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The honeymoon is over. My mom is in a very good ALF, and has been there now for over a month, but sadly her dementia took a rapid turn for the worse. The staff at the ALF has been in contact with me and I realized that she needs to go into memory care sooner rather than later. Trouble is, they may not have any openings in their memory care for a while. So they informed me that my mom will need 24/7 private care in addition to being in the ALF. Well that is cost prohibitive in the long term, but we could probably manage that for a short while. Anyway, the staff was trying to get the additional private care set up for this weekend, and wasn't able to find anyone on such short notice. They asked if me or my daughter could come in and stay with my mom tonight, or take my mom to my house. My daughter is not at home and I told them I was unable to do so -- I had other firm commitments in addition to being ill with a flu, that I didn't think they'd want spread around their facility. I just thought that was an unusual request, even if she's not in memory care, aren't they somewhat equipped to deal with dementia for a short duration? Certainly far better than me (family at home, house completely and utterly ill equipped to handle a senior with dementia). Is this a strange or typical request from an assisted living facility? Yes I am my mom's guardian, but does that mean I'm supposed to be her fill-in caregiver?

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If you are your mom's legal guardian, then you are responsible for seeing to her care. You do not have to provide it personally -- you don't have to be the one that stays with her -- but you do need to see that she gets it. Of course you can't work miracles any more than the ALF can, but it is reasonable and logical that they would turn to her guardian when they are temporarily unable to meet Mom's needs.

My husband was hospitalized after a head injury. He went through a period when his restless behavior put him at risk for injury, and with the head injury they did not want to medicate him to calm him down. One 24-hour period they provided one-on-one care in his room. Another time I was asked to stay with him. Staff was very good about coming in once in a while so I could go to the bathroom, eat, etc. The next shift didn't get that message and didn't realize I was there by request.  That was less comfortable. I was probably better able to comfort and calm him than anyone else, though.

This is so very sad for everyone when this kind of thing happens. What did they wind up doing for your mom?
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Almost the same thing happened to my mother and me.

With my mom it wasn't so much a dementia issue as it was her falling. Mom fell twice in the first ten days. On the 11th day I got the "we need to talk" phone message.

My moms AL was the last rung in a huge retirement community. I didn't want to have to take the first Nursing Home I found and asked for some time to find the right one for my mom. We agreed that mom could stay if I had a private pay caregiver with her during her awake hours. Mom always slept through the night. The facility insisted that it be a licensed and insured caregivers from an agency. They did NOT want to risk just anyone staying with my mom while she lived in their facility.

So yes - I am surprised that they asked you to do it. But no - I don't think this type of arrangement is unusual.
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Pearl,
What has changed about mom's behavior? Is she wandering or combative ?

Check your contract as it might state terms of requiring one on one caregivers - of course, as I've learned in the past 18 months, having private aides is a slippery slope

I began with a 4 hour shift to give my mom some company when she entered memory care which after a bad fall in her room during the night then increased to 12 hours and more recently following a hospital stay and decline in her mobility has increased to 14 hours

I've seen residents in memory care either be sent to a psych hospital or asked to leave the facility all together but these are a handful of cases

Most folks with private caregivers have them as staff simply can't give anyone much attention and at this point mom can't really do anything for herself

Oh, and I use my own outside agency which is far cheaper than the facility private aides who do next to nothing from my observation
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