As My Mom Declines Should I Give Up On Her Walking?

As My Mom Declines Should I Give Up On Her Walking?

My Mom With Bird

My Mom With Bird

My mom is 91 years old and has vascular dementia.  She has slowly declined over the last nine years.  Through my research, I can assume she is in one of the last two stages of dementia (there are seven).  My mom has been in skilled nursing care for the last 9½ months and needs 100% assistance.  The last thing that she could do on her own was feed herself.

Now she has dramatically declined in the last month and even needs assistance with eating.  She is still a good eater, but does not have the cognition to eat on her own.  It is too much work for her.  Her short-term memory seems like it has decreased to about one-second.

Antipsychotic medications have reduced the amount and the intensity of her delusions, anxiety, crying and irritability.  There have been medications added, increased and decreased in the last four months.  It has been a balancing act to try to improve the quality of her emotions and cognition without having her become lethargic.

Now my mom’s memory loss has affected her ability to walk.  At the last care conference meeting, we discussed the quality of her life and whether it is a good idea to try to make someone walk or not.  It takes constant encouragement to get her walking and she keeps trying to sit down. I have advocated for the caregivers to keep trying to walk her daily.  They never make her, but lots of encouragement can produce a walk to breakfast or lunch.  By dinnertime, my mom’s Sundowners Syndrome with anxiety and crying make it impossible to walk her.

My mother seems confused and miserable when she walks and just wants to sit down.  I want to try to decide in the next week, if I should just let advocacy regarding walking stop all together.  In my opinion walking seems so important because it gets her circulation going and her memory seems to clear up.  When the walking officially stops, the memory will for sure get worse.  Maybe I just need to accept my mom is in the final stage of dementia and have her enjoy what she can…like playing with the new bird at the community.

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Advocating for Mom in Care Conferences

Advocating for Mom in Care Conferences

Skilled Nursing Care ConferencesAn adult child or power of attorney plays a crucial role at a care conference.  You can literally hold the pieces of the puzzle that an assisted living, skilled nursing care or memory care need in order to enhance the lifestyle of the resident.

No one alive knows my mom better than me.  She cannot always advocate on her own behalf, because she has vascular dementia.  If I asked her, “What would you rather have for dinner, prime rib or salmon?”  My mom would say, “Diane you know what I like, you decide.”  Even with her dementia, she knows that I will select her favorite choices from the past.

Recently, at my mom’s care conference in skilled nursing care a puzzle started to come together.  My mom was having episodes of greater confusion.  It might be three days in row and then she would be fine again.  Was my mom’s dementia getting worse or was it something else?  Would she need to start a new drug?

As we were brainstorming possibilities, I remembered how lack of sleep could intensive my mom’s dementia in the past.  We figured out that the bed alarm of some of her recent roommates was affecting her sleep.  When she experienced less sleep, then she would have episodes of greater delusion during the day.

It was an aha moment, so now they are going to focus on roommates who don’t need constant alarms going off.  Hopefully my mom will improve.  As a Boomer child, I have to be willing to accept that my mom’s dementia is getting worse, but maybe my advocacy can continue to help improve her quality of life for now.

Please share your success, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Moving My Mom 1000 Miles From Assisted Living to Skilled Nursing Care (Part 3)

Moving My Mom 1000 Miles From Assisted Living to Skilled Nursing Care (Part 3)

Diane and her Mother

Diane and her Mother

Up to now, it has been a tough six-week transition for my mother.  Right after we moved my mom to skilled nursing care, she was announcing to those who would listen that she was kidnapped.  Really?? Oh my!!  This was actually the clearest thing she was saying and the rest was random scattered memories mixed with 75 – 95 percent delusions.  It was very tough for me to see.  But I never gave up on her clarity coming back.

Tomorrow, on Monday, it will be six weeks since I moved my mom from Seattle to California.  You may have missed my previous blog posts on the preparations for moving my mom because she was diagnosed with breast cancer (Part 1) and the trauma and joy of moving day itself (Part 2).

It has been a tough road as a boomer daughter with a ton of paperwork, but it has a happy ending.  My mom lives at a wonderful community that I represent in Lake Forest, CA.

Who was the worst marketer for about three weeks?  Yup, my mom!!  She was announcing daily that she had not been fed breakfast.  My mom was so convincing that two different department heads (who don’t work in the health care center), believed her when they walked by and tried to get her more food.  I appreciate both of them always watching out for all our residents, including my mom.

It turned out that my mom’s thyroid was out of whack.  Now, my mother is back to her happy dementia self.  Today, it was a joy to witness her having 70 percent clarity of mind.  She said, “l love it here.”  “The food is great!”  “We get to have lunch outside and I like it.” “Remember years ago, I lived here?”  (She went to college at UCLA and it has happy memories for her.)  She saw my computer and asked if there were pictures to see on it.  (This was huge remembering a computer could have photos.)  My mom knew today that she lived in California!

We browsed through the Sunday paper together (I was pointing out good highlights).  She loved sitting outside talking, feeling the breeze, seeing the birds and watching the fountain in the courtyard.

So the proof is in the pudding!  Someone with severe vascular dementia can put a new home in his or hers long-term memory.  It has taken six weeks for my mom to be comfortable with her new routine.  I just want to continue to enjoy her clarity moments and I am always grateful that she can call me by name and still knows who I am.  Today, she shared smiles and laughter with me.  God is good!

Please share your success, failures or comment to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com.  Masson’s book will be required reading at George Mason University in the Fall as part of the marketing curriculum.  She is currently consulting with Seniors For Living and two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Connection and partnership opportunities: Email: diane@marketing2seniors.net