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I've just left the NH and it's like walking into a room with bullets flying at you, 9 visits out of 10 lately! Regular visitors to this forum will remember that my mother has moderate vascular dementia. She refuses all medications (even thyroid and blood pressure) going on about 3 months or longer now and is becoming meaner every day. I still have a daytime sitter with her transitioning to part-time, eventually going to no one but staff. The social worker and other staff have met with me and expressed concern over the sitters saying they can do more with her when the sitter is not there. Of course I'm a little suspicious but they did say that it's my choice and they'll work with me whether she has a sitter or not. They've said my mother is more agitated with them under her all day and they escalate her moods by arguing with her and engaging with her too much. I have heard them myself trying to defend themselves when she accuses them of awful things. She hates the sitters and says they are mean. Says I'm mean too. Also when I go the sitters are on their phones a lot, doing a lot of sleeping (of course they're bored I'm sure) and less getting her out of room etc. and it's costing an extra $40,000 a year to have them there and only in the daytime! They just don't seem to be able to do anything much with her anymore, not even good conversation. I have to make sure my mother's money doesn't run out because my husband and I cannot afford to pay for her care. When the sitters do take her out of the room she creates such a scene, yelling for the police, grabbing at people, tearing down pictures off the wall. Then one sitter in particular gives me all the details of what my mother says about me even though I've told her I don't want to hear it. (I'm sure she needs to vent too.) It's so stressful for me when I try to visit because she is telling she wants me to die before her, often praying this aloud for all to hear. This week she told me she's hoping I'll drop dead before her. I've been seeing a therapist and she's told me to limit my visits...twice a week for about 5 minutes but it's getting to the point I can't even visit her. Maybe once a month we have a decent visit when she's not yelling horrible things at me. I'm a little concerned about leaving my mother without someone right there with her but she seems to be doing about the same with the sitter only there some now. I really can't tell much difference because the staff is not complaining, they just reassure me they'll take care of her. I know it won't be the level of care she'd get in some places but it's the best I can do for her without moving her out of town and she's only 5 minutes from me. I can pop in anytime, but I'm wondering if I need to just stop going to her room at least for a while. I know her behavior is doing stuff to me that I'll probably reap later. I'm an only child and the only family to check on her. I'm so depressed about this situation and so ready for the journey to end for her because she is the most miserable human being I know. Thank you all for reading.

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Fire the sitters and save the money......theyre not doing anything ANYWAY, let's face it. Then stay away from the NH for at least two full weeks to get some well needed R&R. Then, try going back for a very short visit to see how it goes. If it's the same old story, visit from afar without her knowledge. Don't let her see you. Speak to the staff to see how she's doing and stay out of the line of fire. Visiting would be for YOUR sake, not hers, by the way.

Enough is enough. She's being taken care of and that's what counts. Subjecting yourself to such behavior serves no useful purpose for either one of you.

Best of luck
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Theras Jan 2020
You're so right! I guess I do visit for my sake! I feel guilty if I don't go and still feel sorry for my mother at times, even as mean as she is to me. Will really try to heed your advice and all the others. My therapist told me a lot of people wouldn't put up with what I have. Thanks so much.
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I have never understood sitters when there are aides and Nurses around. My Mom spent most of her day in the Common area because something was always going on. I requested her not to be left in her room unless she was sleeping.

The nurses have told u Mom is better without the aides. You say they don't do anything. So let them go. In my opinion, they serve no purpose.
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Theras Jan 2020
I've talked to staff about making sure she is getting in her wheelchair and out of the room. Sitters are on notice. Thanks!
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Give it a try without the sitters. Why not? Nothing here to lose. She is like a spoiled 2 year old at this point getting attention for bad behavior.
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IMO the sitters are nothing but a crutch, I would let them go and let her acclimate to her new home. Same with you, stop all the visits, she has a roof over her head, food and 24/7 care, let her be for awhile.

She is taking you to your knees, that needs to stop and only you can do this.

Sending support your way!
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Theras Jan 2020
"She is taking you to your knees" really made me stop and think. Thank you. Will try to be tougher.
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Thank you! I appreciate such a quick, helpful response! Yes, she does act like a spoiled 2 year old and my therapist actually told me bad behavior has consequences, even with dementia.
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Stop the sitters. They probably aren’t professionals trained to deal with your mother and their own emotional response to her. That’s the job of the facility staff. Your mother wants you to drop dead in front of her? Prays aloud for you to die before her? It’s hard to see that this level of anger is doing her any good, and it certainly isn’t good for you. You have already made sure that she is well cared for in the facility. Just stop the visits! And stop worrying about what’s ‘best’ - nothing is going to be better, let alone best.
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Theras Jan 2020
Right. The sitters are not trained for this so they sometimes make things worse. Trying to accept that it's all down hill from here. Thank you!
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I would absolutely let the sitters go, they aren’t serving a useful function and are draining resources. And the one telling you negative things your mother says is beyond offbase and unprofessional. I’m a believer in continuing to visit, the nursing home needs to know you’re watching and that your mom is a resident that is cared for. But there’s no reason to make those visits detrimental to your emotional and mental health. If you’re up to doing it, then go, making it as brief as needed to get “the job” done. If the situation is too much, use some of that sitter money to hire a caregiver to fill the same role, going in to check things out, making sure your mom continues to be well cared for. I wish you the best in such a hard time
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Theras Jan 2020
Thank you. I really like your idea about hiring a caregiver for my role and letting the sitters go.
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It is possible that the sitters are agitating your Mom's behavior and are not needed.

Why are you concerned about leaving your mother without someone right there with her? Has the nursing home been cited for deficiencies in caring for the residents? Have you heard of or seen other residents being abused or neglected? Why would you place your Mom in a nursing home that you don't trust?

Having a parent in a nursing home is similar to having a child in a daycare. You will always wonder how your parent (or child) is being taken care when you are not there. But isn't that the reason your parent is in the nursing home, so that other people can take care her.

Take a deep breath and relax. You are letting your Mom get to you emotionally and you need to step back and let the nursing staff do their job. {{{HUGS}}}
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Theras Jan 2020
Thanks, I'm realizing I do have to step back as my mother's behavior escalates. No deficiencies that I'm aware of, at least nothing major. I think most NH just have a negative reputation. I don't know one around here that isn't understaffed, serves the cheapest food they can get by with.....but it is the best one in the area and I have her here because she's close to me and I can pop in whenever I want.
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Has your mother ever been evaluated by a geriatric psychiatrist? I know you said she won't take any meds, but perhaps a brief psychiatric hospitalization can gets her stable enough to have some peace.

I would lose the sitters, who sound as though they are agitating her.
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Theras Jan 2020
Yes, a couple of years ago to a behavioral health hospital before she was admitted to the NH. They changed meds, put her through counseling etc and it helped for a while. Then the dementia got worse and she's refusing all meds now. She's been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist at the NH but if she won't take the meds he prescribes..... I'm telling you she's the most stubborn, strong willed and meanest person I know there and most days she's out of contol. She truly hates everybody there, says the most hateful things to the staff and wants all of them to die too. The staff tells me they deal with this sort of thing every day and they would only send her out somewhere else if she was trying to hurt herself or someone else. If she was mobile......! She;s even flipped the hospital style table that she eats on! I try to find some humor in it but some days I get really depressed, like this morning. Only God has any control over her now. Thanks for your input. I am easing sitters out, trying to make the transition as smooth as possible for my mother and giving them a little time to line up more work. I can tell they don't won't to lose this job. It is pretty easy money if you can take the verbal abuse. Thank you,
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You don't have to see her or let her see you when you check on her.

Talking to the staff to ensure that they know there are eyes on her care should be sufficient.

It is okay to not be her scratching post.

Let the sitters go, arguing with a demented patient, sleeping, playing on their phones! No! They are not serving the purpose they are hired for, so save the money and your nerves and fire them.
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Theras Jan 2020
Yes, definitely her "scratching post" and I agitate her too just by walking in the room. The second she sees my face she starts saying things like "You know what's going on", "You're in on this too", and then the hoping I'll die or drop dead before her starts. I've tried changing the subject, brushing her hair, bringing her a treat but most of the time she's relentless. She's soooooo angry about everything. I shouldn't be surprised because going into a NH was the last thing my mother wanted. I have gone a few times and just peeped in on her and talked to staff but will do more of that in the future. I know my mother will give me a lot more grief when the sitters are gone for good even though she hates them too most of the time but I'm preparing myself and will try and adjust accordingly. Thank you.
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