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Please share ONLY positive experiences with long-term care facilities for your mom/dad. It is a hard decision and I read already millions and millions of bad stories, but there should also be good ones....?


In-home care is impossible in our case. It's too expensive and having dementia, mom should be watched 24/7. She was living in my house for 15 years. The last two years were a nightmare before she finally got aspiration pneumonia because of never listening that she should not eat solid food. Now either I should quit my job and completely abandon my kids or she should be in a facility. (90 years old, dementia, dysphagia problems, hypertension). All money that I have will be just for one year living without a job, then what? I will be without insurance being only a year ago a cancer patient.


She is now in rehab and even now I dont have a quiet life, because I am going there every day, checking on her. I have no idea how I can manage all that at home. Her mood is going up and down every day. One day she is alert and nice and another day she is completely out of mind, asking 60 times per minute the same questions... I visited already several NH in my area, some nice, some not. I put her on a waiting list for a good one, but I need some reassurance that nursing homes can be not so bad...Thanks and sorry for a long story. And I am practically an only child. (This is another sad story, as her son does not want to help at all.)

My mom was in skilled nursing and then moved to Memory Care when she began to wander. Her care was wonderful. They knew every move she made and monitored her behavior and even what she ate and wouldn’t eat. Any issue I had with them was resolved immediately.

Can I make one suggestion though? Do you need to visit every single day? That’s stressful in itself. If Mom is being well-cared for, let the staff handle it. Give yourself a break.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Poetry, I agree, take a break,from visiting so much.

I had a very good experience with a care facility for both parents. It is a private pay place, a little more staff, less turnover. Mom passed away but Dad is now in the memory care unit at the same place. This is in WV.

I think it can be a real crap shoot. As good as our place is they are still understaffed. All these places are.

But keep in mind, none are perfect, maybe not the care you would do personally, but you can’t do 24/7 memory care without killing your self.

I would try to line up a place and transfer her directly from rehab. If she comes back home it’s just that much harder to move again.
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Reply to Windyridge
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My mom has been in a NH for about 1.5 years. It was my 2nd choice home but I just couldn’t wait any longer so I took it. She has done quite well here, I can’t imagine it would have been any better in my first choice. Of course the CNAs are understaffed. That is my ongoing complaint at the monthly family council meeting with administration. In NYS there is no minimum cna staffing requirement, which is astounding to me since they try to regulate every other aspect of our lives. Even so they take much better care of her than I could possibly do at home. There is a NP on each floor that can write scripts and her medical care is so much easier than I could have handled trying to get her to appointments. The staff that they do have is very caring. I have been mostly happy with how they have handled emergencies. I am here daily and can monitor what’s happening and can relax a little when I’m gone.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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poetry21 Jul 20, 2018
rocketjcat, what you can tell about infections in NH, did your mom health was the same there or worse? I am mostly thinking about UTI and respiratory infections that could be on high in NH...
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In April 2017, my 86 year old Mom was alert, oriented, a very social person, and able to do her own ADLs until she suddenly requested to go to the ER Dept. b/c of a backache. Forty-eight hours after being admitted to the hospital, Mom refused to eat or do any of her ADLS. After 2 weeks in the hospital, Mom was transferred to the local nursing home for Rehab. Mom bounced back and forth between being her usual social self and willing to do her ADLS versus complaining about everything that the NH staff and therapy did. I never knew which "Mom" that I would get a phone call from or see when I visited. The nursing staff and therapy staff were great with Mom and they were able to redirect her (most of the time) and they always treated her with respect (even after she accused them of mistreating her--they hadn't). Mom has been diagnosed with Major Depression with Delusions and Mild Dementia. I feel that the nursing staff on the Rehab Unit and now the Memory Care Unit are doing a great job taking care of her. When my cousin from Wisconsin visited last year, she was very impressed with the facility and the staff.

I have worked in several nursing homes over 20+ years in different towns and cities and there are many "GOOD" nursing homes. You need to remember that these are "Institutions" and that they have rules and regulations to follow that you might not agree with, but that you have to accept. And "Yes", understaffing has always been a problem in nursing homes.

I would suggest that you do NOT visit your Mom EVERY DAY in order to give your Mom time to get used to the nursing staff and the facility routine. By not visiting every day, you are also showing the NURSING STAFF THAT YOU TRUST THEM to take care of your Mom. If you ever see a "problem" or have a question, please talk to the nursing staff in a calm, respectful, professional voice with minimal emotion. The nursing staff will most likely respond to the same way. If you go into the facility, with "Guns A-blazing----looking for trouble" then you will find trouble.

Give yourself a break and visit your Mom once or twice a week. Maybe eat supper with her if you work during the day. The cost is usually $6-10/meal for yourself. I think that if you have found a nursing home that you like, then that is where your Mom needs to go. Good Luck.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Poetry, I understand. Not all Medicaid places are bad however.

I don’t have an easy answer for you but don’t quit your job and sacrifice your life for the last bit of your mom’s life. It can be very hard to do but I think we have to find that balance of caring for loved ones and caring for ourselves also.

Wishing you luck......
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Reply to Windyridge
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I just read your comment about the language barrier. If you have someone coming to talk to your Mom in her language for three hours, then maybe you can visit for only 1-2 hours per day until your Mom gets settled into the long term care facility. Maybe you could make a 3-ring binder that has pictures or photos with English words and the corresponding words in your Mom's language that the staff and your Mom can use when you are not at the nursing home.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Years ago my parents, after several grueling years of being caregivers for my grandmother, placed her in a NH. She was bedridden. The NH is 5 miles from my parents' home and my mom went there for every meal to feed my grandmother as she needed help eating. This particular NH has heavy community involvement. There are a number of churches which come and have activities with the patients.

My grandmother was on medicaid and received good care at this facility. There were a couple of CNAs in particular she adored.

I had guardianship over a relative in 2015. She had Alzheimer's and then was bedridden due to a broken kneecap which needed to be elevated.

The NH was about 5 miles from my house, so it was very convenient. The building was older and a bit shabby looking, however, the staff there took very good care of her. The lady who bathed her and changed her bedding daily was a very kind and giving person. I visited her daily, which I think makes a difference because the staff knows a family member is watching, but I agree with what someone else said about not visiting your mom every single day.
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Reply to XenaJada
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My mom has been in NH for two years. She started in the AL section and made the move over to NH. She is thriving in NH, she is involved in most activities, goes to church services. She loves the staff and the staff is very good with the Residents. I didn’t think she would end up there so soon, but it was a good move for her.
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Reply to LisaNJ
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Ahmijoy, I wish I can follow your advice and probably I will when she ll be settled in LTC facility, but for now i cant, because too many changes every day, like she just started to eat by herself little by little, and so on...What do you mean by visiting less frequently, one a week. Another big problem that i forgot to mention she does not speak English well, therefore I have a person coming each day for her for three hours at least and speak with her....language barrier is a big problem. But thank you for your positive experiences. unfortunately, Windyridge, I can not pay private and mom should be in Medicaid paid facilities, that's what scares me. if I can pay private, i will take 24/7 home care, but I cant and she does not have anything, came to live with me and I am by myself first generation immigrant in a country, so no any savings, just job and hopes....
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Reply to poetry21
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Both my parents were in nursing homes because their needs grew too much & my home would need extensive remodelling or I would have to move

Mom [wheelchair, diabetic, semi-blind, dementia] was in 1 place for over 5 years & I would not have moved her but for the distance from me as she is now 4 minutes away not 40 - I would recommend something close to you - I spend less in 'visitation time' now than before as I only need a short time in stead of 1/2 a day & I now go about 4 to 5 time a week not twice - I spend more time with her but lose less time in the travel - so if I now go & she is sleeping then I just leave & return later or next day - mom interacts with others & is sociable - both places I would recommend to others

Dad [wheelchair, hip replacement worn out, etc] - was 20 minutes away - his care was great - the staff found his skin cancer which was treated successfully - I would do both mom & him which was basically a whole day as I would see dad in AM, go to a pool over their lunch time for my exercise, go see mom in PM or the reverse - he did not interact with other residents but that was his choice - he was there for 15 months before he passed away

I need to add that I live in Ontario where much of nursing home is regulated like each resident gets a bath 2 times a week, how much each type of room costs, what is included - here I pay $2599.00 per month for a private room in a newer facility & that includes nursing, food, room, recreation, depends, cleaning, heat/AC & laundry ... basically everything but clothes, hair, outings & meds [gov't pays most so mom is about $200.00 a tear that is not covered] - because of the regulations there are not as many differences but the atmosphere can be different but all I visited[10+] before mom & dad went into care seemed to be run by truly caring people - one big difference was that there are some run by ethnic groups so that the food is familiar & there are those who can speak their first language as many loose their 2nd language with dementia but they are not limited to only that group so if that is an issue look around 

Yes I would do it again - I'm 69 while mom is 92 [dad died last Aug. at 94] so I physically could not do it - I DID NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THIS & YOU SHOULDN'T EITHER - you also should not visit every day because of several things :
1 - she will be absorbed better into the community & the activities when she has that time free from you
2 - she will be used to you not being there every day so if you get sick, injured, go on vacation or are just too damned tired that day she won't sit there waiting for you
3 - you will need some time to establish your 'new normal' routine in your home
4 - plus some others but you'll find them out yourself

REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ABANDONING HER RATHER YOU ARE MAXIMIZING HER HEALTH & SAFETY FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE - you will become a better visitor & actually talk about things other than what she wants to eat, her BMs, etc so now you can take her back to when she was growing up, things she loved to do so she can relive some good memories - good luck
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