I must admit that social media came into my life at a time where I had already learned some understanding of what should and should not be publicly shared. I also had learned from a young age to follow the golden rule.
So, when I read about the idea of nursing home caregivers posting pictures to social media showing seniors in their care in deplorable conditions or being abused I was beside myself in outrage. This level of cruelty and depravity cannot be understood or explained away.
Sadly, it is also a symptom of the nursing home industrial complex we have here in the United States. In a country where the monthly costs of such care can run as much as $10,000 and there are little to no regulations as to caregiver to resident ratios it is unsurprising that those caregivers who really care about the seniors in their care burnout and quit the field entirely. This leaves behind those who could care less about those in their charge allowing such heinous acts to be committed.
While corporate big-wigs reap huge salaries, overworked and understaffed the caregivers can barely make a living wage. They often do not have the supplies on hand to provide proper care (gloves, cleaning supplies, adult briefs to mention a few).
Imagine the pain in the heart of a good, caring caregiver who has to show up to work day after day knowing they will never be able to interact with their charges as the human beings they are. That they will never be able to adequately provide even the minimal amount of daily care because they are stretched so thin among all their charges. While doing your job you will be barely earning enough to keep yourself housed and fed with your heart being torn out with each moment of heartbreaking toil there is little wonder that they burn out.
The regulations regarding the posting of demeaning photos on social media by caregivers are sadly necessary at this time, but I feel that it would be a better use of Congress’ time to search out what is causing the climate of unfeeling caregivers to propagate. Perhaps requiring higher staffing levels and allowing the resident to caregiver ratios be based upon resident needs rather than straight numbers will allow the good caregivers to wish to remain in the industry and weed out the bad apples in the bunch.
Here is an article in NPR regarding the posting of demeaning photos on social media: