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For the past several years that Mom has been in memory care, I have brought her home on Christmas Eve to spent 2 nights with us. It has always gone well and she enjoys it. However, she has become more incontinent and not as steady on her feet (uses a walker). Additionally, there is the Covid concern. I work every other day at the office, my daughter waitresses at a restaurant, and my son is out of work just now, but does our errands and shopping. Is this too much exposure? Presently we have not been able to visit her in her facility since mid-November - and even then we had to be masked and 6 feet away with no touching. I know she will be horribly disappointed and depressed if she can't come home, but I don't want to put her health or well being in danger.

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Att my mom's Memory Care/AL, they are allowed out for essential appointments. But the criteria for essential is just that you say it is essential. So for Thanksgiving, they just marked it as essential and I was able to bring her to my home for a few hours. Now, I'm extremely careful and we didn't have a huge crowd, just me my husband, son and wife. I don't abuse the privilege; when its been unseasonably warm here, I've declared an outside, masked visit on their patio occasionally essentially, as the indoor plexiglass or window visits resulted in anxiety and upset for her. She and everyone else is safer not leaving, and we do video calls.
Im going to do the same Christmas Day, a few extra people, as my sister is driving up. I went back and forth, but I feel we are all contentious about masking and not taking stupid chances, and no one is going to be loving on Granny like they would normally. But based on her cognitive and physical decline this year, next year she probably won't know me, or be able to come or even be alive( she is 90) . She's only been out of the facility for doctor/ER/hospital since the lock down began except for this.

They don't require isolation unless they are absent from the facility overnight.
I was surprised the first time she went to the ER and didn't have to isolate, but that's their policy.
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lablover64 Dec 29, 2020
Just to update - Mom’s facility had not had a single case of Covid among residents since the pandemic started. That changed rapidly. Mom was tested positive on Christmas Eve. We did a Zoom visit on Christmas Day. She has been in quarantine within her room at the facility for several days now. At last count, 16 residents have it and 7 employees. Our 3 area hospitals are full. We are praying she will improve without needing hospital care.
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Many facilities are not allowing residents to leave.
IF they do allow it be prepared to have mom in isolation for 14 days upon her return. I doubt she would want that.
Also you are putting mom at risk by exposing her to you and the family. And you are putting the family at risk exposing them to mom.
You are each living in your own "COVID Pods" once you bring someone new into your pod the risk jumps.
You and family members can visit her in turn (do not all go on the same day) this will be nicer for her, getting visits over several days. Chances are the visits will be window visits or at least "socially distant" visits if outsiders are allowed in.
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Too many posts but I skimmed a little. If you can't visit, then I doubt if they will let her out. You probably will be told she needs to be tested before she returns. She could have a negative but a few days later test positive. Then when she returns, she is quarantined by herself for 14 days.

I don't know about where u live but where I live was not as effected by the first round of COVID but this second round has been a lot worse. In my County we had no more than 20 the first round, second round we r up to 55 in one day. Of course testing is more available. But it has shown that Thanksgiving may have been the problem. I think its wise to keep her where she is. Excuse, the NH won't let her out. We need to be safe as possible.
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lablover64 Dec 18, 2020
Actually the second wave in our hometown has been worse than the first. Our hospitals are full and 18 people in the community lost their battle yesterday alone. One of the managers in my office came to work with symptoms and has been tested but no results yet. Four people who worked closely with him were taken out of work until his results are back.

I haven’t told my mom yet but I am thinking that it would be too risky to bring her home right now.
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I have to agree with most of the other posters here. I would not risk bringing Mom home. Although she might be safe with you, you should quarantine for some time before she comes home but the bigger issue for me would be the fact that she would have to quarantine at her facility once she left your home. 14 days to be in your room by yourself is a really long time. I think she would get depressed she would be Lonesome and perhaps start to get confused. Why don't you consider celebrating with her at a later date when the virus infection is not an issue. A holiday can be any day you choose to make special.
Don't don't take the risk of bringing her home now. You would be devastated if she became confused during quarantine or heaven forbid if she actually somehow contracted the virus while visiting you.
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Reply to geddyupgo
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I would not take the chance. Do a ZOOM visit. They can be very satisfying and EVERYONE will stay safe.
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I wouldn't want to take the risk either although it would be very disappointing for both her and you. Especially if there will be other family members there who are regularly out working and interacting with others.

If you bring her home and she gets sick it would be heartbreaking

Fortunately for me, my mom is home with me so I don't have to make that difficult decision. On the other hand my sister hasn't seen her since about May and she won't be able to see her for the holidays.

She and her husband and sons are out working and intetacting with multiple people. They have big intersecting bubbles (smile). Not taking the risk.

I'm lucky to work from home.

Good luck with you decision.

Cheers
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Well, my mother, who was safe in Memory Care for 8 months, contracted Covid from an employee. She is now in hospice with dim hopes of recovery.

If you and your family are willing to quarantine for 2 weeks before bringing your Mom home she might be safe. Is it really worth the risk to your Mom?

Plus when you take her back she will probably be isolated for several weeks to protect the other residents. That is more of a hardship to dementia elders.
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lablover64 Dec 12, 2020
I wish it was possible to quarantine for 2 weeks. My son lost his job, so he could do it, but my daughter and I are still working. She and I did have Covid tests a couple of days ago and both were negative, but I realize if we took them again tomorrow, they might not be. Mom is 85 and has had cancer 3 times. The last thing I want to do is cause her to go through any more pain, either physical or emotional.
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Since COVID is still a huge concern, she is probably safer in memory care. Try to do something special there to celebrate while masked and 6 feet away. When everybody gets their vaccines, then have a huge celebration.
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In my mother's Memory Care, if I were to take her home for 2 nights for Christmas, she'd need to quarantine for 14 days upon return to the MC. That would present a difficult situation for her, being isolated for all that time, all for spending 2 nights at my house. Then you have the risk of you working, your daughter waitressing, and your son running around doing errands & shopping. Any one of you can be carrying the virus, unknowingly, and give to her. So that's the risk you take by bringing her home.

Last year, since my mother is wheelchair bound and leery about going out in general, we brought Christmas dinner to her and ate together in the library at the MC; it was a feast. We brought gifts too. We can't do that this year, obviously, nor can we bring her home because of various reasons. She'd hate the 14 day quarantine upon return, so it's not something we're even discussing.

You're better off having your mother 'horribly disappointed and depressed' than have her health & well being put into danger, in my opinion. Also consider, she may NOT be 'horribly disappointed OR depressed'...............play things DOWN this year, as I am, because Christmas is one day only, where way way WAY too much importance is placed upon..........and it becomes a disappointment for everyone in general. Schedule a Zoom visit instead. Send her an Edible Arrangement (if they have a shop in your area); send her Royal Rivera Pears. A nightgown & matching robe. A big box of her favorite chocolates. In other words, make the day special for her ANYWAY, even though she won't be coming to your house.

Good luck to you.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Lab,

It sounds like your mom’s facility has been extra cautious regarding COVID-19 which is wonderful.

You can do a special Christmas celebration with her at a later date.

It will mean just as much to her at that point in time.

Meanwhile, she will be with you in spirit as you celebrate Christmas with your family.

Everyone is struggling with these decisions these days. It’s not a ‘normal’ holiday season.

Do your best to enjoy Christmas with your immediate family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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So, we are currently living this situation. My husband chose to bring his mom here from her MC home for Thanksgiving. She must be tested for Covid before returning. He prearranged the test for the Friday morning after Thanksgiving. He brought her here on Wednesday afternoon.
So, you guessed it on Monday we got the "Positive" test results. The good news is at 83 she has no symptoms, but she has had to remain here since then. The second test was performed yesterday, no results yet, but likely to still be positive for some time to come. The clinic where she was tested says she should be able to go back now positive or not due to no longer being considered contagious. The problem of course is that she doesn't want to go back and is terribly emotionally upset. This is not going to be fun and I do not think it was worth bringing her out.
That is my situation, of course if your mom likes her living arrangement then you may not have this issue.
By the way neither my husband or I have developed symptoms during the time she has been here. I am doing most all the hands on caregiving and am feeling fine although rather "trapped." I am quite certain, given the short time frame, that she came here from her facility already infected. She may even have already been passed the contagious period. It's something of a mess and I am not sure how it will be resolved. I hope whatever you decide it will be a good outcome for you and your mom and family.
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 9, 2020
Thanks for sharing this post. Very realistic point of view.

What an ordeal! So sorry...
Hoping your mom will continue to improve.
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It would be wonderful to have her home with you but I would NOT chance it.

Leave mom where she is for now.

I’m so sorry that you can’t follow your tradition of bringing her home for the holidays.
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Well, NY should be getting the vaccine within weeks, and it seems like nursing home residents are going to be among the first vaccinated. Why not put off Christmas celebrations until such a time that mom has been vaccinated and it's safer to do so?
Because of work schedules, we often had to celebrate holidays on days other than the actual date of the holiday. The date didn't matter; it was being able to get together with family that made the holiday. We still do "second Christmas" with my sister and her family after December 25; one year because of snowstorm after snowstorm we weren't able to actually have "second Christmas" until March!!
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lablover64 Dec 12, 2020
I'm hoping she gets the vaccine soon. I think I will check with the director or head nurse. If she gets the vaccine before Christmas, I would think that would remove at least some of the danger. However, I also like the idea of a postponed celebration. I wonder if my siblings would agree to that? You've given me some things to think about - I'm going to make some phone calls.
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Thanks for the updated info. So it sounds like your mom is pretty active at her facility & has friends. And her facility would require a 14 day quarantine upon her return. So knowing that info, I think it would be better to leave her there. As difficult as it has been not being able to have actual visits with her, I think putting her in to isolation for two weeks would be worse than not seeing you for Christmas.
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AlvaDeer Dec 9, 2020
I think this is the case also. The isolation would be difficult for a social woman. I wonder what the Mom herself has to say about this.
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You answered your own question when you said "I'd never forgive myself if she got Covid - she couldn't survive it." Everyone one in your family is in a risky position - you work in an office, your daughter waitresses, and your son does errands out in the community. Even if everyone wears masks all the time you are still in high risk situations and could inadvertently bring Covid into the house. People need to think about exposure the way AIDS was explained. If you have contact with person A then you've also had contact with everyone person A has had contact with. So if you had contact with one person (person A) but person A had contact with 4 people so now you've had contact with 5 people. Start doing the math on people number of people you and your daughter and son have contact with you every day. Would you invite that number of people into your home to have the holiday with your mother? If no, then she can't be with you because the level of exposure is just too large. And you say that her Memory Care facility has been so careful and so lucky to have kept Covid out of the facility. Do you want to be the person that brings it into the facility? You are not only risking your mother but every other person that cares for her. Yes, everyone will be sad to miss the holiday together but it would be tragic if someone died for it.
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AlvaDeer Dec 9, 2020
I agree. She just answered her own question.
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I don't think that 2 weeks of quarantine would be worth it.

If she is with it enough to decide for herself (while being in memory care kind of indicates that perhaps she is not capable), then if she REALLY wants to come. home and understands the risk and understands how tough those 2 weeks will be, then I don't have a problem with it.

Your hands will also be super full with dealing with her new issues, though it is "only" for 2 days. I think it'd be a long 2 days.

I know for Thanksgiving many elderly people said something like "if this is my last one, I don't want to spend it alone". Definitely has some validity.

Tough choice for you to make.
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Will the facility allow her to come home several days and return? I am surprised if they do as they are increasing exposure for their residents because of your Mom's exposure to others in the home.
A personal decision, this, and not an easy one. Everything today carries risk. I think both Cali and Hailey have good answers.and complete answers of reasoning; now the choice is yours. Whatever choice you make, know you are doing the best you can in these trying times.
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lablover64 Dec 9, 2020
If I do bring her home, I will only have her there for a couple of hours - maybe for dinner and opening presents with my kids - definitely not overnight. My sister, who has been working from home for years and has gone very few places since March, said she would like to come see Mom if I do.

The facility would require her to have a Covid test upon re-entering the building and then she would have to quarantine in her room for 14 days. No socializing with her friends or participating in activities. Meals would be alone. She loves doing crafts, playing bingo, and exercising with her group. I explained to her that she'd have to miss those things for 2 weeks but she said it would be worth it to see her family. I don't know what to do. I'd never forgive myself if she got Covid - she couldn't survive it.
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I would bring mom home for Christmas.

You may not can control what goes on in a Nursing Facility but you can control what goes on in your own home.

Think about it. There's a lot of employees who are going in and out of the facility at all times. You don't know if they are following the safety precautions while they are around your mother or not. Employees are not going to keep a mask on the entire 8 hours and they can be careless.

However, you do know what goes on in your own home. Pretty certain you and your family will take the necessary precautions to keep mother safe.

With this being said, I am willing to bet your mom will be a whole lot safer with you and family than in a facility around strangers.
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lablover64 Dec 9, 2020
In our area of NY, there have been many care facilities that had Covid cases. Hers has not had one sick resident. They are absolutely vigilant in their visiting, cleaning, and employment policies. Two employees who tested positive were immediately furloughed and there was no spread among the workers or residents. While we would certainly wear masks and distance ourselves, and we have had no visitors in months, I don't know whether I'm confident enough to think she'd be safe.
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Instead of wondering if it’s safe, think about the bigger picture. How is her health? If you decide it’s not safe now, when will it be safe? You haven’t seen her in months so she’s been isolated for months now. What if she dies before you ever see her again? If you bring her home, do you think the family would be willing to wear masks? I think this is more about the level of risk you are willing to take. My parents a high risk-my mom has end stage COPD, my dad has COPD and cancer. And they are choosing to live normal lives instead of staying home in isolation. They live in another state & we have gone up To visit them twice since the pandemic started and we are going up there again next weekend. Life is too short to stop living live & making memories and there other viruses that can kill us. But that’s just our family & what works for us. It does mean it is wrong for you to forgo the usual Christmas plans with your mother.
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lablover64 Dec 9, 2020
We have done window visits and had two outdoor and three inside-but-6-feet-away visits since March, so we have seen her. She was hospitalized for a week in late summer and we visited her there. My sister and niece had virtual visits and she has a phone in her room, so we've talked several times a week. It's not perfect, but it is what it is and we are grateful for what we have. The facility suspended all visits at the end of November when community spread increased.
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No it’s not safe. I wonder if the facility would even allow it without a lot of testing etc. upon her return?
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NO.
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