My 90 yr old father has been in a nursing home for 11 months now. He is in the late stages of Alzheimer's/Dementia. I took care of him at home for months. He was in another nursing home for several months prior to home care. At this stage of his disease there is little left that the nursing home staff can do other than keep an eye on him (he is a wanderer and spends hours in his wheelchair, going up and down the halls). He is still verbal.
However, he has almost zero short term memory.
So if you were to ask did the nurse come see you today, he will say NO. Did the nurse bring you food today, he may say NO. Did the doctor visit you? NO. Did the nurse check your feet today. NO. A few days ago on the phone I asked him how his breathing is; the nurse and I had been on the phone only TEN minutes earlier because she had given him a breathing treatment and his inhaler and she was asking did I want him to be forced to take oxygen. Shortly after, I talked to him on the phone, asked how is your breathing. Just fine was the reply. Did you get a breathing treatment? NO. Because he doesn't remember.
A very loving, kind, sweet as heck (truly, she is precious!) adult grandchild loves to visit her grandpa (my dad) at least once a week.
However, she normally ends up asking telling me that 'I asked the nurse why are his feet so swollen, he has bruises on his arm, why did he fall, why isn't he eating, why hasn't anyone been in his room to check on him for the past few hours, etc'.
I adore her, love her like my own. But I've told her repeatedly that there isn't much they can now do. He's lost 30 pounds in a year, his body no longer wants to eat or drink, he has lost his balance but still thinks he can sometimes stand up from the wheelchair to walk to the bathroom and stumbles, he can't be watched 24 hours a day. That this is the progression of the disease. That these things happen. That his feet are sore, cracked, swollen because he is non-stop moving or shuffling his feet and refuses to stay in bed to rest or prop up his feet other than when he is sleeping.
She just doesn't get it, and her sweet, kind, very optimistic, loving nature makes her who she is. And she truly adores her grandfather, she does. And it brings her pain to see him decline like this.
I've explained that we must let nature take its course. That although it is painful to see, this is how his body is breaking down due to the Alzheimer's disease.
But now even the nursing home DOA has called and asked me yet again to please alert my dad's visitors that they are doing the best they can and that they are aware of his issues, but to please don't ask the nurses questions they cannot answer or address.
I've just about come to the stage where I feel I must flat out tell her 'quit questioning the nursing home and nurses' care giving or I will have to change the rules where he can no longer have visitors.
Now, having said that, I DO know this nursing home and the nurses are awesome. They call me every few days to update me on his day, anything they have noticed, if he has stumbled, if he did eat that day, they call and talk about anything at anytime. They call if they have questions about his care (he is a DNR). They are GREAT. The nursing home schedules quarterly sit-down meetings with at least 3 staff members to discuss anything, everything, address any concerns or questions.
But frankly, I am getting frustrated and tired of hearing something every time she visits about 'when was the last time you saw/talked to him...did you see his feet, did you notice his speech is now garbled, no one came into his room the entire time I was visiting'. I will say 'yes, I know, his body is breaking down, his feet are cracked and swollen because he won't lay down and rest his feet and he wheels around for HOURS non-stop shuffling his feet to move the wheelchair instead of using his arms to propel the wheelchair, he doesn't want excessive medical measures, he is there to be watched and kept comfortable, if the nurse hears someone visiting him, she normally won't come in because she would interrupt the visit, but you have to remember he is very frail now and we must prepare ourselves for his passing'.
She DOES mean well, she loves him. But I am just getting tired of hearing her voice her concerns after each visit.
She is such a sensitive soul and I love her like a daughter.