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My cousin (who has significant dementia) has fallen again and broken some fingers in her hand. She was using a walker, but now she can't since she can't grip it with one hand. Also, her legs have gotten very weak and it's as if she can't move them. She sees an orthopaedic doctor, neurologist (brain scan pending) and GP. I'm waiting word from their office right now on what the next steps are. We now suspect Vascular Dementia. Her recent decline is evident. I guess it come from mini strokes. ???

Does anyone know what type of care Dementia units provide for those with limited mobility? I visited one a few months ago and saw a resident in a wheelchair and he could not hold himself up or feed himself. I wonder if that is standard.

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Thanks for that info.

The Assisted Living facility she is at now provides assistance with her bathing, dressing, and even helping her in the bathroom. They also help her into and out of bed. Many residents there are wheeled by staff to the dining room. My cousin is able to wheel herself around the facility, even with one hand in a brace. She can feed herself easily and use the bathroom on her own, though she needs help getting in and out of the wheelchair.

I'm just wondering what services a Dementia Unit would offer that my cousin is not already getting where she is now.

Most everyone in the ALF is in a wheel chair and has substantial dementia to the point they do not really communicate that I have seen. They may say hello, but they are not able to answer any question such as how they are doing or what they are having for lunch. I anticipate that is how my cousin will be soon at the rate she is declining.
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They provide whatever care is ordered by the MD. Families often assume they can simply ask staff for assistance with bathing or moving about. Not so. You must be proactive and ask the doctor to write the orders for the care needed, including bathing and dressing.
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Mom was in rehab in a very nice nursing home for 2-1/2 months. Their memory floor was lovely. The elevator had a pass code so patients couldn't wander off the floor. They got patients up and dressed every morning before breakfast. Mom was wheelchair bound and couldn't be trusted to stay put, so they'd wheel her up to their large dining room table and lock the wheels so she couldn't move the chair...forget...and try to walk. It worked famously. They had a huge TV in the dining room and that's where all the action was all day long.

Residents got to choose their food items from maybe three different choices; kinds of juice, scrambled eggs or omelet or oatmeal, sausage or bacon, coffee, tea. Those who couldn't mark their little menu's got help from staff. Couldn't read? They'd voice all the choices and mark the menu for them.

They had six or eight little activities every day in the dining room. Exercise, bingo, coloring, puzzles, hot potato . . . things to keep them occupied supervised by staff.

They had lively entertainment on the floor at least once a week. There were three levels of care in the nursing home; if one of the other floors was having entertainment, they'd take all the memory care patients to watch. They might have a magician, an impersonator, a singer, dancers, a travelogue . . .

Once a week or more, they'd bring in friendly dogs to interact with patients. Staff was always speaking to the patients, putting a friendly hand on their shoulder, asking them how they were feeling . . .

Every morning when patients got dressed, their aid wrote down what they were wearing. Every hour or two, they did a rounds check to make sure all patients were accounted for. While I was touring the floor, there was an overhead announcement that Anna Marie had "eloped". "She's wearing green slacks and a pink print sweater." She was immediately located and escorted from someone else's room where she'd fallen asleep on their bed. ;)

They all wore wrist alarms that would sound to holy heaven if someone DID make their way down the elevator (maybe a visitor let them share the ride) and passed within x-number of feet of any exit. The elevator was located within that alarm distance; so, if someone hitched a ride, their wrist alarm would activate a loud alarm alerting staff. The bustling nurse's station was located just across from the elevator and 20 feet from the front doors.

I cannot give my mom the care at HOME that she would get at the nursing home. And that's the absolute truth.
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