Mom is in a nursing home.
The broken leg, sepsis, dental surgery, two weeks in the hospital took its toll. Then she went to a couple of different nursing homes and medications got out-of-whack.
Maybe she had a stroke. Maybe she lost her equilibrium and has been slow regaining it. We will likely never know.
From the family's standpoint, having her in a nursing home where she is bathed, medicated and toileted by trained professionals has been a vast relief.
They clean and change her bedding. They supply physical therapy. They prepare food and put bandages on her boo-boos.
There has been a loss in the precision in med-drops. Before the nursing home, Mom's bathing was tightly synchronized with max effectiveness of her pain meds. We lost that.
Before the nursing home, Mom split her time between a very comfortable chair and bed. At the nursing home Mom spends most of her time in a bed and a small amount of time in a sling-bottomed wheel-chair that is not as comfortable on her bottom.
Like every other place in America, the nursing home is struggling to find enough people who want to work.
A family member attends during lunch and dinner most days. We know we will not have her forever. Nobody really expects that she will be able to return to her home.
Been through it with my mom.ReplyDelete
It's a long and rough road.
One of the reasons we call on
My mom is 91. Without a doubt, the greatest mom ever. I moved in five years ago and quit working two years ago. It's great to have this time and i am hoping we can keep on keeping on. But the dings and dizziness, it's tough.ReplyDelete
Good luck, and get out the photo collection.
Quick note on people working at the homes....no "jab" no work. The same problem in all medical jobs. (in Texas)ReplyDelete
Be aware that at the very nicest nursing homes, everything the patient has will "disappear". Hearing aids, false teeth, personal walker, all grist for the mill.ReplyDelete
UTIs and incorrect dosages of some old-age drugs will lead to cognition and balance problems. UTIs are often missed but have big impacts on the faculties of senior women, something we learned with mom - it became one of the first things we checked when she seemed not herself.ReplyDelete
If you can, bring her comfy chair. All movement is good, even going to and from the chair. Even better is Physical/Occupational therapy, try to get her moving under supervision. My mom has had many falls (UTI and meds-related) so she had quite a few stints in rehab facilities. Getting in some movement has made the difference.
Second what Les says, especially now with high turnover. Unannounced visits at odd hours, an array of focused family members, getting to know names and showing an interest in the staff as individuals defeats the comfort of anonymity. And there’s always the nanny cam.
Meant to add, never forget that YOU are your family member's defender and advocate when they cannot be. We keep an up-to-date medical file hard copy. It comes with us to each and every doctor visit, because hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses SUCK at keeping and sending medical records. You can't imagine how much BS you can cut through when you produce this. It puts doctors on notice that you are paying careful attention, and it changes the conversation. Don't forget the Medical Power of Attorney and other associated legal ammunition.Delete
I second the recommendation to pay attention to signs of a UTI. My mother had an undiagnosed UTI and her caregivers were wondering why she had turned so crotchety and not recovered from it.Delete
While I'm on the phone here, another "advance" deserves some attention: the inflatable pads they put on a bedridden patient's bed to prevent bedsores. The pads are alternately inflated and allowed to deflate. One night while I stayed with her for a few weeks near the end of her life, my incommunicative mother wanted to sleep on the second bed in the room (she eventually wound up sleeping in the recliner), so I slept in her bed. Whenever I turned on my side, I pressed my ear against the inflatable pads ... and listened to the air pump start up, every 2 minutes or so. How can anyone sleep with that racket? There must be a better way to design the pad inflator that does not transmit so much noise.
Best of luck to y'all, and God bless.ReplyDelete
"You're gonna miss this"