Mom, 98, is a recent rehab resident. I ask many questions daily, but don't want to appear unhappy with her care. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom, 98, is a recent rehab resident. I ask many questions daily, but don't want to appear unhappy with her care. Any advice?

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We're hoping to see her strong enough to return home. I visit early, when therapies, Drs may be around. I inform sisters sometimes by my phone in room. Last night, my sister was told by evening nurse that I wasn't happy with the care of Mom. I've never alluded to this as I am pleased with progress, care. I have had to explain to sister on phone things she isn't understanding when she's slightly upset. I also have questioned a palliative care nurse, also VA benefits possibly available to bring her home. Should I speak up about this misunderstanding that I'm not happy with care? If so, with whom? I do not want hard feelings or miscommunication to family, only good, informed care for Mom.

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Banty, do by all means correct the impression that the very close interest you are taking in your mother's progress equates to dissatisfaction with her care.

The easiest way is probably just to ladle out compliments whenever you see the slightest opportunity.

I wouldn't indulge in Chinese whispers with your sister. Your sister may be one of the many many people who think that if you say boo to a goose inside a hospital or rehab facility the staff will think you're "complaining" and your loved one's care will suffer. I had an aunt like that, it used to drive me nuts.

Be nice, and keep speaking up! May your mother gain strength every day.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I do thank each one as they come and go from room.
It could be body language as I am very anxious (always).
Most staff and I converse,greet one another when not in mom's room. It could be misunderstanding because said sister and day nurse share a first,uncommon name. Therefore,mix up when I'm explaining things to sis on phone. She's not a gossip so I truly believe it's when I try to calm sis over issues that nurse overheard name (but it's not her).
I want best care for Mom with no misunderstanding.
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Reply to Banty1956
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Sister told you that nurse said you weren't happy with the care? Have you considered that maybe nurse did not say this to sister? Maybe sis wants mom somewhere else?
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Reply to gladimhere
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I had to look up "Chinese Whispers". In America we call it " playing telephone".
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Banty, the next time you see the member of staff in question, greet her cheerfully and say "isn't it a coincidence, you have exactly the same name as my sister!" - not forgetting to say something complimentary about the name, of course. (Gosh, I hope it's not Boadicea or Medusa or anything tricky like that :/) This should be a handy ice-breaker and then you can more easily win her round and set her mind at rest.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Are you sure that your sister isn't playing "Telephone" where one person tells a second person something and that person tells a third person what she thinks she heard. It is amazing how what was said at the beginning of the game of "Telephone" is not the same as what is said at the end of the game of "Telephone".

I am glad that you have such an interest in your Mother's care. Maybe the tone of your voice or your body language is being interpreted by the nursing staff and the therapists as an attitude of being upset with them when in reality, you are not upset with them.

Do you ever THANK the nursing staff or therapists for the good job that they are doing with your Mother? Or do you only ask question after question after question? Do you just sit and watch therapy and listen to what is being said? Or do you have to be in the middle offering advice and suggestions during every part of your Mother's care? Are you a "Helicopter Daughter"?

Maybe it was the way you asked the question about palliative care and/or VA benefits in regards to the possibility of bring your Mother home. Maybe your sister isn't happy that YOU asked about palliative care and/or VA benefits. Maybe your sister isn't happy that you are thinking of taking your Mother to YOUR HOUSE. Maybe your sister is unhappy because SHE IS NOT THE ONE "running the show" or making the final decisions about your Mother's care...So many "MAYBEs" :)

Talk to the Nurse Manager and tell her what a great job the nursing staff and the therapists are doing. Ask the Nurse Manager what you can do to make your Mother's stay at the facility more comfortable and how you can help your Mother with her care and therapy. And then, casually, state that you talked with your sister last night and she had a couple of concerns. Be aware of your body language and the tone of your voice while talking with the Nurse Manager, the nursing staff and the therapists. Give lots of positive feedback and lots of compliments. Good, positive communication is very important in making sure that your loved one is receiving the best care possible.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Good advice here. I imagine that the people who work there are probably used to some anxiety from family, so also try to take it easy on yourself. Good luck to mom and you all!
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Reply to Zdarov
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My dad was in rehab 4 times. There is nothing wrong with asking questions or expecting good care for your mom. My sister and I would direct our issues or needs directly to the person over rehab which for this facility the assistant director of nursing. She was respectful and responsive. I don’t know how long your mom has been there but it’s perfectly fine to ask for a care conference at any time. Be sure your sister either attends or they can conference her in over a speaker phone. That is how we did it as my sister lives 4 hours away. This is where you can get progress reports, air questions and get answers etc. if you haven’t had one, then request it.
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Reply to Harpcat
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There are good and bad facility staff but if you visit often they will be very careful with the care if you can't have someone else go visit. They will only be careful with the care but this care will spread to other patients because they see that you are aware of what goes on at the facility.
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Reply to nyrican2350
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Some professionals are oversensitive and might not like your questions as they perceive that by asking, you are questioning their technique or decisions. I found that it helped to be as tactful as possible because there is an army of people taking care of your loved one and of course, there could be a few like that sprinkled in. But you are doing it right. Be friendly and polite and just explain "Nothing personal...I just run this way:)" It can be frustrating for them....they are very busy, and it can be frustrating for you, because you just want to help your loved one. Establishing a rapport with your mom's social worker might help too. Little gestures like a little basket of individually wrapped candies in mom's room for the helpers doesn't hurt. I hope that your mom recovers well enough to return home, but if she can't she'll have you by her side.
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Reply to lynina2
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