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My mother is in a NH and basically immobile. She is generally not a major complainer. When she tells me about an issue that aides dispute I feel lost as to who to believe. Some aides are warm and caring and others have somewhat curt attitudes. One issue was about sleeping through the night. She says she hasn't been while a certain aide says she does. I had an issue with the resident next door who is very gone mentally. Her TV was on loudly during the night. I complained and that stopped but my mother told me an aide said she could have it on as loud as she wanted. At least I got that to stop. I just don't know who to believe as issues arise. I do my best to be polite and brought cookies on Easter for the staff. I feel bad that she could be at the mercy of an aide who has a bad attitude. I have found in the past such as when she was in the AL section a director defends the behavior of their staff even when they have attitude issues I observed. I just don't know how to proceed going forward when difficult situations occur.

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So when my mom was in a NH, I NEVER adressed mom's situation with her aides. My stance was that I was not their supervisor and had NO idea what the parameters of their jobs entailed.

I likened this to a school situation in which you wouldn't address an educational concern to the classroom aide; you'd talk to the teacher.

Find out who supervises the aides. Address the concerns mom has expressed to that person in a care meeting.

"I'm hearing from my mom that she isn't sleeping through the night and is disturbed by her neighbor's TV. What can be done about these concerns?"

Re: Tylenol PM- the physician or APRN is going to need to order that and it will need to be charted.
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Riverdale Apr 13, 2021
I know that about the medication. I already asked the nursing director. The conversation regarding sleep evolved as an aide overheard us talking. They aren't planning any care meetings such as they did in AL. The only people to get an sense of what transpires is those working during the one hour I am allowed there. I really do try to maintain a sense of polite curiosity. I just found out 2 days ago the TV was on loudly during the night again. When I call about this it does get quickly addressed at least for a few days. I understand your clear message. I just feel I need to have some communication if there happens to be an issue. I also am able to speak directly with OT people if and when they come by. They are all great which is also what my mother agrees to.
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I have experience with three family members in the care complex where my LO currently lives.

While my mom was living there for 5 1/2 years, I got to know almost all of her hands on caregivers. I always gave off positive signals if I was pleased/satisfied with their care for her, and tolerated what I considered careless or non-helpful attention as long as it didn’t directly harm her.

As time went by, I learned that some of the caregivers I hadn’t liked or had confidence in turned out to be the best caregivers she had. The rare useless/problematic caregivers didn’t last long.

In Covid? MUCH MUCH HARDER. But I DID LEARN that even those caregivers who remembered my mom told the new people caring for my LO that I’d do my best to help with whatever I could.

I have been separated from LO for 6+ months, and had my first visit, outside, last Wednesday. She was clean, plump, and obviously well attended to.

Suggestion- try to “inform” instead of “complain”.

“Could you check on Mrs. Loud Neighbor’s TV before mom goes to bed for the night? Mom says it’s loud enough to wake her up sometimes”.

“Somewhat curt...” may be pretty understandable in current circumstances, and not aimed at your mom but coming from overworked and overwhelmed, and of course, it’s hard on everyone.

Maybe you’re also a little overtaxed and under appreciated too. I know darn well I am. Give yourself as much slack as you can, as long as concerns about caregivers aren’t resulting in damaging consequences.

Hope things will be smoothing out for you and your mother very soon!
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My mother regularly tells me she 'never sleeps at ALL during the night' that she's up 'all night' for various reasons. When I call the MC to fact check, they tell me she DOES sleep, but wakes up once in a while during the night. I have to believe the MC b/c if she really WAS 'up all night', she'd be non-functional during the day and she's not.

We can't fight all these battles for our mother's and win them. Pick the ones you think are serious, and leave the rest alone.

You say your mom 'doesn't have dementia' but has 'a lot of short term memory loss' which sounds like dementia to me. Long term memory loss, with dementia, is not affected until the advanced stages. Similarly, Sundowners goes hand in hand with dementia oftentimes, and presents itself with many of the same symptoms.

That said, a lot of what your mom is saying nowadays should be fact checked. And then, you'll have to decide who's telling the truth, her or the NH. So again, pick your battles and let the small stuff go, that's my suggestion. If her overall care is good, that's the main thing, imo.
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I am disabled because I can't walk and live in assisted living. I hate to say it but there are many staff (medical) who should not be aides or in a position to help residents. They have NO personality, never speak to a resident, just bring meds and walk out - nothing. Definitely NOT suitable for the job they have but it is probably the only one they can get. Nothing will change their personalities or way they treat others. The higher ups are well aware of this but finding good aides is next to impossible although there are some really great ones but they are far and few between. The rest collect a paycheck and really don't give a dam. You know your mother and I would tend to believe her over the aides. I don't know what to say except keep the higher ups informed (and document it all if it ever comes push to shove) and ask for their help. They usually can't or won't go after the aides because places are so shorthanded.
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Riley2166 Apr 13, 2021
And I hate to say this but all the cookies and other goodies in the world will be eaten by the staff but it won't make a darn bit of difference in their ways and personalities. Sad but true.
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Beleven your mom.
Set up a Camera in your mom's room and you'll at least be able to see what's going on while she's in her room. I set up a Nest Camera fir my Dad and now I can see what really goes on.
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TouchMatters Apr 13, 2021
What's a Nest camera? Good ideas here that I've never heard of - thanks everyone.
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Since I live in assisted living, I am all too familiar with what goes on. Fortunately I can take care of myself 99.9% and no one messes with me. But others can't. To my knowledge, every state in the country has what is called an Office on Aging in the county - and all residents in care facilities can contact them and they will be put in touch with an Ombudsman who will investigate and hopefully fix problems between these homes and residents. I assure you they have the power and will do so. Seek out that office and ask for help.
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TouchMatters Apr 13, 2021
Great suggestion. From what I hear, Ombudsman are the best in protecting the welfare / rights of the elderly. Thanks for responding w this idea. Glad you're able to stick up for yourself. I applaud you. And hope to be like you when I'm older and in need to more support. Here's a hug. You are not alone. How did you get to be so strong and love yourself? That's what it takes - self love.
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From your mother's perspective she could be sleeping less deeply and partially awakening several time through the night, from the aide's perspective she may appear asleep whenever she is checked on or if she isn't calling for help or obviously agitated then there is no problem. You have to choose your battles and IMO in the example you gave it doesn't really matter. Giving up control was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn about placing my mom in the NH, but my life was ultimately better when I accepted that my ability to micromanage her care there was zero.
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ZippyZee Apr 10, 2021
This was my first thought as well. If Mom is waking up for awhile, then going back to sleep without getting out of bed, the aides will likely think she's slept all night.
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Get a ring camera
once we put that in we were able to support parents and aides better.
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TouchMatters Apr 13, 2021
What's a ring camera? On the elder's finger?
How does that work if in a shower or getting hands dirty - and cleaned by aides?
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Your best bet is to try to go in when the aide is there. If you can’t put a security camera in the room. By the way make sure you put the camera in when nobody knows. Not even your mom. I wish I could have done it when my mom was in the nursing home. She said the more I complained about things the worse it was on her
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Riverdale Apr 13, 2021
We are in the south and I feel a camera won't go over well. If I was hearing about alot of troublesome issues I would consider this more seriously. I can't put a camera in the resident room next door to understand the TV issue. Today my mother said it has been quiet the past few nights so I am presently relieved about that. I will never let this issue go without complaining because it is terrible for someone to have to try to sleep next door to a loud TV all night. The resident there has no idea of what is going on. I wonder if an aide puts it on to go in and watch it. Today my mother said she didn't want to get out of bed so that is not ideal but I plan to visit Thursday so will be updated then. I appreciate all the replies and the different perspectives.

This is a not for profit facility. As I have mentioned they have a benevolence plan. If my mother who is 90 now makes it to around 95 I will hope they will make that available for her. She will have been private pay since 2017 taking into account the years in the AL section. She had a LTC policy but that has run out. She was in a AL facility in NY for 3 years before we moved to SC. The cost there was much higher. I just hope for better days even though they are far from perfect given her condition.
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Riverdale, I completely understand your frustration and can only imagine how much more complicated COVID is making your job of supporting your mom!!

I so totally understand your frustration; because of the distance I had to travel to get to mom, I could only go on Sunday and spent an hour with her. SW or administrator were never there on Sunday, so I was able to get everone's email address and would send my "concerns" to the DON and SW on Monday mornings.

Can I tell you how exhausted I was at the end of 4 1/2 years? 4 years later, I still startle when the phone rings.

Care meetings should be scheduled every 90 days, I believe, and ask for one if they are not forthcoming.

I would take my brother with me to care meetings, as he is large, quiet and calm. I would raise my voice, threaten ombudsman and joint commission--sort of good cop/bad cop. But only to the senior staff. And because mom was private pay and the facility had a low census, they seemed eager to keep mom.

I brought cookies and cake every week, paid for by mom and with a note that said "From Mrs. A in room 108A".

((((((Hugs)))))))
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