Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Solving Problems...

No facility is perfect, not even mine :) and there are bound to be problems that arise.  With that being said, how do we approach the issues, how do we resolve, and at what point is it time to make facility changes?  Communication is key.  During the admission process the facility should lay out the ground work of what you can expect from them, this includes: care provided, meal services, activities, amenities, etc.  This is the perfect time for you as the family to lay out your expectations of the facility.  I always tell my staff, I cannot expect you to read my mind, so I always lay out my expectations upon hire, that way there are no excuses.  This goes the same with laying out expectations to facilities.  I can only speak about my own, but our intentions are always to do our best, and knowing your expectations gives us the best chance at excelling.  Does laying out expectations exempt you from potentially having problems, unfortunately not!  So, if a problem does arise what is the next step.  I always tell family members to let us know immediately.  Make an appointment with the department that it pertains to and speak directly to the supervisor, or set up a care plan meeting to discuss with the entire management team in charge of your loved ones care.  Some problems should be resolved immediately, others may take time as new processes are put in place.  I always say give it a week and if the problem does not resolve then speak with the Administrator.  It is important that you make everyone aware of the problem.  The Administrator is in charge of the entire operation, and the what is or isn't happening as it should.  One great thing about my facility is that we have video cameras in the hall.  I can confirm or deny most complaints related to call lights, not checking on a loved one, who was working, etc immediately by reviewing the video tapes.  One thing to remember is to give the facility the benefit of the doubt.  Your loved one may tell you things that is half true, or true based on their reality.  Make sure you investigate and find out the facts.  For example, if a resident has just had a procedure and is in extreme pain, if they ask for more pain medication and it takes them 10 minutes to get the medication, because of the level of pain, it may feel like one hour.  Another thing that I have witnessed is residents/patients attempting to put guilt on their loved one by telling them incorrect information.  This does not mean do not believe your loved one, it just means, get to the bottom of the situation.  If the facility has cameras like mine, ask to review with the administrator, come visit at off hours to see if what they are telling you is true.  If you have done all this, nothing is getting better, and you are first hand witnessing the injustices it is time to move your loved one.  Everyone deserves the highest quality of life!!!

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