Friday, September 22, 2006

On the Use of Medications I

The other day I was at an assisted living/ licensed nursing facility with some clients, a couple in their nineties. It is a high end facility that prides itself on its care and approaches.

My clients had just had an assessment done through the health department. Neither of them really understood it, but the wife was quite upset. She kep asking over and over what it had been about. Her husband, patiently continued to try to explain to her.

She would ask the same question; he would give the same answer. This stresses out most caregivers; for one who is also impaired, it is even worse. He has never hit her, but he has lost his temper with her.

So I went to the nursing station and explained what had happened, and what the present situation was. I asked if they could monitor them, meaning go in from time to time. In her care conferrence we had discussed getting him out of there when he needs a break.

The response was, "I think we will give her something." This meant they would give her some of the medication that is ordered for her, to be given at the facility's disgression when she is agitated.

I thought to myself, "You people have a choice, you can intervene with a relationship and personal intervention, or you can intervene with medication. You are making the wrong choice here."

It was a very telling moment for how they deal with their clients.