Saturday, February 21, 2009

Update on mom

We had our care conference at Mom's nursing facility on Friday morning. The care conference is when key staff members meet with you a few weeks after the patient arrives to tell you how she's doing, what evaluations they've made, and what their plan is going forwards.

We met with the head of nursing, the CNA who is mom's main caregiver, the physical therapist, the occupational therapist, and the social worker.

The therapists were the most interesting. On the physical therapy side, she's doing really well - walking 200 yards unaided most of the time, although needing assistance to get up and down out of her chair and sometimes needing assistance bearing about 25% of her weight. For hip surgery, they said this is really good. What she's having trouble with (and I witnessed this the other day) is sequencing - it's hard for her to remember the steps to get up out of her chair or back into it, things that come naturally to most of us.

The occupational therapist said she's scored pretty low on a couple of evaluative tests and rates as having significant impairment and no real judgment about things like safety issues. Were she to come home, the OT recommended that they have 24/7 nursing care in the house with them.

It looks like her skilled nursing rehab period is going to come to an end either this Friday or next Friday, at which point Dad will have 48 hours to either pick her up, have her moved to another living arrangement like an adult family home, or sign the papers for her to become a fulltime resident.

It's pretty certainly going to be option three; Dad seems to have made up his mind and is gathering the paperwork now. Having her come home would be temporary at best, having a nurse live with them in their tiny house sounds really daunting, and the process of getting her back into a facility like this when she needed it could be very traumatic. Adult family homes vary really wildly in quality and aren't monitored closely, so it can be hard to know what you're getting and sometimes difficult to find a good fit. If she weren't doing well in this setting we'd look into that as an alternative, but she seems to be enjoying living there so far.

The staff at Ida Culver said she seems to be generally content there, that she's "pleasantly confused" most of the time and is easy to redirect when she gets agitated. I think she might be giving her CNA some grief now and then, because she's the one who has to help her do things she doesn't think she needs help with, like get dressed and get to the bathroom, but otherwise people seem to really like her and think she's doing well.

My Dad is having a tough time, I think. We're still trying to find a support group (the first one we tried to attend had folded) and are going to try another one this coming Monday. There's a really active local branch of the Alzheimer's Association that runs meetings all over town, so eventually we'll find one that's the right fit.


The Empty Envelope said...

I am praying for you and your dad, that you will find the right place and he has peace! Such a hard place to be in. I'm glad to hear she's doing somewhat well!

glassidentities said...

thanks for sharing the update.. I am glad your mom is doing for her CNA I can say from experiance that is the one ones who give us a little "trouble" that can touch our hearts the most and make our days a bit more worthwhile. Thoughts and prayers to you and your dad and the rest of the family.. I am sure this is a hard time for everyone involved.

cottoncolors said...

Sorry you are going through such a rough time. I'm glad your mom is doing well. Good thoughts to you today!


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