This website lets anyone in the world pose a problem that they are having (with a nursing community) and leave it open for discussion on their forum. I have taken several opportunities this week to respond to consumers and guide them back to Facility Administration. There is rarely a reason not to. The main reasons that consumers are turning to the Internet:
- Facility guidelines are not explained in detail. Take, for instance, the decision to change a diet to mechanical soft or puree. If a family leaves the facility upset about this baseline initiative, we have missed the boat.
- We have not given a family the choice to "opt out" of a clinical initiative. Just because our industry has proven that a directive is the standard does not mean that it is best for the individual. Let's leave some of the decision making in the hands of the family and the resident to encourage autonomy and choice.
- Long Term Care Facilities have not represented themselves sufficiently. That stings, doesn't it? When examining why consumers exhibit discontent, I continue to return to the fact that the overall sentiment is based on the opinions of Plaintiffs Attorneys, disenfranchised consumers, and government lobbyists. It's no secret why the industry has been painted in a negative light. Until Long Term Care Professionals step froward and represent the industry as it stands today, we will continue to cower under the shadow of consumer image.