She Needs More Care

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She Needs More Care 

The day I was dreading has finally come. My mother has to move from Atria. The Patient Services Director asked me to come in and sign the papers from my mother’s three month review and talk about any changes in her care. It was then he suggested that we have a meeting with the facilities director. We met the next morning. They said it was time my mother moved to a place where she could receive more care.

“Your mother needs more care than we can give her. It isn’t just her dementia, it is her physical limitations. She often                   needs more than one person to help move her,” they said.

This I knew. She had to be helped out of bed and from her chair to the wheelchair. She also needed help dressing and changing her depends. The problem was, when she had to be moved she could not stand to help and was like dead weight, though she only weighed 95 pounds.

My mother liked Atria and I hated to see her have to adjust to a new room and different surroundings, but I knew it would happen at some point. Fortunately, Atria has another senior living community close by that offers memory care. If their rooms and surroundings were similar to where she was it would not be as big of an adjustment, and I liked the care she was receiving from Atria. The directors encouraged me to visit the facility and see if I liked it.

“They will be able to give her more help and get her more involved. They have activities that will stimulate her brain.”

“Stimulate her brain?” I said. “My mother is 96 years old and can’t remember anything for more than a minute. Don’t      you think it’s a little late for that?”

I drove over to Atria Hacienda and was met by the director of marketing who gave me a tour of the memory care unit of the facility. My fears were assuaged. The rooms were not any smaller than the one Mom currently lived in, in fact they appeared larger without a kitchen. The common areas, including the dining room, were nicely appointed. I liked what I saw. Jennifer, the marketing director, showed me the four rooms that were available and told me about a current promotion: if I signed up by the end of the month, which was three days from then, we could have one month free rent. I quickly agreed and we arranged to meet in two days to sign papers. In the meantime the nurse from AH would visit my mother and report back as to what she perceived.

The day before we were to meet, Jennifer called. “I’m sorry,” she said, “but since your mother often needs more than one person to assist her, we cannot accept her into the facility. It is company policy.”

I was confused. “ I thought one of the reasons for the move to AH was that you could give her more care, including assistance.”

I could tell Jennifer felt bad.

“I know, I wish we could help. I have someone that can assist you and help you find a place for your mom,, though” she said. And she proceeded to give me the number of an agency that helps locate placements for seniors.

I had been through this before. I had worked with Senior Living Options so knew the routine. I thanked her and hung up.

I needed time to digest this. What was supposed to be a perfect solution was turned on its head. Of course, I wasn’t given time.

The next morning I got a call. “This is Brad from Senior Placements. Jennifer says you need some help to find a place for your mother. I have contacted some in your area and . . .”

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4 responses »

  1. My mom had 5 moves the last year of her life. Hospital to rehab – to assisted living – to a nursing home and then moved to a different unit with in the nursing home. Each move made her more confused and disorientated. I hope you find a good place for your mom. I understand the frustration.

  2. This is a difficult time. Thinking of you. You may have already checked this out …There’s a fairly new Alzheimer’s facility in La Quinta on Caleo near Washington and 48th. When I drove by two days ago, there was a sign outside it which said “Daily Tours.”

  3. What you are going through is being repeated every minute of every day in every town/city in America. Is this the best we can do with our fragile, dependent elders? What a heartbreaking situation. I am very curious about your next post, Kathy.

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