Can Hear Me in Other Countries?


English: Frosted cupcakes from Mon Petit Cupca...

I am screaming. Can you hear me?

I went to see Al today over the lunch hour. I had a whole set of different plans than what others had for me. I went in and had my head held high ready to do battle if anyone stepped on my toes.

I ask the nurse to have someone get Al ready, including shoes and socks and she just stared at me. She immediately got on the phone and called that psyche doctor and then handed me the phone.

“Hello, Terry?”

“Yes, this is she.”

“I’m afraid that you can not take him out of the facility.”

“Why? I am his sister and guardian. I want to take him out to eat and to an outing.”

“I’m sorry, I am in charge now over him since he is trying to kill himself.”

“Excuse me? You are not in charge. I don’t even know you. You are not one of Al’s doctors. I am his sister and his guardian.” and after a deep breath;

“I read the doctor’s report. There is no suicide threat. The doctor saw nothing. In fact the doctor has stated on the discharge papers that this is due to Dementia, PDD.”

“You can not take him out until after I have assessed him tomorrow morning.”

I smiled the whole way through the conversation. I was so darn nice I was making my own self sick. I wasn’t going to get Al in any other trouble because of me. I thanked her for her time and reminded her I will be there in the morning.

I went to see Al and had to tell him that we could not go out. Immediately the tremors tripled. He and I had planned all week to go to the local car show where there was going to be a 1921 fire truck and Al’s favorites, vintage cars.

I was seething inside but dared not show Al my anger. I decided to eat lunch with Al. I wept inside as I saw him trying so hard to use plastic silverware. There was no weight to them and he could barely keep his tremors under control to get food on the cheap plastic. Yes, they took a way his only way of eating weighted silver ware because he might hurt staff with them or himself. To this moment he still has no water in his room. No water except for meals and the way he sweats, oh my gosh. Three days of this crap.

I knew at that moment I was at the boiling point and I could not stay there. I would end up yelling at everyone there and maybe doing some threatening myself. I worked hard to be bubbly during our lunch, but Al didn’t really notice me too much. He was trying to get the food in his mouth.

In the corner of Al’s mouth I noticed a big crud of food and drool. He had not been shaved today. I have tried to convince Al to let me shave the mustache off because of drooling and the food attaches to the hairs but he wants to keep it. If it is cleaned after every meal I can keep it looking alright.  He must have read my mind because he said, no one shaved him. I told him that I had bought him a brand new electric shaver yesterday. The nurse was going to charge it for this morning.

He also stated that since Friday he has only brushed his teeth once.

I thought I was going to blow my top. Then Al said he would like to have his Bible. As soon as his nurse walked by us in the dining room, I stopped her. I asked her for Al’s Bible, and for his tooth-brush and razor.

She tells me,”Um no he can’t have his Bible.”

I looked at her with snake eyes and said,”If you  refuse him his Bible you are going to wish that you had never said no. I want him shaved and his teeth brushed. Even prisoners are allowed to brush their teeth and shave and they are entitled to a Bible.”

I thought she was going to collapse right there on the floor. Her eyes got so big they were bigger than full moons. After lunch I pushed him back to his room. He was a sweaty mess. I knew that I needed to get out of that place but I wanted to make sure Al got what needed to be done for him.

Two aides finally showed up and they said,”The nurse said there is a Bible in the dresser drawer.”

“Is it his?”

“No, it belongs to the facility.”

“Wow, Al has been here six months and none of you still know that Al can’t see clearly. He has a large print edition in his room and I want it brought here right this minute.”

They laid down his toothbrush and toothpaste and took off. They didn’t come back for sometime, so I ventured out in the hall to see what was going on. Soon here comes those two aides with the nurse. I was ready with armor on to do battle when they said something I wasn’t prepared for.

“Um, did you say you brought Al in a new razor yesterday?

“Yes, I did. I handed it to the nurse on seconds, Rachel is her name. She said she would charge it and have it ready this morning for him.”

“Well we searched his room and we didn’t see any razor.”

“Well I guess you better start looking in other places then.”

She finally found it locked up in the nurse cart. It hadn’t been opened so it wasn’t charged. I blew out a big breath from my lungs and the one aide said she would plug it in and shave Al.

I also stated, “He is a sweaty mess. I took his shirt off and sweat is pouring down his back. The pants that he has on are inappropriate because they are sweats and it is 80 degrees outside. He has several pairs  of shorts to wear. I also noticed that he has big sores in between his legs from not being washed each day. I tackled these last summer and so I know what he is in for with infections unless he is washed up every single day during the summer.”

I walked with the two aides down to Al’s room and made sure they didn’t leave. I hugged Al good-bye and said I would see him later. He cried. I know he didn’t want me to leave, but it was for his best interest that I did.

It just so happened that today the facility had traded a picnic for some work done by a local church. The facility had grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. There were pasta salads and chips. For dessert there were cute cupcakes with white swirled frosting on top with a cherry.

When the servers got to our table I requested that instead of the normal pudding they give Al that he have one of those adorable cupcakes. I started laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants when she told me,” The hamburgers and hotdogs and cupcakes are for the church. Residents don’t get any of that.”

Al pays $7,000 a month to stay there. He is kept in an empty room at the end of the hall. He has a tinker bell that he rings if he needs to get up or use the potty. He can’t have his silverware so he can eat. He can’t have his own Bible, and now he can’t have one stinking cupcake.

Because of the church being there, I had parked outside right in front of his room window.  I was so glad that I had a front row seat. I got in my car and started it. I rolled down the windows and looked up. There were the two girls who were taking care of Al.

Now take in mind it takes less than four minutes to get from his new room to my car. In four minutes they had shaved him and washed him up, changed his clothes, helped him brush his teeth.

Bull shit!!!! I watched them. They finished shaving him but didn’t let the razor charge. They took it out of his room. They did not wash him up. He was trying to brush his own teeth with no help. No wonder he has caked on food all around the edges of his teeth. Then they wheeled him out of the bathroom and put him back on his bed with no clean shirt and no washed up skin, with the sores in between his legs unattended to. There was no wash rag or towel that entered that room or exited that room. I was so  darn close to the window I could see it all very  clear.

I left and stopped at the grocery store. I wanted to get groceries but I couldn’t keep the tears out of my eyes. My mind was racing on the abuse I knew was happening to my brother I love.

I am a dangerous person right at this moment. I could mouth off throwing darts so bad at this moment. This is why I have to stay here. I am debating whether to go back at dinner hour. I probably can get myself together for another picture show by the time three more hours pass.

I know Al is trying so hard but he said he feels so alone and no one wants to be around him. I tried to picture what I would be like locked in a room for three days with no human contact. Not being allowed out except for meals, and this is what is making me think I will be back at supper with another fake smile plastered on my round little face.

83 thoughts on “Can Hear Me in Other Countries?

  1. I trust things will calm down more after the evaluation tomorrow morning. May the Lord bless you and give you patience, strength and peace during this very difficult time.

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  2. My God, Terry … I can understand that you want him back home, this is terrible … and you image what other patients has it on homes around the country …that don’t have anyone like you to fight for them. I don’t really know what to say to ease your situation. My thoughts are with you both.

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  3. Found myself thinking about Al today. My heart is very much with both of you. May I ask where you are in the world? I’m in central Florida and if by some chance you are too… ill go see him. Could you show him your work and tell him I’m with him? You are a rock, his sun and much like the sun we share with those heartless people that don’t provide to Al what he needs… they will never cease to yield in there own souls to what you are. Each morning that passes… so long as you rise in your heart… you shine upon the darkness only Al must know. You know how to love and because of your love. Al matters to me. 1Love!

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    • I used to live in Central Florida but now because my brother is sick we moved back home to Indiana. I wish you could see him too but I appreciate your thoughts, believe me. Al is so important to me. I will do whatever to make sure he is safe and secure until he comes home

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  4. Continuously speechless and dumb founded every time I read your posts about Al. I am so glad he has someone like you to fend for him. I wonder if, when you go back and question them about cleaning him and brushing his teeth, they will tell the truth? Suicide watch is just ridiculous I pray the doctor tomorrow gives you and Al some good news.

    What was the point of the food from the church if they couldn’t actually give it to the residents?? It wouldn’t have been the church that decided that though it would have been the facility.

    Prayers and thoughts with you always Terry x

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    • I think that since the residents pay to keep the business open, they should have received at least the cupcake. I am sick of this place, I am not going to lie to you. I will be glad when this meeting is over tomorrow

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  5. I am so curious as to why he cannot have his own Bible…Aside from all the other ‘crap’ that is going on why the Bible? Hope the government comes through soon so you can get him home.

    When my mother was in a nursing home we had to fight many issues as well…and my heart broke as is yours’…Some answers never came but others’ we were able to sort our…but it is draining…She was in for 7 years….Diane

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    • They finally gave it to them after I gave them hell so to speak. The whole mess is pathetic. I can’t wait until tomorrow to get this over. I need a break and so does Al

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  6. The quicker is home the better. Refusing the bible, it is unbelievable. This nursing home is the pits and not caring at all. It is hard to fight and you have to continue. Poor Al and poor you, if we could only do something!

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  7. I so wish they could be reported to the police this is brutal! I did a practicum in a nursing home and it was awful, they break the rules all the time, they leave people alone in the the washroom that shouldn’t be, I saved a lady from a fall as she was left alone and was going down.
    They are so very short handed it’s bad. I wish it were better for both of you.

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  8. This is incredibly difficult to endure, watching our loved ones suffer at the hands of careless attitudes, desensitized but uncalled for as well. There must be a way to fight this or like a board to complain to, but I know you would have exhausted all the avenues. It’s tiring, and undoubtedly that fire within you keeps you going… Hugss….

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  9. My heart breaks for your brother. I’m so sad this is happening. Are you trying to get him back home? I was reading comments, and got that impression. I am saying prayers for him. I think so many things about your story, how he is treated… it’s better that I keep them to myself. I liked your post, but …not that Al is being mistreated. Love,Gloria

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    • it is ok, say what you want. i have either said it or thought it. I am bringing Al home so he can die here instead of in the cold nursing home. He is coming home on a waiver and it won’t be complete for another month so this is why we are waiting or he will lose it if he comes home before

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  10. Heartbreaking to read and totally inexcusable treatment.

    Regardless of Al’s state of mind, everyone’s deserves the most basic of needs met, let alone in a $7000 a month home. I would be furious and probably rant & rave until some aids got him clean and shaved.
    I would also be demanding that someone attend to his leg sores (on the spot)!
    It’s imperative that those sores be attended to morning and night (otherwise he will have serious chronic infections.

    Please post as soon as the psych assessment is done – can’t wait to hear what the verdict is.

    I would love to jump on a plane, fly over and help you in your requests for better treatment. I mean to say how long does it take to to give someone a shower or sponge bath and dry them. How long does it take to wipe some crumbs off a mouth or help someone clean their teeth.

    I’d also like to come over to Al’s nursing home and berate those church people. Sorry, but if a man can’t have a cupcake as a treat, then WHAT are the church-going people there for. I’d arrange some lovely BBQ’d food and a half dozen cupcakes for you (if I could).

    Personally, I find Al’s treatment and care (since his ‘ALLEGED’ threatening behaviour) inhumane – you don’t stop caring for a pet just because it’s being assessed the next day. Why on earth would nursing home staff stop their care (just because Al is being assessed the next day).

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    • the facility knew it was in trouble. they were all hovering around Al today like he was a brand new baby. It was sickening in a way. I had bitched so much over the weekend that the news must have spread like wild fires. today they were kissing my butt. He did get to go back to his room, but I am still on guard, sorry, I can’t help it and I don’t trust them

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      • I DEFINITELY wouldn’t trust them, Terry.

        As I said, that treatment was inexcusable. Glad to hear Al is back in his own room and being treated like a human being again.

        I’m so glad you ‘kicked up a storm’. There comes a time when even the most saintly people need to yell from the highest mountain (to get something done).

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  11. Terry,

    I’ve been out of the loop for a few days while caring for my grandchildren and awaiting the birth of my youngest grandchild. Therefore, I have a lot of catching up to do. I was not aware that things had deteriorated so much for Al and the Nursing Home. I’m so sorry for what you both must be going through right now, and my heart goes out to you both. I am also praying — that the Lord will strengthen Al as he deals with this turn of events, and that He will give you supernatural wisdom to know how to deal with this situation in order to make things better for Al.

    I am posting a link below for the Indiana Nursing Home Resident Rights. You may already have a copy of this, but if not, this specifies Al’s rights in black and white, and it lists the phone numbers to call for help. By having the list of resident rights in front of you, you can check off all of his rights which have been violated, so that when you call them to report his abuse (and isolation is a form of abuse, as is neglect), you can list the specific violations, and you will be taken more seriously. Also, make sure you follow up with your phone complaint with a written complaint. At the very bottom of this page is a link that gives you instructions for filing a complaint via email.

    http://www.state.in.us/isdh/21582.htm

    I pray this is helpful to you, and I pray that the Lord helps you to file this complaint through the proper channels, and that your complaint will be taken seriously and acted on for Al’s sake and well being, as well as for yours and for other residents who have no one to care for them like you care for Al.

    God bless you Terry. I pray the Lord wraps this up shortly, and you and Al can find some peace together!

    Much love to you,
    Cheryl

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    • thank you Cheryl. The link will provide me with direct information. I have held back on reporting them. I went to the top person and filed a complaint. I will give her this week to change things or I will continue with my route of plans. Have I told you how much you mean to me as a wonderful friend? If not, I want you to know you mean the world to me

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  12. Can you give me the address of that nursing home please Terry. I will help. I will do something about this. I can’t sit by and watch you and Al go through this. It is unfair on you, and for him – there are nursing homes over here that are shut down for less than he is going through. People need to see what is going on. I cannot believe he is not allowed a frigging cupcake! Why? Because the church want them. It is sick!

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    • they were kissing butt today for Al and for me. I think they were afraid of my threats. Al was released back to his room and they were all over him with attention. I am not letting my guard down. I made a formal complaint and will give the person this week to make a change and if not I will continue with my plans to bring it out in to the open for all to see. So for now I am on hold for this next few days with my eagle eyes very wide open

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  13. Gee Terry, This is just unbelievable. It’s partly why I stopped volunteering at the old people home. I couldn’t stand the way some of the residents were treated. All I could do was watch and it distressed me so much. Now having a loved one go through that? even worse!! One lady used to tell me she didn’t get her teeth brushed and they wouldn’t give her water. I would tell the volunteer coordinator and most times, nothing became of it. Residents would tell me the staff would talk meanly to them when no one was around, and they wouldn’t take them to the toilet when asked. As a result they would wet themselves. I tried to get some of them help but was pretty much shut down every time by being told the residents are lying or have forgotten.I am so sorry that you and Al have to suffer this kind of neglect. I hug you….Paula xxxx

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  14. My dear Terry, I am sorry that you are having to deal with all of this. I have been out of touch for a while. You have been on my heart and in my prayers. “Father, may Your perfect peace guard and protect Terry’s heart and mind through each and every day. May You, as it says in Romans 15:13, fill Terry with all joy and peace in believing that she may abound in hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit, allowing her to have the strength to face each day with true joy and a smile that will bring peace and comfort to her brother, Al. We thank You for the promise of Hebrews 13:5 that tells us “You will never leave Terry & Al nor forsake them.”, in Jesus name, amen. With my love and prayers, Terry, Sheri : )

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    • Thank you so much Sheri. It is because of your prayers and many others that Al was finally released and let back in his room. I don’t trust their care and I made a formal complaint. We shall see what happens now

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      • Terry, I am continuing to lift you and Al up in my prayers. So glad he is back in his room. Good for you in making a formal complaint. It’s so sad that you had to do that.

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  15. Terry, I don’t know, but you might need to record this abuse with a camera or your phone(pictures of the sores, unshaved face, tiny bell, etc.). Make sure your phone is well charged and use the audio recording or video device on your phone to keep a record when you make your request and the staff responds; Document everything in a note pad (well, I suppose the blog is your notepad), but put down the date, time and names in writing. You want to have every good documentation so that you are armed with concrete evidence when you lodge your complaints up the ladder (including the State and the News Media). I’m sure that there are lawyers who specialize in Nursing Home abuse and there are advocates who will help ‘pro bono’. As always, I’m praying for you. I believe God is birthing a ministry in you…

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    • because of so many prayers, Al was released back into his own room, complete with water. I don’t trust them and I filed a formal complaint today. I will be watching this facility with big eyes as I know this will continue until he is home

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  16. I’m very sad to hear about your brother. It’s sickening the way people with mental health issues are treated. The facilities are expensive, they or their families pay for it and they treat them as though they are subhuman. I work in a shelter for abused women and children and I often meet women with family members in mental health facilities or homes. The stories I hear are outrageous – like not being fed, being over medicated to the point of being a shell of their former existence, and overall neglect. I’m sorry that this is happening to your brother. I don’t know where you are writing this from, but I have supported women in accessing legal supports to file suits…this can be an option for you. Depending on where you are in the world, I’m sure you can obtain free legal advice.

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    • Hello my friend, I read every word with interest. I complain and my words are heard quite frequently at the facility. They listen for a day or two and then it all returns. I am in INdiana

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  17. Omg I cannot believe what they are doing to All !!!!! I don’t, know how you didn’t go back in there and kick some you know what!!! How dare they not clean him after you asked and exp
    Lained how dare they ignore your request and the physc doctor omg I can not believe how asine they are. If I were other that building would not be standing. Much love my dear Chris

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  18. I’m so glad they finally gave Al some water. Especially when he was sweating so much, he was probably dehydrated. That is definitely abuse as is the other treatment (or perhaps I should say lack of treatment). I agree with ‘Single Focus’ that you should document some of this on film so you have real proof. My friend’s sister was in what was supposed to be rehab for a broken hip a few years ago, and they never gave her anything to eat or drink and no IV. By day 10 she died. And that was in a hospital. So it is the same in many places. There should be a lot more control of those places to guarantee the residents get at least good basic care if they don’t have time for the extras. There should be a volunteer system in these homes to give the residents those little extras including just a listening ear, things that mean so much to people who are often otherwise neglected. I’m praying for you both, as you already know.

    I was checking the fees for nursing homes in Ontario. Most monthly accommodation rates are under $2,500 even for a private room. The government covers a chunk of the cost, and if the person has only a pension income, they take that. Whatever the fee, the resident must have $130.00 left over for private spending. So the rates are set according to the individual. They have 24/7 nursing care. It was really strange when I checked the nursing home facility down the street from where I live. They listed the names of people who recently moved in, and an old friend who I haven’t seen for several years was on the list! You can actually get a one-bedroom suite for between $5,000 and $8,000. Either the rates in the US are very high or the government doesn’t pay part of it, which is too bad if this is the case.

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  19. Terry, this is outrageous! I thought cruelty within the nursing homes went out long ago…how wrong I am! Keep your guard up and stay strong. You have a lot of support here and word can spread very quickly over the Internet. Something must be done! Thieves, rapists, murderers get better treatment than this! Totally unexceptable!

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  20. OMG! I can’t believe what Al is going through and no wonder you are so mad. I would have blown a fuse several times over. Oh Terry! Hugs and prayers for you and Al. I hope it gets better.

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    • Today was better but I am still on my guard. I threatened and then filed a report against them. They will be good until they become lax again. Thank u for the continued prayers

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      • sorry to hear that! try to take care of yourself in all this. i know you love your brother and i hope you can give some of that love to yourself. if you don’t have enough i will give some of mine:)

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  21. I’m reading the posts in backwards order since I am only able to get online for very short periods of time and then have to catch up, so I know you have already had the meeting and that it seemed to go well. I am so sorry for the neglect Al has been suffering, and I too hope that it lets-up this week. You mentioned in your post that you are kind of dangerous right now, and that actually can be an advantage if it is controlled — you then are only a danger to those who are doing wrong. So happy for your courage and control in sticking up for Al!

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