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Hello Doctor,

I am facing a situation in a long term care facility, where I am the Chairperson For The Family Council. They want to start rotating staff every 3 months, and most of the families and staff are against this new plan. My question is, how important is it, in your opinion, for our seniors to have consistency in the care? I feel that changing their caretakers every 3 months can cause them confusion, depression and put them in an unstable frame of mind because they cannot "count" on basically the same people taking care of them; the people they have come to trust.

Thank you for your time.


Sassy Dawe

Age 55

Windsor, Ontario

Hello Sassy--

In my opinion rotating the staff is not a good idea. Probably the idea of rotating the staff emerged as a way of streamlining the operating details of the facility, but this view sees the patients as of secondary importance when, in fact, they are the entire raison d'etre of the facility.

If the managers who are making this decision had put themselves in the place of the patients in the facility, I imagine that this idea would never have gotten very far, for then the managers would understand that having to accept such care can be embarrassing, humiliating, frightening, and otherwise difficult, and that these difficulties would be multiplied greatly if the patients had to learn to deal with new caretakers just as they were becoming accustomed to the old ones, and beginning to feel safe and comfortable with them.

I support you in resisting this change.

Be well.

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page last modified January 3, 2007

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