Assisted Living Trials and Tribulations


Recently dad was seen by the NP from his physician’s office who diagnosed the lump in his arm as a sebaceous cyst.  She will check it again in 3 months. In the meantime the aides are to continue to follow it when they help him in the shower.  I don’t know if she checked on his rash or not since it was on the upper side of the same arm.

I noticed yesterday that dad’s rash is worse as he continues to scratch at it.  He also asked if I could have them cut his nails.  Since it was Sunday, I asked one of the aides about it, but then also emailed the nurse about these issues when I got home.  I was afraid I would forget by Tuesday when she will be in the office again.

Dad continues to be about the same.  I feel he is doing very well, but my son commented on Sunday about how grandpa asked the same question three times in quick succession.  I guess I am used to that now, but it does remind me that dad’s memory is getting worse even while he seems stable to me.

When I was visiting dad last week I also noticed that his polo shirt had a missing button and even worse, there was a hole where the button would have been attached to the shirt.  I asked dad about it but he hadn’t noticed.  I went back to his room to see his other shirts, and sure enough another shirt had a large piece missing from the collar.

It looked to me like the washing machine or the dryer at his assisted living facility has begun to catch onto his clothing.  In fact, I would comment that the “dryer ate his clothes”!  I took the second shirt to the nurse, who is also the one in charge of about everything else since this is such a small facility.  I pointed out that the shirt dad was wearing was also damaged.

Then I decided I had to go shopping for more shirts for dad.  One by one, I have been bringing home shirts that had missing buttons or other problems.  He also sometimes buttons the regular cotton shirts incorrectly so that the buttons don’t line up, or he just leaves the bottom 3 buttons undone.  I went shopping with my daughter on Saturday and we both were fairly successful with the holiday weekend sales.

I picked out 4 polo shirts for dad – 2 each at 2 different stores, and my daughter bought school clothes for her son.  I brought dad two yesterday to have him try them on before I ironed his name onto all of them.  It was while changing his shirt that I noticed his rash.  Dad doesn’t like to try on clothing, but he only had an undershirt underneath a long-sleeved shirt he was wearing open like a sweater.

The shirt fit well so yesterday I washed the other two shirts and ironed his name tags onto them.  Tomorrow I will bring home the first 2 shirts to put name tags on them also.  Usually they don’t lose his clothing but I like to be sure to mark new clothing with his name.  They do each resident’s laundry separately, but they have about 10 laundry baskets stacked in the laundry room each day.  I think the washing is actually done overnight by the night staff.

One problem with the laundry is that they put all his clothing into one machine and I think it is overloaded.  The colored clothing runs onto the whites and things don’t come as clean as they should.  I often bring home his jacket to wash myself so he won’t have to go a day without it, but I am not ready to start bringing home all his laundry.

When dad was first at this ALF, he had a red sweatshirt.  Soon he had pink underwear and pink-tinted shirts as well.  I brought that sweatshirt home and gave it away.  It wasn’t worth the chance that they would do the same thing again.

These are small problems in the day-to-day life of an assisted living resident.  Still, the issues build up.  I try to keep my complaints to a minimum, but yet I need to make sure they are aware of the problems.

Also this week I received a notice in the mail that dad’s rent is going up by 5% again in October.  This was not a total surprise as I think it has gone up about the same amount every year.  Still, it does add up and there is nothing I can do about it.  I just keep watch over his accounts and hope dad’s money lasts as long as he does!

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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, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Assisted Living Trials and Tribulations

  1. boomer98053 says:

    The staff doing the laundry know very well that mixing colors – especially clothing that is relatively new – with white will make a mess of the clothes/items. You can be sure that those same employees don’t walk around with pink underwear or socks, etc. They know how to do laundry correctly. I would not let that slide … give them an inch, they may slide a mile.

  2. sunsetdragon says:

    I wonder how they can raise his rent when their service does not seem to be worth the raise.
    So many unanswered questions about this disease and we all just do the best we can to care for our loved ones and hope it is enough.
    Have a good week.

    • Thanks, Sunset dragon. I know the costs of electricity, gas and everything else has gone up so I just go along with it. I also don’t want to move dad until I have to, and at that point it would probably be to memory care which would cost even more!

      Enjoy your week.

  3. Terry says:

    I used to have issues with my brother missing clothing when he was in the nursing home. At Christmas I bought him his favorite T-shirts with Christmas characters and by the time I took him out of the nursing home he had one left. Strange how they disappeared. They didn’t do the patients laundry separate, they did them according to colors. One time I was in Al’s dresser drawers checking out what was missing from his wardrobe and found a lady’s bra. I don’t think he could wear that. LOL

    • Well I like separating colors, but would wonder about finding a bra in dad’s bureau! When he was in the nursing home though, he had similar experiences winding up with some woman’s clothing even though her name was clearly printed inside the shirt and pants too! I guess laundry is a challenge for long term care facilities. I am thankful dad doesn’t lose much. But I was frustrated to have to go shopping this week or he wouldn’t have had enough shirts to last until the next laundry day.

  4. jmgoyder says:

    I am too nervous to complain about this kind of thing because I don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ – wish I weren’t so timid!

  5. dementedgirl says:

    I could live with all of the above if only could persuade OH that it is time for residential care for MIL… 😦

    • Yes, there are always things I would change, but mostly I am thankful they are there 24/7 to watch over dad so I don’t have to give him showers, dress him, etc. I take him out weekly and then bring him back and go home. As much as I feel a lot of pressure to be there in emergencies, I do get to have some time for myself also.

  6. I nominated your blog for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” in my latest blog post: http://goinggentleintothatgoodnight.com/2014/09/10/a-little-appreciation-expressed-goes-a-long-way-to-let-you-know-that-your-efforts-are-not-for-nothing/

    I enjoy reading your blog as you walk through this journey with your parents and with your family.

    Thank you for all you contribute to the effort to educate, to support, and to share.

    All the best,

    Sandra

    • Sandra,

      I’m sorry it took me a few days to respond to your post as I have been too busy to get to my blog lately. I appreciate your vote of confidence in my blog and the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” you have given me. However, since I just received this award on August 10th I will not be posting the responses again. Thanks again for your kind words. I encourage my readers to go to your web page and to read your informative blog and also to follow the links to the other blogs you have recommended. We all learn from each other and I hope you and others will continue to follow my blog and yours.

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