Care home - best decision ever!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by HelenInBC, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    242
    I just wanted to post our experience because I remember how worried I was about making the decision to move my mom into care. I often see threads here about "should we?" or "is it time?" I also struggled with this decision for a couple of years. We even had a false start once a year ago, when we accepted the offer of a subsidized placement through the health authority. It wasn't the right place for my mom, and I don't think any of us were quite ready for it. We brought her back home after a few days.
    For the following 8 months, my daughter and her partner moved in with my mom and took care of her. We all struggled as we watched her disease torment her. She became frustrated, suspicious and angry. Her home stopped being a comforting place for her. She was anxious all the time- worrying about things being in their proper place, or upsetting the people who lived in her building with her repeated questions and angry outbursts when she would get frustrated. She worried about money and how to pay for things (I was managing all of this by then) She started to have increasing difficulty with incontinence.
    She had a couple of short stays in respite care which went very well. This encouraged us. She enjoyed the social activities and seemed much calmer in a structured environment. She attended an adult day care program a couple of days a week and seemed to enjoy that as well.
    Last August, we decided things were getting too difficult to manage at home. We chose a lovely care home not too far from my home, where she had once attended respite care. At first, she was upset and wondering why she had to go. We explained that it was just for a few days to give my daughter a holiday. We fully expected her to keep asking when she was going home, but this time it didn't happen. After a few days she just seemed to accept this was her home. She calls her room "her house". We put up family photos and brought just a few comfort items, like a cosy throw for her bed and some pillows for the window seat.
    I think the simple environment is soothing for her. She has nothing to be anxious about. All of her needs are met and she's warm, safe, entertained and fed. We couldn't be happier. When I visit, she is always thrilled to see me, but never seems upset or sad. It's a big change from when she used to call me over and over from home - anxious about everything.

    It was such a good decision for us and I don't regret it at all. There were definitely difficult times, such as cleaning out her home and dividing up her belongings with my siblings, but it was the best thing for my mom's care and well being. Sometimes the hardest decisions turn out to be the best for all.
     
  2. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    19,036
    Durham
    It's lovely to read such a nice positive post, I am pleased it has gone well for you and that your mum is settled,
     
  3. Trisha4

    Trisha4 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    2,440
    Yorkshire
    Really good to read a good result from this very hard decision.


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  4. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland
    It's good to hear your mum's settled in so well in CH. Must be such a relief to you, HelenInBC & all your family. It is the hardest decision to have to make, not knowing if it is the right one.

    I also had to make the decision last yr, for my mum. I was advised not to tell her it was long term, as she'd have refused to go. Shes been in CH 6 wks now & looks so much better, even put on weight & more alert, her memories getting worse though. Still thinks there's nothing wrong with her, as she's physically fit.

    Has never been a person to join in activities. I took her to the local day centre last yr & said, if you befriend one or two of the ladies, I'd be more than happy to collect them & take them to you for coffee & if you want to go to them. She kept saying no I don't want to, I don't need friends. Yet, constantly, complained was on her own & that I didn't know what it was like to be on my own.

    Thankfully now, she seems to be joining in some activities & the staff said, she's settled in quite well, so I'm delighted. Like you, I know I've made the right decision & that she's safe, well cared for & eating regular meals. I don't have the worry of making sure she has her cocktail of tablets twice a day.

    I couldn't go into my mum yest, as the weather was so bad, our drive was like a skating rink. As I was working today, I rang her this evening to say I'd be in tomorrow. I asked what did she do today & usual answer is, " same old". If I ask what she had for dinner, some days says, can't remember other days says, had same old thing. Have to say, I'm very happy where she is, its a lovely homely place, staff are so caring & the residents have 3 course dinners every day.

    Hardest part for me, is my mum asking every visit about going home. When I spoke to her this eve she said, I can't wait for when I come home & have you inquired about it yet. Just keep saying, be a few more weeks yet. As she thinks its the first time she's heard it, repeats it & says "a few more weeks, why's that". We tell her the Drs have changed her medication & they're assessing her. The staff have told us to continue with that, but it's very hard. We've also been clearing out her house the last few wks & it's certainly tiring & a big job. It's great your mum is settled & doesn't mention going home & it must be so less stressful for you & your family.
     
  5. Miss shiraz

    Miss shiraz Registered User

    Dec 24, 2014
    79
    Midlands
    Nice to read this as the eventual move for MIL, I've always feared to be traumatic and we're made to feel very selfish. Thank you for sharing and hope your mum and you continue to be happy and settled
     
  6. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    242
    Mother Goose- I've heard others say that their loved one asks about going home, sometimes that continues for a long time. I have been luck in that way because it seems my mom has forgotten she had another home. At first she asked about her mother quite often (she's been dead over 50 years) but I think it's because she was associating her mother with "home". It's interesting how our brains work. She would ask if she was going to live with her mom after she left.
    Now she just says things like "I've been told that I live here, but I find that so difficult to believe" and she will ask me "do I really live here?" When I tell her yes, I usually say "we are so lucky that you found such a lovely place" or "they are so kind to you here, aren't they?" and she always agrees.
    I think we are also very fortunate that my mother has always been a basically happy person. I've heard that can make it easier for them to cope with early and mid-stage dementia.

    I hope your mum settles down more and stops asking, but I think you are managing it perfectly. It's such a relief to know they are safe and cared for!
     
  7. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    242
    I was so fearful as well, and worried that I wanted her to move to make things easier for myself. The truth is that we all have to live our lives. I know my mother would not have wanted me or my siblings to ruin our own lives trying to keep her at home. I often try to imagine what she would say to me if her mind was still clear and I know my mother loved me too much to do that to me. I know she would be proud of how I have cared for her needs, if she could.
     
  8. clareglen

    clareglen Registered User

    Jul 9, 2013
    318
    Cumbria
    I've had a good experience too with my mum moving to care home from hospital, it was a decision that was taken out of my hands, sort of, but best thing ever. She thinks her dad & uncle & my dad live there :) as long as she does she's happy. Calls her en suite room her flat. Haven't cleared her home out yet, keep putting it off. Occasionally she mentions going home but hasn't actually asked if her house is Ok, next door to me. I think it's finding the right care home which is the success. I consider we've been fortunate in that. My next thing, I've decided to try for NHS continuing healthcare.
     

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