In a time when so much illness has been cured and so much suffering has been eased why do we still have caregivers forgetting or not caring about the smallest of details? This past Friday my wife was transferred to a long-term rehab hospital and immediately we had to start complaining about proper procedures not being followed. My wife has had her body ravaged by a bacterial infection to the point where she has not walked in over three years. One of the simplest and most effective preventive measures for infection is to always use alcohol swabs whenever an iv line is separated and then reconnected. Another is you never, ever put a bedpan on someone's bedside table. As my wife reminds these "professionals", that table is her kitchen table that she eats from, would they put a bedpan on their table? Of course they wouldn't, so why would they put hers. Failure to swab the skin before an insulin injection is a big no-no as well. This comes down to nothing more than having pride in your job. Of course bedpan duty is an unwelcome job, but I ask anyone who ever reads this, what if this was your mother or wife, husband, brother, or child? At some point we are all touched by having a loved one in this kind of undignified position and the least we can ask for is to care for them with kindness and pride. My wife and I have been through this so much over the last four years that we know what to look for and how to get the attention of a facility. But there are so many people out there that are alone or incapacitated and cannot speak for themselves regarding their care. Fear of retribution should never enter the situation of a persons care and well being. I ask anyone who reads this, if you have the time, adopt someone at a hospital or nursing home as your friend so they may have someone to make sure they are receiving the kind of care and attention they deserve. It is bad enough a person has to live their last years alone, but surely they do not have to do it in soiled underpants that cause bedsores. Lets allow your elderly to live with a bit if dignity and self-respect. Force the hospitals and nursing homes to be accountable for their actions. If we are going to fix our healthcare system, part of it has to include better wages in order to attract the kind of employees that will take pride in the care they give to their patients.

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