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I live in another country and all family except one sister is scattered far across the country away from our mother who is in a nursing home in Virginia following a stroke. She can barely speak, cannot walk, stand, or toilet herself.
My sister tells me that Mom has been crying and indicating she doesn't want to be left alone at night. She clutched my sister's arm when carers came in to give her a bath. Did not want to be left alone with them. Sister said Mom shows wild eyed terror when one particular carer walks past her door.
Yesterday my son went to visit and Mom basically indicated the same. He gathered that she is terrified to be left alone at night.
She is is a shared room with a curtain between patients.
My son has reported this to the adult protective services hotline. We are currently fighting to get Medicaid for mom so she can stay in the facility as it is the best in the area, regards cleanliness, patient care and stroke therapy. It has the best reviews and best report per the commission which monitors these facilities.
We have also discovered they seem to have stopped Mom's therapy and won't tell us why. Just not sure where to go from here. She is too frail to move to a facility nearer one of the brothers (Indiana and Florida).
We thought if she stayed near her home town then my sister, cousins and church friends could visit her and keep her spirits up. Now we don't know.

Any similar experiences and advice welcome.

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I followed your thread and am so happy for you that it turned out well for you. We had a similar situation with my mother, and we finally got her discharged and sent home to live with my sister. She was too far gone and passed four days later. We still believe the neglect of that "skilled" nursing facility was her downfall. Rated high in Miami! She was getting so much stronger in the hospital (she had muscle degeneration and lots of edema all over from laying in a hospital bed), but the neglect in this nursing facility that she was discharged to (leaving her in a wet bed, not opening shades, not putting her hearing aids in, not speaking loud enough for her to hear, not answering the call button, not resonding to her calling for help, PT never came, wouldn't give her ibuprofen for pain for hours, not bringing her water, keeping her in a dark room without even so much as turning on a tv, not noticing 102 degree temperature, etc. etc.). She would be shaking, a nervous wreck, and freezing when my family would show up to visit. She talked about being terrified by one of the nurses over the phone to me, about how mean she was to her. We know she was not making this up, because she was one of the best patients you could imagine- never wanting to be a problem or make a stink. All of this was too much for her  and she experienced extreme delirium. My sister and I had slept in the hospital with her, but then I had to return to my home state and the nursing facility would not allow my sister to stay over night. She was supposed to get better with physical therapy and was supposed to be sent to another rehab facility but was declined, and this nursing home killed her. I am now trying to be an advocate for other patients. My mother was my best friend and I could have had another 10-15 years with her. For other children of elderly patients: INSIST on proper care for your parents. That means keeping them engaged mentally, insist on opening blinds, turning on tv, keeping them comfortable, food and water within reach, and make sure you have lots of familiar faces of family and friends visiting as much as possible.
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Mamma loves her new massaging riser/recliner. My brother's daughter trimmed, cleaned (they were not looked after in the nursing home) and polished her finger nails yesterday. They are looking into getting a beautician out in the next week or two to do her hair. I will ask my sister in law to seek a chiropodist for her feet too. She really is living the royal life and we are all pleased as punch.
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UPDATE: The lady my brother purchased the wheelchair from, has been caring for her husband for some time. She has offered to come out and show my brother and family how best to move Mom which is safest and most comfortable for all. I think the family have found a good source of advice on Mom's care and how to be an advocat for her needs.
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Awesome!
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I have to say great job to you and your family for finding your mom such a good place to stay. It sounds like she's thriving in her new environment and getting good care.
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No doubt, this is a good outcome-so happy for you and your Mom!
Thank you for doing the right thing! You are an awesome daughter!
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Araminta, that is great news about your Mother as so many times this just doesn't work out. Keep us up to date with your Mom's progress :)
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Just got a message that Mamma has been doing extra exercises with her paralised right arm and told my brother that she is working it hard. He said they are still giving her on stomach feed per day, but she is eating on her own very well. Says she is nothing but smiles, they get her up out of bed and into chair 2 to 3 times a day. My brother is a very large and strong hoss. He works only 15 minutes from his house so he goes home 4 times a day to move her. She loves having dinner with family and sitting in lounge watching TV with family.
The terrible rash on belly and limbs, she had at the nursing home is starting to clear already. We now think she was sensitive to the detergent they were using. Brother's wife is using only baby detergent and extra rinse on bedding and clothes.
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You can buy buildup drinks which are also made in suitable for diabetic form sometimes they need to be prescribed though or having a replacement meal as well as a meal to boost nutrition. The best way I have noticed used in a lot of care facilities is to reduce the amount of food and increase the number of meals, so instead of 3 decent sized meals a day 6 smaller ones with additions like
nuts, cheese, peanut butter , avocados or dried fruits. Nuts and dried fruits go well in cereals, avocado makes great guacamole that is ok for the elderly if you don't spice it up too much. If you mash it up with lemon juice and serve it with some prawns and a slice of brown bread it would be a great little meal
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Her chewing and swallowing is great. Still has most of her teeth. None of us can figure out why the nursing home was keeping her stomach tube in and feeding her only pureed food which she despised. Well I suppose, one explains the other. She refused the pureed food and so they kept tube feeding. Must have been horrible always looking at a plate full of grey and green mush, when other patients were getting solid food in the dining room. She's lost a lot of weight. They were always giving her candy bars though. She now is diabetic (on pills for it) and was not before stroke. So I've warned my brother that he and wife must closely watch her as they introduce more solid food. His wife is diabetic so knows what to watch for, how to test and what to do.
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Araminta thank you a million times over for updating us - it is so good to hear when something turns out perfectly xxxxxx
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UPDATE: I paid for non emergency medical transport for Mom. She was moved on Saturday and woke up on Mother's day in her new bed, room and home. My baby brother and his family are real stars. They built, decorated the room, collected all the medical furniture and equipment needed. Pictures show her grinning ear to ear in both bed and chair. She is fine with 2 or 3 words, but any more she gets all garbled. She gets very excited. We are all encouraging her to try and sing the information she wants to convey. This is how she taught us all to speak. In fact, we all used to converse in operatic style when we were kids. Feeling so relieved now.
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First off, it is much safer to investigate if there is abuse going on than it is to ignore it and just think that an elderly person is delusional. I actually work in a facility so I can tell you that about 80% of the time there's at least some kind of verbal abuse going on if a patient is more afraid of one caregiver like you mentioned. Perhaps a caregiver does not hit your Elder, but does say demeaning things or shame them when they ask for a care . That is still abuse and it is still very damaging to the patient. I would say that you need to find out what kind of services for adult protection are set up in your country and call them on the phone and explain to them what you suspect and what your elders reaction is to that caregiver. Every single elder deserves to be respected and protected from any kind of verbal or emotional abuse. I have personally caught at caregiver being overly rough during care and saying horrible things to one of her patients and making the patient scared to ask for help even though the caregiver was getting paid to help the person. Not only did I call our state hotline I also reported it to all of the upper management and told the caregiver to leave the patient's room immediately. The caregiver was later fired because there was more than one patient she was abusing. If an elder has dementia they may have a fear of people, as they can't remember who is taking care of them but for the most part if they're afraid of one caregiver, there's a good reason for it. I would definitely not just assume that an elder is delusional when it comes to abuse.
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My mother's doctor has not seen her since she was admited to the hospital with stroke. His practice was most unhelpful when I was trying to get her prescriptions for painkillers sent to the nursing home. She is seen by the nursing home doctor now and my brother is going to call him and ask him to send the prescription for a bed. His wife found a charity which will supply the bed once they see that prescription.
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Araminta: Call your mom's doctor and tell them what you will need. The mad in turn will call a medical equipment company with the order. Insurance covers all or most of it. It's kind of a rent to own company. The company will then deliver the needed things and set them up for you.
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Mom has been docile, smiling, singing, engaged with visitors, carers, physical therapists and reisdents and workers in the activities room. Very true to her meek lifetime personality since the stroke.
At the risk of repeating myself, in the last 3 or 4 months she has been quite good at making herself understood with gestures, some words, and writing. Her fear (terror) and teafulness has only come on since the move to the new wing. She has given the same information to two different people (that I know of) at different times in the last month since that move, that only one female member of staff who works at night is hurting her.
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When my mom was first admitted to her NH she told my brother the head admin guy was sexually abusing her and people were stealing from her. Yet nothing was ever missing from her room and now six months later she adores the same admin guy as he heaps compliments on her whenever he sees her. She told my brother and not me because at the time brother still hadn't caught onto moms little tricks and was more likely to believe her - although ever brother knew the accusations were ludicrous. I don't mean to discount the mothers fears here, nor the daughters concern - I'm just saying it can be "normal" for elders in unhappy circumstances and failing health to have difficulity differentiating the truth from their own fears and delusions.
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Im agreeing with all the po sters here. When my Mom was in a rehab facility about 6 months ago she was accusing the staff, who were only washing her up, of preparing her and her sheets/bed linen for the undertaker. And I was "in on it". Quite an imagination...sad but true. I stayed with her most of the next few days and that helped to eradicate the problem. Then she was fine. However, I'm sure that some problems of abuse can happen anywhere. I would highly suggest that if you have a parent in any care facility to check, check, check and be alert for any signs of mistreatment. Don't come to visit at the same time. Visit at sporadic times. Good luck and I hope for the best for you.
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Well FF in the words of many others better to be safe than sorry. If this woman was telling people there was an issue and her actions belied her words I might agree. But this woman is one of the MOST vulnerable groups in that her communication skills are almost zero and she is demonstrating, in the physical sense, fear. Now regardless of the veracity of this I would, as an NH manager, want to be bloody certain that there wasn't a grain of truth in there...because if there is the repercussions would be far reaching. To know there is a concern and do nothing is reprehensible. To act and find nothing is the gift you pray for. I have been to too many care homes and seen too many issues but never where if a concern IS raised they sit back and do sweet all. They cannot afford to risk the litigation alone let alone the notoriety, their jobs. One would hope they would do it out of concern for the resident - hmmm no comment on that one
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PhoenixDaughter, but what if there isn't an abuser, but a story made up by an elder to get attention.... that isn't uncommon. But I can understand one's concern.

My Mom didn't have kind words to say about people who weren't identical to herself.... even people of her own race but spoke with an accent she couldn't quite understand.... she never liked my mother-in-law because my wonderful Mom-in-law had a French accent... [sigh].
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I am researching for elder ombudsman. The NH was notified last week, so I imagine a heads up has gone out to all staff about it. My son is going to visit Mom this evening. Will see what transpires from this.
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Int there an ombudsman who you can escalate this to?
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I know FF but I also know I would do time to see an abuser put away. I find it startling that with an accusation like this made to the NH that nothing is being done. First step would be at least to move her away from this person. If the NH are fully aware of the allegation and do nothing then they are complicit
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PhoenixDaughter, please note that placing a camera or listening device in a shared room is going against HIPAA rules regarding medical privacy. The room-mate could sue for invasion of privacy.
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I would think a majority of continuing care facilities would welcome with open arms paid caregivers from outside Agencies to sit in a patient's room, just as long as the caregiver isn't interfering with the tasks at hand by the Staff. The caregiver would need to be vetted by the nursing home, making sure said caregiver is up-to-date on their TB tests, had background checks done by the Agency, etc.
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If they won't play ball Araminta then I would move her
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It would be a criminal offense punishable with prison time to put any recording equipment in the room without proper permissions. Any evidence collected would be deemed inadmissable in court. I don't think the nursing home would permit a paid sitter after hours, especially in shared room. Besides it is a cost we cannot bear, given the only members of family able to contribute to getting her safely away are already extending finances to breaking point in order to make this happen.
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Actually not rant over. You may not be able to put a CCTV in but I will lay odds there is nothing to stop you putting in a listening device. Then if that show some level of abuse you have grounds to demand action
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Araminta as you know I am English and quite frankly I wouldn't give a rat's arse what the regulations or the NH says I would get a covert camera inserted into a clock and perhaps something else and get relatives to place them discreetly. Or if I was feeling as pissed off as I would be I would get a member of the press to do a covert study. This whole issue of abuse really angers me. Abusers should be strung up and the families of those they abused let loose on them. Rant over.
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A paid sitter or caregiver is not a visitor. Sits awake overnight.
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