Tears

I am reduced to tears, and outright honesty. I can take no more of the bullying. You never knew I was being bullied, did you? I don’t believe I told you. I attempted to solve the problems here by dealing with the Ombudsmen. For the most part, this worked. Then the owner of Rose Blossom gave me a 25 day notice if I complained again, i.e., called the Ombudsman, talked honestly with my doctor, etc. In other words, if I were to take advantage of the protection provided for me by the State in case of abuse or bullying, I would have to leave. What does this tell you about the owner?It tells me a great deal: she’s a coward who cares more about the money she receives from her residents and the financial programs they are enrolled in that help pay the $2000+ rent. I would add board to that if I didn’t have to provide so many of my own meals, as well as toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, bathroom cleaner, washcloths, towels, you name it, and for over $2,0000, I am providing my own. Owner takes the money home with her, apparently. She also hires short-term abusive “caregivers”. We are supposed to “give them a chance ” while they toy with our medications, raise Cain with us about things a normal person would never notice, burn our food, lie about us, and cause tensions to rise to such a level here that my heart beats hard and fast. Why? Idiot owner, Andrea, believes these demented, abusive women. Why does she trust them? Because Andrea is lazy. Andrea wants to do what Andrea wants to do, and if these walking mental cases can pass for trustworthiness in Andrea’s brain, then she’s free of the responsibility of Rose Blossom.

So, I found myself being honest tonight. Donnie, the newest mental case, uh, caregiver, accused me of not cleaning up my mess on the table. I had. Someone had left part of an apple on the table, so she insisted it was mine and I clean it up. When owner, Andrea came, she tried again. Now, if Mental Case had been anything close to nice, I would have just thrown the apple in the garbage. Mental Case is never nice to me. On top of that she lied, saying I was the only one who had an apple. Now, everyone got an apple at lunch. Donnie knew that. She put them there. But Andrea, who has known Donnie for 5 days, believed her instead of me. Andrea never believes me. Which is why I always had to call the Ombudsman. When a problem came up, Andrea did not want to deal with it. A normal person would have, in an instant! seen what the Mental Case, Donnie, was doing. Andrea’s desire to shed the responsibility of Rose Blossom yet maintain the earnings overwhelms any good sense she might have. I don’t think she ever had any. I foresee many more honest moments coming up. I just hope my daughter can find another place for me to live. In the meantime, I might have to contact the Ombudsmen age.

Rose Blossom s

I am so tired. The new caregiver is argumentative, to say the least. Unfriendly, also. She finds that the residents here are beneath her. She told us last night that “I am the manager of this place and you need to stay in your place!” She was angry because, while while she was shouting at a fellow resident, I told her to leave her alone. That is what she told me. Well, part of what she told me. This woman is so mean. She moves in today and with her an attitude that maintains no respect for us. She enjoys being the boss, not the caregiver. She enjoys threatening us. Andrea doesn’t care about her attitude towards us. I daydream about walking out the door and leaving. My daughter says she will pray for me and look for a place for me to go. I tell you, if this caregiver is staying, I am going to stay in my room, away from her ugly mouth. I say that, but maybe I shouldn’t. All I know is that I am too tired of the drama and the shouting and the yelling.

The New Caregiver

This woman beats all. She came in here telling us about all of the experience she’d had in personal care care homes and nursing homes. She said she worked 18 years in a nursing home. Her goal is to work here two years and then open her own assisted living facility. Fine ambition, but what is she doing here? on the tiny paychecks she’ll get here?

She doesn’t like to listen to the owner because she already knows everything. Already knows everything. I guess that’s why she sits on the sofa and watches tv all day, or sleeps and watches tv. She has been here since Saturday, that’s 4 days, and has managed to make everyone angry with her. Well, she shouldn’t tell us, without checking, that we don’t get any medications at the times we are reminding her of. Jo gets meds several times a day. Caregiver, Donnie, says, No you don’t. You’ve had all your medication for the day. No checking, no calling the owner, who is an R.N. Just flat “No.” She did that with Zelma last night. She overheard Zelma tell me that she was just staying up to take her bedtime medicine. In jumps caregiver! “Oh no! You don’t get any more medication tonight! You’ve had all your meds for today. You don’t get anymore!”

Zelma argued feebly at first, then gave up. I told Miss Know-it -All that Yes! Zelma does get medication at bedtime. Miss Know-All brushed me off haughtily. I went to see Jo, who is also diabetic and keeps up with Zelma’s health. “Yes, she replied. “Zelma gets medication at bedtime and her insulin shot. Text Andrea and tell her about this. Zelma has to have her medicine.” I did as she said, and asked that she call, and she did. Zelma got her insulin and other meds.

This is leaving out the little fact that caregiver enjoys yelling at us. Seems she is a little Napoleon. Well, not little. She’s a big woman. She enjoys tearing down my character ( what little I have) and has also yelled at Jo. Now, this is not a good thing. A caregiver cannot just waltz in here and take over. We pay to live here. She is supposed to be our servant. Our helper. When we are cowing to her, something is desperately wrong. I think our bowing and scraping days are over. We are all 5 fed up with emotional outbursts, burnt food, temper tantrums, and threats that are thrown our way. Life is too short. We are all elderly. We aren’t supposed to pay to live this way. No one else would.

We have a new caregiver

Supper was served ice cold last night. She gave me potato chips for my low sodium diet, and she got up this morning at 4:00 a.m. to wash clothes and take a shower. The washer is just across the hall from my room, and her bathroom is behind my bed, with a thin wall separating us, so I can hear every single sound. She’s going to be a dilly.

In Make-Believe Land

Yes. This is where I live. It is all fairy tale and make-believe. Halloween 🎃 is on October 31. The decorations outside are still up. The fresh pumpkins that were set out with the straw people to make the display more cheerful are rotten and black, but sitting out there anyway. There are plastic Halloween 🎃 pumpkins, the type kids collect candy in, sitting beneath the straw man display, which sits on a bale of hay.

There is a Christmas flag out front, also,waiting to welcome any newcomers to Rose Blossom. Inside the house, a Christmas 🎄 tree waits in the corner of our living room, dark and rather forbidding, since its colorful lights are not allowed to shine any longer. The fake presents beneath the fake tree look wearisome, as they are no longer a symbol of what might be. The whole display of tree, unlit decoration, and empty but decorated boxes seem to represent a false hope. A fake attitude here that never ends. Or maybe that’s just me.

It is almost February. Valentines Day will be here before long. I doubt any decorations will mount the walls for such a brief holiday as this. Owner might forget this holiday altogether ! If she puts a big red heart up, you can bank on its being there next year this time. Maybe by this time next year, I will have left this pleasant place for an apartment that’s more tolerable, more to my liking. Where I will celebrate 🎉 one holiday at a time.

To Speak

Freedom of speech. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it. No one tells you that some people will try to rip that right away from you any way they can, short of cutting your tongue from your mouth. In the nursing homes and here at Rose Blossom, an assisted living facility, free speech is frowned upon. I always wondered why. Most good business people insist on dealing with problems as they come up, rather than sweeping them under the rug by using threats and other mouth-shutting agents that would keep these termites invisible. After all, just because you don’t call the exterminator to spray for termites doesn’t mean the little pests are going to leave. No, usually termites multiply. So do unsolved problems in nursing homes and in this assisted living facility. They just keep multiplying. People who were satisfied to live here three years ago are ready to move. The situation here is worse for all the threats of “25 day notices ” for those who complain. Hiding from problems, it would seem, and I believe even Freud- who wasn’t the brightest psychological mind on the block-would agree.

Caregivers are now hired over the phone, sight unseen, to deal with five elderly women on a daily basis. No one is here to help if this caregiver becomes abusive verbally, or plays games with our medications. No one is here to help. This caregiver can treat us any way she wants, and has. She has treated me so harshly that I make sure to stand across the room if I must be alone in the same room with her. I do not trust her. My quiet roommate broke out in a fit of temper one day. I told her I didn’t mean to upset her and she answered, with a look towards the caregiver’s room, ” I am just tired of being blamed for everything. ”

We go to meals, and the mood is somber. Towards the end of the meal, the two ladies who have authority with the owner here, begin talking. I get up and leave. I am tired of living in a place that is ruled by a person so mean and vicious. No one speaks at meals because if we do, caregiver will begin fussing and arguing with us. Blaming. I need to get on a list at an apartment. I am sick to death of these places who care nothing for the people they take in. In this case, we can do nothing if this woman becomes violent or withholds our meds. Except call the police. Ten to one whoever calls the police is lied about and forced to leave.

No Worse

I thought the atmosphere at Rose Blossom could get no worse than it was when Juliet was here, but I find that if not worse, the atmosphere is more oppressive. My roommate told me yesterday that it was hard to even feel human around here. We are not allowed to speak our minds, barely to even joke. We are prompted daily to say “please ” and “thank you ” to the new caregiver to curb her rants. She rants a lot. I used to read William Saroyan’s books. Saroyan enjoyed writing about his crazy relatives and his family’s solution s to these people. For instance, one uncle, a big, fat man with a large mustache, would reply to every emergency in his family with the words, It is no matter! Pay no attention to it! Uncle Khosrove. He was at the barber’s getting a haircut, when a nephew came running to tell him that his house was on fire. “It is no consequence! Pay no attention to it!” Khosrove hollered, his face turning red. Then he settled back in the barber’s chair to finish his haircut. “But the boy says your house is on fire”, repeated the barber. “Pay no attention to it!” roared Uncle Khosrove, and settled back into the chair once more.

Andrea, the owner of Rose Blossom, reminds me of Uncle Khosrove. She knows of the bedbugs here, and the roaches. She roars, “Pay no attention to it! It is of no consequence!” When we have to tolerate caregivers with extremely bad dispositions, Andrea roars again! When the meals get smaller and we get hungry, we hear roaring in the background. “It is of no consequence! Pay no attention to it!”

I feel like my roommate. I am not allowed to be human here. I am allowed to pay my $660 per month and keep my mouth shut. Something just doesn’t seem just about this situation. I feel more like a fleeced sheep than a paying customer. At least, I am not alone. The other four residents feel the same way.

Making Good Impressions

Everyone likes to make good impressions on others. The more important the other person is to helping us accomplish our goal, the more eager we are to help him form a good impression in his memory of us. Those who keep a business going have to follow certain laws to maintain their business. A business that is an assisted living facility is run in the same way. Certain laws must be followed in order to maintain this type of business and to be successful at it, not to mention avoiding government involvement and fines for failing to live up to standards that have been set.

So why do many nursing homes get by with resident abuse while the State turns a blind eye? Are assisted living facilities any better ? No. The assisted living facility I am in is no better than a nursing home as far as abuse is concerned. We can come and go as we please. That’s nice. At this facility, we are left with a caregiver, whoever owner happens to hire. For the last 6 months, our caregiver was a woman who was given to fits of temper that lasted a week at a time. She would scream at us (there are 5 of us) that all of her troubles were our fault! She would bang the cabinets in the kitchen and clash the dishes until I thought they might break. She finally left. Now we have another. Hired over the phone, sight unseen, from a nursing home. She is not exactly sane. She sits and talks in between meals. She can lose her temper in an instant! Last night, I thought she was going to refuse to give me my medication. She joys in leaving off communication, then telling me, after a situation is over, a major detail I needed to know. She bullies me. I don’t think she does this to anyone else. These are the people Andrea leaves us with.

What? What’s that you say?? Call the Ombudsman? Oh. Well. See, Andrea has this threat. If anyone makes a complaint, she could get a 25 day notice to leave. So the other ladies here are afraid to complain to anyone. I am not. Yesterday, Andrea offered me the 25 day notice unless I supported her. I thought I would choke on the words, but I said, I support you. I said this so my daughter and I will have more time to find a place for me to live, hopefully an apartment. By the way, this 25 day notice is illegal. Andrea can’t do this. Legally. She intimidates the women here because she is breaking so many laws that if anyone in State discovered it, because all 5 of us complained at the same time, Andrea would be heavily fined or closed down.

I go to the doctor tomorrow. When she asks if things are good here, I will tell her the truth. Andrea,an R.N., refused to put me on a low sodium diet as requested by my doctor. The caregiver bullies me. I don’t like living under threats. Nobody does. I will tell the doctor exactly the way things are.

Too much salt

Yeah. My doctor did some tests on me when I first got here because she suspected something wrong with my heart, and my jugular vein ( just one) was acting strange. So after the tests, the dr decided that my salt intake must be lowered. She sent a paper about this to Rose Blossom. It got put away in a drawer and ignored. When I brought the subject up, I was fussed at, scowled at, and demeaned by the caregiver, who, at the time, was Catwoman. She was normally abusive towards me. Next, I took it up with the owner, who is a Registered Nurse without the heart. She claimed that the salt content in the regular meals should not be bothering me. “We only put a pinch of salt in.” We who? She’s never there. Caregivers are there. Catwoman was Jamaican and put plenty of salt in as well as spices that contained salt, or tasted like it. It was enough to make my legs swell and feet and ankles. By law, Andrea, the owner, should have accommodated my special diet as soon as she knew about it. She refused. When the overload of salt made me sick, stay-in-my -room sick, I finally refused to be intimidated any more. I bought some bread and things to eat, and the swelling went down and I began to feel better.

Now, we have a new caregiver. The low salt diet is still not recognized. I go to the doctor soon. I am hoping she can aid me in getting help in finding an apartment. I am paying $660. In rent here. I deserve to be fed food I can actually eat without fear of damaging my heart and health.

I just need to write

It’s winter. January, the coldest month of the year. Here I am in North Georgia where the temperatures supposedly dip low. When they do, and they do, our thermostat fails to work. We are without heat all night, I wake up with my face as cold as if I had been walking outside for a mile in an unseasonable snowstorm. My face is cold. I am shivering all over. I get out of bed to put another blanket over me for warmth. No heat. I checked. I double my warmth with a t-shirt and flannel pajama pants. I wore a gown to bed and keep it on. Then I dive up under the covers! Ahhhhhh….warmth! I sleep. Forgot to tell you that I checked my phone to discover that the outside temperature was 38 degrees. The walls are cold. The floors, all in here in my room is cold. The next morning, at about 3:00, the heat is on. I wake up hot and sweaty. The heat never goes off. I throw a towel over the vent, and rid myself of all the extra pajamas. I throw the covers off. Eventually, I cool down and go back to sleep.

Last night, the temperature was 38 degrees. The heat never came on. It is on now. The caregiver we have today talked to the owner and surprise, surprise! The owner listened. We have heat now!

It has been my New Year’s Resolution to keep my complaints away from the Ombudsman. However, it has been so cold here, and for days! that I broke my resolve and sent this woman a text about the heat. This morning, the substitute caregiver, when she saw that I was angry, told me that this is my “home”. I countered with, ” Oh no! This isn’t MY home! It won’t ever be my home!” She felt sorry for me. She doesn’t have to live here and freeze her rear end off . Or go hungry. Or put up with a caregiver’s temper because the owner is too lazy to hire someone who is sane.

The owner here does what she wants, despite the laws set up to protect the elderly. The State doesn’t care that she bucks the system. Nobody cares, except me. I want an apartment.