Not being allowed to see family member in ALH~normal? *Update*
I have a family member with Alzheimer's who went into an assisted living home eight days ago. He was still able to recognize us by face, not necessarily by name (though sometimes he did by name, too). His wife was told that they would recommend no-one in the family see him for a few days to give him a chance to settle in, and not continue to go through the anxiety of us leaving (he did not want to stay with strangers and tried to chase his wife and other family member down the hallway as they left). No-one has been to see him for eight days now, and they continue to recommend we not see him. They are playing it by ear, and will let us know when it is time. I am not sure I agree with this. His wife talked with them at length and 'seems' to agree, though she is concerned about him, too. Please help me understand, if anyone has experience with this. It is breaking my heart, as I am worried he will think he has been abandoned, and won't understand why all of the sudden his wife, nor anyone he knows, is no longer around him! And how is he going to communicate his needs to them, if they don't know him that well??? I suppose if I insisted on seeing him, they would let me. But I want to do what's best for him and everyone concerned, as hard as it is.
____________ *Update* 12/15/11 ~ I called the head nurse at the facility this morning and am so glad I did!!! There seems to be a bit of confusion about what his wife was told, but the bottom line is that the nurse said it was okay for me to come visit him. So I did, and he was doing fine, though he did look a bit forlorn when I first walked in. He perked up when he saw me and said, "I'm so glad you're here," and we hugged tightly. I sat and talked with him for awhile, then we walked out into the courtyard and sat out there for awhile, too. When I left to go pick up my DD from school, he did want to walk out with me (not acting like he wanted to escape, but just that he wanted to walk with me), and when the nurse re-directed him, he didn't put up a fight, he just turned to look at me as I was leaving. Hopefully, he did okay after I was gone.
And by the way, the next time you see an elderly person at a nursing home or other facility, whether they have dementia, or Alzheimer's, or other mind-altering disease, don't be afraid to look them in the eyes, smile, and talk to them. Even if they don't respond, or respond inappropriately, or don't seem to understand at all, do it anyway. They'll appreciate it. Trust me.
Last edited by FLSunshineMom; 12-15-2011 at 03:38 PM.
I'm afraid you are right. I imagine that whole situation has to be very traumatic for him. I hate to hear this and don't think I would heed their recommendation. Something smells rotten here to me! I might even look into another ALH.
I would think having his loved ones visit frequently would make it easier over time and help him to know that he wasnt abandoned and that things are different but going to be okay. I also find it tragic that with the Alzheimer's they are recommending you lose very precious time with him. I would fear this could make the disease worse, Mary. I would suggest getting a second opinion from a medical doctor who specializes in Alzheimer's. It doesn't sound right at all to me and I've never heard of anything like this before.
Thank you, Anna. That's what I was thinking, too, that seeing his family members would help, not hurt. Yes, it might be difficult for him to get used to his wife leaving every day, but what about the rest of the family? He was accustomed to us coming to visit, then leaving again. And yes, yes, I am not wanting to miss out on the precious time I still have left with him! You hit the nail right on the head with that one.
If they don't call and say we can come first thing in the morning, I'm going to pay them a visit and at least talk to them about it.
I agree with Anna. Something doesn't sound right. You don't know when some of the other stages are going to hit and being robbed of the time you can spend with him now is too precious to wait. (((Hugs)))
Thank you, Kristi and Angela. I guess I'm being silly by not revealing that the 'family member' is my dad. I thought I'd try to keep it more private since this is a public board, but they would probably figure out who it was anyway.
Kristi - I'm so sorry about your Nan. I'm taking it harder than I ever thought I would, he is on my mind almost constantly, but it will get better once my step mom starts visiting again, because she'll be spending a lot of time there. In the meantime, my brother and I are going to visit as much as we can. I called the nurse again yesterday and asked how he did after I left, and she said he did just fine, so I was relieved to hear that.
Thanks, Angela Good news, I went to see him this morning and my step mom was there! My dad looked so happy and I haven't seen him that talktative in a long time! It did my heart good. My brother came, too, so three of us were there with him (my DD was with DH because she's sick with a bad cold). I took him a treat, a scone from Starbucks, which he really enjoyed and shared with us. My step mom said my dad actually cried when she first got there because he was so happy to see her (and my dad never cries). So sweet. My step mom is going to try and rent a room on the 22nd so we can all meet there and have Christmas with him.