Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finally, Caring and Compassion

After the past few weeks of dealing with the not so lovely social worker at the hospital, I was starting to get jaded about the prospect of finding professionals who actually CARE about the patients to whom they are charged with providing service.

In visiting several nursing homes, I found several places where the initial impression that the staff had a lot of compassion for the residents. A gentle touch, a kind comment, using their names-they go a long way. At one facility, a resident had wet herself, and the administrator who was giving me a tour promptly found two caregivers and explained that the resident would need a change and one jumped right on it.

One of the places we visited seemed a little hectic, noisy and smelled unpleasant. The staff, however, was just as pleasant and helpful as any of the other places we'd visited. This facility jumped when I explained what our needs were-contacting the insurance company on our behalf and getting an approval for Mom.

Since she's been there, we've encountered several staff members and without fail, they're showing that compassion that was missing in the hospital administrative staff.

Today, I went to fill out Mom's admission paperwork. I got the call yesterday while I was in Tampa for a doctor's appointment and asked if it was okay to do it today. "No problem, we understand you're busy" was the response.

Both the admissions director and the social work manager were fantastic through the whole process of completing the many forms. The social worker even said she'd do the Medicaid application for us as soon as we'd spent down some assets to get Mom's account to the $2,000 allowed by law. (there's a prepaid burial and some home repairs that are long overdue).

They'd gotten the verbal from Mom's insurance that she would be a Medicare patient come November 1st-and they had all the information in place for what we should expect and the tasks ahead of me.

It was clear that Mom wasn't just taking up space in a bed, she mattered to them. They wanted to know details about her likes and dislikes, asked for an okay for various doctors to see the extent of her issues and develop a treatment plan. I asked if it was okay to bring Mom a Keurig in, since she loves her coffee so. That was given a green light.

When they made mention of labeling all of Mom's possessions, I showed them the labels I'd purchased for the boys earlier this year and mentioned these labels were washable. It was nice to give a little information back, as they provided so much of their own.

The best part is that I was worried that I might offend them by stating that I was still looking at other options for long term care. They understood this and stated that they'd give her the best care while she was their resident.

Sometimes, there are rough diamonds where you least expect them.

1 People talked back:

songbird's crazy world said...

sounds like you found a gem.