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I have a question...rather long...about helping an elderly person.


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My ds works as a caregiver in an assisted living facility. It's a nice place, run as a ministry, and the people working there really do care (including my ds).

 

There is one resident there that is in very sad shape. She cries to go home, but yet, this is now the only home she has. Because she's grown very attached to my ds, she cries for him and says the only two words she can..."hhhome" or "ppplease". :crying: I think that one of the problems is that she has no *stuff*. All she has in her room is her hospital bed (with institutional linens) and one coloring page such as a restaurant might have to keep kids busy. Her doctor gave her the coloring page on a visit, and that's the only item she owns other than her clothes. That wouldn't seem like any sort of home to me, either. :001_huh:

 

The other residents have pictures of family, special bedding from home, bright pictures hanging on their walls, etc. This woman has nothing, and her family has only been to see her once. For the most part she sits, silently weeping, holding her hand out to my ds whenever she catches sight of him. It's breaking my heart just hearing my ds talk about it.

 

The admins have let my ds know that no matter how much she begs, he needs to gently encourage her to let other caregivers help her. It's tough. My ds is a sweet young man, and is exactly who you'd like to have caring for an elderly relative, but he understands his job, and is no longer doing routine hands-on care for this particular resident, though he still stops for a moment as he passes, gives her a smile, and asks her how she is.

 

At the same time, he's feeling really torn up about her situation, and it's hard for him to ignore her cries.

 

I'm going to anonymously send a care package to this resident. If it has her name on it, they will give it to her, and they never need to know that I (or by extension, my ds) had anything to do with it.

 

I'd like to buy her some pretty bedding, maybe a bedside lamp, and a couple of...maybe posters (?) to hang on her walls. If I can find some of the pretty ones that have different varieties of wildflowers, or birds, or colorful botanical prints, etc. I know it won't fix her situation, but if, even in some small part, it makes her feel better than a dismally bare room with only a hospital bed, it will be worth it.

 

Will regular twin-size bedding fit a hospital bed? Do sheets need to have deep pockets, etc?

 

What else should I send to cheer up her room/surroundings? :bigear:

Edited by Julie in CA
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Yes, regular twin sheets fits those beds.

 

I might get a few calendars for her to hang on the wall. One with different flowers each month, one with kittens, dogs or other cute animals and then one with cute baby photos.

 

This way there is a variety of cheerful pix to look at *and* the pix will change each month for variety.

 

I like the idea of a pretty bedside lamp.

 

Also, I might talk to my church about this lady. She really needs a church family to "adopt" her.

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From someone that's worked in that setting, my heart goes out to your ds.

 

That being said, I do caution you. You'd be amazed how an act of kindness can be construed as 'crossing a line' and put his job in jeapordy. I'm not kidding you...ppl can take being nice as 'trying to weasel something out of the patient' via a will, or whatever.

 

Plus, there's usually extra charges for doing personal laundry as well. So, I wouldn't encourage bed sheets, etc, b/c the facility will charge the patient to wash them, they may never come back from the laundry, etc.

 

I'd stick to a plant, be it real or silk, a poster or pic. Nothing that will need cleaning.

 

W/out knowing her medical condition, it's hard to suggest something else. A radio, for example. Or books/magazines. Problem w/these items (incl the suggested lamp) is that they're easily knocked over, broken, or go missing via other residents/staff.

 

That's been my experience, anyways. Esp if her family isn't a regular part of the routine. Never ceases to amaze me how if family is a reg presence, those resident's things seem immune to being broken or going MIA. :glare:

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:iagree: You really do have to be careful. IT is very sad to see patients being left behind by their families.

It's one of our concerns w/MIL. She flat refuses to move unless it's in w/us, which simply isn't possible.

 

So, she's determined to stay in her province, until we give in. 2 of her brothers, who both live in the same very, very small town, arranged for her to have a tour of the assisted living and nursing home while she was visiting. She refuses to even consider it, b/c 'there are no sidewalks'. Seriously.

 

Reality is, she'll end up having to go into care, since even she's admitting she's having memory issues now. And when that happens, she won't be permitted to transfer to another province.

 

She'll be stuck in her province, while we live in another...which means the chances of us seeing her, even annually, is slim at best.

 

Yes, we've explained this. Over and over and over again. She won't change her mind...and she's going to end up one of the 'abandoned' residents, b/c of her own willful pride. :(

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Thanks! Good ideas so far. I hadn't thought about calendars, but that would be a great thing to send.

 

-and Imp, I totally get it about things going missing, broken, and I can say with a certainty that those things do not happen here (as in, at this particular home). Nor will there be any extra charge for washing her personal linens, etc. It is truly an amazing place. I wish they all could be like this one.

Edited by Julie in CA
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It's one of our concerns w/MIL. She flat refuses to move unless it's in w/us, which simply isn't possible.

 

So, she's determined to stay in her province, until we give in. 2 of her brothers, who both live in the same very, very small town, arranged for her to have a tour of the assisted living and nursing home while she was visiting. She refuses to even consider it, b/c 'there are no sidewalks'. Seriously.

 

Reality is, she'll end up having to go into care, since even she's admitting she's having memory issues now. And when that happens, she won't be permitted to transfer to another province.

 

She'll be stuck in her province, while we live in another...which means the chances of us seeing her, even annually, is slim at best.

 

Yes, we've explained this. Over and over and over again. She won't change her mind...and she's going to end up one of the 'abandoned' residents, b/c of her own willful pride. :(

 

 

You do make a good point about far away family. The stories are not always so easily pigeon-holed into a certain narrative. The thing is I've had a couple of patients who have far away family too and they still manage to have photographs and rooms with personal items. And I have patients with local families and their rooms just as the OP described.

 

I'm sorry your MIL is being so stubborn.

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Can she have posters? You can usually get some prints (something generic but pretty like a nature scene, perhaps?) pretty cheaply at craft stores or TJMaxx. Something to look at other than hospital walls would brighten the room, I think. Can you get the word out to a group of friends/charity group/etc and have everyone donate one item? That might help take it one step farther from your son, for his protection. I'm in a local mom's group and we do a service project twice a year - this sort of thing would be perfect for that, and then it doesn't need to come from you.

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Julie in CA: My ds works as a caregiver in an assisted living facility. It's a nice place, run as a ministry, and the people working there really do care (including my ds).

 

There is one resident there that is in very sad shape. She cries to go home, but yet, this is now the only home she has. Because she's grown very attached to my ds, she cries for him and says the only two words she can..."hhhome" or "ppplease". :crying:

 

The other residents have pictures of family, special bedding from home, bright pictures hanging on their walls, etc. This woman has nothing, and her family has only been to see her once. For the most part she sits, silently weeping, holding her hand out to my ds whenever she catches sight of him. It's breaking my heart just hearing my ds talk about it.

 

This makes me cry. What the heck is wrong with the family that they can't bring her ANY stuff, or try to make her final days bearable....not to mention take her in, if she isn't all hooked up to tubes or something medical.

 

(If someone posts that she was a bad Mom, had one of the strings-of-letters labels and this is her payback, I'm gonna go off)

 

This is what we are judged on, right here, as individuals and as a nation.

 

God bless your son.

 

The admins have let my ds know that no matter how much she begs, he needs to gently encourage her to let other caregivers help her. It's tough. My ds is a sweet young man, and is exactly who you'd like to have caring for an elderly relative, but he understands his job, and is no longer doing routine hands-on care for this particular resident, though he still stops for a moment as he passes, gives her a smile, and asks her how she is.

 

Does he get to help her too, and is just to encourage others as well, or has he been moved away from her? I hope they let him be with her sometimes. She may remind him of a grandson or son or something.

At the same time, he's feeling really torn up about her situation, and it's hard for him to ignore her cries.

 

I'm going to anonymously send a care package to this resident. If it has her name on it, they will give it to her, and they never need to know that I (or by extension, my ds) had anything to do with it.

 

Good for you!

 

I will never forget one of the women I visited while my daughter was performing at a nursing home. She was 46 freaking years old, and had two young adult sons! She was unable to walk and in a wheelchair, but perfectly fine mentally. WHY THE H### was she in a nursing home???

 

I'd like to buy her some pretty bedding, maybe a bedside lamp, and a couple of...maybe posters (?) to hang on her walls. If I can find some of the pretty ones that have different varieties of wildflowers, or birds, or colorful botanical prints, etc. I know it won't fix her situation, but if, even in some small part, it makes her feel better than a dismally bare room with only a hospital bed, it will be worth it.

 

I think you are awesome. I wish I'd thought of doing something like this, the times I have visited people. Something beyond flowers.

 

 

What else should I send to cheer up her room/surroundings? :bigear:

 

Maybe a soft blanket or throw? A music box?

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Thanks! Good ideas so far. I hadn't thought about calendars, but that would be a great things to send.

 

-and Imp, I totally get it about things going missing, broken, and I can say with a certainty that those things do not happen here (as in, at this particular home). Nor will there be any extra charge for washing her personal linens, etc. It is truly an amazing place. I wish they all could be like this one.

Awesome! :D

You do make a good point about far away family. The stories are not always so easily pigeon-holed into a certain narrative. The thing is I've had a couple of patients who have far away family too and they still manage to have photographs and rooms with personal items. And I have patients with local families and their rooms just as the OP described.

 

I'm sorry your MIL is being so stubborn.

I've had patients like that too. I try to remember that there's a whole lifetime of events that I know nothing about, and not judge the families harshly, but did what I could to make life even just a bit more pleasant for the resident.

Can she have posters? You can usually get some prints (something generic but pretty like a nature scene, perhaps?) pretty cheaply at craft stores or TJMaxx. Something to look at other than hospital walls would brighten the room, I think. Can you get the word out to a group of friends/charity group/etc and have everyone donate one item? That might help take it one step farther from your son, for his protection. I'm in a local mom's group and we do a service project twice a year - this sort of thing would be perfect for that, and then it doesn't need to come from you.

:iagree:

Label the items with her name, in permanent ink, BEFORE you send them. Even the sheets. Write the name right on them.

:iagree:

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This makes me cry. What the heck is wrong with the family that they can't bring her ANY stuff, or try to make her final days bearable....not to mention take her in, if she isn't all hooked up to tubes or something medical.

 

(If someone posts that she was a bad Mom, had one of the strings-of-letters labels and this is her payback, I'm gonna go off)

 

This is what we are judged on, right here, as individuals and as a nation.

 

God bless your son.

 

 

 

Does he get to help her too, and is just to encourage others as well, or has he been moved away from her? I hope they let him be with her sometimes. She may remind him of a grandson or son or something.

At the same time, he's feeling really torn up about her situation, and it's hard for him to ignore her cries.

 

 

 

Good for you!

 

I will never forget one of the women I visited while my daughter was performing at a nursing home. She was 46 freaking years old, and had two young adult sons! She was unable to walk and in a wheelchair, but perfectly fine mentally. WHY THE H### was she in a nursing home???

 

 

 

I think you are awesome. I wish I'd thought of doing something like this, the times I have visited people. Something beyond flowers.

 

 

 

 

Maybe a soft blanket or throw? A music box?

Well...

 

Not everyone is capable of providing care for another individual. In our situation, my disability alone means that even if my MIL was the sweetest woman that ever lived, there's no way I could bring her to live w/us.

 

Ambulatory issues are huge. There are very, very few homes that are set up to be wheelchair accessible, and retrofitting a house is extremely expensive. Few families can afford that.

 

Plus, w/ambulatory issues, you also have personal care issues, and also issues in terms of safety and mobility. Her sons may well not have been able to ensure her safety and personal care.

 

Sometimes, regardless of how well loved someone is, the practicality, medical, safety needs of someone simply cannot be accomplished by family members.

 

You're making negative assumptions about family members. You simply don't know. They could be living overseas, they could be dead, they could be incapacitated in some way themselves.

 

You really never know.

 

I mentioned that my MIL is setting herself up for this exact situation, and there's not a thing we've said that will change her mind. I loathe the idea of her being like this, but she won't consider moving unless it's in w/us, and I cannot physically meet her growing needs.

 

You just never know the back story.

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Impish: Ambulatory issues are huge. There are very, very few homes that are set up to be wheelchair accessible, and retrofitting a house is extremely expensive. Few families can afford that.

 

 

This isn't always necessary. Not all elderly people are unable to move. In fact, not most.

 

 

Plus, w/ambulatory issues, you also have personal care issues, and also issues in terms of safety and mobility. Her sons may well not have been able to ensure her safety and personal care.

 

Sure, if she starts fires or something. But often, family just makes excuses (if there is family, and you are right...we don't know. They could all be dead. All the more reason to let her have the attachment to the son of the OP, if that makes her happy).

 

Sometimes, regardless of how well loved someone is, the practicality, medical, safety needs of someone simply cannot be accomplished by family members.

 

Sometimes, that's true. Often, they just don't want to bother. They know who they are. I've met a lot of them. Mom (or Dad) was "inconvenient."

 

You're making negative assumptions about family members. You simply don't know. They could be living overseas, they could be dead, they could be incapacitated in some way themselves.

 

You are right. We don't know. They could be dead. But if they are able to take care of her and don't, God help them.

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Well...

 

Not everyone is capable of providing care for another individual. In our situation, my disability alone means that even if my MIL was the sweetest woman that ever lived, there's no way I could bring her to live w/us.

 

Ambulatory issues are huge. There are very, very few homes that are set up to be wheelchair accessible, and retrofitting a house is extremely expensive. Few families can afford that.

 

Plus, w/ambulatory issues, you also have personal care issues, and also issues in terms of safety and mobility. Her sons may well not have been able to ensure her safety and personal care.

 

Sometimes, regardless of how well loved someone is, the practicality, medical, safety needs of someone simply cannot be accomplished by family members.

 

You're making negative assumptions about family members. You simply don't know. They could be living overseas, they could be dead, they could be incapacitated in some way themselves.

 

You really never know.

 

I mentioned that my MIL is setting herself up for this exact situation, and there's not a thing we've said that will change her mind. I loathe the idea of her being like this, but she won't consider moving unless it's in w/us, and I cannot physically meet her growing needs.

 

You just never know the back story.

 

This woman may not even have children, either. And the 46 yr old may have become a resident against her sons' wishes. You never know the backstory is completely right.

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This makes me cry. What the heck is wrong with the family that they can't bring her ANY stuff, or try to make her final days bearable....not to mention take her in, if she isn't all hooked up to tubes or something medical.

 

(If someone posts that she was a bad Mom, had one of the strings-of-letters labels and this is her payback, I'm gonna go off)

 

This is what we are judged on, right here, as individuals and as a nation.

 

God bless your son.

 

 

 

Does he get to help her too, and is just to encourage others as well, or has he been moved away from her? I hope they let him be with her sometimes. She may remind him of a grandson or son or something.

At the same time, he's feeling really torn up about her situation, and it's hard for him to ignore her cries.

 

 

 

Good for you!

 

I will never forget one of the women I visited while my daughter was performing at a nursing home. She was 46 freaking years old, and had two young adult sons! She was unable to walk and in a wheelchair, but perfectly fine mentally. WHY THE H### was she in a nursing home???

 

 

 

I think you are awesome. I wish I'd thought of doing something like this, the times I have visited people. Something beyond flowers.

 

 

 

 

Maybe a soft blanket or throw? A music box?

 

You really don't know much about the situations that you judge so harshly, and your judgments are unfair.

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You really don't know much about the situations that you judge so harshly, and your judgments are unfair.

 

No, I only know what I have seen repeatedly, having visited many elderly. You are right. But then I only said, IF...THEN. If the shoe doesn't fit, then it can be ignored. No judgment of unknown situations, as I clearly pointed out. Just experience talking.

 

I've already been a caregiver, and I've done ministry at nursing homes a lot. I am pretty sure I will be working with the elderly, I believe, after my homeschooling duties are over.

Edited by TranquilMind
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This isn't always necessary. Not all elderly people are unable to move. In fact, not most.

The example you gave was of a woman in her 40s, in a wheelchair. That's specifically what I was referring to.

Sure, if she starts fires or something. But often, family just makes excuses (if there is family, and you are right...we don't know. They could all be dead. All the more reason to let her have the attachment to the son of the OP, if that makes her happy).

I've worked in LTC. They discourage that kind of attachment, b/c it actually makes it *harder* on the resident. No staff works 24/7, nor should they. Residents that get overwhelmingly attached to one particular staff can and do refuse to allow any other staff help them, and then what? They don't get fed, bathed, dressed, tolieted unless the one they want is on shift? That's not ok.

 

Sometimes, that's true. Often, they just don't want to bother. They know who they are. I've met a lot of them. Mom (or Dad) was "inconvenient."

Yes, that happens too. There are ppl that are selfish and self centred and narcisstic. But to assume *all* families are like that is grossly unfair.

You are right. We don't know. They could be dead. But if they are able to take care of her and don't, God help them.

I think the def'n of 'able' is very subjective. I've worked in home health care as well, and it's an incredibly stressful situation. Physically, emotionally, financially. Reality of it is, there's very, very little help given to those who are caring for a relative.

This woman may not even have children, either. And the 46 yr old may have become a resident against her sons' wishes. You never know the backstory is completely right.

:iagree:

You really don't know much about the situations that you judge so harshly, and your judgments are unfair.

:iagree:

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Do you crochet? My Granny makes small afgans for the "old people" that are the perfect lap blanket size. They love them.

 

(Old people is in quotes because those are her words. We giggle about that because she is 93 herself.)

 

:D My Mom always said that "old" was 10 years beyond wherever you were at the time. She never thought she was old, so she wasn't (not inside). She did say when she went by a mirror, she would wonder "Who is that old woman?" and then realize it was her, even though she still felt 35 inside.

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I was in that position when I was 16. There was a wild, MEAN lady who never cooperated with anyone but me. I used to bring her food from outside and even bring her food on my days off. She really only ate for me.

 

It is a heartbreaking situation for your son.

 

Imp, I understand what you're saying but in my case, this frail woman was already not eating before I ever started to work there. Since I lived so close by, I also brought her food on my days off.

 

I love the idea of the calendar with a nice picture near it. Perhaps a pretty, decorative pillow and a tissue holder? I would hesitate with a lamp because that could fall and break. What ever you choose to do, make sure it is all safe and unbreakable.

 

A lot of the elderly love crocheted decorations, cutesie decorations and dolls.

 

What a heartbreaking situation.

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I just want to add that when I worked in the nursing home in my teens, I was ALWAYS placed with Roxanne because she did so well with me. I wish this woman would be given the same consideration. I know what you are saying, Imp, but I still think she should get to be with Julie's son more. Is she really doing more for him and less without him? I have never seen that. I worked in a nursing home and did home care, too. I als still visit nursing homes with dd and you can see the favorites among the staff AND the residents. IMO the facility is doing the wrong thing here.

 

Even my mom had her favorites, and I was so glad they were often placed with her, a very young woman in a very sick, old beyond her years body.

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I just want to add that when I worked in the nursing home in my teens, I was ALWAYS placed with Roxanne because she did so well with me. I wish this woman would be given the same consideration. I know what you are saying, Imp, but I still think she should get to be with Julie's son more. Is she really doing more for him and less without him? I have never seen that. I worked in a nursing home and did home care, too. I als still visit nursing homes with dd and you can see the favorites among the staff AND the residents. IMO the facility is doing the wrong thing here.

 

Even my mom had her favorites, and I was so glad they were often placed with her, a very young woman in a very sick, old beyond her years body.

Actually, yeah, I have seen it. I've seen residents point blank refuse to cooperate if their fave wasn't on shift. And get very jealous and angry if 'their' caregiver was w/another resident. Or refuse to allow anyone else to help them if 'their' caregiver was busy/on break.

 

So that's what I was basing my comments on. I'm not saying it's the same everywhere, but that yes, it can indeed cause problems.

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You really don't know much about the situations that you judge so harshly, and your judgments are unfair.

 

:iagree:

 

TM, does it make you feel better to judge people you literally don't even know? It is wise to reserve judgment until you know the details and wiser still to refrain from harshness even when you do. Not all elderly people have relatives. Not all family members who don't stay involved are doing so out of laziness or selfishness.

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Sure, if she starts fires or something. But often, family just makes excuses

 

You are right. We don't know. They could be dead. But if they are able to take care of her and don't, God help them.

 

It's not about just starting fires like a juvie. Do you have much experience with Alzheimer's patients? Dh's grandma was a sweet old lady with mild Alheimer's. One of her sons had her living in the bottom level while he and his very sweet and generous wife and son lived in the top. She was not herself but still gentle when we visited. Then she began to decline rapidly. She started to forget all the things she'd reminisced with us about. She forgot a LOT of things. She forgot who her daughter-in-law was despite the fact DIL was a primary caregiver daily. She became angry and aggressive. Finally, she physically assaulted her DIL to the point where grandma was being physically restrained by her own son while the police were called. She had to move to a home after that. Her on was eaten up about that but it wasn't safe for her to live there anymore. And hubby is not good with that sort of stress (plus we worked opposite shifts full-time an hour away from there) so he didn't really visit once she stopped recognizing people and became aggressive. It's a horrible situation but it's understandable.

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I go visit my mom quite often in a facility and we oftentimes take gifts to various residents. I've found that many of them like items that they can hold in their hands. Last year we bought small (hand holding size) ceramic jack-o-lanterns and put small flameless candles in them. They were a big hit. Some residents enjoy small stuffed animals, or a small lap blanket, or shawl. I would also avoid taking special bedding or anything such as that other than a special pillow or blanket. Do you know what her mental state is? Is she functional at all? Would she like to color more? Would she like a jigsaw puzzle or crossword puzzle? What about an artificial wreath or something she can hang on her door. That is something that is allowed where my mom is. It can help her identify and find her room.

It is hard not to get attached to many of the residents. So many of them, for whatever reason, never have family or friends visit and you can't help but feel badly for them.

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I will never forget one of the women I visited while my daughter was performing at a nursing home. She was 46 freaking years old, and had two young adult sons! She was unable to walk and in a wheelchair, but perfectly fine mentally. WHY THE H### was she in a nursing home?

 

Well, perhaps she didn't want to live with her sons?

 

Also consider the financial implications. Some states have either minimal home care or really shoddy home care available. But will pay for nursing care. My mother was in her own apartment and then with us after a final surgery and then at the end? A hospice made more sense than home, period. We were there all the time but had we kept her home, we would have been so stressed dealing with the spotty and at times unprofessional home health options that we would have missed out on real time with her. By having her in an end of life facility, we knew she had the best and most caring professionals on hand and we could spend our time being with her and not dosing her meds or trying to transfer her in and out of my too small bathroom. My mom was ok with us tranferin her when one of us could take her and she still had the mobility for us to close the door and give her privacy. Once that mobility was gone, she vastly preferred a professional who was not her daughter or son in law. It was a matter of her dignity and she was really pleased with the hospice. Also, they had patios and elevators. She could go outside. At my house, getting in and out meant 2 flights of stairs each way. Stairs she could have easily been injured on.

 

I urge you to think things all the way through before passing such harsh and frankly cruel judgments. Isn't cruelty what you are lambasting unknown relatives for?

Edited by kijipt
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Well, perhaps she didn't want to live with her sons?

 

Also consider the financial implications. Some states have either minimal home care or really shoddy home care available. But will pay for nursing care. My mother was in her own apartment and then with us after a final surgery and then at the end? A hospice made more sense than home, period. We were there all the time but had we kept her home, we would have been so stressed dealing with the spotty and at times unprofessional home health options that we would have missed out on real time with her. By having her in an end of life facility, we knew she had the best and most caring professionals on hand and we could spend our time being with her and not dosing her meds or trying to transfer her in and out of my too small bathroom. My mom was ok with us tranferin her when one of us could take her and she still had the mobility for us to close the door and give her privacy. Once that mobility was gone, she vastly preferred a professional who was not her daughter or son in law. It was a matter of her dignity and she was really pleased with the hospice. Also, they had patios and elevators. She could go outside. At my house, getting in and out meant 2 flights of stairs each way. Stairs she could have easily been injured on.

 

I urge you to think things all the way through before passing such harsh and frankly cruel judgments. Isn't cruelty what you are lambasting unknown relatives for?

there are so, so many variables when it comes to family, providing care of a disabled/elderly relative that sweeping judgements really are unfair to everyone.

 

If I *wasn't* disabled, and MIL was the sweetest person ever, we *still* wouldn't be able to have her in our home. We literally have no room for another person, period. Then, consider what it would do to a woman in her mid 80s to suddenly have children underfoot 24/7. MIL has admitted that she's exhausted spending a cpl of hrs w/our kids. How could she possibly *live* w/that? And it wouldn't be fair to children to not allow them to play, laugh, live anything beyond a whisper of sound.

It IS stressful for families. As an outsider, one that came in to relieve them for a few hrs, I saw how the weight of caring for an elderly parent was tearing the family apart. They were entitled to 8 hrs of homecare a wk, covered. That's really nothing, in the reality of 24/7 care that was needed. I was usually there o/n, so that there was ONE night a wk that they could actually get a full night's sleep. The marriage was falling apart, due to one or the other constantly having to tend to needs, never time alone, the teen kids were resentful b/c their needs weren't able to be acknowledged, everything in the house revolved around what Gma needed.

 

It's a tough, tough, tough way to live. It just is. Esp when there isn't any outside support, or precious little. Caregivers burn out, rapidly. Heck, I deliberately left health care for a few yrs b/c I was on that burnout edge. I was constantly in demand, which is wonderful, but honestly, there's only so much palliative care one person can handle for days, wks, months on end. At the time, I was focusing mainly on home care, which was isolating to me, having no other staff around, but I felt I was doing something valuable.

 

My time in a facility was challening on a completely different level...time constraints, mainly, that made spending any time w/residents incredibly difficult, b/c there was a long line of ppl waiting, and an extra 5 mins here and there meant I was behind, and in serious danger of losing my job.

 

That's my experience as staff. Dealing w/it 24/7, no breaks...I couldn't handle that, even before I had RSD.

 

There's so much involved, so much that you can't possibly know about, from being on the outside looking in...don't judge the families.

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:iagree:

 

TM, does it make you feel better to judge people you literally don't even know? It is wise to reserve judgment until you know the details and wiser still to refrain from harshness even when you do. Not all elderly people have relatives. Not all family members who don't stay involved are doing so out of laziness or selfishness.

 

Um, I said all of this conditionally, as you state. Is it wrong to say that it IS wrong to dump off Mom and Dad at the nursing home if you CAN take care of them. Then, wrong I am, according to you.

 

If you truly can't, then it doesn't apply to you. And as I very clearly stated, more than once, we don't know if this particular woman has children to take care of her, but if she does and they won't, shame on them. And it will come right back on their heads when their children think the normal sequence of events it to put Mom in the home when she becomes inconvenient.

 

If you think it never happens, and everyone has "very legitimate" unselfish reasons for doing this, you are mistaken.

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Impish : The marriage was falling apart, due to one or the other constantly having to tend to needs, never time alone, the teen kids were resentful b/c their needs weren't able to be acknowledged, everything in the house revolved around what Gma needed.

 

 

 

Wow. My marriage didn't fall apart. My kids learned important lessons when we took in my Mom. It wasn't always easy, but I'm sure not sorry.

 

One of the part time caregivers later told me that she said, "If it weren't for (my name), I'd be dead or in a nursing home right now. I'm so grateful for her." That made everything worthwhile.

 

 

It's a tough, tough, tough way to live. It just is. Esp when there isn't any outside support, or precious little. Caregivers burn out, rapidly.

 

Well, then you man up and do what you can.

 

 

Heck, I deliberately left health care for a few yrs b/c I was on that burnout edge. I was constantly in demand, which is wonderful, but honestly, there's only so much palliative care one person can handle for days, wks, months on end.

My niece has been a hospice care LPN for years and years. I guess she can handle a lot. Thank God for her.

 

 

 

 

Why are all your posts entirely bolded? It makes it very difficult to quote you, as you have to keep going back and unbolding everything.

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I'm going to anonymously send a care package to this resident. If it has her name on it, they will give it to her, and they never need to know that I (or by extension, my ds) had anything to do with it.

 

Yes, I would be sure to send it anonymously, because it could jeopardize your son's job, if administration felt he had breached client confidentiality by talking about this client with his family.

 

I'd like to buy her some pretty bedding,

 

Be sure to label all items with her name. Even if no one would steal in this place, each item should be individually labeled with her name.

 

maybe a bedside lamp, and a couple of...maybe posters (?) to hang on her walls. If I can find some of the pretty ones that have different varieties of wildflowers, or birds, or colorful botanical prints, etc.

 

Dollar General has decent wall calendars for $1.00 -- birds, flowers, psalms, puppies, kittens. They are bright and cheery. You could cut up a few to put in simple, inexpensive frames. Wall art. Be sure to label.

 

Does she enjoy coloring? You might also consider getting her a coloring book and some crayons. Be sure to label.

 

What else should I send to cheer up her room/surroundings? :bigear:

 

I would be certain that she feels warm enough on all her parts. By this I mean, does she feel that her hands are warm enough, feet are warm enough, shoulders are warm enough, etc.? You'd be surprised how many older people have a hard time keeping something warm, and they sit and suffer without a way to get that part "warm enough" for them. So, if she needs slippers or socks, get those. If a lap robe, it's easy enough to find or make one of those. If her shoulders/neck are cold (to her), a warm sweater or scarf might help.

 

Something fuzzy/soft to "pet" might help her emotionally, too. A small toy (stuffed) puppy or kitten? Be sure to label.

 

Perfume.

 

Body powder.

 

Hand lotion.

 

Emery boards.

 

A pretty zippered bag for toiletries.

 

A silk fern.

 

A radio/CD player.

 

Music CDs.

 

Stationery, address book, stamps, pens, stickers.

 

Magazine subscription to Birds and Blooms.

 

Find out if the facility organizes hair cutting/salon services, either in-house or via trips. Get a gift certificate for a hair cut, if possible.

 

Hope these ideas help.

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I don't know what the policy is about giving things to patients, but maybe you could organize it so that the *other* caretakers can give her some of the items you'd like to send? A nice lap blanket or pillow, simple puzzle books or magazines (not sure what she can do), and things like that. I'm assuming that dementia is part of the issue?

 

Oh, could your ds take a picture of himself and the patient and have it framed? Maybe that's weird...but the other caretakers could point to it or she could hold it while they're there if it comforts her. (Only if ds is OK with it, of course! LOL)

Edited by 6packofun
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I am also thinking of some fall decorations and when Christmas comes and she is of Christian faith (not Jewish, etc), one of those small Christmas trees that can sit on a table. Did you say she is very sharp mentally? Does she read?

I really think, psychological care should be provided.

Who knows what she left behind when she had to go. I once (many years ago) interned at a elderly care facility and they let people have pets in cages, like birds, hamsters, etc. Is this an option?

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This makes me cry. What the heck is wrong with the family that they can't bring her ANY stuff, or try to make her final days bearable....not to mention take her in, if she isn't all hooked up to tubes or something medical.

 

(If someone posts that she was a bad Mom, had one of the strings-of-letters labels and this is her payback, I'm gonna go off)

 

I know....I was thinking I couldn't even abandon my XMIL in this manner and she was toxic and viscious to me for 26 years.

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I work in a Geri Psych unit. I think want you want to do for that dear lady is very sweet. My heart aches for patients who never have visitors and those usually are the patients that tend to capture my heart.

 

Baby dolls are a hot commodity, especially amongst higher stage Dementia patients.

 

Lap blanket

Magazines

 

If she is incontinent, robes are somewhat impractical from a caregiver standpoint because of the high rate of needing to remove it.

 

Nightgowns are especially great if she IS incontinent.

 

Reusable chuck pads (liner for wheelchair sea for incontinence) are great because they are much more comfortable than paper chucks.

 

lotion and smelly good powder

 

a good hairbrush and hair ties if her hair is long enough to style

Nailpolish

warm slipper socks

a soft, good quality pillow

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When my great grandmother was in the nursing home, she cried for her cat. Her cat had died years before, but she was sure that her kitty was being neglected, and it stressed her. We brought her a stuffed kitty to love. There were no more tears, and as long as she had her kitty, she was content.

 

Other things that we did to make her more comfortable:

 

A floral quilt

Reading lamp

Audio Book CDs (mp3 players weren't around then)

Plant

Her bible (she couldn't read it any longer, but she liked holding it)

 

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Your DS is a lovely young man to care so much about this lady. :)

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I found a pretty calendar and two colorful yard banner thingies that have flowers & butterflies. I bought the Command hooks needed to hang them up.

 

This week I will be going to do my monthly shopping in the city, and I'll be able to find some bedding, I'm sure.

 

I have decided to ask a friend of mine (who already does some volunteer visits with the residents) to give the things to _______ and to help hang the things in her room and decorate with whatever I find that might be appealing and cheerful.

 

My ds rotates between building 1, which is easier, and building 2, which is the dementia building. He does need to be careful about giving one resident more attention than the others, because ds does seem to be everyone's favorite, and many of the ladies become a bit possessive about his time. One of them calls him "handsome Dan" (his name is really Tim :D), and he seems to strike a nerve/memory from everyone's past. Maybe he just has that kind of face? :tongue_smilie:

 

Just for fun, I'm attaching a picture of my ds and his sweetie. I'm so proud!

post-517-13535087617312_thumb.jpg

post-517-13535087617312_thumb.jpg

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Hi Julie,

I don't think I would send things anonymously. It just does not sit right with me.

How does your son feel about this idea? What would he like you to do for her, if anything?

 

Can you get registered as a volunteer at this home? Then you could perhaps do more for her and any other people who are in need, and bring things without it being crossing boundaries. You could learn more about her situation and what she is like and what she might need or be able to cope with.

 

Can you talk with the social worker or the people who administer the place? chaplain?

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This makes me cry. What the heck is wrong with the family that they can't bring her ANY stuff, or try to make her final days bearable....not to mention take her in, if she isn't all hooked up to tubes or something medical.

 

(If someone posts that she was a bad Mom, had one of the strings-of-letters labels and this is her payback, I'm gonna go off)

 

This is what we are judged on, right here, as individuals and as a nation.

 

God bless your son.

 

 

 

Does he get to help her too, and is just to encourage others as well, or has he been moved away from her? I hope they let him be with her sometimes. She may remind him of a grandson or son or something.

At the same time, he's feeling really torn up about her situation, and it's hard for him to ignore her cries.

 

 

 

Good for you!

 

I will never forget one of the women I visited while my daughter was performing at a nursing home. She was 46 freaking years old, and had two young adult sons! She was unable to walk and in a wheelchair, but perfectly fine mentally. WHY THE H### was she in a nursing home???

 

 

 

I think you are awesome. I wish I'd thought of doing something like this, the times I have visited people. Something beyond flowers.

 

 

 

 

Maybe a soft blanket or throw? A music box?

 

ETA: nevermind; I see that the thread went all kinds of directions between this initial post and the end of the thread. TM, it seems that you were reacting to one particular situation, not to all situations in general. I'm really glad that you did express understanding that sometimes things aren't what they might seem at first; thank you for that. Truly. As one who had a 46 yr old very beloved stepmom who had to be in a nursing home full time, even though on the outside she looked just like 'a 46 yr old woman in a wheelchair", I reacted strongly to your words at first and posted before I read through the whole thread.

 

I'll try to remember to read the whole thread before I post in the future, particularly when I'm coming in a day or two late. My apologies if you (or others) saw my initial, pre-editing post. And again, my thanks for how you expressed yourself later in the thread. I appreciate it.

Edited by TheReader
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