Q: My mother is in a nursing home. She can’t stand her roommate. (The poor woman has some kind of dementia. She’s very nervous, says outlandish things and talks all night long.) I’ve asked if my mother can switch rooms but the staff just brushes me off. What can I do?
A: As a patient, your mother has rights and it is possible they are being violated. Conversely, perhaps her roommate isn’t being properly medicated. (Anxiety can be treated with medication.) Go straight to the top – speak to the Director of the facility. Lay out your concerns in a respectful manner and ask what can be done for your mother. If he/she says they don’t have another room, ask when they will. If you don’t get results, contact your local Senior Services for a referral to an Ombudsman program. They are there to help people navigate these troubling waters.