≡ Menu

Maria,

Your article (Five Reasons It’s Not Time for a Nursing Home) was just in time as I have been thinking of moving mom into a nursing home. She has dementia and suffered a small stroke a few weeks ago that makes it hard for to walk using her walker….but with support I can hel her to get around. She is totally incontinent at this point, but we are managing with depends. I have a lady that stays with her from noon till four each day as noon is about the time she gets up. Since the stroke she is receiving rehab at home to hopefully improve her mobility. Cost is not an issue as a doctor-ordered nursing home move is covered by tri-care for life. It seems, by your article that she is better off at home. Her health, otherwise, is good with all lab tests looking normal. Nursing homes are a hotbed of disease and I am sure she would eventually get sick and I am also sure that the staff would not keep her as clean as she is kept at home. Just looking for a little affirmation for a slightly burned out caregiver…lol.

Thanks,

Connie, Cordova, TN

Hi Connie,

From what you’ve shared, it does seem that moving mom into a nursing home would be premature at this point.  She’s well-cared for by you, you have regular help to provide you with some respite, and I don’t sense that caregiving is causing you any great distress.  My best advice is to continue doing what you’re doing.  If you begin to feel any emotional or physical exhaustion, it would be wise to consider increasing the amount of hired help you have (noon to four leaves you with 20 uncovered hours each day which is a lot) and seek out support from a counselor. Continue adding help and support as best you can for as long as it’s possible.  If it gets to be much, you can reconsider a nursing home.

Best,
Maria

{ 0 comments }

Help! My Aunt Refuses to Bathe!

Maria,

After noticing her mental decline I brought my 92 year old aunt to live with me. She had lived alone more than 40 years. I thought I was prepared because I had experience with my parents in their elder years. Boy was I wrong. Unlike my parents, she won’t allow me to care for her. She is just lucid enough to say what she wants and doesn’t want and what she will and will not do. I am ashamed to say that despite my best efforts she refuses to bathe. She’s not had a bath, hair combed, clothing or bed change in 6 weeks. No matter what I say, her response is “I’ll do it myself tomorrow (or next week), when I have more energy, or when the weather is better, etc. of course tomorrow, or next week never comes. Please help! At the rate I’m going someone is going to accuse me of neglect or abuse!!!

Donna, Long Branch, New Jersey

Donna,

There are so many layers to what you’ve shared that I could easily write a short paper in response. Let me answer simply: You need help with your aunt.  Best would be to hire someone to come in just to give her a bath, assist her with grooming, and change her linens.  If you can’t afford this, it’s time to use what little spare time you have to read up on how to bath someone with mental decline.  It isn’t easy, and it may take some time and careful observation to find what works, but the good news here is that your aunt isn’t the first person who refuses to bathe, nor are you the first person to struggle to help her.  That means there are published best practices out there.

The best resource I’ve found to assist a cognitively impaired person who refuses to bathe is the DVD Bathing Without a Battle. You can purchase it at the Alzheimer’s Store.

I hope this helps.

Best,

Maria

{ 0 comments }