I just finished reviewing my “mandatory education” packet for the year. Regs require all nursing home employees to be educated annually on certain issues, such as fire safety, infection control and emergency procedures.
It’s all valuable info and I don’t dispute it. What bothers me is what is missing. Elders continue to live largely in an environment that strips them of autonomy, purpose and meaningful relationships. There’s much less attention to this. But that raises some questions:
1) How many people in US nursing homes have died this year due to a fire? Regrettably, probably a few.
2) How many have died due to someone not following good infection control practices? Many more is the likely answer.
3) And how many have died because they have given up, due to being lonely, helpless, bored, and living in a place where they have no opportunity to find meaning? Hundreds? Thousands?
It’s time for “loneliness, helplessness and boredom” to become a mandatory inservice.