Home home, or care home home?

mikemoss

New member
Jun 11, 2024
3
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My wife has been in the dementia ward of our local hospital for two weeks and is mid-way through the staged introduction of a drug to stabilise her condition (Alzheimer's with Delirium). She's is physically fit to be discharged and there are two potential options for her: to be discharged directly to my care at home, or to be discharged into respite care at a nearby care home. We've been married for 58 years, together for 61 years and my heart says she should come home to our home. But the care home option would offer a half-way house or staging point for the 28 days it will take for her to complete the course of the new drug. So, head says 'that's probably a good idea' but heart says 'I want her back here now'. Anyone any thoughts either way please?
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,796
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Newcastle
Hi @mikemoss and welcome to posting on the Forum. It isn't easy to make a choice between care at home and in a care home. To do so one has to be clear about what the person needs and whether those needs can be met in the domestic environment. Put aside what either partner would want (in ideal circumstances) and consider what is best for the person with dementia.

I recognised that my efforts to look after my wife at home were failing to meet her needs and were leading me towards 'carer breakdown'. I found that short stays in respite care took the pressure off and that my wife seemed to benefit from being looked after by a team of people. Ultimately, this gave me the courage to recognise that what I could do for her at home was insufficient. I took the hardest and best decision to arrange permanent admission to a care home.

Your situation is different. If you are confident that you can meet your wife's needs at home without exhausting yourself that's what you may choose. However a period of respite might allow you to prepare for her return.
 
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Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
5,791
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Dorset
The Care Home option sounds like the best of both worlds as by the end of it you will ( hopefully) see that your wife has been stabilised enough to then return home to your care. If, however, things haven’t worked out the way you hope, then you have warning that you couldn’t cope with her home without stress and problems for both /either of you.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,508
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Nottinghamshire
Welcome to Dementia Support Forum @mikemoss.
I think I'd go with the care home. As you said it is a half-way house and it will give the drugs time to work and for you to assess if you could manage to have your wife home. If she does come home even with help coming in there will be long periods of the day when you will be caring alone. Being in care doesn't mean you are no longer your wife's principal carer, just that you have a whole team to back you up.
 

mikemoss

New member
Jun 11, 2024
3
0
Hi @mikemoss and welcome to posting on the Forum. It isn't easy to make a choice between care at home and in a care home. To do so one has to be clear about what the person needs and whether those needs can be met in the domestic environment. Put aside what either partner would want (in ideal circumstances) and consider what is best for the person with dementia.

I recognised that my efforts to look after my wife at home were failing to meet her needs and were leading me towards 'carer breakdown'. I found that short stays in respite care took the pressure off and that my wife seemed to benefit from being looked after by a team of people. Ultimately, this gave me the courage to recognise that what I could do for her at home was insufficient. I took the hardest and best decision to arrange permanent admission to a care home.

Your situation is different. If you are confident that you can meet your wife's needs at home without exhausting yourself that's what you may choose. However a period of respite might allow you to prepare for her return.
Thanks for such a thoughtful and well-considered reply. I've decided to look after Sue at home and give it my very best shot.
 

mikemoss

New member
Jun 11, 2024
3
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Welcome to Dementia Support Forum @mikemoss.
I think I'd go with the care home. As you said it is a half-way house and it will give the drugs time to work and for you to assess if you could manage to have your wife home. If she does come home even with help coming in there will be long periods of the day when you will be caring alone. Being in care doesn't mean you are no longer your wife's principal carer, just that you have a whole team to back you up.
There's so much to recommend the 'half-way house' approach but I've been offered a scheme whereby the local council will provide support for me at home for the first four weeks so I'm going with this.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
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Kent
There's so much to recommend the 'half-way house' approach but I've been offered a scheme whereby the local council will provide support for me at home for the first four weeks so I'm going with this.

Hello @mikemoss

I hope you make the right decision for you and your wife.

As far as the offer of support from the LA , it is likely not to include overnight support. Be sure you have the strength for this.
 

Tabitha2

Registered User
Sep 17, 2022
40
0
I'm assuming the care package being offered means 4 visits a day? So much depends on what care your wife needs and what her behaviour is like. These visits, welcome as they may be, do not necessarily happen at the time you may need help, i.e. a toileting accident, a bout of aggression, etc. Neither of you may wish to wait for the carer visit when you fancy lunch and they have not arrived, or do not want to go to bed at 7.30 p.m. but that is the time the carer is there. 4 calls a day can mean you (and your wife) feel there are always people knocking on the door disrupting your day, but, as mentioned above, at night you are on your own.

I gather you are, well, getting on in years yourself, and looking after PWD can be both physically as well as emotionally exhausting. Hospitals are anxious to discharge people as soon as possible, which means once they no longer need to be in hospital for any treatment, but does not mean they are going to be able to manage at home - that is not the hospital's job.

I understand your desire to have her back with you, and I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom about the idea - just be prepared to accept that if you find it too difficult to manage you need to let the LA know that you are not able to continue, and you must not feel guilty about it, or that you have somehow failed your wife.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
7,448
0
Salford
It isn't easy caring at home but it is what I did, wife them mum too, if I can make it work anyone can.
If you can cook, clean and work out the logistics of shopping and all it's perfectly possible, I did it for well over 10 years.
Give it a go but remember carer burnout is a real thing so never be afraid to ask for help if you start to struggle. Good luck. K