Finding a nursing home for my mom is proving to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. It’s not even because of all the bureaucratic bullshit I have to face, like getting her assessed, applying for Medicaid, and finding an available bed in a place that’s not a million miles away from me. Well, it’s partly those things. But more than that, the challenge is in finding a place where I think she’ll be happy. That just seems impossible.
One place I’m considering has a reputation for great dementia care, but the unit and rooms are ugly and spare and hospital-like. Other places have fairly nice rooms in bright, open environments, but the dementia care is minimal and the patients are kept locked on their units. Another place seems to offer good care in a nice setting, but it’s so far from where I live and work that I won’t be able to visit often. The tradeoffs we have to make seem huge, and I can’t imagine how we’ll manage.
But even if I could find the ideal place, it wouldn’t make my mom happy.
Nursing homes are not happy places. As my friend Judi said to me, they’re waiting rooms for death. They’re the places where old people who’ve lost nearly everything go to lose what little they have left, from their assets to their dignity. There’s nothing happy about that degree of loss. And I have to wonder if it’s possible for anyone who enters a facility, even on a visit, not to sense that loss and get depressed by it.
I’m pretty certain that even with her dementia, my mom will feel it. I imagine she’ll go on feeling it for a while, at least until she’s lost herself completely.
This sad reality is a tragic statement on care for our elders in today’s society. There is no reason things must be this bleak. Corporate greed, poor policies and lack of commitment on the part of our state and federal governments. All that doesn’t ease the pain for you or any of us dealing with this today or some time in the near future. My sincere words of support that you find some place that meets the standards of care your mother deserves within a distance that allows you regular visits. All the best.
Thanks so much, Barbara. It’s true; our society doesn’t prioritize caring for the elderly. The system is totally broken. I appreciate your support.
It is so hard to deal with the reality of all parts of this. I think one light is that you will be much more visible to her, much more frequently.
Yes, I hope it will be a light. Seems like her lights are going out all too quickly. Thanks, Nancy.
Find a place that is close to you for many reasons. You can always fix up a place, especially if they have better care. Good care is imperative. If you’re close, it will be good for both of you. I know it’s hard. I’ve been through it, good luck. Also, try A Place For Mom. Google them.
Thanks, Jodi. Yes, I agree with everything you said. I’m working on getting her into a close place with good care. I’ve tried A Place for Mom, but unfortunately, they don’t have places for my mom in NYC. I appreciate your support.
I agree. This way you can better keep an eye on things and maybe even prevent or cease mistreatment if it god forbid were to happen.