Acre Woods is a private retirement community with 275 senior residents. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of its residents through physical and emotional care. Sarah Armstrong, Acre Woods’ resident physical therapist, manages the retirement community’s activity program. Recently, Acre Woods added a pool to its rehabilitation center to facilitate resident exercise and aquatic therapy. The residents’ monthly rent was raised to help finance the pool.
After the pool was constructed, Sarah immediately contacted the director of Acre Woods, Mark Adams, with concerns that the pool did not meet some important specifications included in the original design, such as nonslip treads on the stairs and improved wheelchair access to the pool area. Mark advised Sarah that the residents would be happy to have a pool, even if it did not incorporate all the requested special features.
When Sarah asked why the new ramp and stair treads were not provided even though they were included in the budget, the director remarked that Sarah’s job was to provide physical therapy, not to worry about the budget. Over the next month, four Acre Woods residents had minor falls using the pool stairs. While the accidents were not serious, other residents began to express fears about using the pool. Sarah contacted Mark again to relate resident complaints and to stress the need for pool accessibility and safety improvements.
Mark informed Sarah that she was the only member of the Acre Woods staff who was complaining or concerned about the pool; therefore, there was no issue. Mark said that he had a report from another Acre Woods physical therapist, Gene Levy, reporting that residents enjoy the pool and that it has expanded opportunities for physical therapy. Sarah asked Mark to tour the facility in person to assess the situation, but Mark expressed that he was too busy to visit Acre Woods until the next quarter.
Two weeks later, Mark promoted Gene to Care Administrator of Acre Woods. Gene took over Sarah’s activity program duties and reassigned her to the assisted living unit. Concerned about Acre Woods’ ability to live up to its mission and suspicious about the missing funds from the pool project, Sarah contacted the local newspaper and related the entire scandal. Questions 1. What are some potential legal and ethical issues present in this case study? 2. How would you characterize the director’s behavior? 3. Is the director an ethical role model?
Why or why not? 4. Were the director’s messages congruent with the organization’s stated mission? Explain your answer. 5. What impact did the director’s actions and attitudes have on the Acre Woods culture? Answers 1. The idea of building a pool in an assistance living facility without installing the proper accident prevention equipment is absurd. The case study made mention that some residents had already slipped and fallen resulting in minor injuries. This facility has the potential of facing a series of lawsuits if the pool area is not improved.
It sounds as if the director of the facility shorted the funding on the pool and pocketed the extra cash which is extremely unethical, most likely the director now feels that Sarah is hot on his trail, hence her being re-assigned to the assisted living facility. 2. I would characterize the director’s behavior as being unethical. Furthermore, I believe it was wrong of him to have no regard for the residents continuously having accidents at the pool area. 3. The director of this facility is definitely not an ethical role model. All the signs presented in this case study point to him taking money from the facility.
Moreover, he promotes Sarah’s counterpart, who then reassigns Sarah to another unit. I am certain that the director played a role in relieving Sarah of her duties as the activities program personnel. 4. I do not believe that the director’s messages were congruent with the agency’s mission. The mission is to improve the quality of life of its residents through physical and emotional care; having client fall and injure themselves neglects them of both emotional care and especially physical care. Judging by the director’s actions, he has not interest in the well-being of the residents at Acre Woods. . The actions at attitude of the director caused many of the residents of the facility to have fear and to lose trust at some degree; these are most likely individuals who are aged thus, deserving to live in a place where they can be as comfortable as possible. I am sure many of the residents were excited to have a pool installed in the facility, but to find that it has caused minor injuries to others will cause many to be apprehensive about using it, thus partially defeating the purpose of installing the pool. Unless the original purpose was to scam the agency and pocket the additional funds.