Advice please on moving homes for my Mum

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by NicolaW, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. NicolaW

    NicolaW Registered User

    Aug 2, 2005
    2
    Basingstoke
    Hi

    My Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers 5 years ago at the age of 59. My Dad cared for her full time until 2 years ago when unfortunately she had to move to a residential home as my Dad could no longer cope. At the time I thought it was the wrong decision and felt that my Dad was entitled to more help which would have kept my Mum at home. However, not long after my Mum moved my Dad fell ill and passed away last April. Although I was initially not happy about my Mum's move I take comfort in the fact that my Dad died knowing she was being cared for.

    In the past year the standards of the home have declined significantly and after allot of thought I have decided to move my Mum to a nursing home closer to home (she is currently 20miles away). Although the new home is far more expensive, they are more qualified for someone in my Mum's condition, they provide activities, entertainment and days out. Her current home does not even let her walk around freely and have admitted they recline her chair so she cannot get up and wonder about. I sure that I have made the best decision for my Mum's wellbeing but I have been warned that the move could have a negative affect on my Mum's condition and she could rapidly decline as a result of the move.

    Could anyone please provide me with any advice on how I can make this move as comfortable and stress free for my Mum as possible. This is the biggest decision I have ever had to make and I am very scared I am making the wrong one.

    Any comments are welcome.

    Many Thanks

    Nic
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Nic

    it is so difficult to know what to do for the best, isn't it?

    the standards of the home have declined significantly

    can you explaine what you mean?

    more qualified for someone in my Mum's condition

    the more qualified, the better always, of course!

    they provide activities, entertainment and days out.

    this shows they take trouble and also have a varied level of resident. My wife's home does the same thing [they imported a farm into the home last week!] However, my wife can gain benefit from none of these things, so for her, they are a waste of resources. For people who could enjoy the farm... a completely different thing of course.

    does not even let her walk around freely and have admitted they recline her chair so she cannot get up and wander about

    this can mean they don't have enough staff to cope with wandering people and their safety - or it can mean they really ARE doing the best thing.

    To see how she really is, I'd suggest spending half a day with her to see what her needs really are. How safe she would be walking, etc. We all of us want the very best for our relatives, but dementia may not permit us - or them - to have that.

    how I can make this move as comfortable and stress free for my Mum as possible.

    for someone with dementia any change of regime [and sometimes no change] can cause confusion. Sometimes all we can do is bite the bullet and have them make the move, then give them time to settle. A comfortable place, well staffed and appropriately resourced should have experience of this. Take in some favourite foods, pictures to look at, etc. Try and make it like home as quickly as possible.

    All we can do is our best!!!
     
  3. NicolaW

    NicolaW Registered User

    Aug 2, 2005
    2
    Basingstoke
    Hi Brucie

    Thank you for your comments, it is nice to hear the thoughts of someone who understands the disease. Most of my friends are good listeners but still believe AD is slight forgetfulness and still do not understand the impact it has on my Mum’s health and character.

    To cover a few of the points you brought up, the standards of the home my Mum is currently in have dropped in the past year in several ways. The most alarming was when 3 members of staff were suspended due to allegations of abuse. Although I do not know all the details I trusted these women and find it very hard to believe anything happened but it has called my judgement into question. As a result there have been a lot of staff changes and now the majority of the staff cannot speak English. At times I find it hard to understand what they say so communication with my Mum pretty. The general cleanliness of the home has also declined and I have at times arrived to my Mum’s room being in a complete mess, dirty clothes on the floor etc. I do believe some of this is down to lack of resource but it is also down to lack of training.

    The nursing home I am moving her into is designed for people with dementia. The building is designed to make it easy for someone of a confused state to fine there way around. The activities which are provided are to cater for the needs and provide the most stimulation as possible. I understand what you said about your wife not being able to gain benefit from this kind of care I that is really upsetting, I dread the day my Mum is at the stage but I know it is coming. At this point Mum has no idea who I am but likes to chat to me, it is in a language I do not understand but she seems to know what she has to say. Even if she will not understand the activities provided I hope that it will make her feel involved and part of something.

    Thank you for your thoughts and hopefully the day of the move will be harder on me than her.

    Nic
     
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Nic

    you said most alarming was when 3 members of staff were suspended due to allegations of abuse

    Do you have any idea of what the 'abuse' was?

    I would have been as alarmed as you were it not for the fact that Jan's home was accused of abuse against my wife. Turned out to be that, for her safety, they had a lap strap on her chair to protect her from falling. This is categorised as 'restraint' and thus abuse. The fact was that this had been sanctioned by her GP, by me but the casual observer passing through had not thought to check before making an official complaint.

    So, things are not always as bad as they may seem.

    But, but but but but but...... we have a duty of care for our loved ones, so we have to be ultra sure!

    now the majority of the staff cannot speak English

    I'm assuming that you mean their first language isn't English and that they have some challenges with using the language?

    Again, before I had experience of Jan's home I would have been alarmed. However, the staff at Jan's place is a mixture of English, African and Filipino care workers, male and female. Yes, their use of language may not be as proficient as I would like, but all including those whose first language is not English more than make up for it because of their backgrounds. These folks come from family-oriented societies and what they lose in speech, they more than make up for in care and their caring actions. They are also ceaselessly cheerful, not an easy thing in their circumstances.

    This may not be the case everywhere of course, which is why all we family members need to evaluate these things on the basis of our own experiences. My views on all sorts of things have changed dramatically since Jan has been out of my 24 hour personal care, and in the care of others.

    general cleanliness of the home has also declined and I have at times arrived to my Mum’s room being in a complete mess, dirty clothes on the floor

    no excuse for that!!! At Ja's home, if there is a shortage, the manager steps in to lend a hand.

    The nursing home I am moving her into is designed for people with dementia.

    excellent. Only such places can truly care for people who have dementia, whose needs are so great.

    hopefully the day of the move will be harder on me than her

    I do hope it is not too hard on you. It shouldn't be, you are doing as good a job as it is possible to do, and trying to take everything in a very confusing situation into account.

    You're doing well! May not seem like it from your perspective, but take it from me - you are.
     
  5. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Hello Nic

    My Aunt is currently in a residential home but is "frightening" some of the other residents and we have been told we must now look for an emi unit. Initially I was very distressed as we thought we had found the ideal place for her but as I sit here researching care standard reports on the internet to identify possible alternatives I have been comforted to see that there are many positive comments particularly regarding social activities to keep residents occupied. Her current home does offer some activities but she has usually shied away from them. This may well be the case in future but there appears to be a more individualised focus and staff are more geared to the needs of dementia residents. My hope is that the more "distracted" Aunt can be then the less time she will spend barging around corridors - she is probably sundowning and trying to tell everyone she has to go home to visit (long dead) relatives but sadly as her speech is totally unintelligible no one can respond accordingly (stuff of nightmares eh!).

    Tomorrow we hope to visit some of those possibles (the consultant rang this morning to say the move is becoming more urgent) but at least I am beginning to think with my head again now having got past the initial shock stage. If you haven't done so already you might want to check out the home you have identified on the following website.

    www.csci.org.uk

    Kriss
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Nic, Brucie has said it all and Kriss has backed it up. All I want to say is, if your gut feeling is that you can do better for her, go for it, I would. Love She. XX
     
  7. Elise

    Elise Registered User

    May 12, 2005
    23
    #7 Elise, Aug 9, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2005
    I know how hard it is

    Hi Nic
    Dad has vascular dementia, and has been in a hospital for nearly one year. They told me that he had improved and was stable so i could place him in a home. I did so after months of searching with no real help, just wanted the best place for him, with support and good care. It all seemed to be so rushed. Things did not work out as he attacked a nurse twice, not the most caring person i have to add. He still wants some independence, and his frustration will result in this unfortunate reaction. So they sent him back to hospital. Have to say the hardest thing i have ever had to do!. He was due to come and live with me and my family when things just got so bad that i didn't know what to do. When he went into hospital in the beginning i never thought that i would never be able to take him back home with me. (Still trying to come to terms with it). The hospital he is in, i have to say is not the sort of place i want to keep him in. It is so depressing and there seems to be no real regard for people that really have something left in them. The reclining chairs i have seen patients be put into after being able to sit up on their own, and always wonder why they are just left there. There never seems to be any encouragement for some improvement. I can't help thinking that they just can't be bothered to deal with them. If your mum can still walk around with out hurting herself and if she had some support, then that is how it should be. Let her hold onto some sense of being. I have told the hospital that if i move him again of which i want to do. I should be able to take him to visit the place a few times so he can get a feel of his possible new surroundings and ease him into it. I will not just place him somewhere over night again, its not nice and we as there carers/family should not feel intimidated or rushed with this enormously distressing decision that we have to make. If you and your mum are comfortable with her new home them that is all that matters. Take your time and don't be rushed.

    All the best and thinking of you Elise.
     
  8. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    After hours of research we visited 3 homes, 2 of which are purpose built. These 2 are certainly places I would choose for myself and we have now put Aunts name on the waiting list for one of them. The second one was even nicer but did not offer EMI Nursing and rather than be faced with another possible move we all agreed on the same choice.

    Now we wait but will continue to take one day at a time as we know how things can change. My sleepless nights are now due to the "how do I tell her" and "how will she respond" worry.

    Kriss
     

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