My mother is in what seems to be a very good NH following as serious stroke. She has pretty serious cognitive issues (mostly short term memory loss) but can still be totally "with it." She has previously told me about things that supposedly happened to her there (typically at night) which she described as "abuse." Once it was an aide who may have been a little too impatient with her, which I reported to the management (and which the NH responded to by suspending the aide for a week and making sure this particular aide was no longer assigned to my mom; they also filed a report with the state health department). Other times it was clear that what she was telling me simply could not have happened (like wild parties in her room in the middle of the night), which I did not report. This morning she called me extremely upset with a story that I find very hard to believe (that up to five aides made fun of her, took her face and pretended to have her kiss them -- either on the mouth or on their breasts, and did other "vulgar" things that she would not describe to me. She says it all started when she was trying to read their badges). Her retelling is not coherent but she clearly believes that this happened. I suspect it was either a dream or some sort of hallucination (she is on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, and the dosage is higher at night). She also is perceptive enough to recognize that I do not fully believe what she is telling me, despite my best efforts to remain neutral when she tells me this stuff. So she gets very upset with me and says I am "taking their side." I am not sure how to respond to her. I am also not sure if I should mention any of this to the management. On the one hand, they will feel legally obligated to launch an investigation, report to the dept. of health, etc. and I don't want to put them through that for what seems to be a confabulation. On the other hand, I am terrified that my mother may be being mistreated in some way and I then ignore it. What would you do?
If this is true, then you need to research other facilities for your Mom. Then report back to her what you found and why one would work or not work for her. If feasible, ask her if she would like to move to one of the places that you researched.
You can't really tell if she is telling you all these stories because they are true (in her head), true (really happened) or if she is interpreting the environment/actions incorrectly. I don't believe she is making up these stores. I just think she is mis-interpreting what she hears, the visual cues, and what she remembers.
I take action on nearly everything that my Mom tells me, even though she is in Memory Care. My Mom also accused me on being on the side of the care home and I told her that if she wanted me to follow up on the accusations, then I needed details on the incident. After I take action, I tell my Mom what happened or what is the status.
I don't know whether your Mom wears hearing aids or not, however, that is another potential source of confusion. Some combinations of words are very hard to hear clearly, much the less to comprehend. She could have interpreted wild parties, when in fact it was multiple aides helping a resident and she overhead their voices. If you do not wear hearing aids, you would be surprised at the number of times hearing impaired people are guessing at what you are saying. We make "educated" guesses and many times we are correct. However, many times we are wrong too.
The only way to get over your fear that your mother might be mistreated will be to have an idea of what might have gone on for her to have interpreted the event as she states it. Once you feel more confident in your assessment of what she says to you, the fear will subside.
As far as your mother telling you these rather bizarre stories, they don't hold much merit and shouldn't be followed up on. Other scenarios that seem credible should be addressed. To be certain, install a camera IF permitted.
Many posters have said that their parent complains all the time about everything from the food to abuse, says they are miserable, desperately want to go home. Then the poster has gone in and watched them unseen, and has found that in fact most of the time they appear quite happy, participate in things to the best of their abilities, eat the food with apparent enjoyment etc. It might be well worthwhile checking like this yourself.
Wishing you the best of luck with all of this, I know how stressful it can all be.
If your mother is telling wild tales about outrageous happenings in her SNF, then that's something you can let roll off your back. If she's telling you stories that she can actually elaborate on and that you can MAKE SENSE OF, that's another matter entirely. Remember, she has dementia whether she's 'with it' sometimes or not. Stroke related 'short term memory issues'= dementia, no matter how you cut the mustard. My mother who had dementia told me a lot of stories. About how the caregivers were taking her to a 'different hotel every night' along with all of her belongings, but she wondered HOW such a thing was possible? Also that she was being taken to different restaurants every night and also out for wonderful entertainment, but that it was very exhausting on a nightly basis. Her Memory Care ALF did no such thing. Were I to believe these stories, I'd have been calling the ED every day asking her to look into the matter. But then again, they weren't allegations of mistreatment. Mom did accuse the other residents of 'making fun of her' ALL the time, though, that she was insistent about. I think it's a skewed perception type of thing when dementia is at play though, I don't know. I do feel it was unlikely that the other residents were making fun of mom, just that SHE perceived it that way. My mother also CONSTANTLY accused me of 'taking their side' when she'd be complaining about others and I'd try to talk her off the ledge. She didn't want to be talked off of a ledge; she wanted to teeter there all day long. So me trying to talk sense to her was met with anger and accusations that I was the 'bad guy' when all I was trying to do was help HER calm down. See where I'm going with this?
The 'truth' here, in your case, may be somewhere in between what mom says and what's really happening. Maybe the CGs are making snide remarks to her sometimes. That may be the extent of it, but who knows? Remember, too, that when a dementia patient tells you a story, they BELIEVE it 100% so it's not a 'lie' to them. That's important to keep in mind. They can weave quite a tale but to them, it's real. Like mom would tell me how her sister Connie brought her a beautiful new blouse that day when I went to see her, isn't it lovely? Connie had been dead for 9 years when mom told me that story. SHE believed it though, so it wasn't a 'lie', it was HER reality. You can label that a 'delusion' or even a 'hallucination' if she sees someone doing something that isn't really happening.
Nobody knows what is going on with your mother. Whether what she's saying is truth or fabrication. But I would venture to guess that she's Sundowning at night when the majority of these 'incidents' are taking place. Sundowning is serious business and when my mother had ALL of her issues with EVERYTHING. I am not sure how you should respond to her b/c no matter what you say, you are likely to be The Bad Guy, like I was.
What I do think is that you need to have a care meeting with the ED or the charge nurse or whoever conducts these meetings. Explain what's going on with mom and her accusations against the staff. See how THEY respond to you. See how you feel in your gut. Also, make surprise visits to the facility in the evenings especially to see if you can spot any irregularities yourself. If you are going to be 'terrified' that your mother is being mistreated in some way, then perhaps she is at the wrong facility. Please note, however, you could easily move her and have a REPEAT performance to deal with at the next facility.
There was so much blood and all kinds of things going on. That doctor had a lot to do. There is no possible way anyone is going to be sexually violated by the surgeon. Not happening, but if it was in "the paper". Or "on tv".
Chances are she’s hallucinating, having nightmares or seeking attention. However when such accusations are made, you “can’t not” listen. Take her seriously (when you think you need to…as you said parties in her room is incredibly unlikely), report it to staff.
But your best bet is see if you can discreetly place a nanny cam (without her or the staffs knowledge).
Maybe she is having nightmares about staff that is unkind.
I was reading in the paper today about anesthetized women being violated by doctors DURING c-sections.
Listen and be attentive to her concerns, even if they are not fully clear.
He told the friend that when he is getting one of the dementia men ready for bed, he takes the man into the bathroom. and has an act done on him,(use your imagination) before putting him to bed.
So, there could be some truth to mom's allegations.
You should also see about installing a covert camera in her room (if there is anyone else in the room, it cannot film that other person at all. Don't toss out stories as bizarre until you do some observation on your own. Someone needs to stay with her for lengthy periods of time to see what's going on. Be there on bath days, at meal times, medicine times, etc and pay attention. Go in and out of the room so you can make some surprise entrances.
It's very possible there is a bad employee or even a wandering patient who is coming to your mom's room.
Another idea. You mention this is happening in the evening. Is it possible she could be experiencing Sundowner’s? My mom would get highly agitated and stressed in the evening. Her elder psychiatrist prescribed her an anti-psychotic that she takes just before bedtime. It works well for her.
So, when I take her to the restroom, I look over her whole body for bruises, cuts, etc.
I think that she hallucinationates that people are hitting her, when they are actually trying to change her undergarment.
Unfortunately, I don't think her facility allows cameras.
I am wondering if you are the OP I recently suggested MD check on all this. Some delusion and hallucinations, esp nitetime ones with Lewy's and some other dementias are very real and very detailed. Could you discuss with doctor a try with some medications that might help with delusions.
If this is a private room, might a roommate help, one who is mentally able so that Mom might feel protected.
If you are a long way from Mom this will be difficult to manage. I am so sorry.
what are the state laws about … secretly … putting a camera in her room ?
The minicam focused on her bed is a good idea. Don't do it in secret, however. Let it be known that attendants will be recorded and under observation. That alone is a preventive and also insurance for the many staff members who are hardworking, honest, and kind people. In my thirty years of having clients at nursing homes, we've only had one bad incident.
These stories are most likely your mom's imagination at work. When you talk to your mom, listen and don't dismiss her fears. Instead, tell her that you'll look into it.
call your moms dr, medication adjustment may be needed. For my mom the med change helped for only a few weeks… I’m thankful she does not need to suffer with this anymore… she passed in May.
my mom would hallucinate about the building across the street… she even callled 911 over a bear on the roof…it was before Thanksgiving, I put up the Christmas tree in the window and left it till March… it helped some …
Never dismiss your mom's concerns, never try to explain to her that they can't be true, but make her feel "heard".
Talk to the folks who are treating her (docs and nurses) about whether this is a medical issue (meds/delusions) and report to administrators what she is saying.
In my previous answer, it might have seemed that we were dismissive of mom's reports. We were not. We investigated and reported to admins.
I never believed a word of it. Employees do not have sex with residents. They may in prison but not there. Try to assess the physical condition you find your mother in. You could request medication. It is very sad but the extreme reports your mother is giving you are a result of dementia.
Please don't be dismissive about this situation, chalking it up to her meds or whatnot. Investigate. That's the least that you can do for her.
I wouldn't worry one bit about the fallout from reporting this to the management. That's the cost of doing business (they're making tons of money) and it's their responsibility to make sure that their residents are never mistreated. I wouldn't hesitate to call down the dogs.
Our elders are mostly helpless - think about that for a minute - and are at the mercy of those around them. They deserve the very best of care. Peace.
I am not understanding why you cannot talk to management about your mother asking them for advice on how to approach this issue. You can have a conversation without them feeling legally obligated to do a complete investigation.
Look at the big picture, set her confabulations aside, how is everything else going for her? Why would you jump to "mistreatment" by the home so quickly?
When she says you are siding with the enemy, say ok and change the subject.
As for moving in with you, that would be a disaster, you do understand that the hallucinations will continue and it may be someone else who lives in your house who is doing vulgar things to her. It is the disease.
If she is on Seroquel I would look into that, my step-sister was on it and she had wild dreams, yelled loudly in her sleep said all kinds of crazy stuff. I told her to go back to her doctor explain everything, he cut her dosage in half, much better, she is still loopy, but she has been that way all her life.
I wouldn't overact to this, she is losing her mind, look at it that way, pay attention but don't let her manipulate you, most all do not like where they are living, I swear the home underground hands out a list of things the patient should complain about to see if they can convince their loved ones to break them out of the joint. I have had 4 LO's in 5 different homes, they all read off of the same script.
My dad had a real hard time with Seroquel and had some wild stories to tell me each day. I talked to staff at our family care meeting and the psychiatrist immediately removed this med.
If her psychiatrist is not available ask to speak to the charge nurse or nurse manager.
Mom kept telling me that she "had to pay for everything here". I reminded her that Medicare was paying (I thought this was still my oh so rational mom, sigh).
Sitting with her in the afternoon, Burse Nancy came by and gave my mom several pills, individually, explaining what each was. When mom finished, she said to me, with Nurse Nancy still there, "You see, I have to manage my medications on my own." She gave me a "look" that meant "pay attention to what I'm saying".
I asked her as neutrally as I could what she meant. She pointed to her water pitcher and gave me "the look" again.
I followed Nurse Nancy out of the room. As we walked down the hall, I fumbled for words. She said "Barbara, we think your mom has developed Vascular dementia from the stroke. It's pretty common after stroke. We've asked our geriatric psychiatrist to stop by".
Mom was on a low one of antidepressants at this point. She eventually was prescribed two different antidepressants and a low dose of anti-anxiety meds. They kept her calm.
Talk to mom's psychiatrist about what's going on.
There is no way I could handle the hour by hour needs and listen to all the fears and concerns that mom has. She’s on meds for depression, anxiety and pain.
Good Luck with your mom and good luck to you. This is a long, strange trip. I couldn’t do it alone.
So I don't know.
I might consider a camera in room.
I would discuss with management, ask if you can do the camera, tell them you need to discuss with Mom's MD where this all might be coming from. I sure wish you good luck and hope you will update us.