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Finally Filled Out POA for Health Care

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

After almost 3 years of wanting to fill out a Power of Attorney for HealthCare/Advanced Directive, I finally filled out the paperwork. Now I have to find two people that think I am of sound mind to witness me sign it LOL...

I am also working on instructions for if or when I end up in  a nursing home. I was a Certified Nursing Assistant, and what goes on behind closed doors or on the unit when no family visit can be horrendous (I did clinicals on the main floor in one , and worked in two different ones in the middle to end stage dementia. and it is the same across the board). There are some wonderful health care workers, but a lot of bad ones. A lot of time, families come on a regular schedule so workers know when to primp and clean patients up better. I am writing stuff that is important to me for my care should I not be able to communicate it to the staff.

Whether we have cancer or not, anyone could end up in a nursing home. I think it is important to make sure we have all our ducks in a row for how we want to be cared for in the nursing home and it isn't always about the medical stuff. 

  • what do you want to wear? sweats, skirts,jeans.etc
  • how do you want your hair? long, short, colored, permed, etc
  • what kind of shoes? tennis shoes, dress shoes, slippers 
  • do you want painted nails or not?
  • do you want make up on or not?
  • how important is facial hair? (nursing homes do have to shave the women as it is part of our dignity)
  • what type of shirts do you want to wear?
  • are you a night owl and like to sleep late or all day? are you a morning person? (we had a lady on our unit who worked third shift almost her whole life, so she would be up at night and sleep all day. it took 2 years for manangement to realize this and let us let her sleep during the days.there was another lady who liked to sleep late, so we wouldn't get her up til later. Many nursing homes are now trying to tailor cares more to the patients schedule)
  • do you want to wear nice nightgowns to bed? do you just want a hospital gown?
  • think about  your cares as if you were in a wheel chair, in a wheel chair and can't communicate your needs and desired,and if you are up and about and mobile on your own
  • what foods do you like? what DON"T you like. Letting staff know what you don't like will definitely be tremendously helpful if  you don't like certain foods and can't communicate it. That way staff isn't trying to convince you to eat what you don't like.

These are just a few things I can think of right now. It is just stuff to think about.

jamiegww's picture
Posts: 384
Joined: Dec 2009

I haven't done mine yet because I don't know where to find people to witness it.

I hope I don't offend you but I copied the list you made in case you end up in a nursing home and sent it to my sister who is currently a nurse working in a nursing home.  I asked her if she thought the list of preferences would be followed and this was her reply.....

"That is all good things to do, but in reality, it won't matter. Unless the family comes regularly and enforces those wishes, no one will care, the nursing assistants don't care, they just do what they have to to keep their jobs, they get paid very little and most are there for just a paycheck, they try to keep the residents clean, turn those that need turning every two hours and feed the ones that can't feed themselves. Most of the time one nursing assistant has 10 to 15 residents to take care of and give bed baths or showers to. I have actually had to put dates on diapers under the covers so I could tell if they had been changed and how long it had been, I have seen aides plop trays down in front of residents, never opening anything for them or even moving the tray close to them so they could reach them and they just pick the tray back up and record that the resident ate poorly or nothing at all. I have seen them go into other residents closets and take their clothes and put on other residents cause the other resident had nothing to wear and the director doesn't want to see residents in the hall with hospital gowns on, that's stealing to me and I have complained about it to the director of nursing, but she doesn't really care. Anyway I would suggest to anyone to go visit different nursing homes and ask those questions and they could decide for themselves which nursing homes were the best. I don't mean to be negative but I guess I am too close and actually know what goes on in most nursing homes. I don't know if that helps or just discourages."
Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

In case you missed it in my posting...I WAS a  nursing assistant in a nursing home, so I,too, know what it is like in three nursing homes and NONE of them were as deplorable as the place your sister works. Sounds to me like it needs to be shut down. My MOTHER is also an outstanding nursing assistant. So I take particular offense to her bad mouthing and slandering the wonderful  nursing assistants that ARE out there.

Just because I wasn't a nurse, doesn't mean that I don't know what goes on nursing homes.

If your sister is a nurse and in charge of the nursing assistants (which she is out on the floor) then she is just as negligent for allowing abuse to happen without reporting it. If the director of nursing doesn't care then she should report it to the state. Believe me, they will care. I am sure the nursing home would start cleaning up when they are fined. Allowing abuse and neglect to happen in a nursing home is against the law which means  your sister is negligent.

I worked with some EXCEPTIONAL nursing assitants who DID CARE and DID follow the rules. Like I said, I WAS a nursing assistant and believe me, I FOLLWED the rules and reported abuse and neglect and sub-par nursing assistant cares. There was a core of us who cared about our residents and worked on changing things within our unit. Sure there were a few bad apples, but most of us did an outstanding job.

As far as I am concerned, I will choose to ignore your sister's snarky comments and lack of care. Our nurses on our unit really cared about having high standards for nursing assistants. They would even check up on those who where sub-par. I am appalled by your sister's lack of caring to go beyond the director of nursing to see that those poorly treated patients who can't speak for themselves stop being abused and neglected. As far as I am concerned, your sister is no better than the nursing assistants who are just there for a paycheck.

I KNOW those things because I DID work in a nursing home. And I KNOW that there are GOOD NURSING ASSISTANTS OUT THERE WHO WOULD CARE. 

I am also mad that your sister decided to GROUP all of us nursing assistants into one lump of abusing, neglectful people. She is so wrong. Shame on her.

You didn't offend me, but your sister sure did. Shame on her for letting her patients be treated like that and making all of nursing assistants sound like lazy slobs who don't care. 

Believe me, if I knew what nursing home your sister works in, i WOULD be REPORTING TO THE STATE WHAT IS GOING ON THERE.

Maybe my suggestions wouldn't work in the environment your sister works in and contributes to the abuse and neglect going on there, but at the nursing homes, I worked at, there would be nurses and nursing assistants that WOULD find those tips helpful.

Your sister has no right to clump all nursing homes and nursing assistants with the same amount of care in the dive and hole she obviously works in. Does she realize her license is on the line, as well??? Shame on her.  I can not believe what she wrote. Just becuase she works in a terrible place with terrible people, doesn't mean they are all like that. She is also repsonsible for the culture being created of abuse and neglect by NOT doing anything. Would she allow herself to be treated like those patients? Would she allow you to be treated like that? 

Each state had its own Nurse Practice Acts. IT regulates nrusing practice in each state. It does so to protect the public's welfare and safety.It is against federal law to "aiding or assisting another person to violtate a nurse practice act and its rules and regulations." Another provision of the law your sister is breaking is : violtating a a nurse practice act and its rules and regulations (failure of your sister to report abuse and neglect of patients to the State Health Department)

I wish I had never read that horrible response your sister wrote. I am so upset.


jamiegww's picture
Posts: 384
Joined: Dec 2009

My sister is a good person!



camul's picture
Posts: 2541
Joined: Dec 2010

Got all my ducks in a row. He charged 175. to go over everything including life insurance- sent me to my benefits people with a list of what I needed from them as well as setting up my funeral arrangements, and Npr and living will. He is a notoey so his secratary and and receptionist signed all the paperwork.
Huge releif, He said I could have done the poa and npr with online forms and take them to my bank to get notarized but he was going over everything else so he just did those at no charge.
It was tough to think at 55 that I was in a position to have to even face it. But once it was taken care of I was so relieved.One more thing checked off my list!

Best to you,

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

I purchased my last arrangements plans the same month I knew that the cancer returned in full force in 2008.  A year later I did all POA plans and living will and etc. with an attorney.  The secretary and clerk were witness.  My children have copies, as do my primary care and oncologist.

I have a copy also.

Good to get all the nitty gritty details out of the way.  Everyone should do it, makes it easier on their next of kin.



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