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Posted April 21, 2005

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Caregiving Relationship: Is This Good Advice on Nursing Homes?

Q. My siblings and I are getting closer to making a decision to place our mother (who has Alzheimer's) in a care facility. In checking out the local places, we were told that once we place Mom, we should not visit for approximately three to four weeks.

Is it appropriate to wait that long before we see Mom again? We are uncomfortable with that advice.

Nona P., Bancroft, Idaho

A. I can understand your being uncomfortable with this arrangement, and I would discuss your feelings with the administrator of the home. You have the right to visit you mother whenever you wish.

I think they may be trying to make the transition easier for you, but I disagree with this plan. Most facilities encourage visiting whenever and as often as possible. This familiarity with the facility should make you more comfortable that your mother is in good hands.

I assume this is the only facility close enough to you to make it possible to visit. If there are other facilities, I would investigate placement at those as well.

This answer has been provided by Dr. Tara A. Cortes, the Senior Vice President for Patient Care Operations and Chief Nursing Officer at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Clinical Professor at Yale University in the School of Nursing doctoral program. Dr. Cortes is a published author and consultant in the areas of geriatric care and nursing administration and leadership. She can be reached at

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