My mom was a go-getter, she loved to be on the move. Even when she had been living with advancing Alzheimer disease for several years, she told me clearly and directly that she wanted to “keep going.” That was her way. She didn’t want to be sitting and sleeping and missing out on living.
Sadly, Mom didn’t get to live the life she wanted in the end.
When she was moved into a Dementia Jail (aka “nursing home” or “long-term care facility”) in November 2012, her “get up and go” behaviour and her feistiness were challenging for the staff. Instead of finding ways to make the most of her energy, the medical personnel in charge of her care inappropriately prescribed increasing amounts of antipsychotic drugs to chemically restrain her. The drugs caused her to become unsteady on her feet and she started to fall. Instead of reducing the drugs to prevent the falls, they physically restrained her.
If that wasn’t bad enough, her basic care and hygiene needs were often not met. When I went to visit her, which was virtually ever day for four years, the first thing I did was to take her to the bathroom, where, more frequently than not, I would find that her incontinence brief needed to be changed, so I would change it myself.
Here are twenty-five pictures I took during 2013 as I gathered evidence to prove the neglect and abuse I witnessed every day: