Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A&E Report

Last week was a bad week for Lyn.

She has been expressing an increasing desire to no longer work with the respite care provider who has worked with her for about three years now.  Lyn hasn't been happy with doing activities that the care provider wanted to do instead of doing the things she wants to do such as bowling.  Mom and I have been talking about it and wanting to keep an eye on things, knowing that we would have to consider reducing the hours or even ending the work with the respite care provider.

Lyn's Alzheimer's makes it very difficult for her to exercise discretion.  She mentioned her feelings to an employee at day hab.  That employee broke protocol and disclosed Lyn's feelings to the respite care provider.  The day hab employee was wrong to tell the respite care provider.  First, they are not colleagues.  Second, any change in hours or service is between the client, the care provider, and the case manager.

Lyn's community access provider needed to drop off some paperwork at the location where the respite care provider works.  She and Lyn stopped by on their way to their activity.  The respite care provider called Lyn into her office and partially closed the door, starting a conversation which seemed benign by asking how was Christmas.  A couple of sentences later, she closed the door fully, cutting Lyn off from her community access provider so she could ask Lyn why Lyn had a problem with her.  Lyn panicked, thinking she had done something wrong and feeling completely intimidated and afraid even though she was not being physically harmed or yelled at.  The conversation was brief but Lyn came out of the room in tears, shaking, and asking to go home.  The community access provider reported the incident and alerted Mom.

It took at least 48 hours before Lyn began to calm down.  We now see a new behavior from her.  When she's shut down, she stands stock still and won't make eye contact.  That lasted for those two days.  After that, she started shadowing Mom to the point of not allowing Mom to go to the restroom alone.  Poor Nikka has been blamed for everything including needing to know where Mom is at every moment.  For several days, Lyn's sleeping was greatly disturbed and her general emotional outlook has been very down.  She doesn't know how to process the intimidation she felt.

Mom reported the incident to Lyn's case manager and now an A&E (Abuse and Exploitation) report is being submitted to the State.  The report should have been made the day after the incident but Mom was still dealing with the fall out and trying to piece together information, including from the respite care provider.

Lyn will no longer work with this respite provider who will not be allowed additional contact with Lyn.  We've done a tremendous amount of trying to assure Lyn that she did nothing wrong.  The person in the wrong was the respite provider.  She should not have isolated or questioned Lyn.  She knows Lyn's diagnosis and even though she's not accepted the scope of the changes, she violated a number of policies in how she handled the situation.  She should have directed her questions to Mom.  She should not have removed Lyn from her community access provider.  She acted in her capacity as a service coordinator and abused that role as well.

So, the State will now investigate.  They will speak with the two providers, Mom, and Lyn.  They must speak with Lyn without Mom so that they are assured that Mom is not leading Lyn to her responses.  If the State determines the A&E report to be unfounded, it will drop the investigation.  If it finds the report to be substantiated, then the person could be sent for additional training or even face termination from employment.

It's deeply troubling to see the impact and trauma this incident has caused Lyn.  The respite provider has changed her story a couple of times, in writing even, to make it sound like she's been the victim of Lyn casting aspersions against her.  She even approached the community access provider who was with a different client at the time to try to discuss the incident and did so in a public venue.

Mom may not be hoping that the respite care provider looses her job over this.  I am not so magnanimous.

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