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Anyone else had this happen….?

JanBWiltshire

Registered User
Jun 23, 2020
160
0
My 95 year old father went to join my mother in a residential care home three weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to his move, I carefully made sure I asked him about special things he wouod like to take with him, while explaining we couldn’t take everything! Apart from clothes and essential which I selected and labelled, I wanted to take any sentimental things and we managed to take pictures, along with various other items. All the time I checked whether there was anything else he would like. He struggled with this concept but I encouraged him.

I didn’t start stripping the house before he moved out as I felt it was better for him to remember the house as it was but it has slightly backfired on me. I have been emptying everything out (large four bedroom house) selling furniture etc and sorting the mountain of documents etc and I have been keeping my father aware of the house progress. Added to that a tenant in their cottage in the garden caused me a nightmare but I managed to resolve it.

Yesterday, he started asking me about some items - a pair of pictures, a coat etc and it is very upsetting because the mountain of clothes and belongings were overwhelming and we simply couldn’t take every last thing to the home. I made sure he has a coat and a jacket and the coat he is referring to hasn’t been worn for about twenty years!

He seems to have lost all hold on reality and is detached from what is happening, despite me keeping him up to date with how the house sale is progressing.

Maybe I was wrong to try to maintain the house to the last day he was there, perhaps starting to dismantle might have prepared him. He keeps asking me to “go into the too drawer which is where I have a back scratcher” or a cupboard where some random thing is kept. Trouble is, the house is empty awaiting completion so there isn’t anything left!

I feel really upset about it because I can’t seem to make him see the situation - he agrees things have gone then asks the next day about something else. I’m exhausted by the house sorting and I guess I’m not really in the right frame of mind to have this questioning all the time - especially as it is now too late as items have been sold or given to charity.
 

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
Hi, which ever way round you do it it will backfire ! I think a lot of the questions are quite quickly forgotten and the underlying fear is not that they need or want them but where are they, what ever that days object s, because it has passed through their mind. I have told my Mom I have everything packed safely and its in my loft ( kind lie) that makes her happy that its safe and if she needs it she can ask me. I found about 6 months down the line the questions got less and less as she became more accustomed to her surroundings - she now talks about things there and says Oh I've had them years when in fact they are things we have bout for her room in last 9 months.

I didn't tell my Mom initially the house had been sold , I just said i would get whatever she needed next time I popped in, and by next visit she wouldn't remember, she barely mentions the house now.

I understand how upsetting it is, this is though also because of the stress you have gone through making and dealing with such a massive task as clearing and selling you parents home, that ache and confusion , guilt sadness etc lasts a while - but hang on in there it gets better ,honestly x
 

JanBWiltshire

Registered User
Jun 23, 2020
160
0
Hi, which ever way round you do it it will backfire ! I think a lot of the questions are quite quickly forgotten and the underlying fear is not that they need or want them but where are they, what ever that days object s, because it has passed through their mind. I have told my Mom I have everything packed safely and its in my loft ( kind lie) that makes her happy that its safe and if she needs it she can ask me. I found about 6 months down the line the questions got less and less as she became more accustomed to her surroundings - she now talks about things there and says Oh I've had them years when in fact they are things we have bout for her room in last 9 months.

I didn't tell my Mom initially the house had been sold , I just said i would get whatever she needed next time I popped in, and by next visit she wouldn't remember, she barely mentions the house now.

I understand how upsetting it is, this is though also because of the stress you have gone through making and dealing with such a massive task as clearing and selling you parents home, that ache and confusion , guilt sadness etc lasts a while - but hang on in there it gets better ,honestly x
Oh, thank you so much for your reply I really appreciate it. It has been so hard trying to do my best - the house has been a nightmare to clear, not to mention the garage. Nothing had been cleared for thirty five years and the whole thing has been awful. You are reassured me! A million thanks x
 

B72

Registered User
Jul 21, 2018
304
0
When my mother in law had to go into a care home, because she was too vulnerable to be at home, we couldn’t tell her. She’d never have agreed. We had to say the central heating needed repairing (which it did). We had never lied. We felt dreadful. She was very upset and deteriorated, and not only asked when she was going home, but didn’t recognise my husband, her only child.

It was a nightmare. And we had to clear her flat and sell it to pay the care home fees. We felt so guilty, we couldn’t keep anything. We never thought of putting stuff into storage. My son’s wife (since divorced) was the only person who felt she could accept thing. Not her son, granddaughter or grandson. We all felt so guilty.

As I’ve said elsewhere, she soon settled and was so happy that those last two years were a gift. A comfort to us all.
 

JanBWiltshire

Registered User
Jun 23, 2020
160
0
When my mother in law had to go into a care home, because she was too vulnerable to be at home, we couldn’t tell her. She’d never have agreed. We had to say the central heating needed repairing (which it did). We had never lied. We felt dreadful. She was very upset and deteriorated, and not only asked when she was going home, but didn’t recognise my husband, her only child.

It was a nightmare. And we had to clear her flat and sell it to pay the care home fees. We felt so guilty, we couldn’t keep anything. We never thought of putting stuff into storage. My son’s wife (since divorced) was the only person who felt she could accept thing. Not her son, granddaughter or grandson. We all felt so guilty.

As I’ve said elsewhere, she soon settled and was so happy that those last two years were a gift. A comfort to us all.
Thank you, your experience is helpful as I know we are in the early days. I read on this forum that we must remember we are providing for their needs, not their wants. I have to remind myself this is just a moment in time, hopefully all will settle. I’m trying to remember this is a massive life change for my father.