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All skilled nursing facilities are not this bad - really - My mom has been in several, and the current one is close enough that I can - and do - drop in to see my mom at ANY time of day. Though they may not answer a call in the minute or two my mom expects, they always come; I often wait to see how long it will be rather than go to the desk. And there is never more than one day's trash or waste anywhere, except maybe the wrappers in my mom's candy basket that I take care of. I have had my issues with them - they have lost or appropriated a few of Mom's items including her elevating footrests, shoes, and now her transfer belt. They were not helping Mom with oral hygiene and she suffered from that, plus it took forever to get a dental referral and transportation was an issue at other times. But, we got through those and/or got most of those things fixed. The important thing is the day to day care is good and Mom is as satisfied as she would be anywhere if she can't be independent in her own home, which she can't. You don't expect perfection, but you don't tolerate substandard either.

Sometimes it seems there is an assumption that if you have placed a loved one you don't expect to stay involved. You have to make it clear that's not the case. If you must use a facility rather than home care for whatever the reason, drop in often on them, and if conditions really are bad, talk to the staff in charge and tell them though you think some people are trying to give good care, your loved one is your first concern and you will use the posted grievance procedure if you have to. (There should be a number for an ombudsman or "Angel" or whatever term they choose to use for it.) Then do it. And consider moving if there is another facility you visit and have reason to think will be better.
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Cowgirl, if your MOm wants to be home, you can be her caregiver . You two make out a caregivers contract and you get paid for taking care of her. If you dont, the nursing home will get it so whats the diference in trying to keep it for inheritence. This way she will get a home, you will get a job. You can also hire caretakers to go out, this is what I do Write any time, hang in there.
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My Mom had the same problems while in a nursing home to do rehab for knee replacement. Do to the longer time required to rehab her insurance and the fast pace 5 star rehab in Yuma, AZ advised us that she was to be moved to a nursing home for rehab. This was a down set as when she had her hip replacement we had excellent care and therapy at the Yuma Rehab facility when moved to the nursing home we had nothing but problems. The house doctor removed medications that she was placed on by her heart and thryoid doctors. She was on Morphine for 5 years and he stopped it not winging her off just stopped. She was strapped to a mechanical knee machine so to go to the bathroom she had to ring the bell which of course no one answered. Mom called me and I had to come a number of times to her aid. My brother had to show them how to remove the knee machine and replace, no theapist was available do to the one they had was sick. So she was being treated like a inhouse patient. My Mom waited so long one time she urinated in the paper cup she had from breakfast meal. She cried saying she was there for therapy not to live her there. We spoke to numerous people who gave us numerous excuses but finally they got a theraptist from Phoenix and as Mom had lost lots of therapy time her rehab had to start over. We had to stay on them all the time to answer her bell she wasn't suppose to get out of bed without assistance but she was so determined to leave she insisted the therapist put her on a fast pace recovery plan that would get her home so to use outpatient therapy. I feel sorry for all the patient who do not have family or friends as advicates. Please, Please stand up for your personal care or if you can document the times and complaine in AM when the management is in office. Many insurances pay for home care or check into places like Bee Hive care. Small homes with limited # of seniors who live together with caregivers 24/7. Stop in and walk the halls of where your family member is staying and watch the response time. Complain to the head nurse or the management in front office not the nursing staff. Be a voice for your family member. Blessing from AZ
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I read alot, sometimes don't respond alot unless it pertains to something I am going through right now. I come here for help and support because I don't often receive that from family. I am the closest one to mom. I wish I could bring her home to my house but I have animals here that she don't like. If I bring her home to her house I wouldn't be able to leave for anything without someone coming to relieve me. Have tried the outside nursing before but they only come 3 times a week for an hr a day and they expect me to be there when they are there. so there is no relief for me. I am waiting for my friend to return from California before I can make a move to home with her, or get her into a closer facility. Then figuring that we may have to hire outside help to come in if she plans on staying in her home. Her Doctor is not happy with me as he thinks I am the one not making the move for her, but it is my mom that doesn't want to leave home or her things. I am unemployed and lost my job last time she got ill with a leg wound that wouldn't heal. I am running out of unemployment soon. I have to get something set up soon. My sister and brother are too far away. My sister is already a caregiver to her Husband in a wheel chair. My brother has alot of problems and also far away. Him and I not getting along as all he wants to do right now is "beat me up behind the barn ", as I call it. All he is worried about is thinking I am spending moms money which isn't even on the list of things happening. Alot of people point fingers at me, when I am only doing the best that I can. and my mom knows this. She is the most adorable little old lady you ever met. No she doesn't deserve to be in there at all and has the money for the care for now. I just can't convince her to use it for herself. she keeps wanting to save it for us kids, and we have all told her no on that. But this NH thing is aweful. and I can see alot of people there that don't get any visitors, because I am there everyday to see this now for 2 weeks straight. I been told that these Nurses only make minimum wage as they advance into Nursing and I have found that many of them are very lazy. The floor in my moms room has not been washed for several days now. She had an accident a few days ago that is still evident near her bed. so I guess I have to bring that to their attention also. My sister is afraid if I keep complaining to them that they will treat mom badly or make her wait more. so I am scared to mention it for that reason. What do you think of that?
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Cowgirl, thank you for writing that. I have seen and experienced it myself and also interviewed many prospective caretakers that worked in nursing homes, it makes me sick. After 5 days I went into the rehab and took my Mom home, I coudnt take it any more. When you do that, you are all over you and then you get PT's and Nurses to come to the house weekly right at home. It sickening, I could cry when I think of all of these poor people that need help. just waiting to die from depression. Lots of them dont even have visitors I hear, its "too hard for the family to see" boo hoo so leave them alone for them to deal with it? Imagine how hard it is for them. ugh Thanks again, nice posting. I hope you get your Mom out soon, theres no place like home. (I have 2 caretakers and myself, its hard but Moms happy and spoiled, as she should be)
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Cowgirl, that is outrageous! Why go into the nursing/caregiving field if one does not have the highest of work ethics and compassion? If I worked there, I would probably be 10 lbs underweight due to my constantly running to check on patients. Sitting at the desk doing paperwork or claiming that it's not their station is reprehensible. I suppose if a paitent were going into cardiac arrest, they would still not budge because it's not their assigned area? If I worked in a place like that, I would find the person responsible for the area (s) that need attention and make sure the problem/issue got addressed. It would probably get me fired, though, because the other nurses would complain that I have no right to micromanage them - that's what they would call it, plus, if I wasn't in a management position, management would consider my meddling as overstepping my position, instead of being happy that their personnel are ensuring best practices. I am so sorry that your mom has to be in that place for now. I know how extremely frustrated and ticked off you must be at the incompetence and apathy that you witness. I hope that you are lucky enough to find something better for her, soon. Best of luck to you.
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I am sorry that I don't have the answer to this one either. But within the last couple of weeks, my mom had to go to a NH for rehab from a fall that she had. She is 88 and she is very sharp in the mind compared to most of the patients in there. The NH is too far from my home so I can't be there 24/7. I have had to complain 3 times now for her to the nursing staff for the long waits that she has had to endure to go to the bathroom. I constantly see these lights going on in the hallways when people have needs, While she was in the bathroom , while I was there, I needed their help and pulled the cord in there that produces a red light outside that is suppose to take priority over the white lights, It had been 5 minutes, when I also went to the desk to ask for help. Two nurses sitting there chit chatting and telling me that they were doing paperwork, it wasn't their section and that the nurse may be busy but should come soon, During that time, I found one and insisted that they come to help. Hospitals are much better than NH's, and I am just amazed at how bad these places are run with so few people and so many patients. Its not that all the help are not compassionate, they just don't have enough help. I just think that we who are there to visit the patients, need to continue to complain as much as possible so that there is changes made. I Plan on writting to the nursing association regarding this problem. My mom insisted that while I was gone that it took them 2 hrs to come. I even got her a clock so that she could time them. This I feel is ridiculous and I am trying so hard to move her out of there closer to home. This is a very sad situation indeed!!
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8 to 14 that's small compared to some days I've worked. But not at all places. She is right, people do become desensitized to the bells, also I hate to say it but its true there are some of those residents that are hard to handle and they demand everything right away, pretty soon burnt out cargivers usually working long hours for little pay wind up saying things they don't mean like she's not the only patient, I have a feeling she may have been one of those. They call a perwon in every 5 min for something that seems silly to the cargivers, or they demand to be taken care of first all the time. Not saying that was the case but it could have been.
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My neice told me the same thing, works in a high paying private NH and ALF, and they are all like that. When my mom was in a supposedly wonderful highly recommended rehab when she fell. The woman next to her had an awful pain where her legs were cuffed and rang the bell over and over. I asked her whats going on and she said they never come. I went to the front desk and told them and i was told they have MANY PATIENTS, not just her, they will get there when they can. Between that, finding my mom on the toilet alone with a broken leg one morning, and finding out they have 8-14 patients to get up and dressed and to breakfast each morning, I knew I would never put my mom in a NH. At home care is one on one.
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Unfortunately, because there are so many different monitors for so many different medical conditions, each with a different level of recommended response time, there are no government laws as to how exactly medical staff should respond to each one. Hospitals are supposed to train their staff, using best practices, and create rapid response teams for certain alarms. The problem of "alarm fatigue" in medical personnell is widely written about. So many alarms go off constantly, even for non life-threatening reasons, that some nurses become desensitized to them, and listen more carefully and react more quickly to those sounds they know are linked to true medical emergencies. To get to the point: different monitors and their alarms must be programmed perfectly and staff must be thoroughly trained on response times, but as of yet, there are no hard-and-fast laws governing them, just the fact that there are recognized response times in the medical community, and those recognized response times can be used in a court of law in a mal-practice suit if that standard required attention was not provided to a patient.
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