Is there a good way to monitor Grandma from another room in case she tries to get up?


I could really use some advice. My grandmother lives in a group home with two other seniors. The caregiver seems to have reached burn out. From what I understand she has been working as a caregiver for a bit over a year as well as working a part-time job as a realtor. She is a wonderful person who seems to have really connected with Grandma, but I'm not sure she has ever had someone with as many problems as Grandma (who has dementia). She been very overwhelmed and seems to be having bad burn out.
At the moment I don't have a job and so I told her to let me know if there was anything I could do. Lately, she has taken me up on that and has been asking me to come over two or three times a week for the last three weeks to keep a eye on everyone for around 6 hours while she goes to meetings and other things. Honestly, I was a bit worried at first since I don't have any training in this kind of thing, but as I know many people do this for family members I figured it was worth trying if it helped and I could call her if there was a major problem. For the most part it goes pretty well, the other two residents are very easy and for the most part like to watch tv and work on puzzles. That being said, Grandma is getting worse. She spends a lot of time in her room, napping a lot and doesn't understand why I can't stay with her the whole time. The reasons I'm not spending my time with her when I'm not helping the other people are that 1) her room is in the farther part of the house and it's hard to hear what's going on in the rest of the house while in there, 2) I feel like I'm ignoring the other people when I do that, 3) there are things I need to be doing (washing dishes, making lunch, cleaning up ect.), and 4) the caregiver as asked me not to since she feels it "spoils" her and she starts expecting the caregiver to spend that much time one on one with her and she is just too busy to be able to do that. Like I said, Grandma is getting worse and yesterday for the first time when I came into Grandma's room with her lunch she had gotten up and was leaning against her dresser. This doesn't sound like a big deal but she has been wheelchair bound for almost a year, usually unable to stand on her own. Her legs have been getting stronger and Grandma is forgetting that she isn't strong enough to be getting up on her own. The caregiver told me that in the past she has tried to stand and just slid to the floor. Anyways, when I found her we were lucky, she told me she almost fell backward twice but I found her before she did. I've been asked to come back and help on Monday but I'm not sure how to deal with this? How do I make sure she is safe without spending all my time with her? My going over to help is short-term. The caregiver has found another couple who will be taking over as full-time caregivers (being a group home the caregiver lives in the house, and the new couple will take over that) with her providing respite care for them. That being said, I don't think something like a camera monitor is a good idea, even more so since I'm just helping out, I don't really feel it's my place to try and do that. Still I need her to be safe. Anyone have any suggestions?

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thank you cdnreader. I have a confession to make. Until I read this reply I thought that grandma was in a alterive to a nursing home. After reading your reply I looked up how they were different. I'm afraid you might be right. That being said I'm not sure how to get her to agree to go into a nursing home. Do you have any suggestions to tell if a nursing home is good? I would feel so bad if we moved her into a place that didn't give her the care she needed. I know that they will have 24/7 nurses on hand, but do they just spend time with them? For example, we got her a ipad so she could keep up with family blogs and whatnot and have games to play, but she isn't able to use it on her own, would there be someone to help her with it? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, the truth is I don't have much say in rather or not she is moved, that would be my mother.

Speaking of, you asked about having family to help. Right now my family (mother, stepfather, brother) are the only family in the state. My mother is very insistant about being the one in control of money, medical decisions and whatnot. She has POA. However, since grandma has been getting worse she hasn't been able to spend much time with her. She has her own problems and see her mom dealing with the dementia tends to lead to her to crying for the rest of the night, plus she doesn't really have the temperment to handle her not responding to her right away (such as when she needs to sign something and keeps getting distracted). Both my stepfather and brother also can't handle more than 10-20 mins with her. I'm the one most comfortable with her so I try to go down and spend at least a few hours with her a couple days a week. Now that I'm helping out I can't spend all the time I'm there one on one with her like I was before, sometimes she understands and sometimes she doesn't. I should mention that she is very stubborn and sometimes she's downright mean, but as the granddaughter and not the daughter she tends to be nicer to me then she is to mom, if that makes sense.
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Dear desertmouse,

I know you want to do your part and you obviously love your grandmother a great deal. But only do what you feel comfortable doing.

Are there other friends or family members who would be able to check on your grandmother as well? Could the family rotate visiting her? Does she need to be moved into a nursing home with more caregivers instead? Maybe consider talking to a social worker about alternate options for your grandmother?

I know its very hard. I wish I had a better solution. In my family my grandmother ended up in a nursing home with more staff.
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