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bearcubs 03-08-2012 09:30 PM

Living in a Care Facility
 
How do you handle knowing your loved one is living in a care facility and you wonder how and what they are doing when you are not with them and they are on your mind a lot.

ninamarc 03-08-2012 10:07 PM

Re: Living in a Care Facility
 
My FIL had stayed in his old house for at least 5/6 years given home care service from part-time to 24/7. In a way we had exhausted home care. So he had to go to a home. The thing that makes me feel better is that we found a well-reputated home for memory impaired and they do take good care of my FIL. Certainly in the beginning my FIL thought he was about to "work with my husband." Gradually he likes his new place and the staff are nice to him. He likes the food there and he likes the peers there. He feels security now even if he sleeps in the activity room half a day.

At times we do wonder how he is and what he is doing. Now we kind of know his schedule and know that he is stable. Yes we do miss being with him to see to things. We cannot stay with him for 10 days at least like before when we visited him in his own house. But we know that the staff will take care of him. At times we do have to make sure the things are in order in his room, but we know we have done the best for him.
I don't feel guilty because we have exhausted everything back home. Given that my FIL always demanded that my husband "worked with him", we have worked around the difficulty so we have no regrets. We know he is declining so we do the best to make sure he has comfort care in the home. He is better and more comfortable now in a secure controlled environment. We have accepted this fact.
Emotionally we sometimes do feel we need to be with my FIL, but we know that we are doing what is best for him.

Please know that your loved one is well-cared for in the home, so don't feel guilty about it. I do know that if my FIL were still at home, he would have suffered too much with the hospital and his other conditions. My FIL does not know that but this home has offered him the best comfort care in a secure place.

Nina

bearcubs 03-08-2012 10:17 PM

Re: Living in a Care Facility
 
Nina, how do I deal with the fact that my mom is sitting in the chair in her room and she is alone. Sometimes she talks to other people and goes to some activities but it still bothers me to know she is just sitting in her room by herself. It is so sad.

Gabriel 03-08-2012 10:48 PM

Re: Living in a Care Facility
 
Hopefully she is not just sitting in her room alone all day. She goes to meals and activities. Care staff comes by to check on her, change her, and give her medications. Other residents wander in. She is probably in and out of her room more than you know. She should be laid down or a position change several times a day as well. Yes there are time she is in her room alone but that is not her daily routine.

One thing you can do is to go in and ask to follow her daily routine. That way you will know where she is. The other thing you can do is to request that she be brought into a commons area for part of the day.

In Mom's unit there are some that are rarely in their rooms except to sleep like my Mom. She gets up, dressed, goes to breakfast and only goes back to her room when she goes to bed. Others ask to be in their room rarely, wanting to leave the safety of those four walls. We would consider it intolerable to stay in one room all day but the confusion of a commons area can be distressing to an Alzheimer's patient. They may enjoy some solitude. The best thing you can do is to go follow her daily routine and ask the staff to help you understand all that she is participating in.

Most of all you have to trust the care facility and the care givers that they are doing what is best for Mom and making sure she gets what she needs.

Love, deb

ninamarc 03-09-2012 07:14 AM

Re: Living in a Care Facility
 
[QUOTE=bearcubs;4941381]Nina, how do I deal with the fact that my mom is sitting in the chair in her room and she is alone. Sometimes she talks to other people and goes to some activities but it still bothers me to know she is just sitting in her room by herself. It is so sad.[/QUOTE]

If your Mom is in her room all day, you should check with the staff or the director to see why it is the case. You can request that they bring her out to the activity room or near the nurse station. Where my FIL is, they have both activity room and this living area near the nurse station so the residents don't have to be alone. They have the policy that they bring out every resident for breakfast, activity and etc. My FIL unfortunately no longer participates with the activities, but he closes his eyes and sleeps in his wheelchair in the publc area. You may want to ask the staff to bring Mom out to the public area so the nurse or the caregiver can see her.
The reason they bring out the residents is that they can watch them in a group. Sometimes my FIL asks to take a nap in his room, then they take him back to his room. After he wakes up, he would manage to tell the caregiver or nurse, then they will come to see him. They make sure my FIL goes to supper.
If the staff takes the round and watch Mom to make sure she is ok, then it may be another option. You probably feel that mom is lonely or ignored. But sometimes Mom may tune out as well. My FIL tunes out in the group this year. So Mom may not feel very bad. You feel bad because you feel that Mom will want to do something. She may not because she has declined.
However, my FIL still listens to music and sees the outside landscape or cars. I was told that my FIL is more alert in the early morning.

You may want to ask the staff to bring out something like that to call her attention. We have one on one caregiver 4 hours a week. Even if Mom does not engage with the caregiver, they can bring music to her and take her around to see the house or yard. She can see things through the windows too.

I agree someone should take her around to do something. But Mom may not be able to do what you would like her to do anymore.

Hugs,
Nina


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