Are all Group home workers like this?

  1. 0
    I started a new client today and he lives in a group home. The workers were falling asleep on the couch or they went into their office and locked the door. I was told to ask for help from one of these helpers. I did ask her every 2 hours to help me turn the client and she did. However, when my client said that he was uncomfortable and asked to be moved earlier I went and got her. She was "busy" on her personal cell phone and said "Oh he shouldn't be asking to be turned. It hasn't been 2 hours yet. It was unbelievable!!!! She made a big deal about it and made the client feel bad for asking to be turned early!!!!! This man is not able to help himself at all. He has a huge decubitus and if he wants to be turned early so be it!!!! Good grief!!! I told her that we were going to go ahead and move him early and we did.

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  2. 19 Comments...

  3. 4
    Is this a personal care type home? I ask because those type of "boarding homes" are not as regulated as the DD group homes. The training for the personal care homes in my neck of the woods is very sloppy and frequently not done by a nurse at all. It can consist of here is the house, here is the food, here is where the residents have to be each day.....see ya! No training about basic first aid, good hygiene, comfort measures, healthy eating, dealing with emotional disorders or chronic medical conditions.

    Also this type of environment that has direct care workers being supervised remotely (i.e. supervisor usually has multiple homes they oversee so the supervisors are not on site every day) can lead to lack of accountability. By no means I am justifying unprofessional work or neglect. This is experience from many years of being a nurse working with DD group homes and some experience with the personal care homes.

    Then there is the fact that the pay is usually minimum wage and the criteria required to be hired is no criminal background, a current drivers license and, sometimes, a high school diploma or GED. I have worked for companies that didn't require anything beyond a 8th grade education for the direct care staff and would waive the drivers license requirement. Basically you get what you pay for and what you train for. It is a sad situation if a resident can't advocate for themselves or has no one from outside to advocate for them.

    I must also say though that some of the most giving, caring and professional caregivers I have ever worked with have been some of the direct care staff from my old group homes. Those folks were passionate advocates for the residents and really did an excellent job of providing a warm. caring home for the residents.
    Kooky Korky, Jarnaes, carwin, and 1 other like this.
  4. 2
    I used to be a direct care staff person in a group home back in 2000 and 2001 when I was 19/20 years of age. This was several years before I became a nurse.

    The pay was slightly more than minimum wage. I passed oral medications such as Haldol, Zyprexa, and Premarin, but I had no clue about the purpose or side effects of these meds. Since I worked the midnight shift, I was alone in the home with the clients for six hours. I had no CNA certification, no CPR, no medical training whatsoever. I would not have known the reasoning behind turning a client every two hours. Back then, I did not know that a lack of repositioning could contribute to pressure ulcers.

    This is just to give you a glimpse of the lack of training that many group home direct care staff members have.
    Jarnaes and Blackcat99 like this.
  5. 2
    Completely agree with txredheadnurse. While many of these workers are not trained along with having limited education, many have some of the biggest hearts. I worked for a home health agency where the owner had 5 group homes. The workers often called needing toilet paper, cleaning supplies and yes food! These workers have pooled money to buy food, deodorant for clients while the owners get GOOD money to care for these residents. THe group home owners skimp on getting qualified help and/or fail to train good-hearted staff. Many wat to know more and the owners won't put out money to orient. As with any job you have some who do the best they know how and want to do better and those who know what to do and are too lazy. The oversight of the homes is sad.
    Blackcat99 and txredheadnurse like this.
  6. 1
    Thanks all so much for your replies. I have been working overtime but will get back to this thread when I get a chance.:heartbeat
    tothepointeLVN likes this.
  7. 1
    I have found with senior group homes that once a nurse walks in the door to look after that patient they no longer pay any attention to them or assist with turning. I arrived once to start a hospice case at 12pm was quickly shown the patient and they ran back up to go back to sleep. Patient was soaked and probably had been so for some time.
    Blackcat99 likes this.
  8. 0
    Wow!!!! Thanks for all of the good information. I don't exactly know what kind of group home it is but I suspect it is some kind of DD group home. OK. I get it now. They have no training and just receive minimum wage. I am also thinking that they must be working 24 hour shifts because they are always so sleepy. I am glad to hear that there are also good,caring and professional caregivers at group homes too. OMG!!!! I didn't even stop to think that these workers might also be giving out medications too!!! How scary. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be passing out haldol,zyprexa,premarin etc. and to have had no med training at all. It's awful to hear that some workers run away and won't even assist a nurse with turning a patient!!!
  9. 1
    Seems to depend on the training and general work ethic of the worker. I worked at a group home for my very first healthcare job. I feel my training was good, but some of the staff that were hired were lazy and sub-par. Some were wonderful and had good common sense. I gave medications, personal cares, went on outings, etc. I was paid above minimum wage, but not by much. I felt I worked hard and had common sense, 2 very helpful traits to work in a group home. It really depends on the company, training, etc, but overall it seems that there are bad workers in this setting, much like any healthcare setting. (nurses included)
    Blackcat99 likes this.
  10. 0
    I am now working at this group home once a week. Yesterday, the staff left my patient alone with me most of the day. I called the manager at the group home and she did nothing to help out. The rest of the people took off to go to an all day barbeque. I did get some help during the day with turning. However, they knew his dressing changes were due at certain times and no one showed up to help. They know it takes 2 persons to turn him and 2 persons to do his wound dressing. I notified my boss twice and he said he was going to call the owner of the group home. I am thinking that since my patient is officially "their resident" that they are responsible for having a staff member with him at all times. Are they not legally required to have their own staff member with him?
  11. 0
    I was about to reply agreeing that a huge part of the problem is that there is no educational requirement to do the job and we are so used to thinking like nurses (which is why we are there!) it's almost easy to forget that for many of these people it isn't taken as seriously as it should be due to lack of proper knowledge of what will happen if proper care is not given.

    I have to say quite honestly that I have heard many anecdotes in the PDN/HH world about some of these places set up specifically to scam profits and milk the system dry while doing as little as possible.

    One of my friends went out to a case and another caregiver there tried to get her to pool money to buy a house with the intention of making it a group home talking only about all the money to be made. It's shocking and horrible.

    This place is definately showing signs of the latter - I can't tell any other person what to do in that situation but these people are being paid for work not done. I call that stealing. Please let us know what happens with it because I am soooo leary of these places and yet the people in them are so helpless. :-//

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