Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Hearing Aids Cleaned

Day 2 of school and with me having huge responsibilities at school: new school, new community and new curriculum, Brian has taken responsibility for checking in on dad. He cares for my Dad as if he is his own. With much experience in caring for his late mother, as an only child, I am blessed with his knowledge, understanding and physical and emotional support. Brian reports to me from Leisureworld from his daily visits and I write all of it down. Dad’s inability to hear us has become one of the worst of Dad’s issues.

Dad has been so frustrated with his hearing or lack thereof. He had been having his ears cleaned weekly, after much muss and fuss. In the Long Term Care Home, however, this service isn’t available as far as we know. The Manor is taking him by mini-bus to the doctor, who will do this for us. Funding allocations for LTC residences include staff funding of 2.5 to 2.6 hours per resident to get them up and ready and into the dining room for meals, washing them, meeting their needs and giving them snacks. It is barely enough and less than other provinces deem minimal.

For each resident in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan they have a minimum funding per client of 3 hours per day. Recently, pre-election posturing in August, 2006, included a political announcement of 1200 new nurses in the province and funding announcements that will not be in enacted until 2008, and we won’t see a result until 2009. Funding for housekeeping, laundry and other services are running less than inflation. Wages and utilities have increased by 3 % and inflation is increased by 1.6 %. The 3rd floor, for example, with the flight risk residents and Alzheimer’s patients, absolutely needs 3 hours per resident.
While we met the doctor on his intake day, he only visits weekly and they do not have enough time to see each patient during this visit. The government only provides funding for one physician per floor. This will later prove a difficult obstacle. Right now it isn’t too much of an issue. It is the nursing staff that determines his needs, along with our advice, support and guidance.

Brian takes dad’s hearing aid to have it cleaned at the store. It is a bit of money, but worth it. Dad’s ear is raw with scratching it. Everyone says that they have never seen such wax build up and so small an ear canal. I wonder if Dad can focus on this problem since he cannot face his other issues: grieving over his wife, dog, old life and old home.

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