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My mother has been in an Assistant Living Facility since Feb. 2014. She still doesn't like it. They bring her pain pills every four hours, but don't say a word to her. No one talks to her, I told her you have to talk to them also. She has lost 21 lbs. since Feb. She isn't happy, but I can't take her back. She's so negative about everything. Would a Care Home with 4 to 8 residences be better? How are they compared to ALF with 50 people? I'm at my wits end. Do they just want their money and not communicate with the residences or just too busy? She does have dementia, can't remember from one minute to the next. But sure can remember when she was little. Word for word stories.

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I go to see her 3 times a week for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I am there a lot of times they bring the pills and they do not say anything to her except "here's your pill". Don't even say anything to me. One time my mother was talking to her and she just walked out, I was there It might just be that one that doesn't smile or talk. So frustrating for her and me. How rude! She doesn't go to many activities. If there are singers entertaining them it's so loud she has to leave. The food is terrible. I've heard that from other people. That is probably why she has lost weight. She gained when she lived with me and my husband. She does remember some stuff. Life when she found water on her bathroom floor and she got on her hands and knees and cleaned it up. I told her she should have pulled the string and they would come clean it. She said they wouldn't do it, but I know they would. She tells me that over and over. She is 92, so I guess I can't expect much from her. But I do want her to be happy. I had a breakdown when I had her. My brother's live far away, same state. But they have their own problems, but do come visit sometimes. There is no head nurse there that I know of. They just don't do much for her. I mean they change her bed, vacuum, help with shower. But that once a week. She just stays in her room. She might walk up and down the hall. Well, thanks for your input. Monday I am going to talk to some care homes and visit them. Bless all of you for reading my gripes.
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You could check her hearing, but I'm going to guess her problem is her memory. Check with the head nurse, ask if the aides have had problems with her not responding to questions. Get an over all report on how she is doing, sit down with the head nurse once a month. Try to be there at pill time and observe how they give meds. Ask if she is going to activities, ask if she is skipping meals . They will work with you.
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SuziQ, one thing I noticed in your post is that you said your Mother "has dementia, can't remember from one minute to the next"... maybe the caregivers are talking to her but she doesn't recall.

I know my Mom would have difficulties if she went into an assistant living home because if anyone talks with an accent, even if it was a Boston accent, she would have trouble understanding, thus would say no one is talking to her.
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How do you know that people aren't talking to her when they deliver her meds or perform other services? Are you taking her word for it, or have you also observed this? My mother with dementia cannot remember who has been to visit her or what anyone has told her. Since your mother is so negative about everything I don't think you can rely on just her word for what is happening there. If you have observed unfriendliness yourself and the staff really does not seem to care then you would be justified in looking at other facilities for her.

Rapid weight loss can go with dementia. My husband lost a great deal of weight very quickly, out of proportion to what he was eating, early in the disease. He stabilized at a good weight for him. He lost weight again near the end, but that corresponded to a decrease in eating. Can your mother afford the recent loss? Is she at a healthy weight? Do you eat some meals with her -- does she seem to be eating OK?

Does she participate in any of the activities at the facility?

My daughter works at an ALF with about 80 residents. She is a very caring person, and from her stories I think there are many caring staff there. Daughter sometimes goes in on her day off if she knows it is one of "her" resident's birthday and that his family won't be there for him. I cannot imagine why any ALF would have only staff that are unfriendly. Any one can be having a bad day. But to consistently deliver pills without talking? That seems so weird that I urge you to confirm this before you take action.

Since your mother is very negative about everything she might not be happy anywhere. Was she happy when she was with you?

My heart goes out to you. You did what you had to do by placing her in the ALF. I hope that you are not feeling guilty, in addition to the very hard decisions you need to make. Do your best. Move on.
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Each facility is different and it is always the quality of the employees that makes or breaks it. That of course does come down from the top management. A few ideas, are you visiting? If you are near, spend time visitng and talking it up with the staff. It is amazing the difference in care and attention those who have visitors receive vs those who have no one coming! Next, check out a few other ALs in the area. There may be one that better suits your needs, each is different. Finally, after you have observed, have a chat with the Executive Director. Mention that you don't see much interaction between the aides and the residents. Sometimes the top level gets so caught up in paperwork, they forget to look around. One non-accusatory comment may solve the situation.
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