qbanita Asked January 2013

Should I bring my Mom home to care for her?

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I cared for my Mom for 2 years prior to placing her. I know I don't want to go through what I did while she was in the early stages of Alheizmer prior to finally. Since then, she has progressed through different stages and is childlike. She recently suffered a snycopal episode (they really don't know what it was) and is now is fragile and requires greater support, which she does not get in the nursing home (I have been supplementing paying for CNA support 4 hours a day, 6 days a week). My Mom is 94 years old and has survived C-Dif 2x's, multiple bouts of pneumonia, and colds. She has a strong constitution! I don't have family members that can help me out or who would be willing to support me - they remember what I went through when I took care of her for those 2 years of her early stages - denial, anger, paranoia. I would have to seek the support from the caregiver's group that I used to belong to if I want to talk to anyone about what I'm going through. Has anyone been through a similar situation? I want to feel I have a good understanding of what to expect before I commit.

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diavalon12 Jan 2013
There is usually a reason that Mom is in a geri-chair. Does she fall a lot? Here in California we have to document why they are in a geri-chair and we have to note how long per day. We also have a no restaint policy. To long in a geri chair could be conceived as a restraint. Start asking why this is being done to the director of nursing.Also I do agree that paying for a CNA is not a normal thing. I would also adress this to the DON as well. Some of our residents have an additional person to come in but it usually for companionship or for doing additional things for them but not usually for there care.
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busy Jan 2013
I am not so sure that perhaps putting Her into another home might be the problem solver. The facility is paid to take care of her and They are not. Putting her in a chair then Not taking care of her is rather suspect.There are places which specialize in this Kind of care and sounds like she is In the general population and being warehoused. I rarely say this but I would contact your States omnibudsmen office......you should Not have to hire staff for a nursing home.
Good luck.
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diavalon12 Jan 2013
I have to agree with Jeanne. Medicare does not usually pay for some of the items related to dementia if that is the primary illness unless they are ready for hospice services. So please do your research on this. I also have to ask Why do you want to change things if Mom is happy?
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jeannegibbs Jan 2013
I don't think that Medicare will pay anything for in-home care. Did you mean Medicaid? Is your mother private pay in the nursing home? The money she is now paying for that could be used for in-home care.

But it sounds to me like your mother is happy with they way things are, especially with the CNA. Why do you want to make a change? Could your goals be met simply by spending more time with her in the NH and on outings?
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qbanita Jan 2013
Hi Jeanne and Diavalon. The responses you both gave are the kind of questions I needed to know to ask of myself and the facility. To answer Jeann's question, when I began to care for my Mom, she had just lost my father of 60 years and her behavior was erratic to say the least. She was angry, distrusting of me and everyone - I had hired caregivers to care for her and she "fired" them all, called them horrible names, and rode them until they cried and quit. She was hell-bent to show everyone she was fully capable of managing her affairs on her own, but obviously could not - this is just a snapshot of what life was like with her 24/7. I found an adult daycare that took me 2 months to get her to go 1 day a week, but I stuck it out and got her going 5 days a week which limited contact with CNA's to 2 hours a day. When they would pick her up from the daycare she would tell them to leave, requiring the daycare staff to coax her for up to 45 minutes. She was one fiesty Cuban! She gives many of the nursing home staff some grief, but then I've observed that these staff "push" her through her routines, rather than to talk to her with respect and care. - Yes, I have brought this to their attention, but in the 2 years she has been there things just don't change - they even started putting her in a geri-chair for hours on end kn order to avoid having to care for her. This is why I've hired the private CNA's to work with her - they have absolutely no problems working with her and getting her to follow routines - sometimes they just give her a little time to "shift gears" before approaching her with a request again and then she will comply. My Mom is so much more relaxed and happy! When I take her out to restaurants, she is always happy. Of course, she is easily distracted and I feed her to make sure she eats, but she is always pleasant.

To answer Diavalon's question, my health is very good, but during those 2 years, I must admit I was a wreck before I placed her. She was "kicked out" of 2 residential homes before I found this nursing home - but then again, it was during the early stages of her dementia. I can't even imagine what horrific pain it must be to realize you're losing your ability to function - I suppose I would be angry myself and grasping onto anything that would stop the progression.

I don't expect to "give up my life" altogether. I won't make this mistake, although I don't know how much care will cost and how long Medicare will pay until their financial limits are reached. These are questions I need to explore and would appreciate if you have any information.

What do you think?
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diavalon12 Jan 2013
I would ask this of myself, Can I give her the true support that is needed? Am I willing to give up my life as it is now to devote to mother? How much outside care can I get for free or will I need to pay for it. Have a conference with the nursing home and the doctor to get an idea of what to expect. Then do as Jeanne suggested and observe. It might be better to continue to pay for the CNA yourself
or increase her hours than to take on the task yourself. HOW is your health?
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jeannegibbs Jan 2013
How is your mother different now than when you were taking care of her before? In some ways later dementia can be easier to care for, and in other ways it is much harder. Can you spend a lot of time at the nursing home with your mother, to carefully observe how she is now? Could you bring her home for a weekend? It would be very helpful if you had a clearer picture of what exactly will be involved before you bring her home.
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