June 13th 2017

Seems to me that we are now living in a world where the business of $ accounting is more important than the accountability of our compassion. What reflection will mere “accounting” rather than “accountability” have when it comes time for people who run businesses to knock on the pearly gates? Or, god forbid, to walk in the shoes of those they are “caring” for?

I include here today’s plea to the chief administrator of Merwick in Princeton for help for Ed–my publisher. Tom will probably say there can be no flexibility. He has said this before. What can I do but ask and pray that someday there will be a better more fitting place for Ed to live out the rest of his life, which could be long. He is disoriented but capable and doing well physically. He had to be moved to the rock bottom priced area where he is surrounded by people in wheel chairs who are all gaga. He is the only ambulatory person I have seen in the dementia ward. It is tragic–to my mind unconscionable–that Ed must now be confined to a terrible situation completely at odds with one that could bring him even some small sense of joy. There might be a way to create an area of middle ground for people like Ed at the facility?

Dear Tom, June 13, 2017

With apologies, I do not want to be a thorn in your side, but I must quickly follow up here on my voice message to you: Ed is falling through the cracks. What can I do except appeal to your judgement? Dr. Sidhu said you can change Ed’s situation.

Please — if you care about a patient who has NOBODY to help him — take time to visit Ed Breisacher in rm 229. See for yourself. Tell him you are a friend of mine, one of his authors. He will tell you how grateful he is to Merwick for the help he gets. You will learn that, although he is often disoriented, he does NOT belong in the dementia ward where everyone is gaga. Ed’s neighbor frequently wales like a terrified animal. Ed winces every time and can’t read. He barely even concentrates on TV. There is no one Ed can talk to. He doesn’t walk anymore. (He was being kindly walked before, up where he lived in 260.) He doesn’t “fit in” with wheel chair activities.

He sleeps, or sits holding his head in his hands. He is a gentle man through and through. He doesn’t complain.

I have no car today so I can’t come to make his life better. Yesterday, Faith (lovely head nurse) and I looked for another nurse or someone to speak to about requisitioning a trim for Ed. No one could be found. Each time I look for someone to speak to, I find no one. Yesterday Ed “battled” for a modicum of autonomy–to wash himself. He is capable. Last week he was allowed to. This week, not! …?

I have called to try to get someone to pick up his laundry today (which was finally being done weekly when he was in short-term since November); because, this morning, Ed texted me: “the room cleaner threatened to toss out my clothes if I don’t get my laundry out by tomorrow.”

Tom, I am asking you to research your dementia ward. Consider if you would squeeze one of your parents in Ed’s room as you said you would. I don’t think so. Imagine yourself in his shoes. His care has not improved without my advocacy. Are you running a business exclusively; or is it a place of compassion?

I beg you again to stand up and silently provide Ed with a better situation. No one would quibble. He is in a detrimental, not a healthful place where he is now.