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.