How do you know if you've found the right place?

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So many of you know its been a struggle to find a place for mom. So happened upon a place that she likes, my concern is she has walked out of NH before and been in a mental locked one. This one has more freedom for her but if she walks away at this place then she is gone. THe home she is in now is bad, I have been threatened by them to kick her out and so I am worried what will she do at this place, Its been horrible where she is at , so do I take a chance and see about this place, I have no opinions and well I am stuck, its making me sick every day thinking about this, I have no help from family so to make another mistake would destroy me again. Help

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Bless you both! As caregivers we do our best but we will - no doubt about it - we will make mistakes. Likely, no one else could have done better, but even if we think it was something that, had we been more educated about the situation, we would not have done, we have to realize that what is in the past stays in the past. We learn and move forward.

I agree that there's a difference about walking out of a nursing home in anger or wandering because of dementia, but either is dangerous. It seems to me that if the place where missmel's mother is miserable is really not good, a switch is in order. We can't be afraid to make changes when necessary and we'll never have guarantees that we are right. Remember - we can only do the best with what we know at the time. From what you've said missmel, I'd move her. That's simply my opinion from afar. We wish you well and are with you in our hearts.
Carol
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Does she have dementia and wander or "walk out"? I'm asking because if it's dementia and she's prone to wandering around, I would not take the chance. If she's walking out due to another reason (?) Can we fix that and then put her in the new one.

You mentioned making another mistake and being alone and I just wanted to let you know....
I am a caregiver to my husband's mother and her husband. She has dementia - Lewy Body and Parkinson, he heart and diabetes issues. I have been doing this for almost 5 years now and trial and error, making mistakes are going to happen. When and right after they happen it seems so HUGE and so horrible. I still can't believe I let those things happen! ! There are small things I look back and laugh - I can't believe I tried or did that. There are the HUGE - I almost killed my FIL after his open heart surgery (and he reminds me).
We are all human. We are going to make mistakes, it just happens. God's will some say. We can't let them stop us from moving forward. When I get caught up and scared I'm about to screw up - I break my problem into the smallest baby steps. I think it lets me review and elevate the issue. The care/ treatment of my loved ones is my top priority. This step is always good before we move forward.
So if the place she is in now is bad and she is unhappy and being mistreated. Let's get her out, so you know she is ok and keep looking for a better option. Increase your visits or/and discuss why she cannot walkout. I think this will help you feel better and be better able to make the next decision.
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I would keep looking for alternative NH but if this one turns out to be the best available, try it. What you have isn't acceptable so she deserves a better placement. Most NH should be aware and able to handle seniors who tend to wonder. Just make sure you document in writing what specific needs must be met for her health and safety. This gives you proof that you alerted them of her needs which they are expected to meet when they take her as a resident.
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on a side note, make sure they are licensed. Yes that is right, you might think that they all are but they are not. Non-licensed wont give CPR or medical treatments. was unaware of this until recent news reports.
Best of luck to you I know it can be very frustrating and stressful.
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Visit several during different hours of the day making sure it might be before a meal so you can observe staff and residents in their coming and goings. Is the meal brought to the room or served individually at a table with several residents? Is it pleasant smelling and appealing to look at? Are there a variety of activities to participate in the building or supervised by going off facility with staff and company bus? Does it smell fresh when walking in or like strong cleaning supplies? Is the food prepared by a CHEF or a cook? There is a difference - talk to the Chef about foods prepared to meet dietary requirements.

Why is she in a NH - does she need medical help, that is what is available? Is she in the NH to recuperate from surgery? This is the time you need to research various facilities because the transition from that to another facility will be much easier. Find a facility that has levels of care so when her health declines she may be able to stay at the same place, but move up a floor.

When I was approached with "You need to find a lock down facility now!" I was taken aback and inquired about any they might suggest. I then realized they meant due to Mom's wandering a safer, smaller facility needed to be looked into where the doors were locked with only a code access-the residents not knowing the code.

It is difficult when only one family member is available to do all the research and making the move, but if you and siblings (If any) have computer access send them the information of the ones you have visited and are thinking about. That makes the decision easier even if if you decide which one you really like. I star rated them so it was not difficult to know which one was my first choice!!

Good luck there are many of us out there that have been there done that and had to learn by the seat of our pants. It is stressful, but in the end it is worth it. Stay cool for the summer heat is fast approaching. Good luck in your adventure!

I checked several and decided on one with a homier atmosphere, fewer residents, and everybody happy.
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There are free checklists that you can download and use for evaluating different type of care facilities that might help you.

I remember a few of the facilities I checked out for my mom scared the h*ll out of me. They smelled bad and the people looked and acted desperate to get out of them. It took a while to find one that my mom would feel comfortable in. The checklist helped.
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I hope that I don't have to go through what you are experiencing. It must be very difficult for you. Absolutely get your mother out of the unsatisfactory one and into a place where she feels good and is welcome. The NH should by all means have doors that would not permit wandering.
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I think as dementia takes over they aren't happy anywhere. I think I got my mom in a little too late for her to accept it as her new home. It is the best we can afford and other than the poor meals they serve she has been safe, and watched over. She sometimes called it "prison", but after a four day stay in a hospital, she admitted it felt like home. Best of luck.
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