I must be doing something wrong! [Rant for this Day!]


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?

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
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9 Responses to I must be doing something wrong! [Rant for this Day!]

  1. terry1954 says:

    i have some experience in this so maybe i can be a little help. first off, when u place a loved one in any facility, even a hospital, the staff does not always keep good tabs on the patient ,for many reasons, unless you are there. you have to be there, sorry to say, u have to voice your opinions regularly, letting nurses know anything u want known, even a wet bed. i can even check blood pressure, to me this is bull. his life may be in danger if he truly has not been having it checked and has his meds to take. in the outer area when you first enter the building or the lounge, where ever there is a phone for public use, there is a phone number for an Ombassin. Call the number, and complain about anything and everything. They have to check it all out. They protect the patient, getting a wide investigation started immediately. Do not delay, and let the staff know you expect better care or you will report them to your local state board of health. there will then be an unplanned visit from the state.

  2. Thanks, Terry, You are correct in that there is an ombuds person and I need to get her name again. The former one was a neighbor of mine and she moved and is also not still the right person I think. But also this is not a nursing home and they are not licensed to give medical care. They are an assisted living facility and meet different requirements. They are not even required to have a nurse, but I did choose this one because they have a nurse during the day during the week. I will follow up with the ombuds person and find out what else I should expect of them. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are licensed by the board of health because they are not a health care facility. Still, there are some requirements and I need to clarify what they are. They know I am watching which is why they tend to make the phone calls as I am arriving or just before. But, I want something better — it should be part of their routine care. Thanks for your comment.

  3. shyflutterby says:

    as stressful as it is keep micro managing. Just like a child……You have to fight for what is right and needed for your Dad. I also suggest that if they haven’t checked his blood pressure do it yourself. My Grandpa and I have to do it 2 times a day with just a OTC monitor. That way you know for sure whats going on with it and don’t have to worry about Dr’s orders(which I think is total BS, why would they sell them and have them in stores all over the country if only a Dr can tell you take it). Keep fighting and keep breathing. It’s all for a great cause 🙂

    • You are right. A blood pressure cuff is on my shopping list for today. I have to get one for myself anyway. I had a wrist one but took it to my cardiologist this week and it was not accurate. So I will get an arm cuff and take it to dad as well. This is very frustrating to have to do things they should be doing and at the price we pay for that place too! But I will do what I have to do.

  4. kimjoy24 says:

    I ran into this problem a lot at the facility that my dad was at. You are right in that you have to be very proactive in order to get things done.

    • Yes, Kimjoy. I see that being proactive is necessary. I had hoped I could just trust them to care for dad as my friends worried that I was too involved on an everyday basis. But really’ I have to be!

  5. Pingback: Dad’s Medications – Part 2 | Let's Talk About Family

  6. Pingback: High Blood Pressure – Dad’s and Mine | Let's Talk About Family

  7. Pingback: Dad’s Medication Error: Follow-Up | Let's Talk About Family

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