So, today marks the beginning of 2023, a new year to give hope again. Hope for what I’m not sure. World peace would be wonderful, an end to the poverty that so many people are drowning in sounds good too. That no one will go to bed hungry this year. Absolutely.
I don’t make resolutions. Usually they are broken before I even crawl out of bed on Jan. 1, so it just makes better sense to skip that tradition. I simply remind myself all year to watch my errant tongue and always try to remember that my Mom didn’t raise me to be a potty mouth and that I can control my tongue if I stop and think before spouting off. Sometimes that even works. It’s a daily battle for me and one that I mainly lose.
I am working on the updates for the assisted living problems I’ve encountered since moving here four months ago. Gee, has it only been four months? It seems like a lifetime. I do want to remind anyone who is thinking about assisted living facilities that they are not all like this one. I’ve visited people in other facilities that are a world away from this one in cleanliness, assistance from personnel, general appearance, number of staff per unit. Soon I might even have a checklist for anyone who needs to know the questions to ask before committing themselves or a family member to a facility. I am trying now to find statistics for states other than Kentucky for comparison. I have found that Kentucky has one of the lowest standards for these facilities in the country. Depending on how much I find out I might be writing as the Indiana Angel before long. I’ve heard there are some lovely homes across the river.
One of the things I have already found out about this place is that our medicine aides are NOT certified by the state. In fact, all that is required in Kentucky to be a medicine aide is a high school diploma or a GED certification, plus one year experience working with the elderly. There is a new person training here now and she has made mistakes with my meds for the past four nights. Fortunately I caught it the first night and am more vigilant now. It has been a matter of double dosing for two of those nights , caught before taking the pills, Interestingly enough though is that while going through the excess pills I found some I didn’t recognize. Ran the description through a web site that can find the pills and tell you what they are. it seems someone has ordered a different medicine from the ones I have been taking even though I have told them I DO NOT TAKE NEW MEDS, due to the side effects produced by some of them. I had been wondering why I was dizzy and nauseated on several occasions lately. Now I know. So now all I have to do is check everything they hand me now to make sure it is something I am able to take.
On that same problem, one of the reports I read is the fact that there are about 800,000 cases each year of residents in assisted living facilities being given the wrong meds. This is nationwide, not only in Kentucky but in every state. Nice, huh? One of the reasons in this place could well be that the aide has never asked me my name or if there are any allergies to be aware of. She knows my name because of the room I am in, but if she saw me visiting someone in a different room she wouldn’t know even that much. Last night I was given two versions of a stomach pill. One was from a bottle I brought in and the other? I don[‘t know.
Another thing I have noticed is that they change the looks of the meds frequently. I doubt anyone else notices that. Having just received my statement from Medicare though I did notice that they are refilling it all every eight to ten days, at a co-pay rate I’ve never had before. I have always ordered from the online pharmacy provided by my carrier, and by ordering a three month supply they are all FREE of charge. Only one exception, but that is one I seldom take since it is a mild pain reliever and I prefer to limit the number of those that I like to know what’s going on around me all the time. Just bossy I guess. They also switched my blood sugar monitor from the one I opened new about two weeks before coming here to a new one they ordered, or possible had on hand. That little trick had to be to enable them to charge more money to my account for Medicare to pay.. One of the med aides told me they actually order the meds refilled with a one month supply. So, 8 days or one month? By turning it in as 8 days they are receiving four co-pay amoubts for that one month supply. Hmmm, fraud? Anything is possible. I’ll know more after my meeting with the administrator this week.
More to come. For now I am going to the grocery for something I can eat. And that problem is what got me started with this check list. My first meal here was wonderful and I told everyone I would enjoy eating here. Famous last words. But more about that later.