#FF — Almost Like Home


PHOTO PROMPT © Lisa Fox

When we were given tours of the rooms that were available, the director proudly showed off the few who had tubs.

“Just think of soaking in hot water and bubble bath when winter comes!” she gushed to my mother.

The tub, nutritious meals, and the view were the biggest selling points — and the price was affordable.

The tub got used for storage, as showers for residents were given. Each sat in the PVC throne and was sprayed down. The meals were skimpy, and residents’ dietary restrictions were ignored.

The view was nice – for six weeks.

[100 words]

I’d like to say it is fiction. It was very difficult to write. My mom passed away in June. The guilt is still eating me alive. Please please fully investigate any senior assisted living center or nursing home you are considering and don’t go by word of mouth alone (I was assured by two people who had opinions based on experience of having worked/visited there that it was a quality place; I also searched online ratings.) Volunteer or spend some time there anonymously.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the fun-loving host of Friday Fictioneers.

80 Comments Add yours

  1. neilmacdon says:

    A people factory. Outrageous

    Liked by 3 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, it is. Neil, this is the tip of the iceberg. Thank you for reading.

      Like

  2. trentpmcd says:

    I’m sorry you and your mother got caught by those (I can’t use the words I want on a public comment…). I’m also sorry you lost her this year.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Trent thank you for your kind words ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tannille says:

    This is far too common. It’s disgusting because these places make a profit! Even ones that are government funded (at least that’s how it is in Australia). Try not to feel guilty, L. You were doing what you thought was best.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      T, thank you for your kind words ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje says:

    This is such a sad state of affairs. How can anyone be that cruel or sadistic.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s the ugly end point of capitalism. Best advice I can give to anyone: do your research way way in advance, so when the time comes, you are prepared with the best available option. Otherwise…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sadje says:

        Good advice. Over here we care for our parents in our homes. If necessary, help is hired to make things easier

        Liked by 2 people

        1. msjadeli says:

          Ideally that would be the way here also, but when a dysfunctional family makes that impossible this is what happens 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sadje says:

            Yes, there’s a lot of difference between the lifestyle of our cultures

            Liked by 2 people

  5. authorfleurl says:

    I’ve worked in aged care for 0ver 13 years, both in rest homes and the community. The 2 rest homes I worked in, in NZ, were poles apart with their dining rules. One had regimental rules about breakfast time, the other was so relaxed. But both served tasty, nutritious meals and the staff were attentive, caring, and lovely.
    I’m sorry to hear about your mum, and I agree though, do the research before deciding on placement for loved ones.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’m glad the homes you have experience were so positive. Were these homes available for poor people, just curious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. authorfleurl says:

        The residents psy to live thre, thry generally sell their homes and use the revenue to support their living costs Community Care is in high demand here in Austrlia and NZ, as it keeps aged folk in their homes. Care workers like myself visit homes and assist with a lot of different duties. It is subsidised, the govnt want them to live at home, saves a lot of money and the rest homes are full.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Fleur, it sounds like you have it together in AUS and NZ as far as the elders go. Around here, things seem to be moving in that direction, but still a long way to go. Thanks for sharing how it works where you are.

          Like

          1. authorfleurl says:

            Well that’s how my experiences have been. There are nursing homes here I Qld that have very poor processes. They get on the news, they are so bad. It’s a tough industry and it’s hard getting enough staff to make everything flow with sufficient staff, I think.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. And some are not even as fortunate.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve heard similar stories. Your wise words need to be heeded.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Danny James says:

    How can people do that to the elderly. Takes a cruel person to treat the elderly like that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      That or a greedy one. Thank you for reading and your comment, Danny.

      Like

  9. granonine says:

    I did a year of practicum in a nursing home. In my observation, the CNA’s were outstanding. They were the frontline workers who dealt with all the unpleasant physical aspects of elderly, infirm residents. Overall, I’d have rated the place fairly high. I observed no abuse or even accidental mistreatment. Still, it’s a sad place in which to end one’s life. A warehouse for the dying.

    I’m so very sorry you lost your mom, and in a way that makes you feel you were somehow to blame. I don’t think you were. The blame lies squarely on those who misrepresented the facility, and who treated the residents with such coldness.

    My mom also died in a care facility, but she was well-cared for and comfortable, with lots of visitors (pre-Covid). It’s a hard thing when you simply cannot do the care yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Linda, thank you for your seasoned and sensitive comment. The CNAs working with my mom were all very friendly when I was there, although not really very interested in following my mom’s chart. I never asked them why they offered her ice cream — which her chart stated no dairy — and she was never going to refuse ice cream in her state of mind. The shower throne seemed to be standard policy and all of the residents went there. I better stop here or it’s all going to heave up like a belly full of blood. I appreciate your sensitivity and kindness, Linda ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. granonine says:

        Again, I’m so sorry. My heart hurts for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Sorry Lisa… there is a special place in hell for those kind of people and companies. I know companies need to make money but they don’t have to cheat and mistreat people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      They do, and they don’t, and they will until someone (i.e. government regulations AND enforcement) stops them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max) says:

        I don’t see how they get past the inspections…unless pockets are greased.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Not enough inspectors, and somehow they always know when the rare inspections are happening…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Badfinger (Max) says:

            Yea that is pathetic…Restaurants are notorious for that also…being tipped off.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m very sorry to read about your experience, Lisa. It sounds horrible, but don’t beat yourself up. I’m sure you did the best you could.

    When we no longer could safely take care of my mother-in-law, we made the difficult decision to put her in a nursing home. Carmen passed away in October 2020. Negligent care by the facility was a contributing factor, and my wife is also still blaming herself.

    Luckily, it appears my parents who live in assisted living in Germany are in a good place. They made the wise decision to carefully choose the facility themselves several years before they actually moved in. But the truth is they are also fortunate to have the financial means to afford a decent facility.

    Oftentimes, care for the elderly comes down to money, which really shouldn’t be the case. Actually, I find it pretty disgusting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Christian, thank you for your supportive words, and I’m so sorry your mother-in-law was the victim of negligence also. The whole situation is haunting and I think you’re right, it is $$ and grace that determines quality of care for the most vulnerable. What does that say about “modern” society?

      Like

  12. Carol anne says:

    Hugs Li. I’m sorry your mom passed away in June, Rip to her! xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Carol Anne, thank you for the condolences ❤

      Like

  13. Dale says:

    Oh Lisa! I am so sorry your mother had to exist (I cannot say live) through that. My great-grandmother was ill-treated, too. I just hate that so many of these places don’t give a damn about those they are supposedly caring for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dale it really is a shame.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nobbinmaug says:

    We’ve all heard the horror stories. Here’s another one. I’m sorry you had to go through that. You can’t blame yourself or carry that guilt with you. You had the best intentions. It’s beyond comprehension that someone could treat other human beings like that, especially those who are so vulnerable. Have you seen “I Care A Lot”? It’s about that situation and how they get away with it. It’s gross and disturbing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Nobbin, thanks for saying so. Yes I have seen it 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  15. dorahak says:

    My heart goes out to you, Lisa. It’s not your fault. The fault lies with the people that abused the people in their care. How they can go to sleep at night I don’t know. I’d like to say they’re monsters, but truth is, they’re all too human. I’ve seen lack of care in hospitals far too many times too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora thank you for your kind words. I don’t understand it either. I’ve heard the stories before but seeing it happen to a loved one is unbearably worse 😦

      Like

      1. dorahak says:

        Yes it is. Cases like this are being used against the elderly to encourage euthanasia in some countries, “die with dignity.” This instead of just providing competent end-of-life care. With all our “progress” what have we become?

        Liked by 2 people

  16. so sorry Lisa … no guilt my friend.. it’s really so sad how we treat our elderly. .. 💞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Cindy, thank your for reading and your comment. Yes it is.

      Like

  17. Bill says:

    I hate to hear about this, Lisa.
    I have no (socially/religiously/culturally/legally acceptable) answers or solutions.
    Not a mile from me they are building a huge new facility in addition to the many that are already around. It’s a billion-dollar business that is growing bigger thanks the boomer demographic moving into our late 70s.
    I am grateful that both of my parents died in hospital (not great either) before we could move them to such despicable places.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Very discouraging that the medical-pharmaceutical industry treats the elderly and their loved ones as commodities to be be exploited. What l learned about it in just a few short months is enough to give me nightmares for years, if not forever, as I know one day it will be me looking at best options 😦 So sorry your folks died in hospital, you’re right, it’s not a great place to pass on from. My dad died in hospital — alone 😦 He died in the night but they didn’t call (didn’t notice???) until the next day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bill says:

        End of life issues are tough enough. These “homes” make them so much worse.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. GHLearner says:

    I so understand, Lisa. We’ve gone through this several times but were lucky and our relatives were well cared for. We have care insurance here, so good places can be affordable. We’ve seen bad ones, too, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Gabi thank you for your kind comment. Happy your loved ones have gotten good care.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Michael says:

    In my experience even when one finds a good retirement home, with caring staff, they can still go badly down hill. My thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Michael, I think you’re right. Life can go down hill at any moment, no matter where you are. Thank you.

      Like

  20. I’m so sorry, Lisa, to hear this. Condolences on the loss of your mom. Please try to quiet the lies in your head that say it’s your fault because it is not. You did everything you could before your mom went to live there. Again, I’m so sorry!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Brenda, I’m trying. Your kind words are appreciated.

      Like

  21. I’m sorry for your loss and what more for the pain. Some people really suck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dawn, thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Sandra says:

    I’m so sorry to read of you and your mother’s experience. It’s hard to imagine how these places can continue unchecked and unmoderated. This must have hurt so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      It is impossible to imagine they exist and my mom’s end of life experience continues to haunt me. It hurts that I let her down and how disappointed she must have been at the end.

      Like

  23. plaridel says:

    i’m sorry for your loss. my belated condolence.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Plaridel, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. That’s a powerful story, Lisa, and so true, unfortunately. It’s too easy to neglect and exploit people who have no power and no recourse. I’m so sorry for your loss and hopefully writing can be part of the healing process.
    -David

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      David, writing this story is part of my healing process, very perceptive. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Dear Lisa,

    So sorry about your mother. What a horrible experience. We had some of that with my husband’s mother. Fortunately his sister was ever vigilant and her final facility was a good one. Hugs to you.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rochelle, sorry your mother in-law suffered in any way. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
      Shalom,
      Lisa

      Like

  26. Jules says:

    My own Mother passed in August. But she had made the choice to stay far from family. And I wasn’t her POA so no one would listen to my concerns.

    It is true we need to investigate all things. But you cannot blame yourself… I had my MIL live with me on two seperate occasions. It wasn’t easy either.

    (((Hugs)))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Jules, so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing in August. I understand about being distant and others having POA and not listening to concerns. Thank you for your kind-hearted support. It helps more than you could know ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jules says:

        I have a few poems I put together when my father passed… Can I send them to you?
        They are positive poems.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Yes, please, Jules. Thank you for thinking of me.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Jules says:

            … Tomorrow… Check your email then. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              OK, will be checking my email in the near future 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Jules says:

                No rush. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  27. So sad. Horrible people. You wasn’t to know at the tour, so I hope you find peace with it. Sorry you lost your mother in this way. Thanks for the caution. 🌼

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Brit thank you for reading and your thoughtful comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Shalkot says:

    I am sorry about all this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for your condolences, Shalkot.

      Like

  29. Laurie Bell says:

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear that. How utterly horrid.

    Liked by 1 person

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