My mother, who has brain injury induced dementia, had an episode of agitation today, she said she wanted to leave the nursing home. She was able to go out the front doors & head towards the locked gates before aides were alerted, able to redirect her & bring her back inside. Aides were assigned to keep a close eye on her the rest of her day was uneventful. Trying to leave the facility is not normal behavior for her, she has been experiencing sporadic episodes of agitation with quick returns to baseline; attributed to dehydration.
I was notified of this incident & it was requested that family come in over the next few days to provide 4 to 5 hours of daily coverage for my mother because the facility did not have the staff to watch her that closely. I said I would need to discuss this with mysiblings. In a subsequent call I was informed that if we could not come in that we would have to cover the $30 per hour bill for her to have an escort. I suggested some testing as bladder infections and dehydration change her behavior & I reiterated my belief that she was experiencing mini seizures which began after her brain surgery & have been controlled by meds. I suggested a CAT scan to see if there were brain changes & to reevaluate her seizure meds.
The social worker called me back to say the urine tests were negative & the doctors felt this was a next level in dementia not seizures or a stroke. I was then asked if I would be open to moving my mother to the memory care unit which is a closed unit & does not have access to outside doors without staff assistance. I said I was amenable if that was the level of care she now needed, but since this was one incident that we should have further testing before such a move. I was told that they were trying to ready a bed for Monday but would need family to come in to care for her over the weekend or to pay the fee for them to bring in extra help. They wanted a committment as to time and days we coud cover right then. I said I could not commit right then for myself or my siblings as we needed to see who could do what. I also explained in detail that the dynamics between my mother and us were testy and our presence for 5 hours would only serve to agitate her more as that is not the normal way we visit with her. I stated I was planning to visit Sunday and could bring a Scrabble game to make the visit last longer, but that once the game was over my mother would be expecting and encouraging me to leave, that is her normal way when any of us visit; we would be hard pressed to stretch a visit out for 5 hours & have it be pleasant, which would defeat the whole purpose.
I offered to take my mother to a hotel for the weekend as my home is not conducive for her wheelchair or walker.
I am concerned about liability if we were to assume care for our mom inside the facility; we are not trained staff, we do not know the policies, procedures or schedules of the building. Should an emergency occur we would be at a disadvantage & in the way of other residents & staff. I also think family being at the facility for that length of time could be an issue for personnel with the potential for misunderstanding.
Should we step in to provide coverage? Not even sure it is feasable yet on such short notice and it would not be for the length of time they want.
Should we be charged for the extra help hired to provide supervision or would this be covered under insurance since the doctor is saying it is needed?
Should I remove my mother from the facility until they have a space in memory care?
If I remove my mother for a few days, do I withhold payment from the facility for those days since I would be using those funds to provide shelter during that time period?
Should my mom go straight to memory care as a result of this incident or should I request more indepth testing and other interventions before she is locked away downstairs? She is very social & enjoys her friends & activities on the main floor. Thank you!!!