No one in the NH knew where my Mom was.

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They are having a hard time getting my mother to go to bed at night. All she wants to do is walk the halls. When I went to visit tonight I couldn't find her. I searched all of the halls asking the few people I met if they had seen her. No one had. I finally spotted her shoes next to an exit door so I decided to peek in the room closest to the door. There she was. In bed. Jack's bed. Jack was sitting in his wheel chair next to the bed watching tv as if having a stranger in his bed was normal. I actually laughed a little outloud. When I tried to get her up she wouldn't budge. Good thing since she didn't have her pants on. I ran to her room to get her robe. Her pants were in her room so apparently she had walked down the hall in her pull-ups. My guess is when she couldn't get the exit door open she took her shoes off and then went into Jack's room. On my way back to Jack's room I asked the aide sitting in the lounge if she was on break. She said no so I told her that I found my mother and I needed her help to get her out of Jack's bed. Two of them came with me. It was difficult but we finally got her out of Jack's bed and into her own. I can only hope she stayed there.

Perhaps they will pay closer attention to where my mother wanders from now on.


Some residents like to wander so staff gets used to seeing them pace the halls. It would also be impossible to stop them without using physical or chemical restraints, and no one wants that. Wandering into other people's rooms is also common, as is helping themselves to items from those rooms. Staff is used to that too and do try to sort out lost/found items. Fifteen years ago my grandmother was in assisted living and had a man crawl into bed with her one night (scary!), and when my aunt was in the nursing home she wandered the halls with her pants around her ankles looking for someone to take her to the bathroom. I don't think the staff at your facility were negligent necessarily, they knew the doors were locked and would have probably gone looking when they did a bed check and realized she was missing. It's all just part of living in a communal environment with cognitive decline. Now if there are residents who get violent when there space is invaded that would be a problem, and a nightmare for staff. Sounds like Jack didn't seem to mind at all...
Well maybe she takes a fancy to Jack. The NH staff won't talk about those things, but in house romances are quite common. If it alleviates their loneliness, and reminds them of a better time, be glad for them.
Thanks for reassuring me, cwillie. Now I don't feel compelled to make a surprise visit at 3 in the morning.

Pam...I'm pretty sure she was more interested in the bed. She didn't seem to be aware that Jack was there.

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