Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mom's small room inhibits her ability continue to do for herself

Since Mom's move to a nursing home we've see declines in her strength yet her cognitive ability remains pretty good.   We're concerned about her loss of strength and I believe that the actual facility is partly to blame.  She's in an "old style nursing" home - it's been around for at least 35 years.  Her father, my grand pa, died there; her brother was there after a stroke so we're familiar with it. The rooms are small and the bathrooms even smaller.  There are no grab bars, no handicapped showers - nothing that will enable her to help herself.   There is no room for a transport bar (see previous post ) so she can pull herself up from the wheelchair.  The TV is small and attached to some contraption on her bed; it's hard for her to change the channel so she doesn't watch it.  She can't have her recliner so sits in the wheelchair which is bad for her back.   I fear it will leave her even more stooped and bent over. 

I am really distressed by this - she LOVES TV news, CNN, PBS and animal planet.  This is good brain food for her and helps keep her current.   She might be physically weaker but if we want her mind and spirit to remain strong some changes need to be made.   I am really ticked off at her physician.  I'm sure his intent is very good - he wants her to get better care than he felt she received at the ALF BUT the tiny, crammed conditions are bad for her spirit.  She can't do the things she enjoys.  Her physical needs are met but the spirit is repressed.  I don't know what to do - complaining to him will fall on deaf ears; he'll dig in his heels and get more stubborn about where she lives. I plan to call the physical therapist at the nursing home to talk about Mom's progress and what she has to do outside of these daily PT sessions.  The administrators and social workers SAY they are very concerned with her quality of life there and WANT to make her happy but I'm dubious until I see / hear of some changes.

Contacting this joint is another problem for me. I call and I call - no answer.   Mom doesn't answer, most of the time the nurses station on her wing doesn't answer.  Today I called the main switchboard and an old tired man answered.  He was quite polite but it was obvious that he was confused.   Given all of this, I'm really concerned for my Mom.  All I can do is make phone calls and plans for my next trip to see her.   She'll have to hang in there until after Easter.  Poor dear.