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Old 12-30-2008, 09:09 AM   #1
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Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Have any of you had this problem with your loved one in the nursing home. My dad was just admitted December 10th. The 1st few days I visited everything seemed to be going quite well. There is a woman there and her husband visits her everyday around lunch time and has lunch with her. I visited at the same time so I didn't realize there was a problem until two weeks ago. I was visiting when her husband wasn't there and the woman goes around kissing all the male residents. I don't just mean a kiss on the cheek, she kisses them on the mouth, all over their head and face. Most of the men including my father tell her to stop but she doesn't. She continues until an aide sees her and then intervenes.

The first day I saw her with my dad I had just arrived, they were sitting on a bench and she was rubbing his leg. The second time I was sitting with my dad at a table and she started kissing his head and face. I stood up and asked her to stop in a very nice way but she got very angry and started to push and slap me. Finally an aide came over and took her away. The next day my dad and I were sitting at the same table. I saw her starting to come over so I stood up and was between her and my dad. She started yelling at me to get away from him and was then slapping and pushing me. I didn't want to touch her so she finally made it to my dad and started kissing him again. There is only one aide on the floor in the common room and that just isn't enough. The aide finally made it over to us and she took the beating instead of me. I have seen this so often with other men and the aide, it is very disturbing. My daughter is a 4th year med student and she said she wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't seen it for herself.

I have a meeting with the care coordination team today and I am going to bring this up. The aide knows I am very disturbed by this woman's behavior. I know the woman can't help what she does but they need to have more aides on the floor to monitor all these people.

Any suggestions would be appreciated???
Thanks
Gloria

 
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:26 AM   #2
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Re: Personal Space Boundries in Nursing Home

When I first went to work at the long term care center I was amazed by such behavior but it is actually rather common. The need for love and affection never goes away. Some just have a more amorous way of showing it. We had one gentleman that we finally used a dowel rod in the wheel chair wheels to keep him from roaming from lady to lady. I remember the shock of the children when they found out that their Mom and another resident were kissing and that it was mutual. Now one of the ladies down the hall from Mom and Dad does much the same as you described.

The unwanted advances are a problem and they do need to be handled by the staff. You DO need to mention this in your care meeting. They need to be aware that it is going on (they probably already are) and the one aid, though she seems to try, can not take care of this situation and everything else that she needs to do as well. Short of isolating or confining the lady there is not much they can do to stop it other than distration. This is definitely a difficult situation because in order to protect the residents from her you take away her freedoms for something she truly can not control.

I will say this.... it seems to bother the family members more than it does the residents. The problem is more the aggitation she shows when her advances are rejected or stopped. I think that should be the main point of your discussion with the staff. Not the action itself but the excess and the aggrivated agression that follows it.

Good luck with this situation gig. I laugh when I remember our first months in the AL. There was a gentleman that was flirting with Mom and my Dad would become furious. Over the last 15 months he has accepted Dad as Mom's boyfriend and left her alone for the most part

Love, deb

 
Old 12-30-2008, 10:45 AM   #3
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Re: Personal Space Boundries in Nursing Home

When Mom was alive there was a gentleman who had some issues as well. But with him it was -ahem- exposing himself. The staff was aware that he was attracted to several of the ladies and would get rather arosed when they were around. It was difficult for the staff. They finally upped his medication which calmed him down some and it helped with the-urges-that he was having. It was hard on the visitors that would come to see this otherwise very nice man all of a sudden drop hiw drawers and -well- you know----. I guess that some things never go away!

There was also a lady that decided that my father was a good looking man that she wanted. She kept telling my mom that she needed to get away from her boy friend! Well, Mom was "out of it" but not so out of it that she was going to leave her hubby of 64 years. She told "the hussy" as she called her, to go away and leave him alone!.

You need to address these issues with the staff. The staff needs to either have a one on one for this lady, or there needs to be more staff, or they can adjust her meds to help calm her down. THey can hardly contain her in her room to keep her away from the rest of the residents. but they certainly can keep better watch on her or they can do a meds adjustment if she is on them.

In the mean time you'd better wear protective clothing!

 
Old 12-30-2008, 11:11 AM   #4
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Re: Personal Space Boundries in Nursing Home

Gloria, This problem has just came up at my Moms AL facility. A new resident, male, seems to think its OK to tell every woman there how much he loves the female body. And all it has to offer him. I cleaned his statements up. No way could I put here what he said. Well this man was sitting at Moms table when my sister took Mom to lunch one day two weeks ago. He proceeds to tell my sister all of these "things" that he loves about females. Sis says "You can't say those things to my Mom"!! It gets worse as the conversation gets heated. Sis moved Mom and reported him. The staff already knew all about this man and his family has been called. They were shocked.
Well Sunday I spent the day with Mom and took her to supper. She insisted on sitting with her friends. The man was there. "Mom are you sure you want to sit there"? "Yes" So I think OK maybe he'll be nice. Boy was I wrong!!!! I left the table for two minutes and went back and stood at the next table and listened!!!!! I couldn't believe my ears. I said "Thats it !!! Your not sitting here Mom". He said he was having a private conversation with Mom and it was none of my business. This is no small man. Nor is he physically unfit. I was ready to go a couple of rounds with him. I was so mad. LOL Just kidding. (Well maybe not. When it comes to Mom) I said "Mister your never having another conversation with my Mom, EVER"!!! I know I shouldn't have said anything, just moved Mom but I instantly felt protective and just plain pi**ed. It took him less than two minutes to get started. I moved Mom accross the room and she will never sit near him again. I contacted the director and she said there is little they can do. He has a right to "free speech" and he isn't hurting anyone. WHAT???? What about Moms rights? Well, she can move. There have been numerous complaints. . Mom may have dementia but she has not lost her mind. She knew what he was saying was just plain weird and "nasty" as Mom put it.
Its a shame that at this point in our lives the last thing any of us need is a pervert having access to my Mom. Believe me the things he was saying were perverted. Every single person there has orders that my Mom is to never be near this man.
I had to laugh though at what Mom said. "What makes him think that he's so special and good looking that I would have anything to do with him anyway? He's not even handsome"? I guess its Mom point of view. She doesn't think about it until she is taken to the dining room.
So........in the end there is nothing that can be done. So sad. Until he physically hurts someone.
Good luck Gloria.
Love Chris

 
Old 12-30-2008, 06:16 PM   #5
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Re: Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Thanks for your replys. I had a meeting with the head nurse, social worker and activities director today. What the activities director was doing there was beyond me. Yes, they know all about this lady kissing every man in the joint including my dad. They told me no other family member has complained about her before and now that they have a formal complaint they can take it to the administrator. I understand why they never had a complaint before, I never see any of the other residents family visiting except for the kissing womans husband. It is very sad. Even on the weekend there are very few visitors.

Before I left this afternoon I was told by the head nurse the administrator will look into having two aides in the common room at all times. I doubt it will happen but at least they listened. Today the woman slept on a bench the entire time I was there so she wasn't a problem.

The social worker told me to call him if the disturbing activity continues when I visit. We will see what happens.

My dad and I had a good visit. We tranferred old photos into a new photo album. I asked him to tell me who the peope were in the pictures and he could tell me the older folks names. I was very happy to see him remember my grandparents, his brothers and some of his kids. You never know what or who they are going to remember. He even remembered where he was when some of the pictures were taken.

Thanks again
Gloria

 
Old 12-30-2008, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Gjg, as you probably know there are many types of dementia. One of the most troubling forms of dementia to deal with is something called frontotemporal dementia which affects the frontal lobe of the brain. This lobe is responsible for our "social graces". It inhibits us from acting on our animal impulses and also from saying things we're thinking but obviously aren't appropriate. When it happens in elderly individuals, it's disturbing because many of them become sexually inappropriate which not only makes other residents around them feel uncomfortable, but it's very difficult for the families as well.

 
Old 12-31-2008, 08:27 AM   #7
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Re: Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Gig, I am glad the facility listened to you and are taking actions into consideration. They do want to make it the best place for everybody and will do what they can..... at least I know I did when I worked in long term care. Sometimes there was no perfect answer that made everybody happy but there was always a way to make it better. Two aids in the commons area will not solve the situation but will hopefully make it better.

Cgran is right. When the frontal lobe is involved the social graces and self control goes out the window. They react on inpulse without the learned restrictions that we use in social situations. It is so very sad for the sufferer not to be able to act appropriately but it is not something they can control.

I am glad your last visit was better and I hope it continues to be that way.

Love, deb

 
Old 12-31-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Well I need to write my apology to everyone for using the term pervert. Can't believe I was so insinsitive to use such a word.

There is no excuse but my reasoning seems to go out the window these days when it comes to Mom. I'm trying so hard to hold on to her dignity I guess I'm feeling overwhelmed at times.

I know this man can't help what is happening to him. Neither can my Mom. So I over-react. Stress is getting to me.

Love Chris

 
Old 12-31-2008, 01:10 PM   #9
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Re: Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Drews Gram,

Please don't beat yourself up. All of us here read the essence of the meaning to the messages and not necessarily the words alone. Some of my posts appear to be after I've had a drink or two and I wasn't even near a cabinet!

So we use a wrong word here or there, or we use a wrong sentence or punctuation. It's no big deal. Deb, Lil Deb, Martha, IBake and everyone else who reads and posts or just reads, understands and knows that you are very sensitive and caring daughter who would like nothing but to have things go back to the way they were but knows that it can't.

To get a little frustrated, angry, annoyed whatever the term is for violating your mother's personal space is normal.

So forgive yourself, as we do each other. Okay? Have a wonderful and safe New Year.

Take Care and God Bless Us All

Caring

 
Old 12-31-2008, 02:08 PM   #10
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Re: Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Thank you Caring. I just felt bad after I hit "post". I was very upset the entire day after my visit with Mom. I should stay away from the computer when I'm mad and hurt. LOL

I'll stop beating myself up. I seem to be a mess these days. Thanks for your understanding reply. You take care also.

Love Chris

 
Old 12-31-2008, 03:40 PM   #11
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Re: Personal Space Boundaries in Nursing Home

Don't stay away from the computer when you are hurt or upset Chris. That is what we are here for. From time to time each of us have put our true feelings into words here. There are no wrong feelings. The man that approached your Mom was acting perverted.... for whatever reason. We all know, in his right mind, he was probably not a pervert but what you saw left you with a feeling that he was perverted towards your Mom. There is a great difference and we all understand that. So keep typing. We know you what a caring, wonderful daughter you are. We understand that somebody was inappropriate towards your Mom. Our blood boiled with yours. So Caring is right.... forgive yourself just as you have forgiven each of us in the past when we went off the deep end and only had each other to hold on to. It's part of being good to yourself and we could all do a better job of that

Love, deb

 
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