The Blame Game
The L.A. Times reported on a tragic circumstance for low paid caregivers in the nursing home industry. There exists a natural tension between caregivers and management. Caregivers feel they are scapegoats for management’s decisions. Management often blames caregivers as lazy, entitled, or unreliable.
Caregivers feel society blames them for Covid deaths. The media and the misinformed often blame the frontline heroes for management’s decision of placing profits over people’s safety. These heroes are burnt-out. Emotionally spent.
Few of the caregivers have dared speak out about the emotional and physical nightmare they were going through — much less about management bent on maintaining profits and cutting corners as things spun out of control. Denied critical information and protective gear they needed to avoid infection, …as they were pilloried in the news and social media for killing the people they were paid to care for.
The article gives Eugenia Caldwell as a typical example. She is a 54-year-old nurse with decades of experience. She tested positive in October. Then Caldwell passed it on to her husband. How could this happen?
Management ordered a sick nurse to work despite her boyfriend testing positive for COVID. Idiotic decision. Reckless. Dangerous.
Within weeks, at least 52 residents and 21 staff members caught the deadly virus. Meanwhile, the facility also failed to provide adequate PPE to the caregivers. Caldwell blames them for putting profit over the lives of vulnerable residents and workers.
“They make sure they get their bonuses,” she said. “But they don’t worry about their employees and residents.”
The caregivers deserve better. A rising tide lifts all boats. It is in the best interests of the nursing homes industry to provide hazard pay, a living wage, medical benefits, and paid time off to essential workers.
It is also the humane and right thing to do. America can afford it. The caregivers deserve it. Our vulnerable citizens need protection.