Surveillance cameras, are we doing the right thing?

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Mom was released from the rehab nursing facility last week. It was recommended that she not be alone. I'm the only sibling that lives nearby (25 miles away, full time job). I do groceries and all medical, scripts, husband takes care of her house and property.

I took her to visit an assisted living facility last week before discharge--absolutely refuses to consider it. As part of her discharge planning, she was offered visiting nurse, PT, and OT. After one visit with the nurse, she told her that she doesn't want her to come back. Also offered home health and she refused to consider that. Refuses to use a medical alert pendant (threw it in a drawer) and is not reliable about keeping her cell phone nearby.

She had a stroke 3 1/2 years ago which has affected her balance so she is a major fall risk. Blood pressure is under control and is generally healthy except for the falling. Fell in November and was laid up for weeks with a fracture in her hip but it was not a weight bearing injury. I ran back and forth to her house for several weeks since she was unable to prepare food. In February, she fell and fractured her pelvis. They released her after 2 days but was unable to put weight on it due to the pain. She refused home health--then during a transfer to a commode while alone, she fell and had a second pelvic fracture. After that hospital stay, she went to rehab until she could walk (not reliably) with the walker if someone had ahold of her gait belt.

My husband and I decided to put in cameras since we cannot be there 24/7. She is very angry that we put a camera in her bedroom. She feels it is a major invasion of her privacy since she uses the commode in her bedroom and changes clothes there. How do we stand firm about this?? I am constantly in knots over her decision to 'be independent' at the cost of safety!!

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Hi junglechicken,
Frankly I can see why your mom hates the camera - I know that my mother would have felt the same way. However, your mother is in the extreme when it comes to refusing help of any kind. Everishlass mentioned making a deal with your mom.
That was good thinking on her part so you may want to try that first.

My dear elderly friend was much like your mom, though he'd wear the alarm necklace IF I went over and put it on him daily. Otherwise, he'd accept no help except for me. His final fall came later in the day after I'd put the necklace on him. He'd broken his hip and was able to alert me. However, when I think back on Joe, I know that he'd have preferred to die alone on his floor to having in-home help or cameras. Some people are like that and it can be very trying to do anything about it. When it comes to the dignity of choice vs. safety, it's nearly impossible to do what is right because the two things can be so at odds.

Unless your mother is considered cognitively impaired, you'll continue to have problems getting her to accept help. Try what Everishlass suggested. We can hope that it works.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing,
Hello All,

Deal making requires memory. You haven't mentioned your mother's memory/mental health. Is her memory sufficient to make and hold to a deal?

The situation you are describing sounds impossible. It really cannot continue for very long. It is so sweet of you and your husband to be doing all of this but you have no control over her care and safety when you are not there. It might really be time to go.

I "forced" my mom into AL with the support and approval of her doctor and the Area Agency on Aging. I picked her up for lunch, took her for lunch at the AL that she had already visited, the staff ate with us and sort of surrounded her with staff at the very lovely set table (cloth table cloth, china, crystal), and then I explained that my husband and I would leave after lunch and that she would not. Naturally, she cried but the staff knew how to handle everything. They were astonishing. A few days later they brought her the papers to sign--without going into explanations about what those papers were... Ethical? Under the circumstances, I think so. A few months later, my mom had no recollection of the event and was settled in.

The whole thing hinged on HER SENSE OF SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY. Because her doctor wanted it, and the Area Agency on Aging ( an OFFICIAL organization that, by the way, she had called and asked for an evaluation, lol), she knuckled under. I would never have believed this possible but thanks to a really tough, no-nonsense nurse, the suggestion was made and it worked.

I visit my mom every day (that I am in town...) and am grateful that she is safe and getting her meds ( she had been forgetting them for months though she told me every day that she had taken them--so bad!!). The place she is in is very pretty and the food is awesome. As for the rest of it, is she happy? Who knows? I neither know nor hardly care. The other issues just overwhelmed and blotted that out. What is happiness when you cannot even remember what happened in the last few hours? She seems content enough--as much as any pedestrian in any city has a right to be. And she is always happy to see me.

I hope this helps. It is just one more woman's experience.
We have the same situation. We decided to use cameras - also for Mom's safety.
We put the one in her room UNDER the bed- so as not to show her using the commode-or dressing-but to show IF she had fallen and needed help. It allowed her the privacy and we did not tell her it was under the bed- so she felt safe-and we KNEW she was. I hope this helps.
How about you make a deal with her. No cameras in the bedroom but she has to consent to in-home assistance and she absolutely must wear a life alert necklace at all times.

You have proof that her being alone is bad for her health. She shouldn't be left alone to fall over and over again, someone should be there caring for her if she's going to refuse assisted living. If she's going to insist on staying in her home then she's going to have to make some sacrifices.
I live with my mom & work full time. Since she is hard of hearing she seldom answers the phone I was constantly worried all day at work and ringing the phone off the hook. Sometimes even running home just to check on her. I decided to put cameras in two common areas where she is most of the day. I decided against the bedroom because once she is up she goes right into the other rooms. Maybe you can set it up in the hall outside the bedroom just so you know when she is up and moving around. I highly recommend the camera's for your own piece of mind. It's been a Godsend to be able to see that she is relaxing on the sofa, watching TV with her feet up which is what she was probably doing all the time I was stressing because she didn't answer the phone. I am able to relax at work or when I am out knowing her and my dog are safe. Without the camera's I would probably be on anxiety meds by now. You need a serious sit down talk with your mom and tell her that there are no other options since she has refused the other things. But I would get it out of the bedroom and put it in the hall and living areas. I wouldn't want one in my bedroom/bathroom either. Maybe tell her you'll take it out of the bedroom is she agrees to call you once she gets up and if you don't get a call, you'll be sending the police to check on her. That might worry her just enough to call you. Good luck and don't feel bad about using camera's. You need piece of mind or you'll go crazy.
This sounds like a classic case of refusing to accept the new reality of life in the so-called "golden years." Nobody wants to admit that they are not as independent as when they were taking care of all the little details of rearing children or establishing a career. When Supermom becomes the one whose diaper needs changing or Mr. Executive can't remember to pay his bills on time, it is an extreme frustration and a blow to the ego.

I agree with the suggestions posted here, although the results will depend largely on your mother's mental condition. You need to consider that even if she seems as sharp as ever the stroke may have altered her brain in a way that you don't recognize, just as it compromised her balance. This may be more than stubbornly clinging to her independence. It appears that there is a mental roadblock that makes it impossible for her to grasp that she is at risk.

I hope the suggested tactics work for you. The responsibility of caregiving most often puts us between a rock and a hard place.
well you could have discussed with her doctor that she refuses care and you are not capable of running back and forth several times a day. OR like someone else said, make a deal, either you do what needs to be done to stay safe or you will have her doctor have her admitted to a facility until she can take care of herself. its brother got our mother a life alert bracelet and she wore it one time. I just plain out told her, well when you fall and can't get to the phone for will the next time wear it.
Can i put a nanny cam in my moms room in a nursrsing home.She has not been put to bed after a sleeping med they say shes takung things out her dresser i caught another resdeint in her room doing this to my moms items my mom was so upset i spoke with staff they oh well she does that.Alot of things happening.
This is one of the problems in a nursing facility. Theft of other patients. Hard to watch every resident 24/7. Make sure her name is on everything. If she is moved, and make sure they contact u and ur there so u know
Cont: all her belongings go w/her. Nothing worth anything should be taken toa nursing facility.

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