In a follow-up to last week’s post on CPR and quintessential leadership regarding the action of a Brookdale Senior Living nurse refusing to do CPR on 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless, I saw this news article today where Brookdale Senior Living, which initially backed up the nurse’s refusal to do CPR as being consistent with company policy, has now reversed their position.

The statement says that the incident “resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents” and that the nurse had “misinterpreted the company’s guidelines.”

This further shows the unquintessential leadership in place at Brookdale Senior Living. First is the “reversal” of a policy that the company defended and stood by several days. Second is the subtle shifting of the blame to the nurse for the lack of medical attention. And the third is the minimalizing language Brookdale Senior Living uses in their reversal statement. To characterize this incident as “misunderstanding” or “misinterpretation” is to basically say it’s not a big deal, even though that misunderstanding and misinterpretation led to somebody’s death.

All of these show just how entrenched the unquintessential leadership is at Brookdale Senior Living. As I said before, it would be naive to believe this is the only senior living company where practices and policies like these are in place and unquintessential leadership is extant through the ranks within the corporation.

But it should serve as a warning and a caution to those of us entrusted with being quintessential leaders in helping our parents as they age to ensure that we’re providing the best and most care for them, as they did for us when we were babies, helpless, and completely dependent on them. These companies, despite their claims, really don’t have “our residents” as their priority. It is about money (greed) and the law (minimum legal liability).

These are driving forces that the unquintessential leadership in these companies come from, along with the lack of character, integrity, ethics, and moral responsibility that many of the individuals that are employed by these companies possess.

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