Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Abuse at Residential Care Home (UK)

It is happening here as well. If abuse is happening in one residential care hospital, then it is happening in others. In George Pearson it is mostly psychological abuse leading to the eventual consent by the resident to be isolated. Visitors are discouraged and, if they still continue to visit, are made to feel uncomfortable and eventually they stop coming. In Randy's ward of ten beds, I only remember four residents who had visitors during Christmas week. It was icy silent and sad.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gratitude to Nurse Florence Nightingale

During my alloted phone call I was asked by Randy's nurse to purchase Randy some shaving cream as the supply I had purchased him prior to my banning had run out. Prior to my banning I looked after all such toiletries and his clothing needs including washing them and purchasing them. She said that she has been using his hair shampoo to shave him. At least one person (the one and only time)used initiative in GPC and spoke to me about Randy's needs.

Then I wondered why couldn't she have used/borrowed shaving foam from another resident when Randy's supply ran out and let me know Randy's supply had ended. The staff at GPC have my phone number. I am sure there is a policy that states to staff not to encourage sharing among its residents as sharing denotes friendships. The irony of it all. To make it more ironic the wards are not suppose to be called wards they are suppose to be called "neighbourhoods."

This is in keeping with the fact that when Randy's television (loaner) fell down and crashed from it ceiling mount NO ONE told me. It was a friend who went to see Randy in June and he checked with me afterward to let me know if I knew that Randy didn't have a TV. Randy was without a TV for a month. Remember that Randy cannot talk or walk and he has a trach, a feeding tube, a peepee tube and he had a traumatic brain injury and because of my limited physical access (this week 12 minutes)to him he has nothing to occupy his time or stimulate his brain except to watch TV or stare at the ceiling and for one month he had nothing. When I got my pension cheque I blew all my dispoable income on a new television for him as it will be the only thing he will have and I wanted him to have the best (an onsale 32inch flatscreen with a DVC for $450. with taxes). I have had to cut $back since then like not taking Randy's pet "his son" he calls Owen, a terrier-poodle cross, to his semi-annual grooming session. Randy never had any children.

Monday, August 8, 2011

60 days and still nothing

It has been two months since Kip Woodward the Chairman of Vancouver Coastal Health promised to post his email address on his bio on the VCH website. I suspect Napolean Ostrow is stomping his feet and shaking his fists saying to Kip that he doesn't have the budget to ask a low-level tech to add Kip's email address to his bio. Poor powerless Kip; poor powerless the Board; poor us the one-million plus of us who use Vancouver Coastal Health. My grandmother would call this shameful behavior but in today's world there is no such thing as shame. But then the Board might not be aware of what its true function is: it is to audit the policies that exist and the only way the Board might suspect something needs auditing is from complaints/suggestions from the public.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Since I couldn't visit with Randy for our two hours yesterday as he was very tired (depressed)I called this morning at 10:30 and left a message for Randy to call me before 1:00. I am allowed to telephone Randy on the days I do not see him. (I made sure that I got permission so I could do this and was told that an email was sent to the ward.} No return call. At 1:30 I telephoned and said that I would be going to GPC and drop off two pictures for him as well as some yellow roses. This I did. I then tried to telephone Randy's nurse to hear if Randy was happy with the roses and the pictures. The head nurse who answered the phone said Helen was coming to answer the phone and then she asked my name and then she said that Helen was too busy and that I wasn't allowed to phone the ward on weekends or go to GPC on weekends. This is not true. The only stipulation now is that I cannot go down Ward 2 as a number of the residents are apparently afraid of me unless accompanied by a supervisor for two to five minutes on the days Randy's isn't up to seeing me. Staff must be reinforcing their fear of I do not know what. This phantom fear has been going on for six months now and surely those that had the fear dictated to them should have gotten over it by now. Or maybe it is not a fear maybe it is just that three or four of the residents just don't like me. I do not know for sure.

After the 3:00 pm shift change I have been trying to phone Randy and the calls are sent to voice mail and I left two voice messages. The last phone call at 9:30 p.m. said for the shift RN to call me. It is now 10:32 the next day Sunday and no one has phoned me from GPC. This isn't an isolated incident. It is the way GPC works. After awhile you give up trying to phone. Oh well, another day, and another phone call to a voice answering machine (10:33 am). I feel that I am a prisoner to waiting for a phone call. For general information up to three weeks ago it never occurred to me that I could phone and talk to Randy. Another don't ask don't tell scenario by staff. I only found out from another resident who said her daughter would call her when she could get someone to answer the phone and the nurse would give the wireless to her. In Randy's case since he cannot talk the only way I know he can hear me is when I ask him to breathe heavily into the phone and quickly before two minutes are up (the seconds are guided by the second hand on my clock) I end the conversation as a nurse is holding the phone to Randy's ear. I can't chance them saying I am taking nursing staff time from during their duties and cutting off this one-sided unable to see communication. There even is a You Tube video found under abuses in nursing homes in the US about staff deflecting phone calls. So it is an universal practice.

I phoned at 1:33 p.m. Sunday and was able to talk to a real person and she connected me with Randy. I asked him if he was disappointed that I didn't phone him yesterday and he breathed heavily twice...


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Computer down addendum Aug 4 2011

My computer has been done for a few weeks so I haven't posted anything. It has been a nice holiday from reporting my ongoing sojourn with VCH. It has been going on 6 months since my constructive visiting hours were imposed. I can't believe it. In this time of cutbacks management is spending so much time over a patient who was nothing more than a bum and me a 65 year old retired lady who lost 100 pounds over the last year. I owe all this to Kim Sinclair and her team of professionals.

In the event you are not aware of the way patient care is now it is with a "team" of professionals so no one takes any resonsibility for anything. But anyone who has taken psy101 knows all groups by natural selection has a leader who says it is the "team" in any draconian decision making.

I still do not understand their insistence on not giving treatment to those patient that refuse it. It is bizarre. A patient won't want to be in a hospital if they did not want to get well. This is an area of "medical ethics" that is still completely beyond my understanding.

I should remention the reason for the scorn of Kim towards me. Last November 2010 Randy was scheduled to go to die in the infamous George Pearson Centre for three weeks prior to him being transferred. Jill the head neuro nurse just forgot to mention it to me (although the day before I was talking to her) and I found out only by chance from overhearing a student nurse. Randy signed a document witnessed by two naming me as his guardian in case of disability and the hospital had it. Not telling me was deliberate and it got worse after that (more on that later as I still haven't got back my computer).

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