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Elders Focus Group Report - Consumer Quality Initiatives

Elders Focus Group Report - Consumer Quality Initiatives

much of a choice.”

much of a choice.” They were discouraged that they would be on medications for the rest of theirlife.Assisted living (own bathroom with areas to spend time with people and share food) wasconsidered preferable to a group home, but they knew it was more expensive.RulesMost participants understood the reasons for house rules, and the challenges of providingindividualized care in group settings. However, several felt that rules were sometimes appliedarbitrarily. For example, residents might be required to attend a day program 4 days a week, butseveral would prefer to attend less in order to reduce the intensity of interactions with otherprogram attendees (whom they may not like) and/or to take care of cleaning or other work athome. They felt there should be more “wiggle room” with regard to how often then need toattend a program. That is, they did not believe in “strict” rules, as it does not allow them toalways be treated as individuals.The other thing about rules is that they can be difficult to remember, particularly for elders.Thus, they generally did not believe that people should be penalized for breaking rules.Respectful TreatmentParticipants also described the need for respectful treatment. They don’t want to “talked downto” or ordered around.One woman sees a psychiatrist who does not make any eye contact with her, but instead looksdown and writes notes, even as she enters into the room. She asked him to look at her whentalking to her, and the psychiatrist responded that maybe she should find a new psychiatrist.Clinicians and staff need to remember that elders are sensitive to a loss of respect, and treat themas they would other any other human being they cared about.2

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