Care home admission


Registered User
Jan 2, 2008
Hello, first time ever posting on a forum but feel so sad and dont know how to handle the admission of my mother-in-law into a (lovely) care home next week.

My mother-in-law (I call her mum, have been married to her son for 30yrs and always had a great relationship)is now 84 and has had demtia for probably 4 years although only diagnosed in the last 6 months. She lives alone in a chalet bungalow with all ammenities on the ground floor. Her memory has been failing for some time now and back in the summer we were forced to get help from the SS, she was not looking after herself.

Myself and my sister-in-law visit every day as we both work full time and have families of our own we are limited on the help we can provide, our husbands see their mother as often as they can, mine works shift work so pops in around 4 times a week and brother-in-law can only manage weekends as he works in London. She has always enjoyed our visits, relying on them as she is a bit of a recluse, does not go out nor wants to, she spends her days sitting in a chair with a wordsearch puzzle on her lap, she refuses the TV, does not listen to music or read.

The SS recommended a care agency to attend to mum three times a day for 30 mins a session, to get her up and supervise breakfast again at lunchtime to prepare a microwave meal and again in the evening to get her ready for bed, she took to this reasonable well although can never remember the carers or what they do, she insists she never sees anyone (including us, has said on a couple of occasions 'I have not seen Sue for ages' when I am Sue) recently over the last couple of months she has been getting very distressed in the evenings, phoning us up and asking to be shot as she cannot bear living any longer, she is just so confused, keeps turning off the central heating.

We have never been completely happy with the careers and have raised our concerns on a number of occassions, the soap never seems to be used although they insist she has had a wash etc).
things came to a head on the Sunday before Christmas when my brother-in-law went in to see her at 11:45 only to find her sitting eating her lunch (she doesnt get up until 9:30) on checking the book it recorded the career arriving at 12:00 and leaving at 12:30 which was clearly not the case.

We had discussed care homes in the past and knew this would be the route we would have to go down eventually. My husband made a promise to mum a long time ago that we would do everything possible to keep her at home, but the time has come when she is at danger alone in a large house even with all the care we have provided.

We have found a marvelous case home - Sunrise senior living just a couple of miles from home and have just had the call to arrange her admission - set for Wednesday 16th Jan, knowing you are doing the right thing does not make this any easier.

Now for the question, Although we have talked to Mum about leaving she is adament she does not want to leave her home (although two minutes later cannot recall the conversation)
Our plan is for my sister-in-law to pick her up in the miring and take her back to her house, meantime myself and the two sons will collect the van and move her belonging. We will phone when the room is ready and then myself and my jusband will leave, it is thought it will be easier on mum if just one couple is present. The care home have suggested that we leave her for a couple of days to settle in, we are can phone to check on her progress which we will do and hope to visit at the weekend.

How can we make this transition as painless as possible for her, I keep thinking if my children took me out for the day and deposited me in a strange place never to see my home again I would be distraught. We can talk to her but she wont remember our conversations making it so hard to pave the way.

Sorry this is soo long, I know many of you are managing to care for loved ones at home but this is just not possible for us. We have made sure that we have chosen a great home - just hope the money dosent run out, but will cross that bridge when and if we come to it.

p.s. the care home have suggested we tell her it is just for a holiday but I am not happy with lying


Registered User
Sep 26, 2007

Just a quick reply to say that it is very clear from what you have written that you care very much and you have not taken this decision lightly.

As my Granny is still cared for at home I can't give you advice regarding this area. But I know there are lots of people here who have had similar experiences to you who know how you and your family must be feeling. I'm sure they will be able to give you appropriate and relevant advice.

Take care,



Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi, sorry that you are now in a position where someone you love has to go into a care home. Never easy, but sometimes it is the only way, and can be the start of a new phase of caring.

I wonder at your comments:
the care home have suggested we tell her it is just for a holiday but I am not happy with lying
This is not about you surely, but more to give her some peace of mind, through a transitional stage.

None of us like lying. Would that the world we now inhabit would permit us always to tell the whole truth.


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Sue,
It is one of the hardest things to go through when placement in a Care Home is being done.
You have all done the best that you can for your Mum someone who you love very much. There comes a time when the 24/7 care by the proffessional comes into force. Telling little white lies sometimes is far kinder than telling the truth as this can be so distressing for them. From my own experience, I was given 2 days notice that my husband aged 61 was being placed in a E.M.I. Unit. Giving them couple of days to get use to the new suroudings and having personel possession around them helps a great deal. It does not mean that you cease to be Carer, it will allow you quality time with your Mum.
I wish you all the best.


Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
Hello Sue

Your story sounds just like our Mum's who, for years, on her better days said she would never ever leave her home !

We had to find a CH for her last November - the home owner and senior care assistant came out to do an assessment and spoke very very positively to Mum - finally asking if she'd like to come and live with them for a little while. Of Course Mum said "yes" and of course she also wouldn't remember anything about the conversation two minutes later but the owner felt that when she saw their faces again she may have a bit of positive feeling left.

We took Mum to the CH to be greeted by the same two people and we all had lunch together - then as usual Mum wanted a sleep , so we left her there in a comfy chair.

We felt absolutely awful ! - but now almost three months down the line it is a joy to see the improvements (and this is after being treated appallingly in hospital etc) Mum has forgotten she ever lived anywhere else (but occasionally asks if her Mum and Dad are coming to pick her up - they'd be 130 by now !)

Its always hard but you have to do your best for them- even if they disagree sometimes - we always talk to ourselves about whats called "informed consent" - we don't think our Mum has the mental capacity to be capable of making any kind of logical decision about her health or welfare so now we have to do it for her.

Good luck - you're doing your best -like we all do



Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Sue

It isn't really lying, or, if it is. It for the very best reasons.

It isn't lying because in a way it is a holiday, initially it will be for a trial period?

This is what I told my parent's, to make things easier for them and it worked, at the time

Sometimes, white lies are kinder.

Best of luck


Registered User
Jan 2, 2008
Thank you all for your replies, I think you are right regarding what she is told we have a months trial if it really dint work, although I don't know what other options we have open to us. We had a hospital appointment yesterday with the consultant for the results of the brain scan, he confirmed alzheimer's, no signs of bleeds etc which is what we expected and has prescribed Aricept which we will start in a couple of weeks once she has settled. The consultant agreed we were doing the right thing and knows the home well as he visits a number of patients there which is reasurring to know.
He also suggested that we do not tell Mum until the morning of the move.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
p.s. the care home have suggested we tell her it is just for a holiday but I am not happy with lying
Simply take out the word 'just' and it stops being a 'lie', though entering the world of someone with dementia and ensuring they are not worried - by telling untruths or otherwise - is standard practice, and often the only way to manage things.

But if you feel bad about it, then simply say it is for a holiday, while omitting the bit that says 'of indeterminate length'.

In the area of dementia, it is often telling it like it is that is not appropriate, for the sake of the person who has the condition. :)


Registered User
Aug 9, 2007

You sound as if you live your MIL very much. She is so lucky to have you all living close by.

My Mum moved from hospital to a NH so I didn't have your problem but I would agree with Bruce, phrase it carefully so you are not really lying. It is about making your MIL feel good rather than telling the whole truth. After all white lies help in a lot of social situations (The "Does my Bum look big in this?" we really want the right answer when we like the trousers lots and already know that it does! After all it isn't going to shrink but if you are told you look good you feel good.)

I think saying that she is going on holiday is good. (Mum actually thought that she was living in a hotel at the beginning too!) Mum did want to go home but I told her that the docs said that she wasn't well enough to live at home by herself but once she was she could go home (knowing that she never would be!)Keeping this bit of hope kept her happy until my brother who couldn't cope with her desire to go home told her that this was her home now and she was never going home as she would not be well enough. This was unnecessarily cruel to her, but he could not cope with her illness. It had her upset for days (until she forgot!)

There may be times in the future when she will ask to go home. Home doesn't necessarily think what you think it means at that time and may be the home of childhood, or a feeling of security.

This is the best thing for your MIL. But it may not be the easiest thing you have ever done, but will hopefully give her comfort, company and a good life.



It isn't easy!


Registered User
Jan 2, 2008
It has all been so quick, we have known for a while that Mum will not be able to stay at home for much longer, but in a space of just three weeks we have been forced to bring the date forward, I was really taken aback yesterday when the care-home manager said we were all ready to go and just needed a date for her moving in.

I know I need to look at this stiuation in a very different way, you are all so right, what matters is making the transition as painless for Mum as possible.

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