Bad assisted living facility.

Started by

I put my mother in an ALF in Feb. this year and she hasn't adjusted yet. She wants to move back with us and I can't take her back. She's too much to handle for me. She is 91 with dementia and in very much pain from hip surgery 3 yrs ago. I'm sure it's her dementia talking that they are mean to her, won't give her medicine for pain, don't talk to her. I found another lady wearing her blouse and now she's missing two pairs of pants. I told them I will wash her clothes and bedding. Now I have a big note on the door. She said the lady that showers her pulls her hair, tells her what to do. I'm at my wits end. I see her 3 times a weeks, I'm thinking of cutting back. Just venting. My brother's don't care. Bless you all.


Hi SuziQ. If at all possible, don't cut back on visits. On the contrary, visit more and at different times of the day and even night. I found that once the staff realized how much my mom's care meant to me and that I was there almost every day, at different times, they were more attentive to her. I also participated in some of the activity and entertainment times and sat with mom. I think this made mom feel more secure and also was a way for me to meet other residents and introduce them to her. My mom did not have dementia and was in her 80s. Does your mom recognize you? Do the two of you get along ok? I am guessing so, since she wants to return to your home. I also realize dementia has different stages and recognition might come and go. I am glad to say that my mom's care was excellent, although she started to grumble after a while, as I think they all do to an extent. Take your mom's words as truth, but make sure you are there enough to observe the general atmosphere and treatment by the staff. If you show up and discover any neglect or questionable treatment, let the administrator know in a very nice way and ask for attention to your concerns. I have to admit that some of residents, whose families didn't visit often and stay for long did not get as much attention as others. And, as some people have mentioned in other threads, sometimes finances enter the situation.... residents who are on self pay, medicare, and medicaid. It is such a difficult situation, especially with your mom's age and condition. She very well could believe the things she is telling you and maybe they are true? There is no positive way to know, but I do believe my involvement with other residents and the staff played a part in my mom's case. Of course, the owner of her ALF was involved in the care and treatment of the residents, and his door was always open to the residents and their families. If you see anything that worries you about your mom's care, maybe you should look at some other facilities. There were some I visited, while narrowing down the choices for my mom, where I walked in, stayed for five minutes, and left! I don't think I have been of much help to you, but I wanted to share my experiences. My heart goes out to you. It is so difficult to see you mom age and face all of the challenges of losing her independence and, in your mom's case, not even having a secure grasp on reality. Keep writing and let people here know how you are doing. It is helpful to read about others' situations and thoughts, and there are people here who will try to help and support you. Best of luck.

In your shoes, I think I would write down all of mom's complaints, i.e. take her seriously and show her that you hear what she's saying. Sort her issues into categories. Medical? Director of nursing. Laundry? Head of housekeeping. The whole list should go to the director of social work as well. I've found with my mom in three separate facilities that understanding their systems was key in knowing who to address issues with and how to get them resolved. Is her clothing labelled? What is the protocol for giving pain meds? Does she have prn (available upon request) pain relief written by doctor? Who has she asked for meds? In my mom's case, she doesn't get who the various personnel are. She also doesn't always ask, she seems to expect them to know when she's in pain. I'd arrive for a visit and she'd say "I'm in pain!" I'd ask where and she couldn't tell me. I'd ask if she's told anyone and she hadn't. I finally got them to put her on scheduled pain meds because she just can't seem to figure out how to ask when she's hurting. But do sit down with the appropriate staff and try to address the issues.
SuziQ, does your Mom actually say she wants to move back in with you, or is she saying "I want to go home"? It's my understanding with memory loss that when a patient says they want to go home, they mean the house where they spent their childhood.
Sorry I haven't been back to this site. Things are going ok I guess. She doesn't say she wants to come home with me anymore. She seems to not care about much anymore either. She just stays in her room except for her meals. And then she usually isn't that hungry. When she went in she was 148 lbs, now she's down to 121lbs. a month ago. She says she wishes God would take he. She get her Oxydone (spelling) 10mg 4 times a day. I think that has made her dementia worse and not wanting to do anything. But she is in so much pain she needs them. Now I found a sore on her ankle and her ankle is swollen, so she finally agreed I can take her to the doctor. It could be a spider bite, but not sure. I guess I need to write her name in all her clothes, but they know I take them and wash them. They are getting better about putting them in a bag and putting them on the top shelf so she doesn't put them back on.
And life goes on. Thanks everyone and have a wonderful day, week, month.
good grief get an Ombudsman in there NOW. Wow! Demand the Head Nurse too! Plus if she is on all that oxycodone she could be seriously constipated. If she hasn't had a BM in three days, head for the ER, pronto!!

The fact that your mom has lost so much weight, has a new sore, is uninterested in activities, and is on so much oxycodone is very concerning. It can get very overwhelming dealing with all of the issues of an aging parent.

You may want to find a geriatric care manager to help you address some of these issues and concerns:
I concur on the Oxycodone...4 times a day is a huge dose, plus she is probably addicted to it now, so...any alteration to a strict dosing schedule may give her withdrawl symptoms, or she may be acclimated to dose and be needing higher dose to achieve same effect. I am so sorry to hear of her depressed state, and the toll is take on you too. I will remember you in my daily prayers and send good thoughts your & your mom's way. Take care.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support