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My dad keeps arguing with the staff at the nursing home about my mother's care. It's always something physical therapy or getting her on the toilet. The physical therapist told him if you didn't like it maybe he should look into going somewhere else. I know the director of nursing is fed up with him for constantly insisting she be on the toilet. She can't stand she can't communicate she's a handful to try to get on the toilet or into bed or to do anything. Can the nursing home tell us to take her somewhere else?

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I gyess there is a fine line between "argueing" and "advocating". Does the staff have your mom on a toileting schedule, or are they saying she should be considered incontinent and in diapers? And is she being changed regularly? Has a doctor scripted PT that's not being done? Is mom able to participate in pt? Follow instructions?

Look, Dad is afraid of losing your mom, and grieving. Is he recieving help from a social worker or counselor? Is HE experiencing cognitive decline?

I'm just trying to look at this from his viewpoint.
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Well your dad is on the job. Taking care of his wife. Does your dad have dementia? Anxiety? Does he spend all day with your mom? Perhaps he needs to take a break from sitting with your mom to give him some perspective. My MIL was in rehab for a short while after a hospitalization. FIL would go and sit in her room all day. She was in a semiprivate room. FIL kept adjusting the temperature. The room mate was very kind. Everyone else kept telling him to leave the thermostat alone, including the nurses. He would say, the room is too cold, it makes my nose run. Indeed it did. It was totally lost on him that his comfort wasn't of concern. That he wasn't a patient. That he could go home. Thankfully MIL wasn't in the rehab long. I can't imagine your dad being there everyday for the duration. I have no idea how much a NH will put up with. I suspect it's common for the spouse to be there. Perhaps you should speak with someone at the NH to see what they suggest before it goes too far. I'm sure your dad wants to be with her. I know it's stressful for you. At least you know where he is and what he's doing. Wish I knew how to help. With my In laws, it would have been a big problem too. They both passed before they reached this stage. Let us know how it goes.
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The physical therapist told him if he didn't like *what* maybe he should look into going somewhere else?

Even overlooking the childish petulance of that response to your father's concerns, whether or not the PT was being reasonable depends on what your father objected to.

My late aunt was very much of the 'oh don't complain you'll only make things worse' type. It used to drive me nuts. If there is a problem, say so. Say so politely, say so to the right person, and before you speak up have a clear idea of what you expect to be done about the problem. And if the NH can't cope with that kind of constructive approach and still gives you backchat, then maybe you should be looking for somewhere else.
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Very difficult to accept that a loved one is not going to get better. Many relatives take the "if only" approach. Eat more, exercise, get out of bed, socialize, take the medications, do hobbies, the list goes on and on.
What people do not realize is that their loved one is not giving up and waiting to die ( although this may be the case) they are simply experiencing a progression of their condition and are content to simply be left alone. They have probably accepted their new really and are not able to change the inevitable so accepting this for the loved one is a great love and kindness if there is no hope of improving their physical or mental condition.
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Yes, they could. Has your dad talked to a social worker? Have you encouraged him to stop this behavior? Probably worse than telling mom she had to leave was if they told your dad that he could no longer visit mom.

Your dad needs to control himself. His behavior could be impacting mom's care, no that would not be right, and behaviors. He is not helping mom by being so vocal. If he wants better care for mom he needs to back off. I am sure the staff at NH tries to avoid him at all costs.
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As i said, given my experience with the therapists at my mom's nh, i imagine we would be referred to the social worker or DON to discuss the issue. ESPECIALLY if the person doing the complaining was elderly and possibly compromised.
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I wonder if your father understands your mom's physical condition. Does he really understand that with her dementia, she may not be able to move the way she used to? And that her control of her bowels is no longer fine? I wonder if her failing to meet his expectations is being translated as to failure of the NH staff.

What if the therapist or whoever is in charge of her therapy or care were to go over her abilities and explain what she is no longer able to do. He may have in his mind that she might catch on if they spent more time with her or explained things better. And we know that dementia patients aren't really able to learn new things, so, if she is declining, he may have to be told specifically so he can adjust his expectations.
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That's a very good explanation Veronica91. I think that family members want the patient to hang in there, rebound, and recover, but it's not possible sometimes. I suppose that it's just too painful to accept a dire prognosis when it comes to the love of your life. I can't imagine it.
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I remember back when my Mom [97] was in rehab due to a head trauma fall that put her into accelerated dementia... Mom could no longer remember how to walk much less stand up....

Anyway, my Dad didn't quite understand what was going on and my Mom would tell Dad that she walked for 20 minutes that day.... of course my Dad believed Mom had walked, and he kept wanting me to get Mom to get out of bed so that they would walk. Same with whenever Mom wanted to use the bathroom... [sigh].

Thank goodness my Dad was a quiet reserved man, didn't give anyone any problems. But it took over a month before Dad realized that Mom won't be walking :( He still had hopes she would come home and everything would be like it was before that last fall. Once that hope was gone, Dad cut his visits down to a half hour each day. He really didn't want to remember his wife in that condition.
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I complain all the time about things I am not happy with at my husbands NH....no one has ever told me to go somewhere else...on the contrary they look into the problem and it gets corrected. However I go to the administrators, not the workers....if a CNA is not properly taking care of him I first talk to his nurse, if that doesn't correct the problem I go to administrator....they always assure me I have every reason to complain if there is something that I don't like or agree with ....I don't scream and holler..I just go in with a humble attitude....they are extremely good at addressing the problem...even have opened their eyes to some that needed to be let go.
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