My mom has dementia. I'm not sure if a private room or a roommate would be better for her? - AgingCare.com

My mom has dementia. I'm not sure if a private room or a roommate would be better for her?

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She, in the past, has loved to be around and socializing with people in general, but I'm worried that she will not play well with others, but also worried that she will be just forgotten about if by herself.

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I find the roommate issue very difficult especially since the roommate will have dementia

I've not observed one roommate pairing at my mom's facility that has resulted in any socialization

In fact the only friendship I've observed is between two women who are on different floors

My mom's last roommate was more than 20 years younger and became obsessed thinking my mom was her mom which staff thought was cute but was actually a bit dangerous as she'd try to get her out of bed and feed her or give her pills not to mention ransack her closet

I would have chosen a private room but the cost is prohibitive
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Reply to MsMadge
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I struggled with this question as well. Mom had lived alone for 30 years, but was a pleasant and social person. I was afraid she wouldn’t get used to having someone at such close quarters and hoped to get a private room when she moved to her NH. But I found quickly the private rooms were very scarce and they usually saved them for people whose medical conditions necessitated them. They matched Mom up with a lovely lady who was a little higher functioning, and it’s been excellent. They told me they try to match roommates for temperament and compatibility, like college roommates. I’m not sure if that’s BS or not but it worked in her situation. I would ask the facility youre looking at how they pair up roommates, or is it strictly filling up an open bed.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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My wife is in a private room and would be a huge challenge for anyone that would be chosen to live with her. She used to be able to socialize but now is not want to be with others at all. Actually the worst person to have for a roommate was a lady that was dirty, rude, and VERY inconsiderate. So her experience and mine are not positive at all. The next person was one that she saw as one that needing to be helped and she could not do her best as to helping her. She moved to the Health Center and has since died. So, now she is a private room and it is expensive but why did we work all those years to just give our funds to our kids? Well, yes partly, but we have given our promise to provide in sickness and in health and I plan to do that till death do us part.
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Reply to VJFriesen6939
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My mother recently went into nursing home, on Medicaid so the decision was made for us. So far, having roommate has been very positive overall. My mother, 91, has become very concerned about her roommate, telling the staff when she has been upset, etc. This is a huge change for my mother because the last 4-5 years, she had become increasingly withdrawn and selfish.
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Reply to rusbar
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daughter102617, since your Mom loved to be around people you could try to see if she does well having a room-mate.

I remember my Mom didn't like to be alone any time my Dad was in the hospital. So when my Mom had to move to long-term-care, having another person sharing her room made her feel safer, that she wasn't by herself. It all depends on who is the room-mate and if they get along with each other.

If later down the road you find she doesn't play well with others, if she can budget for a private room then put Mom on the list for the next available private room.
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Reply to freqflyer
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I agree. My mom was always anti-social, but I also observed that 99% of the people in her Alzheimer’s Unit were oblivious to anyone else, including their roommates. My mother became combative with no provocation. Even though she was on Medicaid, she was given her own room. She had a roommate only very occasionally and not for long, only a few night until someone more amenable could be found. One roommate carried around baby dolls 24/7 and my mom would take them.

There is always the opportunity to socialize in the common areas and at activities, but I know my mom did better on her own.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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It will depend on so many factors--my mother has not done well with roommates in the past--she likes the "hospital" feeling that comes with being the only one in the room. And if SHE felt like socializing, it was up to her.

She blew a gasket at her last rehab center, as she was *promised* a single room, yet wound up with a roomie who was obviously there for life. She was a sweet lady, but mother never got out of the wheelchair to get to know her.

For some people, being alone in a smaller place just makes them happier, even if having a roommate would be helpful, socially. Also, just b/c 2 people are elderly and sick does not necessarily make the best basis of a friendship.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Having a room by herself will increase her aloneness and I think it would be helpful for her mental state if she had a roommate. I remember a patient I had and she had dementia and in her life she always socialized and entertained others in her home. Every day, when I went into her room, she would welcome me as a guest because she was in the middle of entertaining her friends and was having a tea party. She was one of the happiest people I had ever met and she would introduce me to her friends, who weren't there, and asked me if I would like a cup of tea. It was enjoyable just to visit her.
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Reply to tperri123
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In the long run a room with a room mate is cheaper. It's not about being cheap to your parent. No. Its about the huge cost of the monthly nursing home around 10k.
If a parent lives for 7 or so years, that is a huge monthly cost. And factor in the occasional unexpected hospital visit. Any fever over 102 goes straight to the hospital. Or the uti, bed sore or fall. We all know the costs for hospital are outrageous. Good luck.
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Reply to Jasmina
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My mom is a private room because she was accusing her room-mate in the hospital of stealing things as that is how her dementia went - she accused others of stealing too whenever she couldn't find things/ forgot she got rid of things/ her money because she couldn't visit it anymore [needed to take her bank & she was fine afterwards] etc. - it would be unfair to any room-mate she would have in a semi-private room

I would say that it depends on your mom because some might bloom with the extra person to share with but others might be Hell on Earth to deal with - you didn't give enough details on your mom as to how the dementia is effecting her nor her other health issues

Here a private room in a new facility is $2599.00 [CDN$] a month plus our part of her meds not covered [about $20.00 a month] - that includes room, nursing care, laundry, food, bathing, supplies [depends etc], physio & recreation - nearly all the rooms are private in that place with their own large toilet & sink room because bathing is done in the spa room separately - so the cost is more reasonable here than in other places that so many write about on this site & that made the choice easier too
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Reply to moecam
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