Bit of a dilemma about mums carehome

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by nellen, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. nellen

    nellen Registered User

    Mar 17, 2009
    Hi my mum moved 2 weeks ago from a nursing home that was dementia specialist but cost 400 per week in top up fees to another home that has now been refurbished and the top up fees are 80 paw which I'm pleased to say the social services are paying. Some of you may remember the dilemma I had in that my mum had spent 3 months in hospital where she got a bad bout of shingles and a stage 4 bedsore - mums dementia and physical problems all deteriorated as a result of the hospital stay she has become immobile too. At the time the only home that fitted mums criteria in her home town was the more expensive one as the other one was being refurbished. They looked after mum very well in the first home and she has really improved in the 3 months since she has been out of hospital. I have also got a very good social worker to help me wade through the minefield of carehomes and funding.

    My dilemma now is that the new home my mum is in is dementia specialist and has a nursing unit and a dementia nursing unit. I was advised by at least two people not to put my mum in the dementia unit as some of the residents are quite severe. My mums nursing needs were deemed to outweigh her dementia and the manager decided that mum would be best in the nursing unit and I and the social worker agreed with this. But now that my mums in the nursing unit I'm worried that she isn't getting the social interaction and stimulation that she needs as she is a sociable chatty person and has macular degeneration so without the visual connection, she relies on social contact.
    Most in fact nearly all of the residents on the nursing unit are bedridden with chronic conditions and barely able to communicate let alone have a bit of a chat with my mum. So I'm wondering if despite what people have told me about the dementia nursing unit my mum might be better there than where she is. Another thing I've noticed is that although the carers are kind and chat to mum they don't seem to make time to sit and talk or to do things with her. There is an activity coordinator and she has asked mewhat activities my mum likes to do so at least they are trying to engage her. I find it so sad and depressing when I go in to see mum and yesterday they'd got her in a reclining bed type chair in a room with several more resident all lying in their own world with the TVs on. My mum was sitting talking away to to no one in particular.
    In the previous home although they all had dementia and nursing needs the was some chat and interaction between them even if it was misguided.
    I'm wondering if it's just me being over sensitive and worrying too much or whether I should talk with the manager about which unit is the most suitable for my mum
    What do people advise
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    my personal view is that social interaction is vital to quality of life. I can't imagine being isolated with a lot of people with severe communication problems and so i figure why would anyone else. If her medical needs are such that she can cope in another environment then i personally would not hesitate to change - whether that was changing the home or changing the unit. I value social interaction so highly that for myself I would rate it absolutely tops but that is personal. I definitely don't think you are being over sensitive - you know your mum best, trust your instincts and do whatever you think would make life better for her xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    My husband entered a challenging behaviour nursing home for dementia. He was walking, talking and feeding himself. Yes his talk was rubbish but he could understand a lot of what I said to him. There were several, and still are, men who from time to time get really upset and very challenging but my husband never turned a hair. Sometimes he would say 'what's that' and when told someone was upset but they were ill, he would just say that's a shame.

    I really think that although he rarely, in fact never showed empathy for me or the family, there was an understanding of the men on his floor and what they were going through.

    You could always ask if your Mum could spend the day in the other unit to see how she copes. If all goes well then she could hopefully be moved there. If she finds it difficult then it is just a case of her not going there during the day.
  4. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    Hi Nellen.
    Could you visit the other unit to see for yourself if it would be suitable for your Mum.
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    One advantage of being in a nursing unit is that a nurse is available 24/7.

    In the home my wife was in those not in the nursing unit, and only separated by a couple of doors and a corridor from it, could only receive nursing attention in life or death situation.

    Other nursing input such as catheter maintenance, injections, dressing changes, ... had to be done by the district nurse as did simple queries like 'is this redness an incipient bedsore or nothing to worry about'?

    Those in the nursing were able to attend activities in either the dementia unit or the residential unit when deemed suitable.

    I think the strict ruling about nursing was based on the fact that those in the nursing unit by definition were receiving funded nursing care.
  6. nellen

    nellen Registered User

    Mar 17, 2009
    #6 nellen, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
    Thanks all. There's some good advice here.
    Mums jointly funded by social services and health. Her needs are dementia and medical. She needs her pressure sore dressed and montitoring and regular turning to make sure she doesn't get any more. She's blind, has reduced kidney function and is immobile and needs hoisting. So much of the nursing care needed is regular monitoring, and administration of her medication.

    One thing the social worker made clear in her care plan is mums need for social interaction - she thrives on it and can get quite down without it. She loves humour and banter. In her previous home mum didn't seem to mind outbursts from her fellow residents and like your husband jaymor, mum wasn't upset by it she put it down to "their mind going" and was very sympathetic

    I worry myself sick about mums care - am I getting it right for her, what is best for her etc etc

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