Are You Sure?

My mother was having a problem with one of the male residents, Ralph, running his wheelchair into mom’ wheelchair, hitting the back of her wheelchair, and just being an overall bully. I made several complaints to the staff asking them to address the issue before it got out of hand. Ralph lives at the Care Center with his wife. They share a room together. Ralph’s wife is a very quiet woman and very kind. She follows her husband, Ralph, all over the Care Center all day long.

Finally, after several failed attempts by the staff to get Ralph to leave mom alone, I asked to meet with the head of nursing services and filed a formal written complaint. I also told them if they didn’t get the issue resolved quickly, I was going to file a complaint with the state against the Care Center.

A long story made short, the Care Center met with Ralph’s adult children, and his doctor, and they all agreed Ralph needed his medications changed which they did. They also agreed to have Ralph on a fifteen minute check routine which means a staff member would check on him every fifteen minutes throughout the day when Ralph was out of his room.

The head of nursing called me to inform me of the changes they made and I thanked her for her assistance in bringing resolution to the problem. I said I didn’t want to cause Ralph, or his family any grief, I simply wanted Ralph to leave my mother alone. The head of nursing assured me they had a good handle on the matter now. I said “OK, if you are sure…”

Things went along real well and mom didn’t complain to me that Ralph was bothering her anymore as of my last visit  which was this past Monday.

Today, I surprised mom with a Saturday visit since I wasn’t able to get there on Wednesday,  because we were having new flooring installed in our bedrooms. Mom was surprised, but happy to see me. She said she had something she needed to tell me. I sat down on her bed and she started telling me she had a terrible day yesterday. I asked why and she said that Ralph and his wife were in the dining room eating when all the sudden he started making a lot of noise then the ambulance was called and he was taken away to the hospital. She said his wife couldn’t go with him and kept asking mom what happened to her husband. Mom said she didn’t know what to tell her so she said “they will let you know once they know so just don’t worry about it right now.”

Later that afternoon, mom said she asked the duty nurse, Judy, what “they, she and mom, were going to do about Ralph’s wife.” Judy said we’re not going to do anything. Mom said “well she keeps asking me where her husband is and I don’t know what to tell her.” Judy said don’t tell her anything, she will come out of it when she understands he is already gone. I said “OMG, mom, do you mean Ralph died, are you sure?” Mom just looked at me and said “he’s already gone.” I said what happened, did he have a heart attack? Mom said he did a good job at faking a heart attack. I said “mom, if he’s dead, it must have been real.” Mom just said “I don’t want to talk about that anymore now.”

I took mom to the activity room where other residents were already getting ready for the morning activity. A lady behind us was tap, tap, tapping on the table and crying. Mom asked me who it was. I said I didn’t know so mom turned her wheelchair around and said “oh, I know her, that’s Blanch.” I said “hi Blanch”, but the woman just looked at me with a blank face. Soon another resident came to sit next to Blanch, and said “good morning Evelyn and “Blanch” began talking up a storm with her…” I said to mom “I thought you said her name was Blanch.” Mom said “well, I forgot but she is from Washington Pennsylvania just like us. I smiled and said “are you sure?”

Now it was time for me to leave. I hugged mom and said I’ll see you next week. She said “I’ll go with you to the lobby door.” I said “mom, if you go with me to the door, you will have to paddle yourself all the way back here again.” Mom said “maybe I won’t”, so I started pushing her toward the lobby. As we passed the nurses station I noticed a resident, Bill, who always sat in the corner by the nurses station everyday, was not there. I ask mom where Bill was. Mom said “he died.” I said OMG mom, are you sure, you didn’t tell me Bill died, when did that happen? She said “I don’t know, I can’t remember everything, they go so fast around here.”

I pushed her to the lobby where I hugged her again and tried to leave, but she said “how am I going to get back now?”  I said “mom, I told you it was going to be a long way back…do you want me to take you back to the activity room? She said “yes…” What could I do but smile and say “are you sure?”

Stay Tuned!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. katsbynp
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 00:30:01

    I guess we will just have to wait for the answer as to what happend to Ralph and Bill. But are you sure you can’t tell us now? Great post and thanks for sharing.


  2. gotham girl
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 02:55:24

    I wanna know what really happened to Ralph and Bill too!!! You know I love your care center stories…xoxo


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