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jrbl77 jrbl77 (New Member) New Member

I'm the family member now

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I am not sure how to say what I am thinking and feeling. My mom has been a resident in LTC for almost 7 yrs. She went in with a broken leg and broken arm after a MVA that claimed my dad's life. Now, 7 yrs later she has dementia. She thinks it is 1959. She knows her kids names, but otherwise things are pretty confused. As a nurse I have cared for many folks in many different stages of life and near death. I understand and can handle my mom's dementia. I have learned to not argue with her and just usually go along with the flow. The hardest thing for me, is to accept her declining physical condition. My mom has lost about 1/3 of her teeth. They have broken off or fallen out. Mom had been able to care for her own teeth up until the last 18 mos. or so. Her dentist says that there is nothing he can do at this point. He told me about 1 yr ago that her dental care had declined. I asked and reminded at each care plan meeting for my mom to have good dental care. Do I feel that it happened? No. Could I have gone each day and brushed my mom's teeth, yes I probably could have. Did I do this or want to do this, no. My mom is private pay at the LTC. Is it too much to ask for her to have assist with oral care? At this point my siblings and I do not feel that moving our mom to another LTC will make her life any better. What am I asking for from other healthcare providers? I am not looking for criticism, we did what we felt we had to do when we did it. Has any one else had a similar experience and if so how do I get over the guilt? I gave 100% of myself while providing patient care for 36 yrs. Do I feel that my mom is getting the same care that I would provide, no. I no longer do bedside direct patient care as I was seeing changes that I didn't like. If nothing else, keep my mom in your prayers. I keep praying that my dad will come and take her to heaven with him

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I'm not sure exactly how to respond except to say that I'm sorry. When things are so busy it's easy for what we deem as 'simple' things on a day to day basis like good oral care to fall through the cracks - but it's so important for our patients! When I was a tech I worked with one of our really good nurses who made it a priority that every night when she gave meds she passed out mouthwash and toothbrushes or whatever the patient liked to do to keep up their oral health. She was diligent about keeping it up in every patient and I've tried to carry this example over into my practice too.

I don't think it's too much to ask them to help her with oral care and as a daughter it's hard to be there 24/7 and making sure everyone is carrying out your wishes. My parents are not in LTC yet, but it's something that I do worry about in the future. You can only be doing so many things at once! And one of them is generally working to make sure you can even afford that care. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

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