JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Neglect of People With Alzheimer's: A Summary of My Life Over the Last 5 Months & Call to Action

Over the last few months having the experience of moving my mother to one of the supposed finest assisted living units for Alzheimer's in the area and from reading blogs of other caretakers (many of whom you can find in my blogroll), I am shocked at the extent to which people with Alzheimer's are neglected by society, by the state, and by facilities where they are placed.

My mother's facility started out great. They told us everything that we might want to hear and took very good care of Mom. But, as the facility increased the number of residents without significantly increasing their staffing, my mother has been more and more neglected. We were concerned that this would happen because Mom has a hard time speaking up for herself, but it seems as if neglecting my mother is the facility's plan. And not just my mother. The more that residents progress in their disease, the more they are isolated until they eventually end up staying in their room for all or most of the day with little human interaction.

I was hoping that Mom's facility was a unique problem and that by bringing attention to the problems to others, that things would be fixed. BUT, it seems as if this is a common problem, an expected problem. We are not setting aside the resources to take care of people with Alzheimer's, an enormous and growing epidemic in our country. The outcome: neglecting people with Alzheimer's is the norm.

Part of the problem is that caretakers are intimidated by these facilities because there often aren't good options, and we fear that complaining will lead to retribution against our loved ones. But, we cannot give into this intimidation.

Part of the problem is that there are ridiculous few regulations on assisted living facilities. We need to lobby states to start taking more responsibility for what goes on in these places.

Part of the problem is that so many of us are silent - we're too busy and we don't want to think about it and we are embarrassed what people might think of us if they knew what was happening to our loved ones. But, we cannot remain silent. We must speak out: THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!


Blogger Brandon said...

This is a powerful essay. I am with you and hope that your mother's facility starts to do better by the people that stay there.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 6:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your thoughts on this issue have never been better expressed. This is so well written. Thank you for teaching me something about what is going on in our society with this disease and treatment of people with Alzheimers. I had no idea the about the depth of these issues of neglect. I feel fortunate not to have had to deal with this in my family (yet).

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 8:16:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

This post was included in an economics and social policy blog found here:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 10:05:00 PM  

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