There was a new guy in the group of people my mother was hanging out with at the nursing home. I didn’t particularly like the guy. It felt like he had a thing for my mother. He appeared to be hitting on her on a regular and very blatant basis. My mother was oblivious to the whole thing. I was very leery and kept a real close eye on things when I was there. I brought it up to the activities guy and to the nursing staff. I felt it was only right to voice my concerns. I wanted my mother to stay safe and she was not of sound mind at this point. She had no idea this guy was making advances toward her.  The staff assured me that it was fine. He was just overly friendly. They told me not to worry about it and promised that they would keep an eye on the situation when I was at work. 

I tried. I tried very hard to like the guy. I knew he also had brain issues. I tried to cut him some slack. I included him along with the others when I visited with my mom in the lounge area. I tried to make a point of conversing with him. He had gotten under my skin though and I couldn’t help my trepidation. I just did not trust the guy at all. Did I mention I was trying to keep an open mind? This went on for a while. He tried to cut in on my visits with her. He made me uncomfortable. He made passes at me. It was all just very wrong, but the staff was not handling him. It was not my place to do it. When I did chastise him it would elicit very negative responses and just make things worse. So I kept my mouth shut and observed. I was not happy at all.

It did not take long before I got a call at work. My mother and this man were found in his room, laying together on his bed. My mom was stripped down to her bra. The staff separated them but the guy was still there when I got to the nursing home that day. I had a long talk with the director of the facility. He acknowledged my concerns and agreed to move the man to the second floor so he would not have further interactions with my mother. I shudder to think what could have happened had I not been around to advocate for her. The level of supervision at the facility was lacking in a big way. It seemed like there was enough staff. It just seemed like they didn’t care enough to pay attention to what was going on.

On a regular basis when I would walk into the dining room there would be multiple residents at the tables and wandering around and there would be nobody there watching them. I started taking on that role when I was there. I started helping people to their seats, stopping people from doing things they weren’t supposed to be doing, separating people who were having disagreements, helping people who were about to fall out of their wheelchairs. This is not what I expected. I had placed my mom into the nursing home so that she would be safe, and now I was more worried about her than I already had been. I was a mess over this, and had not quite processed that phone call that I got. As a parent, if you get a call saying your child was caught with another student it is one thing. Getting a call that your parent was in a compromising position with someone is a whole other level. It really had my head spinning. This whole thing just kept getting more difficult. I was a mess and that day I sobbed in my car before I could leave. I was shaking as I left the facility. It was a nightmare that I was living though. This couldn’t be real. It was a nightmare and I wanted to wake up. I knew that was not the case, though. This was all very real. I just needed to somehow find some inner strength to muddle through it.







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