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24/7 home care vs care home.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Champers, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    Have you moved MiL in yet @Champers? Be prepared for her to be equally unhappy there at first, but they should be used to it and know how to cope. After nearly three months my mother is more or less settled.
    So glad you've got LPA sorted. It took about four to six weeks for ours to be registered. We did it while mum was still managing more or less OK, so didn't use it straight away. Within months it started to be essential to have it so I could keep and eye on what was happening to her money. etc.
  2. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Thank you - that’s so kind.

    We visited MIL today and of course, her first question was, “When am I going home?” We vaguely talked about getting fitter and stronger. She’s lost all concept of date and time so hopefully, she will eventually forget how long she has been there.

    They’re so lovely in the home and the other residents seem very happy and chatty (there’s only another 11 there) and already several have tried to make friendly overtures to MIL. So far she’s being a bit stand offish and complained that she had an ‘accident’ in her room last night and no one came or even cared - which clearly wasn’t true. The manager had already told me it had happened and that she was checked every two hours during the night and had been very settled.

    We both feel so much happier knowing she is in a facility that is specifically tailored to her needs rather than all the contraptions and appliances that were all over her home. She’s been already able to have a shower and hair wash - first she’s had for two months as it never happened in hospital and she’s been physically unable to in her own home! She’s always loved being waited on hand and foot so I don’t think it will take long for her to get used to all the facilities on hand.

    I advised the domiciliary agency that with immediate effect their services will no longer be required. They’ve responded by telling me that they required two weeks notice so MIL is liable for the additional fee. I haven’t checked the contract she signed, but I guess that’s normal practise. Although, a very naughty part of me is so tempted to say that she hadn’t got full capacity when she signed!!
  3. Latitude

    Latitude Registered User

    Jul 12, 2019
  4. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Just over week in and so far, so good.

    I’m not sure exactly how happy MIL is. Often, when we arrive she’s chatting and holding hands with another resident but tells us that she’s not that happy and still occasionally asks about going home. I cant believe she thinks it would be a good idea to return there after about all the wailing, begging phone calls we were receiving from her when she was at home but I’m not sure she will even remember.

    Her physical condition is slowly deteriorating. She’s eating well but is losing weight steadily and it now takes two carers to help her from an armchair to a wheelchair and two to get her dressed in the morning and is completely incontinent at night.

    My fear is that a SW will visit and decide that she would be better at home again - especially if she keeps up with the questions. I hope, as she is self funding, this won’t happen. Because of her incontinence, she is getting a full shower every day, something that would be totally impossible at home and as her care is being spread over a team who do shifts, it seems the quality is better than one lone exhausted one! Despite the weight loss, her overall appearance is smarter, cleaner and far less dishevelled.
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    That sounds positive @Champers. She's in the right place at last!
  6. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    I was wondering how things were going @Champers. Thanks for the update. Sounds like your MiL is in the right place.
  7. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    In terms of going to the home, if this isn't too late, I would do as you say and take a small bag of clothes etc. Meal times are a good time to quietly leave. Don't say goodbye, say see you soon if you must, but if she is engaged in another activity, just go.
    When Mummy went into a care home, we left it a few days before visiting, to let her settle in. I think this worked well though you will probably decide your own frequency depending on how she settles.
  8. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    Just catching up with your story - Hooray for a sensible Social worker and it sounds as though M-I-l is settling in.
    Well done!
  9. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Thank you for all your replies - more appreciated than you’ll ever know.

    Is weight loss to be expected - even with a reasonable appetite? MIL does have some heart issues; had a pacemaker fitted a couple of years ago for sick sinus syndrome.

    She has a rather ‘sunken’ appearance to her face as well.
  10. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    The weight loss does sound slightly concerning, specially if she is eating and it sounds like she isn't running marathons or having lengthy gym sessions. Is she drinking enough. I'm no medical specialist but a sunken appearance might suggest a tough of dehydration. Probably worth asking her carers about it.
  11. dartus77

    dartus77 New member

    Aug 1, 2019
    Yes sunken eyes is a classic symptom of dehydration,is she able to help herself to a drink,or does a glass have to be held by a carer,I would mention this today as she may be getting hardly any fluids.
  12. Timebar

    Timebar Registered User

    Jun 13, 2019
    Some homes put people on food and fluid chart for the first few days.

    Irrespective, they should have weighed her upon admission. Let them know you are concerned and ask them to weigh her again. They are probably using a nutritional screening tool. If she has a good appetite usually, she may be taking some time to adjust to the different food etc.

    It could be dehydration. Its very difficult getting some people to drink. See what the senior staff think.

    One thing you don't need to worry about is SS saying your mother should be cared for at home. In 6 years inspecting care homes I never heard of anyone going home at the insistence of SS.
  13. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Thank you for your reassurance. In view of the tussle we had to get MIL into the care home, I wondered if SS did a follow up to check if she really had agreed to go in!

    I’ll check, but I’m sure they probably did weigh her on entry. Whilst she was in hospital, I notice there was a note to weigh daily on her chart and the district nurse visits her very regularly to dress her leg ulcers so I assume it’s in her records. Because she’s virtually immobile, I guess there could be muscle wastage too which makes her arms and legs look even thinner?

    I hadn’t thought about dehydration - that’s a really good point. The staff are always trying to get her to drink - she’s always been a terror for not drinking enough fluids for all the years I’ve known her. She’d have a cup of tea with her breakfast and one in the afternoon and that was it! Never wanted a drink with a meal either. She’s never liked cold drinks at all - even in hot weather.
  14. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    I’m assuming this isn’t unusual, so I guess we just want reassurance.

    Visited MIL in care home who was very down today. She gripped my hand, told me she was so lonely and thanked us profusely and gushingly for visiting her - We’ve visited every day without fail in the last 10 days since she’s in there! She said that not one of her friends has been to see her and how she wished she was going home (Aagh, not again!) I pointed out how lovely and friendly the care staff were, but apparently, “they talk to everyone else but don’t talk to me.” She was very grumbly that “other people get to have hip replacements but why are the NHS ignoring me?!” Despite her being told numerous times that she was far too frail by the doctors when she was last in hospital.

    By coincidence, when we were leaving, one of her neighbours, who has been wonderfully supportive, arrived. She told us she had visited alone twice during the week and had brought another friend with her on another day, despite MIL saying no friends had visited at all. According to this lady, MIL had told her that we had never been in to see her at all and had abandoned her!

    Is this a typical dementia type reasoning or are we being slightly manipulated?
  15. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    I once caught my dad telling his neighbour that he hadn’t seen my daughter for weeks to which the neighbour replied “I see her go into your house every day.”

    So I think it’s standard for dementia sufferers. It seems like the truth to them if they don’t remember getting visitors.
  16. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    Probably a bit of both. When my mother-in-law was in a care home she constantly berated us for not visiting. Her sense of time had been completely gone and she was always telling us how bored she was nobody spoke to her. Well the care home had a Facebook page and there she was in one of the photos smiling taking part in the activities.
  17. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Years ago when his mum was still alive (she had Vas dem, but I was never her carer) OH went to visit her in her care home and on the way in he met his brother on his way out. When he got to his mum she insisted that no-one ever came to visit her. Her memory was so poor, that she could not remember anyones visit, so thought that no-one came.
  18. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    I think it is typical of dementia.Dad has VD .Just last week the Nurse said to dad as she was doing his leg dressing “You told me no one visited you via the family “!I informed her that I am there 4days a week. Dad can be very manipulative so I think sometimes it can be both.In his case anything for sympathy.
  19. Rosalind297

    Rosalind297 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2017
    I am principal carer for Mum, so see her multiple times during the day for long periods. My brother comes to visit for a couple of hours M-F and she has her long-time companion for two hours twice a day. I regularly get “I haven’t seen [brother] or [companion] (interchangeable names) for days” or particularly galling “where have you been all morning?” following an hour doing chores in my own house after a three hour ‘dressing and breakfast’ shift!

    It isn’t manipulative as she gets quite upset and embarrassed about her memory which is completely non-existant when she realised. It is upsetting for us as we put great effort into looking after her and making sure she has company for most of the day and the child in me feels like she doesn’t appreciate the effort and sacrifice. But this is ridiculous when I realise that it is just the blasted dementia talking.

    I guess it is probably worse for the PWD in a care home as they are unlikely to see family and friends as much as before. Just another one of those things we have to swallow I think.
  20. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Thank you for your replies and continued support.

    I think, having battled long and hard to get MIL into the care home, we just want everything to be happier for her or at least an improvement on when she was at living at home. We probably just need to be realistic in our expectations and recognise that she will probably not be particularly cheerful wherever she is but that luckily her physical needs are being so much better met. She’s certainly cleaner and safer.

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