Assisted Living Memory Care Hygiene.

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The AL Memory Care facility is not giving Mother or other residents showers. Everyone's hair always looks dirty and flat. What I found out is the CNA's are using Body Wash instead and not putting them in the shower. I don't know what they re using on the hair, but my Mom's hair always smells dirty and not freshly shampooed. I brought in shampoo and bars of soap, but it does not look like it has been used.

One of the new CNA's actually cornered me and another daughter (the one I mention below in next paragraph) and told us the other CNA's were not giving our parent's showers.

I have complained to the Nurse Supervisor, but nothing has changed. I think she knows exactly what is going on and turns a blind eye.

Other daughters of the residents are complaining among themselves, but not to her. This whole situation is deplorable. They seem afraid to complain to her, I think for fear of retaliation, which knowing this Nurse and the way she treats the CNA's is a possibility.

Even though her Mother is being neglected, one daughter said to me she was just "going to go with with the flow" and pointed to the empty Beauty Shop and said maybe I could wash my Mother's hair there!!!! I told her why should I do that when my Mother is paying $4,000 plus a month to have this done!!!! I was/am flabbergasted at this attitude. Ugh!!!!

Is this neglect typical of these facilities......that they expect this behavior from relatives of residents to look the other way and not complain? Has anyone had this happen to them? How did you handle this?



Is this for just alzheimers patients? If it is, then getting them to take a shower might be really hard. It would be like wrestling a bobcat and giving it a shower. If your mother is pliable and willing, then that's a different story though. If I were you, I'd start rattling some cages there. Start at the top since everyone seems to be intimidated by their immediate superior, and go to the scary ones boss. Find out if it IS too hard to wrangle one of the people into washing, because that really could be the case. Doesn't mean it's right, but it might explain why they're dragging their feet so bad. But also, I personally wouldn't wait for them to wash my mother's hair. I'd be doing it myself, either in the shower at the sink or at the beauty shop. And you're right, she's paying a boat load of money so you should be getting some answers.
You don't have to browse too far on here to see that bathing and shampooing seniors, especially (but not only) if they have dementia is a huge challenge. If residents are getting good bed bathes and dry shampoos, that may be the reason. Seems unlikely, though, that the entire unit wouldn't have some people who are willing to shower.

I think the first time I went to the head hancho I'd try to keep my indignation in check, and simply ask for explanations. Why hasn't my mother been showered? What do they do instead? How about shampooing? Hear their side of it. That doesn't mean you have to accept it, but first gather information, from the top.

How is the care in other ways? How is the interaction between the staff and residents? Is the staff patient? Do they wait for the resident to gather her thoughts and give her plenty of time to respond to a question, or do they always seem rushed? Do they pay close attention when they assist with feeding (if needed) or do their minds seem to wander? Are they sensitive to expressions of pain? How do they handle delusions?

If the standards of care seem all around dreadful, then looking for another place seems a better investment of time. But if they are pretty good except for this issue, then advocating for improvement, at least for your loved one, will be worth the effort.

Good luck.
I'm sorry you are having this experience with are deplorable lack of proper hygiene. The home my mother lives in costs considerably less and all residents have a shower day and get a shampoo at that time. Other Hair care must be done by resident or by appt at in house salon or at the individuals private one. As to in between care residents are expected to do this on their own. Also aids only are in attendance at showers, but resident does her own. Find out what the procedure is at her home. It was made very clear that this was "assisted " living that the resident would be provided meals, but has to go to dining room on time, would be helped with shower and hair for safety, but had to do themselves and would be given oral meds, must do own injections. Many people think assisted living is the same as skilled care like a nursing home and get upset by the seeming lack of care. Be sure your mother is in the right type of care for her needs. If this is the case,(improper care) your state Health dept. should be informed so corrective action is taken.
Nancynurse, in your mother's care center, if a resident refused to shower on her shower day, what would the procedure be?
This is a difficult issue for everyone. My parents are in a wonderful AL facility, but they really struggled to get my mother bathed! However, they were good enough to talk to me about it so we could come up with some ideas. At first I was appalled to see my mom in dirty clothes and her hair a mess. But, soon I realized that I needed to get a bit more involved and now things are a lot better.

My mother also has dementia and it was a challenge for me to get her to change her clothes! At one point I got her to change her socks and almost fell over when I saw how long her toenails were!!! Everything I wanted her to do that had anything to do with personal care was unbelievably difficult. I felt like I was walking through quicksand.

I'm not excusing poor care, but I cannot imagine having a lot of people to care for in that situation. Also, finding good help is difficult in most situations so I can only imagine trying to find people who are willing to deal with the elderly who are pretty much like children, but bigger and stronger!

We're in a situation where people are living a lot longer. We're good at keeping people alive long past the time when they are functional and as their relatives, children and friends we feel guilty for not making this time in their lives totally comfortable and acceptable to us. We are putting ourselves in that situation and seeing how horrible it is, but to be honest (and I know this sounds pretty horrible) how unhappy are they?

I'd be a lot more worried if I found my parent sitting around in dirty underwear and sheets. I'd be upset if my parent was in pain and left lying on the floor, etc. You also have to remember this is "assisted living" and they are not going to be there for everything at the exact moment your loved one needs it.

I'm telling you this because it's easy for me to get upset, too. I've been concerned a number of times because I felt as though my parents weren't getting enough attention. On the other hand, my dad fell one night and they tried calling me. I didn't hear my phone so they took him to the ER. Then they brought him back and he fell again so they took him back to the ER. They left me four messages I'm sorry to say, but I'm so grateful that they made the right decision without me.

Before getting upset with the staff, I would talk to them about what they need from you. What can you do to make it easier for them? I could be totally off base on this and maybe you've already done everything and more to make things happen. This is just my own experience.
Very good insight, TheirDaughter. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer. This is a Memory Care unit housed in the same building as regular assisted living and a nursing home, but separated from them with locked doors. My Mom calls it "jail". Lol.

For the most part all of the CNA's are wonderful. There are a few "bad apples", but most are very good.

Bathing/showering, dressing, tolieting, medication administration by a Nurse from the Nursing home are all part of what my Mom pays for and why the cost is so much more than regular assisted living. When we brought Mom here a year ago, they were doing all of this, but in the last six months, care of the residents has been lax. The 3 meals a day have improved though, after they received a bad grade from the Health Department!!!! There have been some medication errors also, which I caught , and worries me constantly.

We are looking at a newly opened facility dedicated exclusively to dementia/alzheimer's residents. I have heard good reviews this one is top notch with individualized care plans for each resident, nurse follow-up meetings, many more activities designed specifically with the resident's likes, dislikes, and abilities. Am keeping my fingers crossed and will let you know how it goes.

The good news is looks like the Nurse/Supervisor I complained to finally got the message, as when I picked my Mom up on Saturday to go out to dinner, her hair had been shampooed and she was clean. It's a good thing as I had an appointment this week to see the Administrator (her boss). If she had not been bathed on Saturday, I had also planned to take her to my home and do it myself, which is not easy as all baths, showers are on the second floor. So, I am happy they had done it. I trim her fingernails and toenails frequently too.

Thanks again for listening.
who do u contact to get the results of inspections -the state -city-county depts of the state they r in?shouldnt there be someone on staff in the nh facility that can supply that info?otherwise how would anyone trak or be aware of whats going on withthe inspections?
(pressed send too fast) who to address my concern of moms high blood surgar levels at 2nd checking- late afternoon i thing-- ishe is diabetic- and its een over 200-300 for months- all i am told is if its high she will get a shot-
but long term effects are what? medication she takes ups blood sugar- why hasnt that been chked- should it be? or do they just go along and consider it her normal
and onl get upset if there is a major crisis????
sorry major spelling error- but i forget to re read before i send-and i tend to get a bit emotional when dealing with moms care-

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