WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH??

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Recently one of the therapists told me that Sis and I were visiting mom too much at the care center. “Dear, we are concerned that you are visiting and spending too many hours here and you should be giving yourself a break now and then.” I paused a minute to take in what she said. It might be true that we do spend many hours more than other people do there. It also is true that Mom does a whole lot better when we visit than when we stay away. She needs assistance eating right now, and despite the fact that we have talked and urged every person there to help her with meals.. NOTHING has been  done about it. I asked the head administrator to step in and make sure there were orders to help her. So far.. they are dragging their feet. STAY away and see if they follow through with the order if you are not there…DID NOT WORK.  We have a friend who has stopped in on Mom at meal time and she was alone and not eating at all.   IS this serious.. YES! Is it worth pulling her out of there.. NO not yet.  Decisions, Decisions.. when is enough really enough?

I value the opinions of my blog readers.. I sure will appreciate any thoughts you may have on this subject. whether you have experienced it or not.  Given Mom’s condition and how weak she has been, do we just sit ourselves down and MAKE ourselves NOT visit her? The therapist’s opinion was that 3 or 4 days a week was plenty and NEVER more than 2-3 hours maximum.  She would not miss us that much at all. I BEG TO DIFFER! She notices it!! I told the therapist that. She is “with it” enough to KNOW she hasn’t seen you in days. It would be easy to do if Mom were able to do more for herself right now, but she can’t. I DO have complete confidence in the staff there. I know they are taxed to the limits with running after so many patients. I have been there to see it for myself. I have asked them if THEY think we are spending too much time there. I think they held back in their answers though, because with us present…well.. it is less work for them naturally. I am not there to DO their jobs, just help mom some until she regains some strength, if she ever does regain it to the point it was before she got sick.

Mom has been through so much in the last several months. We asked her often if she really wants to continue with her treatments. She has made it all too clear she is not ready to just “give up”.  I think when that time comes she will know it. It’s true her mental state is pretty confused these days, sometimes she confuses day with night and other times she is pretty with it.  Time to make decisions.. but when to do it.. THAT IS THE  QUESTION.

I thank you all in advance for your opinions I value them highly..

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About CAROL

I was a caregiver for the elderly on and off for over 30 years.I am now retired and enjoying a new life. I love blogging and have kept a personal journal for 40 years. I enjoy the freedom of being creative and interacting with the millions of other bloggers in the world.I love learning the new things that the computer world has to offer. I have made friends that will last a lifetime blogging, something I never ever thought would happen. I hope you enjoy my blog,and will continue to visit me in the future.

12 responses »

  1. I have watched similar situations happen with us since we’ve cared for my grandparents to one degree or another…all four of them. We actually had my grandpa on my dad’s side in our house and cared for him until he passed away a few years ago. We tried everything and finally figured that was the best but I cannot possibly make that decision for anyone else. I know the weight of caring for someone you love so much while only being able to do so much…especially as their health deteriorates. Sometimes even doing all you could do and beyond you still carry the weight of it and feel you didn’t do enough after they pass…been there too. What I can do is pray that through it you’ll be able to find in your heart the right road to go without feeling pressed or bad about it…that you find the right thing to do and have peace from start to finish. Grace to you my dear friend.

  2. We had the opposite situation with my dad. He was such a handful that the staff was asking us to spend MORE time with him because he became combative when at least one of us wasn’t there to reign him in.

    A few years later I found myself in Intensive Care for a week following surgery and looked forward to the girls coming in, not just because I wanted to see them, but because I was having trouble eating and using the bathroom but the nursing staff was so busy that I sometimes had a long wait for help after I used the call button. The hospital food was hard enough to take warm but it was really bad after it got cold.

    I really don’t know what to say, Carol, but like Joe we’ll be praying as well.

  3. I don’t post much on here, Carol, but I can tell you, you need to do what your heart is urging you to do… not what they say, and not what you “should” do. If you truly feel you need to be there daily, then do it. You’ll never forgive yourself if anything should happen and you weren’t there when you felt you should have been. Now, in balance, make sure you aren’t doing TOO much for her, and aren’t wearing yourselves out.. Otherwise, just do what you feel she needs. They aren’t always the best judge…
    Jean..

  4. Time to bite the bullet , she is your mum , if she is alone at mealtimes for any length of time unsupervised it is time to front the management head on and demand that she receives the correct appropriate attention , also point out that people that are suffering as your mother require the maximum relationship with their children and family as possible , this is not only conducive to their well being but is a positive step in the coping and recuperative treatment and therapy ,
    Just my thoughts my friend as that is the action I would take if it was my mummy
    Ian

  5. Is your Mother able to feed herself? Or is she a feeder unable to hold her own fork? The reason I ask if she is able to feed herself and yet not eating well like you said, the nursing home should be encouraging her but I can tell you they will not put a CNA in her room 1:1 to coax her to eat. Meal time they are busy feeding those who are unable to do so them self. One more thing…the patient bill of rights which we all must follow. One of them is:

    The patient has the right to refuse treatment. That means we can’t force a patient to eat, we can’t make them take their medication. I was POA for my grandmother who had end stage Parkinson’s disease which affects the muscles in the throat thus swallowing. There came a point where she could no longer swallow a regular diet. Then it went to pureed. Then they wanted to put in a feeding tube which she adamantly did not want and had the legal documents supporting her decision. Finally she quit eating. She took her last bite of ice cream on Mother’s Day (97) and passed away June 8th. I did call in Hospice and she did not suffer.

  6. Follow your own heart. I was at the hospital with Jim every day from daylight till dark most days. On days when he was getting worse I went home only to get the mail and clean clothes. Your mom needs you now more than ever before and I say that I think that therapist doesn’t know her hind end from a hole in the ground. I cleaned that last sentence up but I am sure you know what I meant.
    Sis, my love and prayers for you all!

  7. Hey, you’re there in Michigan where you needed to be and have been there for your Mom. My hat’s off to you for all your care and sacrifice. Like so many have already said, do what you think is right and it will be. If she isn’t getting optimum care when you aren’t there, then I’d sure be there if I were you. You are a wise person, Carol, and I have confidence you are doing what is right. Know that we’re all behind you and don’t be afraid to ask for help if we can.

  8. It’s Friday and the weekend is upon us. Here’s hoping that you will make the most of the next few days, make them count! Enjoy your weekend Carol.

  9. I agree with Beth, do what your heart tells you. I’m sure when you’re not there she’s constantly on your mind and wondering how she’s doing. So for your own peace of mind you have to do what you feel is right.
    Love’n’ Hugs to you all.

    • THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR OPINIONS it helps a lot
      to get other points of view. Your prayers and support mean everything to
      me..
      XXOO
      CAROL

  10. When placing a love one in a nursing home if the family can, go in and feed your loved one, if you can bathe them, inspect there skin, alert staff of anything abnormal, especially redness on heels, or buttocks, that is the beginning of a bedsore, make sure they are turned from side, back, side… make sure you get a copy of there medications, know what labs and how often they are to be done…. all while spending quality time with them, I say do it! Do it for ‘peace’ of mind. I know that it’s not easy and very hard on family members. If you don’t insure that these are being done, your love one could end up half fed, developing bedsores, that are hard to heal especially if they are diabetic, or have poor nutrition. The cooperations are making a lot of money but they don’t have to look in the eyes of the elderly. The new thing is that they want to get rid of the longterm residents that don’t require rehab. They want the short term residents that medicare pay big money for. They are telling staff not to send residents to the hospital because they don’t want to pay for transporting them or lose money for an empty bed. They will go as far in some facilities to have the family to sign papers for possible bed loss. If you have a love one in a nursing home you can request at anytime to have them sent to hospital or if staff is moving to slow call 911. They don’t care about your love ones there just a number. Nursing homes are businesses out to make that all mighty dollar. One of the seven deadly sins is greed, and that’s what they are operating off of, forgetting that one day that they are also going to age and need care.

    It’s a shame that the states have all cut back on inspectors too, so they can go into some of these homes and see how our seniors are being cared for. This type of care should not be tolerated.
    My thoughts are with you and I support any decision that you make.

  11. I agree with you. There is no such thing as too much when you have a good, healthy relationship with your loved one. Further, if she shows marked improvement when you’re there, by all means, be there as often as you like.

    I can say this truthfully… if it were Nana, I’d be there every day for as long as I could. I would most assuredly be there every meal to insure that she had help eating and that she WAS eating. Just because she’s older doesn’t mean that her quality of life is less significant. Remember when all children with Downs Syndrome were put in a sanitarium? This is no different. We’re doing our history and lineage a disservice by treating them in this manner.

    Don’t forget, you can always document and then write a letter with as much evidence as you can to the Attorney General of your state. Also… talk to the media. Nearly all TV stations have an investigative reporter that you can call and talk to. Perhaps they’ll be able to investigate as a whole nursing home care, which could then help your mom.

    Don’t forget also that you can complain to the AMA (American Medical Association). I do believe this comes under their realm. It would be worth the 30 minute Google search to find the places to write letters to… just a thought.

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