After receiving a lot of great advice here on this forum, I placed my 90-yr-old mother into a Memory Care facility on March 11, 2021, the day before her 91st birthday. I posted already about the problems we encountered on move-in so I won't waste words on that.
The facility lost most of Mom's clothes during her first week there. Yes, all items are clearly labeled with her name. She has since had some of them returned, but not all. They even lost a sheet and pillowcase! And, before you guys start yelling at me about how this is a common occurrence in congregate facilities, I am aware! My solution: I am now doing Mom's laundry. This means the clothes are NOT thrown into scalding hot water and put into a hot dryer resulting in shrinkage of length of her pants.
Speaking of laundry, each time I visited, I began to wonder why there were no used towels in the laundry basket. I asked the caregivers but none of them had an answer for me. Turns out, Mom had not had a shower since the day she arrived and did not get one until the last part of April! Yes, I inquired about this over and over and over again but still she did not get a shower. I guess I should have just given her one myself but, after all, what in the heck are we paying this exorbitant amount of money each month for?? I am already doing her laundry! When they did finally give her a shower at the end of April, the caregiver came to me during a visit and proudly proclaimed, "You Mom had a shower today!" One shower in six weeks? Really? Of course, none of this bothered Mom. She really liked not having to take a shower. Makes me wonder if they are making sure she washes her face and brushes her teeth. She does look a bit disheveled each time I visit. Her hair has not been brushed.
Apparently, they had been using wipes to "clean" her body. I did notice that they were going through packages of wipes pretty quickly.
In Mom's care plan, they agreed to take her to the toilet every four hours or so to see if she needed a dry undergarment. When I visit her, I always make sure I take her to the toilet and, several times, she has been wet.
In March, I requested a podiatrist visit, an ear clean-out and PT for Mom. So far, it has not happened. I am waiting for an appointment with the Executive Director to address my concerns about this.
The caregivers struggle with properly placing her hearing aids in her ears and have a hard time placing them properly into the charger at night. I made a laminated diagram in color with complete instructions and diagrams and placed it on the wall above Mom's nightstand where the hearing aid charger is plugged in. They still are having trouble with this and, believe me, it is not a difficult task.
Now for the good stuff! Mom does not spend much time in her room. She always seems to be out in the public areas every time I visit, usually watching TV with several others. I have seen her taking part in activities a few times. She has only said that she wanted to "go home" once and that was on the very first day I took her there. It amazes me that when I finish my visit with her, she walks me to the door, we hug, and she says "See you later." MIND BLOWN! I do worry about her inability to communicate with the other residents. On my last visit, as I was leaving and heading toward the door, she took me around and "introduced" me to some of the other residents, much to the horror of the caregivers since I am only allowed to be in Mom's room and not out around the other residents. I had on a mask and have been fully vaccinated so I was not worried about it. Of course, Mom did not know their names but it was a touching gesture anyway.
So far I am still stressed. I don't yet have the confidence that she is receiving the care we signed up for. I don't think the caregivers are trained that well. I am looking forward to the time when I can just drop in at any time and don't need an appointment. I am trying to better manage my expectations.