This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Getting some answers...

At 8am I was on the phone calling the nursing home.  I was told the Director of Nursing was in a meeting and to call back at 9am...

We had all decided we would converge on the nursing home at noon (brothers had to get off from work) regardless of whether they agreed or not, but I planned on started off being nice and respectful.  Mom left for work and I got dressed and prepared myself for battle...

Their meeting went on a half an hour later (no doubt discussing Dad's fall) but at 9:30am, I finally spoke with the Director.  She said she would check with the Administrator and call me right back.  Within five minutes she called back telling me noon would be fine for a meeting.

All six of us met out front.  My sister and I showed everyone, what looked like blood spots, we  had found on Saturday on the sidewalk and all wondered if Dad would have gotten that far... It was almost to the corner of a busy street.  Jack and the Box was across the street.  We all shuttered and were so grateful Dad had not tried to cross that street.

The meeting went well with the Administrator and the Director of Nursing.  We discovered the following facts:

Dad had been changed at 4:45am and wanted to get up.  The CNA told him it was still too early and he should go back to sleep.  The CNA went on her rounds to check other presidents...


Dad left his room at 4:56am in his night gown and foam ankle skin protectors.  Walking in those outside on rough sidewalk could have helped contribute to his fall.


At that early hour there were only about 8 staff members on duty and were all busy tending to various residents and dispensing medications. That is how he walked past two nursing stations without notice.


The alarm on the security door did not go off, because Dad had an expired wrist alarm on his arm.  He has not tried to escape in almost a year, so it was not a priority.  NOW IT WILL BE!  His Wander Guard wrist bracelet will be checked weekly. Once the alarm goes off, each nurse and CNA is equipped with a warning buzzer that alerts them on which resident has set off the alarm.


Once Dad walked out the front door, it locks.  He would have had to knock or ring the bell, which of course he did not know to do.


None of the family had seen Dad walk in over six months.  He has always been in a wheel chair.  When we viewed the security video, we all sat with our mouths dropped open, watching Dad walk purposely down the deserted hallways and out the front door.


Once outside in the dark, he walked a few steps and then stopped like he was confused.  He turned and walked back toward the front door.  We could see car lights pass in the residential street in front of the nursing home.  As the car passed, Dad turned and went toward the direction of the car.  Dad walked out of the view of the camera...


A housekeeper for the nursing home, on her way to work at approximately 5:02am, found Dad  laying prone on his left side, on the side walk, slightly north of the front of the nursing home, with his head facing toward the Jack n the Box.


The housekeeper ran inside and got nurses who rushed outside to tend to Dad and to get him evacuated to the hospital, calling 911.  The nurses said they wiped away most of the blood with paper towels and possibly the sprinklers washed the rest away.


The Paramedic report stated they began to treat Dad at 5:20am.


The security cameras only record movement, apparently they can get a weeks worth of recording, instead of only a few days if it recorded non stop.  If Dad walked and stopped, the camera would go on and off.  I wanted to see it a couple of times to check the times as I immediately thought of them editing it to hide something...

One of my brothers worked security and he assured me the tapes look that way on this type of camera.

We all could not believe Dad sustained the extensive cuts and abrasions he received from one fall.  We have no way of knowing if he fell once, tried to get up and then fell again, or if he was hit by a slow moving car, or if someone encountered him and wrestled with him, throwing him to the ground...

Maybe he went into the street toward the car for help and coming back to the sidewalk, tripped on the curb and fell.  Regardless, it is a miracle he was not more seriously injured.  He could have broken bones, required stitches, broken teeth, broken his neck...oh God, we have so much to be grateful for.  Thank God that housekeeper found him!

The Administrator apologized profusely and assured us Dad would be fitted with a new alarm, it would check it regularly, and he would be monitored much more closely.  He assured us he would normally have a complete written investigative report, but since it happened Friday, they were still gathering all the facts.  He took my email to email the final report to me.

After the meeting, we decided we would all (except for my sister, who had to return to work) would go to our family favorite, Taco Ready for lunch.  We spent the next three hours eating, talking, reminiscing and laughing.  Lots of laughter.  We talked of investigating getting a beach house for a week and all the family getting together.  I am going to look into it.

When we finished inside, we stood outside in the parking lot for another hour listening to my brothers brain storm on various business they could start together.

I called the hospital to check on Dad.  The nurse told me he was yelling his head off.  I could hear him in the back ground. I asked to speak to him.  When he came on the line I could tell he had not taken his meds.  He was slurring his words and telling me I would be sorry if I did not get him out of that hospital RIGHT NOW!  I could not help smiling, thinking he was feeling much better.

I let him rant and rave for a few minutes and then asked if would like some ice cream.  He did.  I asked him to give the phone back to the nurse so I could tell her what he likes.  When the nurse returned to the phone, I gave her a list of some of Dad's favorite foods.  I told her to tell Dad Doctor Doctor called and said to tell him,
 "Papa Palapa, I am watching you.  You better eat your food and take your medicines so you can come back to see me."

I explained how important she is to him and Dad would listen to her.  Doctor Doctor had come Sunday to visit him, so I knew he probably missed her.  She thanked me and I told her I would check back later on to see how he was doing.

Mom and I finally left them and returned to her house to work on sorting and cleaning out her office.  A little before 8pm we drove to In and Out (another family favorite) to go, for dinner, returning just in time to watch Dancing With The Stars.  Mom was asleep before the second set of dancers...

I called back to check on Dad and the nurse happily reported what I had suggested worked!  He had taken his medicine, ate some dinner and was resting comfortably....  Sleep tight Daddy...

5 comments:

Betty said...

I been been really busy this week, because we are going away tomorrow. But I have been reading with interest what happened to your dad. I´m so glad he´s doing ok and hope he will be back with his "doctor doctor" soon.
Good for you and your family, for getting to the bottom of what really happened!
I hope you get some rest soon!

Mari said...

It sounds like a good meeting. I'm so glad they had a security camera. It really nails down the time table of what happened and when, and even though you still have questions, you got lots of answers. I'm sure that wrist bracelet will be checked in the future too!
I hope that Nursing home knows how blessed they are to have Doctor doctor working there. She is a true blessing!

Donna B said...

Hi Betty...thank you so much for your continued support. I hope you have a great trip where ever you are going...

Hi Mari...I think it was a good meeting too. I still wish we knew how he fell and how he got so banged up! For sure they will be checking that alarm bracelet probably weekly!!

gayle said...

I am glad you have gotten answers!! Your dad is getting better every day!!

That corgi :) said...

I'm glad you got some answers and that the nursing home is going to try to be more vigilant in keeping your dad safe; I know that must indeed be a relief!

betty