1. sek.kong

    sek.kong Registered User

    Aug 30, 2006
    17
    east anglia -ish
    I'm a new member with a recently diagnosed AD mum.How do you really know how good a home is? Looked at inspector's reports, don't know anyone in the same position. I am sure it is caring but the residents don't seem to DO anything. Mum doesn't want to do colouring in. Should I just be grateful she's looked after? If this thread already exists, sorry- can't check through everything!!
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    The best answer to that is in several parts.

    Firstly, visit a prospective home and meet the manager; have them show you around. So you see the place from their viewpoint. While there, see how they interact both with residents and with staff. Do they greet residents as if they were friends? Does the place look clean, does it smell as wholesome as one can expect? If you go there near mealtime, does the food look/smell good? If you don't go there at a mealtime, ask the manager to see a normal weekly menu.

    A good home will permit almost unlimited visiting, day and/or night. If this is so, then ask the manager if you can visit another time, without appointment. If you do that, you will see the home from a different point of view. Not worse, just different. Staff behave more normally when their boss isn't there.

    Check what accommodation is like. One person per room? En suite? Ability to have own furniture or pictures?

    Are residents all stacked in chairs in a room with the TV in the centre? Not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes the programme will be what staff want - football, soaps, etc. Again, not necessarily bad, but note everything.
    What do you want residents to do?

    What stage are they at?

    In Jan's home, many are at the stage of being chairbound. Others ceaselessly roam. Activities are, I'm pretty sure, in order to tick some box or other, and to make the carers lives more interesting. The residents generally don't give a hoot.

    Some do look at pictures in books.

    Don't expect activities to be what you would term activities. But some should be organised, just to give residents a chance.
    No, not just be grateful. Be grateful, certainly, but always expect as much to be done for her as possible.

    Let any home know that you are actively a carer still and are most interested in her care, and will visit regularly. Make a relationship with the manager, staff, and the other residents, if possible.

    Above all, take one step at a time.
     
  3. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    Brucie, as always you have given lots of good advice. However, I would say that you should NOT ask if you can visit at another time without an appointment - you should just do it! Ideally, your first visit to a home should be without an appointment. OK, you may catch the home at a bad time, but isn't that the best time to 'catch' them? If anything is going on that they wouldn't want a visitor to see, then you don't want your loved one to be there. If something distressing/worrying/unpleasant is going on then at least you can see that they are dealing with it in the best way possible.
     
  4. sek.kong

    sek.kong Registered User

    Aug 30, 2006
    17
    east anglia -ish
    Thanks for the advice. Mum is in a home and they do seem caring it's just that everyone (not the staff!) seems to just sit there. I know some are in worse (mental) states than others but there are several who are more physically unable to get about. Mum says it's dull. Some of this is her AD I'm sure- can't get her head round a puzzle book, can't read much (eyes) hasn't been able to knit for ages. She ends up sleeping a lot and then of course they have the problem of her being awake for hours in the night! I never seem to see them DO anything with the residents. Maybe I just come at the same (bad) time but it's hard to vary when you're at work. Maybe it's just the guilt goblin sitting on my shoulder making me feel bad!
     
  5. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Sek.kong
    I know what you mean. In my mum's NH they normally have some activity in an afternoon after lunch, but before toiletting starts at 4pm. So if I hadn't visited then I wouldn't know anything about it.
    Unfortunately, there does seem to be a lot of sitting around - makes me glad at times that mum does not understand. When you visit can you involve mum in activity?
    Love Helen
     
  6. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia

    Hi!
    At the home (Hostel ) where Mum and Dad are, there are 2 Activities officers on duty 5 days a week (M-F). Every week they advertise their "program" of activities which is very varied and caters for most tastes. I don't know if this is common in the UK but it certainly is the norm in Australia. They have a mini-bus in which they take people for outings, they organise all sorts of games, crafts, activities, visitors (such as the man who comes each week to give foot massages; the man who comes in to play music on the organ - mostly from the 30s, 40s and 50s), library visits, special occasions (last week it was an Italian Lunch), etc. etc.

    It is wonderful - BUT. . . . !!! My parents take very little interest in any of it! We have encouraged (wheedled, cajoled, etc.!!) them to take part, but mostly they prefer just to sit! They "don't like Bingo", "can't hear the organ", "all the others are forgetful old people!" (I specially like that comment!) or "the activities are on when I'm busy" (doing what I'm not sure!).

    I guess you need to know that activities ARE available if they want to take part, but don't be surprised if your Mum decides not to take part in what is on offer.
    Best of luck,
    Nell
     
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    I believe that asking the question of the manager elicits the official response, which tells loads about the home in itself. If they say "Come anytime" then I rest easier. If not, then I'd feel they might have something to hide.

    I believe it important to build a relationship with the home and staff and thus to clear all this stuff first, if only for the sake of good manners. But then we have been lucky in that Jan's home is fantastic in all respects.

    Just working on my own experiences.
     
  8. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I can understand what you're saying Bruce to a degree. However, what happens if you ask the question and they say something like 'well actually we would prefer you to make an appointment so we know that someone will be here to answer any questions you may have'. Does that mean that they have something to hide or not? And doesn't it then put you in a bad position in that it looks odd if you then turn up without an appointment?
     

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