The latest buzz words in residential life for the elderly are “Person Directed Care and Culture Change” These refer to a residents rights to determine many aspects of their lives even if they reside in a facility. A resident should be able to choose what he wants to eat, when he wants to eat, what time he wants to get up in the morning, go to bed at night, get bathed etc. A well educated group of baby boomers are now caring for their parents, and they are bucking heads with long term care facilities that have a history of prescribed times for all activities. One reason the baby boomers are so upset with the current state of affairs is that they see themselves in facilities in the future, and they don’t like what they are seeing.
When interviewing an Admissions Director, the right question may be “Do you offer “Person Directed Care?” The challenge is that the Director will respond affirmatively even if “Person Directed Care” is not really offered.” The Jewish Pavilion website is an incredible resource. Dr.s Bob Kaplan and Luci Belnick put together a comprehensive list of questions that should be asked when considering a long term care facility. What is even more impressive than the questions are the answers you should look for. There is also an informative article about “Person Directed Care and Culture Change” from the Pioneer network.
Most people walk into a long term care facility and look at the physical surroundings and make decisions based on the carpet or wall paper. The best thing a decision maker can do is print the list of questions and answers listed on the Jewish Pavilion’s website and bring it along when interviewing an Admissions Director in a potential home for a loved one.
Recently a resident in South Orlando complained to a volunteer at the Jewish Pavilion. She told her friend that she was only being bathed twice a week. The person bathing her was male, and she felt very uncomfortable being touched in private areas by a man. Moreover, she waited in a thin sheet for a considerable amount of time prior to each bath, and she was freezing and embarrassed.
While the Jewish Pavilion does not get involved with health care (our role is to provide companionship and community) I did mention the lady’s concerns to the Executive Director. The Executive Director responded that they bathe residents twice a week and there is an additional for extra baths. She told me that her staff was largely comprised of males. She did not comment on the resident sitting in a sheet for a long time prior to her bath but told me that she would look into the matter.
Yesterday, I spoke to Joyce Kadziolka, a superb Executive Director at Savannah Court in Maitland. Without telling her the location of the complaint, I shared with her the details. Joyce told me that at Savannah Court, when a resident asks for additional baths, they receive them free of charge. Joyce explained that there is no need to have men bathing women who do not want to be bathed by men. The schedule should be adapted to meet the resident’s desires. Moreover, Joyce told me that t companies make warm ponchos for residents who wait for baths and the robes are reasonably priced. A facility can purchase four robes for $64. She went to her office and printed out the information for me.
While “Person Directed Care” is discussed all around town, what matters is the reality of the situation. Joyce cares. She has a good heart. She prides herself in making the residents and family members happy. Life at Savannah Court reflects Joyce’s passion for the elderly and her dedication to her work.
The Jewish Pavilion staff and volunteers visit 350 residents in 50 facilities all around town. Prior to making a decision, I recommend that you browse this website and get as much information as possible about the Executive Director. In many cases, the Executive Director’s personal devotion to the elderly and to their work is reflected throughout the building. Look for someone with heart!