Tues After labor day weekend. 2017. I am pulling my hair out. I have sent emails, voice messages, no replies. So many phone numbers. Turns out my mom's most recent nurse was gone. So my voicemail didn't get heard. When I told him it's hard to know what to do when we, as family don't get a call back. We want to be patient, but if that nurse isn't there how would we know that? He said the message gets forwarded. (whoever it got forwarded to did not contact us either) and he was also gone the next Monday. I spoke to someone in the office and asked if my voicemail got forwarded. She said, in the case of a known absence, that would happen, but this absence was unplanned.

Turns out this nurse is not coming back. Email did not go thru, I made several attempts. Receptionist at desk says no e.. no A in lifespark.. i try that.. Does not work. turns out there is an E, but no A.. How are we supposed to know that?? omg!

I have left so many messages.

Mom has 3 "assurance checks a night". I want to know what they find when they do those assurance checks. Is mom awake? Is her o2 in her nose? Is she anxious? Do they find her in the bathroom?

This head nurse tells me that they can ask the homehealth aides to do that, but will they? Hmmmm, am I asking too much?

Mom isn’t feeling well when we called on Sunday AM. She says she’s having trouble breathing, and she might need to go to the hospital. What a nightmare! It ‘s a holiday. Everybody seems to be on vacation... the nurse from homecareinc comes to check her. The real problem, which I discover is that her hose on the portable o2 tank is too short. The nozzle points down so when the hose is pulled up wards, it folds on itself and her air supply is cut off. Geez.. how to convey this message to those who take care of her.? We took photos and sent them via email, no response. Sent her several questions. No response. Well, it is the holiday. Turns out that there is no A in spark. I was verbally told the address as Nobody said : no “A” .. these are the things that drive me crazy. Tuesday she is not in. I try leaving messages everywhere. I am a big pain in the butt. I do not trust that anyone will call me back. There is a big black hole over there. Finally finally someone calls and is very nice. When I tell her I’d like to know what they find when they do assurance checks, and I tell her that when I asked the other nurse about that possibility. She said, well, we can ask them to do that, but whether they will or not...” hmmmm. She tells me she will make a chart that they will have to record it on. THANK YOU. Awesome idea! Thanks for thinking!

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Do not worry about the kinked oxygen hose. It has tiny channels inside to keep from occluding. How do I know? I did a study and folded the hose to an almost 360 degree bend and presented it at a national conference. Even at 1 liter the flow was delivered to 1/1000. That is why the FDA has strict requirements to manufacturers.
By the way the oxygen hose can be as long as 100 feet and still deliver. Candy ou get her an extension hose?
If she is air hungry, speak to her doctor or bring her to emergency. You can also get one of those oxygen sensors for $ 20 in order to confirm. Just ensure from the doctor what her levels should be...88,89,90 or greater than 90.
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I also agree you should go there in person if you're close enough.

If not, go up the chain of command and ask to speak with the DON. If you don't get any response, you might even want to hint that you're not satisfied with the lack of care, want to schedule a care meeting, and will consider moving her if you don't get better feedback.

And, of course, document all contact and lack of content.

As to the too short oxygen cannula, they come in 25' lengths. The facility should have shorter ones and longer ones. You wrote that it's a portable oxygen tank. Is the tank a cylindrical metal one? The cannulas for those are easy to change; but the facility should have them. If not, move the portable closer to her.

If she's not getting the oxygen she needs, however, this is a critical issue and I would really raise this issue forcefully with the DON. If he/she's not available, ask who is who's in a position of administration or nursing. Or even state that you need to speak to the on call physician, STAT. And let them know you're documenting.
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Dear mnbwca,

I hear your concern for your mom. If your calls are not being returned by Assisted Living, are you or someone close by able to go to the Assisted Living place to check on your mom. You can also call the town office and see if a social worker can help you. You can always escalate your concerns with a manager or a regulatory body that might look after Assisted Living or Nursing Homes in your area.
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