“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”
This George Bernard Shaw quote was put to good use by Robert Kennedy. It is one of my personal favorites and I try to hold the idea close to my heart, especially when work is at its most chaotic and dysfunctional.
I have never been one to blindly accept the status quo. The notion of living by the motto of “that’s just the way it is” is simply not a possibility. It’s a cop out. It enables us, as individuals, to blindly go through the motions with very little reflection and even less accountability.
The long-term care system is a perfect example of misplaced acceptance. The standards of care are low. Often, caregivers do not have easy access to charts, we are not informed of changes in the care plan, new residents are brought in with no notice and very little information and we are expected to make it work. We are short of supplies, short of staff and it appears that the residents are placed last on everyone’s priority list.
This is the “norm” and barring any catastrophe, it is accepted by the regulatory agencies whose sole purpose is to ensure the proper care for those living in these facilities.
The systematic allowance of such conditions can be easily seen by viewing the lists of penalties for violations on your state’s DHSR website. I don’t recommend reading it on a full stomach. It contains information like this: ____ nursing home: type A violation. Lack of supervision lead to residents elopement of the facility resulting in death. Fine 25,000. Upon appeal, facility paid 10,000…it is a truly horrifying read and it is a long list.
Hell will freeze over before I accept that there isn’t a better way; a tangible solution. Writing for this blog is one of my ways of fighting back, for both the caregivers and the people for whom we care.
I write in the hopes of reaching like-minded people who refuse to accept the unacceptable; who refuse to look at a system that allows a 10,000 dollar fine make the preventable death of a human being “ok” without actively trying to change it. I write for those who would rather fight for the possibility of a better tomorrow than accept the broken reality of today.