I saw dad at his Assisted Living Facility this morning. Before I went to his room, I asked the medication aide if his prescription had come in as I was promised on Tuesday. I was told that the nurse was talking to the pharmacy as we spoke. (Why didn’t she call yesterday?) I waited for the nurse to get off the telephone and asked again about dad’s medications.
The nurse told me that the medication had not come in. Was the nurse calling the pharmacy at that time because I just arrived? I asked her what his blood pressure was doing in the meantime as I heard her say on the phone that he has now been without his medication for 3 weeks (longer than I had been told before).
She said she couldn’t take his blood pressure because there was no order from his physician to do so. She said she did call the doctor’s office on Tuesday after I was last there but no one had returned her call so they “couldn’t” take his blood pressure without such an order!
As I started to protest, she said the doctor would be there at the facility tomorrow and she would have the doctor see my dad and check him out. That will relieve my concern just a little. Mostly I am upset that this whole debacle has been allowed to go on for so long!
I have been making an effort to not visit dad every day since April. My object is to have a more normal life myself and to help dad to be more independent in his assisted living facility. Now I can see the down side of this. The facility apparently reacts only when I prod them. They tell me they have been calling the pharmacy and physician regularly for the past 3 weeks. But no one has kept me informed about the situation.
I believe they wait too long when nothing happens. In fact, they wait until I complain and then they try another call. I pointed out that the pharmacy had sent the medication once and they (the ALF) returned it because another brand name was used. The nurse said they were doing all they were allowed to do. They didn’t have the authority to give him a different medication or to look it up on the Internet and see that it was actually the same as the generic they ordered.
I still think they should have kept me better informed on a daily basis. I would call the physician more frequently if she didn’t respond to the ALF. I would move mountains to keep dad on his blood pressure medication because I know how hard it was to get it adjusted correctly in the first place.
The ALF cares for over 40 residents. I watch over just one. I am frustrated that I didn’t start pushing on this sooner and afraid this could lead to health effects if dad’s blood pressure gets out of control again. Dad had a stroke over 10 years ago and ever since his previous physician worked diligently to keep his blood pressure in check.
I decided not to call the doctor’s office today since the doctor will be there tomorrow. I will have to take further actions if the doctor doesn’t show up or if dad still doesn’t get his medications.
Mostly I am frustrated. What should I have done to prevent this? He was taking the medication regularly and they knew when he was about to run out. They told me they always reorder weeks in advance so there is no chance to run out. How much micromanagement do I need to do?
What have you experienced with Assisted Living Facilities? Am I expecting too much from them?