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She stays from noon til 8 at night. She waits on other residents. Helps feed them, does errands for them. She's been told by director to not come every day. She is riddled with guilt for putting her mother in a home. How do we help her?

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She really does need to channel that desire to help into a more formal volunteer role - maybe even train as an ombudsman or court-appointed special advocate. I don;t see it as all that negative for her but the facility has to have some control over what she is doing and she does need to obey the director in this. That way she can do the most good. Hey - lots of us are volunteering our time and effort by posting here - hmmm, I hope that's not too unhealthy either.
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Jude, good insight in the liability potential. I completely missed that aspect.

As I reread the OP's post, I realized I had missed that the daughter was running errands, something I would consider inappropriate as well because it's just too personal and infers the daughter might be leaning toward a caregiving need that extends way beyond the guilt she feels about her mother.
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I can understand the nursing home wanting to limit the amount of time this friend goes to the nursing home. And that she is getting to up close and personal with the other residents due to the fact she is spending so much time there. She probably is overstepping the boundaries.

If your friend wants to be helpful, she can become a "volunteer" at the nursing home with set hours, and probably get some training on what she can and cannot do.

The poor dear is riddled with guilt because she probably had promised her Mom many years ago, back when her Mom was alert and mobile, that she would never ever put her in a nursing home.

It's not healthy what she is doing, as the environment at the nursing home can be very depressing just walking the halls unless one is trained and young enough with the energy needed. That is why one rarely sees a senior citizen working at a nursing home hands-on with the patients.

I had to cut back back on seeing my own Mom [98] to every other or every third day, as just being there an hour was too overwhelming for me. Gosh, seeing my Mom in her sadden situation and then seeing all these other residents going through the same thing, that's a bit much.
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Im not remotely surprised she has been told not to come daily - and I am going to go all legal here I am afraid. NHs have to be insured and they also have other things they have to adhere to to open/stay open as a NH. First and foremost is trained competent staff.

Just imagine one of these two scenarios. She feeds a resident who is lactose intolerant some yogurt or give nuts to someone who is allergic. Now a trained person would know to look and would have access to records - this woman would not. So the family sue the nursing home. Do you think the insurers would pay out? Absolutely not.

Second scenario - she runs errands for people and one of the relatives contends there has been mismanagement of their relatives money and (although this will not be the case at all given the scenario you identified) it is found out that this person has a criminal record for theft.
Relatives sue for financial abuse and they will sue the NH - are they insured? Absolutely not - this woman is not on the books and as such no criminal check will have been done.

They cannot make one rule for one person and not for another so they have to make one rule and stand by it. yes she can visit as often as she wants and she can help that one person that she visits - anything else and nope she can't do it.

There is perhaps one way she could and that would be to register as a visitor with a professional body - over here there are agencies that would do that or social services may help but the NH are safeguarding themselves (and to some extent her)
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She may also be a caring person who needs to extend her kindness and concern to others. She may feel redeemed by helping the other people in need, and I would think they would enjoy the attention.

I'm a bit surprised that the NH staff has discouraged her from coming daily, unless they think her involvement will encourage the residents to become reliant on her. But in my experience the staff welcomed additional hands, especially at meal time.

I do think CWillie has a good point that it would be helpful for her to redirect her efforts toward other areas as well. I'm assuming she doesn't work and has her days free?

If she's the giving kind and needs to be helping someone, perhaps you could help identify other areas in which she could volunteer....delivery and setup at food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers Meals on Wheels volunteers...those might be possibilities.
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Well, since she was probably caring for her mom 24/7 before at least now she will have nights off... ;) This may sound like I'm joking, but it may be part of the deal she made with herself to allow her mom to go into care, after all it is still less than she was doing before. If she was a caregiver for a long time she may not have any idea what else to do with herself. And of course no facility can give the kind of personalized one on one care she is giving now.
You can help by finding a way to pry her away on a regular basis, start with a few hours (a lunch date?) and then a whole day (weekly shopping trips? religious services?). As she learns to let go and trust the facility she will feel more comfortable being away and hopefully rediscover interests apart from her mother.
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