First off, thank you all for your kind comments on my first post that you were thinking of me this weekend. They were so nice to read.
As we pulled into the new place, there was no parking in back at the memory care entrance, so unfortunately we had to go into the main entrance and check in there, and then it's a very long walk back to the m/c part. As we pulled into the lot mom says "home sweet home". But when we walked inside of course she didn't really recognize it and said something to that effect. It was at this point I just decided to go with "your apartment is having some repairs done so they are going to put you in a different room" and she was totally like oh ok!
Of course mom was tired and so slow. The lady was really nice and took us inside the m/c area and walked us to her room and I think (It's all kind of jumbled now) introduced us a med tech just as we were going into mom's room. She introduced herself but said it's shift change and she's just leaving and then she was gone. We checked out mom's room. They did a great job setting it up and decorating it with her items. It was really nice. Then what? There was no one to help us/tell us what to do/orient us. DD stayed with mom in the room and I went to try to find someone. Everyone was in this office (with windows) and appeared to be having a meeting. I stood back outside the office for a bit, but no one came out to help. Then one of the residents tried to go in and one of them told him "we're having a meeting" so I went back to mom's room. A bit later I tried going down to the "nurses station" again and a couple of them came out so I said "excuse me, we're just getting my mom moved in now and we're not really sure what we're supposed to do now". Both dd and I were a little miffed. We really felt that someone should have been involved with welcoming her and basically taking over to help her, take her around or whatever. One of the staff I stopped and asked sorta helped. Then she says "does she have dementia?" and mom says "what? I have dementia?" Well, no shit sherlock! Why else would she be here? The girl was training another person and that girl asked "do you know what stage she is?" I replied not really, around a 6 but when they did their assessment she's at your "level 2" for care needed. Like shouldn't they all know that? They also did not have her name on her door, like everyone else, which I thought would really help her find her room, don't you think?
We ended up staying for almost 2 hours, just because we felt like we were just leaving her all by herself at that point. Then we wandered back down to the dining area and they were having "happy" hour at 2:30 so we sat down with her and had "drinks" (punch) so that was better. As we walked up to a table, there was a group at the table next to us and mom said hello and another lady said "are you new here?" Mom says No. LOL. We did the happy hour and then walked her back to her room and she sat in her recliner, so we decided to leave and hope she's rest some. The movers had plugged her landline in the phone jack and I checked and it had a dial tone, but I didn't try to call it our call out with it.
Saturday morning a little after 9 I called the nurses station to ask how she did her first night. She said she really didn't want them to help her last evening but then this morning she was fine and let them help and seemed in a good mood. We went to our friends place to pick up that china hutch cabinet, so we got to mom's place around 2, I think. She was just kind of out in the common area and had apparently just been wandering around. She was happy to see us. We sat down in the dining area to visit and I realized she didn't have her glasses on, so I went and found them on her nightstand. It would help if she could see good, LOL. She seemed good, though for our visit of about 30 minutes.
Then about 6:30 Saturday evening she called me, from a # I didn't recognize, but she said she was calling from the phone that has my name on it (her landline where I have the button marked with my name). I was so confused - but her telephone is another story for later. She told me she doesn't want to stay here any longer, she doesn't want to do all the stuff they want her to keep doing, so she's ready to go home. Oh boy....I was honestly expecting that from our visit earlier that afternoon. I just said well, it's night time now and I'm already back at home so you'll have to stay there tonight and she was ok with that, but then said "well, I have my car (still on the car thing) here somewhere". I tried to tell her she doesn't have a car, but that just confused her more, so I just agreed with her and told her again, well it's dark out, so you better stay put tonight.
Yesterday we stopped in again to see her, before dropping dd off at the airport. We got there around 3:45 and most of the residents were sitting in the common sitting area, listening to a musician they had playing guitar and singing. Mom was there, too, so we just went on past and to her room to drop off the extra shoes I got her and see if we could figure out the telephone. Then we went back to the common area and the music had just finished up so we said hello to her and walked her back to her room and visited awhile. This time her concern was she didn't have her mom's phone number so she could call her and let her know where she was. So sad. Other than after Thanksgiving and her telling K that she spent Thanksgiving with her parents, this is the first she has really thought her mom/parents were still alive. We just went with it, as her reality. I told her I didn't have her ph# with me. She mentioned it a couple more times and then dd said, we'll call her for you when we get home, is there something you want us to tell her (just where she is and she'll be going home tomorrow).
All in all, it's gone as best as can be expected. Though I think it's going to be a couple of weeks before the staff is tuned into her. I wasn't paying attention to what she was wearing on Friday and too frazzled on Saturday to check her clothes hamper to see if clothes got put in there, but when I went in yesterday she had the same top on as the day before, and obviously Friday too, as there were no tops. She did have a different pair of jeans on, but her previous days jeans were laying on her little sink countertop. That annoyed me too, of course that she was still wearing the same top 3 days in a row. I went to the nurses station and there was just one in the room in back of that office area (that has like a half window) but she was standing at a computer screen with her back to me and didn't see me standing there, so I tapped on the window. When she first turned around and was walking towards me she had a really annoyed look on her face. I told her who I was and that my mom would need help making sure her dirty clothes got put into her hamper and new ones picked for her each day, otherwise she'll just keep wearing the same thing. She said "oh ok, I'm make sure the aides put her clothes in the hamper when they get her nightgown on and then put on clean clothes the next day" I said, perfect, thank you very much. I'm sure it's just going to take time to get it all in a routine and figured out.
I'm back at work this morning, but have to make a few calls about mom today. Telephone, new doctor, and cancel her Hero med dispenser system.
I think that you are right that the move went OK. I am moving my husband to a new facility in three weeks as I am not happy with his care and the rate just went up a lot. He is so confused I don’t think he will notice. It would actually be easier for the staff in the long run if they made a concerted effort to really try to get your mom comfortable with her new surroundings. And how hard is it to put her dirty clothes in the hamper! The other thing you will have to watch is are they brushing her teeth. I think that if the resident says no they don’t try any harder to change their mind. Good luck. I will be definitely following your progress.ReplyDelete
Oh my. I don’t even know what to say. All of it sounds wrong. I’m not sure if a memory care unit is the same as a nursing home, but I would think it would require the same amount of care. She can walk but obviously needs help getting dressed and probably with lots of things. It doesn’t sound like there is good communication, such as she wears glasses, just like if someone wears dentures, they need to know about it and have them on. I hope things improve. It is so stressful for you both. JoyceReplyDelete
What frustrated me a bit was that they already had all the information from when the did their assessment of her and her needs, so while she can dress herself, she needs the dirty clothes put in the hamper and clean clothes laid out. She doesn't remember what is dirty and clean now. Hopefully, they will be in their routine for her care, soon.Delete
I hate to jump to conclusions but I'm beyond disappointed that it appears the staff isn't putting much effort into seeing to your mom's needs. Considering how much it costs to be in that facility, and there aren't a great number of residents to care for, I would think she would receive better attention.ReplyDelete
While we were out in the common area, the staff seems to be really on the ball to pay attention to what is going on and jump in to redirect residents when needed, so we were impressed with that. I just need to make sure her personal care is not lacking. I'm sure this first week or so, while she adjusts they probably don't want to push her too hard yetDelete
I would have been bitterly disappointed that there wasn't someone to meet you and make the transition easier for you all. However I would give it a week or two before assessing the situation.ReplyDelete
I would use her behaviour as an indication of whether this memory care unit is going to be the right place for her.
A very exhausting week for you and dd.
Take care. xx
that's what I figured, give it a couple of weeks to see if they've gotten a routine of care figured out for her that is working. I am going to tell the coordinator who set us all up to move in that I was not very impressed with the move in day attention.Delete
I hope like you, that the first few days are not indicative of the overall experience going ahead. But I am glad she is moved in and settled at least.ReplyDelete
Several people I have talked to have either told me they worked there in the past or they know someone who stayed there and every one but one (someone who had her husband) said it's a good place. Our neighbors have a friend who's husband just passed away there and she had him there a year or two and complained about it. But, neighbor said she was there every single day and pretty controlling so that's probably why she wasn't happy. It didn't sound like she would have been happy with any facility.Delete
Ok this is great!!Delete
Wrap some bright neon tape on the glasses frame(the part that goes over her ear) and take a picture of them. Glasses get mixed up so easily in memory care. The staff can know to look out for them. See if you can meet any other family members who seem to visit regularly. You can exchange numbers and offer to be each others eyes.ReplyDelete
Those are both great ideas! I hadn't thought about losing her glasses!Delete
I was going to say a similar idea about her glasses. If you can, maybe write her name on the inside ear piece with a permanent marker before taping it. 'Cause you know, Mom will probably pull the tape off. LOL.Delete
My mom's doctor does the same thing, so of course mom gets upset. Thank you for your kind comments!ReplyDelete
Well, my suggestion is for at least the first month or so get over to visit/check on her as often as you can - even if your hubby can go while you are working. Make sure they are getting things done & listening to what you are saying (changing clothes, etc.) & she's getting involved in whatever activities they are having. If they know you are monitoring them, they may be a little more attentive. What a struggle. I'm dealing with my 90 & 94 year old parents who are both of sound mind, but who are as stubborn as 5 year olds! ha ha! So either way, it's a struggle, my friend! But, we do the best we can. And you are looking out for your mom & seeing that she is getting the care she needs - she's lucky to have you. I sometimes get frustrated/annoyed/stressed with my parents, but then try to remember, there will be a time when they are no longer with me & I'll wish they were alive still - even if making me crazy!ReplyDelete
Hang in there!
Your mom will probably need some time to become familiar to the staff. She should settle in just fine.ReplyDelete
If you're unhappy with anything, bring it to their attention. You know her best.
Overall you should feel some relief. :)
A friend had her mother with ddementia in a home. She said she visited different times of the day to ensure that her mother had care all day long. When she arrived at breakfast time, she had her mother was sometimes the only one dressed and with her hair combed. Going consistently at one time of day meant the carers could slack on care for anyone living there if the relative never visited that time of day or day of the week. She said she kept them on their toes just by being an irregular visitor.ReplyDelete
Put my mom in memory care in November. New journey everyday. Just know that you are not alone.ReplyDelete