Can I take my Mom out of a Nursing Home?

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Emzie, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Emzie

    Emzie Registered User

    Apr 27, 2015
    My Mom has dementia and was hospitalised 5 weeks ago with a UTI. When discussing discharge our Social Worker suggested that Mom go back home with a full care package and family help. We decided against this and decided that a Nursing Home would be the way forward, but after only 4 days we have realised we have made a huge mistake and Mom shouldn't be there. She is surrounded by people much further along their dementia journey than she is, she is scared and we want to get her home ASAP. I am planning to speak to the Social Worker in the morning, but was wondering if anybody else had experience of this and whether there are any obstacles I can expect to meet?
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Honestly? I would leave her in there for a few more weeks so she can settle. Yours is a very understandable if knee-jerk reaction but you have to give this some time. Have you spoken to the care staff about how she is while you are not around? Because a lot of people behave completely different with visitors around. Four days really isn't enough time to make such a decision. A lot of people leave it very late until they consider a care home, when someone can't make new friends anymore or understand their surroundings - at least she has a chance to do that.
  3. Tara62

    Tara62 Registered User

    I'm just bumping this so someone with more experience and knowledge will notice your question and talk to you.

    If you wanted to take your mum home in the first place, I can't see any reason why you wouldn't be allowed to take her home now.

    Ah - yes, Beate has noticed and replied, and that's a good point.
  4. Sasky

    Sasky Registered User

    Jan 29, 2014
    Ashford, Kent
    Yes you can of course social services will want to ensure you have the necessary support. I had my Mum home and I was supported with a care package. very sadly I lost my darling Mum 5 months ago, but she died at home amongst all her things and I wouldn't have changed that as that is exactly what she would have wanted. Good luck you won't regret it
  5. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Have no experience either but answering to keep your thread at the top of the page, hoping someone comes along soon with answers. You do sound very worried, talking to the social worker has to be the best thing to do. Hope you resolve this as quickly as possible.
  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I agree with Beate that 4 days is not nearly enough for someone to settle in. I do understand your change of heart but you should give it more time, in my opinion.
  7. chingford

    chingford Registered User

    Nov 28, 2011
    I don't think anyone. would want to be left in a care home take your mum home .make sure you get good carers in so important.i bet she would not have left you any where.the way you describe it.she must be very unhappy there. do not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do with your know what she would like so do it.
  8. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I agree that it's probably too early to make that decision; she needs time to settle in and to get to know and trust the staff. My two year old granddaughter has just started nursery for a couple of afternoons a week and it's exactly the same for her :)

    Can I suggest that you make yourselves a list - two columns. In the first, you write down all the reasons for bringing her home and in the second, the reasons why 24/7 care is more appropriate. That way, you may be able to see the pros and cons more clearly and your head - as well as your heart- is involved in coming to the right decision.
  9. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Hi Emzie

    Oh dear! I guess you are in a bit of a bother over making the right decision. First of all I would say that four days is such a short time to expect your Mum to have settled. It normally takes a bit longer than that. Perhaps you could make a list of all the reasons why your Mum was admitted to a NH in the first place? Would someone be with her 24/7 if she was at home? Would she be safe if she was left on her own even for a little while?
    If you have any doubt whatsoever regarding her safety it could be a case of having to return her to a NH if her condition deteriorates- and that could be even more upsetting for her.

    Do not let your decision to be influenced by any feelings of guilt-I know that it's very difficult not to let emotions rule BUT you have to be practical. I take it your Mum has no capacity to make decisions (as she is in the NH against her wishes) so, unfortunately, you have to make the decisions for her and they have to be the result of deep thinking and not a knee jerk reaction.

    Don't let thoughts of 'my Mum wouldn't have left me there' enter your mind-that's not helpful. Anyway no one can predict what another person would do faced with the complexities that Dementia can bring.

    I do feel for you

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum went into a care home and, honestly, it has been the best thing for her.
    Before she went she was confused, miserable, angry, not eating or washing although she insisted that she did everything herself including shopping, housework and gardening and refused to have any carers in. Just before she moved she did not even recognise her own home. Once she settled - which did take a few weeks - she was much better. She is calmer, more relaxed and has made friends. She has put a bit of weight back on and she is kept clean so she looks better too. I am so happy to see the way that she is cared for.

    Not all experiences of care homes are bad.
  11. Smile99

    Smile99 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    London SE
    I do think she needs time to settle in. The fact that she has been assessed and meets the critiria for the care home suggests that she needs it. In my expirence they would rather send someone home with a care package than put them in a home.
    Just remember that she will be getting 24hour care, you wont be worrying about her at home when someones not there. It is surprising how quickly dementia can change.
    You may also find it harder to get her a placement when the time comes.
    Like others have said, do a pros and cons list, talk to the ss and go from there.
    Good luck with it all,
  12. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I echo this, both for my mum and, some years later, my MIL.
  13. Kate01

    Kate01 Registered User

    Jul 9, 2012
    I know how you feel, my husband is 62 and just gone into a care home.

    After my first, second and third visit I cried all the way home thinking i've done the wrong thing and wanted him home.
    He has now been in just over a week and is starting to fit in more, they are all much older but with dementia they dont notice.
    We are visiting every other day and taking him out for walks, and walks round their garden. so if I can get over the guilt feeling I think he will be ok.
    I do some times wonder if we had done it sooner when he was more able to join in with activities, the staff would know his personality better and he would be included more, but i'm going to work on this and go when the activities are on, other wise he will just wander around looking lost.
    Its early days but here's hoping it works out for you too and if you are local enough to visit lots too, and get her involved in their activities.
    Good Luck.

  14. VickyG

    VickyG Registered User

    Feb 6, 2013
    Hi Emzie

    Yes, you can.
    Like a few others have said, give it a bit of time to see if things settle down, it does take time for everyone to get used to things. But, if you decide on taking her out, make sure you have everything in place and the support network you WILL need at some point.

    I did. I took my Mum out of care and looked after her 24/7 at my house for 7 months until she passed away last August. Mum had been in care for almost 4 years and I hadn't the means to care for her during that time. My circumstances changed, and so I brought her home. For me, it was the best thing I ever did. I have absolutely no regrets at all. I have 15 years Dementia care experience and knew what I was 'letting myself in for ' That said, it wasn't easy. For me, it wasn't the practical side of things ( the personal care, the feeding of the pureed foods / thickened liquids, the re-positioning every 2 hours or so ), that was difficult....... it was and continues to be the emotional side of things. Mum left us last August and everyone I know said and continues to say, that it must be easier to deal with, grief, knowing I had her here, it must of helped prepare me ? Nope. I miss her terribly, almost 9 months to the day.

    Maybe give it time, like I said. Hope this helps, good luck with your decision and i'm sure it will be the right one for your Mum.

    Vicky x
  15. reddollyfood

    reddollyfood Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    My husband is 69 and in a nursing home with dementia

    My husband of 45 years has been in a nursing home for 4 months and I visit him most days. He's 69 and the pain and guilt I felt on the first day I took him there hasn't got any easier. His dementia is progressing rapidly and although I could take him out during the first few weeks he now can't stand unaided or transfer from his wheelchair to the car so I can't take him out anymore. This week he can't seem to feed himself. I wish so much I could have him back home with me. I don't know anyone else in my situation either at work or my friends. My daughters are supportive but don't live close by. I hope someone can tell me it gets easier.
  16. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    If he were home with you I suspect that you would be overwhelmed by the care required. Why not let others do the personal stuff so that you can spend quality time with him? Talk to him, sing or read, hold his hand and hug him, feed him, brush his hair
    Do not feel guilty xx
  17. Anotherdamnlol

    Anotherdamnlol Registered User

    May 2, 2015
    My mum went into a care home recently, after 3 weeks she still wasn't settled, then had to go into hospital as she was refusing food, drink and meds, and had terrible thrush of mouth. She is still in hospital (10 days now) and I paid a private psychiatrist to diagnose her and recommend meds. She hates the hospital and wants to go home. Today I took my mum out of hospital for a few hours and all I had the whole time is why have you done this to me, why would you put me in hospital? Then we visited the care home to pick up her slippers and clothes and all she kept saying was why would you put me in a care home, I hate it, I dont want to go back there.
    When she was in her flat she told me she couldnt cope anymore and needed to move into a home.
    I have to keep reminding myself that she won't be happy or settled anywhere at the moment and I have to do what's best for her and me, as she doesn't know what's best for her. I have considered taking her back to her flat and getting 24/7 care in, but I just feel that is delaying the inevitable and she will end up back in a care home later anywhere. I also worried how a single carer would cope with her. At least in a home there is a team of carers who can relieve each other if one patient becomes too much.
    In the care home, she is washed, dressed, fed everyday and given her meds, there is company, activities, hairdresser, chiropodist etc and i can conserve my energy to have quality visits to her every day knowing the basics have all been done.
    There is no right or wrong solution. We all have to follow our own path and support each other.
  18. fr0d0

    fr0d0 Registered User

    Dec 23, 2009
    Mid Wales
    My mum is in a nursing home and I'm wondering if I couldn't care for her at home. She's an hour away and I can only get to visit once a week. She's paralysed now, has to be fed liquid foods and sleep on an air mattress. She's only just been moved from hospital. The home, the area, the people, are all very strange to her. I just feel that I could do much better for my mum if she were home. I'd give up my job and buy the necessary equipment and make the necessary adaptions to my house. I wonder if that would be acceptable to social services? What assistance I could expect. Thanks for any advice.
  19. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #19 Pickles53, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    I think fr0d0 you are very courageous to consider this but a week is a relatively short time for someone to settle especially after a hospital stay. Things may look very different in a few more weeks and you must be sure that it is practical before you decide to move your mum. For example, how do you move a paralysed person alone?

    It's very selfless also to be willing to give up your job but that might have disastrous long-term financial consequences for the rest of your life. Would your mum actually want to you to do that? I wouldn't want that for my daughter.

    Maybe you could take some holiday from work and spend a full day or two at your mum's home so you have an understanding of everything the carers do and how they do it? It is probably not possible to stay overnight but you could talk to the staff about how often they check on/move your mum etc? You need to know how you are going to deal with all the issues you can predict (and of course there will be unpredictable ones). It is possible for example that your mum would not recognise or accept your house as 'home' and find it equally strange and unsettling to be there.

    You may already have thought about all of this and I don't want to sound patronising but there are so many threads on TP where people are caring at home and are having desperate problems.
  20. Angela T

    Angela T Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    I agree with all of this - my mother is not settling in her NH. She has been in care/hospital since January, and the NH staff tell me that every day she invents a new reason why she has to go home that day!

    I too have thought about having her at home, with carers. I felt it would reassure me and that she would be happier. I am in touch with France-Alzheimer's (I live in France) and they have strongly discouraged me. They said that I will have no life at all, it will put a huge strain on my marriage, they told me that a recent study has shown that 40% of carers die before the person they are caring for... and that she will get the care she needs in a good NH.

    I have to accept that my mother will not be happy in her present state, wherever she is. She refused carers looking after her at home, but she was no longer safe or properly fed, which is why we had to move her into a CH in January.

    I have to accept that there is no ideal solution. I can only do what is best for my mother, and what works for me (and my family).

    I feel I am now gradually coming to terms with this illness - with my (inevitable) guilt at not doing more for my mother... but at the same time knowing that I cannot reasonably do more, without sacrificing my life and my health for years to come.

    I have put a lot of energy into finding the best care for my mother - and I will visit as often as I can...

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