Kelley Smith from CarePartners Senior Living talks about inaccurate portrayals of healthcare workers in the media. A recent story in the press misrepresented CarePartners, relating only one side of the story and failing to provide context.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio, and welcome everyone to answers for elders radio. And we are so glad to be here in the month of December as we’re heading into the holiday season and you know, it’s interesting because we have so many crazy things this year and so many of us we probably had plans for the holidays and it looks like obviously that’s not going to happen either and we just have to continue to stay safe as a pandemic is going out of control. And we are so glad to have one of our favorite people back from care partners living and and all of you that are loyal listeners out there know are wonderful Kelly Smith from care partners and Kelly, I’m so glad you’re back with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s so good because you are such an important link to our community and there’s so many great things that you do and that you’re fighting for our seniors on, not only on us and you know, just an everyday thing and how you take care of our seniors, especially those with with Alzheimer’s and Dementa, through your cottages and through assistant living and also through independent living, but you’re also such advert advocates and you know, making sure that their Medicaid benefits are, you know, are taken, not only accepted in your organization, but that you’re fighting to keep them, you know, going in our state, and certainly that’s been threatened and I know that we’ve had the honor of having your CEO, Joe Kill Kelly, on the show talking about, you know, the whole copes initiative and how that could imperil our seniors, and that’s something obviously that we’re concerned about. And so I wanted to take this segment today, Kelly, because I was very, very alarmed that earlier this week king five did a story about an employee of yours and you know, I know your organization probably as intimately as anybody because I’ve worked with you for so long. I know who you are, I know you’re mission, your vision, I know the quality of your communities. I am very, very shocked at how our media sources can get it wrong and and so one of the things that I want to talk about is give you an opportunity to really talk about the real story. And then also is sure our listeners that you know, and this is this is something that is just there’s so many things wrong about this report that I can’t even begin to go there. So I’m going to just give us an opportunity here to have a discussion and really talk about you know. Thank you. Where are we at with this? Thank you so sure that well, and I appreciated that about you. What you know. You and are a couple of old friends and just sit now I’m talking about something that you read or that you heard and and again I’m grateful for that. I would appreciate that with anybody if they’d say, man, I read this in the paper. Dude, what happened? Well, let me any of what happening. Tapping about the media is that they don’t always point to everything, every bit of information they get. They’re going to show you text messages and they’re going to show you emails that benefit their story. They’re not going to show you the whole picture and everything taken into the context of of our side of the story. They’re going to show you the little, you know, exclamation points and happy faces on an email between her and her boss. I’m not going to show you the the whole string everything that was said and make it look like her boss had absolutely no concern for her health, which is not what happened, and we take the heads of our of our staff very serious. That’s why people only knew what exactly happened. I’ll give you an example of what kind of a boss are. Our boss is. This year has been really hard on people financially. Right, I’ll give you one example. It’s been hard on people financially. People who work in memory care CNA’s, for an example. They have to take state requires them to take a dementia to a class. There’s a class dimension mental health. They have to take Class A couple hundred bucks and it require them to take that. The states requires them to pay for it. Well, we can’t. We can’t pay for and take the test at the end ten, twelve, fifteen bucks, something like that. But the class, my boss actually paid for every single one of our employees that had to take that past he paid for this year. Never said a word about it. So he’s a real jerk, right, what a jerk. But he did that because he also knew this year that this times of tough and that was one way he could kind of help out. They’re all making right. They’ve been making the wages that they’ve deserved way before in state said they had to. Okay, we’ve been doing those kind of things for these guys. Being the time, however, there are HIPO violations. There are things that we have been very clear when it comes to our residents about. We are not going to sidestep the ISS. So let’s back up a little bit. King five did a story. Explain what the story was about to our listeners that they basically said that one of our employees was a whistleblower and that’s why they were fired, because we had covid and building and all of a resins were dying and we weren’t telling people and we were we were hiding the fact that we had covid and because she moved the whistle, we let her go. And that’s basically what the story was about and that we had not told our other employees and we had not notified them and we put people in day. First of all, anybody in this industry, if you honestly believe for one minute anybody in this industry, the news has totally, totally torn apart companies like Life Care Center of Kirkland Josephine, you look at some of these different companies out there and, if you may, people get up in these day. I’m going to figure out today how to torture old people. That’s not why they get up every day. We not know. So what you know? You got to look at the whole picture. You hand these people, the frailers and most vulnerable of our population, and then that that population get sick, and then you go back and totally viserate these people because, Oh, you think here of them and they got sick and shame on you. But basically learnings, you know, and explaining, yeah, and explaining to our listeners. One of the things that we you mentioned the word hippop. I want to make sure that people understand what the HIPP Alaw specific quickly say. HIPPA laws are in a nuts cell about there is a level of confidentiality that you, as a professional, have to follow when it comes to people’s medical information, personal information, and any employee that is in your you know, is in your umbrella, has to follow that. So, in other words, you’re not allowed to give out personal health information about anyone, and that means, you know, that is an absolute important law that, if it’s violated. It can be a fireble sense and I’m assuming that within your organization. Absolutely that’s the truth. Is that correct? You Bet, it is, absolutely and it has to be. Cannot violate laws. And then Washington, W instate. But it’s very serious here, right, and and we buy bubble laws. It’s right. So what you know? Okay, so what? Yeah, and so what? What? What happened from your perspective is the reason why the employee was fired was the fact that she went on her facebook and she made personal comments about the health issues that were some of them were untrue and violated that law. Is that her up? That’s right. And there was also what she failed to mention in her interview was that she actually named names of specific residents and had named names of them being actually testing positive with covid which was also untrue. Those residents had not tested positive. And and again that rear areas they have below still and it’s still but again there’s a lot of stupidity. But the whole Dang thing. I understand you here about your residence. I’m down with that. I care about mine too, but I am not going to go on facebook and and talk about what’s happening in my buildings that are possibly put the residents at danger. You got to be smart about about the way you present what’s happening and in anything, any form and and again it’s about being mature and the way you handle things. But regardless, you also have to remember people also get up there and talk about last month I was employee of the month. Okay, I’m good for you. Do you honestly think that that employee the month means your bullet proof? You know, I’ve had employees that stole from us a month later. Does that mean they don’t get fired? I mean the people think that just because one month you did something really, really great, the next month you get to not, you don’t. You don’t have to continue to behave yourself. I’m just saying pupantly. You know that all these employees that got on our bandwagon, they never told us. You have to also with a protect that we’re trying to move quickly. We have aging residents with dementia that you have to be able to speak for, think for, for actful. So really have time to guess. You don’t have time from memos, you don’t have time to react to people’s feelings. You got to move on if you’ve got people out on the floor trying to attend it, that to you know your residents right there. You’ve got to get PPE, you’ve got to get special equipment, things like that, and obviously you have to step up your testing is something happens. I’m sure that there’s a lot of plan right away where you’re trying to mobilize to get people tested, and you got to do that. It’s only a whole process, of course, because you have to test your residence, which we were doing already. You’re testing residents very quickly. You’re testing everything. You Justin staff testing, which we were doing again proactively. Again, you can’t control what happens residents. You can control the resident population, but your staff work other places movie that already. You know they things happen. You can tell them all day long what your expectations are, but you’re growing up to so things happen them. Okay, so you should control it, but if it comes back in your building, you’ve got to be smart about the way you’re protecting your residence. Well, okay, person you would like to do. Sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt you here. What we’re running out of time, but what I would let member for one more segment and would you talk to me us a little bit about what the procedures are as far as how you test people, what the process is in our next segment. Would you be willing to do that? As much as I can. You got to remember I’m not a nurse, so I can but we can talk about policies and procedures that are senior communities all have to follow according to Kamat, Law and God, and I am very excited to talk to you about this because I really want everyone to know just how important organizations lightcare partners are to keeping our senior safe, and I’m excited to have Kelly back right after this. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners livingcom
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Originally published December 13, 2020