Writer calls Manor critic to task

To the Expositor:

Mr. Black, in response to your letter to the editor dated December 5, 2012 ‘Why does the Manor physically restrain a third of its residents?’, you sir have succeeded in painting a bleak picture of an institution such as Alcatraz. This sir, I assure you, is untrue. In having my dad there for almost three years, I am in the Manor daily to visit and I feel I can speak with a bit of experience. I assure you that the staff is very obliging at all times and willing to try new programs and there isn’t a day that goes by without some form of activity upstairs and downstairs, even delivering breakfast in bed to some residents because they like to sleep in.

As for your so-called “restraints,” there are good reasons for these and all cases are reviewed with family members in advance. My father has a sound restraint with a tether tied to an alarm, and may I say it’s quite effective. Why do I want for him to wear this alarm? It’s because we don’t want him to hurt himself. He was found more than once on the floor while trying to get off his chair by himself. At an age of 92 you agree that bones do not heal well and I would hate to see my dad with a broken hip, arm or severe damage to the head. So, Mr. Black, this is not a restraint, it’s a safety precaution. It’s the same for seatbelts in a wheelchair, the reclining of wheelchairs or the locking of the trays in front of a wheelchair—these are all for the safety of the residents, Mr. Black. The same principal as you are forced to wear a seatbelt in your vehicle. It’s for your safety.

Mr. Black, I have had family members visit the Manor, not only members from the Island but also from off-Island, Canada and the United States, and they have all commented that we have a jewel of a place for our seniors, how well they are looked after and the attention the staff gives to these folks and that we are very lucky to have such an institution in our community.

Your letter has hit a very raw nerve not only with the staff of our Manor but also by the residents and their families. You see, Mr. Black, there are many folks out there that read The Expositor, more so off-Island and out of country, and take your letter at verbatim which is just untrue. Even though your numbers may be correct there is more to just your numbers, and you, sir, did not disclose that information such as age, disability, wishes of the families, wishes of the individual, number of occupants. I can go on and on, Mr. Black.

Again, Mr. Black, if you have an axe to grind with the board, then address the board but do not print statistics about residents without getting all the facts. Did you speak to any of the residents? No! Did you speak to any of the family members? Highly unlikely! Did you speak to any of the staff? Probably not! So, Mr. Black, I think, you sir should write a letter of apology not only to staff, but especially to the residents.

Tony Ferro