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My LO has been in AL for about 2 months and is doing quite well. She says she's really happy except for her roommate. I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle it.

Her first roommate lasted 2 days. The lady was quite deaf and almost blind. She yelled out comments very loudly and it was stressful to be around her. She also suffered from severe dementia. I understand that change.

Her current roommate also suffers from dementia. She is more advanced than my LO and isn't very talkative. She also sees things that are not there, such as bugs, but that is not often.

My LO recently says her roommate is a big pain in the behind, though she liked her fine in the beginning. I've asked for specifics, but she can't offer much except that she turned the heat on once. Other than this, the roommate is pleasant, quiet and easy going. I haven't found any of the other residents, except for one who is any more functioning.

I've discussed it with the AL resident coordinator. We suspect that my LO really just wants a roommate who is more conversational. The trouble is, there isn't anyone currently there who is very conversational for more than a few minutes. (Except for those who are in the private apartment section.)

I've discussed with my LO that if she's moved, she could end up with a roommate who is whiny or one that bosses her around. She might not be happy with the next roommate either, but she is undeterred.

I'm not sure what to do. I can't see her finding the perfect roommate.. Any suggestions?

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I wanted to give an update on my cousin's dissatisfaction with her roommate last week. I went by yesterday and she acted as if it never happened! I didn't mention it, but waited to see if she would, but she never did. She introduced me to her roommate as if I had never met her. (She does this every time I visit. She never remembers that I have been introduced to these people many times.) Later, in the visit she told me her roommate was pretty nice and she liked her. It's like the entire problem disappeared! I guess she forgot about it.

When I went into the room the heat was on again. Once again, my cousin was the only one in the room. I suspect she is the one turning the heat on, forgetting she did it and then blaming her roommate.

She has forgotten the word roommate and calls hers the woman that sleeps in that bed. It does make me laugh a little. I noticed that she has forgotten all names and she never uses anyone's name. She knows her name and mine, but I think that's it. She sends her regards to my parents, but she doesn't call them by name.
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I've got must of those things covered, except for the CD player. I've been looking for a very basic one that will not confuse her. Most would.

She likes the wrestling from RAW and WWE. It's that fake dramatic stuff, but she's a long time fan. She has a favorite wrestler and I have posted his photos in her room along with photos of her with her favorite celebrities. She's been lucky and has met some of them several times and had her picture taken with them! She's proud of those, but she doesn't remember much about it.

They don't have pet therapy at her AL, but I'm shy of that since she was obsessed with her cat before going to the AL. She was so obsessed that it made her miserable. She constantly worried about her cat and constantly asked questions about where it was and could it get stuck in a crack the size of a pea. It was not healthy. It would bring her to tears and she was nonconsolable over the cat much of the time. Since she's been away from her cat, she has stopped that obsessing. I fear she would obsess like that over any pet she comes into contact with.
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Sunny, you're doing all the right things! It's curious that she apparently likes wrestling. My grandmother used to watch wrestling matches; we never did understand what the attraction was, but she enjoyed it so that's what's important.

One other thing I can suggest is to make sure any pet therapy includes her. So many facilities these days have it; a few even have their own resident pets.

Other suggestion is to get her a CD player (not an I-Pod - too complicated for an older person) and her favorite CD's. Perhaps you can put one on when you leave, so that your visit ends not on a sad (i.e., goodbye) note but rather a relaxing one.

We used to bring Kate Smith CDs for my mother.

Oh, and maybe a bulletin board with some push pins stuck in (or double sided tape if you're concerned she might accidentally injure herself with the pins) and put your cards up so she can see them.
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I'll keep trying to make things good for her. I visit at least twice per week. I send her a nice card once per week, take her her favorite beverages and fruit, a new shirt or pants, wrestling magazines, and just chat with her about her week.

We go over the calendar and discuss the week's activities and singers, even though she doesn't remember much about it. She's told me that she can't remember when I come for a visit, but she goes to the lobby and looks through the sign-in book for my name. When she sees it, she knows I was there for a visit. That made me a little sad, but at least she's still able to do that.
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She's still in an adjustment mode and trying to acclimate to the fact that she no longer has the comfort and freedom of her own home, her own companionship or that of family and chosen friends, and is now living in a semi-public facility with little control over her own life.

I think it's understandable that those can be formidable factors for anyone to face, let alone someone in declining health and heading toward the last years of her life.

Think of ways you can offset that, so that your visits are relaxing, refreshing and memorable. That may take away some of the sting of having to live with a stranger.
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I suspect that it isn't really the roommate bothering her, but rather the roommate not giving her the full time attention and/or conversation she wants. But, no roommate will be able to do this. Not even me.

I'm just not sure what to do. Should I tell her she's on a waiting list to be relocated, but it takes time? Perhaps she will eventually forget the matter. Or should I explain that relocating her right now is not possible and she needs to adjust as best she can with her current roommate? I want to do the right thing.

I'm afraid that if she's moved again, she will soon start complaining about that roommate and we'll be in the same situation next month.
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Sunny, you mention taking care of housing expenses. Does your Mother own a home that could be sold to provide additional funds for her care?

My Mom was like Pam's. She lucked out for one 6-month period, no roommate. She still wasn't happy about anything.
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Sunny, my mom could have Frank Sinatra for a roommate and she would still find fault with him singing all the time. It's really not the roommate, it's a reflection of dissatisfaction with things. It's like the wife who complains about her husband snoring all night, then weeping bitterly when he is gone. Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want.
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I forgot to add that getting a private room is not an option for financial reasons. I am the only person contributing to her expenses and Medicaid won't pay for private. I'm already covering her property taxes, house repairs and maintenance, etc. and cannot afford more costs.
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