Updated: Jan 21
When you visit facilities and take a tour you are being shown and told all the wonderful things about the property. If you made an appointment first you may be seeing even better things as they knew you were coming so may put on a little bit of the best for you:). It makes sense that all facilities will not share with you the troubled areas or possible issues in their facility. The main goal is to get you to choose their property. You can usually tell right away what kind of salesperson you are dealing with. The kind that care about what they do and where they work and really believe in the property or the ones that just want to sell you the room and get you in there for themselves.
Often you will see a property and love what it looks like. The person giving the tour seems great and what you see seems like a happy environment. Some of them may have care as good as what you see but many will not. So if you have chosen a community that seems to have it all and are now seeing some things you are not happy about what can you do? Perhaps they told you beforehand that they would make sure to get your mom or dad out of their room daily or they said that they would do showers on Monday and Friday but now they are skipping some or moving them around. It can be a big thing or a little thing that isn't going as you were told it would.
When this happens our instinct is to ignore it a little or be unsure if we should speak up. You may even say in your head that you are sure this happens everywhere. Maybe it is because you don't want to make waves or because you are just so happy to have found a place you wonder if they will kick you out. You must speak up about anything that is not as it should be or that you are not happy with. You are paying a lot of money for you or your loved one to live there so you have every right to speak up. If something does not feel right say something. Your first step should be to talk to the person caring for your loved one. Perhaps a nurse or regular caregiver. You always want to include the nurse manager and executive director on your concerns. Speaking to them verbally is fine but ALWAYS follow up the conversation with an email to all parties. When you have spoken to the nurse about the fact that nobody is bringing dad to the activities and he seems to be in his room all the time and she has assured you she will make sure that happens going forward you must then go home in send an email to all parties confirming the conversation. An example might be:
Include all managers and the executive director on emails
I just wanted to confirm our conversation today about my dad. I was concerned he isn't being taken to activities and is in his room too often alone. During the tour of your facility we were assured that my dad would be encouraged and brought to activities out of his room but that has not been happening. I appreciate you talking with me and confirming that you will make sure he gets out more and to at least one activity daily. I appreciate your help with this and I will catch up with you this week to see how things are going.
This way you have a paper trail of your communications with caregivers and other staff and are keeping the executive director and other management aware of what your concerns are and who has agreed to assist with them. Then if it doesn't get corrected nobody can say they had no idea you were having issues. It helps keep everyone accountable. Often the executive directors are not aware of the day to day concerns of residents unless they hear about them from family.