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Mom is 83 and in a senior assisted living facility she recently is cured from back to back UTI infections and now diagnosed with COVID-19, but with a few symptoms. The facility she lives in is telling us we have to find 24 hour care for our mom because they are not equipped to care for her. Where are we supposed to find this person? Mom is also, as of two days ago, on palliative care. Now she is in a wheelchair and weighs 89 pounds. All five of us kids are at a crossroads and don’t know what to do. Mom cannot be left unattended in her apartment in senior living. Does anyone have any experience with the situation? We live in Ohio.

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Dear "Tgraven,"

It doesn't sound like your mom is dealing with any dementia issues, so I probably won't be of much help but, I can tell you what my experience has been.

I moved my mom into assisted living in 2015 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's - she was 90 at the time. She had level one care because she was still able to walk, dress herself and eat on her own so I got her a nice one bedroom apartment.

In 2020, I saw her on February 28th when I took her out to lunch, the lockdown was on March 13th in which my husband bought her an iPad so we could keep an "eye" on her since she didn't have a window that was accessible to us. On April 22nd, we got a call from an outside mobile doctor's nurse who said my mom was near death from severe dehydration and had COVID - the facility didn't tell me she was severely ill. Once in the ER and then admitted to an isolated COVID wing in the hospital, they ran further tests which showed she had bi-lateral pneumonia as well as a severe UTI. By now she was 95, amazingly survived and was transferred to a rehab facility for three weeks. She lost 20 pounds, wasn't eating and could no longer walk or dress herself. There was no way I could in good conscience send her back to the ALF even though they had a memory care unit. My husband and I found a new facility with the help of a placement agent - all this during the midst of COVID when little was known about it. We ended up moving her into their memory care wing because now she needed people who were trained in dementia-related diseases and she needed caregivers giving her round-the-clock care. She is also on hospice now so she is seen once a week by their nurse and given showers three times a week. My mom is also in a wheelchair now and got down to a weight of 114 from 145 in March. Right now with being given Ensure Protein Drinks she weights 122.

So maybe you can do what we did and talk to a Placement Agent. I don't know if they charge a fee or not. We didn't have to because we were given her name through the rehab's discharge manager. But, she knew how to navigate and communicate with all types of places which would have taken my husband and I a whole lot longer to do on our own and we were under pressure from the rehab facility who was ready to release her.

Best wishes to you and your family and I hope you will be able to find the right place for your mom!
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
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Request Hospice. They will guide you in getting 24/7 medical care or transfer to hospice. I am so sorry. I think that you recognize that it is unlikely that your Mom will survive covid in her current condition. It's important she receive medication to keep air hunger away. They may not require an RN, but a nurse or aid trained in hospice care, and their regular medication RN for medications. Speak to them about what the next step is. Their administration will help guide you. Good luck. This has to be so shocking and distressing from far away. I lost my bro in May, and could not get there/be there for hospitalization, hospice and death. People were wonderful once out of hospital and I hope that will be the case for you as well.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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My LO was infected by an asymptomatic carrier and was sick for 3 weeks. She is a frail 90 year old, and I shed many tears and called the funeral parlor to alert them that they’d likely be getting “the call”.

She survived. She remained virus positive for three months, and we didn’t see her for a total of five months.

If you feel she can benefit from remaining in her apartment for the time being, you may have to use an agency for the full time coverage, but at some point if she does recover from her present situation, she may need a higher level of residential care, and I’d start looking for that right now.

In my hotbed location, hospice coverage does not provide full time support, but if you have access to a residential hospice, you may find that that may be a good possibility to consider.

I was through every emotion from A to Z when this happened to us, and I wish I were close enough, and it was safe enough, to give you a huge hug and tell you about some of the other things that happened on our path through it.

Hope you are supporting each other and taking good care of yourselves, too.
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careinhome Oct 19, 2020
Covid is not a death sentence even to those at risk with a comorbidities. It is a serious health concern and new treatments are coming to light regularly. Try not to buy into the covid19 boogie man.
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I, too, wish I could give you a hug. This is most frustrating for family caregivers who cannot directly assist their lived ones.

I also live in Ohio with a mother in Memory Care Assisted Living, however, this facility has a plan for COVID19 positive residents. I'd contact the Ohio Ombudsmen for help. There are assisted living facilities for those who test positive with or without symptoms. https://ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/site/residents/resources/office-of-the-state-long-term-care-ombudsman

Also, your local or regional Ohio Department on Aging.

God bless, we are here to support you!
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Reply to ARYoung
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If she has trouble breathing you could try to get her treated with Budesonide. It is a steroid, that can be inhaled directly to the lungs using a nebulizer and has been having great success. It's worth looking into.
https://budesonideworks.com
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MACinCT Oct 16, 2020
That story has been deemed not credible. Plus inhaled steroids are associated with a higher risk for pneumonia. Also in hospitals, it is considered very high risk to caregivers in the room. Protocols call for a negative pressure room. If not available, doors need to be kept closed for 1 hour with no one allowed to enter the room. The proper PPE is an N95 mask which is in short supply. If she has trouble breathing, she needs hospitalization
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To clarify something. A Texas doctor claimed on social media that he prescribed budesonide to cure COVID and the claim was dhot down. The med is an anti inflammatory that takes several days to kick in for certain lung diseases. For breathing difficulties, it is best to contact the doctor or go to the ER. Elderly are more susceptible for risk of death and it happens quickly. Requesting budesonide is like seeking a med and pissing in the wind. Yes there are some hospitals who give treatments under the best PPE conditions and there are staff who will severely limit giving it because it generates aerosols into the room which leaves an opportunity for the virus to be inhaled deep in the lungs. A home or senior living place is not set up for enhanced ventilation
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pamzimmrrt Oct 19, 2020
You have a point,, but hospitals are different than homes, because we have to see many unrelated pts, In my hospital we need to use a N95 within 6 feet of ANY pt on a trach collar, high flow oxygen, if we suction a pt in ANY form, when we give any nebulized TX, like even albuteral or atrovent. If we do trach care, or change the filters on thier vent,, you name it. None of these things on their own are contributing to COVID,, we just need a overdose of care because we go from room to room and the pts are not "living together" , and to protect us in case they develope an undiagnosed case of COVID.Almost everything I do in the ICU requires full PPE, even with non covid pts. I know home pts with vents are not having the families do all this,, because they live together. And my home asthma pts are not being treated like this because the family has been nebulizing the drugs for years. I don;t think any normal person believes that Budenesinide alone will cure COVID,, it is just an added TX if they think it will help. Almost all antiinflamitories take several days to work.. the nasal sprays,, even oral drugs like prednisone. I don't think anyone is telling TG not to take her mom to the hospital if she worsens. Her mom is on pallitative care at this point,, so it is all about comfort
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My Mom is 81 and had COVID 19 with few symptoms. She was tested positive twice in March. She was later transported to a senior community that had quarantine facility and 24 hour medical staff. A couple months later, she was tested negative twice, and was allowed to return. We later found out that there was an outbreak and everyone was evacuated by the County Social Services. I was offered the option of taking Mom home but we were in the process of selling the house so that was not an option.
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NobodyGetsIt Oct 19, 2020
Dear "pvo2020,"

What a terrible ordeal you went through with your mom too. How is she doing now?

Do you know what you will be doing since your in the midst of selling the house?

You'll be in my thought and prayers - that you will find a good place/option for your mom!
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Tgraven, Can you tell us how your Mom is doing in her battle against Covid-19? Thinking of you.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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You do  not need to "find another person." You need to find another ALF!  To confirm this, you can find out that, if you do get another person- do they still charge you full price for full ALF care, as your paying "another person."  Check out your states requirements for care; check out her insurance.  They should not be referring you to get healthcare, while your in a healthcare facility.
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DrBailey Oct 19, 2020
And there is a big difference between ALF- assistive living facility and
SNF-skilled nursing facility.  Based on your disclosure of your mother, it sounds like she is in need of a higher level of care, thus consider moving her from "assistive" to "skilled nursing"-- meaning instead of sr living, she needs a nursing home and Medicare does cover.
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Imho, your mother requires a higher level of care in a different facility. Prayers sent.
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