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Hypothermia in Mom at Nursing Home!
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Hypothermia in Mom at Nursing Home!

Hello all. I was brought in to make sure documents were properly signed for end of life - no machines, etc.
I have a lot of health issues and had not visited mom (dad is also in the same room with mom) for a few months.

Mom had been thru hell and back about 8 years ago. She was doing really well but this past year saw her decline a little. It must have been Wednesday that the social worker called about getting this document signed so maybe mom wasn't eating???

Saturday this head nurse calls as if mom had one foot in the grave and I better get this form up there. I told the nurse I had it for the postman but could fax it. The N.Home fax wasn't working so I went up. Again, the head nurse is going on about how mom is one foot ... and after I gave her my verbal OK she called moms doc to tell him.

I go with the head nurse to see mom and tell the nurse that mom has pretty good color. Nurse says "Her color was pasty this a.m.". I call mom and say that I am here and keep calling out to her. Mom opens her eyes a bit. She became blind a few years ago... I tell the nurse that she is responding. Nurse "Her right eye is not as open as her left!".

At this point I am thinking "WTF"! One foot in the grave!?! I don't think so. I always brush my mothers hair so I go to get her brush and oil and stuff and start and then realize that she is only dressed in a night gown! It just covers her knees but thats all. We are in PA and it was about 35F outside and probably 75F or lower inside. Mom was always freezing even in the summer when it was 100F = she would have the heater on!

I bundle mom up with blankets, put a knit hat on her, knit booties and get her all warmed up. I continue brushing her hair and oil it lightly. When I was holding her hand she grasped it so tight it was difficult to pull away!

When the nurse walked by I asked why she was only dressed in a night gown! Nurse "She is beyond the point." She also said that they couldn't feed her if she was so bundled up! This didn't make any sense because I was told she wasn't eating! I guess this also means that she was in a night gown for about 8 hours!

In doing research on hypothermia it only takes a healthy elderly person minutes for their core body temp to drop to dangerous degrees but for a person already in ill health! and for my mother to be left in this condition for possibly 8 hours!

I was there for about 2 hours and when I left I did the usual ritual we have giving mom lots of kisses, saying I love you. Mom opened her eyes very wide! and mouthed "I love you" over and over... I said thats my mom. Kissed her some more and she was able to make a couple verbalizations!

I called the next day to make sure that mom was properly dressed, she was, and the monster nurse was not there.

Monday I spoke to the admin and her doctor who will be taking care of things! That is not what I am asking about.

I want to know if the damage has already been done? Are there any tests that can be done to see if there was any damage done? The issue with any test, that I can think of is bringing mom to the hospital. In this frail state I don't think it would be best for her. Unless they can bring any machine to the home the test would be limited to things they can do at the home...

Our biggest issue is getting her to eat and I will not put her on a feeding tube. I am thinking at least vitamin injections or IVs. Any other ideas? What kind of therapy would be best?

If you have read all this Thank you so much. If you have any helpful comments I thank you in advance!

I think her doc would be very positive about any suggestion. He was shocked with the story I told him and apologized constantly though it was not his doing! This is a very small nursing home so I thought we were very lucky to get in there... but one never knows.

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From the comments from the nurse, I would have her fired. When my little one was 99, she was alone in her room with a 25 watt bulb and no tv and the nurse said "she can't benefit from visual stimulation - she's near death". Four years later she was walking and talking and dressing to the nines after intensive rehab by me. I kicked the nurse in the buttocks (lightly) and threw her out of the room. The medical profession tends to abandon the elderly prematurely, unfortunately. It may be near the end and it may not be. To allow her to get cold without clothing warrants a complaint in writing to the state regulatory authorities. You are a caring person. I am not a happy camper with most nursing homes or the employees. Keep bothering them. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Thanks for that & great to hear that your "little one" did so well with CARE!

Yes, I believe that nurse is probably gone already. She was probably nearly gone & this was the last point for the home! If my & mom had the old Dr. Wilson this nurse would have had her bags packing that night.

I have good connections at Agency on Aging and am waiting to talk to the Director & see just how many letters to CC to whom.

I was very satisfied with the Admin, who is also an RN and her newer doctor... now I just have to find out what any damage was done!
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