Every single companion and now HHAid, even the manager of them has told me that a nursing home is a bad idea because "they dope them up".
Well, DUH! I have toured the places and they are all placid and quiet and I know that is why. I have visited 5 star homes.
I cannot care for her and have 24hr people in her apt. and guess what ?
SHE RAN AWAY again ! How dare they make me cry about trying to get her in a home :(
You can't take care of your mother at home, even with 24/7 help. You believe a nursing home is your best and maybe only option. Don't pay attention to anyone else. They're not in your position. They all have their own agenda. Just press the "ignore" button and carry on.
The aides and companions fear they are going to lose a client, and thus are attemting to manipulate your fears.
You KNOW that you can't keep your mother safe at home any longer. Whether it's Memory care or a NJ, she clearly needs a higher level of supervision.
It is true that many nursing home residents are on medications to improve their mood or decrease anxiety, but then many elders in the home are on those meds too. The trick is to find someone who will work with you to find a balance of the right meds for your mom. Being afraid, panicking over minor issues, being aggressive etc is not conducive to a good quality of life, but it shouldn't be necessary to drug her into a stupor either. Proper medication just might be able to give a little of your mom back to you.
You say your mom has midstage dementia. Is there a reason you think she needs to be in a nursing home? I think that states vary on how they handle dementia patients, but in my state, unless you need skilled nursing care, a nursing home is not warranted. Have you considered a Memory Care facility. And if she is running away, as you state above, that might be in order to keep her secure. Why not have her assessed to see what kind of facility would meet her needs?
I have often heard that facilities drug people to keep them quiet, but I haven't seen that with my experience in assisted living and Memory Care assisted living. For one thing, in my state, the residents have their own doctor. The doctor is the only one who prescribes medication and they don't prescribe it just to sedate. This could happen in some cases, but I don't think it's rampant. My experience is that they work towards finding a low dose medication that can relieve anxiety, while still allowing the person to be alert and as active as possible, considering their dementia.
You can look at medication in one of two ways.
You can say " my parent is drugged"
Or, you can say, as i do "my mom auffers from overwhelming anxiety and depression. We tried reassurance, in home assistance and frequent family visits. None of them helped.. Getting her into a nice Independent Living apartment helped some, but what REALYY helped in the end were anti anxiety and anti depressant medications. It makes her feel better. She doesn't weep, or wring her hands or call us ftightened to death that it might rain. If this is "drugging" then yes, I'm in favor of it.
Do what you need to do, not what others tell you you should do based on their circumstances.
It is mean to make people feel bad about using medications. If diabetics take insulin are they "doped up?" NO, they are getting the medication they need.
My mom's memory loss caused anxiety, which in turn caused extreme debilitating paranoia. She was making public nuisance of herself. Now that she is properly medicated, she is relaxed and happy. Is she "doped up?" I don't know and don't care. She is happy and happy to see me. Whew!
My therapist said that at this stage we are not trying to do the "right thing;" we are trying to do what works. I heartily agree.
There are many people who have an aversion to nursing homes and if they can care for their loved ones at home then that is fine. However when home care is not possible - and there are many reasons for it - time, money or the inability of the caregiver to give the adequate care needed as these horrid diseases progress.
I cared for my partner for many years until I had no choice but to place him in nursing home. I was his sole caregiver, had no support or help from his children as they chose to be in denial, I also had to work full time . Eventually he started falling three or four times a week which resulted in trips to the ER, it was just a matter of time until a fall resulted in something broken, due to that and the fact that my health was declining I made the decision to place him in a nursing home. He is there and is safe, he has only fallen once in the last six months and has a staff of caregivers. Weigh your situation - and make the decision that is best for your Mom and for you, - no nursing homes are not perfect, but sometimes they are the best choice. If she is running away - that is a huge safety issue - that alone really needs a locked - full time facility. You will feel guilty, I still do, but I tell myself that I made the right decision for my LO and I did, you will too.
I agree with Cwillie-they are being self-serving with their advice.
Sorry I cannot comment on plus/negative aspects of keeping mom at home or in a nursing home. That is entirely up to you on her behalf. Either is doable as evidenced by the many comments on this topic all throughout the AC website.
Be at peace with whatever you decide, but I would put hha workers on notice that if they allow your mom out the door unsupervised even once, you will fire their, uh, what was the word I am looking for, so sorry as I tend to block words, cannot access them when needed. Ever since I had T.I.A. episodes in the past.
Just fire them.
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