I have a renewed fervency for promoting the quality of life for those considered vulnerable in our society: those who rely on others for their care. This renewed interest is reflected in the novel I am writing. The protagonist, Colleen, is on a mission to make sure that every aspect of her father’s Alzheimer’s disease journey is treated with dignity and respect – she won’t settle or stand for anything less. I wrote this article a little over a year ago. It addresses one aspect of a day in the life of people whose basic needs are routinely ignored.
Were you eating breakfast in bed at the time?
Or perhaps while sitting in the easy chair next to your bed, you tried your very best to ignore the urge to purge … but you couldn’t wait any longer for someone to assist you so you let it all out, leaving you in a shameful way, sitting in a mushy pile of excrement while a stream of urine puddled at the base of your chair.
Welcome to the life of a vulnerable adult living in a nursing home. From coast to coast across the United States skilled nursing facilities (SNF) are filled with adults needing the greatest amount of assistance with their activities of daily living (ADLs) – toileting is one of those ADLs.
The following true scenarios occurred recently at a nursing home in a Seattle suburb, and at a similar facility in a suburb of San Francisco.
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