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Topic: What I Wish I Knew Before My Spouse/Parent Entered Long Term Care?
2014-11-12 14:58:48
Sharon Osvald Posts: 120
Joined: 0000-00-00
Our last live chat we had some very good discussions about how some wished they had been better prepared and knew what to expect when placing our parents/spouses/friends into Long Term Care. There were some great emails sent too.

Can we share some of those thoughts and observations with the great audience?

2014-11-12 14:58:48
Sharon Osvald Posts: 120
Joined: 0000-00-00
The issue you touched on about not having a point person to communicate with came up in our Findings Report several times under the need for effective Communication.It can be so hard to get an answer to a simple question or implement a simple change consistently for your spouse/parent. I know we talk about "care plans" but I wonder how many care givers actually understand that is a literal thing not just a generic term?

2014-11-24 10:23:25
Dawng Posts: 4
Joined: 2014-04-17
My mother initially agreed to go to a new place (LTC) where she could be provided better support (she was in a seniors residence with limited and expensive) and nursing care. However, after spending one night in the home, the next day she was frantic about leaving. Needless to say, it wasnt quite the same atmosphere she was used to.

I met her in the hall (a secured unit). She was walking around with her coat on furious that they wouldnt let her go home. Frantic for me to get my car and get her out of there. After much circular conversation about why she needed to stay, the nursing staff had to restrain her while I left, and she was calling out to me. Needless to say, I sat in my car and cried. Just like when I took my daughter to kindergarten. I wish I had been prepared for that.

For the next few weeks, every time I went she had her coat on, waiting for me to pick her up. I wish I had been prepared for that. This seems to be a common theme, see similar behaviour with new residents, wanting to go home.

I wish Id also been advised to not try and straighten my mothers confused facts its is often not helpful to anyone. Re-explaining about dementia and why she needs to stay there, many circular conversations, that she would forget shortly after and Id have to start again. Once I learned to say well lets stay here for today because (its getting dark, or the room is already set up, or the dr wants to see you tomorrow here, etc), and well see what we can figure out tomorrow seemed to calm the waters it became a short term problem for her with a promise to try and make it better. Shed still forget the conversation and ask again, but at least it wouldnt escalate.

I guess what Im getting at is a sampling of expected behaviours that may occur. Perhaps other physicians do that in my case, my mothers old physician retired right in the thick of all this diagnosis and a new, unfamiliar dr took over, who did not seem to be particularly engaging or interested in the human beings that were in his office more just treating the medical symptoms (UTIs, etc). No offer of support for family, etc. No suggestions of where to turn for help. Perhaps the Alzheimers Society could have assisted, but I didnt think to reach out to them.

2014-11-24 11:32:59
Sharon Osvald Posts: 120
Joined: 0000-00-00
Thanks for sharing Dawng.
I especially liked your suggestion of perhaps someone could have given you a sampling of what kind of behaviours to expect so you were so shocked and blindsided. If we have a bit of knowledge ahead of time (even if we can't possibly prepare ourselves completely or soften the blow) I agree- that would have helped. It would have made me think.."Ok what I am feeling is normal given these circumstances. Others have been here before and I am going to be ok." Thanks for sharing!

2014-11-24 14:54:00
Sharon Osvald Posts: 120
Joined: 0000-00-00
Here is a great resource that lines up with this topic. A webinar worth watching about How to Support What is Often the Worst Day of Their Lives:

2014-11-24 15:06:05