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Choosing a Care Home for Dad.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by SallyB, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. SallyB

    SallyB Registered User

    May 7, 2005
    60
    #1 SallyB, Apr 19, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2006
    Hi Everyone,

    I am hoping for some advice again! I think it has come to the time for me to look at full time care for my Dad. He lives alone and I am struggling to give him enoughtime. I see him nearly every day. Occsionally I don't get to see him but do ring him several times a day.

    He has been deteriorating since Xmas. Last week he had a chest infection and was needing Antibiotics three times a day. I went in to give him these and on one occasion at 4 in the morning. I have got a chest infection now too! (always good to share!) I managed to get some extra help from my Brother but it all just seems too much to cope with now.

    I called the GP this morning to ask for a visit as I felt that he might still have an infection. The GP who called me said I should of called earlier in the day! (I didn't bother telling him I was getting my partners Grandma up and waiting for the District Nurse to call before I could get to Dad) So he prescribed some more antibiotics over the phone. Another week of early visits.

    I just don't feel that I can maintain the right level of care that he needs and deserves now.

    So my question is How do I start to find the right home? I am finding this the most scary thing I have had to face yet. I have been on the internet but there are so many. Where do you start?

    I would appreciate any advice on how other people have found their loved ones a care home.

    How do I talk to Dad about it? When I tried to talk about this with him before he said he didn't want to as he wanted to keep his dog with him.

    Sorry I am rambling now, just don't know where to go next.

    P.S
    Forgot to say, my sister went to see Dad at teatime for me today and he kept telling her he wanted to go home. This is new and is worrying me to death.
     
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    That’s a really hard one to answer ,heart breaking .

    Best place to start with is a social worker, does your dad have one ?
     
  3. jarnee

    jarnee Registered User

    Mar 18, 2006
    181
    leicestershire
    Hi

    Just something I learned when my dad had a nasty chest infection.....his AD deteriorated by several years in several days !!!!!!!! This is no exaggeration. I've never seen anything like it.

    It was the first and only time I have ever rang the Alzheimers Society. (No disrespect to nurses, but he went into hospital and they kept telling me he'd got so confused because he had a brain tumour) Absolute RUBBISH !!!!! He NEVER has had cancer in his life and didn't have a brain tumour at all !! (We even had the "Do you want us to resuscitate conversation)..Long story !!:rolleyes:

    Anyway, like I say, no tumour at all (Stupid idea!), it was his AD. When I spoke to the Society, I was told that any chest infection will have this "deteriorating" effect. In fact when I explained about the sudden deterioration, the nice bloke I spoke to, simply said, "Has he got a chest infection"???!!!

    Sure enough, as the infection cleared up, so did the mass confusion and he went back to "where he was" stage -wise

    However, that doesn't answer your actual question. My dad recently went into a home and my advice would be .....visit the homes first (Don't make appointments, they won't mind if they haven't anything to hide) and think about the things that are important for your dad. Make sure you ask about those. Also personal recommendations are good. Finally there is awebsite that has the reports ( A bit like schools have OfSTED reports)

    Good luck !!
    Jarnee
    X
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi SallyB,

    Here is a recent thread on this topic that you might find helpful:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkingpoint/discuss/showthread.php?t=2860&highlight=csci

    I started by using the CSCI web site (details on the thread above), followed by lots of phone calls and lots of visits. We put my father-in-law on the waiting lists of several homes over a year ago, but luckily my mother-in-law is managing to care for him at home with visits by care assistants.

    My advice has always been start looking before you really need the home so as to give enough time for the search and to allow for the fact that many homes have waiting lists.

    Does your father have a Social Worker? If not, I would advise getting one asap as they can arrange some home-help for the moment and also possibly assist with the care home maze.

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  5. Hilary

    Hilary Registered User

    Apr 17, 2006
    18
    Oxfordshire
    #5 Hilary, Apr 20, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2006


    Wow, I would never have thought about a chest infection causing so much trouble Jaimee, thanks for that input as it might be useful to me to remember.

    This website - any further details?

    HIlary

    PS - it's OK - followed Sandy's thread and found it!
     
  6. SallyB

    SallyB Registered User

    May 7, 2005
    60
    Hi Jarnee, I notice you are from the same area as I am.

    Did you really just turn up at homes without appointments?

    Do they show you around ?

    Do you recommend any?

    I am so scared of making things worse for Dad, I have been teling myself for along time that although he is on his own alot at least he is where he always wanted to be but I carn't stand the thought of him being scared at home.

    I wanted some more antibiotics to make sure he was better but I also feel that the changes in dads social services carers hasn't helped. I have complained but just get fobbed off, hence my thinking that full time care would be better for him now.

    Sally
     
  7. SallyB

    SallyB Registered User

    May 7, 2005
    60
    Hi Sandy,

    I thought that Dad had a social worker until I tried to ring her today to ask for some more help from social services.

    I was told she left last October! The duty social worker took my details and said i should here back in approx 3 weeks! Not urgent as Dad already has two calls a day from social services.

    I have rang Dads CPN who is coming to see me on Friday.

    Sally
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
  9. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I think it's also extremely useful to know that a UTI (urinary tract infection) and/or severe constipation can also have a catastrophic effect on someone who is old and in poor health anyway. My mum became very ill after going into a home soon after my father died and we thought we were losing her too. It later transpired that she had been severely constipated and once that was sorted she was much better. I have also seen scary behaviour when she has had a UTI which improved greatly when that was cured.
     
  10. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Sally,

    Please also check out the thread

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkingpoint/discuss/showthread.php?t=2173&highlight=elderly+craig

    There is a link to the Elderly Accommodation Council, fantastic resource and helpful staff...

     
  11. jarnee

    jarnee Registered User

    Mar 18, 2006
    181
    leicestershire
    SallyB

    Actually, I didn't just turn up, I DID make appointments ( just because I thought I should) but two of the homes I visited said they were very surprised I was making appointments and that if I was looking for somewhere I should just turn up.

    If you phone Leicestershire Social Services, they will send you a very useful booklet about all the care homes in Leicester & Leicestershire. I started with the booklet. It has details of how many rooms each home has, facilities, contact details, websites what "type" of residents they have etc etc. It is very useful for shortlisting.

    Good luck

    Jarnee

    Oh and post again if you need more local info ( not that I'm an expert, but I have done, very recently, what you are about to do!) ....
     
  12. SallyB

    SallyB Registered User

    May 7, 2005
    60
    Thanks Jarnee

    Thank You for you help, I am at present sitting here with tears running down my face, can hardly see to type!

    Just rang Dad to check that he is tucked up for the night and he was really sweet, telling me that he is ok cause he has his Dog with him. How to make me feel really awful in one easy step.

    I have made the first phone call to a home today. It is a new one opening soon, they have an open day on Tuesday which I am going to go to. Thought it might be easier as it is empty. What a total coward I am. I just don't know how I begin to seperate him from his dog, he lives for her.

    Sorry I am just going on now. So fed up with this awful, unfair illness. I just find myself wanting my old Dad back who used to look after me. Selfish I know.

    This is making me so grumpy, I have my OH's Gran here after toe surgery and she feels so sorry for herself. I finding it really difficult to be sympathetic to her, I find myself thinking, for peats sake it's only your toe you have lost not your mind.

    Tonight she was eating Lasagne with her fingers! and i was in the wrong for asking her to wash her hands afterwards so it didn't go on my settee that she was sitting on!! No she doesn't have dementia just seems unable to use a knife and fork since losing two toes!

    Sorry for moaning, that's all I seem to do on here.

    Sally
     
  13. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    627
    Yorkshire
    Hi Sally

    It's not moaning...... it's just letting the stress out so you can face another day..;) Take care
     
  14. jarnee

    jarnee Registered User

    Mar 18, 2006
    181
    leicestershire
    SallyB

    A new one sounds lovely....it should be purpose built, clean and have everything he needs.

    I can understand the bit about separating him from his dog....that MUST be awful and I really feel for you on that....heartbreaking all round :(

    Try to see as many as you can. Put it this way, if you were buying a house for yourself, you wouldn't just buy the first one you see and feel awkward about making appointments with estate agents or vendors to look round, would you? No, thought not. Well, this is sort of the same only MUCH MORE important :p
    Don't feel bad about it. Get a friend/ralative to go with you. It is useful to see the other residents too. My dad is still lively and chatty. One home we went into, the residents were all sitting in charis in a very vacant manner and the place was silent. It was NOT for dad. He would have hated it. The one we chose is small....just 15 rooms and only licensed for 4 AD residents. The other people are "just" elderly. So, he has lots of peole to talk to, BUT there are not too many people so he has managed to recognise them quite quickly. (doesn't know their names, but at least they are not total strangers to him) Plus the residents without AD love to have a chat with me and we all know each other's relatives etc etc).

    One home wouldn't let the residents do anything much (HEALTH & SAFETY, DEAR!!), But dad likes to do things, and this one encourages him to help set the table or wipe the mats after lunch etc etc....simple tasks, but he really enjoys it.

    My point is that homes are all different and you have to choose the one that's right for your dad.

    Anyway, I'm rambling........ night, night ....and post soon

    Jarnee
    X
     
  15. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    There is a very small chance (don't raise your hopes too high) that you may find somewhere that would accept the dog as well. The difficulty is probably due to the risk of other residents tripping over or maybe allergies to pet hair so it is understandable if they cannot. If not, I never had a problem taking Aunts dog in to visit and since her passing I take my dog instead (Aunt does not seem to have noticed the difference!!!). He always provides a good distraction and topic of conversation and it gives an excuse to go out in the garden for some fresh air when the weather is fit. The last home had a resident dog owned by the handyman.

    We found Aunts current EMI home by researching the CSCI reports on the internet and then visiting (by appointment). Out of 3 one was like a home from hell but we were hard pressed to choose from the other 2, both fairly modern and having been purpose built.

    It's a very difficult path you are now on but keep remembering that Dad's safety is paramount.
     
  16. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool

    Hi Sally

    We had to find a home for my mum twice within a year. The first time we were looking for an EMI home. There were only 2 in our area with vacancies and we were under a lot of pressure from Social Services to find a place for her as she was in respite and Social Services didn't want her to stay there - long story! We made appointments at both of the homes and chose the second one.

    A year later she broke her hip and spent 8 weeks in hospital. This time we had to find a nursing home for her. We looked at a lot more homes and didn't make appointments at any of them. I would strongly urge anyone to do the same - if they have an issue with you not having made an appointment then there is something very wrong anyway. We eventually placed her in the first home we had looked at but even though we were again under pressure from SS we dug our heels in for a little while.

    I would suggest that you might consider finding somewhere that offers respite and long stay and possibly initially send him for respite and see how that goes.
     
  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Kriss said
    I was thinking along those line today .

    We have a Staffordshire bit bull terrier ,mum always asking about him .his lovely family dog his 3 years old but I have not ask if I can take him in because ,

    Am worry if some one stick there hand out to stroke him with out warning ,he may snap at them .

    moan away I do we all do :)

    Good luck Sally
     
  18. SallyB

    SallyB Registered User

    May 7, 2005
    60
    CPN visit

    Thanks for all your replies.

    Dad's CPN came to see me today. We talked about care homes etcand the problems with SS care package.

    She agreed with me that the problems I have had with SS care package are odd, especially when I told her that some of Dad's carers have told me that they haven't got enough work! She is going to find out why Dad doesn't seam to have a social worker and suggest they look at his care package again.

    She has also suggested we try a period of respite in the community hospital. This will also act as a way of accessing Dad and seeing if he would settle in a home.

    I tried to broach the subject of Dad going into a home with him today but he doesn't want to leave the dog. When i said i would look after her he said "you are always on holiday" I wish!

    Not going to be easy this home lark that's for sure!

    Feel better tonight with someone helping. Don't know how long that will last though!

    Sally
     
  19. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    Hi Sally

    If you are planning to keep your Dad's dog yourself if and when he goes into a home then you could ask prospective homes whether they would allow you to take the dog with you when you visit. When my mother was in her first care home my sister took her dog a couple of times and I have seen a visitor with a dog in my mum's present home.

    A couple of other people have suggested that there would be a small chance of finding a home that would accept the dog. I had a vague recollection of looking at websites and I had thought that the BUPA website said that some of their homes allow pets. I had another look but it said some homes allow 'small pets'. That's a very vague term - is a small pet a goldfish or a small dog! However, there is nothing to stop you asking them a/ if they would allow your Dad to keep the dog there and failing that b/ would they allow you to take it when you visit.

    You're so right about this home lark not being easy! Been there, done that, got 2 t shirts and sincerely hope I never have to do it again! However, it has definitely been a learning curve and hopefully I can help others following this path.
     
  20. Angel

    Angel Registered User

    Apr 24, 2006
    14
    Choosing a care home

    Find a friend or relation to go round the homes with you. You will need some emotional support afterwards. Go to as many as poss near your own address. It makes life easier when you take your dad out or visit him. What matters to you is important. I wanted a home where they laid the tables nicely for meals, flowers on tables, homely atmosphere, good manager (very important), not a smell of urine, pleasant outlook. I spoke to my church eucharistic ministers who visit all the local homes-they gave me their views. Once I made the decision to send my mother into a home and booked the room, I cried and cried that night. It was like bereavement. I had to say, 'I am doing it for the best. You have to believe me'. Luckily a friend of mine had her dad in the same home, and it's great to talk to her. Make friends other relations at the chosen home. It's great therapy to talk to each other. It's hard when you leave your parent for the first time,like leaving ones child at playgroup for the 1st time. 9 months later I thank God that I moved my mother before a crisis, then you would have to rush decisions. She loves it in her home and always asks to go back early when she's out at my house! Your dad will probably improve a bit without all the worries he probably has now. It's a tough road ahead Sally but you are making the right decision. I like spending a moment with the other residents, a smile, a touch, a kind word . Their smiles melt my heart. You can get a check-off questionnaire from the Care Homes booklet which will help you ask the right questions at the home. eg How many agency staff? Good luck. AS
     

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