A Visit With Al Today

free-write-friday-writing-prompt bird in winterBefore I went to see Al today, I spent yesterday sleeping off the unanswered questions and researching the internet for help. Some of you have provided me with links which I looked at and have saved. Tomorrow is Monday, and a holiday. I will do my best to get some new roads to look at for Al.

I did discover by going to the State of Indiana Health Boards that I was able to take a look at the scores and test results from the last State Inspection. It had been created in January of 2011 I believe. It showed me what I suspected. They ranked in below average compared to other places.

The worst targets for getting written up were lack of interaction with residents. Too few staff was another siting. Not enough nurses. Residents left in their rooms with no encouragement to partake in activities. Pills being given more often than not and some over-dosing accidents were stated.

The first words that caught my attention though were the ones that said, residents left alone with no interaction, causing anxieties and depression.

This really stood out to me as I notice more and more that Al seems depressed, quiet and down in the dumps. When I went to see him today it was what I would call a below average visit. He was quiet at first and then he blurted out,” I am trying to be good Terry. I am trying to stay out-of-the-way so the staff won’t get mad at me. Do you think they will like me better if I am good”?

The poor guy. I am sorry but this made me feel so bad. I can not blame every single thing on Al’s Parkinson’s Disease, just as I can not blame it all on the staff. I can however, blame the ball. The ball that goes round and round starting with the Administrator and swinging down to the CNA’s. It is no one’s fault and yet it is everyone’s issue.

Al does need to watch what he says to residents. He does need to be careful of becoming angry. On the flip side, is he doing these things on purpose? I choose to believe no. He has always had issues of this and that, but he has always been a social butterfly, trying his best to get people to notice him.

Here at home on Christmas Day I observed more than once Al trying so hard by repeating himself to others what he wanted to say. He was ignored. When Al gets ignored I get hurt. I can’t help it. I know he is what we would not call normal, but should we shut him out, shut him in a room because he wants to know someone loves and cares about him? Don’t we want the same thing from others? Why else do we marry or get involved in relationships? I don’t think it is because we want to be alone.

I was very honest and open with Al. I told him I did not know the outcome of what was going to happen. I said” I am so glad that you are trying your hardest, and Al, I know that most of the time you do not mean to be rude to others. I know you want these people to like you and it all just seems so big when you are having your pain too”.

I went on to explain that tomorrow I am gong to start making some calls. I explained that I want him to be happy and I will do my best. I asked him if he had a choice of coming home and going to a group home which would he prefer. He said he wanted to stay where he was. He said he didn’t want to come home because we could never find help to stay, so he chose the group home.

He was very calm today but very sad-faced. I know he feels so bad at the thought that this place does not want him there. I took in one of his antique cars and asked him if he wanted me to push him in the wheel chair down to  his buddies room to show it to him. I ended up pushing him for a ride all around the facility and then we went to his friend’s room. They spoke a few minutes talking about the car and then church was getting ready to start.

His buddy asked him if he wanted to go. Letting him know that he himself was going. Al started to cry and said, “I can’t. It just makes me cry. I am too emotional”. The guy looked at him and then me and I just told his friend that we were heading back to his room now.

I planned on staying longer but I guess the ride wore him out. He was ready to lay down and rest.

Buddy, I am going to do the best darn job I can to help you fit into a place that you will enjoy and feel comfortable. You deserve it bud, I love you.

33 thoughts on “A Visit With Al Today

  1. Now that you looked up their state survey results, look up the survey results of the others, so that you can find the very best facility for him to transfer to. It sounds like you’re doing a great job advocating for your brother. Many blessings to you Terry.



    • I slept so many hours that I should be Hercules!!! I get tired Julie. the drama and emotions drain me. i will fight to the end to give Al as good of life that he so deserves…………….


  2. I pray that God will help you find a place for Al where the staff will actually care about his emotional well-being as well as his physical. God bless you in your quest!


  3. THERE IS A PLACE FOR AL!!! It may take some work but there is a place and none are perfect. I speak from experience as I moved my father from a facility that the urine smell hit the minute you opened the door, the State had placed him there for rehab from surgery. After speaking to his doctor I knew daddy was going to have to stay in a facility, I searched while in Colorado and luckily found a place that could take him that week so I extended my stay to make sure we got him moved and settled. I came back to Kansas went on with life going home to see Daddy a couple times a month for 2 years, then I got sick and became disabled, wasn’t able to go as often. I received a call from the facility telling me my Daddy had been found laying in his own urine and was on the way to hospital, seems a CNA helped him to restroom and forgot him for an hour and a half. when she remembered he had had a massive heartattzck they revived him there once inthe ambulance but he was brain dead. Hardest thing I ever did was have them turn off life support without me being there.
    sorry to add this to the remarks but want you to know that there is a place that will treat Al better just stay on top of it constantly if possible. Love and prayers.


    • oh my friend, my heart bleeds for you. I have worked in many facilities while working for agencies. I have seen it all. the sad thing is that this facility is raved about. it is alright i guess if you are elderly and do not use your voice. but along comes Al who is younger and can speak and show his needs and then is left along the wayside. i will find a better place


    • you got that right. I don’t know how many times I have walked into his room and his pants were wet or there was BM on his pillow or under his nails. They say the same thing every single time,,,,,,,,,,,well I was just in there and cleaned him up. I always think oh ya? well you didn’t do a good job so get back at it girlfriend!!!!


      • I know, I am very sorry for your situation. I have cerebral palsy, and I too find myself in a similar situations, but at least I can advocate for myself. I feel a little bad for those who don’t have an advocate or a voice for themselves. I like to think karma is a vindictive bitch and that gives me peace of mind. Sometimes I wonder why I got stuck with this life and those people walk around me with no problems.


      • I think that about my brother too. His father never accepted that he was different, so Al had to deal with that his entire life while dad was alive. He is mentally challenged. he has had a heart attack and now this. i wonder why so often


  4. So sad. Don’t they have volunteers that come talk to those in group homes? Poor al, between the pain and the changes and trying to be good its overwhelming for you both. *hugs* I just hope there is a solution that suits you both.


    • A group home is run like a private home. they are so private that they are not announced to the public where they are. They grocery shop, play games, clean house. everything you would do in your own home. there is two to three staff for eight clients. more individualized, more one on one, better everything. my fear is that he would be placed in a moderate to severe mentally challenged home because of being in a wheel chair and needing help. I am afraid for Al and what that would do to him with him only being mildly mentally challenged. you know what I mean?


  5. it sounds like you have a firm hand on this and you are going to find a good alternative. you will have time to go and interview prospective homes, look up their rating and maybe get some feedback from others.

    just don’t forget about yourself. keep going to your classes and doing what you need for you. it will make you feel better and that will give you the energy to do what needs doing.


  6. Al i so smart in his thoughts about where he wants to be…He has relieved you of the burden of his care…but, the burden on our hearts is sometimes worse…best to you both…
    People take time…they need to be listened to…smiled at…they need touch…That’s really not a lot to ask for…a little as you walk by can suffice…if they only understood…


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