Mom in assisted living forced to sit alone and feels punished, who can I call about this?

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Mom's in assisted living and other than being in a wheelchair she's quite mobile getting around on her own...they recently moved her to a table for 2..there was a man there but he didn't like the location so they moved him to an aisle (we've been asking to move Mom to an aisle for the ease of getting in and out. Mom been here for 4 years and this man for 3 weeks. We've discussed this with the director and when I asked why HE was moved and not Mom ...he couldn't discuss it (??)..I explained it's not healthy for her to be alone at a table.she feels shes being punished...they said she's there so she can get in and out on her own...we've asked several times to move her (plenty of open seats available) and nothing has been done...do I contact an ombudsman for this...will I make it more difficult for Mom if I do?At this point, she's depressed and not happy and wants to look around for other places. Some emply seats are being held for people in hospitals or rehab...I understand this but there are others available. doesn't seem like there's much compassion. I told them it's not healthy for her to sit and eat alone...very frustrating...Is the ombudsman or elder affairs in order?

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I don't understand what the big deal is that they can't just move her to another table. Have you asked point blank if your mom did or said anything to the man that was at her table that was out of line? Do you know for sure that she's not saying stuff that makes other people uncomfortable? First I'd check that out, then if they say she's fine, I'd tell them that you're going to start looking around at better places. See if that puts a fire under them. And follow thru if you have to. This is ridiculous in my opinion.
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This seems like a rather easy request to fulfill...after all, you are moving seats. If you don't get satisfaction from the administrator, then call the Ombudsman.

As far as making things difficult with Mom, this better not. After all, if you call the Ombudsman over something like this then if her treatment gets worse the staff must realize you will be all over them for that.

Plus, the reason for the call is because the staff "wouldn't discuss it with you". Well, if that's the case then the staff needs to discuss it with the Ombudsman.
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If your mom has been there for 4 years she must have some friends. Rather than just sak to have her moved, I would ask if she could sit with specific friends. Your mom and her friend or friends should ask together. As for saving seats for the people in the hospital or in rehab, that is fairly normal. If your mom were happy with her seat, she would likely be unhappy if she returned from the hospital and someone was sitting in her chair.

It sounds as though there is more going on here than your mom has made you aware of, I would suggest you speak candidly with the social worker or director at the facility.
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The politics of an Assisted Living cafe are worse than a school cafeteria.

I always seem to have good results when I email the head nurse asking who to speak to about a problem. Less threatening than a formal letter, but still in writing.

She could be doing something that annoys others.
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i would not indicate to them at least, that you will be looking around at other places, nor would i leave brochures around..this could backfire in a big way, such that they could say, well if your not happy then.......sometimes they don't care if you are leaing because someone else will follow right behind you..


don't burn your bridges until you have another way...

i find putting things in writing to the admins's or don is more helpful and i do so a conversation or request

find all the benefits of eating with others for elders, i recall seeing lots of articles on this topic.

is there one more person you can discuss this with at the facility? if not, go to the ombudsman who is suppose to advocate for the resident..i would have benefits of eating with others in hand along with the drawbacks cons of elders eating alone

the ombudsman has no power to make changes and only acts as a mediator unless there is some legal, health, abuse violation. NH and other facilities arent generally pleased when the ombudsman is called in..although the facility will not be thrilled, i don't believe they would start hurting your mom over this..

this is a tough one...

please let us know how it turns out...fingers crossed.
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We moved my mom to an assisted living facility where other family members were being cared for.seating at meals was "open" but the politics of it was like jhs. The mediical director/head nurse had no compassion and repeatedly dismissed my mom's and our concerns about her health, isolation, etc. Without telling mom, we researched and visited 7 other facilities in yhe area and gound a much better one. Remember, you need to give 30 days notice so start calling around and present this to mom , jot as do you wasnt to leave but as these are some choices, which one would you like best. If a facility is stonewalling your requests and not explaining the sitation, get her out!
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I agree with momhouseme except this is indeed a health issue. Effects of depression, isolation, insecurity, feeling ostracized, and not being able to communicate with others freely and often, etc., etc., can be devastating.
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It sounds like there's more to the situation than you may know (and if there is, the director should be able to explain it to you) or maybe you should start looking at other facilities.
Mealtimes are important community times. For some, it's the only meaningful social time of the day. Seating your mom somewhere unsuitable just because it's easier for her to get in and out of her seat is silly. She should sit with someone whose company she enjoys and who enjoys her company (there are politics in AL and, I agree, it's a bit like junior high!). If she needs assistance getting into and out of her seat, so be it. That's the kind of support Al is meant to provide.
But first, before committing to the upset and hassles of a move, dig deeper for a solution if you're largely satisfied with the place. If she's been there for four years and this is the worst issue you've had, I'd work at making it work.
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This seems such a simple request that it's alarming they did not have her moved the first time. I'd do a series of random drop ins during meal time and before meal time(you and other family members/friends). Snoop. Watch. Learn.

If the AL has a problem, you'll see it. If it's a simple misunderstanding, having family presence there in support of your Mom may do the trick. If the facility employees are jerks and mean: Move your Mom immediately and report them. Make a formal complaint after your Mom is out.

I think abuse at facilities occur when the no-one stands for the victims until it's too late. I'm not saying the AL is abusive... just that this seems very odd and could be an omen of bigger issues.

Note: My Mom and several others usually remained in their wheelchairs during group meals (when she was in rehab). I wonder why they are transferring her to a chair? The wheelchair moves right up to the table and it's easier for the patient to move themselves if they want to leave.

Further note: I once went to visit my Mom while she was in rehab. I noticed a lady sitting alone at a table for 4. I lifted my brow at the attendant and glanced at the woman that ate alone. The attendant whispered that the woman did not like company during her meals but preferred not to eat in her room. Every time I was present during meals in the subsequent two weeks, this lady sat alone. I don't know if it really was her preference or the staff had an issue with her.
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Bearing in mind they are not allowed to discuss personal information about residents with other families, it is not OK for them to just keep seating her alone for their convenience when it is making her sad. In fact it could be discrimination based on physical disability. The situation really does need to change and they may not bother to change it unless they know that you will assertively insist on it. You absolutely should follow their grievance system which should be posted, and contact the next higher person in line about it. You may want to tell them you are going to, in the most sympathetic terms possible, but still firmly e.g. "Look, please try to understand - I've been asking and really hesitate to make a big fuss, but if there isn't a fix for this by next Tuesday, I am going to call the ombudsman. It's not that we have anything against the way you are caring for mom, otherwise things are wonderful, but I can't just go on watching her get depressed because she can't understand..."
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