycheck, and how would it take so long to notice it wasn’t theirs if they picked it up days ago?

Receptionist: “I’ll have you talk to [My Name].”

I answer the phone after [Receptionist] transfers it. It’s the new employee who picked up her paperwork earlier.

Employee: “I think you gave me the wrong check. It has [Fingerprinting Company] on it.”

I roll my eyes and shake my head at [Receptionist] as I answer the new employee.

Me: “Yes, that’s the name of the fingerprinting company.”

Employee: “Oh! This is the check to pay them?!”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Seriously?! And to top it off, just two weeks ago we had another new employee who didn’t get her fingerprints done because “they wouldn’t let me or my mom pay for it.” Ugh… I just wonder what these people think we included a check for? Did they think we were paying THEM $101 to get their fingerprints done?

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Their Ability To Read Has Signed Out

, , , , | Right | June 18, 2020

I work in an assisted-living facility. Two older women, probably in their sixties or seventies, come up to the front desk. They are well-dressed and both have their phones out, just putting them away, so I’m thinking they’re cool with technology, and they’re both speaking perfectly clear English to each other with no hint of an accent, so I’m not sensing a language barrier.

I greet them and they ask if they can visit a resident.

Me: ”Of course! I’ll just need both of you to sign in here.”

I indicate a large tablet computer.

Visitor #1: “Okay.”

She stares at the computer, which has two buttons on it that take up almost the entire screen, one saying “sign in,” the other “sign out,” and the top says, “Please choose one.”

Me: “You can start by tapping ‘sign in.’”

Visitor #1: “Oh… okay.”

She taps “sign in” and continues staring at the next screen which has three buttons, each a different category of visitor.

Visitor #1: “What do I do now?”

Me: “It depends! Are you a healthcare provider? A family member or friend?”

Visitor #1: “I’m a friend.”

She just looks at me expectantly.

Me: “Okay, then you’ll tap the middle button which says. ‘Family, Friend, or Volunteer.’”

She taps the correct button.

Visitor #1: “It says I need to enter my name. Should I do that?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

She spends a good three minutes inputting her name.

Me: “Good, and now you’ll need to put in the last name of the person you’re visiting.”

She begins typing in the person’s full name.

Me: “No, I’m sorry, just the last name.”

I stare forlornly at the huge font that says, “Please type in resident’s LAST name.”

Visitor #1: “Oh… Okay… What now?”

Me: “Oh, it looks like there’s a C missing there; let me just fix that for you.”

I fix the spelling error.

Visitor #1: “Can I go now?”

She looks expectantly at me again.

Me: “Not yet. You just need to tap the name here—”

Visitor #1: “And now I’m done?”

Me: “One more step. Are you visiting anyone else?”

Visitor #1: “No, just my friend.”

Me: “Then tap ‘no’ where it says there…”

The name tag prints out and I hand it to her.

Visitor #1: “What is this?”

Me: “That’s a name tag that you’ll stick to your shirt there so we know that you’re a visitor when we see you.”

She sticks it to herself after a good minute of trying to peel the backing off.

Visitor #1: “Does she need to sign in, too?” *Indicates her friend*

Me: “Yes, ma’am, everyone who comes in needs a name tag.”

Visitor #1: “Oh, she can just wear mine.”

Me: “That’s… Then you wouldn’t have one.”

[Visitor #2], who has watched me walk her friend through the whole process step-by-step and is still staring at me expectantly now, steps forward.

Visitor #2: “What do I do?”

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Weird Place To Keep A Copi— Uh… Printer

, , , , | Working | June 5, 2020

I work at the front desk of an assisted living facility. Among my equipment is a printer. It’s not a fancy three-in-one. It does not do copies or faxes, just printing. A printer is not a copier. I’m sure 99% of you understand that, but not my coworker here.

Coworker: “[Other Coworker] said to come up here and get a copy. Can I get a copy of this?”

The coworker holds up paper.

Me: “I don’t have a copy machine, just a printer.”

Coworker: *Looks at my printer* “What’s that, then?”

Me: “It’s a printer. It just does printing.”

Coworker: “Well, that’s what I need — a printout.”

Me: “But… it’s just a printer. It literally can’t see anything to copy it.”

Coworker: *Blank look* “What?”

Me: “It doesn’t make copies. It… prints from this computer only.”

Coworker: “Ugh, I just need a copy of it. Can’t you do that?”

Me: “I’m not allowed to leave the desk right now. The copy machine is all the way in the back of the building.”

Coworker: “Are you sure you can’t just print it out from there?”

She points to my printer.

Me: “It doesn’t have any way to see the paper and I don’t have that document on my computer. It’s… a printer, not a copier.”

Coworker: “Ugh, fine, I’ll find someone else.”

She honestly didn’t understand the difference between a printer and a copier. It’s not like she’s way older or way younger, either. She’s in her thirties, same as me. Oh, and she couldn’t have done it herself, because only those in supervisory roles have the code to get into the copy room. I think she wanted me to pull a copier out of my a** or something.

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