After 3 years of caring for our 83 yr old father with ALZ and Cancer we have learned that medical PROFESSIONALS see no issue with taking every dime that the elderly have spent a lifetime earning but feel a protective gate is abuse. They advise a secure gate on the fenced yard but not on a door to a bedroom or kitchen.
We recently removed Dad from an AWARD WINNING skilled nursing facility , dehydrated and infected with a 5 lb weight loss. After only two weeks of PROFESSIONAL CARE.
On admittance we let the staff know that DAd required 1400 ML of water in his feeding tube, and was NOT to be placed on Seriquel because it gave him problems with his heart condition.
They promptly placed him on 800 ML and kept the medication on that his cardiologist removed from his med list.
After telling me that it was a secure facility they notified me day 3 that dad had been found in the parking lot after wheeling himself out following some visitors. Lied straight to my face by telling me he had removed an ankle monitor that wasn't on that morning when I dressed him.
We sent DAD in walking with a walker, and in the 2 weeks never saw him out of a wheel chair, though he was there for rehab. He left the house walking down the four stairs from the deck and had to be carried up when he got home.
We placed a door alarm on his bedroom door because he has fallen many times over the last 3 yrs, or will sit on floor to look for something and can't get up. He has a bedside commode for evenings for this reason.
What these people don't tell you is that many patients with ALZ don't recover from a broken hip or that severe injury quickens the levels of ALZ.
We also installed a stair gate at waist level on his door that is removed at 6 am every morning.
When he opens his door at 2 am the alarm sounds and the gate gives us time to turn him around before a disagreement occurs in the hallway.
You can't reason with a person that has dementia after certain stages. So with Dad when he walks off without his feeding machine even a sweet reminder can become a cause for disagreement. Though he doesn't speak he is very demonstrative and it is easy to tell he is yelling at you.
One of the first things he suffered in his ALZ was the understanding of consequence, then compassion and empathy.
Dad has oral cancer with no ability to yell out for help. A bedside commode is the best way to handle his fall risk and a gate is a secondary defense.
We have to balance as caregivers whether it is smarter to place a gate or to have one of our four children find him in a puddle of blood on the bathroom floor.
It is easy for professionals that make a living on the elderly to have an opinion. They work five days a week , get a lot of vacation time, and have workmans comp. They prescribe a pill for everything including behavior that makes their job difficult, which restrains our parents from being anything close to what they were and say its to help them.
The professionals have said for 3 yrs its time to stop trying and place Dad in hospice, yesterday he danced with his grand-daughters, and if we had listened to the professionals my girls would not have that memory to take with them through life,.