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For those of you who have a loved one in an AL facility, what have you found to be the best way to communicate with nurses and aids? For instance, I told my mom on Christmas Eve that I would be back the next day (yesterday) at 1:00 to take her to dinner. She remembered the part about my coming, but told the nurses she didn't know what time. I keep forgetting that my mom's mental abilities are failing and that she obviously didn't remember what I had told her. The nurses call me for important reasons, but can't call for every little thing. I was thinking of hanging a white board or something similar near her door. That way I can write down information my mom is likely to forget. Does this seem like an idea that would work? My mom has only been in AL since Wednesday, so we're still working out the kinks.

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Ask one of the nurses who should be kept informed of your mother's outings.

You could also get a large calendar, especially a pretty one with photos of something that's a favorite of your mother (gardens, roses, dogs, cats, landscapes, etc.) and write down this information on it, so she can check if she needs to. A white board could work for her as well.

The reason I suggest a large calendar though is because your mother can see at a distance what outings and appointments she might have, and if the photos are lovely it's a brief method of providing some quick relaxation.
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Well, at mom's AL the front desk kept track of who is coming and going, so I let them know and they would write it on a calendar. It also helps to call the front desk a few hours ahead so they can have mom ready to go. I didn't need the head nurse unless there was a medical concern.
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At your earliest opportunity, talk to the social worker and/or director of nursing and ask who to leave "I'm picking mom up at 1 pm" information with. Often, there is a front desk that coordinates patients' comings and goings.
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Becky, difficult time when they first move for sure! We went through that in June this year. Are you POA? You should have completed a fairly extensive packet for the facility related to Mom's likes, dislikes habits, meds, behaviors etc... If you did not or, if not POA, that person should have. Were you her caregiver prior to the move? The more information they have the easier the transition will be for Mom. A white board may work, but staff has many other people to look after as well that may or may not have time to read it. If it were written on paper there is more liklihood of it being read. The first two weeks new residents are watched much more closely. How often do they have staff meetings? This is when any new information should be provided to staff. So make an effort to give them anything you think of on a regular basis so it is shared with all staff.

An important thing to remember is that what worked to help mom at home probably will not work for caregivers in a facility. Does she have dementia? If so that more than likely will make the transition even more difficult. If she is competent then hopefully she realizes that the staff do not read minds. She needs to tell them what is and is not working.

Good luck on this change in your lives, it is definitely a tough one!
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