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We are writing on behalf of our mom. If there were an option to have zero stars in a rating, we would quickly note just that as our mom's three and a half months* in Brookdale’s Clare Bridge Dementia Unit were the most destructive months of her/our life. When we took mom for an interview to determine if she would be best in the assisted living unit or in the dementia care unit in early January 2018, the assistant director of nursing in the dementia unit at Brookdale did not believe mom qualified for that level of care. We believed differently (knowing that mom outsmarted the assistant director of nursing when asked about incontinence and knowing that the interview caught mom in a very lucid manner), and between the interview and the "sales pitched" services for superb care and a bounty of activities/routine, we agreed in contract for mom to move into her lovely Clare Bridge unit. It did not take long for us to see a physical and an emotional decline in our mom; initially and quickly in both her happiness and a loss of weight. Staff clearly were not knowledgeable in helping our mom transition to her new home. We also saw a decline in our mother's upkeep despite arranging for services, thinking grooming and dressing would perhaps make mom's days a little easier. The services we paid for in grooming began as a verbal reminder- use toilet, take a shower. There was no documentation/data of this actually occurring. Yet, we were told this level of services was not effective, and soon the level of support and pay increased to a physical prompt. We were then told mom was resistant to these physically prompted services. That resistance, meant mom needed more than one person to help her groom. This led to further humiliation on our mom's part and it lead to an additional charge from the facility for both the services and the resistance to services. Again we saw that staff were not trained to “care for the senior living with cognitive challenges”. Nobody was present the first week of mom's stay in mid February 2018 to witness her first two falls of many in Clare Bridge.We were present for a subsequent fall at which time one nurse yelled - "Why is she falling?" Frequent falls occurred, often at the sleep hours when mom would head to the bathroom. The staff thought it best to remove or we should say hide her cane in the closet and have her use a rollator. We had serious doubts mom was taught how to transition to a rollator from a cane. Many falls occurred between March and May. It took two falls on one Sunday in early June and a diagnosis at Yale Hospital of a UTI that was e. coli driven for our family to wake up to the realization that mom was receiving awful care in Clare Bridge. At that point mom was delirious in mind and weak in body from the UTI that was likely in her system for a period of time. It wasn't a surprise to be told that the UTI was due to a lack of proper prevention. This UTI lead to her frequent falls, her dehydration and her confused delirious state. Mom needed to go to rehab to build her own physical strength and a stronger mind set. This move into rehab turned out to be a "blessing in disguise" as Clare Bridge declared that they would not take mom back unless she were to return with a full 24 hour aide. Clare Bridge destroyed mom in ways that we are not sure could be "rebuilt". Mom could no longer use the cane she entered Clare Bridge with just 3 and a half months before. She could not fully void, nor could she get to the bathroom independently to urinate. She had little engagement, stimulation and routine; the promises of these happening in Clare Bridge were not to be. Mom didn't know where her "home" was. She expressed a feeling that something was missing, but could not elaborate further. We, her family, made a grave mistake believing the "sales pitch" and words from staff and management at Clare Bridge. Encouraging words were echoed at formal meetings we arranged with family, staff and management; with agenda and action plans executed. Pictures were sent by the assistant director of nursing in the dementia unit to paint a picture to family far different from the reality that mom was living. Our cameras held the pictures of feces and disarray in mom's room, closet, bedding, drawers, toilet, carpet, etc...Our cameras, our minds and our mom today speak the truth of the mistake we made moving mom into Clare Bridge. P.S. Although mom lived in her unit for 3.5 months she had to pay for a full additional month, since return to the facility from rehab was put on hold, and one was not allowed to pay for a partial month. We'd be remiss not to mention the initial $4,000 non refundable community fee, and that initial personal services added $846 to the $5,690 base rate by the end of her first month. By the end of her second month the resistance fee and physically prompted personal services increased her monthly pay by an additional $1,796. By mom’s 3rd month she was paying $7,720. Money at Clare Bridge/Brookdale of Woodbridge did not equal care.
Brookdale Woodbridge was very clean and friendly. I visited five different times and I just always got a good feeling. My mom's experience was good and she didn't have anything negative happen to her. She loved the people who took care of her, so it was a very positive and upbeat experience for her. The food and socializing were good. The girl who took care of Mom did her laundry at the very end and washed everything together so all of her whites came out pink, which was extremely frustrating because I had bought brand-new clothes for her. My mom came home with her new clothes completely damaged. I wish they would not have done her laundry and let me do it at home. We're still planning on using them again. They have very good food and staff, and the building is very nice. It's close to my house, so I like the location. It's kind of in a secluded area and its off the main road. It's in a wooded area and its a beautiful park-like area.
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