My wife developed early onset alzheimer’s in 2004. By 2009, her cognitive impairment had reached a stage where she suffered with apathy, paranoia and hallucinations.
She spent 3 months in care facilities in 2010, 5 months in 2011 and permanently from 2012 until her death in 2017.
The prominent problems I experienced between 2010 and 2017 were:
- cost-cutting and a failure to provide, when required, appropriate bedding, pressure relied devices, wheel and air comfort chairs
- questionable medication with risperidone (an anti-psychotic drug) and mirtazon (an anti-depressant) and a lack of communication with visiting GPs
- caring for high-care residents with physical and cognitive impairment requires a greater number of carers than with low-care residents. (In my view, in daylight hours, there should be no less than 1 carer for every 5 residents to ensure proper care is provided.
- caring staff course content is inadequate. (Many told me that they received no education with respect to the care of high-care residents. They must possess a special psyche. Dedication and tolerance are required virtues.)
- accredication audits used to be conducted randomly and without notice. Now they are generally not.
- RNs and ENs are generally understaffed. You can rarely find them when they are needed most.
I could write a book or deliver a paper on my experiences with aged care facilities. Needless to say, I hope that I never have to be put into an aged care facility.