Prema2 Asked December 28, 2017

How can I get better care for my mother at a memory care home? After just 3 weeks, one of her $4K hearing aids is already lost.

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The home is top-rated but care/food is not individualized. They give her frozen yogurt when she has a bad cough. She is much higher functioning than the other memory care residents, but she is stuck in an activity room where half the residents are either asleep, comatose, or delusional. Is there any good memory care in California??? Does anyone really care at care homes??

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domesticgoddess Dec 31, 2017
My MIL eventually went to a Memory Care facility. And just like your Mom, she lost her hearing aid as well as her glasses, but it was due to her own behaviors. She began placing her belongings in unusual places. We didn't realize how bad it had become until I visited her one day. She was eating a small cup of ice cream in the front room. She suddenly took her spoon out of the ice cream, placed it in one of her three purses she carried everywhere, and then stole the facility's stapler, and began stirring her ice cream with it. Before you blame the facility, think again. There's a much more likely solution. Please remember she is in a MEMORY care facility because her memory isn't what it used to be! Bless you as you take this journey.
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klf329 Dec 31, 2017
I can relate to this post. My mother has been in a dementia unit in our local nursing facility. Her hearing aid went missing two weeks into her stay. Very unusual since they were one thing she was very careful with and never took them out during the day. But, she’s not in her home, her “normal” environment is different, etc. I spoke with her hearing doctor about replacing the hearing aid, small replacement fee and the nursing facility offered to cover the cost.
Mom’s hearing aides have a small loop in each on that a light plastic thether can be attached and clipped to the back of her shirt so if she does try to take them out, they shouldn’t be lost.
Mom has declined a bit since she has been in the memory unit, but that’s part of the dementia as well. Two months ago she was in her own home, now this.
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freqflyer Dec 28, 2017
Prema, memory care or living at home. If an elder lived at home, there is usually just one or two people who have the 24 hour shift of caring, compared to a memory care where there is a village to take care of Mom.

Hearing aids can just as easily get lost at home, too. With hearing aids being so light, if an elder takes the hearing aid out themselves, the hearing aid will get wrapped up in a tissue.... then the tissue gets thrown out.

As for activities, I have found not that many want to be part of certain activities when in memory care. My Dad didn't. He was happy staying in his room reading or watching TV. But he really liked being around people from his own generation, and he did like attending activities when there was a guest musician.

Frozen yogurt sounds good for a cough, I'll have to try that :) Could be the memory care found that works best compared to giving a resident cough drops to take which they might choke.
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HereNow Dec 31, 2017
Loss of control and communal living is a big adjustment that I understand as my husband of 53 years became a facility resident. May I suggest a new and wonderful book that will be helpful: When Someone You Know Is Living In A Dementia Care Community by
Rachael Wonderlin. This book helped me and my family adjust to the transition to communal living.
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MACinCT Dec 31, 2017
I like all of the answers above except each state has its own rules. MARs are not always used in every state and my mom only has med supervision twice a day for now. Her memory care is not a nursing home and I have to prepare med trays for her.
She also lost her hearing aids since staff are not with her 24/7. I realize that most of her losses occur at bedtime since she would even stuff her dentures in her pillow case or under her bed. I replaced dentures twice in 3 years but I will no longer do so with hearing aids. She is resistant to wearing them, does not know when the batteries need changing, and frequently plays with them and also her teeth.
I ask you if you can trust a toddler with hearing aids because that will be the reality mindset. I already took away all of Mom's good jewelry for the same reasons.
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debbye Dec 31, 2017
My dad's experience was similar to freqflyer's dad. He lost his glasses the first week, but we think he "packed" them in a trash can and they got thrown away. Not the facility's fault. He was also much higher functioning than others in the facility, and he didn't like being around the other people for activities. The facility told us that the best thing is when the resident makes a friends. That happened with my dad. He ate at a table every meal with the same three men who were similar to him in functionality. They all stayed in their rooms most of the other times. Dad was able to read right up until he came down with pneumonia and my mom and I visited every other day. Maybe the facility staff can help identify someone who is similar to your mom in functionality that she can be friends with.
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MountainMoose Dec 31, 2017
Great advice and reassurance above, Prema2. Hearing aids are very easy to lose. My mother insisted on always living in her home and never going to a nursing home. Because of our upbringing (long story) us kids are committed to keeping her here. She's lost her $3,000 hearing aids and recently lost an amplifier from her ear. I suspect because of her dementia she forgets about the aids and fiddles with them. They're small, so *poof* they're gone. We watch her closely and we've all torn the house apart to find them.
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moecam Dec 31, 2017
My aunt would remove her hearing aids then wrap them in kleenex & put either in pocket or on table - they were tossed as used kleenexes - happens all the time & not the fault of facility - if she gets new ones get them bulkier so they can be found easier
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murphyclm Dec 31, 2017
Prema2, I actually took my mom out of her memory care facility since she is now confined to a wheelchair, is now less combative and generally quieter, and I'm SO glad I did. The care she is getting at the regular nursing home she is now in is far better. It's a smaller place, brighter, cleaner, less people, food is better, has an obviously much happier staff, and it's right in my neighborhood, so I see her daily. She NEVER got any particular specialized care that I could tell for her Alzheimer's at the memory care place; it was too big, crowded, dark, cold, had wandering patients who would end up in each other's beds, not enough help all the way around, to where she actually fell twice. A nurse working there took my sister aside and told her to "get her out of here." If your mom's Alzheimer's is advanced to where she is not walking, I'd just stop in at a regular nursing home and speak to people there. I actually was able to get her transferred in two day's time, and she is doing better all the way around now. There are several people with Alzheimer's where mom is now in the same shape she's in. Mom can feed herself, is incontinent, later stage Alzheimer's. She is taken to activities (by the way, activities in this nursing home are more and better; different community groups come in, singers, church groups, etc., and it's a nonprofit), and they make great efforts with her, even though she's in her own world and talks to herself, basically. I think the mix with many types of patients has been great for her, and they do help each other, I've noticed.  And this place is less per month (that's from $8500 down to $6850).  Mom is still self-pay at this point. They even do their hair free (a grant someone provided). I can't say enough good about this place, The Widows Home of Dayton. God bless.
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freqflyer Dec 31, 2017
Another thought, don't forget to look under the bed, especially if the bed is a mechanical one. Or between the frame and the mattress.

My Mom had misplaced her eyeglasses, so I searched and searched. Then I brought with me a small flashlight and searched under the mechanics of Mom's hospital bed. Lo and behold there were her eyeglasses. The glasses were leaning up against the heavy inside legs of the bed where it was very difficult to see them without a flash light.
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