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Returned to ALF and now has decubitus ulcer on her heel, which I discovered when I visited her on 12.27. She ended up immediately going to the hospital for treatment of cellulitis on that same foot. Had I.V. antibiotics; three day stay; then transferred on 12.31 to a nursing home! I tried to contact the Ombudsman yesterday, but she is out of the office until 1.5. I spoke with a caregiver program director, who listened to my story and also gave me the phone number for the Office of Health Care Quality. We moved my mother's belongings out of the ALF on New Years Day, after speaking in detail with the resident services director there; she simply said, "your mother refused to elevate her feet." I say B.S., they are CYA. My mother always elevates her feet. She has one of those elevated electric chairs, which I understand she has not sat in since returning to the ALF on 12.11. The resident services director told me that nursing staff noticed redness in her foot on 12.19; but skin was intact. I asked her why someone did not inform us that she was having feet issues; she acknowledged and apologized that nobody informed us. Now, I want to know if her doctor was informed. I am very concerned for my mom after reading articles on decubitus ulcers, especially on the heel. She is an obese woman with vascular dementia from a stroke several years ago, and now hip surgery, which automatically places her at higher risk for pressure sores on the feet; and I do not believe this ALF provided a proper level of care, even though they said she was getting Level 4 ALF services...if she sat in a wheel chair all day without proper foot precautions, this is neglect! Please share your stories or advice to me as to how I should proceed. We are so upset; I feel guilty because I made the decision to place her in this ALF after exploring all other area facilities, and felt this was the best place at the time. She was doing exceedingly well in all areas until she fell...and remember that story...a male nurse walked in on her at 5am while she was showering. Their excuse for this...another resident complained of noise coming from her room, so the male nurse walked in to check on her. No way to verify this either. Thanks for any comments you can provide. I am venting here, but would also lik
e the confidence to know how to handle this; without being "one of those" family members. Thanks!!

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taheger, the first thing is to try not to feel guilty. You researched and found the best ALF that you could find. Your mother did very well there until the fall.

Much depends on the contract you have for your mother's care. From what you've said, a move to a nursing home is likely in order since your mother has so many health issues and needs close monitoring. Most ALFs aren't set up for that intense care.

I'm not defending them since there's no way I can have enough knowledge to say what was done was within the bounds of the agreed upon care or not. I think contacting the ombudsman was an excellent choice and it does sound like the ALF has cooperated in trying to help you resolve your likely justified complaints.

I'd follow through with the ombudsman but I'd also consider a move to a nursing home at this point. Broken hips are a huge trauma to someone like your mom and she is likely to keep developing other issues. Closer medical monitoring is probably in order.

I'm sure you'll receive good advice from this tremendous community, so please keep watching for comments. We want to know how you are doing.
Carol
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