Christmas (or other holidays) in the care home

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Mydarlingdaughter, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Mydarlingdaughter

    Mydarlingdaughter Registered User

    Oct 25, 2019
    33
    My Mum was admitted to the care home from hospital Christmas Eve last year. I was wondering if it would be good to write out some Christmas cards for her to sign, as I have her address books. I am the only person who visits her. Her dementia is too advanced for her to even know what day it is. Last year she got a card from me and 1 other person. What do other people do in this stuation. I asked the care home and they said its up to the individual to choose.
     
  2. anxious annie

    anxious annie Registered User

    Jan 2, 2019
    180
    I've just had this conversation about sending cards with my sister and we have decided to get 2 cards for mums friends who were the only ones to phone and visit her. If your mum isn't aware of what day it is, she won't remember she hasn't sent cards,I would just get her to sign and send to the person she received from last year.
     
  3. Lyd

    Lyd Registered User

    May 27, 2019
    58
    How would it add value to her life?

    This year I told my husbands brothers that their mum wouldnt do christmas cards and presents (unless she specifically mentions she wants to then of course i will help) at first they were unsure if that was a good idea but none of them rushed to volunteer to do it :confused:;).

    The stress caused by signing her name in 30 cards last year was unbelievable. I'd rather use the time dong something pleasurable with her.

    She has a number of friends who call her regularly but thats it. They know the score and they will probably send her cards. I send updates in my own correspondance.
     
  4. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,356
    Nottinghamshire
    I gave up writing Christmas cards with dad when he gave up caring about Christmas and in the last year of sending them I only helped him send them to people who had written something personal and caring in the cards the year before.

    If dad remembered the people I sent the card from him and if not I sent a card written by me explaining that dad was unwell.

    Once he moved into a carehome the cards stopped. But dad was only there a few weeks and died in the run-up to Christmas so my mind was on other things.
     
  5. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    628
    I have my mums address book and intend to send cards fairly soon to her friends, some of whom don’t yet know she’s in a care home. I’m not going to get her to sign them and I’ll give my address if they want to send her anything as mum can’t see well enough to read and just hides anything sent directly to her.
    Depending on the response I’ll judge whether to bother next year.
     
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,901
    Female
    Would it mean anything to to your mother? From what you say, it wouldn't.

    My mother went into a CH in Feb 2018. I have the mail from her flat redirected to me, and last Christmas I expected to get cards from people who hadn't been in touch for a while and thought she was still at home, I was intending to write and tell there where she had moved to. But no cards arrived, not a single one. People had clearly stopped keeping in touch with her.

    Her best friend has kept in touch and I sent her a card (from me), telling her how mum was getting on.
     
  7. Mydarlingdaughter

    Mydarlingdaughter Registered User

    Oct 25, 2019
    33
    Thanks for the replies, I will do the card from her to the 1 couple who brought her presents and a card last year. Maybe leave it at that. She will be fussed over at the care home as they are fantastic with her.
    Last year she had been in hospital for weeks after a fall, the hospital could not rehabilitate her so sent her to the care home for "Time To Think" (yes, its a thing). I went to the house fully expecting to collect some cards for her, and not one. There is an elderly gay couple who always made an effort for her at Christmas so I knew they would be leaving gifts on the doorstep, bless them. So I phoned them to let them know the situation, which is how she ended up getting something last year. No other family member made contact, but since I informed my brother that social services were involved, he has made some effort to help, at a distance, with the financial situations threatening letters from bailiffs etc as there is no power of attorney and Mum lacks capacity.
    I have felt angry actually at the total lack of support from anyone else, its like once you get dementia you cease to exist. Only professionals want to help. She has had some visits from the priest, as I got in touch to ask if he could continue with the home visits.
     
  8. millalm

    millalm Registered User

    Oct 9, 2019
    29
     
  9. millalm

    millalm Registered User

    Oct 9, 2019
    29
    It's very true that once you have dementia you cease to exist to the outside world. I have, sadly, found that I too, as a carer, seem to have ceased to exist as well. Travelling with a loved one through dementia is a lonely journey, it is hard not to become bitter about all that has been lost. I would not send cards except to the people who have made an effort to keep in touch with your Mum or yourself. Conserve your energy for things you can do with her that will give you, and hopefully her some pleasure instead!
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,901
    Female
    I felt the same after my mother moved to the care home. Her friends behaved like that was the end - well, it was for them, they didn't intend to see her again and she may as well have died. I can understand it in one way, they are elderly themselves, they don't want to think about it happening to them, and they don't want to see her deterioration. But sending a card wouldn't exactly be a huge effort, would it.
     
  11. Janderhol

    Janderhol Registered User

    Aug 27, 2019
    12
    It's so hard isn't it. A double whammy when one's partner has dementia and enters a care home. First theres relief that they are safe and in my husband's case well looked after (at financial loss to me and my children),then the crushing loneliness after nearly sixty years together hardly ever apart. I try very hard to carry on with life for my family's sake but it's not easy. I visit my husband daily but I'm not sure if he recalls this, should I stay away and not go there so often? What will help?
     
  12. Roseleigh

    Roseleigh Registered User

    Dec 26, 2016
    280
    I think you should cut down your visits and ask yourself what would you do if you were a widow? Visits to your children, join a social group? Maybe renew a neglected friendship? Volunteer? Go to a class? Whatever you would have done had had he passed away, you can do now. Dont make the care home the centre of your life. Twice a week is fine.
     
  13. Mydarlingdaughter

    Mydarlingdaughter Registered User

    Oct 25, 2019
    33
    You visit as often as you think is best.
    I find the care home staff a very good source of advice. You are still married and of course you will feel lonely. My mums care home has relatives meetings which I choose not to go to as the care home is 25 miles from where I live. Is there anything like that at yours?
    My mum doesn’t know what day it is or how long she’s been there and staff have hinted that she gets on find when I’m not there. I phone and ask how she is. They tell me. Good idea to phone and ask staff how your husband is getting on and should you visit that day. Then make up your mind. I think it would be a good idea to try missing a Days visit just see How you feel.
     

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