September 03, 2011

And you thought Golden Corral was bad - part I

So y'all know all about what's been going down with the caregiving situation, right?  Tuesday my grandma's hospice nurse told me that it's not safe for her to live alone anymore.  So I spent the past few days visiting places and making phone calls and researching "moving elders with dementia" online.  And I found a place!  It's a small residential care home that currently houses 3 senior ladies with mild to moderate dementia.  Nature Boy and I toured the place and spent about an hour talking with the owner, a senior herself.  This place has a good reputation and is exactly what we need.  God answered my prayers.

Of course I still had to tell my grandma about the whole moving thing...

Last night I went to her apartment to broach the subject, and I brought her some food because she's been complaining that her retirement community hasn't been delivering her meals the past few days.  (When I discovered a couple weeks ago that Meemaw is getting weaker and was just skipping meals to avoid having to go downstairs to the dining room at meal times, I arranged a standing order for meal delivery with the new managers of the retirement community.  It was a great solution.  And until the past few days, it worked just fine.)

Remember that I wrote recently that housekeeping hasn't been coming to my grandma's apartment?  I had to make several calls to management (their answer was that housekeeping WAS TOO coming, and my grandma must just be forgetting it) before it was discovered (after I found 5 bags of trash in her apartment and the same dirty dishes in the sink that had been there a week before--with the same food spooge inside) that housekeeping had, in fact, stopped coming by.  Her old housekeeper had quit and they'd hired 2 part-time housekeepers.  Both of them thought the other one was cleaning my grandma's apartment.  An honest enough mistake. 

Each time Meemaw told me her food hadn't been delivered, I called the office and asked the managers whether or not it had been.  (I thought maybe the meals were being delivered and Meemaw was just forgetting that she'd eaten.)  They assured me they'd check, but never got back with me about it.  So yesterday I called the male half of the new management team to follow up.  He got an attitude and said, "Look.  Every time you called this week, I looked into it.  She's got every meal she was scheduled to get.  She must be forgetting them.  And she calls sometimes 2 or 3 times a day for the same meal to order it.  So I know she's having memory problems."  That sounded likely to me too, so I assured the manager that I wasn't complaining--just trying to make sure she's getting her food, as well as trying to determine how her memory loss is affecting her.  That calmed him down.  I also told him about our planned move for her, and that we are aware that she is deteriorating.  I asked whether I should try to move her out ASAP or wait until the 1st of October.  I was informed that a 30 day move out notice is required per her rental agreement.  I thought it was all figured out.


Last night when I was at her apartment, I noticed there were no styrofoam containers or food trays indicating she'd received her meals for the day.  I thought it was possible that they were delivering the meals, but my grandma wasn't answering the door.  So I called her around noon today to make sure she was up and dressed and listening for the door.  My mom happened to visit at lunchtime, and lo and behold, no meal was delivered.  She went downstairs to pick up Meemaw's meal and was informed that standing orders for meal delivery are not allowed anymore, and that we'd have to go back to calling to schedule her meal delivery every day.  (All meals for the day can be ordered at the same time, so only one call is necessary.)  No problem. 

Then tonight my grandma called me to say they hadn't delivered her dinner.  WTH?!  I called the manager again.  He said that my mom was told today that there aren't standing orders for meal delivery anymore, so I should have called in to order dinner.  I said that I thought my mom's conversation with the manager at lunchtime constituted the delivery order for day and the man started YELLING AT ME.

Aw.  Hell.  No.

He ranted, "This isn't a nursing home!  It's independent living!  It's not our responsibility to make sure your grandma has food!  That's YOUR job!"  I very firmly (and with volume) said, "DO NOT raise your voice to me!  You told me yesterday that all her meals have been delivered per our standing order agreement, but now you're saying there are no more standing orders allowed.  When did this change happen and why wasn't I notified?"

And he kept on yelling.  He said the other managers (who've been there the whole time my grandma's lived there) made the decision sometime last week.  So I said, "If someone would have notified me of this change to our agreement, I could've been calling in her delivery orders every day!  Why wasn't I told about this decision?"  He replied that whoever took the original standing order should have known to contact me about it.

I agreed.  And guess what.  It was he and his wife who took the standing order!  The older managers had told me that standing orders weren't possible.  The NEW managers insisted it WAS possible, and proceeded to put a standing order in place.  So the way I see it, either he or his wife should have contacted me so I could make other arrangements for my 102 pound grandma with dementia!!!!

And this is where it gets nasty.


So you gotta read Part II.

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