Vortex: The Journey of a Nursing Home Survivor

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Most involve Snapchat, a social media service in which photos appear for a few seconds and then disappear with no lasting record. Photos have also been posted on Facebook and Instagram. ProPublica has been tracking this issue since Last August, federal health regulators said they would crack down on nursing home employees who take demeaning photographs and videos of residents and post them on social media.

Another possibility is that the problem is actually getting worse as more and more people use social media apps on their cellphones. The American Health Care Association, the nursing home industry trade group, said it continues to offer training across the country to educate home officials and employees about the importance of protecting patient privacy and avoiding social media abuses.

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Ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents is the number one priority for our members. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees nursing homes, told state health departments last summer that they should begin checking to make sure that all nursing homes have policies prohibiting staff from taking demeaning photographs of residents. CMS also called on state officials to quickly investigate such complaints and report offending workers to licensing agencies for possible discipline.

State health departments help enforce nursing home rules for the federal government. Of the six cases reported in Iowa, homes themselves reported four to the state Department of Inspections and Appeals, one was called in as a complaint, and the other was discovered during an on-site inspection.

Voyage to the centre of the 'Plastic Vortex'

Read details of incidents since in which workers at nursing homes and assisted-living centers shared photos or videos of residents on social media networks. The details come from government inspection reports, court cases and media reports. Read more. Reporting is key to enforcement, and enforcement is key to prevention. Grassley also has pushed Snapchat and other companies to do more to curb abuse of seniors on social media and to make it easier for people to report suspected abuse.

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Snapchat has more than 65 million daily active users in the U. Some efforts to curb inappropriate photo sharing have been slow. But that agency has not penalized any long-term care facilities for photos posted online and has yet to release any social media guidance for health care providers. An official told ProPublica last summer that guidelines were in the works, but to date, none have been issued. Not all of the examples ProPublica identified were exploitative. She said she had known the resident and family for years and they were OK with it. But there was no written permission and the home was cited by government inspectors.

Our own staff rightly alerted their supervisors of the post, we acted quickly upon learning of the post, reported the situation to proper authorities, and the staff member in question is no longer employed by our organization. The photos did not contain abuse or nudity, she said, and did not put residents at risk.

Three aides were disciplined and staff members at the home received training and were instructed to leave their phones in their cars or at home. Wolf said she was recently informed that CMS was withdrawing the immediate jeopardy designation and cutting the fine in half. However, Wolf said, because of the ephemeral nature of photos on Snapchat, neither the home nor authorities saw the posts in question. Waiting until the last moments means the situation for the patient could be irremediable.


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One of the important activities of our team is supporting patients and their loved ones within the different centres. Every opportunity is good to raise awareness and give advice, explaining, for example, why and how washing your hands at the entrance of the healthcare facility is so important, but also the route to follow through the facility to avoid spreading infection.

You know, hearing the cries of a mother whose child has just died is the worst feeling you can experience. I have experienced this before on our ships in the Mediterranean and as well in my previous assignment in Congo. Seeing a child just a few months old die - a little "angel" flying away - it blocks you.

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Hearing the screams of mothers makes you stay still like a rock. Stop thinking, stop walking, stop looking, you're just immersed in a vortex of emotion that slams you right and left. Your strength is sapped, you feel small, powerless, with your hands tied. You are frustrated because you can't console, you can't approach, you can't hug, you can't talk.

This vortex lasts only a few moments, but they are infinite moments. You feel like you are in a Dantean journey of eternal duration. You get back to work because that's a legitimate response.

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Because you don't want to be transported and slapped, against your will, in swirls of feeling like these. But, in the end, we are vulnerable, we are human, we love our neighbour and we must always treasure our humanity and our emotions. I have learnt that you have to face stress with your heart wide open. That you have to know how to manage your emotions, otherwise you will be the victim of circumstances. Thoughtfulness and vigilance, which should protect you, will not be possible. You will stop thinking, you will not think wisely, you will not think at all, and when fear consumes you, then the disease consumes you!

One hand never applauds, but two hands can. In the work we are doing here, MSF is one hand and the community is the other. I know that together we can work miracles; we can eradicate Ebola and all the other diseases that have plagued this great country and its good people for years. Skip to main content. Google Tag Manager.

Home Oussama Omrane Fieldset Ebola. Ebola: Letter from Biakato. Oussama Omrane. Cultural Mediator. Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Fighting Ebola feels like a war of nerves, a war where the two belligerents study each other waiting for each other's moves I know Ebola through articles I've read and through the stories of colleagues, but I have never been on the frontline myself. Our space is very limited, and yet despite this, we feel strong and united. Maybe you are wondering why all is this being done when the number-one enemy is Ebola? It is true, our enemy remains Ebola, but the situation here requires a step-by-step strategy Fear, paranoia and distrust Imagine yourself serene and calm in your city.

The health promotion team is vital in the fight against Ebola. Biakato Biakato. Help us spread the word. Share this post. More from Oussama. Search and rescue: "Into the lungs of Hell".

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