Phillip Goulding is the Deputy General Manager at Wintringham Specialist Aged Care.
Phill is currently on a study tour of prisons in the U.S, looking at the care options available to aged prisoners. In a moment of breath taking recklessness, Foolhardy Phill, for reasons best known to only himself, has decided that the 6 weeks touring the land of all things upsized will be the perfect chance to lose weight. You can track his progress here!
the Jospeh Harp Correctional Facility
was visited. Again I was most warmly welcomed by Ms Pat Sorrel and Warden Mike
Addison. All staff were open and sharing in information and ideas. Their day
had begun with a “Shakedown” - a surprise raid by prison authorities on prison
cells to search for weapons and other contraband. (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bainJTJgPmE
as an example , but a little less confronting) - Apparently water output
escalates dramatically at the announcement toilet flushing) and ducks living
near the sewerage plant are known to exhibit strange behaviours for days after
the shakedown! External correctional
staff and specialist dogs are involved. It is a method of quality control in
regards to ridding the prison of contraband. Shakedowns occur at least annually
but may occur more often. They may be unannounced or planned.
Joseph Harp Correctional Center is a 1370 bed (up to 1405) medium security
institution located near the town of Lexington, in central Oklahoma. The site of the facility had been used by
the Navy as a firing range during World War II.
After the war, the land was turned over to the Mental Health Department,
which in turn transferred it to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in 1971.
About 37% of prisoners are over the age of 45 and 235 prisoners are 56 or
older. Over 48% (666) prisoners were sentenced for some form of assault
(including sexual assault) and had sentences averaging 20+ years. About 70 % of
offenders are on some sort of mental health medication. (similar to Jefferson
City; opiate and mood altering medications are dispensed by nursing staff and
non opiate and non mo0d altering medications are essentially self managed;
unless and older prisoner needs assistance with medication management);
Medication rounds are dispensed twice a day.
a medical Medical Unit, with approximately 258 neds, which opened in 2007 to
provide housing for those offenders meeting one of the following criteria: Dementia/Alzheimer patient; vision
impaired/blind; wheelchair bound; uses walker/crutches; 65 or older. There are four isolation cells for those with
infectious/contagious diseases such as tuberculosis. The unit has been adapted for aged care needs
with wider doors, lower drinking fountains, age adjusted toilet and shower
stalls, with no obvious trip hazards.
There is a strong Mental Health Service
including medication management, suicide prevention, individual psychotherapy,
group psychotherapy, and psycho-educational groups
facility is supported by a range of skilled health professionals:
Health: Coordinator, psychologist x 3, psych clinicians x 4, social workers x 2
Manager, 20 RN’s and 5 PCA’s
no after hours nursing coverage in the medical unit. Trained medical orderlies
are employed - offenders assigned to assist the offender residents of the
medical unit, providing basic care to the more disabled older offender. The unit is dormitory style with chest high
walls separating each sleep area. There are also corridors of 4 bed cells. No
bunks are used in this area. All beds are fixed. There are no high low beds
fortunate enough to spend some time with one of the offender orderlies “Kirby”.
Kirby described his training as being over 8 weeks with homework. He was well
briefed in vital signs, hygiene care, pressure care, infection control
principles (gloves, hand washing PPE), minor dressings, ADLS, catheter care. –
He was as well briefed as Patient Care Attendants (Australian Equivalent of his
role). Kirby indicated he recievd a basic a wage for his work – about $27.00 a
month (I think); this was slightly less than some of teh other paid roles
(Prison Industry) but Kirby saw other benefits in the role: teaching him great
skills for his release, he lived in the medical unit and was away from the
general harshness of the prison environment, the Medical Unit was the only Unit
that had air-conditioning and he really liked the air-conditioning. There was a
warmth and caring nature to Kirby’s interaction. He was a good example of why
an offender / carer model is worth considering in the Victorian Correctional
context. Staff highlighted that not
every offender was suitable for the role, nor was the role suitable to every
offender. Offenders had to demonstrate good behaviour. Offenders convicted or
serious assaults were precluded and there were examples discussed where
offenders had not completed the training.
learning from the discussions at Joseph Harp is: with appropriate selection and
appropriate training an offender / carer model can provide high quality, low
cost care to older prisoners.
supported by an outpatient style facility providing medical support with a full
time physician and two full time physican assistants (similar to Nurse
practitioners - Australia). There is an onsite dental service, visiting
radiological service and other visiting specialist clinics available. Whilst
there is no infirmary on site at JHCC, there is a strong linkage to the nearby Lindsay
Municipal Hospital. JHCC is the host facility for the DOC clinic located at the
Lindsay Municipal Hospital (LMH), providing corrections officer assignment to
the clinic. They conduct counts, do cell/ward searches, and in brief maintain
supervision, discipline, control and order in the clinic. The LMH DOC Clinic provides surgery,
recovery, emergency room and non-emergency appointments for offenders.
care is not provided on site; essentially older prisoners whose failing health
requires more skilled care are transferred to the LMH, or may be eligible for
Medical Parole / early release. Again, as has been discussed with other
facilities visited, early release processes are governed by external reviews
and owing to the sensitivities associated with early release; the process is
long and tightly managed; ultimately the State Governor (Premier equivalent
Victoria) makes a final decision after a recommendation has been made by the
correctional authorities. Needless to say, whilst early release / parole is
applied for; it is seldom approved before an offender dies in custody.
few, if any options for transition of older prisoners in need of aged care who
are eligible for release. Again there was great interest in Wintringham service
and the Australian aged care system which made Wintringham services possible.
Following the tour of JHCC, the Black Dodge Charger
turns towards Texas. Ardmore is the place for rest for the night. The name
Ardmore is Gaelic signifying high grounds or hills. (Apparently there is no link to the Scottish
In the early 1900s, Ardmore became well known for its abundance of
cotton-growing fields and was known at one stage as the world's largest inland
cotton ports. The city is positioned
next to one of the largest oil fields ever produced in Oklahoma, the Healdton
On my way to Ardmore, I stopped at Chickasaw
National Recreation Area just east of the town of Sulphur. The principal
attractions in Sulphur besides the park are sulfurous springs in town that were
once thought to cure ailments and other medical conditions. Apparently the
pungent odor and taste are quite popular with some people.
A new dietary battle / challenge has presented
itself today. Up to date breakfast has usually been a benign experience. There have
been challenges of course, but to date their have been health options. Either,
there is a conspiracy or as I head south, “things are changing”. EVERYTHING I
tried had triple sugar! Sultana Brand were a I remember "Frosties" - coated in sugar. Yogurt –
sickly sweet. And the two fruits were soaked in a sickly sweet amaretto. After
a small amount of each I settled on a small amount of sausage gravy – yes I know it looks
like vomit, but it is not sweet.
Right next door to accommodation - Again - "No Deal" - more salad for dinner - I really am enjoying the baby carrots you can get here in bulk. No - Really!
The weather has been very kind. Apart from a
couple of spot showers; most days have been around 71 Fahrenheit = 21 Celsius –
perfect really. Today; it is off to Fort Worth - tonight, I think, it may be Billy Bob's - the worlds largest Honk Tonk - "Yeh Haugh!" http://billybobstexas.com/