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My mother recently experienced a blood clot in her brain that caused a stroke while she was admitted in the hospital.


She has had successful surgery and is being released for therapy to a SNF to gain strength and work with her new disabilities.


How do we monitor her care in the SNF when we are unable to enter due to Covid 19 protocols?


I know this has been an ongoing discussion the past year but I need a crash course as this whole thing has transpired within a time span of 3 days.

Within a day of her arrival the facility became "code yellow" and discontinued all visiting. The video chats are arranged by a staff member but only available to folks who have an iPhone.

She has not picked up the phone even once when I've called her but my sister has developed a rapport with her cna and feels reassured.

Not me so much, as her responses have been, "we gave her a phone but now we cant find it;" "she is such a sweetheart;" "she can't communicate well at all but we can't find the hearing aide batteries or the pouch you say you sent;" "she is only functioning at 25%."

I've delivered her some clothes once and her comforter at different times and as today was her 95th birthday I've tucked in notes and cards and pictures and flowers that I hope make her glad.

We are having a family meeting here to discuss her aftercare on saturday. Should be interesting because we can make all kinds of decisions that may get tossed out as soon as mom gets any say in the matter. And that's exactly how it should be.

Right when it seemed the family was delivering poor news from her video chats about her being groggy and unable to wake up, all of a sudden we got a release date of a week from tomorrow! What great news!

However, isn't it odd that is the 20th day of the 20 days insurance will pay for? Or am I being too negative?

I will be so happy to have her back home no matter what shape she is in. I suspect she won't have much fight left in her and that's ok if she just wants to come home and be with me and her cats. I say this because she was doing very little to maintain her strength before she had the stroke. Yet, she has surprised us often and come back strong and beat all the odds
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Reply to CharK60
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You say, "visits are from noon to 4, 3:30 being the last check in and require visitors to be masked and gowned." That is how you monitor her care.....by visiting during those hours. I wouldn't worry about a visit tiring her out any more than daily PT and OT would! If you live out of state, plan a trip to visit. Or ask someone local to pop in and check in on your mother.

You can also ask about FaceTime or zoom at a regular time each day. The DON may be able to accommodate you.

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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When my dad went to SNF for rehab in July, the stress of it almost killed me. That’s why he’s with me now. They never answered calls, I waited HOURS for nurses to call back, and back then there was no visitation at all. I got him an Echo Show and I could just drop in- he didn’t have to do anything, which was perfect because he couldn’t handle having to push a button. It wasn’t great but at least I could put eyes on him a few times a day and staff knew I was checking on him.
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Reply to Carolann2244
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Phone the director and ask how they are handling the covid restrictions. Otherwise just believe they will do their best and let them get on with it without feeling they are being constantly questioned.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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Thank you all for your responses. She is being moved at this moment to the only rehab available and it is upsetting that the place has very few positive reviews.

I'm going to our family Group Me app right now and suggest the camera and discuss whether mom could handle an alternative means of communicating.

It's encouraging that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the epidemic. Mom and I both have gotten our vaccines as well as most the family. I hope that's representative of the rest the population.

P.S. just learned one of our relatives worked for this facility in the past. We should get some tips from her!
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 6, 2021
Wishing you and your entire family the very best.

Hoping that your mom will receive good care.

Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
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You've already gotten some good suggestions here, with the idea of putting a camera in her room, to going to visit outside. I would also suggest making sure that you're calling moms facility on a regular basis, to see how she is doing. You can ask to speak with moms CNA's(the ones that see her the most)and they will let you know how she's doing. That is what a friend of mine has had to do for more than a year now, as his wife is in a memory care that has been locked down due to Covid. They haven't even had outside visits yet, and so he calls every week(sometimes twice)to speak to the head of the facility and his wife's CNA's, as they are the ones who are hands on with his wife. Thankfully for him, because the whole facility is now vaccinated, they will be opening back up soon. It is so sad that loved ones have been kept apart because of this stupid virus. Thank God there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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By my own observations, frustrations, tragedies and triumphs, there is no way that will totally satisfy a determined dedicated devoted Loved One to monitor enough.

My LO entered a truly wonderful AL, and almost immediately was moved to their Memory Care unit in Spring of 2018. The services and care she received were exemplary. My husband, toddler grandson and I visited at least two or three times a week, knew some of the staff because of another family members’ very positive experience there, and did everything we could to encourage an ongoing sense of connection and positivity and trust.

Again, by observation and personal presence, I knew as soon as shaky references to Covid and its threat, that we had reason for serious concern regarding her care. We SAW the scrupulous and necessarily inflexible rules being imposed, and briefly had confidence with EVERYTHING that was being done.

On the last Friday of March, 2020 I got a phone call that she’d tested positive. As POA I requested that unless there was no other possible way for her to be kept comfortable, she be kept there, in her “home” with people who had previously been so devoted to her care. And then we were in lockdown.

Since then, at almost 93, she’s survived 2 separate Covid infections and a severe bacterial infection. Following a Covid infection of my own, I’m now vaccinated and wildly eager to see her. A friend of hers, who’s a nurse, vaccinated as soon as the vaccine was available, has said she recognized her and called her by name.

My answer to your original question? I wish I had one. I am actually going to call today in hopes of arranging a 10 minute outdoor visit. If I succeed, it will be our first since October 2020. I will take a quick test, double mask, social distance.

By the way, “alternative” communication attempts confused my LO and agitated her. I tried them, and ultimately gave up on them. I’m hoping you and your mom can do better. Hope you will VERY SOON you and your family members can begin in person visits again.
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Reply to AnnReid
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We put an Echo Show in my mom’s room. That way I can see her and talk to her. The memory unit director said it was ok to do this. Also, her former neighbor, who’s a hospice nurse, and has patients in the same facility goes by to check on her. It’s really hard living far away from a loved one like this.
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Reply to Lov2teach
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Dear Needs Help With Mom,

Thank you for responding. We only have minimum info about visiting from my sister driving by the new facility. Yes, there is outdoor visiting but my mom is in such a weakened state we're afraid it will tire her.

She also saw that visits are from noon to 4, 3:30 being the last check in and require visitors to be masked and gowned.

She can't use her right hand very much so she can't feed herself and I suppose she can't stand or walk because her right leg has been affected too.

I don't know about cameras or even how to find out. I live in California. I always felt I would be nearly as involved in mom's care by making my presence known at any facility she has to go to.
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Reply to CharK60
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 6, 2021
I hope it works out well for you and your mom.
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Are cameras allowed in your state? That’s a start!

Call often.

Are there outdoor visits?

Tell us more, please.

Best wishes to you and your family.
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