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Dad has been in his LTC facility for a little over 2 years. Between lockdown and his bout with Covid, he’s moved twice, but for the past 7 months has resided in his newest room. It’s very spacious and nicely decorated (by me) with many finishing touches from his previous house.


Although dad has dementia, he is somewhat high functioning most of the time. He has his moments, but they have more to do with confusion and following the rules of a facility vs his private residence where he resided for 53 years. He does require assistance with bathing, dressing, and sometimes cleaning up after toileting (at times), but other than that, he eats on his own, and does his own thing. He loves to talk to the staff.


Usually, dad thinks he works there. He talks to many of the residents (as an employee would) and gets very anxious when residents are upset (asking to go home etc.) and he can’t calm them down. (again, he thinks he works there so he tries to help - usually deferring to me by phone haha).


There is a resident across the hall from his room who is much younger than most of the residents. I don’t think has dementia, but he’s completely immobile (maybe from a stroke). This man spends most of his days in bed (and since he is completely and totally dependent on the staff), he yells out constantly for a nurse, an aide, or just plain help. This goes on every day throughout the day. Sadly, I hear it whenever I talk to dad on the phone and whenever I visit in his room (which is usually have to remain due to guidelines). It’s constant and it drives my dad crazy.


I've brought this up to the aides when I’m there, as well as the asst administrator, and the asst nursing director. Everyone says that this is what this resident does, but it’s upsetting to my father (which is very upsetting to me). I visit dad at least 4 times a week, and unfortunately, I RARELY see anyone helping this poor resident - hence the constant yelling. (I think it’s become the boy that cried wolf). It disrupts my visits with dad as well as my phone calls with him (and frankly gives me such an uneasy feeling about the facility.) A few weeks ago, I actually went into this mans room to try and see what he wanted - and was reprimanded a few days later. (Apparently someone saw me go in, but chose not to go in themselves).


I want to talk to administration again because something has to change. If they tell me that the only option is to move my dad, I don’t know what to do. Honestly if I had to move my dad, I’d love to try assisted living (which is in the same facility). I’ve broached AL before, but they’ve always told me that their concern is that dad may wander “out” of AL and that would be a problem. AL is quite a bit less $ than what dad is paying now, even if he’s at the highest level of care. I’m wondering if they are reluctant to help me find a solution because they would be losing his almost 15k/month for LTC. Ugh I just don’t know what to do. Is there a way to make AL work if dad has confusion from time to time?

I think it’s pretty obvious that the motivation is financial. Has he ever tried to leave before? If there is no objective if If there is no evidence of flight risk, move him and get him out of this environment. You are paying for care, not constant aggravation. If the facility isn’t accommodating and does nothing to
minister to the needs of one of its residents, there is probably another facility that would provide a better placement. Ignoring a troublesome patient that is disturbing other residents is a red flag.
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Reply to Chellyfla
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Imho, address your issue to the head of the facility.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Google oasis care finders. They are much better than a place for mom. Also, the AL side of the facility should be more than happy to help with the transition. If not, he's better off elsewhere. Many facilities I checked with over the years were more than willing to help me find a facility, even if it wasn't theirs. Oasis found my mom a group home that is much less expensive and more homey. As for the LTC, you should report them to your local/state area on aging and their licensing bureau
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Reply to Diane610
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You might be able to move your Dad to AL if you hired full time private caretakers--24/7 if needed. The caretakers would cost quite a bit but expense might be offset by less expensive fees for the AL.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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If your dad has dementia, he will need LTC at some point. The best option is to move him to a room further away... or to report the facility about the other man's situation. If you go with the 2nd route, make sure to have your father placed in a new facility - that you trust.
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Reply to Taarna
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Annabox my dad is in the same situation as your, he was in a lockdown MCF for about 1 1/2 years his short term memory is gone but he is high functioning. In his MCF there was a woman who screamed Help all the time no matter what time of day or night. There was another woman who kept taking all her clothes off and go about her business on the hallways. After COVID lockdown they declined more rapidly and my father was miserable there. I moved him to another facility with ALMC brand new and low resident ratio. I got a room on the top floor, end of the hallway and he is fine so far. But we constantly put the fear of god on him that if he goes out on his own he goes back to the previous facility. The only door out is the front door with a receptionist the other doors are alarmed. He is happier there but it is a crapshoot if he will ever try to leave on his own, but with my dad on the previous facility he was trying to get out all the time trying to figure out how to unlock the keyfob door, this one he has not attempted to get out at all. “Knocking on wood” 😊

the point being you know your dad more than any of us and the only one who can answer the question. You can take from our experiences but ultimately it has to be you.

best wishes
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Reply to SusanHeart
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As with any facility, there will be levels of care and competency. Back in my college days, I shared a hospital room with 2 elderly women. One clearly had cognitive issues. I didn't even know much about dementia when my mother started down that road, but it was apparent that this woman wasn't all there. She had a tendency to wander off. They couldn't watch her 24/7. At least once she was found on the floor below ours. Eventually she was put in a straight jacket. Moan, cry, complain. It would go on. I do understand it was done for her safety, but it was unnerving! The other woman was very quiet, too quiet! She woke me one night trying to call for the nurse. She'd ring the buzzer, but when the nurse came over the speaker (don't bother coming to check, eh???), she almost whispered "I feel sick." This went on for several iterations until finally I called across the room that Mrs. X thinks she's going to throw up! That got someone into the room. However, they only sat there for a while, with a container and finally just left her with it.

In mom's MC, there were all types. Some very "with it", others not so much. They do tend to range in ability/capability - the nature of dementia. There was one man who was there for a while who was like your dad's neighbor - always calling out, crying, even swearing. It would upset several of the women. I tried to help out by suggesting they try to ignore it or laugh it off. I told them that sadly he can't help it or control himself. I only recall him being there a few months. Most likely at some point the facility suggested he move. He WAS somewhat disruptive, mostly verbally, but he would too often managed to wiggle himself down until he'd slide to the floor, again calling out loudly for HELP HELP! Other than suggesting some prescription to the family, to try to tone this down, there's not much they can do.

I wouldn't recommend moving your dad to AL, for the reasons many others gave. It isn't secure and although he may not be a wanderer, there's also no way to know if/when that would happen! My YB kept insisting mom would prefer AL. When I mentioned that it isn't locked and no one is monitoring the door, he replied that she doesn't wander now. No, of course not, but 1) that could change and 2) she would NOT be in her own place. Why would anyone want to take that chance? Too many stories out there about those who HAVE wandered off and it didn't end well.

IF there was a way to change his or the neighbor's room to a location farther away, it might help resolve that issue, but it won't eliminate it. Your dad is a very caring type person and he wants to be helpful. That is good on one level - it gives him a "purpose." However, it's also difficult when he tries to help and can't resolve the other person's issue(s).

IF he can take suggestions from you, perhaps you could direct him to seek staff to help when he can't resolve another person's angst. Otherwise, you'll just have to grin and bear it. Whether on the phone or in person, work on redirecting his focus onto something else, as best you can. Even if they are able to move this neighbor, there will always be some other person who might not respond to your dad's attempts to "help" them. More than likely, he'd encounter this most any place you move him to. As hard as it is to try to help/deal with your dad's issues, I would be thankful he IS the helpful type and not one of those who have issues like those he tries to help! It sounds like he was a great dad before dementia kicked in, so he's still trying to be that person.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Have you requested to move your dad to another room on another floor?
Just make sure the same issue doesn't occur.Goodluck
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Reply to Concerned43
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When my Husband was in rehab the floor he was on was dementia, and Long Term Care.
There were a few that yelled. It quite often is the only way that some can communicate and there are some that this is a habit.
My Husband made noises, moaning sometimes quite loudly, but he was not verbal except for a few very rare occasions when a word would come out. I am sure the noises he made would have upset your dad. But in no way was he in pain, distress, discomfort nor did he need anything.
I am not sure how you can tell your dad that the man in the room across the hall is ok. With his dementia he can become hyper-focused on helping. If the talking to the residents as a staff member would upsets your dad because of the "problems" the residents are having it might be a better idea to try to redirect your dad. I would hate to think he would try to "help" someone and end up injuring himself or someone else.
Moving the bed bound resident to a room closer to the nurses station might help, it would make it easier for them to check in on him and they could redirect your dad should he try to help.
As for assisting him is it possible that they have closed circuit cameras so that they can see a resident and determine if they are in distress or in need of help?
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I would start by having a meeting with the administrator and the nursing director, they can include the assistants if they choose but at the very least it sounds like your concerns have been taken a bit to lightly. Yes it’s is certainly a fact that patients scream and that they scream without being able to express their need or be satisfied but there are things that can and should be done for those patients and the patients around them. It may be that your approach was too “soft” so they didn’t understand just how much of a problem the presents so you need to be firm and clear without seeming unreasonable or becoming part of the problem without also a desire to be part of the solution. Make that meeting happen and offer solutions like, the bed bound, needy patient could be moved to a room closer to the nurses station where it’s easier to attend to them and maybe just being around more hustle and bustle of patients and staff will make them feel less abandoned (have you ever seen this patient getting visitors, is there family around?), it seems to me that the bed bound patient would be less disrupted by a move than your dad who is very aware of his surroundings but there might be other reasons for this patient to need this room, equipment for instance that we don’t know about and it would be helpful to know that rather than feel nothing is being done. Let them know that from your perspective your dad is mobile and happy largely because he believes he works there, it doesn’t seem that has been a problem for them but constantly hearing a patient in need may make him so because his instinct, like yours, is to go help. Be frank about wondering if they are considering the income when not considering a move to AL and your instinct that another move will be so disruptive to him that your feeling like AL might make it more acceptable for both of you rather than simply finding another room down the hall rather than moving the disruptive patient this time, then sit back and listen, hopefully this will get them to go over all of their concerns as well as get them working with you in resolving this issue rather than each party stewing to themselves. Communication imagine that!

Good luck, remember this won’t be the last issue to work out and you picked this facility for a reason, your dad sounds happier here than you even expected so giving them every chance to work with you in resolving this issue also sets the groundwork for the next one. It’s also likely that if your dad should move to AL he will need to go back to NH or MC at some point so consider that in your decision making with them as well. You are the offspring we all hope we have raised, a loving, caring person.
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Reply to Lymie61
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i would find out what the certification level is for the assisted living facility (AL). When my mom moved in, it was understood that they were a basic level AL. They would over see her meds, including diabetic blood sugar checks and insulin shots. Mom had short term memory issues and some organization issues after suffering from viral encephalitis. They were wonderful going above and beyond during the covid restrictions as mom declined. But, mom reached a point where she was getting argumentative about the meds, not wanting to shower, etc. we knew we could get a 30 day notice if she surpassed the care they could give. You should be able to contact an ombudsman about concerns and to get clarification about your dad’s facility. Although it was compassionate, there is probably concern about privacy to other patients and who is allowed in their rooms. It doesn’t excuse if the staff is not handling that patient in a compassionate manner and allowing it to be a disruption to others.
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Reply to cynthiade
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Grandma1954 May 13, 2021
this is a LTC facility, probably Skilled Nursing not AL.
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I do not know where you live but I do believe every state has an ombudsman who goes in to help residents in facilities (appointed/hired by the state). I believe that this person should be contacted. Ask and find out if there is an office on aging - you can call your library or state representatives. The can help you - no charge. And talk to an eldercare specialists for advice. Good luck. Why can't they just move him to another room where he is now living.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Sounds like he's happy there (as much as possible) other than that one issue; and sadly the yelling for help is par for the course with patients in memory care, so even if moved theres a good chance someone else will be doing that at the new place to. I'd leave him where he is.
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Reply to ZippyZee
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The screaming is unsettling but it goes with the territory. Whenever I went into the nursing home to see my godmother with ALZ, there was a woman yelling, “Help me! Help me!” It scared me the first few times I heard it, until I was informed that she yelled on a daily basis.

When my mom was in rehab at a nursing home, there were always people hollering this or that. Same thing when I went to see daddy in the nursing home after his stroke.

I agree with others that this behavior is common and will be in all facilities.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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My dad was in assisted living as he could do all his ADLs and it seemed his dementia was "moderate". However they expected him to run his own day and their idea of care was to pop in many many times a day.. give meds or just say "do you need anything" and that was that. He was very lonely. I ended up getting their calendar and calling to let him know what event was happening so he could go participate. I also ended up having to hire personal care assistants every day to sit with him and spend time with him and take him to events. I decided that even though his dementia was "moderate", he's be better off in a place that forces people out of their rooms and into common areas. Assisted living wouldn't do that... no matter what level of care I paid for.
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Reply to marydys
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Babs75 May 13, 2021
Well said. Exactly the same thing I went through. Dad was in AL until covid hit and no extra caregivers were allowed to visit anymore nor was I. His health tanked being left alone all the time and he ended up in skilled nursing for many months. He is now in memory care and is doing well.
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When dad was first moved from AL to SNF he had a much younger roommate who was quite disruptive - he looked to be in his 40s or 50s with my 91 YO father as a roommate. We finally asked that dad be moved to another room. He did get moved to another floor with a quiet roommate.

While dad had mixed dementia he was never on the MC floor. I was really surprised he never got on the elevator and tried to wheel himself back to the AL apartment he shared with mom. He wandered, but luckily just on the floor - there were a couple of times I had trouble finding him.

What the others have said about disruption is true. While I was visiting with my father one day a couple of elderly ladies almost got into a physical altercation in the common area. They had moved dad's power recliner from his room to the common area because they could keep an eye on him - trying to mitigate my dad's penchant for falling.

I do understand that the facility doesn't want to move your father to AL because he might wander out of the facility and come to harm. (I remember news stories from decades ago reporting some poor soul sneaking out of his nursing home and freezing to death. Just because he doesn't wander now, doesn't mean he won't do it in the future. To the facility it's too much of a risk.

I'm with the others, there are going to be disturbances wherever he goes and moving could negatively affect his cognition. If it were me, I wouldn't move him unless your father isn't receiving good care. Continue communication with the administration about the situation.

Good luck.
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Reply to cweissp
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1) Some Assisted Livings have doors that need a passcode to exit. This helps prevent dementia patients from wandering.
2) At current facility, ask for dad to be moved to different room away from the yelling resident.
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Reply to Mjlarkan
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Your only other option would be to move your father to a Memory Care Assisted Living residence, not a regular Assisted Living. You do need to keep in mind, however, that folks with dementia present in ALL sorts of ways, including yelling, screaming, crying and other unpleasant behaviors that your father will run into wherever he lives. This type of disruptive behavior is not exclusive to SNFs.......it goes on all over managed care facilities where dementia & Alzheimer's residents live.

The resident you refer to in the SNF has issues that you are unfamiliar with, but that the staff IS familiar with. The fact that he 'disrupts' your visits or your father's state of mind doesn't mean that the man is not properly cared for by the staff. You are only seeing a small chunk of time and knowing a tiny bit of his backstory, but assuming he's being 'neglected' by the staff at the SNF, which is kind of unfair to them. You have to either trust the SNF or distrust them and move your father out of there entirely, realizing that no place on earth is going to be 100% 'perfect' and no resident with dementia is going to be acting 'normal', either. It's the nature of the beast. When my mother was in a local SNF for rehab, she was highly aggravated by the noise in hallway made by staff running carts over the tiled floors; it drove her crazy. I told her to shut the door to drown out the noise as a coping mechanism, which she refused to do. Or wear earplugs, which she also refused to do.

Dementia is not totally consistent 100% of the time for anyone suffering with it. My mother has good days and bad days herself which does not mean she isn't afflicted with dementia or that she doesn't belong in Memory Care AL. She also needs help with dressing, showering and is wheelchair bound, but perfectly able to feed herself. She's fallen 32x while in Memory Care the past 22 months.........so I'm nothing but thankful she's there, frankly. She needs the care they give her, that's for sure.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that the more moves your dad makes, the worse it is for his cognition. Moves = confusion. Getting used to new surroundings and new people = confusion. No place is perfect. You may wind up moving him from the frying pan into the fire without knowing what the final result will be until it's too late. Weigh the pros and the cons of his current SNF before you make any decisions, and judge ONLY the care HE is getting himself from the staff, that's my suggestion.

Best of luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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jacobsonbob May 10, 2021
Speaking of strange behaviour, my mother was in a nursing home at one point in which a man would crawl on the floor in the hallway. It looked as if he were being neglected, but he simply wouldn't stay in a bed or in his room. They had some document made to the effect that in his case this was acceptable. Everyone knew to step around him.
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look around at ALFs. Make sure they fully understand his physical capabilities, level of cognitive decline, and assistance you believe he would need (dressing, showering).

My dads facility had “transition unit”. Basically a step below “memory care” and a step above regular AL. Primarily for those who are at risk of wandering but otherwise fine to be there. My dad had to leave b/c he wasn’t able to ambulate for the minimum distance. Now he’s with us. It was a good facility @ approx 5k per mo. They had the ‘all included format’. Didn’t pay xtra for certain assistance etc

ask around
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Reply to DarleneC
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Assisted living is not where you want to place your dad. AL residents are not restricted from leaving the facility, other than COVID restrictions. The staff's advice to leaving your dad in MC is not a financial concern for the facility, it's a safety concern for your dad. Your dad's chances of wandering out of the building is real. The reason why MC is a secured area is to prevent wandering by residents.

The behavior of his neighbor is out of your control and largely out of the staff's control, unless they treat him for anxiety or with some psychotropic drugs. His constant call for help, or just attention, may be because of his disease (you say you don't think he has dementia), or he may think he's just ignored or under served. There just isn't enough staff to cater to his every call (at $15K/mo maybe they should). There was a lady in my wife's facility who constantly yelled “help me, help me”. At times it was disruptive, but MC can be like that. Most residents have no control over their behavior. I would suggest that you leave dad where he is and just grin and bear it.
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Reply to sjplegacy
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lealonnie1 May 10, 2021
Amen. My aunt with Alzheimer's used to call 911 on her phone ALL the time yelling HELP ME HELP ME until her daughter finally had to remove the phone from her room. Alz and dementia = erratic behaviors.
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Even if you moved your dad to a different facility, there is no guarantee he won't also encounter "noisy" residents there as well. It happens all the time and the admin don't have a lot of options.

My aunt with advanced dementia cries "Help!" all the time now. Last week she was in my car (with her sister) at a bank waiting for me to come out. She was yelling and someone called the police. Just because she yells it doesn't mean she actually needs help. This is probably true of the immobile resident in your dad's facility. That's why you don't see people running into his room every time he calls out.

You should not have gone into his room. You go and alert the staff and let them handle it. That being said, I totally understand and agree that the yelling would drive anyone nuts. I would keep pressing the admin for solutions...maybe they can relocate this person to a wing that has fewer other residents? Is this person newer? Maybe admin needs time to figure out what to do. In the meantime, be persistent in the follow-up with them (but polite). I hope this can be solved for your dad's sake.
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Reply to Geaton777
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