Nursing Homes in Taiwan

My 90-yr old grandmother is being moved to an assisted-care facility in Taipei next week. It breaks my heart to see this happen, but she requires 24hr care. She suffered a stroke a few years ago, so she cannot speak and requires a feeding tube. None of my relatives have the space to take her in, so they are being forced to take this option (albeit very reluctantly).

In the past, they’ve tried hiring Indonesian helpers for her in the past, but had very bad experiences with them. (One tried to suffocate her with a pillow, one would IM so much that she would forget to feed my grandmother or take her to use the bathroom, and the most recent one ran away and left her alone for 24hrs.) They are concerned about letting her live alone, since she’s received such poor treatment from the Indonesian helpers. None one lives close enough by to be able to check on her on a daily basis.

Can anyone tell me what is the best nursing home in Taiwan (if money is no object)? I know some nursing homes in the U.S. can be quite comfortable and nice. But, I hear that there is a long waiting list for nursing homes in Taiwan.

From my end, is there anything that I can do to make her stay more comfortable? I wanted to install a webcam and flat screen in her room, so that she can Skype with those of us who are overseas. But my relatives in Taiwan said that it would not be allowed. And the nurses would be too busy to help with the equipment.

I also wonder if I can hire someone (perhaps a tech savvy college student) to visit her twice a week, and maybe help assist with the Skyping. But again, it is very hard to do overseas. I wonder if you might have suggestions on how to find such a person.

I hate feeling completely impotent and unable to do anything to help her. Any advice would be appreciated. Are assisted-facilities as bad as they describe? Grandmother currently lives in a 6th floor walk-up with no AC, so being at this new place, means that she will be able to go outside (she could not before, since there is no elevator in her building) and people would be able to visit her more easily.

See this thread: WCIF nursing homes in Taipei.

Again, the best place I know of is up north: here.

You say she cannot talk but that she is able to use Skype, what compensatory strategies have been put in place for communication? I currently work with pediatrics but I have many years of experience with adults with acquired neurogenic disorders. For quality of life I’d want to address feeding if any textures can be tolerated without aspiration, and communication. Quite often following a stroke a person develops aphasia, and what type of aphasia is acquired (based on the type of CVA and where in the brain the CVA and resulting necrosis occurred) will impact what treatment modality is most appropriate.

Does she have a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist with experience treating acquired neurogenic disorders?

In my experience in SNFs the way a person is treated is far different based on two things; the communication ability they possess, and how strongly they are advocated for.

Communication is a humanizing element and people who cannot speak are often seen as less than human by caregivers who do not understand that cognitive function may not be impacted by a CVA (or other neurogenic disorder) even if communication is profoundly impaired. Advocation informs people that this is a person who is loved and cared about, and reminds them of their basic human responsibility to treat people with respect, professional duty to give the highest quality of care, and legal obligation that they will be held liable for any malpractice.

Eating is a social activity. Even if all a person can tolerate is a small amount of thickened liquids or pureed foods, it is an important part of quality of life. Not only the act of eating (which stimulates neural function), but the social activity of eating around other people. I’ve been known to bring some jelly to a patient’s room and, as tolerated, smearing just enough jelly on the patient’s lips for her to taste it (not enough to form particulates or a bolus, just a very thin veneer on one area of one lip). This is something I WOULD NOT advise without the SLP or doc who did the swallow study signing off on it. It’s just an example of ways quality of life can be improved through simple things.

Anyway, I hope some of this helps.