Me and My Camera

Today I went unannounced to see Al. When I first saw Al he looked like he was getting ready to cry. He perked up a little when he saw me. I took him some more treats and picked up the weapons.

I didn’t order lunch today after it was served to me cold the day before. I have to pay $3.50 for a guest tray and I would rather not eat then to pay and eat cold food. Al had lasagna and other things. The kitchen had not cut up his main dish and he kept trying and trying to do it himself. He did a couple of bites and then just started tremoring like crazy and crying.

He looked at me with those puppy dog eyes and cried saying, “I can’t do it. I really tried.” I understood but didn’t want to butt in until he gave me the signal. A couple of nurses walked by and saw him crying but why should they stop and ask anything, I was there. After they walked back by one did stop and ask and I said, ” He can’t cut this food. His hands are too weak. The kitchen should have cut it up or something.”

The nurse looked around like she was seeking help but no angels appeared. She gave a sigh and cut his food. While he was eating I took his goodies down to his room. I had taken my camera in with me today just in case.

When I walked into his room I was a little surprised at what I saw.

bed padPee stains

al's bedspreadHis bedspread and dirty clothing

al's pillowHis pillow

nail clippersWeapon number one

screwdriversWeapon number two

I took the weapons and put them in the sack I had taken Al’s goodies out of. I kept them in the sack so no one would try to set off alarms and call the police for attacker being in the building. This way they were safe and I wasn’t frisked.

I went back to where Al sat and stayed with him through his meal. I stopped a Nurse once again. I asked very nicely, “Sometime before I leave I would really appreciate it if someone would please change Al’s bedding.”

She said, “He had a shower yesterday. The beds are changed then.”

“I have the proof here on my camera that they are dirty. Shall I pull the camera out so you can see it for yourself?”


She turned around and walked off. Soon one of the department heads flew by me. Was there a fire? What the +++ is going on? Should I get Al and run out the front door?

In about ten minutes she came back with an aide. She came up to me and stopped. Taking a breath and pushing her hair out of her eyes the department head said, “His bed is changed. We don’t usually do this except on bath and shower day.”

“Well at my house we do it different. If it gets dirty, we change it, even if it is seven days a week or more than once a day. If I wouldn’t want to lay in dirt, then I have to assume Al doesn’t either.”

She smiled at me and left. Her aid or helper smiled at me and she left. I helped Al finish his dessert and then took him back to his room. Bed was all nice and neat. I helped Al to the potty and he was soaked. Brief and outer pants. Just then the driver who takes Al to his outings on the two days a week walked in.

I explained that he had soaked through and we had to change his brief and outer pants. I said he should be fine now for a few hours. I added, “Would you like to take an extra brief with you in case he would have an accident?”

She looked at me and said, ” I don’t change briefs.”

Well good luck my dear brother. I did manage to get  a clean bed for you. You are on your own now. Please stay dry until you return.

47 thoughts on “Me and My Camera

  1. It is good you had your camera. It never hurts to document the problem. Good luck with this. It looks like the staff is deliverately uncooperative and that is unhealthy for everyone there.


  2. Absolutely shocking. I am astounded and speechless at the way they seem to be handling things. It just makes you want to cry! You are so strong for your brother. Bless all those people out there and in that home who are in a similar situation who do not have a relative to stick up for them!!


      • That makes me heartbroken. I would love to be a volunteer in a place like that just so people have someone to talk to everyday


    • regarding Mona’s comment above (pay hi or low when you are in the biz of caretaker…YOU TAKE CARE!!) wish you hadn’t told them you had photos but that is ok they will just watch you like a hawk now and probably ban cameras. Most cell phones have cameras don’t they? It is disgusting that they woul dallow someone to lie in their own urine….I would have asked them if they do tht at home let the bedding get to a certain point of filth and only change when they shower? grrrrrr god bless you for loving Al as you do to many people leave famuily there and forget about them. My heart cries for all of you.


  3. I think you should keep documenting what is going on there, and then call the local news station! No one should have to sleep in filth, and it is not unreasonable for his meals to be cut into bite sized portions! Don’t want to change sheets every day? FINE, then put down a bed pad like they do in the hospital, oh, and bring in extra pillowcases so you have them on hand for a quick change when it is necessary! I am getting very angry right along with you…


    • keeping extra pillow cases would be great. this is not the first nor the second time I have seen this mess! calling the news station. that sounds good, but i doubt they would be interested. it is nothing like what goes on in the world, rape, murder etc but a great idea!!!!


  4. *hugs* oh terry my heart breaks knowing this. How can these people be called caretakers? What are they not doing with other residents? Is it too much to ask for basic care like a cut up meal or clean beds? This is the most basic care regardless of how much or little they are being paid its a job as a caretaker. *shakes head* I think this should get some news coverage.


    • I want to know how they have time to stand around and chat when there is a bed looking like this. are there other beds that look like that? This is the number two rated facility in our town


  5. I’m with Lynda. I don’t know where you are, but here, If you took well documented photos, I mean over time(unfortunately maybe like a week, as I don’t think anything would happen after one day unless it’s really drastic), the news would do something with this story. Even the papers. Even if it’s a smaller news paper. These facilities thrive off of YOUR money and gov donations. It’s a public mess/humiliation and they don’t want that. Trust me, when I say that. I’ve been in the industry and I’ve seen small things in this industry turn into something big. Document and go to them. This has to stop. Everytime you go, take some form of a camera/video.

    Or, I keep thinking, can you sue them for mis-conduct(no, I’m not in the states)? You pay to have your brother there and they can’t just change the sheets on bath day, what the heck kind of policy is that!

    Or, can you move your brother to another facility where they take better care?

    Like Len said, they are in the care giving business and no matter what, they choose this job to care!

    Don’t settle. You love your brother. They don’t. It’s up to you(and us, or maybe just me), to fight for his well-being. He has enough on his plate to worry about. Everytime I read your stories, I tear up. I know all too well of this kind of mis-conduct and it literally breaks my heart, even though I don’t even personally know you or your brother.

    I’m here if you need help or support.

    I’m done my rant now.
    Hugs to you and Al my friend.


    • Lady you are a divine angel to me. You are so supportive and I feel like I have a shoulder to cry on. We are in the process of trying to get him home with a state waiver. They are doing the level of care paper work now. i want him out of there. This is the second top rated facility in our city. This tells me a lot about the other two left. The top rated we can not afford. Thank u so much for being here. I am carrying my camera with me every time I go see my brother. i am going to build a dam that this place will have to work hard to get out of. Please don’t stop coming by for chats


      • Terry, with me, you always have a shoulder to cry on. I am here for you and I really do mean that. You are going through a lot right now. It can be over whelming and too much to handle. If you ever need someone to talk to, you call on me! I’m hoping that this process of getting him home will not take too long for you. When I read this is the second top rated facility-I literally got chills, and not of the good kind. While I may not be able to come by everyday, rest assured that I will be by at least every other day. While I don’t always hit like, I am reading all of your posts and catching up. I can’t wait to see the dam that you build. Let me know if you need any help for your brother.


  6. These people sound so awful. Keep taking pics. If this doesn’t start getting better, I like the above idea of going to the news. Keep taking photos. I think that will get the attention of a news crew.


  7. My prayers continue for Al and you. When you love someone it is a very difficult thing to see them being mistreated. It sounds to me as if the nurses and the aides are horribly overworked (and probably underpaid). I am sure it is a difficult situation for everyone involved. May the Lord intervene in this situation.


    • thank you, and I am sure you make a valid point. it is still hard to watch your loved one be treated like this even though i realize the underlying reason. I pray also God keeps working in this situation


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