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She is never happy with how much time it is. She thinks we should devote our lives to her because she is 88 and even if I visit her 3 times a week for 3 hours a time, it's just not enough. She keeps falling and fell this weekend and got all banged up and bruised with lacerations. This was a trip to a birthday party. Planned to get her out of the facility for a little "fun". Ended up being a nightmare. I am not happy with where she is staying (Assisted LIving) and neither is my mother or my two sisters. They are understaffed and you have to wait forever for any type of answer for anything. Just don't know where else to send her. They are all so expensive and she doesn't get the care she should be receiving for the money she pays!!

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Good points Rainmom. I think that with the frequent falls, you might meet with the team at the facility and discuss her falls and contentment level. Is she somewhere that is giving her the right level of care? I'd look into those falls. It could be balance issues or something else. My cousin had a steady stream of them and we discovered she needed more care. I moved her to a Memory Care facility, since she was in a wheelchair by then, but still falling.

Rainmom, my cousin's continued falls, have caused us to get an alarm for her wheelchair and bed. It alerts the staff when she gets up, so they can attend to her and help prevent her from falling. She can't walk, but will try to and fall. I hope it helps.
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I'm a little surprised that they are allowing your mother to stay if she is falling somewhat regularly. My mom moved into AL and fell twice in the first ten days. They called me the afternoon of the second fall and told me her care needs were beyond what they could provide and I needed to find a new place. It turns out they were right and my mom is now in a nursing home. Mom still falls- it seems to come and go in phases. Just got a call this morning mom had fallen- that makes six falls in seven weeks. All the falls have been non- injury and I suspect it's more of a case where mom thinks she can walk on her own, figures out she can't after the first step or two and sits down - perhaps abruptly. We have been working with the home practically from day one on this. Approach whomever is in charge and get a "fall plan" in place. This could reduce the frequency and/or the seriousness of the falls - but honestly unless someone is strapped to their bed 24/7 I don't think it's possible to eliminate falls all together with an elder who is a fall risk.
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You now have an answer about how much time would satisfy your mother. Mainly, it is not possible to satisfy her. So plan the frequency and length of your visits to satisfy yourself. You have a lot else on your plate. Do not be guilted by your mother to unrealistic standards.

As for the level of care Mom is getting -- some places really are substandard. But delays in responses to the call button happen every where. Is the delay consistent -- or is it good sometimes, and bad when there is a crisis three-doors down, or at a high-demand time? Try to monitor that for a while before you jump to conclusions.

Recently my mom didn't have her teeth in after breakfast when my sister visited her. We have gone through this lapse several times in the 2 years she's been there (NH). It has always been when new aides are assigned. Sometimes they are training in and sometimes they are subbing for regulars on vacation. It has always gotten straightened out, but it may take several days. Sometimes they don't dress Mom with a sweater, which she needs all year around. I suppose it is hard if you are new and it seems very hot to you to put long sleeves on a resident, even if that is what her care plan calls for.

I've been with my mother when we've pressed her call button for bathroom assistance, an aide as come in within a few minutes, checked what she needed, shut off the call button, and disappeared for 30 minutes before returning to assist my mom. While this is very unfortunate for mom, I think if it was my mother or father who needed the higher priority service immediately, I'd be glad they were getting it. The worst that could happen with my mother's need is they'd change her depends. The worst that could happen for someone with bleeding or breathing issues is far more serious. We have to trust their triage procedures when many needs happen at once.

Are my sisters and I considering moving our mother? Heavens no! She is getting excellent care, the staff know and like her, she is taken to all kinds of activities, they notice if anything is a little "off" with her and keep an eye on her. And we know from friends with parents in other facilities that there is virtually no way to assure there will never be lapses with new staff, and that all calls will be answered immediately. We are extremely satisfied with where she is. We watch out for lapses in care and politely bring it to upper level attention.

Just FYI our mother gets 4 to 5 family visits a week, with occasional extras from those who live at a distance, each visit lasting 1 to 4 hours.
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Barbskspr,
You state that your mother's issue is mobility, but does she also have memory problems? If you are visiting her 3 times per week and she isn't happy, then I wonder if she is remembering the previous visits. I know that my cousin would forget that I was there for a visit and call me later that day and beg me to come and visit. She had forgotten that I was there earlier in the day! Plus, with all the falls.....I'd look into it.

I would also look at what is reasonable. That is the standard that I try to set for my input with my cousin, who I am POA for. Is it reasonable to expect someone to come and visit everyday? Not usually, so I would set down what is reasonable for you and your obligations and make peace with it. It's unlikely you can make her happy, so why set unreasonable expectations upon yourself?

I like the card idea and phone calls are great too.

If my mother were in AL and she expected me to visit everyday, I would assume that her reasoning was impaired and overlook it. My mom in her right mind, would not make those demands. She wouldn't want me to overextend myself or stress out over it.
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barbkspr, I believe the more we visit a love one who is in Independent Living or Assisted Living, the less they will socialize with the other residents. I know for my Dad [94] he prefers to stay in his apartment [he does have a morning caregiver] and sits in his recliner reading the newspaper and watching 24-hour local news.

I use to visit my Dad many times during the week but it was becoming very tiring for me. So recently I have cut back to once a week for a half hour or so. My Dad never mentions that I have cut back... I think as it stand now, everyday is Groundhog day to him. I do try to call Dad every day at the same time each time.

My Dad is mobile using a rolling walker, but the only time we take him outside of the IL facility is only for doctor appointments.... otherwise we find it's too tiring for him. He prefers the safety of his apartment, as he has a routine.
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Someone else on here made a brilliant suggestion for keeping up with a needy senior in AL. Buy a box of cheerful greeting cards. Send her a card with a quick note in it every day. She has something to look forward to and you could possibly cut one hour and a half drive out of your week. Is she participating in any activities where the social worker comes to get her. In your shoes, I would reach out to that person and look for suggestions.
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Unfortunately, waiting for assistance is pretty typical in a facility. I know it's maddening. You'd probably find the same situation anywhere else you'd move your mom to.

It sounds like you have enough on your plate right now. Between you and your 2 sisters your mom is probably getting lots of visits. Do your sisters feel as if they aren't visiting enough as well? When my dad was in a nursing home my brother and I tried to coordinate our visits so my dad went very few days without a visit but there were days when neither of us were there. It happens. One of the r easons we place our loved ones in a facility is because we can't care for them full-time. No one is expecting you to be with your mom full-time except maybe your mom and you know that's unrealistic.

Do the best you can, remember that you have to take care of yourself too, and don't let guilt seep in. You have nothing to feel guilty for.
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Also, I live 40 minutes from her facility. I have a son that is autistic and he is 27 years old and a daughter who is pregnant but has some issues. I have a husband as well but he doesn't have much to do with my mother at all.
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