What is reasonable to expect in skilled nursing?

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I am so upset having my dear Mother in skilled nursing. Although this looks like a decent place, the food is awful. I am going to have to start cooking for my Mom and taking her food as the food is not conducive to good health. The noise level is very disturbing. My family are quiet people... The TV's blaring and general noise in this facility is awful. I am just heartsick and haven't figured out how to begin to sort through it all or know how to find an alternative. There are 4 skilled nursing facilities in our area and I thought I had picked the best of the 4. I am shocked at how we provide for our elderly in this country. The place my mom is in is at least clean and the staff are kind, but i hate the atmosphere she is nin. I would really like to bring her to my home but because of her physical needs it would not be a safe environment for her. My husband tells me it would do us in. We are not young ourselves This whole situation is just breaking my heart. My poor mom cannot even talk because of her stroke to tell me what she is thinking about things. Is this the best I can expect for the end of my mothers life?

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I work for a NH in central California, I see this emotion all the time from families, especially with Daughters. The noise level can be at times quite high and it does bother people and then you just get use to it. It had to place my own mother in each of the 2 facilities that I work for. It is a big adjustment. I think alot is the guilt that we as daughters get, as we think why can't I take of her. Both of our facilities have shut off times for TV's etc and if they need the TV louder than normal then they must wear earphones. As to the Food remember they are not preparing home cooking. You would not believe the amout of guidelines they the kitchen must work with. They really do the best they can. I am only defening them after I acually started working here as it was a source of complaint from my mother as well. Ask about her meal plan and what she has to choose from. You should have a care conference soon and bring up your concerns. One of the biggest things is that you should never show up at the facility at the same time each day. They reason for this is to get to know all the staff and them to get to know you without
them only hearing that you are upset about something. Bring the nurses cookies or some flowers from your garden. Good Luck and God Bless.
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First of all, Cattails, once again you are the voice of compassion and reason. I can't tell you how many people you have helped on here just with the goodness in your heart.
ZANNIEGIRL, I think that no matter where we place our loved ones, it's never ever going to be good enough for our parents! We want them to have everything and more that they would have had at home. Unfortunately, I too found out that that is just not possible. Mom went into the nursing home after a fall. She could not communicate so it was up to me. The noise level also bothered me in the room as her roommate had the TV so loud and I knew it must be bothering mommy (we know our parent more than anyone does). I also wanted mommy by a window which was more private for her. For some reason, after hitting her head that day at home, she kept pulling her clothes off in the NH. She was so hot....then cold. It didn't matter because most times it didn't make alot of sense but....I surely did not want her on the side where someone walks in the door! She was undressed half the time before the staff could put her clothes back on her. She NEVER would have wanted that and would have been mortified if she knew what she was doing.
I had mom moved to another room and bed which was so much better for her and all it took was asking like you did. I guess my point is that it is US that have to adjust to the fact that no one anywhere is going to take care of our parents like we do. It just isn't going to happen sadly. I can say however, that I think my mom was taken care of even better than most because I was there at least 2-3 times a day for her and the staff really got to know me well. Also, it doesn't hurt to send in a pizza or two for the staff now and then. I also brought back pralines for the staff after a trip to New Orleans. Sucking up in this situation sometimes works well. They were wonderful with mommy until the very end. They were sitting with her as soon as they saw it was the end for her and holding her hand. I didn't get there in time as she went so fast. The funeral director who came to get mommy after her passing said you can tell a good nursing home by the way they treat the dead. He said he had never seen a nursing home take such care of the person after death. 2 of the nurses even wanted to walk down with him to make sure mommy was treated right in death. Maybe, just maybe, it would be a good idea to talk to funeral homes and hear their thoughts on the nursing homes you're able to consider. Morbid I know, but just a wierd suggestion that might work for you. I wish you so much peace and calm. This is a difficult time and NO ONE know how difficult until you've been there. Love to you today and in the future.
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Whoops, I just noticed I posted to MaryAnn57 and the helpful suggestion was from Rockhardplace. I should be more careful!! Thank you so much.
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MaryAnn, that was a good suggestion and I remember now that the Home Nurse that used to care for my Mom in assisted living told me there were alternatives and we should talk to her if my Mom ever had to leave the assisted living she lived at. I am going to call her tomorrow to see if there are any alternatives here in my town. I have a lot of things to follow up on tomorrow as no-one was available over the weekend. My husband is out of town and I am just so worried about my Mom's care I am so anxious. Most private homes are not equipped to assist someone like my Mom, but I will look into it. I am an Aquarius. Sweet friend I too worry how I will cope with the loss of my Mother. She is such a integral part of my life also. It is really going to be hard and I am thinking that grief will not come all at once, but in swoops. Right now I feel my Mother is suffering and sad - and I don't know if things will get better for her. I get criticized often that I should not care so much...and it is hard for others to realize that it is not about dependency, it is about compassion for the end of my Mom's life and she deserves my time and attention. I just can't get rid of the heartsick feeling I carry. When I am with her I feel better, but after I get back home the anxiety starts all over again. I too have prayed that God either make her stronger, or bring her peace, this is no way for someone to live. I think you are right though that this all may be process so that we can let go when the time is here. I feel exactly the way you do...we just have to somehow find the courage and strength to deal with all of this,but I have the same fears you do. Many hugs to you and I will include you and your Mom in my prayers.
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I don't know if this is an option in your area. I was fortunate with my mother to find a private home for her that took in "boarders" and provided 24 hr care. It was also half the price of the cheapest local nursing home. They had bed-bound patients and wheel chair patients, and Medicare came in 3x week to bath and take vital signs. I thank heaven I found this place -- it was by word of mouth, and was the best possible end of life "family" situation I could have found for her. If you work, ask everyone if they know of group homes; the local Walmart hairdressers knew of this place because the hairdressers would go there to do their hair. I looked at it numerous times before I actually put her there. They also made it clear I could show up at any time to check on her. She was there for 5 years before she died at 93. and I think she would still be alive if she hadn't caught a cold. I wish I could put my father in the same place but he is so verbally abusive he would destroy the calm homey atmosphere.

Finding a good place is tricky--i saw an expose about group homes in Florida that were a huge scam, so you have to be careful. You have to be willing to go check them out and do the research, and follow up on references.

Google "group homes for the elderly", "senior group homes", "residential elderly group homes" and variations on those types of words.
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That is great you can go at night and see your mom. I can go up to 8:00. Do you happen to be a Virgo, I am and it seems like Virgos are very caring people, and you are a very caring person!!!! I often wonder how I will be when my Mom passes, this experience I guess is preparing me for it, and sometimes I wish God would give my mom peace and take her, but just can't imagine life without her either. Hugs back to you and hope you are having a good day!!
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Maryanne, it is very painful to watch our beloved Mothers struggle like this. I live right down the street from the skilled nursing which helps. I couldn't sleep tonight and drove down to see what her nights were like. She was just sitting up in her bed. She was so happy to see me and did lay down and fell asleep. I at least saw that she was ok. I talked to the night nurse and it reassured me. I think I am beginning to feel more secure that she is safe and they have good people that care. That is the most important thing...that and safety.

I am so sorry you lost your Dad. I lost my step-dad who I loved as my Dad, about 9 years ago. It has been very difficult, especially for my Mom. It sounds like we both are going through a life transforming journey now. I tell myself to just try to take it one day at a time. I know about the machine you are talking about as they used one on my Mom when she was in the hospital. My Mom's weight makes it difficult to transfer her but we can do it as a two person transfer now without one of those machines. I know how you feel watching that, it scared me to death, but it really was frightening for my mom. I m so sorry your mom has to endure that. I think we see our Mom's and we see ourselves too. Old age is very frightening. Your Mom is fortunate that you are there for her, as my mom is. We are all they have and they are our Mom's. We have to be there for them as this is the worst time in their lives. Hugging you!
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Dear Zanniegirl,

I can so relate to you and your mom. I go every day to see her, and no one can understand why I go so much. My mom lost my dad in October, me and my mom were very close, I saw her everyday at home, I helped my Dad take care of her. This is breaking my heart also to see my mom like this. She can't get to the bathroom anymore, she has a bad back, they have to get her out of her bed with a machine, it is so sad!! My heart goes out to you also!! Don't have any answers, just pray it gets better for all of us!!
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The new room also has a person who needs the TV on loud to hear it. I tried earplugs for Mom and she could not tolerate that. If it looks like Mom will be here for awhile we can request a more long term room, or even a private room. I think I just have to be more patient with the process and see how it goes. I am a little panicky this week. I feel so much better after talking with all of you here - not quite so alone. This is a wonderful resource to all who care for someone. Another thing to be thankful for.
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Dear Pink Roses...love your sweet name. Thank you for your input. My Mom has only been in the skilled nursing for a week - they did change her room to a quieter room, but still a TV watcher. They gave the other person earphones, but she did not like them - so they moved my Mom to another room and had to move her again because the name of the person in the other room was so similar to hers that they were afraid of a medical error. So 3 rooms in less then a week. The good news is she has a window to look out, which is such a blessing. The staff are so hard working and really nice which helps. I think I am just in a little culture shock and it will take time. Thank you for being so kind in your thoughts.
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