Mom has foot rests on her wheelchair; she "drops" her legs and it jams her knee. She "cons" aides to leave them off. No one seems to care. -

Mom has foot rests on her wheelchair; she "drops" her legs and it jams her knee. She "cons" aides to leave them off. No one seems to care.


Mom has mid stage dementia and is still cunning and manipulative. I have reminded the aides, nurses, and supervisors several times and they assure me they will instruct the aides. However, again today, Mom insisted they take off the footrests so she can get close to the table when she eats. Then afterward, no one bothers to put them back on. They don't even have to be removed, just lifted and turned aside. The nursing home over and over ignores this or says it has been addressed and over and over it re-occurs. Also, Mom is left with liquid tea when ALL her drinks must be thickened. If I am not there, who knows how many times these things are ignored. I am tired of speaking to the "staff" over and over. What is my recourse if Mom is such a fussy and demanding resident who refuses what is ordered for her? So far, none of the issues have been life-threatening. Do I just sit back and let these things go on? So very frustrated.

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You've been given excellent advice. Accept that your mom is not going to get the same one-on-one care you would give her. And pick your battles. Try to wage your battles without alienating the staff.

Good luck.
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my mothers treatment in AL for a couple of months was atrocious. they fed her non diabetic meals and would just fishface you when you inquired about it. they constantly stole money and pain pills and had her meds mixed in bottles . i didnt see anything nurturing about it and the staff were brain dead. s'pose its cause they were ripped on moms pills..
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I know how you feel. After caring for my dad for 5 years he had to go into a nursing home. I learned the hard way that the facility is not going to care for him the same way I would. I spent his first few weeks/month there trying to get that kind of care for him. I was constantly calling the staff, I was going over people's heads to be heard and just driving myself crazy in general during the process. Driving the staff crazy too I'm sure.

While I wouldn't go so far as to suggest you sit back and let things go on, my experience taught me to pick my battles. Our loved ones are one among many now and are not going to be cared for in the meticulous, attention-to-detail way we would care for them.

Advocating for our parents who are in a NH is busy work. I succeeded in alienating the staff with all of my demands in the beginning. I wished I had done things differently. My dad is not being abused or neglected and knowing that has to be good enough sometimes. The first week my dad was there they lost all of his clothes. I had to go out and buy all new clothes for him. I stomped around that place for days looking for these clothes and the only thing I succeeded in accomplishing was making myself nuts. Like most elderly people, my dad's skin is very thin and he cuts and scratches himself often. The staff would apply sticky bandages to these cuts and scrapes which would pull at his skin when removed. To me this was a no-brainer and I complained about this too. It was just one thing after another. Some people suggested, reasonably, that if I didn't like the care he was getting, move him somewhere else. But after going through all of this, after spending so much of my precious down time on the phone trying to change things I realized that I had to let them go. Pick your battles and let the rest go. Once I did that I was much more at peace and now if there's an issue I feel that I can go to the nurse and be heard since I'm not complaining all the time anymore.

You have no recourse if your mom is a fussy and demanding resident. Can you reason with her? The thing about the footrests on the wheelchair, is that really a priority? If your mom is in pain from her foot dropping because there are no footrests she'll let someone know, believe me. If it were you, would you suffer in silence? I know I wouldn't! So if it's not bothering her let it go. The thickener, on the other hand, is a battle you should wage. If your mom has trouble swallowing and there's no thickener in her tea she could choke. Tell the nurse, tell the nurse manager, and tell the director of nursing that your mom has to have thickener. Then try to trust that someone will see to it. Give it a day or two and pop in at mealtime to ensure there is thickener available to your mom. If there isn't then you have to go through the whole thing again. Fight this fight until your mom gets the thickener.

My dad's been in the NH for 5 months now and I've had to let go of a lot of stuff. I know how difficult it is but we can't be with our parents 24/7. If my dad is clean and doesn't complain of being mistreated then that's a good day.
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I've only had to deal with a nursing home for a few months at a time, but in those months I have seen A LOT. I know they are usually understaffed, and over worked. I know that because of the under staffing, literally one person has to take care of a hallway full of people with all kinds of problems. I know that when they do get ONE person that is kind and the patients love, they work that person to death so that they will eventually quit the job. It's a no win situation, being in a nursing home in my opinion. Did you ever check into Adult Foster Care before the nursing home idea came up? And does your mother have to have the foot rests on her wheel chair at all? I mean, can she just get herself around using only her legs in her wheel chair? Have you thought of hiring outside help to sit with her and asst. during certain hours? I know it will cost more of course, but maybe the peace of mind would make it a good investment. One more thing, what tactic are you using when talking to the 'hands on' people that deal with your mom? You know the old adage 'you get more flies with honey' is really true I have found. A sincere "thank you for dealing with my mom, I know she can be difficult", is gonna go a long way. While my mother-in-law was in the nursing home for rehab for the SECOND time, for yet ANOTHER hip,. I would stop by Alberstons and buy a huge plate of cookies every Friday, making sure it was the people who dealt with her that got them. I don't know, just a few suggestions. I know it's hard. It's harder for her. ♥
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