MIL has been in TOP NOTCH (brand new) facility since Sept. Memory Care. Caregivers all seem wonderful and staff as well. Place is immaculate for the most part and most people all seem content and happy. (even through periods of shut down due to covid). Question: MIL was cleared for drinking Sherry (which we provide as it is a specific brand she likes) by doctor -- but we do not know if she is served it daily. Due to Memory dementia she never seems to remember if she had any - or was offered any. With this minor bit of info that I would like - do MC facilities offer any kind of reporting to the family on participating in daily activities or struggles or eating ? I feel like she looks well each visit but would like to actually see some kind of report on her behavior or eating - is she drinking her sherry nightly??? Do these places have to provide any kind of reporting to family?

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I am with Alva here. If MIL cannot remember if she had it or not, doesn't seem that sherry is that important.

I may ask how the doctor wrote the order. If it says "give at bedtime" then it should be given to her at bedtime. If it says "upon request" then it will be given when she asks for it. It really goes by how his order is written. Aides, nurses go by the order. Plus, you can determine if she is getting it every day on how long it takes for them to ask you to bring in more.

My thinking is that nightly Sherry was one of the rituals your MIL fully enjoyed and you want her to continue having that enjoyment. If your allowed visits, I may ask one of the desk nurses "Is Mom enjoying her Sherry?" They can look at her chart and see when she got it. I would not make a big thing out of it because for one moment she enjoys it and then forgets.

I was lucky to have a daughter, RN, who worked in rehabs/NHs for 20 yrs. I would ask her what I should complain about. You need to understand that MIL will never be cared for like you would have cared for her. I am a little OCD. My Moms hair is what bothered me the most. It was kept short but very fly away. I provided a special brush to help with that. The aides never used it. They kept using those little plastic brushes that just put static in her hair. I put a note "Please use brush provided". It was right there on her night stand. So I carried a small brush and a small hairspray in my purse and did her hair while I was there. I also put her outfits together on one hanger, bra too because it got forgotten at times. (Mom broke out if not wearing a bra) My daughter explained to me the morning routine and night routines. Aides do most of the hands on with residents. Nurses usually are the paperwork and things aides are not allowed by law to do. One man on the forum complained they never put wifes jewelry on her. I explained that his wife was not the only person the aide takes care of. I know what it took to get one person up and dressed. What if you had 10 of them and it had to be done by the time breakfast is served. The last thing on their mind is making sure a resident is wearing her jewelry that day. And now, Medicare requires that PT/OT be started at 8am for residents receiving it. That means the aides are even on a tighter schedule.

You are your MILs advocate. There maybe things you should question but then there are things you may just need to let go.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I am not sure why these concerns, in all truth. You report your mother as content and happy in her new home, something that so few of us CAN say of our elders. You also describe the place as having wonderful staff, and being clean and accommodating. Given that, I am curious why you are so concerned regarding the sherry. If Mom cannot even remember if she had it or she did not, why are you asking her about it? The fact that she looks so good is indicative that she is eating well. Just my humble opinion, here, but given you were so wonderfully diligent in getting this marvelous placement, might it now be a time to relax just a bit regarding her daily intake? Were she living alone I don't think you would ask her, "So, Mom, are you sure you remembered to take your sherry today?" It really, while it may be much enjoyed, not especially medicinal.
Can you tell us why the sherry is such a concern to you, or reports on eating when your loved one is in a facility you judge to be pretty much four star, with you loved one looking happy and well fed?
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Reply to AlvaDeer
willnotorcannot Jan 10, 2021
While I see visually the fact that she looks nice and well fed - her confusion and our conversation is not that way. Dementia's heartbreaking confusion as to where she is and why - along with forgetting sometimes the she lost her husband of 61 years 4 months ago before she had to move to memory care is my main concern - not the sherry. I bring sherry with me to visit and we enjoy a small amount together -- my point is whether or not there is any SOP of reporting to families -- anything. I guess I am looking for a minimal amount of feedback. Overall I am extremely happy with the people and facility although it breaks my heart that this is what it is. That being said, I think I will just need to start reaching out to the nurse on staff with a list of questions because it looks like that may be my only way of getting information unless I take what my MIL says about little children having the run of the place and using the refrigerator and taking things that don't belong to them. ( Like I said this dementia thing is heartbreaking). She has ALWAYS enjoyed a small glass of Sherry around 4 pm and even if she cannot remember to ask for it - she still enjoys it. It is in these little comforts that I feel I can help since this awful disease is taking away so much.
Can you communicate with the person in charge of the kitchen, or the aids that are usually serving the food?
If so they would be the ones that you can ask to provide it.
Or ask that her portion be given at night when she is ready for bed (if it not contraindicated with medications she may be taking.
But with all that is done in a facility I would not make a big deal of this one thing.
If it is part of a list of items that she is supposed to get and is not getting that is different.
With dementia she probably is not going to "ask" for her sherry and she may not even remember that she is "supposed" to get it or that she even likes it.
With many things we need to pick our battles and fight and stand up for what is really important, health and safety is foremost. If everything else is wonderful consider yourself and MIL very lucky. thank the staff for the wonderful job they are doing and leave it at that.
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Reply to Grandma1954

They are going to have internal reports on things like doling out medications, how much she eats and how well her bowels are functioning, I'm doubtful that they keep track of how much or how often she has her sherry unless it is included on her medical chart. As for communicating any of this to family - in my experience that's like pulling hen's teeth, if you corner someone they may go through charts to answer a specific question but on the whole the philosophy is that family are not part of the care team.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cwillie

Does your MIL ask for her sherry? Is this sherry for some medical reason? Most facilities because of Covid are both under staffed and overworked. Most do not routinely provide written reports. Some provide a report at her planning care managemeeting. Contact the Administer or Director of Nursing. If you visit regularly ask a staff member.
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Reply to Bridger46164

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