How can I cope with aggressive treatment by staff of me and my mother at a rehab center?

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My mother is 93 and has a personality disorder and some dementia. She had emergency surgery to remove a tumor in her bowel and now she is in a rehab center. Her doctor says she will be moved to a nursing home for 3 weeks after her rehab. She will heal up in the nursing home and then undergo another surgery to reconnect her bowel so she doesn't have an ostemy bag.

Today I took her some clothes and asked the staff a lot of questions. Why is she still on a Foley (catheter)? Did they start teaching her how to empty her ostemy bag herself. Why were they typing her blood? Was she going to get a transfusion? If so why? Why were her underpants on her pillow. What was in the boxes on the tray table? Where was her schedule for her rehab work?

Five young people gathered around me and none knew the answers to any of my questions.

The lab tech who was taking blood fled as soon as I started asking my questions.

The LPN got the schedule and flipped it around in his hands until my mother told him to stop. He continued doing it to annoy her. I grabbed it from him and put it on the door where it's supposed to be. I asked him to empty my mother's bag and he told me to do it that I had to learn.

The case manager didn't have any answers to my questions and said she was responsible for my mother's dismissal. I said fine come back when my mother gets dismissed. She stormed out of the room in a huff.

The tech said she worked for a service and didn't know anything.

The OT person told me my mother had a head injury. When I asked how that happened and who diagnosed it no one knew. Then she said my mother has brain damage. She was about the goofiest one. She kept asking me all kinds of personal questions. Did I love my mother? Did I work outside the home?

I fled the place with the OT girl right behind me. I wouldn't answer her questions.

When I got home I had my mother's doctor paged and she called me back right a way. It turns out the head injury is dementia. I suggested my mother be moved to a nursing home right a way but the doctor said no she has to stay in the rehab center.

I'm afraid to go back with all those aggressive people. I think I will try to visit my mother after they go home at 5:00 p.m.

I'm not sure what I'm dealing with at the rehab? Is this some kind of Medicare scam? No one seems in charge. And they are all so young and don't seem to be able to deal with old people -- me as well as my mother.

Is there an omnibus person I can call to negotiate with the facility on my mother's behalf? I know there is one for nursing homes.

What a squirrel cage!

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Someone here mentioned going to the Social worker at the facility. The Social Worker works for the FACILITY(I think this should be outsourced) and it's amazing how hard it is to get them to do anything and how defensive they are for the Facility who employs them. Basically at the facility my Mom's at, they are a useless.
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Change Nursing homes. There are better ones out there.
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Hi
This is my take on the situation, If it were me, I would go to the person who is responsible for the daily operation of the facility, In addition, I would write my concerns in a professional letter and give it to whomever is in charge of the place. It sounds to me as if there is a great disconnect between levels of authority in the place and the people who actually perform the hands on treatment of your mother. You put your mom in this place so that she can recover and move on with life. The way these people are treating you is unacceptable and makes me wonder what your poor mom is going through when she is there alone. Please don't let the rudeness and peculiarity frighten you. You can turn this around by finding the proper people to connect with. It won't happen overnight, but if you remain vigilant in assuring the best treatment for your mom, they will get the message. If that doesn't work, move your mom to another rehab situation. Wishing you the best in this trying event.
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N1K2R3, Hey, I am a Southerner..........And you know what, you are absolutely right!!! Ha...
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Let's take these complaints one at a time, writing them down bullet-pointing each one. Address each one, suggest or ask for a change. Set a time frame for the change. Lastly, let's look at attitude. MaggieSue has every right to be upset. Go to the head honcho, the MD or the Chief of Staff ( MD or not), give him/her the list of complaints and tell him/her that changes must be made..
p.s. One thing that I learned from southerners: They have a very effective way of dealing with problems. They get you on their side, then they say "I think you'll find that _______________is a good way to handle this." They smooth talk, oh do they ever. All of a sudden you have them ( the staffers) eating out of your hand.
Some southerns lie a lot, and they may even stab you in the back with a smile on their face.
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Many nursing homes don't specialize in rehab. But rehab places are all about getting the person into as close to independence as possible. Maybe your Mom's doc does have a financial incentive for her to go to the rehab place; I can't know. But I do know that the more rehab a person gets, the faster they recover. If she won't get rehab in the nursing facility -- and again, many nursing facilities give lip service to rehab but not with the speciality of really helping restore someone post-surgery -- it could be good that she is there. Just food for thought.
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I agree my attitude escalated along with that of the staff. I was used to the medical staff at the hospital who were always on top of the situation and had answers. The fact is I can't deal with the staff at the rehab center and my mother who can't be pleased under any circumstances. I've decided to visit my mother briefly every day at 5:30 p.m.when the therapists have gone home.

I spoke with my mother's doctor who told me she can't be moved to skilled nursing until mother does a stint in rehab. This made no sense until I realized that the doctors my mother goes to probably have an investment in the rehab center and funnel their patients thru there for as much of the 20 days of Medicare as they can get.

I'm staying out of it all. I'll do my mother's laundry and visit at the end of the day. I'm too old for this nonsense.

Thanks for all the replies.
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You are under such stress, now. Christmas is hard to navigate when you have a loved one in jeopardy. And Christmas is a time when many places of business are dealing with odd schedules due to employees traveling elsewhere for the holidays, so they were probably under stress.

But mainly I am wondering if some of YOUR stress came out in the same stream as your questions, and maybe that shut down the staff. When my sister lived in a nursing facility, I watched the staff shut down when family members came in loaded with a lot of questions and the energy of "you are probably going to give my loved one bad care, and I am here to make sure that she is okay." I think it's only human to react to that kind of energy, even when it comes from a place of love for the family member in care.

Find an ally on staff. Tell that person, "I'm sorry I came on too strong. I'm just so scared for my Mom, and I'm the type of person who needs lots of information to feel on top of the situation. What should I be asking? If this was your mother, what would you be glad to see is happening already? What would you do to make sure that (the cath gets removed asap, etc.). Eating a little dirt, accepting you have some part in the disconnect (just doing the math, we all have a part in any disconnect), and asking for a roadmap of how to navigate their system -- these are things that will help you help your Mom. You don't need to be "right" or an avenger of bad care before it happens. Just be kind, listen and learn, and catch more flies with honey.
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I think what some people don't realize is there is protocol at all the hospitals and probably rehab facilities as well. They do so much just to prevent accidents and law suits, it makes for tons of work for the staff. That is why so many people complain about nurses never being there and always shuffling papers, etc. They would love to not shuffle papers but they have to. And it is getting worse with new laws governing Medicare.

Some may already know this, but due to changes in Healthcare, the hospitals and facilities will be evaluated by the Medicare patients upon discharge. This is to improve patient care. So maybe that is voice some will now have.
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I forgot to mention that my Mother was in rehab for the same thing as your mother. It was 2 years ago and Mom was 93 also and it was also at Christmas. I wanted Mom to come home and have in home treatment after she was there a month. (they were pretty good to her, but I wanted her home). I took her to her PCP and asked him about her coming home and having home health care. Also, her surgeon thought she would recover better at home. So, with two doctors agreeing, I got Mom out of there and she made a nice recovery at home. We had help for at least 2 months and Mom is still doing pretty well.
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