Assisted Living – Sometimes it works well and Sometimes it doesn’t!


When I went to visit dad today I found his aide was in his room shaving him – while he sat in his Lazy Boy!  She said she found it was the easiest way to get him to allow her to shave him.  I said whatever works is fine with me!

Dad hates to have a shower and shave.  He doesn’t like the electric razor as it pulls on his whiskers.  I got him good disposable razors instead.  This aide, which is my favorite, will do anything to keep dad happy.  She said he almost never complains so she is more than willing to go out of her way for him.

Dad just leaned back and closed his eyes after she left.  But, he periodically opened an eye to check on the clock.  He was hungry and it was almost lunch time.

Dad is pretty happy in his assisted living facility.  He doesn’t take part in many activities but he gets his meals and some extra attention and he is fine.  I asked them to schedule him for a haircut this week and that should be on Wednesday.  Later Wednesday day I have an appointment to take him to his doctor for a follow-up visit.  But, now a problem has appeared.

Just on a whim I decided to call the ALF to make sure they had dad’s blood test done for this medical visit.  The answer was probably not.  The aide couldn’t find any record of a blood draw or even a note indicating that one was to be done.  (The nurse had told me it would be done on Friday.)  But when I saw dad today he had no memory of it and no bandage or anything to indicate that blood had been drawn.  I don’t have the paperwork or I would take him to the lab myself today.

Now I am frustrated again.  While on the telephone, I asked the aide to leave a note on the nurse’s door.  “Please tell her to call me and let me know if his blood was drawn or not.”  I can’t believe they keep messing up like this!  No one in management works over the weekend.  I can’t talk to the manager or the nurse until Monday.  It may still possible to get his blood tested before his Wednesday appointment.  Otherwise I will have to change his appointment.  I guess I can’t do anything until Monday so I will try not to worry about it.

As dad’s personal representative, it is my responsibility to check on the ALF constantly and make sure that they follow through on his medical care.  Last month I was upset that they had run out of his blood pressure medications.  Now I am afraid they have forgotten to have his blood test done.  If this results in having to delay his medical appointment, then this time I will report the problem to the state.  I wonder what happens to residents who don’t have such involved family members?

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Elder Care, Eldercare, Health Care, nursing staff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Assisted Living – Sometimes it works well and Sometimes it doesn’t!

  1. terry1954 says:

    the get left behind and slip in the cracks. you have asked the golden question, and this is why i fight to keep Al home, because he is mentally handicapped and can not speak for himself, so i will detain this as long as possible

  2. Terry, whatever we do, we have to stay involved and know what is happening. I’m glad you are able to keep Al at home. My town home is way too cold for dad in the winter months as it has concrete floors and we live in a very cold climate. Also it is too small. I think an ALF is best for dad but I have to stay totally involved.

  3. boomer98053 says:

    You have brought up a very key issue that many family members fail to realize: Just because a loved one enters a facility, it doesn’t mean that your caregiving job is over. Your dad is fortunate that you are still his advocate. Many don’t have family advocacy, regardless of whether or not the family lives nearby. I think it might be wise for you to contact your state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. LTC Ombudsmen are advocates for vulnerable adults and they oftentimes work with others to make sure that residents in LTC facilities are being cared for correctly. Go to this national website, find your state, and the contact information for your state’s LTC Ombudsman Program: http://www.ltcombudsman.org/ombudsman. I hope all gets worked out soon.

    • Thank you, Irene. You are right, of course. Actually I did call the county ombudsman about a month ago because of the time they let dad run out of his blood pressure medication. The woman I spoke with gave me the phone number for the state health department and encouraged me to talk to the manager of the ALF and then also perhaps call the health department.

      I had talked to the manager and decided to wait about calling the health department and see what happened next. I was almost ready to call the health department this week but am waiting because I may be wrong. I went to the ALF yesterday to talk to the nurse but she was not in. Apparently she had to work late last week so got Monday off this week. But one assistant looked in another notebook and found a note that the nurse had called the doctor’s office and learned that there were no blood tests to be done.

      Not being one to just trust a response like that, I called the doctor’s office this morning also and they told me the same thing. Tomorrow I will take dad to see the doctor and then I will learn if this was much ado about nothing or what. I do remember getting paperwork from him about blood tests for dad, but perhaps it was the week before his previous visit and not the last visit in January. Anyway, I want to be sure I have all the facts before I raise the issue.

      It does disturb me a little that (1) the nurse never told me that she had called and learned there were no tests to be done and (2) the nurse didn’t own up to the fact that she didn’t have the blood test orders. Instead she told me it was just for a few tests and not a whole panel. Perhaps she didn’t want to say she couldn’t find it. In any case, I need to find out more tomorrow when I see the doctor.

      But the ALF does know that am keeping tabs on them now. Once they let dad’s blood pressure medications run out, I made it obvious that I had higher expectations of them and I would keep track. So, I will stay attentive, but try not to rush to judgement.

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