June 22, 2011

Better Than War Tubas

Can You Hear Me Now?

Oh, the joys of socialized medicine! From the Daily Mail:
Hospital gives elderly patients a TAMBOURINE to call nurses

Elderly hospital patients who were terrified that they could not summon help from nurses hoped that an electronic alarm would be installed in their day room. Instead they were given a tambourine to shake.

And in case that broke, a pair of maracas was also supplied as back-up.
One man visiting his mother put the system to the test by rattling the tambourine for 16 minutes – but failed to attract the staff's attention.

Yesterday the hospital was forced to apologise after an NHS watchdog described the policy as ‘unacceptable’ and criticised it for failing to install a proper alarm system.

The farcical arrangement was put in place at Cardiff Royal Infirmary after more than 30 elderly patients in the west wing complained that they were ‘too scared’ to use the day room in case staff did not hear their calls for help.

The room is almost 40 yards from the nurses’ base at the Victorian hospital, which is notorious for its long corridors and has even been used to film episodes of Doctor Who. One relative said: ‘It is ridiculous. These people are pensioners – not members of the Monkees or Mick Jagger.


Doom said...

Is the problem the cost of installing something, in part due to regulations and unions, is the problem that there simply honestly isn't enough staff to deal with calls, or is the problem that should a system be installed people who are used to getting what they want will abuse the system and cause a further breakdown in a broken system?

All I know is that when the government promises what no group of tax payers can possibly support, someone loses. While the system tries to do the impossible, it goes insane and people become the target of that angst, usually the weakest are slated for death first, by incapacity to care and when that fails to weed out enough, targeted incompetence and malpractice.

Like schools, I would love to see old folks homes ended as recipients of government largess. The way the Amish, and many others, do it is by having family tend their elderly. Happy? Not always, but very rarely genocidal either. The question, what about all those men and women who fiddled while Rome burned and have no one to care for them, or too few children so that one or several of them will step up to that care? Can I sympathize, sure I have been ill most of my adult life, children weren't possible. But that is what charity is, not government. Just... saying.

Of course, if I make it through the most recent issue, I am definitely thinking it is time to... get busy... a wife and kids indeed. If too for the more serious reason that family life, as I see it, is a calling. It's a... dirty job... but as they say, someone has to do it. *pick me... oh, oh, pick me, Mr. Kotter!*

The Underground Pewster said...

I think I agree with Doom. The job of caring for the elderly, once handed over to the government, has so many negative consequences, in ways that we can hardly imagine. The break up of the family is certainly one of those outcomes.

T. F. Stern said...

This is what happens when you put old hippies in charge of the system.

sig94 said...

Doom - there are instances where I can see some kind of institutional care, but on a much smaller, more manageable level. My wife's family tried to care for her grandmother when she had Alzheimers as did her cousin for her dad. They can become violent as the disease progresses. They kept them at home as long as possible but then... it was just awful.

sig94 said...

Underground - that being said, the current grist mill of nursing homes is rotten to the core. The fact that the SEIU is the culprit behind much of the abuse at these facilities is another matter. These old people are abused in mnay of them.

sig94 said...

TFS - Old greedy, incompetent hippies.

Doom said...


That is a medical issue, and exception (and there are others), not a geriatric issue, though. I knew a woman, very tragically in her 40's, who got that. Then again, they often put them in with other seniors. I think it would be better to have wards just for that or leave them with their families than to inflict them on an often uniformed and definitely defenseless group of other seniors.