My dad has been in a nursing home since Sept. of this year, and he is a hand full for the staff b/c they do not have training for dealing with a dementia. My mom visits him daily. She talks him out of his combative behavior, makes sure he gets up and out of his wheel chair to walk/go to the bathroom, and makes sure he naps. I live nearly a thousand miles away, and I am constantly worried about my mom and how stressful this is on her. I can hear it in her voice that she is worn out with going to the nursing home EVERY day and dealing with the symptoms of this terrible disease on the man she has loved for nearly 60 years. But I can also tell that she feels very compelled to go each day anyway. What can I do to help her? As I mentioned, I live far away, and I'm just racking my brain for solutions. Should I tell my mom not to go see my dad every day? Should I try to contact her friends or family or church members to see if they can help? And if so, what do I ask them to do? Visit my dad? Visit my mom? I'd really appreciate all and any input on this situation. Thank you.

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Sorry you haven't had any answers yet, hopefully more people will respond if I bring your question up to the top.
I think the fact that you are so far away makes it difficult for you to really do anything to influence your mom to take a day off occasionally, is there any friend or relative who lives closer that might be able to reason with her? Would it be possible for you to speak with the administrator or DON at the nursing home about your concern for her? I know at my local NH the staff was very helpful in assuring a couple in similar circumstances that they could handle things ("that's our job").
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Reply to cwillie

If Dad is not in a Memory Care facility, he should be. In my mother’s case, the people who staffed that unit were better trained to deal with residents who had dementia and were combative, argumentative or flight risks. The staff to resident ratio was smaller.

If you have specific issues with occurrences regarding Dad’s care, call a Care Conference via Skype or FaceTime. Or, if it’s possible and you have vacation time coming, go there personally. Tell them, “On April 3rd, my father had to wait an hour for an aide to help him get to the bathroom.” Or, “Last Wednesday, my father was delusional and hallucinatory and no one knew what to do.” Don’t just accuse the staff of being clueless.

You will not be successful in getting your Mom to give up visiting Dad. It’s possible, even though you feel the staff is inept, they may not have had a chance to properly get to know your father and how to care for him because your mom is always there. Like me, she has a sense of duty to her husband. Unfortunately, she can’t stay away. .
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Reply to Ahmijoy
kgerise Apr 8, 2019
Thank you for your response. It means a lot to me. I have my dad on a waiting list for a dementia unit at a different care center relatively close to the town where my parents live now.

I actually don't feel the staff is completely inept. I've been home twice in the past few months and sat in on two progress sessions with the NH staff. They know they are dealing with advancing dementia with my dad, and they are trying to keep up with him, but he is their most demanding patient. I get that. There's a few aides and nurses that do wonderful with redirecting his aggression, and then there's some that just don't have the patience or time to deal with him.

I completely understand my mom's sense of duty to my dad, and I'm so grateful that she still takes care of him in a very special way every day. But she's made several comments to me where I can tell that she feels trapped in this repetitive & emotionally draining daily cycle. I wish I could be there more often and try to relieve her of this duty....but I'm also not so sure she would let me or anyone else take on my dad and his combative episodes. Ugh. I sometimes think there's just no great remedy to the "place" my parents are at right now in their lives.
Thank you; appreciate your response very much!

I have been trying to think of people that live there (where my parents live) who could maybe visit my dad and help. It'll take a special person/personality to be able to deal with his aggression, but I think that's doable. And I like the idea of calling the director of nursing at the care center; I'd like to know her input on this situation.
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