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Admin Note: This is in response to MSH’s question to me about a situation occuring with her loved one in a nursing home.

I so understand your frustration. As many good hearted staff as there are in nursing homes, there are still those who think they know it all in their approach to issues. You know first hand how you have to be totally on top of everything that is going on and be an advocate for your loved one who can’t be her own advocate.

 
You have medical evaluations on your side, so that is a good thing. You will have a struggle if the nursing home is giving out wrong information. Once a resident enters a nursing home – that nursing home is responsible for that resident and it is very hard to “get rid” of them, so to speak. Because of that, nursing homes get “picky” about who they will accept and if they think there is a potential for many problems they can decide not to accept that resident.
 
You want to look for a nursing home that is experienced with working with Alzheimers dementia. that is the first task. When you find one, you will need to approach them with your story.
 
 I would suggest you request all your loved ones medical records from the current nursing home, be sure you have the evaluations that show she is not psychotic. You may need to literally go to the DON and administrator of a facility you want to have her in, and gently explain the situation (but don’t “put down” the current DON, that would be a bad sign to the new facility). Show the records and the evaluations and explain that you are looking for a new home because you are looking for someone who is experienced in working with Alzheimers & their special activity needs.  The new facility will want to know why you are moving her. You will need to give an explanation so you will need to decide how much to share and in what tone. A kinder tone may get you further, meaning you don’t want to complain about the current facility but perhaps explain you find they are not understanding your loved ones needs and that is why you are looking for a facility that does understand her needs.
 
There are some things that will help you, such as do you have power of attorney for healthcare decisions? The facility can’t just put someone on psych medications without a reason and without consent. In addition, you should be talking with your loved ones personal physician (not just the medical director of the facility).  He/She can also tell the new facility that your loved one doesn’t need a locked unit, just a wander guard and activities. In fact, I don’t see in your story anything about if the Medical Director is at all involved. You do want to be sure her personal physician is one who is experienced in Alzheimers dementia.
 
I hope this helps you.

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