Memory care facility and issues with quality of care.

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mother-in-law was placed in a memory care facility 6 weeks. prior to that wife and i cared for her at home. we were exhausted and MIL dementia had progressed. at first it appeared care would be ok at facility. within first week we noticed gaps in care, especially around peri-care and meal service. 10 days ago we chose to call APS because of care issues not being addressed after numerous meetings with care coordinator, director, and nurse. sadly staff attitude has changed to what seems to be advisarial. we are very disappointed in quality of care being provided.

my sense is much of it is due to low staffing levels as well as inadequate training. here in oregon the memory care facilities are not required to have licensed care-givers, even to pass medications. a RN for the facility is a consultant, present for 24-32hrs per week only. this facility has 55 beds and there are 4 care-givers on nights, 4-6 on days. and get this, they are in compliance with state staffing guidelines.

so much attention is placed on acute care ie hospitals, the quality of care, staffing ratio's of licensed nurses to patients. and studies demonstrate increased quality, better outcomes, when RN provides majority of care.

along the way dementia patients/residents continue to be the forgotten patient in our health care system. people with dementia have multiple diagnosis with complex care issues[MIL has 7 separate medical diagnosis], yet since the dementia diagnosis it's as if the other 6 don't exist at the memory care facility.

within our area all nursing homes/memory care are owned by for-profit corporations. i can't help but think the lobbyist for the long-term care industry had much of their way when state rules and regulations were passed. it's extremely odd/frustrating dementia care-givers in oregon only need to be 18yr old and pass a crimminal background check. in addition all the training needed is 6hrs by the facility before they do hands on care.

the more i learn about facilities and observe the poor quality of care, well, it's depressing. and wife and i are reconsidering the decision to place MIL in a facility. in the mean time we continue to go to the facility each day at different times and keep ourselves involved in MIL care.

my sense is these quality care issues are more the norm and prevalent thru out our country,

thanx for listening



Thomas, what you wrote is true in many places. Elder care and health care in general has become a cash cow, with much less emphasis placed on service than on profit. I don't know if there is any way to change it. Those of us who would like to see it change usually don't have enough money to have any sway. All we can do is try to pick out the best we can for our loved ones and be there to advocate for them. No place will be perfect, but I admit that some places are inexcusably bad. The same is true for hospitals. The worst ones around here do not have enough nurses. I feel bad for the nurses there because they work hard, but are not able to do a good enough job. It isn't their fault, because there is only so much one person can do.
We found a pretty nice place here in GA, newly opened and beautifully decorated. The staff, for the most part, is very caring and friendly. However, they are understaffed in my opinion. For 24 residents there are 4 staff members, that I could see. Several of the residents had their own private sitters, my mother included, for a portion of the day; one for 12 hours EVERYDAY. At night, there are only 2 staff members for the same number of residents! They are assuming that everyone is going to sleep all night. They say that they do 2 hour room checks. My mom can do a lot in 2 hours! The staff is burning out because they don't have enough, but once again the state requirements are quoted. Our hands are tied because we can't use any type of device to alert us to movement that may precede a fall....frustrating!
Thomas, your concerns are common no matter the location. It is very hard to let go when mom has had a care ratio of two on one. That would be a very expensive level of care for mom to receive the care that you provided. It just is not possible. And the pay that the caregivers receive is so very low it is impossible to staff facilities with caring and experienced people. Try to be patient and understanding there are 55 other people that also need care and only six caregivers. Maybe mom needs a higher level of care than this place is able to provide with her other medical issues.
Four year old question. Great input and still relevant! I just followed recent posters here and realized - this is from 4 years ago! lol I don't know how much emphasis we're putting on age of questions on AC. I see some people will say "no need to give input, years old," but... if one searches the topic, it would still come up and all input is good input, in general. How do these old questions get revived, exactly?
Who knows Ali? Usually, I notice but was just not paying attention. And yes, it may still be relevant to many.
Hmm, I can tell you from the past 20 months at hoca, a respected for profit chain, staffing is a huge problem and the ones who are the best are leaving due to how poorly they are treated by management

When I scrolled the corporate website, my eyes turned red from how many SVPs there were with fat pay checks at my expense.
Working as an aide is hard work! Requires a lot of strength and stamina. I don’t know the answer to this situation either as it’s been the same way for years.
It takes a special sort of person to work in a Senior Long Term Care facility. It was hard 30 years ago, and is still the same. Terrible.
My comments were based on happenings in the last two months, regarding where my mom is living now. I feel so very bad for the staff, they are awesome, but very tired. Taking care of dementia residents is hard work both physically and mentally. I get so tired of hearing "the residents have a right to fall". We have a sitter coming in to be with our mom because she isn't going out like that, if we can help it. The plans are to get another one if needed for earlier in the day. If we move her, she is the one to suffer and that's not fair. We will try to make it work where she is. It's a beautiful place, just woefully understaffed.

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