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Care home update!

Jmr38

New member
Sep 3, 2021
3
0
My wife who I have been looking after for the last two years, is due to go in for respite any day now !I am racked with guilt as to am I doing the right thing, or am I just thinking of myself and getting some sleep? We have been together for nearly 70 years, and I know she trusts me to look after her! What to do! do I keep her at home or let her go in the hope she may be happier in a home? Can you help with your own experiences
5 weeks ago we moved my mum into a care home after looking after her 24/7. It was taking a team of 3 siblings and my 96 yr old dad to look after her as she has no mobility at all. My sister and I stayed overnight and frequently had only a few hours broken sleep over an 18 month period. Mum and dad have been married over 70 years. Please know thornboy that you have No Choice over this... You are doing your very best for your wife and to continue doing that you NEED respite and sleep and rest. Remember that. You are NOT being selfish! We as a family are dealing with a range of emotions now and Its terribly hard, but over time I've been recovering some much needed sleep. I hope that someone else telling you you have no choice in this and you need recuperation time will help. I only want to do the very best i can for my mum.. Heartbreaking decision but the time had come. Very much finding my way through it but please know no one will judge you. Be kind to yourself
 

GordonCambs

New member
Sep 20, 2020
8
0
All very familiar stuff. I live 400 miles from my mother who has lived on her own for over 20 years. (she lives in Scotland so the care arrangements might be slightly different there) As she has aged, she has needed more help. I have been doing that remotely, organizing things, managing her finances etc. Difficult to know when her dementia started but it was obvious a few years ago that she was exhibiting the early signs. I discussed this with her GP but nothing happened until she had some UTI/delirium event and the GP referred her for assessment. She was assessed as having Alzheimer’s and was assigned a psychiatric community care nurse. I also involved social services and arranged for a basic homecare package, which the council arranged and funded.

She had another delirium event, (but at least by this time she was getting visits from the care workers) , and ended up in A & E, was discharged and two days later ended up being taken to a specialist dementia care unit of a large Psychiatric hospital. She was there for 7 weeks (which she hated) but at least was safe and was getting assessment and care.

She was assessed as being able to live independently with a homecare package, once the council had fitted some handrails and safety equipment in her house (all free to us) .This worked fine for a while although she needed more and more help from me as she was less able to go shopping. She went out and got lost a couple of times and seemed determined to accept the minimum help from the carers. The inevitable happened and one day I received a call from the care provided saying there were fire engines at her house. She was in a really bad way babbling incoherently and had causes a fire in the kitchen, probably leaving something on the cooker.

She was taken to hospital was diagnosed with delirium, probably caused by a UTI and assessed as not being capable of independent living. She went form there to a (really nice but not cheap) care home in Feb 2020 and is still there. Has all the same issues as others on the post, wanting to go home, asking for parents, etc etc.

The pandemic has been really bad for her, and she has continues to deteriorate. Good days and bad days. Care home staff are great.

The point of this extended story is that Dementia is a horrible, progressive disease. Sometimes with spells of stability and sometimes rapid deterioration. You can’t really know how it will go.

She was lonely and unhappy at home, so a care home was on the cards but my point is that if you worry too much about arranging a care home “too early”, then you never know what might happen.

Some individuals seem to settle OK in care homes, but most seem to have issues. There are often no good decisions you can make, only less bad ones.

If you recognize this story, and you are some way down the path I have described, then hopefully this might help you with decisions you might have to make.
 

Hamilton10

Registered User
Aug 9, 2019
14
0
Well, that all sounds rather...normal! Most people do take a little time to settle in a care home. My mother used to pack every day then sit by the door with her coat on. (She fooled a visitor once who held the door open for her and she escaped! Fortunately carers saw and rushed to bring her back.)

But most importantly, your mum likes where she is and is joining in activities and engaging with people - that's really good. (Mum mostly stayed in her room for 3 years.) The 'when am I going home' question is practically universal! Just tell her, 'Yes - as soon as the doctor says you are stronger.' Then distract with cake/tea.
 

Hamilton10

Registered User
Aug 9, 2019
14
0
Just read this thread from a while ago. Thanks Jaded'n'faded. Reading this because also at the point of deciding whether a care home is the right thing. Worried its' the right thing for me rather than my mum but also don't know how this will work out when she is home from hospital (initially broken hip...classic stuff). Anyway somehow this post helped!
 

Cookie123

New member
Dec 6, 2019
9
0
wow. thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. My husband has been in a home for 3 weeks and asking about going home, attempting to pack etc. Staff are lovely. Its definitely the right place but my guilt and sadness is significant and quite surprising. Im feeling so bad but know I could no longer keep him safe at home. I do hope he settles down soon but will be braced for the continued distract with cake tactic. We just had our 28th anniversary on Saturday and he enjoyed his favourite homemade chocolate cake-its just heart breaking to watch this decline. Not the way dignified loving people should be forced to end their lives.
 

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