Don’t Change The Routine

I went to visit my mother today and found her sitting in the activity room with several other residents who were very upset about some recent changes, Alan, the Care Center Administrator, made. Apparently, Alan, who has a wall full of degrees hanging in his office, decided he didn’t want the residents sitting around watching TV after breakfast anymore. He wants them to all be involved in some type of functional game or activity that will keep them moving and interacting with each other. That might sound like a bright idea to someone who is not in the know about how much the residents, that actually know what is going on around them, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching The Price is Right everyday. Keep in mind, this care center is not an assisted living facility. No, it is a 24/7 skilled nursing center. The majority of the residents living in this care center are not fully functional due to Strokes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or any number of other medical issues… Many of them don’t speak or even know where they are.

However, the residents that are functional enough to speak, and understand what is going on around them, are very set in their ways, and DO NOT LIKE CHANGE!!! I spend enough time with my mother and the other residents to know they want to keep to the same routine everyday. They get up and dressed with assistance, go to the dinning room for breakfast, come back and have their medications given to then, then go to the activity room to watch The Price is Right on the big screen TV. After The Price is Right is over they will participate in whatever the Activity Director has planned for the morning until it’s time for bingo. When bingo starts everyone better shut up and listen for their numbers or leave. No visiting or chatting during bingo. And for goodness sakes you better not ask to have a number repeated because you weren’t paying attention… 🙂

After bingo the residents go back to the dining room for lunch. Then they go to their rooms for a nap. At 2:oo p.m. they get up and go back to the activity room for another round of bingo… they all know exactly what to expect, nothing ever changes, and they like it that way…!

So Alan’s decision to not allow The Price is Right to be turned on anymore had the residents that are in the know…in an uproar to say the least. My mother and two of her friends, were fit to be tied when I got there this morning. I asked my mother what was wrong and she told me they were not allowed to watch The Price is Right anymore. Her friend, Sharon, and Sharon’s roommate were almost to the point of tears. I asked my mother who told them they couldn’t watch The Price is Right. They all three said “Alan” I said who is Alan? They said “he runs this hospital.” I asked why Alan would say they can’t watch The Price is Right and they said “he wants us to do games.” Then they all told me they don’t want to play games, they want to watch The Price is Right. So I told them I would go and speak to Alan and see if I could find out what was going on..

I went to Alan’s office and knocked on his door. He looked up and asked if he could help me. I said” I’m hoping you will. Then I told him what my mother, Sharon, and Sharon’s roommate told me about Alan not letting them watch The Price is Right. Alan said “that’s right, I did put that order out to the staff.’ I said “may I ask why you made that decision especially since it is upsetting my mother and half of the other residents who live here?” Alan smiled and said “it’s not good for the residents to just sit and watch too much TV.” I said “well my mother is here because she needs 24/7 skilled nursing care, not to be dictated to about what she can and can not watch on TV. I told Alan many of the residents don’t have anyone coming to visit them and speak on their behalf, but I spend a great deal of time in his care center, and I know for sure that the majority of the residents are not able to participate in the “games and/or other activities he wants them to participate in instead of watching their TV program, and the residents that could don’t want to play his games/activities, they want to watch The Price is Right. I told him that show brings a lot of joy and excitement to the residents who enjoy watching it, and that since many of them are close to their last days..,their happiness, and overall well-being  should be more important than his need to issue orders, especially when he apparently had no idea of the impact it would have on the residents. ” I told Alan perhaps he should come out of his office more often and see the effect his decisions have on the residents. Then, if he really cares about the well-being of the residents in his facility, he would rethink his decision and let the residents watch their show.” I also told Alan if he was going to continue to issue orders without consulting the residents and/or family members, I would start looking for another facility for my mother. I told Alan to think about what we discussed and “have a good day”, then I left his office.

I went back to the activity room and found my mother, and her friends. They asked me what Alan said and I told them he is thinking it over, and we should know something one way or the other soon…

Much to my surprise, and delight, within a half hour, the Activity Director came into the activity room and turned on The Price is Right!!!

My mother (in the gray), Sharon (in the black), and Sharon’s roommate (in purple) couldn’t believe it. This is the happiest their faces get due to their medical issues…

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But believe me… they were VERY excited about getting to watch their beloved The Price is Right show…

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Who knew this simple game show could mean so much to so many?

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But is means the world to my mother and her friends, and right now, that’s all that matters to me because peace has been restored to the care center residents… I guess my job there, for today, is done… 🙂

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My mother and her friends kept asking me what I said to Alan to get him to change his mind… I just smiled and said “I just appealed to his good nature…”

Stay Tuned!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bill
    Nov 20, 2013 @ 22:55:37

    If anyone knows Virginia, she could tell someone to go to Hell in such a way, that they are waiting in line to get the tickets. Good for you Girly just another reason I love you so much.

    Your Bill

    Reply

  2. gotham girl
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 17:07:56

    OMG!!!! You go girl. This is exactly why I loved you working with me all those years! I love you!

    Reply

  3. katsbynp
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 02:39:58

    Standing ovation for you Virginia! I am so happy you were able to get Alan see the light and being such an advocate for the residents. Thank you for such an great post

    Reply

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