Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Arthur Dear · University of Saskatchewan Excellent article. Historically the Alberta government has acted from an ageist and discriminatory perspective. It starts with the mandatory screening of all drivers at age seventy five for dementia using the widely discredited Simard MD test ( a test actually developed from one published in German ladies magazines as an at home screen). This test, http://www.criticisingsimardmd.net and others administered to symptomless patients is the unjustified, immoral beginning of a "witch hunt" professing to "protect" society. Patients, with little respect for their wishes, rapidly lose most of their personal rights and end up wearhoused in locked facilities, are evaluated and classified by an impersonal,overly complex, categorization process loosely called the MDS or RYE system that even most nurses poorly understand, get rapidly put into diapers which are then changed on schedules rather than need, are fed almost exclusively prepared "foods", mush, Loaded with preservatives, delivered by a national manufacturer and microwaved for consumption. Stuff so bad I wouldn't feed it to my dog. Sleep and daily meal schedules are arranged such that patients start getting pulled out of bed and propped in wheel chairs at 5am so they can all be up for a fixed feeding time at 8am. And on and on. Baths? Two a week? Hahaha. Give me a break. Not enough staff so patients are " talked into preferring a sponge). AHS conducts regular "Audits" to ensure standard are met but lead nurses always know in advance. There are essentially no real surprise audits or evening or night shift ones. Designated MDS "super users' prepare for weeks making sure things are " good enough" to pass. Staff have hearts of gold but are demoralized and over worked. Frankly,from the perspective of a 72 year old, suicide is preferable. I can't even write a living will for assisted death or even removal of food and water. I have to do it myself.



Better system needed for treating dementia patients

Published on: May 6, 2016 | Last Updated: May 6, 2016 6:00 AM MST
Canada needs a national dementia strategy.
Alberta needs a better dementia strategy and care system. FOTOLIA
There is a group of Albertans being treated as second-class citizens. They have a second-class illness and get second-class treatment in our so-called universal health-care system.
How else can you describe a health-care system that either refuses to treat or knowingly aggravates a patient’s condition. Whatever happened to: “First, do no harm?”
My mom is 85 and has dementia. Watching someone you know fade away into a life of fear and confusion is hard. What makes it harder is seeing her condition either ignored or made worse.
On New Year’s Eve 2015, Mom fell and fractured her pelvis. She spent about 10 weeks at Calgary’s Rockyview Hospital. But while she was being treated for her fractured pelvis, all therapy for her dementia stopped. Therapy — including book reading, music appreciation, social engagement, outings — is vital for people with dementia, many of whom are frightened because they don’t understand what’s going on. It alleviates their anxiety.
Why was this therapy dropped? “Because we’re not funded for that,” was the explanation.
Instead, agitated dementia patients were strapped into chairs and put in hallways, so that overworked staff could keep an eye on them, but with few opportunities to actually help them. Staff levels were so low that one night, only three weeks after fracturing her pelvis, Mom was able to get off her bed and walk off the unit, past the nursing station and out through the heavy doors without being seen.
If you had another illness, say cancer, and you fell and broke a pelvis and were admitted to hospital, would the cancer treatment be stopped? Of course not, because the system recognizes cancer as a real illness that needs treatment. Dementia, it seems is different.
Are we any better at dealing with dementia outside hospitals? It appears not. As Mom’s care needs have changed, she has been forced to move four times in less than four years — and faces another move in the next year or two — if she survives.
Despite knowing that moves accelerate the decline of dementia patients, our system focuses on different types of facilities (supportive living, long-term care, acute care) rather than on what the patient needs. This means that to get a different level of care, the patient has to be moved to a different type of facility.
In Mom’s new long-term care (LTC) “home,” there is an almost constant noise of patients screaming. “Help! Help! Help!” “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” “Aaacck. Aaacck.” “I’m afraid!”
It is, literally, bedlam.
Mostly what people with dementia need during these moments of anxiety is someone to comfort them. But there’s not enough staff.
Our health-care system will give you expensive medication or radiation therapy or surgery if that’s what it is needed to treat your condition. But if all you need is a caring hand and a soothing voice, then you’re out of luck. Why? Dementia, it seems, is different.
The Alberta government has promised to build 2,000 public long-term care and dementia spaces. We desperately need these beds to relieve the strain on hospital emergency rooms and acute-care beds.
We also need to ensure that we build the right type of beds and the right type of system, one that doesn’t treat dementia as a second-class disease. Let’s build a system where the care comes to the patient, rather than moving the patient to access the care. That means removing the profit element from health care, so patients aren’t forced to move because they’ve been evicted when their care becomes a threat to a corporate bottom line.
In Alberta, nearly half of all LTC beds are in shared rooms. In B.C., about 75 per cent of LTC residents have their own room and bathroom and the B.C. Ministry of Health has a target of 95 per cent single-occupancy rooms.
Let’s not just build beds, but build homes. Let’s give these long-term residents their own room and bathroom. Let’s treat them like respected seniors.
We know how to do this. There are some good facilities in Alberta — but the waiting lists can be up to two years.
Let’s fix the system now — because it’ll be our turn before you know it.
Terry Inigo-Jones is a member of the Public Interest Alberta Seniors’ Task Force




Julie Ali · 
Citizens without insight and with mental health issues face many challenges in the medical and continuing care system.

The lack of basic understanding of mental health issues for example among professionals is surprising.

The mentally ill face challenges in accessing services as well as being denied services as was the case of one citizen.

http://edmontonjournal.com/.../family-of-suicide-victim...

Not only can they be denied services, they are at risk of being prematurely terminated against the personal directive requirements for full resuscitation. A "Do Not Resuscitate" order was on my handicapped sister's file for years at the Grey Nuns Hospital. Since the mentally ill citizen is so vulnerable you would expect that there be checks and balances in the system to protect them. This is not the case.

If dementia patients are second class citizens, the mentally ill are refugees without rights. Cultural change is required.
LikeReplyJust nowEdited
Indiana Siobhan Inglorian
You'd better thank your lucky stars that your mom doesn't have a mental health issue. Mentally ill people, if admitted to the hospital at all, are taken in for a couple of days, given a few pills and tossed unceremoneously out to live in homeless shelters or sleep by the river. I'm sorry no one was there to read or play music for your mom, but mentally ill people have been treated like crap for decades. If money is going to be spent anywhere, it should be on them, not on extracurricular things like music therapy.
UnlikeReply1May 30, 2016 2:48am
Trevor Doering · 
I know a woman who was just fired from Carewest Rouleau Manor in Calgary, demencia unit. In my opinion she was let go for being too compassionate. She took her lunch breaks and spent extra time with the patients. Coaxing them out of their rooms with extra cigarettes, to have showers. Sometimes patients would go two weeks refusing to shower. The unit would smell. The final straw was when she took a lunch break to go buy cigarettes for a patient who was becoming agitated and had a history of violence. The recreational aid wasn't available, so she took matters into her own hands. She admitted to her superiors what she did and was fired. They accused her of having a relationship with the patient. I don't think giving a little bit extra time should be considered wrong. Other health care aids would be constantly on their cell phones and one was caught sleeping at work. They were only warned and not fired. When this woman worked the units were calm. When she didn't work, the units were bedlam. She feels other workers didn't like that her because when she worked, things went well on the unit. She did a good job and the patients family loved her. Drugging up these people is not what's needed. Compassion is what's needed. A patient's family member seen this woman in a mall shortly after and asked why she no longer worked there. After she explained the relative of the patient said that Carewest Rouleau Manor, always seems to get rid of the good ones.
UnlikeReply3May 6, 2016 6:54pm
Trevor Doering · 
Susan Macaulay Thank you for sharing that link.
LikeReply1May 10, 2016 5:45pm
Susan Macaulay · 
Trevor Doering YW and I've shared your story on one of my FB pages here: https://www.facebook.com/peopleforpersoncentereddemen.../... and will also share it on LinkedIn. Keep up the good work!
LikeReplyMay 11, 2016 6:01am
Arthur Dear · 
Excellent article. Historically the Alberta government has acted from an ageist and discriminatory perspective. It starts with the mandatory screening of all drivers at age seventy five for dementia using the widely discredited Simard MD test ( a test actually developed from one published in German ladies magazines as an at home screen). This test, http://www.criticisingsimardmd.net and others administered to symptomless patients is the unjustified, immoral beginning of a "witch hunt" professing to "protect" society.

Patients, with little respect for their wishes, rapidly lose most of their personal rights and end up wearhoused in locked facilities, are evaluated and classified by an impersonal,overly complex, categorization process loosely called the MDS or RYE system that even most nurses poorly understand, get rapidly put into diapers which are then changed on schedules rather than need, are fed almost exclusively prepared "foods", mush, Loaded with preservatives, delivered by a national manufacturer and microwaved for consumption. Stuff so bad I wouldn't feed it to my dog. Sleep and daily meal schedules are arranged such that patients start getting pulled out of bed and propped in wheel chairs at 5am so they can all be up for a fixed feeding time at 8am. And on and on. Baths? Two a week? Hahaha. Give me a break. Not enough staff so patients are " talked into preferring a sponge). AHS conducts regular "Audits" to ensure standard are met but lead nurses always know in advance. There are essentially no real surprise audits or evening or night shift ones. Designated MDS "super users' prepare for weeks making sure things are " good enough" to pass. Staff have hearts of gold but are demoralized and over worked.

Frankly,from the perspective of a 72 year old, suicide is preferable. I can't even write a living will for assisted death or even removal of food and water. I have to do it myself.
UnlikeReply3May 6, 2016 9:53am
Susan Macaulay · 
What is MDS or RYE please? And I invite you to read a serie of articles I'm writing here: http://myalzheimersstory.com/?s=29
LikeReply1May 8, 2016 8:58pm
Indiana Siobhan Inglorian
I have absolutely no issue with screening elderly drivers for dementia - do you seriously think it's ok for someone not in their right mind driving around and maybe killing someone? Give your head a shake.
LikeReplyMay 30, 2016 2:51am
Julie Ali · 
Indiana Siobhan Inglorian Not all seniors need to be tested fpr dementia; I think this is age discrimination. Ruth Adria has now ensured that age discrimination is prohibited in Alberta: http://www.cbc.ca/.../age-human-rights-alberta-1.3925515
LikeReply12 mins



No comments:

Post a Comment