Christmas with Mum? Advice please.

ForMaureen

New member
Oct 3, 2023
8
0
Mum has been in care home since September. Has taken her a while to settle and still asks about going back home.

For many many years she has always been with us for Christmas (both Xmas and Boxing Days and stayed the night).

We have taken her out a couple of times (garden centre and a walk) and is happy to return to the care home.

But really not sure what to do about Xmas and whether or not it is a good idea having her at mine and then return her back to the care home later. But worried we wont get her back? Will it unsettle her, make her angry and be demanding about staying the night, or ask about taking her back to her house (which is only round the corner) and we are in the process of clearing.

Any thoughts/advice gratefully received. I will speak with the Care Home too.
 

Butts01

New member
Nov 9, 2023
5
0
Mum has been in care home since September. Has taken her a while to settle and still asks about going back home.

For many many years she has always been with us for Christmas (both Xmas and Boxing Days and stayed the night).

We have taken her out a couple of times (garden centre and a walk) and is happy to return to the care home.

But really not sure what to do about Xmas and whether or not it is a good idea having her at mine and then return her back to the care home later. But worried we wont get her back? Will it unsettle her, make her angry and be demanding about staying the night, or ask about taking her back to her house (which is only round the corner) and we are in the process of clearing.

Any thoughts/advice gratefully received. I will speak with the Care Home too.
Maureen I’m having exactly the same concern. My mum moved just over 1 week ago. At this point she still hasn’t settled in fact she absolutely hates my husband and I. She is refusing to eat and drink and since Friday became very weak and can hardly speak. We had a family discussion when she was moved and thought it would be unsettling for her to bring her out until we feel it safe for her. Do what’s right for you and your family.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,657
0
South coast
Christmasses at home are often overwhelming for people with dementia. My OH cannot cope with the number of people and the excitement of the younger relatives and Ive had to move family gatherings to Boxing day so there is less excitement, I dont have to cook and can spend more time supporting him. Nevertheless he still gets over stimulated.

Care home usually do lots of things at Christmas, decorations, Christmas dinner with crackers, a visit from Santa and mums care home had local school children in singing carols. They do it in a very controlled way though, so that no one gets overwhelmed. I would be inclined to let her enjoy Christmas in the care home and just visit her there - perhaps even on Boxing Day!
 

try again

Registered User
Jun 21, 2018
1,308
0
My mums care home have published a week of activities including a Christmas lunch that 2 relatives can attend.
Mum is past being able to take part in anything, I had to take her out of the mass last week as she lost focus and started chatting to everyone.
 

Dave63

Registered User
Apr 13, 2022
347
0
Would having Christmas lunch at a local pub be an option? We took mum to a pub local to the nursing home last year and they did a fantastic Christmas lunch, so much so we're doing the same this year.
 

yoy

Registered User
Jun 19, 2022
235
0
I'm struggling with the same thing. Mum is getting worse mobility wise and more frail, let alone the medical probs. I'm thinking this might be the last time she's able to come. But am I doing this for me or for her? I'm finding it really hard to decide what's best for her.
 

Ali1234

Registered User
Oct 19, 2023
44
0
We used to go to my sisters on boxing day, taking mum there. This year because of the steps I booked a pub lunch instead. Mum has only been in the care home 2 weeks now. She knew about the trip so it is something positive I can bring up for her. She was worse today when I visited so I don't know how well she will cope in over a months time. I don't dare try taking her to her own home to see my dad there but we are planning for her to have half a day at our house next week as she used to come over for the day to give my dad a rest. At the moment she would probably enjoy it to a certain extent so I hope it goes ahead.
Good luck to everyone else newly in this situation
 

brightsideoflife

Registered User
Mar 15, 2023
12
0
I have just come to the forum to ask about Christmas and found that the conversation has already begun. This has been on my mind for weeks. I'm so relieved that others share the same dilemmas and concerns. I really am struggling with what to do for the best. This will be the first Christmas in a care home for mum. In my heart I would love nothing more than to take her to celebrate the day at home ( my elderly dad still lives there) but I am concerned whether this is the right way forward- will it confuse her, make things awkward and also unsettle my dad. My mum is always asking to go home but she is not always clear about where home is. Christmas is such an emotionally charged time anyway - I so want to do the right thing by her and my dad but also don't want to cause unnecessary anxiety for either of them. I'm concerned what would happen when the time comes to go back to the care home. Mum's mobility is so poor now as well so I would have to think very carefully about transport and safely mobilising her from A to B. At the same time, there is my own family to consider - I don't want to overlook the fact that it is Christmas for them as well. I suppose I am trying to recreate a Christmas which will probably never be the same as it used to be. Maybe I need to move towards acceptance of where we are at now in our journey and not feel guilty. It's a terrible dilemma - wanting to do what is right for everyone yet not really knowing what that is- especially as this is the first year that mum and dad are living in separate homes. We have taken mum out previously to shopping centres where she and my dad used to go ,but never taken her back to a house ( hers or mine).
 

brightsideoflife

Registered User
Mar 15, 2023
12
0
As one of the members has mentioned above - and the same has crossed my mind - am I striving to do something for her or for me.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,084
0
Nottinghamshire
The last Christmas mum was at home was very stressful. Mum had booked herself into my brother’s in the August. By Christmas she was very confused as to who we all were, my sister in law and her sister were sometimes themselves and sometimes the hired help. She thought my son was my brother and my brother was our (dead) dad. Then she decided we were freezing her and started screaming at us all. Five months later she moved into care and I knew a Christmas away from the home would not be a good idea. There was loads on in the home, my son and I went to a panto there and a party. A couple of days after Christmas we took her out to a posh country house hotel near the home for lunch. We ordered the afternoon tea, and the small sandwiches and cakes were ideal. I intended to do it again, but then Covid struck and by the time things opened up her dementia had progressed to the stage where she was much better off in familiar surroundings.
I think it’s a nice idea as we all want to hang onto the memories of how things were, but in my experience the whole traditional Christmas thing is too much for someone with mid stage and beyond dementia.
 
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Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
5,610
0
Midlands
My Mum hd a great christmaas the one christmas she was in the nursing home, geard towards the residents , all sorts went on- carol singers,an entertainer, food until it came out of her earholes! we visited christmas day 0 she had no ide it was christmas day , and took our leave as a fab christmas lunch was served
Maybe dad ould pend the say/part of th day there with her

Dont feel guilty whaatever you decide
 

JoannePat

Registered User
Jan 24, 2019
178
0
My mum was in care over Christmas. It was the least stressful Christmas we had for a few years. I know that sounds brutal!

We visited her in the morning with a few gifts and the care home had all the old carols playing, the smell of an amazing lunch coming from the kitchens, all the carers had dressed up festively and there was a lovely atmosphere.

I think bringing your mum out for the day (and overnight), would be so stressful for her and you.

Joanne x
 

Katiepud

Registered User
Nov 17, 2022
13
0
V useful to read this thread, especially @JoannePat 's experience. My mum has been in her care home since Sept, with a couple of months respite elsewhere before that. I knew last year would be the last Christmas she spent in her own home (her home for 54 years) and really made it count, with the help of a very kind friend who joined me. But being the only sibling who lives near mum, I have had many years when it's just been her and me and I am not sorry to say that this year I am going to be a bit selfish and spend it how I want. That said, the care home are hosting a Christmas lunch for families the week before Christmas that I will be going to, and I will also visit mum on Chtistmas morning with presents etc, but will then leave her there to enjoy the festive day in her Home where I know they will make a fuss of her. Depending on how she is, I may bring her to my flat for a couple of hours over the Christmas holidays, which I know she will enjoy. But not for Christmas Day and all the stress that can bring. Whatever us carers and ex-carers decide to do, it should not be driven by guilt.
 

Suzysheep01

Registered User
Jan 14, 2023
174
0
My mum has always come to mine since I’ve had children. ( and dad when he was still here). Mum expects that she will come still. I would love her too, but I only have an upstairs bathroom and she can’t do stairs anymore since a fall and broken hip. I’m also thinking how cruel it will be to take her from all the family back to the home At the end of the day. She has started to get cross when I’ve taken her out for a walk and bring her back, saying she doesn’t know where she is and that she hates this place.
It’s probably best to visit her there instead of reminding her of what she no longer has.
 

marieantoinette

New member
Feb 8, 2021
6
0
This is mum's 5th Christmas in a care home. She's now 96. For the first three years we picked her up and brought her home, but during the 4th year it became just too difficult. She tripped on our path, couldn't use our downstairs toilet as it was too narrow and had an 'accident' and kept asking when it was time to go back. So last year we went in to her on Christmas morning and had presents etc and we will do the same this year. Honestly, the relief! We could come home about 11.30 and enjoy the rest of our day.

Mum also has Altzheimer's so has no idea of what Christmas is really and forgets she has seen us the minute we walk out of the room. So the moment we were dropping her off, she forgot she'd even been out.

I suppose what I am saying is it's a changing picture and in the end I'd rather have an hour or so that we all enjoy than a whole day of stress and strain.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,084
0
Nottinghamshire
I suppose what I am saying is it's a changing picture and in the end I'd rather have an hour or so that we all enjoy than a whole day of stress and strain.
@marieantoinette , I think that is such a good point. Certainly those of us who were at mum's afternoon tea at lunch time at a posh country house hotel in 2019 have very fond memories of it, as opposed to the awful time we had the previous year when she stayed at my brothers for about four days.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,291
0
Newcastle
My experience of Christmas since my wife went into her care home 4.5 years ago has been skewed by Covid restrictions. That hasn't affected my view that, once someone is living in a care home, the best place to celebrate with them is at their home.

Before she went into care we had given up on Christmas anyway as it just caused extra stress. In her care home they make a fuss and try to ensure that the residents have a good time. I'll be going to the annual pantomime next week. Our best Christmas for many years was when we had dinner together at her home last year. The manager has asked me if I wIsh to do the same this year and, of course, I do.

Why take someone out of familiar surroundings (or ones they are just getting used to) when they can still have a special time with staff, other residents and visitors?
 

Ree123

Registered User
Nov 13, 2016
27
0
I can only comment from a personal perspective. My 88-year-old father is in a nursing home and is now at a late stage where communication is limited to 'I want to go home' and nothing else. It's heartbreaking. Visits last no longer than 10 mins. He can't cope otherwise.

My elderly mother is showing all the signs and symptoms of late-stage dementia (we are awaiting a memory assessment). She can't walk far without assistance, is argumentative and verbally abusive, sleep is erratic waking in the early hours and sleeping during the day.

I know a whole day of Christmas festivities is out of the question for both of them. It's too mentally and physically draining on all. Caring for two very old parents with mobility and continence issues at the marital home would be impossible and unsafe.

Last year, mum was throwing gifts around and getting very upset (all her brothers and sisters died around December time).

This year we have planned something different. We have a few gifts wrapped for Dad to take to his nursing home, with my elderly mother. Once gifts are unwrapped, it will be returning to the marital home for Mum only

There there will be just a mince pie and cup of tea and then I will part company. Mum couldn't manage a full Christmas dinner and all the razzmatazz of Christmas (after what happened last year).

I think keeping it short and simple is the way forward. Peace and goodwill, reduce the stress as much as possible.
 

Ree123

Registered User
Nov 13, 2016
27
0
Christmasses at home are often overwhelming for people with dementia. My OH cannot cope with the number of people and the excitement of the younger relatives and Ive had to move family gatherings to Boxing day so there is less excitement, I dont have to cook and can spend more time supporting him. Nevertheless he still gets over stimulated.

Care home usually do lots of things at Christmas, decorations, Christmas dinner with crackers, a visit from Santa and mums care home had local school children in singing carols. They do it in a very controlled way though, so that no one gets overwhelmed. I would be inclined to let her enjoy Christmas in the care home and just visit her there - perhaps even on Boxing Day!
Same with Dads carehome. We leave him to enjoy his meal and festivities there.