Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holiday Woes

Due to recent financial struggles, we have decided not to buy gifts for everyone we usually buy for this year. Since this is happening to many, I am sure we are not alone in this decision.

Having said that, there are a few that we will be trying to buy something for. We have discussed this with our immediate family and they have agreed not to buy for us either. Somehow, I don't think our mothers will adhere to this. We are going to help out a little with our grandson's Christmas in lieu of buying for the kids.

I know that we will get our parents something I just don't know what. That just leaves my grandmother.

I struggle every year with this. Since she is in a nursing home, her personal space is very limited. I also have to consider her Alzheimer's. Personal photographs that I could restore myself are out of the question. She no longer recognizes anyone so any enjoyment she may have gotten from this in the past is gone.

I thought of buying her new pictures to hang on her walls but, I have not been able to find anything affordable. I am thinking of getting her a new outfit. Mom says I shouldn't because it will just come up missing. Which brings me to a new issue.

We have signs posted around Granny's closet specifically stating that the family will do her laundry. The main reason behind this decision is the type of detergent used in nursing facilities. Any large facility that does a large amount of laundry, uses the least expensive detergents to offset costs. The problem is that these are very harsh detergents that leave your clothes stiff and quite rough. As you age, your skin can become quite thin and sensitive. Since my grandmother has sensitive skin to begin with, this just adds to her discomfort.

Even with the signs they still do some of her laundry. We have spoken with the person in charge of laundry, the Director of Nursing and the Director of the nursing home about this to no avail. My grandmother has had several things come up missing. The most recent items are 2 pair of pants that mom purchased for her withing the last 3 months. After several visits to the laundry room to try and locate them, she finally went to the Director. So now the nursing home has to pay for the clothing.

There are other things that seem to "get lost". Lotion, candy, drinks from her dorm fridge, and OTC medications that we have purchased. All of these items are clearly marked with her name in permanent marker.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying any employee is stealing. Residents there are always going into one another's rooms. They forget which room is theirs and wander into another room. My grandmother has done this on several occasions and has made it back to her own room with items that did not belong to her. Mom and I always try to find the owner so we can return them.

The laundry issue is totally different. Even though I know that any new outfit I may get her could possibly come up missing, I still want to get her one with some leopard print on it.

1 Comment:

  1. Tracy said...
    Stuff going missing is an ongoing problem in nursing homes. Definitely make sure that when you bring things to your grandmother that the items get added to the inventory sheet that is in her medical record/chart, that way the nursing home is assuming responsibility to safeguard the items (such as the pants that you mention the facility must replace). Also save the receipts so that there can not be any question as to the value of items that may come up missing. Almost all nursing home employees are good people who love the patients, but occasionally there are some that are not so good at all and, as you point out, sometimes confused patients take things. But it's still the facility's responsibility to take care of your grandmother and her stuff.

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