No Where To Turn, No Where for Mom

by Karen
(Vista, CA)

Where do I begin? It's been a long road these past several years in coping with our Mom's Alzheimer's and finding out which one of my sisters and brothers will pitch in and help out.

Needless to say my Mom now requires being in a secured 24-hour care residence. The place that was chosen was purported to be the BEST that money could buy for one suffering from early to late stage Alzheimer's or dementia and that is why she was placed there.

Over time, those of us that actually went to visit her and spend more than 10 minutes of our time in the facility quickly realized that the care was far from what it was portrayed.

However, the care level they claimed to be delivering consistently was increasing of course along with the pretty price tag to keep her there!

The caregivers cycled in and cycled out and seeing the constant turnover you knew immediately that there was a problem with this place. The only people making money hand over fist, was the "greedy" corporation and management. The actual caregivers after receiving a 92-hour or less training seminar were being paid little more than minimum wage, give or take a dollar.

Now let me just say, my husband and myself were charged with the care of his mother and we paid in-home caregivers $15.00 plus an hour and that was over seven years ago.

I am appalled each time I come to check on our Mom when I see other residents who have fallen so many times left completely unattended, with food running out of their mouths or looking totally unkempt.

On a recent visit where I stayed overnight, the next day I came upon one of the few male residents that had already taken a serious fall and was most definitely a fall risk, walking with one sock on and no sock on the other foot and literally stumbled and fell into our table while I was discussing my own Moms care with her physical therapist.

Luckily we caught him before he fell and low and behold, not one single caregiver around!!! When we got him seated and were holding him steady in the chair, he got up a second time and almost fell yet again.

This time suddenly one of the caregiving staff showed up but acted like this was nothing to be alarmed about. I pointed out that he is very unsteady and he is improperly dressed.

The residents living here are being charge anywhere from $7000 on up to $9000 a month!!!! This is appalling! Substandard care from a phony residence facility that simply hides the truth from the public that they hired unskilled staff that are totally underpaid and therefore do not truly care about the people.

Some are actually good to the residents but they end up burning out and leave for another job elsewhere, what's left of the staff is what you would not want watching over your loved one.

Now I have heard over and over again from my friends and colleagues that we are utterly stupid to continue with our parent staying there. It's not because of the unqualified care, their concern is the amount of money being charged!

It makes me sick to my stomach when I hear them say what a ripoff this place is and how dumb we must be to continue. Let me go further, by saying we have researched care facilities in the area and surrounding areas and they all charge exorbitant fees and all have unskilled caregiving being offered. There was only one place we located that had skilled caregivers and they have a wait list.

My story cannot be the only one out there. I'm sick in my heart for what's to become of my Mom and all of those poor people subjected to such poor care and being bled financially by these greedy places.

We are in the midst of talks about moving Mom in with one of us and I think that is our only hope right now and just hire in home care so we can keep a watchful eye on them and more importantly our Mom, whom we love.

She may not have years left to live but whatever time she does have left, at the very least, it will be with people she loves not people who are pretending to care and then neglectful.

It makes me cry a lot when I think about whats become of our way of treating our elderly folks today. Please tell me I'm not alone in this struggle for I fear I might lose my sanity. I'm a religious person and my faith and my own family have been my solace. God be with all of you out there trying to take care of your loved one.

We need to do something to change the way things are for our old folks. This just isn't right.

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It's So Sad
by: Anonymous

What a good person you are to care so much for your Mom. I agree with you, it's deplorable how America treats their elderly. If at all possible, take your Mom out of that facility. If she has any cognizance left at all, you would hate for her to have it in that place all alone.

I live with my Mom and I see what all her aging friends are experiencing. The lucky ones live with their children or have one of the children living with them. They need more than 3 meals a day and a bath.

They need to have interaction, conversation, love, a feeling of being needed and a part of something. They need something to do and something to look forward to. They need familiarity, security, and attachment. In short, they still need everything we ourselves need now at our age.

I've lived alone at various times in my life, and with all my ability to make plans with friends and get in the car to go do things all the time, still, at times alone in the house, I felt isolated from the world.

One of my Mom's friends lives in a wonderful (expensive) facility, has her meals in a dining hall, but has her own little apartment in the building. Her children rarely visit and over the past two years she has developed all these crazy little ailments and physical complaints and I think she is just terribly lonely and wants attention.

Does anyone ever wonder, what do our parents do all day in these facilities? It's not a big social hour. There may be a card game, or a movie, or God forbid, crafts! but they are not with family.

Who goes out and makes a best friend at the age of 80 or 90? They know their time is short, don't you think they are craving quality time in their last years? Unless they completely have dementia and don't even know they are on the planet, don't you think they sit day after day with nothing to do and no one who talks to them?

This whole society should be turned upside down on it's head and we should put our elderly at the top of the pyramid where they belong. They deserve the best of life to the end. And for those of us lucky enough to have had loving parents, we should give it to them.

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