Finding my friend in an unexpected situation at a nursing home where her sister-in-law resides became quite a learning experience. And because it could happen to you, I decided to share it. Because my friend was involved in helping a patient other than her family rub a cramp out of her foot, she went through what she described as one of the worse experiences of her life.
My friend had the best of intentions and had been helping this lady for months. After her grandfather was given some relief after having several strokes, my friend learned that by massaging and pulling the toes back towards the body often gives a patient relief from pain.
The room in the nursing home was quiet, and then the lady screamed out in pain about how her left foot was under her right leg.
My friend immediately went into action and tried to help. As my friend moved the lady’s foot, the blanket fell off (in a period of about 15 seconds). My friend immediately put the lady’s foot back, and as she did, she noticed that the lady’s bottom was very red. This could be compared to a situation where you witness an elderly person falling on a sidewalk, rush to offer assistance and her dress is accidentally pulled up too far.
This is not the way a family member construed my friend as thinking, however. The family member took it that her sister-in-law’s rights had been violated and that my friend was doing an inspection.
A formal complaint was filled out against my friend which was perhaps the most naïve and uninformed decision that could have happened. My friend’s only thought was if it was her family member, she would want to know what happened.
After taking care of her grandfather after he suffered a series of strokes, many of my friend’s friends learned that she could be trusted to take care of their family members. From 1996 until just a few years ago, she worked as a private sitter for dozens of patients. During this time, my friend received only praise.
So this situation where she had the good intention of helping someone in pain became blown up and taken out of context, and the fact that there was no intent for my friend to harm the patient is most important. It was a big misunderstanding, but a call made to her saying she was banned from the nursing home until she had a meeting with the facility’s top authorities.
The first words spoken at the meeting were very shocking as the complaint was read. My friend admitted to everything that had happened. She was told that a patient’s rights had been violated and that the incident was a felony. That’s when my friend said she felt that her mind, heart and body went into a type of shock. Because she was scared that she had committed a felony, my friend began to cry and tell the three persons of authority that she would never hurt anyone.
In effect, my friend was accused of intentionally looking at the lady’s body and accused of trying to diagnose the redness.
My friend had seen yeast many times with daycare children and elderly patients. She had only told her family that if it was her family member that she would want to know, but it was up to them to report it. She even stated that she would call a dermatologist if it was her family member to try to see if she could be helped. There is a yeast cream sold in retail store that can be used to find out if it is indeed a yeast infection. It’s simple. If it works, it is yeast infection. If it doesn’t work, then a doctor’s care is needed.
A man who was in attendance at the meeting then spoke up.
“You could be in jail right now, behind bars,” he informed my friend.
“I am not a child, so don’t treat like I am one,” my friend replied. “I understand exactly what is going on here!”
These words were more than a shocking revelation. As she cried, my friend felt a numbness and stress. She could not comprehend that a few seconds of what she thought was based on good intentions had turned into an interrogation that she could barely withstand. My friend admitted she was remorseful. She cried like a baby and believed the nursing home authorities were basing their interview on facts. My friend was horrified and terrified after being told that they could stop her from visiting her own family member at the nursing home.
My friend later learned after talking to an attorney that a warrant could not have been sworn for her arrest, as she had not intended harm to the lady, and that she was not aware of all the facility’s rules and she could not end up “behind bars.”
This real-life story ends with my friend’s understanding that when a person is in an interview in a situation such as the one above, some type of calmness should be involved by at least one of the authorized persons, and that no person should ever have to endure an interrogation that seemed equally as serious as a true crime TV show.
This article is being shared so that whomever reads it will know before they get involved with a similar situation with the best of intentions. The best of intentions doesn’t always turn out the way you intended.
Keep Smiling, Rosie
Please visit my blog site at www.life101rosie.com and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.