What does that tell you about the nursing home I was placed at? The elderly residents did not get to the toilet in time or that they had been left in that state for some time? From my experience, I know how crucial it is to ensure skin is kept clean and dry. Imagine what happens to the skin when in contact with urine for any length of time and the result will surely be sore skin.
I don`t like to look too much into the future, but maybe one day that elderly urine soaked patient sat in a nursing home could be you or me, or a family member, who knows?
For me, if there was no other way of taking care of myself and indeed it was deemed unsafe to remain at home, the option of spending the remains of one`s life in a care home setting is daunting.
I guess you would want reassurance that if it did happen, one would receive the utmost respect and care from health professionals.
The cost of such care is enormous. People often have to sell their homes and give up on the things that they have set a life time working for. With the world population living longer, the demand for care homes will rise.
I am talking about some of the carers who are supposed to be protecting such defenceless and vulnerable people.
When you hear about neglect and abuse, the terms may conjure up horror stories to some of you, those of you whom have experienced this with family members? The terms neglect and abuse can have multiple meanings, so for this I provide a quote, which I believe is most relevant to what I am discussing:
Worrying statistics from the US alone show a hellishly high number of abuse cases.
What can be done about this kind of trauma happening time and time again with seemingly little punishment for the perpetrators?
How about CCTV cameras being installed in care homes? Would that put potential offenders off? Well, I`m not keen on this big brother thing but it could serve a purpose.
Back in 2004, a study conducted by Cottle discussed the issues of installing "granny cams". (see full findings here) http://publish.illinois.edu/elderlawjournal/files/2015/02/Cottle.pdf
Now, some states in the US already use them. I am unsure how many, but cost may be one huge impediment. Maybe heads of state ought to pour money into this?
What do the care workers think about installing cameras to watch them? Well, one sample of 2000 workers were uneasy about having cameras installed in individual rooms. I wonder why?
I want to show the stark and painful images caught on video by family members who were concerned their loved ones were having money stolen from them. What they found was far far worse.
And this one is video proof of a 96 year old elderly American woman tortured by two nurses.
Just two instances alone is enough to view, but there are far too many others to see.
And these people are supposed to be carers? What would I do with them, for inflicting such torment and pain on those who cannot defend themselves? Perhaps I could string them up, see how they would like to be physically and mentally abused? What would you do? I am no vigilante, but God it makes me angry. What if I went undercover, filmed secretly, complained, whistle blowed or became an inspector? You see, the problem with anything like this is people hate being complained about-how often does one get ostracised because of it? Seen as a trouble maker even.
Do these people know what dignity means, trust I ponder. What will make things change?
Will it take change in the law and better staff training? Whilst poor pay, low morale and lack of support may play roles in abuse and neglect, how can any of those ever be used as an excuse?
I do want to be clear on this issue. I am not in any way saying that all nursing homes are bad, because they are not.
Institutionalised abuse is a crime against humanity, of common decency and I do not discuss this as an outsider but as one who has experienced this. I know first hand how vulnerable elders can be. Shame on you who think you have a right to abuse.