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My 93-year old mom's macular degeneration has progressed to the point where she can barely see. She also has early-to-mid stage dementia. She has just moved into a long term care facility and, due to the fact that the stress of the move has caused a setback, she is also extremely unfamiliar with the facility and is having difficulty navigating. On the 2nd day of her residency, she was going for a walk down a long hallway and when she reached the lobby at the end of the hallway, she accidentally started going through the front door. I know her very well and I am quite certain that because of her severe visual impairment she could not see that it was an exit door. Unfortunately though, the staff believe she was exit-seeking and, as a result, the LTC has attached on her a device that will sound an alarm if she does this again. I think I am okay with that but sadly, she also accidentally walked into another resident's room - believing it to be her room. And now the staff think she is bothering people and invading their privacy. Is there anything we can do to prevent this from happening again? Is there something we can do or buy that will help my mom find her room more easily? I don't want her to end up being seen as a troublemaker and, as a result, experience the consequences of being transferred to the "secured unit" where she will be among those whose dementia is more advanced. I am quite sure that would set her back even more and there would be no hope of her recovering from this current setback due to the stress of the move. The staff are also not doing anything with my mom! They are not taking her for walks or engaging her in any activities. If I did not go and visit with her every day - taking her for walks, talking with her, and reading to her etc - she would likely spend most of her time in her room and would receive little cognitive stimulation! This whole situation is heartbreaking and terribly frustrating.

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Thank you both for your comments. Just an aside...this was not mom's side of the story. It was the nurses who told us this. And they said my mom was "running" out the door! Really?! Earlier in the day, both the PT and myself had to hold on tight to my mom when we walked because she was quite wobbly. When we asked my mom after the incident if she was trying to leave the building, she immediately said that she was lost and trying to find her room. My mom is one of the most honest people I have ever met...even through the progression of her dementia. I am quite certain she has not met with an OT. I am not even sure if they have an OT on site. Mom also seems to be sleeping almost all the time so I am going to check to make sure they are not giving her sedating meds that I have not approved. [sigh] It is so terribly sad to see her this way. When I am there, she seems so much better than when she is left alone.
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Definitely meet with the DOC to discuss this. I have noticed that even though they all should be aware of macular degeneration and low vision some staff have a hard time with it. We have a stereotype that blind means total lack of vision, so when people with AMD can still function at some level they don't understand and feel they don't really need help at all or even that they are faking it. And make sure that she is being accommodated in the dining room as well, servers need to take a moment to describe her meals to her and the placement of items on the table so she doesn't become too embarrassed to want to eat. It sounds as though she is already isolating herself, you need to find ways to help her with that.
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I think I would request a meeting with the director of nursing and the social worker to ask what effort is being made to acclimate your mom to the facility. Has she had an OT and PT eval since arriving there? Are those therapists on site? They could be very helpful is figuring out accommodations and such.

Just a caveat; I don't know if you've only heard mom's side of the story. Listen to what the sw and DON are telling you. Is this the level of care mom needs, or does she need more? Is there a "menu" of services? Does she need an aide with her for part of the day?
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