A live feed of nursing home life

Years ago, I was not pleased to see a negative story about a few nursing home aides who uploaded inappropriate videos of particular residents being teased on social media. The videos were awful and inappropriate, but they showed you could see everything happening everywhere on social media

For several years, we had a resident who used Facebook almost every day. It was only after he left that he wrote inappropriate comments about a couple of staff on his Facebook page. Unfortunately, while writing a narrative about past events to friends, his feelings of frustration about his past took over and he overshared.

Earlier this summer, a male who had a smart phone was admitted. He made frequent posts to his Facebook page where he shared details and his feelings about what went on at this facility. But his stay was short, about two weeks, and then he moved out.

A couple of months ago, a resident snuck out of the facility. I heard a lot of noise and a high-pitched voice in the hallway. Later, I learned he got far enough away to borrow someone's cell phone to call the police and report he was suffering from heat exhaustion. A nurse and an aide were hot on his trail and caught up to him. When the police arrived, they brought the man back to the facility.

Later, I heard the story of that resident's escape was posted in real time on a local community watcher Facebook page. The breaking news of that resident's elopement was published for all to see.

It is easy for residents to go on Facebook and tell about the events of daily life in their nursing home. I would hope no one would overshare and violate their own—or someone else's—privacy.

Social media could be effectively utilized by residents or their family members who are experiencing difficulties regarding their nursing home stay. It could give residents an outlet to voice their frustrations. They could make friends or join groups where they could talk it out with others who live in nursing homes. Perhaps the ombudsman's office could set up a limited access Facebook or other social media page. That would give those experiencing difficulties a more direct and personal way to contact a helping organization.

With a large number of aging baby boomers, there will no doubt be residents who uses other social media to keep everyone they know up to date on their nursing home life, so it’s important for nursing homes to find appropriate ways to facilitate sharing.

Topics: Risk Management , Technology & IT