Communication from Mom’s AL Nursing Dept…

I received the following from the Health Services Director of mom’s AL community:

I am updating/editing our list of residents that may or may not need an escort when leaving the community. Your mom has memory loss but I don’t consider her at risk of walking out of the community.  My question to you is if your mom wanted to  leave the community by herself are you okay with that?  Say for example to go for a walk by herself or with another resident are you okay with her leaving by herself?  Or if she wanted to go to the store and asked us to call her a ride, are you okay with her leaving by herself?

Sorry for the questions but we are due for our licensing inspection soon and these are some of the topics they are concerned with.  Thank you.

I replied with the following, and was floored that there was a breakdown in internal communications to the extent that this question was even asked, though obviously, I’m grateful it was.

I am not ok with my mom leaving the community by herself. Last year she wandered toward 3rd ave from the playing field. Staff intercepted and got her turned around. The former GM asked her where she was going and she didn’t know! The former GM let me know that going forward she would not be allowed to leave the community solo, and I was fine with his choice: Safety first.

Since mom’s psychiatric nurse practitioner put her on Abilify she is much calmer. Not that her memory issues, or ability to sequence would have allowed her to make an escape before being placed on that medication, it certainly was a general concern… She continually talked about the doctor telling her she was allowed to go home. She no longer spins this fantasy to us. So while I don’t think she would tell the staff she’s just running up to the neighborhood to get cat food and then tell the cab driver to take her to the ferry landing, it is certainly a risk I am not willing taking! Thank you for reaching out!

I have always been very happy with mom’s care, yet the administrator in me is continually flummoxed by the communication snafus that go on.

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