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Care Home-have I done the right thing?

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
86
0
Hi I have posted before but briefly..Mum was sectioned over 2 years ago while suffering from severe delirium. Eventually diagnosed with Alzheimers and went back home for the last 2 years with 4 x a day care package. All went well until the last 6 months where she went down hill, not recognising her home, asking to go home etc. She became very frail and ended up falling multiple times and she was admitted from hospital. She spent 2 weeks there and was discharged to a CH for respite which I chose, very quickly to prevent the NHS sending her somewhere awful like they did before.

She has been there 10 weeks now. i am pretty happy with it, its a lovely peaceful location, just 20 residents and it is mixed, a few dementia residents and the rest not. The SW went to see her today and rang me to tell me that she still qualifies for section 117 after care funding and they recommend she stays there. Now mum doesn't mind it there and says the food is good, residents are nice but she is convinced she is going home. Her house is up for sale (her request) as she can no longer manage stairs but she thinks we (I assume me and her although I have not lived with her for 35 years!) are getting a bungalow. My question is, as there is no way she can live alone anymore, is what do I say? Tell her straight she's staying there every time I see her as she forgets all our conversations or just lie, basically and say it's just for now until she's stronger etc? I have to admit I dread the visits as the subject of when she can leave inevitably comes up.

Any advice appreciated, I am feeling so stressed about it and wondering if I should have tried a live in carer first.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
6,326
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @Linsac

I would definitely lie. I think a kind white lie is so much better than the harsh truth and, hopefully will keep your mum happy. I used to tell my dad he could go home when he was better or when his bungalow was ready - I became quite adept at inventing reasons why it wasn’t..
 

Sue741215

Registered User
Oct 18, 2019
90
0
I agree that lying is likely to be best. We told my mum for years that she was in care due to a heart problem that needed to be monitored and it wasn't safe to go home until the doctor said it was ok. She accepted it most of the time though I think she sometimes knew we were pulling the wool! She only asked about her house once and I told her it was rented out until she needed it and the money was going into her bank account which pleased her. Our other lie was that the care home was free as it was like being in hospital. Whatever makes them happy is the way forward whenever possible I say.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
854
0
We have arranged live-in care for an elderly friend and, from what you have said about your mother, I think that she is probably past the stage of live-in care. In my admittedly limited experience, live-in care is only suitable for people who are in the earlier stages of dementia and do not have challenging behaviours. It's expensive and can be more expensive than a care home once you include the carer's subsistence allowance, the cost of a relief carer (if the person can't be left alone at all), the costs of running the house etc. If an agency is managing the care package (which is what we have chosen because we don't want the responsibility of employing someone and having to deal with problems and crises) then it is more expensive.
 

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
86
0
Thank you for your replies. It just seems awful to have to lie but then again you are all right that telling her she's not going home every time I see her is infinitely worse! Live in care- after speaking to the SW yesterday, he told me that she is up 4/5 times a night in the CH and has to be reassured each time according to the manager so it would not have worked with live in unless we had 2.

Can I just ask how you got round the issue of bringing her possessions to the care home? Obviously we can't bring much but they have said small pieces of furniture, pictures from her home etc will make it feel more like home. If she thinks she is going back to her home, won't this alarm her?
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
802
0
Can I just ask how you got round the issue of bringing her possessions to the care home? Obviously we can't bring much but they have said small pieces of furniture, pictures from her home etc will make it feel more like home. If she thinks she is going back to her home, won't this alarm her?
If she doesn't recognise her home, will she recognise her possessions? When I moved dad into care three years ago, he didn't seem too bad on the surface, but if you picked something up and said "Is this yours?" he would say no, it was "in the room when I arrived"?!. That went for everything, even things he'd owned for years or clothing with his name on it. I still moved it, perhaps subliminally he would know it was from home. If you're worried you don't have to move much, maybe some photos (with labels saying who is in them, just as a talking point for carers).
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
854
0
@Linsac, you're right that you would have needed a second 'waking night' carer as live-in carers are not expected to get up repeatedly at night. 'Waking night' carers cost almost as much as live-in carers as they are essentially working a night shift. Two carers would be hugely expensive and I can't imagine that any LA or the NHS would fund both a live-in and a 'waking night' carer.

You can take comfort from the fact that your mother likes the care home and, despite asking to go home, did not recognise her home when she was living there. As she was asking to go home when she was living at home the asking to go home may not signify that she wants to return to her house. It may be an expression of wanting to go back to an earlier time and an earlier home e.g. the home that she shared with her parents.
 

purpledaffodil

Registered User
Dec 16, 2021
24
0
If your mother is really resistant I would encourage white lies such as “you need to stay here until you’re stronger”, or “when you’re doing better we could look at getting you a bungalow”. Of course YOU know that “better” is never going to happen. This is how I reconciled it to myself.

For the possessions, if you would frame it in terms of staying for “a while” or “a few months”, then you could suggest bringing a few of her things over to make her more comfortable while she stays.

My Mum was furious when she moved into her first CH and hated it when we brought her stuff. With her second, a nursing home, I went all in on a line about how she was there to convalesce, with proper nurses on staff etc which worked for her as one of the things she was fretting about a lot was what medical care she was getting.
 

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