Advice needed please re Nursing Homes

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by maudie, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. maudie

    maudie Registered User

    Jul 5, 2006
    Mum was diagnosed with AD a couple of years ago - she is now 81 and is wandering more and more and is getting lost and distressed. She is getting exhausted because she takes loads of things with her on her rambles! Thinking about looking for a nursing home but my sister is really opposed to this and says that they can't lock her in and she will wander anyway. I do appreciate that they can't lock someone up, but how do they keep tabs on people with AD if they are allowed to wander? I'm just so scared that she will get into a car with a stranger and get harmed.
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Actually, they can lock people up! That's what a secure unit is. You'll probably find that only a nursing home that has such a secure unit would be be prepared to take her - nursing homes often use the criteria of wandering (among others) to determine whether a candidate is suitable. Ideally, the "locking up" is external - that is there are sufficent rooms (and gardens) that the AD sufferer can roam without being confined. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

    Your fear of harm is well founded - I live in the US and regularly, particularly in the winter, there are reports of elderly people wandering away from carers, and when the outside temperature is -10 or less the outcome is never happy.

  3. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    Hello Maudie

    We had the same situation with my Mum, she was 73 when we admitted her to an EMI home almost 2 years ago.

    She was wandering onto busy roads and knocking on the doors of total strangers, putting herself and others at risk.

    The home is lovely, with security locks on the windows which only open a few inches and both exits can only be opened by a member of staff with 2 keys. She has all the house and garden to wander in, whenever she likes, with no feeling of being locked up at all.

    Mum did escape once last summer by stacking up garden chairs and scaling the wall, an alert neighbour spotted her and took her back, quite happily, a couple of feet of trellis made sure it did not happen again.

    Mum's safety and happiness are our priority and the home she is in works very well for us all, peace of mind is priceless.

    Maybe you and your sister could have a look at some homes and discuss your worries with the staff. It sounds as if she is at risk if things are left as they are.

    Good luck

  4. jarnee

    jarnee Registered User

    Mar 18, 2006

    my dad is a potential wanderer. He is now in a care home and there are ways round the problem without feeling like you're in Fort Knox !!

    The respite home he was in for 6 - 8 weeks ( thereabouts) was built around a central courtyard garden. So, althought he couldn't wander onto the street, due to the security lock on the front door, he could wander in and out at will and sit on the benches etc etc

    The home he is in now has no outside space and the locks have numbered keypads that only the staff have the codes for so I know he's safe. I really thought the lack of outdoor availablilty would be a problem as my dad worked outdoors all his life, but it isn't really. We take him out on day trips and to come and sit in our garden and the staff sometimes take him out too.

    I would advise you go and see some homes and ask lots of questions. If you don't like the answers or they are a bit funny about answering, it's not the right place for you

  5. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    :D Kathleen, I hope you don't mind a grin at your expense, but that conjured up a wonderful 'cartoon' in my mind's eye!
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    When Jan was in the assessment centre for the second time, one of the men there on assessment managed to get a leg over the top of a six foot fence, but then got stuck there. I was the only one tall enough to help him down.

    Had a good chuckle over that and the Steve McQueen instinct they have.
  7. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    in the hospital my mum is in there is only one exit and has to be opened by code we take mum for a walk every night and have to use this door, but we have to be on our guard as theres three gentlemen who have formed an escape commitee and they all follow us to this door every night on the pretence of having a chat with us:D
    we can see them nudging each other when we come in, so we have to hang around untill they get fed up and go back to the ward.
    id love to set them free:rolleyes: its so sad.
  8. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    EMI ward

    My Mum spent a couple of weeks in an EMI ward and it was on the first floor, with a keypad code on the lift to go back down. It was assumed that dementia patients wouldn't be able to to remember the code! There are alarms on all the outside doors and CCTV cameras around the entrance. Security is discreet but effective. Fortunately, because Mum was still able to relate to people and hold a reasonable conversation, she was moved to a general nursing ward and has become quite settled. Sometimes she does forget where she is, but is now familar with the staff and feels secure in the NH. Visiting is unrestricted and children and well behaved dogs are welcomed, so it is as homely as it can be.
  9. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex

    Glad I made you smile, the only other attempted "break-out" also involved my Mum holding a piece of hedge back while a fellow resident made his way through, on hands and knees, he didn't get far though as another wall is behind the hedge!!

    Mum always was a helpful soul, luckily the staff thought both incidents were hysterical once they made sure no-one was injured.

    Bruce, loved your tale too, good job you were there or the fier brigade would have had to come to the rescue.

  10. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #10 Margarita, Aug 17, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
    My mother use to wonder a lot , but when she went on Medication exbiza it stop.

    Have to ask for any medication for your mother as you said she has AD ?

    If you still want your mum to go in a home have a look around for a good Dementia home . My mum been to a few while on Respite some of them have a policy that they do not mind them wondering all over the place and have lovely gardens that they can wonder in to.

    Main door of cause our lock, but you can check that they do have good security & a few of them do.

    Never forget it’s the staff that make the home not the building. You can find a home that has state of the art building, but the staff our not caring or an old building that may need modernizing, but then the staff our lovely
  11. janjan

    janjan Registered User

    Jan 27, 2006
    We have a place for dad in an residentual home in a week if we want it, where he goes to daycentre, but we are applying for funding for a place that has come avalible in another home with a EMI unit, that he has been in for restpite, that we found better for him. Trouble is it is getting so difficult to cope with his care at home, and if we dont say yes to the place at the residentual home we might end up not getting funding for the EMI home, and end up waiting for weeks for another place we want him to go to. It's so worring knowing what to do for the best. Do we keep him at home, wait for the right home for him we are happy with, or place him in a home we know the know him well, but does not have an EMI unit? :confused: Janet :confused:
  12. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Does he say where he wants to go or is he no longer able to express a preference?

  13. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    The doors of the respite place where my mother went were all alarmed.

    In all the homes I visited I asked about security and going out after dark. They were obviously familiar with the problem.

    It was very difficult to get into or out of the last hospital ward, but by that time my mother was too weak to try.
  14. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    by Law Can they really trun someone down on the funding for EMI ?
  15. janjan

    janjan Registered User

    Jan 27, 2006
    He is unable to talk now, We are trying to find the right place we think he would like himself. Yesturday i found out from home with EMI unit, that they are holding a place for him, just waiting to see if the funding comes in on tuesday. Fingers crossed, :) Janet :)

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