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I cared for mom in my home for 3 years. Her incontinence and her resistance to allowing us to toilet and bathe her made it very difficult to care for her. We moved her to a wonderful memory care. However now they are eating alone in their rooms due to the lockdown. I’m worried she will get depressed from being alone so many hours in the day. I’m worried she will decline or get infected. We have been FaceTimeing and window visiting but 2 days a week they are short staffed so those 2 days I sit home and worry! They can’t accommodate those options on those days. I have children so I do need to care for them and I don’t want anyone getting sick. Is anyone considering this? I got a 3 week respite but I’m concerned it will be too much when I bring her home. However, I’m home from work so at least we could be together.
signed,
worried

I think that the only safe assumption for all of us right now is that we may all be symptomatic carriers. If you bring her home, you are more likely to expose her to the virus.

And if YOU fall ill, not only have you exposed her, you won't be able to care for her. And you wont be able to re-admit her because she will have been exposed.

Please keep her safe...where she is.
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laurie123 Mar 30, 2020
Thanks so much. That’s why I wanted to post because I hadn’t thought of that. That would be very difficult for my husband and children too.
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I'm in kind of the same boat. I admitted my mother to LTC on March 4, and they locked down on March 16. She was just beginning to adjust to the facility when the lockdown happened, and I had been visiting her every other day.

The last time I spoke to Mama (one week ago today), she was extremely irritable and complained about everything, ending up with a statement of, "Oh, and if you have any guilty feelings about putting me here, you deserve them." (Thanks, Ma.) I'm afraid she'll go from aggravated to depressed, if she hasn't already.

Our problem is that we can't do any FaceTime or Skype because she's blind. Her old cellphone doesn't work in the facility, and she can't operate it, anyway, so I ordered her a new "geriatric" phone. It should arrive today, and I'll deliver it to her as soon as I can get it charged and configured for her use. The nurses have been very kind with setting up calls on facility phones for us, but I know they have enough to do with just taking care of the patients/residents.

Did I think about bringing her home? Of course. Did I do it? No. Now is not the time to be thinking about that. She is no doubt in the safest possible environment now, and that's for both of us. She is as isolated as possible from contagion, and the back and leg injuries that I sustained while caregiving are just now beginning to heal. Bringing her home would be a pretty dumb move at this point.

We all have to be strong, and pray that our loved ones are getting not only the care they need, but the emotional support they need as well.

At least you can FaceTime and do window visiting. Be grateful for that. It's better than nothing.
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laurie123 Mar 30, 2020
Thank you for your post. I’m sorry you arent able to do the FaceTime. I hope that the geriatric phone works well for you and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post.
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I now have the ability to make contact to my LO’s floor to find out her condition. There is face timing available, but I know her well enough to realize that seeing me for a few minutes on a TV screen would be both confusing and INFURIATING TO HER.

SO——-I asked the wonderful caregiver to tell her that DH and I were taking a short vacation to Ohio to see her two other nieces.

She always, ALWAYS loved it if WE went on vacation, with her or without her, and loved it when my cousins came to US for vacation, so I’m hoping that something about this idea will latch with her.

I will now call every couple days, continue to mention family names and familiar places, and hope that doing this will give her comfort.

There have been numerous Covid 19 deaths in local residential care facilities in the last week. I continue to be grateful that she is safe and secure WHERE SHE IS, and content with the fact that the NO VISITORS rule is being applied fairly and consistently.
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laurie123 Apr 2, 2020
Thanks for your response. Those are wonderful ideas. I just want her to feel joy. I have resorted to dropping off store bought cookies for her and the staff. Everyone has been so wonderful and kind.
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My husband is in a rehab facility for mobility therapy. This coming Thursday, it will be 3 weeks since I’ve seen him. He doesn’t understand Skype or FaceTime and wouldn’ t do it.

I wouldn’t even consider bringing him home. I talk to him every day at least once on the phone. I want him to be as safe as he can and he needs to stay in the facility. He’s monitored constantly. He’s a triple threat, he’s 70, has underlying health conditions and mostly bedridden.

Keep your mom in her facility. It’s the best place for her.
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laurie123 Mar 30, 2020
Thank you. I hope your husband heals well.
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Keep Mom where she is.
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I’m in the leave her there camp.
Please keep in mind that it now seems to be happening is that if a resident should leave the facility for whatever reason - whether for couple of hours for medical appointment or visting others or a post fall run via EMS to the ER - the facility will NOT, again WILL NOT, allow them to return at all, OR, will require a private room quarantine 14/21 days with extra aides hired during quarantine &/or a negative Covid-19 test.
If your moms place should start to follow this, should you take mom home, & if Covid runs 2 cycles (which is what some models are projecting) this could mean late next Spring till some degree of normalcy & only then will places start letting new residents in. Why? Is cause there will be some herd immunity happening worldwide between outbreak 1 (Dec-now) and 2nd outbreak (next winter/spring) plus probably an initial vaccine available next year.

Friend of mine dads recently moved into AL and has a 90 day post surgery appointment next week. He had surgery right at beginning of Jan & done so that he would get this done before the move to AL. His place is “tiered” as has AL, NH & MC. Well..... New rules for the facility are now once in, you’re in with no leaving till all quarantines or risk assessments are lifted for the county. All care coming from the MD medical director of the facility or via TeleMed if your health insurance is making that available. If you leave, basically you are not guaranteed to be able to return. She’s trying to get it done via telemed but if that falls thru, there will be no post surgery follow up done. It is not feasible to have him move in with family, so they are attempting to make it all work.

Where we are, it’s a hot zone. & there have been 2 large facility outbreaks and several deaths. Both have been tied to transmission from IL/AL section as often the residents still have cars and were still going out & about till just recently. I’m sure this is driving having these restrictions in our area.

Imho the death toll is going to be staggering in the US. For the facilities, if they don’t hunker down & bunker down now, they don’t stand a chance to get thru this both for residents and staff.
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laurie123 Apr 2, 2020
Yes, I hadn't considered that before I read these posts that if I took her out and something happened I may not be able to place her back in. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response.
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You unfortunately can not control all facets of taking care of everyone during this pandemic. I personally,having been an RN for 30 years,now retired,do not think it wise to bring your mother back home.You have been very,very thoughtful, but you have to care for YOU first,because your children need you. In times before this Virus, you might have been able to visit daily.Since I am currently the main contact for my 93 year old mother, I discovered that neither you nor I want our parent to be depressed or lonely or get sick, or even die. WE have to let go ! It's painful.My thoughts and prayers are with you.If you are a nervous wreck,consider an anxiolytic, more exercise,prayer or whatever decreases your worry. 🙏 💗 You have done a wonderful job, and you have a big heart .
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laurie123 Apr 2, 2020
Thank you for your thoughtful response. It is hard because we are all just sitting around the house and we could be sitting watching tv together or playing games or something but I don't want to bring in any infection if I go to the grocery store. With no crystal ball it is hard to determine which will have been the right decision. I just love her so much and I'm glad she doesn't understand what is going on.
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We know that you love your mom but please leave her where she is. Best wishes to you and your family.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 2, 2020
Adding to my post. She has already been exposed to her environment. This is so tough for everyone. I would NOT want to be entering a facility or hospital at this time. It would be frightening to be there if they weren’t in total isolation. Our elderly need assistance. That’s why they are in assisted living so how could they ever be in complete isolation? Just so sad, isn’t it?
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We did the same thing with a family member just before the lockdown. He had a medical problem crop up last week and a doctor was able to see him and treat him in the facility. We have other elderly people we care about who are living independently and they have to wait for care. Doctors are cancelling visits for all but urgent matters.

He had been living alone. In memory care, he has no concerns about getting food, preparing it or being unable to get health care when needed. He is much better off where he is than living in the community right now, in my opinion.
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laurie123 Apr 2, 2020
Thanks Alice. Yes, that's true she does have nurses in. Knock on wood, she is very healthy so that is why I'm torn. She is so much higher cognitively than the other residents. But anything could happen and then her needs might be better met in the facility more immediately. Thanks for your response.
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I understand exactly how you feel. My mother has been in MC for 6 months and I am her full time caregiver in MC. They were allowing me in as an independent contractors until Monday when they shut down to only their employees. My mother is a fall risk cause of a Parkinson’s and has fallen twice since Monday. Once she hit her head , which usual protocol is to call an ambulance and get a CT. We decided since she wasn’t bleeding and could move, no ER. It’s killing me sitting here for the past 2 days and not being able to care for her. I have been caring for her full time at home and 9 hours a day in the facility for 3 years. All facilities are short handed, Where my mom is there are full to capacity. I know they can’t care for her the way she deserves to be cared for. I spoke to her on the phone yesterday and she was more out of it than usual. I agree not to use FaceTime or Skype. I know in my mothers case it confuses her and she doesn’t want to sit still. The only reason I don’t bring her home is because I don’t want her any more exposed than she already is. We live in MD near the facility in Carroll Co. with the 77 cases so this is hitting us hard. Fortunately,no cases in my moms facility yet. This is a tough time for all of us. What a horrible way for our parents to have to live at the end of their lives. I know my mom doesn’t understand . We all need to pray that the few who are caring for our loved ones are patient with them.
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laurie123 Apr 2, 2020
Yes the people at my mom's are so sweet to her and my family. I'm so sorry that you can't go in and care for her anymore. I thought, maybe I could get be some kind of caregiver for her but I know with my own kids that would be unrealistic. Stay safe and thank you for your response.
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