Last Minute Worries

Pearl53April 17, 2005

I need to vent. This week may be the week I put Mother in the nursing home. We have an appointment in the morning. Then it may just be a day or two. The nursing home is expecting her.

Will they really take good care of her? My SIL said this afternoon that they may not check on her as aften as we do? Why would she say that? I have been worrying ever since.

I did a walk thru of the place this morning while my sister made her visit. (She hasn't been here since January.) The place looked ok but who knows how it will actually turn out for Mother. I plan to check on her often and at unexpected times but will that be enough?

My only other option as I see it is to quit work and get as much help as I can to take care of her at home. The major drawback to this is that I would lose my health insurance.

Right now I don't know what to do. I want Mother to be well taken care of AND to keep my job.

Thanks for listening. Gotta go. Mother is waking up from her nap.

Pearl

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lasershow

Pearl,

If I recall correctly, your SIL only stepped into the picture when you laid it out with your brother and said you needed some help. So I would not take too seriously anything she says.

I have only the experience of the nursing home my mother was in, but the staff was in and out of rooms regularly. The nursing assistants sat in the hallway when they weren't attending to patients; granted, they were jabbering away in their own tongues, but they were on the floor. And the nurses were in and out all the time, doing med distributions and so forth. So people were "checked on" all the time.

The only way you'll know if this is the right place for your mother is to see how things go. My advice is to make yourself known early on, and often. Go at unexpected times, as you mentioned. If you see something you don't like, speak up. As I mentioned on another thread (to Glitter53 and she just went through this experience), I started out by going up the food chain, not to make waves, but by the end I just went to the nursing supervisor if I didn't like something. And remember, if this nursing home isn't the right one for your mother, there are others. But you have to give it a fair chance first. When there were things that I didn't like and I thought about moving my mother, I always had to think: is this in her best interest? Or is it more for me? Unless there are out and out signs of abuse or neglect, of course, moving the patient is not something to be undertaken lightly.

Bear in mind that if you quit work and try to get as much help as possible to care for your mother at home, you will still have gaps when you will be the only caregiver. That puts you right back where you are now. Plus to be without health insurance -- and to be under the kind of stress and strain you would continue to be -- is not a wise move, IMHO.

You can review the Medicare ratings of the nursing home (and any others you wish) with this link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Medicare Nursing Home Ratings

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 7:27PM
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PeaBee4

Remember that there are patients there that may have been there for years. There is no reason that the staff would continue to take good care of them while they neglect your mother. They are on duty every minute for 24 hours a day. Your SIL may just be feeling guilty because she hasn't offered to help you more. Visit often, and if you see something that you have a question about. Ask about it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 8:31PM
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heydeborah

Hi Pearl! What a difficult time for you! although i do not have anyone in a nursing home, i remember the day that the doctor and social workers wanted to put Al into long term care, the hospital he was to go and live is just down the street from us, on a slow drive it would take 2 minutes! But there was no way in heck that i was going to let him live there! but there are some days i wish he was there! and that i could get along with my life (sad to say and see it written, but i do feel like that alot!) and it's a good thing that i like being at home and i do find it an inconvenience when i have to go out and do something! But i am the 24 hour 7 days a week caretaker, i don't get to go out to a movie on the spur of the moment, go for a walk if i feel like it or go out for supper with our kids, i have to work my time around giving meds, insulin 4 times a day, eating properly and following a diabetic menu, i dream of just having a sandwich for supper! i go to the grocery store and pick up 8 times or less, so i can go through the express line! - lol. my social time is then at the A&P when i chat to the cashier or at the pharmacy - they love me there because of the 7-8 hundred dollars we spend there a month. i have a mil who lives very,very close to us, do you think she's offered to come and sit with her son for even an hour so i can have some "me" time, i won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen. thank goodness we have 2 lovely, well adjusted children - when their new friends come over, they say to me i never had a clue that mr L was so ill, noone ever said anything, our kids are just happy their dad is still here and are o ashamed to go out in public with him. i know that my circumstances are ALOT different from yours but there are pros and cons for both -- nursing home or your house, plus living in a different country our rules and regulations are not the same as yours are. But i do know that whatever you decide - because of reading your other posts you are a very smart person, that you will make the best possible choice and do it with love. debbie

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 11:37PM
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Patti541

Pearl, I agree with Lasershow and PeaBee completely. I think the only thing you can do is give it a chance and see how it works. I think everyone has thoughts (and doubts) about how it will work out when their loved one is being taken care of by someone else. I think if you are lucky enough to have a job where you have health insurance, it would be a shame to have to give that up. I think the best insurance for your Mom is the fact that you will visit often and make sure she is taken care of properly.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 11:54PM
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jeanninetx

I agree, when I had to put my dad in a home, it was a quick decision, and I checked on him often. He was not happy, and I was going to move him, when they asked if they could put him in a different section. Alzheimers/Dementia, I hated that idea, but they said it may be worth a trial. I listened and learned, they were right. He liked it with the freedom in that section, over the other sections restrictions.
I am a 24/7 caregiver to a disabled son, wheelchair bound, I can leave him for a few hours, his dad and I go on errands leaving him alone, but again only for a few hours. Evenings, never do I leave him. I have told my husband, the son is my life, I cannot do anything without thinking
of him first, even over my husband. I also sometimes wish I could just go away for a few days, but that is not in my life.
Please give your mom a chance, visit often and whenever you can, and talk with the nurses, I did, in doing so I found his physical therapist could not get him to do any exercise. When I mentioned he was a amateur boxer in his youth, she used that idea and my dad "trained" for a match each session with her.
The nurses on duty in the Alzheimer/Dementia ward went out of their way for my dad, even to buying a non-alcholic beer for him once in a while.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 1:03AM
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Glitter53

Pearl, we just placed my darling Mom into a nursing home a little over a week ago. As others on this board can attest to, I went thru a very difficult time coming to that decision, and living with it in the early days. I'm not sure if you read my rantings on earlier threads, but if you can, I think you'll identify with the same feelings you have.

Pearl, it's been a week. And after my sobbing guilt, my worries about her care, I see my Mom thriving in her new environment! She's a social person, so she considers everyone there her "new best friend", and the nurses and care-workers are giving her excellent care! Like Lasershow suggested, I visited every day for a while, getting to know the staff by name (we were introduced to all the supervisors the first day), particularly her day and afternoon care-workers (she has the same ones every day), telling them about her, answering their questions about her and sitting thru lunches (to check out the food ;-), and generally watching them inter-act with other patients when they forgot I was there. Pearl, the vital environment she's in now is so wonderful for her! I almost wish I had made the decision sooner! She plays kick-ball, bingo, does puzzles, watches tv, goes to sing-alongs, saw cloggers perform a few days ago...these are not things I was not capable of giving her! Now my visits with her are so much more satisfying: we hug, I do her nails, put powder and lip-stick on her, pamper her, sit thru lunch with her...without being so tired of the mundane, daily tasks which frustrated us both before. I was a willing prisoner in my home, 24/7. She needed constant care, had to be watched for falls, burns (evidently, from her 'stove' experience...leaning on our stove playing with the dials!), and she was no longer capable of her personal care in the bathroom so couldn't even leave the house, as she could never allow my DH to assist her there. Understandibly, of coures, but it meant that I could not leave!

Yes, this is probably one of the most difficult decisons you'll ever have to make, but remember, it doesn't have to be a permanent one. Give her a month in a nursing home, then I hope you experience what I did, even after a week: it's the very best place for her, and your visits with her will be memorable, touching experiences! I can't wait to take her on more walks, perhaps out to lunch....she considers that her home, now....I wish you the same fortune we've had.

Blessings
Linda

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 9:04AM
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