Carmel, CA Union Members, Please Treat Our Elderly Who Have Alzheimer's Or Dementia With Respect : View From A Private Duty Caregiver in Carmel, CAby Richard Kuehn on 10/07/12
I took care of my grandmother for five years until she passed away last year at the age of 97. She had Alzheimer's disease, and it wasn't easy. Not only did I have problems communicating with her, but many people simply haven't had the experience dealing with those who have Alzheimer's or dementia and they don't know how to act around them. I have been very disappointed with the union workers in Carmel and the aggressive bullying tactics some of them have used with some of the local hotels. I was downtown a few months ago, and there were dozens of union employees with bullhorns screaming at the Pine Inn, chastising them for giving millions of dollars to charity. They claimed this should have gone to workers instead. I had read that the La Playa hotel, which recently reopened under new ownership and didn't hire back many of the former union employees, was under a big attack by union workers as well. I hadn't experienced this personally, but I was aghast to read in this week's Carmel Pine Cone that a hotel guest had to call the police because union workers were harassing him, his sister and his elderly parents. "It was really in your face and over the top. It was extremely disorienting for my mother, who has dementia," Thomas Lloyd Butler told the Carmel Pine Cone. He claims that the union workers tried to prevent him from getting out of his car, and then when he did, they tried to prevent him from removing his luggage. He felt threatened enough to call the police. In June, the police said union protesters broke into La Playa and vandalized it. In the most recent instance, the union had organized some 70 employees to try and intimidate customers from entering the hotel, only eight of them former employees. Matt Crow, CEO of the company that bought the hotel said in the past week protesters have shoved an employee, harassed guest, frightened an elderly woman suffering from dementia, pinned guests' car doors shuts, blocked their loading area and assaulted a guest, resulting in the union worker's arrest. This type of behavior is just totally unacceptable, particularly when a large number of potential visitors to this hotel are elderly, frail, and some of them have dementia. There are ways to protest perceived unfair treatment, but this type of violent behavior isn't one of them and it's extremely confusing and frightening to those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.