Frustrated with assisted living facilities calling the family to do everything they should be doing.

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My mom lives in ALF but has been in SNF/Rehab on and off over the last 8 months (more than 5 times) not counting the hospital trips inbetween! These facilities call me constantly to do things they are supposed to do. Having missed so much time at work and with family obligations, I'm trying to keep my job and family together. How do get these places to stop calling me so much and do what they are supposed to do?

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I can really relate. My elderly mother in law has been going to the emergency room all the time for the last 10 years. She lives in an assisted living room facility for the last 3 years now because her constantly pushing her lifeline button all hours of the day and night took a major toll on my husband and myself and our employment too. She usually likes to go to the emergency room about every 6 weeks with many visits to the dr in between. She went to the emergency room yesterday and now the assisted living facility calls and said she insisted she needed to go again this morning. They can't refuse her request. She has worn us out. We never become very concerned because this is her way of life. We do recognize at her age one day it could be serious, but we don't rush to the emergency room anymore and assisted living has helped. Oh yea....and she likes to refuse taking her meds and will hide them if they don't watch her take them. At the same time my elderly mother moved to assisted living about the same time. She is on the west coast and we live on the east coast and she would call all hours of the day and night. We never got any sleep until I finally shut our home phone off at night. Mom can't remember how to dial my cell phone so only the assisted living and my sister have that number if they need me for a real emergency. Sometimes I feel badly about being so frustrated with them, but we had to get at least some of our life back...not to mention finally some sleep!
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Thanks cattails. She is doing well. The a fib fixed itself a few hours after she was admitted to the ICU. Each time this has happened her heart stops briefly then restarts in normal rhythm. This is the 2nd, possibly 3rd time this has happened now. It happened when she was in the hospital with her stroke, this incident and possibly a 3rd where she was unwell at home. She was only in for 24 hrs and saw a cardiologist that deals with these kinds of heart issues. He made medication changes & has a recheck in a few weeks to see if more intervention is needed.

The mumbling nurse that called me when she was ill and they didn't call an ambulance asked me the week she was admitted something I think was about medical intervention. I say I think because she was mumbling and wouldn't come out and say what she was asking me. Something about starting a tube and intervention and literally would not tell me what she was asking. I told her she had to deal with this with my brother since he has power of attorney and all her living will directives. He said he did talk to her and get those papers, instructions signed. Of course I don't know what exactly was decided because nobody tells me anything. She is in a rehab unit that is attached to a nursing home. Most of the people in rehab are joint replacement and pretty able people.
My aunt called and read the hospital the riot act while we were still at the hospital after I informed her what happened. So now they are in defensive mode. I tried talking to the nurses when we returned to tell them that they need to call 9-11 FIRST and me second if this happens again. All I got was a bunch of being talked over about protocol and rules and they blew me off. The head of nursing and the social worker came in Friday as we were leaving to go to an appointment at the doctor to "talk" and excused themselves to come back later before I could get a word out that we had time then. So now I am dealing with BS out of the rehab hospital on top of everything else.

I don't know how long she will be in rehab. She was very able bodied before her stroke and is making progress. Still having some issues walking and some more complex mental things that are not quite back but she's highly motivated to go back to her apartment and capable of making her own decisions. If she can't make it that far I will be looking for a better option than transitioning over to the nursing home at this facility. I think the senior apartments she was living at have a more assisted option.

It really bothered me that they hadn't called an ambulance and didn't/wouldn't when I told them specifically to do so on the phone. Then I ended up getting her to the emergency room in a car. What if her heart stopped in the trip and didn't restart? I think I remember CPR from high school but what am I going to do CPR on the side of the freeway? I'm trying not to turn this mess with the rehab into a nasty fight, that will just upset my mom more.
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Lily:

First of all, how is your mom doing. Did she suffer a heart attack? Second, I'd file a formal complaint so fast it will make their heads spin. Is this supposed to be a rehab/skilled nursing facility that your mom is at? An ambulance is always the best choice in an emergency. You go directly from ambulance to emergency, with out the delay of checking in at the emergency desk, explaining the problem, etc. and you mom could have gotten help on the way in. Some rehab/skilled nursing facilities have an automatic DNR when they admit people. I don't know if that's the case where you mom is staying, but that could have added to their lack of decision making. You better check that out and demand some answers from the administration of this facility.

Is your mom there short term for rehab? Does she have a DNR or have they listed her as having one.

Best wishes to you and your mom. How sad is this? Hugs, Cattails
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I had a rather strange run in with the rehab hospital my mom is in right now. They call me last week and tell me my mom is having chest pains and pain shooting down her arm. I asked them what hospital they sent her to and that I would meet the ambulance there. Oh we didn't call an ambulance. We called her GP doctor and she's not in today so we are waiting for a call back from the on call doctor. I asked why they hadn't called an ambulance, my mom has a history of cardiac problems. She has had issues where her heart will go out of rhythm and then stop. They seemed confused and told it is their policy to call someone and ask what I wanted them to do. I don't know why they didn't ask my mom, she's capable of making her own decisions at this point and communicates fine. I said I wanted them to call an ambulance and get her to the hospital. The nurse on the phone kept mumbling and wouldn't give me a straight answer so I showed up, was a few blocks away.

It was obvious she was having a heart attack or a major cardiac problem. She was very unwell, sweaty, pale and said her chest felt tight or like someone was putting pressure on it. We ended up driving her to the hospital ourselves. The nurse that showed up sort of pushed us to do that rather than call an ambulance. I don't know if it was because it would be quicker or some sort of liability or other issue with them?

Now I am stressed out that they won't do anything unless they call me first? What if they can't get ahold of me? What if my phone is dead? What if I am out of town? I guess I am glad they don't call me every time she sneezes but this was just bizarre and worrying sort of the opposite end of the scale from the OP
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Thank you all for your advice! I have my mother on a waiting list for an Assisted Living/Alzheimers facility. In the mean time I'm in the process of hiring a sitter for my mom for the evening hours when she is sun downing. Again....thanks so much for caring!
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Bingo, A fully staffed facility with a memory unit.
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Maybe this will be helpful to some. If you go the www.medicare.gov, across the top of the home page is a green bar with various headings. Click on Resource Locator and you will get the pull down menu. On the pull down menu, you will find Nursing Homes, they even have hospitals too. If you click on Nursing homes, you can get a listing of those in your area, within so many miles of your area.

All these nursing homes are inspected by Medicare annually and they are rated on the basis of 1 to 5 stars in a variety of areas. One rating is for staffing and the list goes on. One star is the lowest rating and 5 stars the highest.

You can read about the deficiencies of any NH facility. If there have been complaints filed, etc. It will tell you if the facility is privately owned, state owned, or non-profit. Sometimes you can find a facility that is non-profit and has a religious affiliation. I found a 5 star Lutheran facility that is about 40 minutes from where I live and it has a sterling reputation. Their funds go into making their nursing home the best it can be. They are not looking to make a profit, but to provide comfort, love and support to those in need.

My dad continues to live with us, but should the day come when I can't take care of him anymore, I want to know what the options are. We have 2 nursing homes in our town, both have skilled nursing and PT, etc. One has a 1 star rating and the other has a 2 star rating. Both are For Profit organizations. I know that the 2 star rated facility made a million dollar profit last year. Too bad they won't spend more money on additional staff because their staffing is not adequate. I wouldn't take my dog to the 1 star rated facility.

So this is a way to at least gather more information about a nursing home. I would not have known about the 5 star 40 minutes from my home, if I had not gone on this site. Ironically, we have a new pharmacist at our local pharmacy and he happens to be from the town that has the 5 star place. He raved about it's reputation. I plan to visit that facility and 2 others also.

For what it's worth, it's important to know when your parent has a scheduled doctors appointment. If you can't take them, you might want to have a private pay care giver take them and sit in on the appointment. Same with other activities. It's an added cost to you, but at least you know what's needed is getting done.

Theresam: Your mom doesn't belong in assisted living. She needs much more care than they can provide. Bingo, fully staffed facility with a memory unit.

Hope this info is helpful. Best wishes, Cattails.
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I think you should move her to a more fully staffed facility with a memory unit.
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We live in Kentucky.....My mother is 85, in the first stages of Alzheimers, has had cancer three times weighs all of 97 pounds, has macular degeneration, and is very feeble, shuffles along with a walker. I moved her from Retirement Apartments to Assisted Living facility nearer to me four months ago. The ALF is very nice, privately owned. They are short staffed, 15 residents to one care taker at night. Several employees during the day, but during breakfast, lunch and dinner the caretakers help the kitchen staff serve the food and clean up. Even going in and out of the kitchen leaves residents unattended. Not many activities to engage my mom. She mostly sit in front of a tv. My mother just two days ago, went out on the front porch with other residents and got up and follow two other younger alzheimers residents going along the side walk for a walk...remember no supervision. Of course she can not see so she missed stepped off the side walk and she toppled over, laying there for several minutes she said before the caregiver came back inside. She banged up her knee and has really had a set back in her mental state. I'd like to move her to a better more fully staffed facility with an alzheimers/memory lost locked down unit. What do you think?
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Momcare, I'm ok but I'm really not very patient beleive me I can get short fused but I really do try to let the system work. I really get it about your Mom, I don't know what world my Mom lived in...apparently one in which she was allowed to as she says "throw a hissy fit" about any little thing that doesn't go the way she would have done it.

But after My Mom had a brain bleed, she was very confused and seemed to lack reasoning on any level and I'm not saying this to belittle mom, she was really in a bad way, I was soo scared to see her like this. Mom was placed on Excelon and increased anxiety meds, they helped tremendously. However, I had to remove the phone from her room because she continued calling me anytime, 2 a.m. for no reason saying she cant see to tell the time but called to ask me what did we talk about the 3 earlier times she had called, then get mad at me and hang up!

OH MY! It's rough but somehow, I made it! I don't want to get too comfortable either because I know that her personality can clash with me and could surface and turn my world upside down. I'm not holier than anyone and I don't push my faith off on anybody but I know my higher power helped me make it thru.

Again I say SHAME! on those AL's and NH's that arent doing their job but raking in major $$'s That's fraud!
One day at a time momcare, you are a wonderful person doing heavenly work. It will work out, time is an amazing healer.
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