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For those who have had parents in skilled nursing rehab in a nursing home or there for long term care, how did it effect you emotionally?


Mom just came home today but I still have the sights, sounds and smells on my mind. If I could describe it in one word it would be, ‘depressing.’ But we all know it is sometimes necessary. Not totally depressing though.


I’m grateful for what was done right. Upset and a bit confused about what is done wrong. I suppose short staffed and being underpaid is the primary reason for flaws. Some workers pull double shifts or work two jobs to survive. Let’s face it. They have a demanding and challenging job.


Even though I experienced depression. I also felt other strong emotions, such as an overwhelming caring for the elderly. Yes, my primary reason for being there was to see my own mother but I realized how many residents had no children, other family or friends visiting and I became so very sad.


Some days were more active, like Saturday and Sunday afternoon. There were more visitors on weekends. Many approached me and I befriended them for a short time before visiting mom. Some were upbeat and pleasant, others unaware of everything, some frustrated and angry, some were lonely, etc. I felt emotions I didn’t expect to have. It also made me think of myself aging and how it may be for me personally.


I met a few volunteers and they were terrific. They played music, helped feed the residents with ALZ and various other things.


Have any any of you been effected deeply after your loved one has been in a home or do you tune it out and only pay attention to your family member? Have any of you volunteered after a loved one passed on or are still living at the facility? If so, how have you volunteered?


Also, I brought individual ice cream cups for mom to enjoy. I had their permission to do so. Some residents wanted some too. I made sure they could have it and passed a few out to them. Is this okay to do, or frowned upon? Would it be okay to go occasionally and bring treats?


Also, do some residents forget that they had dinner? Many ate dinner but went to get a sandwich to eat also. Is this commonly done? The workers gave out sandwiches and even cookies to them after their dinner. My mom never did that but mom isn’t a big eater. She’s small and doesn’t eat large portions of food.

One advantage of mom being in SNF was that a nurse found some kind of bump on the upper back part of the hip. It may be a cyst. Mom didn’t even tell me about it. So at least I got the info from the nurse.

The woman who bathed mom at home did not mention anything to me. I did not see it when helping her dress, toileting and so forth. She keeps her room dark because she naps in her chair.

Mom does tend not to share things about skin wounds and the like.

Have any of you had experiences where a parent doesn’t readily say something about a health issue to them? Are they embarrassed? Feel like a burden? Think it will go away on its own or what?

Then she tells the nurse at facility to tell her if it’s cancer, that she wants to know. She automatically thinks the worst.

Our appointment with primary care in a couple of weeks it was the earliest time I could get. Home health care nurse said to let doctor look at it. Cyst aren’t a big deal, right? I had one years ago that was removed right in the office.
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Cttn55: Were you being taught to do wound care for when your father was released? How did that go? Did you want to do that wound care, and were you the only family member who knew how to do it?
The nursing home rehab he was in was overwhelmed and couldn’t take care of him properly good people however they were overwhelmed, so a very good nurse at the rehab started me on the learning process of treating his wound which was very bad and deep. She taught me a lot I had to de-bride his wound every day and give him daily showers and I visited his surgeon by my fathers request and he taught me the rest along with his nurse. And yes I am the only family member that now knows how to treat wounds it was exhausting but awesome.
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So many different experiences that we all have. Thanks for telling your stories. It is truly helping me to gain a broader perspective of all the variables.
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My mom was in AL for a short time then moved over to SNF. I have to say when she moved to SNF she thrived. She was busy with activities, had friends, never sat in her room. My mom had Dementia and we would sit in the Common Area with her friends. Other families became friendly with each other from seeing each other often. The staff was wonderful from the maintenance people, laundry ladies, housekeeping, to nursing. They knew every Residents name on the floor. My mom even had a “job”, she folded towels for the hairdresser.

I visited every other week, I usually was interrupting moms activities. My mom was diagnosed with CHF in January and hospitalized for eight days. In February she was put on Hospice and passed away June 14th.. they were just as sad as I was.

I have to say as a former CNA the staff was phenomenal, they did not know I used to be a CNA. They were always on the move, providing care. She had great care and I have no regrets.
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My cousin, who I held the POA for, had head & neck cancer. I talked and talked to him about moving to AL. Nope, not going to happen, I finally convinced him to let a day care person check on him. So one morning at 4 am I get a call from him, I can't stand, I think it's time for me to go to AL. Oh boy, I just left from his house yesterday, I live 750 miles away from him. So, I get on the phone, I have to move him somewhere, cannot find anywhere, finally find a place 80 miles from where he lived, a NH. I jump in my car and head back to him. Go to the place, it was a dump, old, run down, people congregating in the hall ways and more. He is not happy, I told him what did you expect... because I told them your name is JK... that any home would have a room for you immediately ? So, off I go looking for a nice home, found one close to his home, it was beautiful, long story short, they wouldn't take him, he was too far gone..he died 5 days later. I will never forget that NH, it is etched in my mind, forever!
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I don’t have my sweet dog anymore. had to put him down awhile back. I swear it was like losing a child! I miss him terribly.

I do absolutely love the service dog program for seniors. If any of you do this for residents I just want to show great appreciation to you. It is a win, win situation for all. The residents enjoy the company of pets, the pets adore the attention.

Sure, some residents have allergies or simply don’t connect with animals but where it works, I feel it works well. What have you all experienced regarding service pets to the elderly?
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Wow, thanks for sharing and responding to my posting. Yes, it is an interesting environment that we can learn from, such as wound care. I agree, attention to skin care is very good. I am the primary caregiver and the staff knew it.

I did make sure the NH knew that my brothers would be visiting mom as well. I think it will open their eyes some as to how involved it is to care for elderly parents.

I am trying as best I can to cope with caring for mom. I certainly am far from perfect. It’s a challenge and continues to progress as mom’s Parkinson’s disease progresses.

Parkinson’s is a mean disease. All neurological diseases are but seeing all of the ALZ residents truly broke my heart. In my opinion that would be harder. I know all ALZ residents have different experiences so they can’t be fairly compared but at it’s worst, it certainly seems to be the most challenging. Am I right to feel this way?

The younger residents got to me, spending so many years in a facility. That was hard to see.

I enjoyed seeing the bonding that occurred with with some residents. Flip side, it’s difficult to watch the residents that are truly miserable or lonely. Not judging anyone, just an observation from my experience visiting at the NH mom was in for her skilled nursing rehab program.

I do feel all the workers have a very tough job and deserve appreciation and respect. The residents deserve to have advocates when things go wrong and hopefully everyone works together to resolve the issues.
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My mom was placed in the nursing home in Jan. Her roommate is in her 30’s, basically a baby. She’s always in bed, her parents hardly come. She doesn’t speak, but mom says she can wave “bye”. I feel so bad giving my mom stuff & can’t offer this lady anything. I’m already dreading Christmas.

There is a really cute married couple down the hall. Their two beds are pushed up side by side (or were). Two months ago the lady was showing everyone pictures of her newborn twin great-grand babies. Last week her ID picture was no longer on the outside of the door, her bed no longer pushed up beside his. I want to go in there & hug this very cute gentleman.

There’s a new lady that’s always there. Very well dressed, make up on, hair in place. Who’s she visiting? Oh, wait she’s wearing a tag that says resident. Good thing I noticed, because I would’ve let her out the door with me.

Then there’s the poor lady I try to avoid because she always asks if she can go with me.

It’s emotionally draining for me to visit my mom.
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The way I described it was culture shock. The first NH my mom went to was temporary until there was an opening in the one in my town, and it was available because it was one of the least desirable in the region. Aside from the steep learning curve the actual building is old and the lay out inconvenient - the dining room was on a lower level and most of the residents in wheelchairs, so lining up and moving people for three meals a day was a major undertaking. In a way that was good because it made the second NH seem like paradise.
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My mom has passed but yes, visiting her in the care home was a horrible experience some days for various reasons.

My mom had always been so strong and I had always looked to her for reasurrance so when the roles reversed I found that difficult.

Then on top of that seeing all the folks who never got visitors was so sad. It got so I would rush in and out quickly so as not to have to look at their faces. I could have and maybe should have stayed and visited with them but at that time I just was not prepared to take on any more sadness. My compassion quota was all used up for my own mom.

Good for you for what you do. You sound like a kind soul.
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Problemsolve101: "So the nursing home not only taught me a lot, especially wound care I was given the opportunity to learn directly from a surgeon and his nurse which was a very cool experience. I mean a doctor that takes their time to teach a family member how to treat that family member is a true humanitarian."

Were you being taught to do wound care for when your father was released? How did that go? Did you want to do that wound care, and were you the only family member who knew how to do it?
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When my mom was in a SNF, as her only child and relative, I visited often. I got to know the staff and a few of the residents pretty well. So, after a while, when I visited, I was not only visiting Mom, but those friends as well. If Mom was in a crappy mood, I’d visit for a few minutes and then go sit with Miss Dolly or visit Darryl and his Cocker Spaniel, “Champagne”. Miss Dolly and I got very close, and she was like another grandma to my grandsons. She even had a photo of them in her room! I got to know the staff as well and when Mom was having one of those bad days, they’d try their best to make sure I was ok after dealing with her.

This helped me accept my mom being there. It was more like visiting friends and not “going to the home to visit Mom”.
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I can empathize with you as my own father was in nursing home rehab. The nurses are very overwhelmed there however if you smile and have a good attitude it helps them a lot just don’t ever bring up nurse cratchet. Lol. I have never volunteered I think it would be great to do that if I wasn’t already overwhelmed with my own life and taking care of family members. I have to say this I learned a lot in the nursing home, I had to role play a woman’s son as she had Alzheimer’s, not the first time either. I feel extremely bad for these people as many of them seem to have no family members and of course are struck with terrible mental illnesses. So the nursing home not only taught me a lot, especially wound care I was given the opportunity to learn directly from a surgeon and his nurse which was a very cool experience. I mean a doctor that takes their time to teach a family member how to treat that family member is a true humanitarian. The entire situation is a no win, not just for the people stuck in the nursing homes but for the overwhelmed underpaid staff. Your ice cream is an awesome idea and a great idea to get permission. Well done!! Being in a nursing home is a real eye opener for anyone that has empathy or cares about people.. hope this helps and thanks for sharing..
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