1. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    34
    Derbyshire
    Hello

    It's a while since I've posted but feel the need this evening. My mother's been in hospital 6 months now. She's been on the waiting list of 2 homes, EMI with nursing. I've never been told that she has dementia, and whlst she has improved and is more rational and less confused, her anxiety levels can still soar at the drop of a hat. This week she has been offered a place in a care home which I think will be OK. I had arranged for her to be assessed by the matron next week and taken time off work - I want to be there. When I visited my mother this evening I was met with - the care home are coming to assess your mother tonight. I was not happy, very angry in fact, as I had not been informed by the care home. Anyway I insisted that the assessment takes place as planned. Am I being unreasonable? I want to talk to prepare my mother for the move and don't think it is a good idea to talk to her about it at 7pm in the evening when she is tired out. She also registered blind, deaf and can't walk any longer. Sorry to go on, but I was really upset about this.

    Jazzy
     
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    No your not , good job you got there in time . am wondering did they go ahead with it anyway ? what did they say ?
     
  3. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    34
    Derbyshire
    Hi Margarita

    No they didn't. I arrived just before they did and we had an amicable discussion. They looked at my mother's notes and talked to the nurse in charge and will return as planned next week to talk to Mum when I'm there. I'm going to see the room tomorrow.

    It's been a difficult week as the sale of her house goes through this week where she'd lived for 70 years and I haven't told her yet. But I know I had no choice. The news would make her anxiety even worse.

    Thanks for your support.

    Jazzy
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Good for you , Glad to hear that


    70 years wow long time , so many memories to let go of , know the feeling
     
  5. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    34
    Derbyshire
    Roller coaster

    Hello again

    Since I posted on Wednesday I've been to visit the nursing home, talked to the matron and was generally happy for my mother to be going there. On visiting her in hospital this afternoon, when I mentionned to 2 care staff where she was going I got a neagtive reaction. I then felt better again when I spoke to the ward manager. My feelings go up and down from one moment to another. I want to do the best for my mother, but it really is difficult to know whether a home is the right one. I've been on visits, read inspection reports and gone on gut feeling. What else can I do? I don't know whether staying in hospital is a good option for Mum either.

    I'd be interested to know how anyone else has coped with this dilemma. I still have Mum's name on another waiting list, my first choice. But there again, how do I know what that will be like?

    Thanks
    Jazzy
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I really think you have to go on your gut reaction, assuming inspections reports and the like are OK. As you've found when you ask someone about a care home, unless they have had intimate dealings with them, they either have no opinion, or possibly an opinion based on one or trwo contacts. If those contacts were positive, then they'll think the place is OK or the opposite. If they have had intimate contact with the place, and they're negative, well you have to weigh why and when. Management changes, so if the negative experience was sometime ago, it may not necessarily hold true now. Also, no 2 dementia sufferers present in the same way, and what might be a "fit" for one, may be disastrous for another. Unfortunately, people always put their own spin on a situation, so you're unlikely to get an entirely accurate picture. Also, one part of a nursing home can be totally different to another. In the nursing home that my mother's flat is attached to, one wing is for the much more seriously ill patients. If you based your opinion of the nursing home on that wing you wouldn't get an accurate picture of the whole place.

    I understand that you want this to be a decision made, and it will all turn out for the good, but don't forget, is is a decision that it is possible to change in the future (although with a great deal of hassle). I would say, though, that your mother staying in hospital is a bad idea - acquired (iatronic) infections are a real possibility the longer you stay in hospital.

    Jennifer
     
  7. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    34
    Derbyshire
    Hi Jennifer

    Thank you so much for your reply. I think you are right when you say that I have to go with my gut reaction and that being in hospital for a long time is a bad idea. Someone else said the latter to me. What is right for one person isn't for another. My mother's enxiety levels have been so high, but looking back it's been like that where ever she was.

    Your comments are helping me to get this into perspective and as you say this isn't forever - decisions can be changed.

    Jazzy
     
  8. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    Hi Jazzy

    I do feel for you as I have been in this situation myself. My mum was in an EMI home for a year, then in hospital for about 5 or 6 weeks, then in a nursing home. I found on both occasions that we found a home with a place available, they were very keen to get her in there as soon as possible. I am afraid that this is largely due to economics - empty rooms are a drain on profits.

    It is a good sign, however, that they agreed to wait to do the assessment until the previously agreed time. If they had tried to insist on going ahead then I would have had serious doubts, as I am sure you would.

    I've had to make a decision on a home twice within a year. The second time it was almost harder, because of previous problems. I definitely agonised over it for a lot longer That was in January and in hindsight I think we did pick the best possible place so have no regrets. I hope you will say the same in a few months time.

    Keep us posted on how things go.
     
  9. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    34
    Derbyshire
    Hi

    Thanks for your really helpful and supportive words. You are right when you say that things happen very quickly and other friends have had a similar experience. My mother's anxiety levels are soaring at present and I hate to think of her being so frightened. One light on the horizon is that I'm seeing her consultant on Wednesday, so I shall prepare for that and get his opinon on how things are going.

    I'll keep posting as this forum is being a life saver. Thanks to all who post for your help and support.

    Jazzy
     
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    My tuppence worth

    Having been through this situation at about this time last year (search for my posts, and you'll find the whole saga), yes, read the inspection reports and ask around, but I found gut reaction the best guide - would she be happy here, all things considered? The other single factor that most swayed me was talking to the staff of the home - our first choice of home were happy to talk to us for as long as we liked, let us talk to current residents and explained that their approach was to tailor life to be as 'normal' in each resident's eyes as they can with the resources they have. On which they have been excellent. Mum's had grievances - a room overlooking a noisy road (she's sinced moved to the back of the home and is very happy there as it's quiet), meals (the cook nw comes and taloks to here a couple of times a week to 'discuss the recipes' with here - but we've never had a negative peep from her about the staff.

    Our experience has also been that a move from hospital was a positive thing (once the disorientation of being moved is got over, and don't underestimate how bewildering and unsettling she may find that) - the home is a more 'normal' environment and has ultimately proved soothing.

    Our experience was also that the hospital wanted her out of the door as soon as they judged her ready for a home, regardless of our ability to find one we liked. If need be, kick up a holy stink. Ask for a copy of their official complaints procedure (they had a huge impact on them for us!), make it clear that it's your relative whose behalf you're acting on and you don't understand why speed has to take precedence over providing care that suits her needs. (I assume you'll be paying too - if you're not happy to pay for something you don't consider suitable, think how much you're going to be paying and use that as fuel for the fire!!).

    I found that as 'primary carer' I got treated as if that entailed all the responsibility (this is now your problem, so solve it) and none of the being shown respect (if you're making huge decisions on her behalf, it should be your choice, not theirs).

    You'll find a lot of people here who've been through your current situation and will be only too happy to provide support and encouragement. Good luck, and keep posting.

    Dave
     
  11. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    If you can find a home which doesn't smell of urine, or of air freshener heavily trying to mask something, that will be a bonus. Also, take a look at the residents. Are they talking to each other? Sitting silently in a circle looking glum? Do the staff have time to give you conversation. ( Not an infallible indicator since the money factor can produce all sorts of alluring good manners.)

    Try to speak to a few of the relatives if you can. I only spoke to one at my mother's present home. She was very negative and I wrote her off, with my fingers crossed, as possibly an exception. As it happens, her negative comments were entirely correct and I wish I had listened to them, but we were under duress to find somehere for my mother. If I had heard the same story from other voices, that would have properly stopped me in my tracks.

    Pop your nose around the common bathrooms and lavs. Sweet smelling? I also used to think that bathrooms which were spotlessly clean and bone dry were bathrooms that never got used, so bear that in mind.

    CSCI reports give good insights into what is going on, but may be out of date by at best a few months. Call in outside the usual visiting times if possible. I think if we had visited my mum's current home on a Sunday evening after supper, we would never have chosen it. There seems to be a point in the week where the staffing levels go beyond dodgy and Sunday night is the one which worries me most.

    Homes are supposed to have policies called ' End of Life' procedures. You may want to check whether the home you are looking at has got one. Will they look after your relative to the end of her days?

    One home I visited, I spoke to a resident who gave, at first, a very measured reply about the home and then came rattling after me in her wheelchair with some further thoughts. She said that she thought my mother would really enjoy living there, it was a nice home. She was in her nineties and looked like a well-preserved 70 yr old. This was the only home, out of around 30 I visited, where a resident actively wanted to encourage us to bring my mum there, and her views were endorsed by a couple of relatives I spoke to. Unfortunately this was also one of the general nursing homes who changed their minds about accepting my mum when they read that my mother had been diagnosed as having Alzheimers-type dementia. I went on my knees to try and get them to accept her, but to no avail.

    Really hope this isn't too gloomy. Deborah.
     
  12. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    34
    Derbyshire
    :) Hi everyone

    Thank you Dave and Deborah for your thoughts - they were very helpful. Quite a lot has happened since I last posted. I met the matron at the hospital last Monday and was able to ask further questions and say what my hopes and expectations were from the home. On Wednesday I saw the consultant and social worker. I went with a list of questions which again were answered, so I felt reassured.

    Today my mother has moved to the nursing home. As expected she was all anxious and upset and very confused by the time we go there. I suppose it's not gone too badly. The staff were welcoming and seemed very keen to do what was best for Mum. They were also very respectful and kind. It was a completely different experience from the last home she was in - much more organised. I left about 5pm, as she was fast asleep.

    Of course I'm all anxious myself now having left her, but I'm only 20 minutes away and I'm sure they'll ring if there are any problems.

    Anyway, I'm popping in tomorrow after work and on Tuesday they are having a Christmas social evening.

    Thanks again for your support.

    Jazzy
     
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Pleased to read that your mother settle in ok xx
     
  14. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    Glad you're near enough for frequent visits.


    Lila
     
  15. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Jazzy,

    One of the hardest things I ever had to to do in my life was to place my parents in a Nursing Home. At the time it seemed like the end of the world. I guess it was really - the end of the world as we knew it as a family together. I was totally devestated for some time - and my parents were blissfully happy!

    The replies that you have received here on this thread are wonderfully sound and
    comprehensive. Keep monitoring the daily situation until you are totally comfortable with everything. The guideline that I gave myself was 'Would I be happy to live here?'. I had little choice with the Nursing Home since I was looking for a twin room for my parents, but we were incredibly lucky that there was a room available and that the NH was well managed and staffed by exceptionally well trained and compassionate staff.

    It is incredibly hard to relinquish 'care' to another person or organisation if you feel that they cannot or do not provide the level of care and love that you can provide at home. Once you feel personally comfortable with that, then you will feel so much better at having made this decision.

    There are a few ways that you can do this....

    Any NH worth its salt will welcome you with open arms at any time of the day or night. Particularly make a point of turning up at 8.30-9.00am breakfast time. That way, you can check administration, cleanliness and staff attitudes. Usually residents will be up and dressed and ready for the day by then and the place should be clean and organised in a good NH. If not - and the staff are cross because you have arrived 'too soon', - then you need be be on your guard. Check if the place smells of stale urine or looks dirty from the night before. See how many residents are still in night clothes.

    Check and monitor the 'daily activities' such bus tours, inhouse activites, craft sessions, etc and ensure that they are actually happening. Talk to the other residents to see if they are alert and bright. They will tell you a whole lot more about the place than the staff. If the residents are dopey and lethartic, then you might wonder.....

    The NH where my parents were/are is bright, clean and fresh. The staff are very considerate and caring of all the residents and the daily acrtivities are well organised and well programmed and the meals are excellent. So far, so good.

    It's difficult for me, living in Australia, to keep a close eye on this, but friends regularly visit and they all know what to look out for.

    Hope this info may help a bit.

    Jude
     
  16. perfectpatience

    perfectpatience Registered User

    Oct 3, 2006
    64
    Essex
    Care homes

    My mother passed away on 5th Dec and her funeral is on Tue 19th... so you can understand it is still very upsetting for me. What I did want to add was about my experience with care homes (in my area) as I had to place my mum in one in January 2006. At first I picked the home as I thought my mum would have loved the gardens and surroundings....though she went downhill from then and didn't have a chance to see any of it much. The staff at this particular home couldnt have been nicer (at first) and I was thrilled to have found such a wonderful place. They always had time for me at visits (offering me cuppas and friendly chats) but I found that after about a month...it seemed to all change. I used to visit my mum most days (always the same time) and maybe every other day which was rare. Anyway I started to feel uncomfortable...and that I was in the way...yet I was never a nuiscence or complained alot. Neither was my dear mum ever alot of trouble. Since then Ive found that alot of residential and care homes are like that. Indeed the nursing home my mum went to for the last few weeks of her life also turned out exactly the same. Ive not even had a phonecall from the manager expressing her sympathy that my mum has passed away. On the evening she died...the night staff were quite cold towards me and my family...and insisted I find an undertakers in the next 2 hours or they would have to find one (and it was 12-30 in the evening) All Iam trying to say is if you have found a good care home....you are very lucky. If I knew what I know now...I would have tried to keep my mum in in her own home for as long as I possibly could have. Love PP xx
     
  17. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,549
    Kent
    Dear PP, I`m so sorry to hear of the death of your mother, and send my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences.

    From reading your posts, I understand how much you loved her and always acted in her best interests.

    I had similar experiences with my mother`s care homes.

    All I can say is as long as care homes are run as businesses and not as services, we are extremely lucky to find ones that are everything we would wish for.
    The majority of staff are unqualified, have the minimum, if any, training in geriatric care and do the job because they can`t get anything else. They are also paid the minimum wage. Because of this, there is a high turnover of staff in most nursing or care homes.

    I worked with children with special educational needs. It was vocational and I loved every minute of my time with these children, however challenging their behaviour was. I would never have been able to work with adults with special needs, and always have had the greatest respect and admiration for those who do.

    I have met people who choose to work with the elderly in care or nursing homes and I apologise to them for my negativity, regarding so many care and nursing home staff. But I don`t think they`ll deny what I feel, and have witnessed.

    When legislation is in place to ensure qualifications in geriatric or psychiatric care is an essential requirement for care home staff, when all nursing and care homes are regarded as extensions to hospitals, rather than businesses, we may see an end to this disgrace.

    To anyone lucky enough to find a good care home, as I was able to do for the last few months of my mother`s life, count your blessings.

    To anyone offended by my attitude, especially those running care and nursing homes, prove me wrong.

    To you, Perfect Patience, mourn you mother in peace. Sylvia x
     
  18. perfectpatience

    perfectpatience Registered User

    Oct 3, 2006
    64
    Essex
    Care homes

    Thankyou for your reply Sylvia. I agree totally with everything you have said...you are 100 per cent right in your views. Iam so glad you were able to find a lovely care home that was suitable. I know they do exist....and know alot of t/p readers have only good things to say about their care homes. I guess I was just unlucky. My mum was social service funded....as she did not have her own home....maybe the privately run nursing and care homes are better. Thankyou for your kind condolences....god bless....Love PP xx
     
  19. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    Sending hug and sympathy PP. I had similar sort of nightmare. I sat with dad for a couple of days when it looked like he was going to die. Had a mad dash home early evening of the night he eventually died, cos there was something I had to do. I was met at the door on my return by the 'qualified' for his unit that night. She didn't say "hi, how are you?" or anything ........... just "you need to tell me which undertakers you'll be using". My poor dad was still down the corridor, still alive. It was about 12:30am when dad died too.

    It makes me angry because something like that stays with you, and something that with very little effort could have been handled so much better.

    [just for the record, the unqualified carer was worth her weight in gold that night, as had been the qualified staff during the day]
     
  20. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Jazzy

    Really pleased to see you have found a good NH for your mum. Its a hard one isn't it. My mum went into a NH in September. Please do check out my threads, it was a hard slog finding the right one, but we got there in the end. Mum is really settled, although has her 'moments' when I visit, but that's nothing new.

    All in all she has gained a little weight, is less confused I think because of the daily routine, kindness and respect of the staff (they always knock before entering her room) etc,. They telephone me if they are not sure about something or are concerned, and are happy for family to visit at any time of day or night. The general atmosphere is a happy one, music always playing, staff always ready to sit and have a chat to residents. They seemed to latch onto mums funny little ways very early on.

    I still have sleepless nights worrying, and of course, feel really guilty that I could not manage her at home.

    I hope your mum continues to blossom in her new home.
    Love
    Cate
     

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