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  1. #1

    Why is it so dangerous to move a dementia patient to a new care home?

    Can anyone shed some light for me as to why it is so dangerous to move someone with dementia to a new care home? My mum has been in a great home for 3 years but it is a six hour round trip journey for me and as I am out of work I can no longer afford the money it costs for me to visit her twice a week. I want very much to move her to a new home nearer to me but I've been told that it can be very detrimental to her wellbeing, which obviously I don't want. My choices are to only see her once a week which would break my heart (she has no other visitors) or risk moving her where I can see her at least daily. I just want to do the right thing for her. Her dementia is severe, but at 85 she could live for many more years.

  2. #2
    Registered User Jo1958's Avatar
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    Caroline, hello and welcome to Talking Point
    There are many people on here with experience of care homes and the problems with moving someone in the later stages of dementia, I have no experience but I would imagine one of the problems could be funding, if your mother is self funding then you can make the decision yourself but if she is getting any social funding then you will have to negotiate with her current authority and with the new one where you live. If you can take some time to look around in your area and find somewhere that you think would be suitable then you can at least start the process with as much knowledge and information as possible.

    I wish you luck and look forward to hearing how it goes for you both, it would be lovely for you have your mum closer and be able to see her much more often.
    With best wishes from Jo
    There isn't enough darkness in the whole universe to put out the light of one candle (quote Hubby, 25 September 2010)

  3. #3
    Thanks Jo, I appreciate your message. Yes, Mum's fees are paid by the authorities: from what I've gathered I should be able to move her to my local council without a problem but who knows! I have found a lovely sounding home near me, but have not gone as far as to check it yet as I have been told moving her could 'kill her'. I completely trust those who have said this, as they are healthcare professionals whilst I know so little, but I am so upset at the thought of not seeing Mum, it feels as if I am abandoning her all over again and I feel I have to try and understand this better before I even think about going any further.

  4. #4
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    Hi Caroline,
    I don't know why it would be so detrimental to her health either. My mum goes into respite every eight weeks for two weeks and her AD is quite advanced, it has no detrimental effect that we notice. But this is exactly the sort of thing people always tell you.

    I would ask the people who have said that to direct you to the evidence supporting this statement. If they can't do that or hesitate in any way then they don't know what they are talking about.

    good luck


  5. #5
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    I hate to be blunt but how would your Mum feel if she never saw you? Maybe she would prefer the risk of moving to total isolation?
    I find the whole "moving" argument a bit hard to take. If seems to me if the powers that be don't want somone moved it's "detrimental". But if they want them moved you have no choice especially if they are funded.
    My Uncle has severe dementia orientated behavioural problems and is about to be turfed out of his nursing home which happens to be near my cousin his only
    surviviing close relative. But she has been told because there is a EMI unit near his old home within the boundaries of the council that pay his fees he has to go there, even though it has been slated by the CQC and is only 2star. There is another home nearer her whcih is much newer and LA run with a wing suited to his needsand. BUT it is not the LA which funds his care and the ones that find him wioll not allow hinm to go put of county. This sort of case makes me think these decisions are far more to do with politics than a clients needs. She is currnently taking his case to some sort of appeal panel.
    Sorry this is a bit of a miserable response, it's just how I see things
    I hope you can find a soolutions that works for you.

  6. #6
    Registered User BeckyJan's Avatar
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    Funding obviously comes into this but I do not think this is to do with your Mum's health.

    I can see difficulties in transporting someone in final stage, aged 85, for a ? 3 hour journey. My husband is bedridden and very frail and we have decided that hospital check ups are inadvisable purely for health reasons.

    I understand your reasons for wanting to change but please ensure you can overcome the travelling difficulties and also accept that any change is disorientating especially for dementia sufferers.

    I really hope you can find a solution.
    Former Carer

    'Hope is a lover's staff, walk hence with that and manage it against despairing thoughts' (Shakespeare)[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Canadian Joanne's Avatar
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    Hello Caroline,

    The big disadvantage to moving someone who is well-settled in his home is that it will probably take a very long time for him to settle again. The individual would probably have a marked decline and not go back to his original level of capabilities he had before the move.

    As long as you are ready to accept this, you could go ahead with the move. I don't know if your mother has any physical disabilities, as they could also factor into consideration.

    I think it would be worth having an in-depth discussion with the home, GP, etc regarding the benefits and disadvantages of a move.
    Volunteer Moderator and former carer
    When you've seen one person with Alzheimer's, you've seen one person with Alzheimer's

  8. #8
    Registered User piedwarbler's Avatar
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    It may be that the receiving LA would say that it would be detrimental to your mum's health because they don't want to take on the funding of her care - I don't know if this is the case, but I do think that authorities have to get together and agree the level of care package and match it before a move. When my mum moved she was self funding.

    My mum has vascular dementia and has moved care home twice, she is now in home number 3. Each move was accompanied by a big down turn in her physically and mentally. She had a 3 1/2 week stay in hospital between care homes 2 and 3 and thought the hospital was a care home, she didn't want to leave when she was discharged.

    I know how you must feel about the visiting as I was a long distance carer and as Mum got frailer, I found travelling more frequently very hard indeed. I therefore moved her nearer me, but found Mum was very disoriented by the move. Then when she went into hospital she was too needy to go back to care home number 2 and so moved to care home number 3.

    I think if your mum is settled in a good care home, it is worth a great deal, but on the other hand the travelling is exhausting. I read in the paper at the weekend about a man who chose to leave his father in a care home in Torquay rather than move him up to a care home in Lancaster - that's 320 miles. He felt it was very much the right decision for him. I'm pretty sure this was in Saturday's Guardian, you can probably find the story online.

    Whatever you decide, and I think it's a tough one, you will decide in your mum's best interests, so don't have any regrets. I would move my mum again but straight to care home 3 rather than trying care home 2, if that makes sense. xx

    Prayer of the Breton fishermen: “Dear God, be good to me. The sea is so wide, and my boat is so small.”

  9. #9
    Thanks to everyone for your replies - it does help a great deal to know there are others out there who are going through this truly horrible experience. I waited 3 years before entering this forum as I think I felt so guilty about placing Mum into care that I thought I wasn't 'worthy' to be part of it. I wish I had ignored those feelings as I can see how beneficial it is, and for so many.
    I will get in touch with Mum's GP as suggested, and I will also question the people who say it 'will kill her', as also suggested. You are right when you say that so much is down to financial and political pressure - it just isn't right.
    I also agree that if I had the luxury of asking Mum what she would prefer I am certain she would ask to be nearer me, regardless of any risk: when I offered her some chocolate the other say she took my hand and said - 'No dear, I just want you', which as you can imagine made me cry buckets. Days like that are so incredibly rare, I don't want to miss them.
    So thank you all - as I said, I truly am grateful for your help.
    All the best.

  10. #10
    Registered User Jancis's Avatar
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    Hi Caroline,
    Oh I do feel for you. It's good that your mum is in a great home at the moment. If she were in a **** home like my uncle then there would be different issues at stake. When you say your mum's dementia is severe, is this your opinion as well as the health professionals? Does you mum still recognise you, does she get pleasure from your visits? If she does then I feel sure that you should be able to move your mum nearer to you. I was told my uncle might be at risk from moving to another home but in the end he was fine. But he moved into a lovelier place with better care - that's the crucial thing to find the best care and my uncle was self-funding, so again, a different scenario.
    Hope all goes well for you, please let us know.
    Jancis x

    Just realised your last post crossed with mine! Good luck.
    "The best of life is further on, hidden from our eye beyond the hills of time" - Sir William Mulock.

  11. #11
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    I do know that moving someone who is well settled can be very distressing - if they have dementia the change in place, people and routine and the actual move itself can cause a lot of extra confusion and upset. Mental health has a strong relation to physical health of course.

    Also, and I don;t know how much importance to attach to this, when my Gran had to move from her previous house of many years residence (it was a compulsory purchase to make way for a road - so sad as if she had been one door further up the road, she wouldn;t have been affected) she went into a lovely new flat. But it wasn't 'home'. As is so often the case there was a "matron" there who just kept an eye on things and she said "you just watch out for your Gran. I've seen the effect of moving the elderly and it's never good"

    It wasn't. Gran did seem to lose a lot of her 'zest' for life.

  12. #12
    New User Progrockman's Avatar
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    Moving My Mum

    Hi all and thanks for the opportunity to vent my opinions on this matter.

    My mum was settled in a home for 2 1/2 years. Settled in as much as she was reasonably happy there. I was the unhappy one with the home. My mum is 81, is 80% blind, has vasculal dementia, and is Polish. The home recently served notice on my mum saying they couldn't look after her needs any more. This notice came 2 hours after I had contacted the Elderly Protection Unit at Malvern in Worcetershire complaining that my mum had fallen once too often for my liking. As it happened she had fallen 3 times in a week, bruising her eye socket, knocking a front tooth out and breaking her nose. Shortly after that I found out that she infact had fallen 10 times in a month. I was not informed of the frequency so decided to complain about the home to the Protection Unit. Eventually I had to go ahead with the move to another home as I had no choice. She would have been ok at the original home if only they had taken into consideration her blindness a bit more. They didn't. Eventually following a long search for a suitable home, we moved mum to her new home which happens to be a name of care provider deleted by moderator nursing home today the 5th February.

    All well and good you might think. However just 10 minutes ago I had a call telling me mum was distressed badly and wouldn't take her meds. I spoke to her on the phone and tried to calm her down. She was shouting at staff members and had a rant at me too. Poor mum!!!! Havn't heard back from the home so I presume all is ok now. Will call her later to see if she is ok.
    The bit that some of you are writing about concerning that a move is stressful, I agree with. It must be awfull not knowing any one especially those that are trying to administer tablets etc. I only prey to God and hope she settles down! She has suffered enough throughout her life without having to go through all of this again. I feel so sorry for my mum and blame myself sometimes for her missfortune.

    The distance thing is a problem. I am retired now so don't have much of an income. I do try to see my mum as often as I can, but recently have had to cut 3 visits a week down to 1 visit a week. We live 25 miles from where mums new home is so it's very expensive doing a 50 mile round trip 3 times a week when money is so tight.

    Thanks for reading this. Please reply if you want to.
    Last edited by Grannie G; 06-02-2012 at 08:40 AM.

  13. #13
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    Hmmmmmmmmmm moving...........................

    .............Is stressful for anyone let alone a dementia sufferer. As you will understand dementia sufferers thrive on continuity. She would definately be confused in new surroundings but if it is local to you it could mean you could initially pop in every day even if only fo 15 minutes (longer if you have time) to settle her down. You would also be able to keep a much closer eye on her care.

    Unfortunately it has to be your decision but I do wish you and your mother all the best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline100 View Post
    Can anyone shed some light for me as to why it is so dangerous to move someone with dementia to a new care home? My mum has been in a great home for 3 years but it is a six hour round trip journey for me and as I am out of work I can no longer afford the money it costs for me to visit her twice a week. I want very much to move her to a new home nearer to me but I've been told that it can be very detrimental to her wellbeing, which obviously I don't want. My choices are to only see her once a week which would break my heart (she has no other visitors) or risk moving her where I can see her at least daily. I just want to do the right thing for her. Her dementia is severe, but at 85 she could live for many more years.

  14. #14
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    Hello Caroline
    The statistics show a significant increase in deaths of older people following a move. Google something like 'nursing home move mortality' . I think as other posters have said, it is to do with being unable to adjust to the change.
    I think if it was me I would weigh up risks against benefits. How good would it be if mum lives another 5 years but doesnt get any visitors?
    Take care

  15. #15
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    Grandad has been in 3 care homes in the last 4 years.

    The first move was instigated by the care home saying they couldn't cope with him, the second was by us as there were a number of things the second care home was trying to do (trying to control visitors, phone calls and vetting birthday cards) amongst other things.

    We have been very fortunate in that Grandad at those points in time coped very well with the moves.

    However he has deteriorated in the last 8 months or so (the last move was 18 months ago) and I don't know how he'd cope if we had to move him again.

    It is a difficult decision and not one that any of us would take lightly, good luck to you and I hope that what ever you decide works out well.


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