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to move or not

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Old 11-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
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to move or not

I have a question.

My mom is currently in a secure retirement facility, in Ontario. She has dementia and is in the high middle stage. She wears depends all the time, and does not get to the bathroom regularly or know when to go and her room regularly smells of urine.

I spent the morning with her on Friday. I witnessed a few things that I found disturbing while I was there.

1. I asked the head nurse while there how a lady named Doris was doing.
She informed me that they didn't have a Doris. I went for a walk and found her room...and name plate. Approached the head nurse again and she went through the files and found her name...."Oh ya, we do" She is the nurse on for 12 hours at a time and gives meds.
2. I phoned ahead and asked this same nurse to have mom ready for the remembrance day assembly so I could take her there....when I got there, mom had just been taken to the bath and would be 1/2 an hour... we were late for the ceremony.
3. I have noticed several times that this same nurse does not interact with the residents.
4. While I was there...and several other workers were moving residents down the elevator to the ceremony, she went in the elevator alone..."to check on a meeting downstairs". Who was in charge when she leaves??

I have an appointment at my first choice nursing home on Monday.

I am considering moving mom to this facility. She would get more care while there. Not to mention the cost being lower as it is subsidized by our government.

This is not an easy decision for me. Mom has said regularly that she is ready to move somewhere else...but that is the grumpyness in her. So, I don't think a move would truly effect her. Not to mention, that my choice is a well-respected home that has excellent reviews.

Any advice or comments are well appreciated. Thanks for letting me vent!

It's hard when you are the only one left....


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Old 11-16-2011, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: to move or not

So sorry that the head nurse seems to be a little out of touch. if you don't like this place, moving her to a place with reputation is not a bad idea.
Where my FIL is, they encourage the workers to compete and they have the award for the best worker monthly. I think the family can nominate the good ones. Did you talk to the director about this? They need to know about it. At least you should mention that she forgot to prepare your Mom. Why were others Ok but not your Mom?

Any move surely affects how the resident adjusts, but if this place is not that great, going to another place with excellent review is a good idea. My FIL's home has a very good reputation and the waiting list is long. We waited 9 months.


Last edited by ninamarc; 11-17-2011 at 07:22 AM.

Old 11-16-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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Re: to move or not

Sherry, not knowing Doris is a problem!! If the nurse is responsible for giving this lady her meds and taking care of her on a daily basis she should at least know her name. Not having a resident ready when requested, unless there is a major reason why, should not happen. Nurses often leave for various reasons for short times. That doesn't bother me as much as the first two. Mom's nurse resides on the second floor and Mom is in the basement but she is only a scout phone call away. Mom is incontinent, wears depends, and does not know how to go to the bathroom. But they take her several times a day, she will usually go when they take her and is infrequently wet. They will change her depends if they are not clean and dry and immediately take them to a trash bin out of her room. There is no odor.

As for the move. If you are dissatisfied with the care your Mom is getting, and there is a better but cheaper facility available then go for it. If Mom was happy there I might give it a second thought, but if Mom says she is ready to move then let her Just know there is an adjustment period with any move. When you put them in a new living arrangements they lose any past familiarity that helps them function. This can be overcome with the help of the staff. Also be aware that your Mom may be grumpy and ready to move because she wants to get away from the confusion she feels. We both know that confusion is in her head and not in the place that she is. So a move may not cure this. But the new facility may be able to help her fit in better and feel better about herself. Is it possible to take her for a visit to the new facility? She may be able to answer your questions for you But with what you have said... I say go for it!

Love, deb

Old 11-17-2011, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: to move or not

i think a move is a great idea. it seems to me she needs better care than she is getting.

Old 11-17-2011, 04:55 PM   #5
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Re: to move or not

Thank you SO much for your replies.

My mom is currently in a secure retirement. That means there is redirection and minimum support. Altho, lately, the residents there are requiring alot more care...which I think drains the staff. But, that being said, it is truly expensive living. It would be MUCH less expensive to move mom to a nursing home facility. The cost would be less, there would be support, and then I could pay for a support worker to visit her each week.

I truly feel for the workers of these homes. I work with special needs children in school and know first hand how tiring these jobs can be. But, I believe that each person, whatever the age, deserves treatment that is personal, humane and kind. I think that is missing in some instances in my my mom's place. The caregivers are wonderful people, just the one that I am speaking about, could possibly be drained. But, for the money I am paying, the needs of my mom, I am hoping to find better care at the place I am visiting on Monday. It has a first class rating. A long waiting list. I am retouring it on Monday with my mom's friends. I will be looking for several things, amongst them being the degree/range of the residents. My mom is only 78, and altho in the high mid dementia stage.....does need some social interaction with peers/residents. I am truly hoping to find this on Monday.

If I have her upgraded to a quicker move, she will be placed within the 6 month period. So, I want to be extremely careful with my decision.

Thank you for all your advice and concerns. I will keep you posted.

I appreciate this board...more than you know. Thank you!


Old 11-17-2011, 07:19 PM   #6
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Re: to move or not

Sherry, you point out something very important. The level of care needed is important. When a loved one is placed in a facility designed for a higher level function and it is filled with low functioning individuals the staff is over worked at best. Staffing is determined by the functional level of the unit. I have found this at Mom's facility. In AL there are lots of low functioning individuals that should be in the locked dementia unit or even NH care. The ratio is about 10 individuals for each care staff. In the locked unit it is about 5 individuals for each care staff. So you can see that the lower functioning individual is much better off in the higher care level because they get much more one on one attention. The incorrect placement is not fair to the patient, the families, or the care staff. Part of it is the fault of families that swear Mom doesn't need that level of care and part of it is the fault of the facility that allows incorrect placements (partially driven by the need to fill beds). The patient and the staff is caught in the middle.

I am with you that each individual deserves personalized, humane, and kind treatment. They deserve to be in a placement that fits their needs. They also need socialization, engagement, and entertainment that fits their need. Those further into their dementia need organized socialization rather than free flowing socialization. They need entertainment geared to their abilities. They do not function the same as we do so their interactions need to be much simper. Again, proper placement is important so they do not become frustrated.

I ran into both with mom's first placement. She needed a lot more assistance then was available. She was getting what was available but that was not enough. She was frustrated with the level of function needed to participate in the community because she was incapable of reaching that level of function. So she ended up isolated with little help. And it all blew up! It was nobody's fault... just a bad situation.... and why I moved her to where she is now

So please check out the level of staffing/patient ratio. Make sure they are familiar with dementia and how to deal with dementia. It is a special world, as we all know. It is best if they have assigned care givers so your Mom's care givers will be consistent. Make sure the activities are geared to their function. Music therapy for me is a must. Also check out the turn over rate of the staff. Consistency is a key to good care

I do hope you find the right placement and it comes quickly

Love, deb

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