1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    614
    I know it's early but I'm worrying about how I deal with the logistics of seeing my family and Mum in the care home
    Obviously I want Mum to be with us in our home but I don't think taking her out of the home will be a good idea.
    What do you do? And if it's your first Christmas like me, what are you planning?
     
  2. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,834
    Nottinghamshire
    No help at all here @yak55 as I am in the same quandary!

    At the moment I'm thinking I'm going to have to spend some time with dad in the Carehome but I want to be with the rest of my family too.
     
  3. Theresalwaystomorrow

    Theresalwaystomorrow Registered User

    Dec 23, 2017
    347
    Hi @yak55
    Yes same situation, I was thinking unless pwd is bedridden could you mayb put them in wheelchair and order taxi that takes wheelchairs and bring them home for couple hours?
    The home will get them ready for you, all toiletted ect. That’s what we’re considering but understand your worry
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    While Mum was in her care home I didnt take her out to spend Christmas with family. She was like your dad and it would have been too much for her. The care home put a lot of effort into making Christmas special for the residents. They put up Christmas decorations, had a lovely traditional Christmas dinner and Santa made an appearance and gave everyone a little present! Because I knew what was happening there the family arranged to go and see her and bring presents on Boxing Day. She was as pleased as punch to see us all and I dont think she realised that we were a day "late"

    On her last Christmas, mind, she had absolutely no idea that it was Christmas at all or what to do about presents. You just have to go with their abilities. Find out what the Care home is planning and dont worry if you go and see her on a different day than Christmas day.
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,130
    Kent
    Are any of you sure your family member with dementia can cope with a busy family Christmas?

    I found even the Christmas celebrations in the care homes were often too much visual and auditory stimulation for many of the residents.

    I don't drive and there is no public transport on Christmas Day . I always had a family Christmas with my son and family and wouldn't have expected him to ferry me there and back and spoil his day.

    I saw my husband on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and it always worked out well.

    Thinking about it. When he was home with me, there came a stage when my husband couldn't cope with a family Christmas even then. He would eat his meal and would then be ready to leave.
     
  6. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,380
    Kent
    #6 love.dad.but.., Nov 4, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    When dad was in his NH about 30 mins from my home....I and my children visited after lunch on Christmas Day for a couple of hours and then again just me on Boxing Day so managed to feel that I had fulfilled spending time with both parts of my family. I didn't take dad out of the NH at all as it would have been unsettling and disruptuve for him so would not have considered doing that for Christmas.
     
  7. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,834
    Nottinghamshire
    Now I’ve read these replies I think it’s probably best for me to visit dad on Boxing Day morning to give him his pressie. I think Christmas will be a big event in his carehome. They’re already planning it!!

    Or maybe Quick visit on Xmas day morning. I’m not sure he’ll care much about it.
     
  8. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,478
    Ireland
    When my husband was in a nursing home (he only spent one Christmas there), I visited him on Christmas Eve, and spent that afternoon with him, and again on Boxing Day. For a couple of years before he went to the nursing home, he was not able for the fuss of visitors in our home, and the extra activity of cooking a Christmas meal, and presents etc. I always got him presents, but he didn't understand anymore. The nursing home made a lovely Christmas celebration without being loud and too exciting. They had a couple of beautiful Christmas trees and a lovely meal etc. and each resident received a wrapped gift from the Management.
    I wouldn't have even contemplated taking him out for the day. By the time he went to the nursing home, we'd already had a couple of incidents where, coming back to the car from a shop or cafe, he couldn't remember how to get in to the car. Once, we had to spend around half an hour walking him back in around Tesco and back to the carpark, before it "clicked" with him how to sit into the car. I wouldn't have wanted to risk not being able to get him back to the nursing home. And besides, by then, he was settled in the nursing home. That was his home. Had I taken him out, I felt I would have been doing it for me, and not for him. To assuage misplaced sense of guilt for him being in the nursing home, when in reality, I knew there was no other choice, and he was doing much better with the care of a fully staffed, fully equipped nursing home, with 24/7 company if he wanted it, and help on hand all the time, than he had been at home with just me.
     
  9. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    As Lady A says, my mother's care home is now her home, and I know that is where she will be happiest spending her Christmas. My plan is to visit her on Christmas Eve with her presents but I'll check with the CH which day would be best (my mother will have no idea which day is which). It is her first Christmas there, but I started sourcing CHs around this time last year so I know they go to a lot of trouble with decorations to make it look festive, and I am sure she will love it.
     
  10. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    614
    Thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences and thoughts.
    At the moment I'm thinking of visiting Mum either on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day but it's a way off yet so that might change and it's me that has to accept that Mum will never be in my home again, I feel very sad reading that back x
     
  11. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    233
    Female
    Mum loved Christmas and was always at the heart of our Christmases but it will be mum's first Christmas in a nursing home, she is not mobile so there is no question of her being able to come to us for Christmas day but we are going to have a chat with the girls at the home to see what is happening there, in all honesty I don't think that Mum will even know it's Christmas even though I'm sure there will be decorations etc.

    A friend who's mum was in a care home took her mum home for Christmas and she said it was the worst thing they could have done, they had not anticipated the difficulty in getting her home, she was unsettled and totally exhausted.

    I hate what this illness does to our loved ones and our families

    Take care
     
  12. Lancashirelady

    Lancashirelady Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    110
    Mum's nursing home was lovely but Christmas Day there was grim. We seemed to be the only visitors, some staff hadn't turned up and we ended up helping to serve the evening meal to the residents, none of whom actually realised that it was Christmas Day. We then had a 2 hour drive home and had cheese on toast for Christmas dinner! The next year we went on Christmas Eve, when it was much better, though I daresay Mum would have forgotten by the next day. What I think I am trying to say is that there is no point putting yourself through torment so that you can say you went on Christmas Day when it's meaningless to your loved one and you have sacrificed any enjoyment you might have. Certainly do not take them out of the home!
     
  13. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,741
    Salford
    This year will be my third Christmas dinner at the home with my wife. Ok she won't know or recognise me other than I'm one of the people that feed her, and she likes that, but if I didn't go it would be me, home alone so I'd rather go and have a few hours there than sit at home alone.
    If I had a choice and had some alternatives then maybe I might do that as my wife wouldn't miss me anymore than she would any other day of the year, but for me it's the home or stay home alone and the last person called Kevin who was home alone at Christmas ended up having a whale of a time as you'll know if you've ever watched the film Home Alone.
    K
     
  14. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    #14 Lindy50, Nov 4, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    For the last two or three Christmases when mum was still at home, she didn't understand what was going on. She ignored Christmas cards, thought her presents were "things left by someone who'd broken into the flat", and as soon as I got her to our house for lunch, she wanted to leave.
    Her first two Christmases in a care home, the staff made a tremendous effort, there was a Father Christmas etc, but although I went in and tried to enjoy it with her, she found it all too much. By last year she had moved to a nursing home and there was a lovely, low key carol concert. She enjoyed the familiar carols but had no real sense that it was Christmas, sadly.
    This year I'm hoping they'll repeat the carols as I think the music is comforting for mum. Other than that I'll visit on Christmas Day if I can, but wouldn't upset the whole family day for it.....it might be Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, depending.
    Honestly I think we have to be flexible and bear in mind our loved one's capacity and preferences. Having said that, we'll still, I know, have in the back of our minds a profound regret that mum, though still here, cannot enjoy this most family-oriented of occasions with us :(
    Lindy xx
     
  15. Baby Bunty

    Baby Bunty Registered User

    Jan 24, 2018
    297
    Hi all..christmas..alwsys a worry for me as in my job we have to see if we need to work..been very lucky hasnt havent worked xmas day for about 5 years..mum has lived in ch for 10 years and as always come to mine or other sisters for xmas dinner. This was always normal for us and mum..as mum often use to go out in wheel chair..and she always loved being with the family. X however last Xmas the plan was mum was coming to mine when i arrived at home to pick mum up..she wasnt well at all..and we decided for mum to go back to bed..i sat for hours with mum holding her handed and i couldnt stop crying@..in the meantime my husband and daughter were waiting for me to return..inlaws were also in our house waiting for dinner..i ending getting home at 6 ish..and couldnt even face the dinner that my husband had cooked..my daughter only 13..and she held my hand and said i dislike seeing you so so upset..i was in bed for 8..and cried all night ..this year i have now made a heart breaking decision not to see mum xmas day..instead will go on boxing day if i am off..i really need to think off my daughter for once..as mum is always first thing on my mind..mum been end life now for months and the feeling is over whelming..so if mum is still with us..my siblings will see her.xxx
     
  16. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,293
    SW London
    For my FiL's first Christmas in his care home, we brought him home to us for two nights - it was a 2 hour drive away. The CH had advised against it, but we'd blithely thought he'd enjoy it, since he always had before.

    It was a bad mistake. He was anxious and fretful for a lot of the time - having lived with us before, he'd started to think it was his own house and he ought to be doing this job or that. For the first time, he also started asking where MiL (dead 10 years) was.
    We never repeated it. As the CH had advised, we left him where he was, in his safe, familiar routine.

    When it came to my mother, several years later, the home was just a short drive away, but after the experience with FiL, we never tried bringing her here. To be honest, she never had a clue that it was Christmas anyway, despite the CH's lovely decorations. Even for a year or two before she went into the CH, she had very little idea, and could not cope with more than one or two extra people, or extra noise and fuss.

    We would just visit in the morning, taking her presents - which by then she could usually barely be bothered to open, though having said that, soft chocolates and jellies still went down very well!
     
  17. SKD

    SKD Registered User

    Living over 200 miles away from Mum's care home we have decided to visit the weekend before and perhaps just after. Bringing her to us would be impossible and OH and I have decided to focus on his family who are still grieving the sudden, difficult death of his sister. It is hard choice but I know Mum won't be fully aware it is Christmas and now she is reasonably settled I don't want to disturb her. If there is anything going on at the home in the period around Christmas I will make every effort to be there with Mum. I feel dreadful that I am being forced to make these decisions and know I will feel guilty on Christmas Day but I know there is little else I can do - leaving OH to be with his Mum alone would be equally heartbreaking.
     
  18. Eh0p3

    Eh0p3 New member

    Nov 5, 2018
    1
    last year we took nana out of the car home from Christmas... we wont be doing it again this year, as she no longer recognises our home she was quite on edge and didn't really understand. This year in the morning the close family are going to go and spend time with nana in the care home for a few hours then all have our lunch at our home, we feel like this is best because she is comfortable in her care home and we think taking her out with just disturb her
     
  19. Elle3

    Elle3 Registered User

    Jun 30, 2016
    603
    I have been wondering the same thing, what to do about Christmas. Like you, this is the first year dad will be in the care home and the first time forever, that he won't be having Christmas dinner with us.

    When dad first went into care I was hoping to still bring him round to us for Christmas day. But I know from the past three Christmas's when he was still living at home, dad hadn't really understood what Christmas was all about, he found it all very confusing, the cards, the decorations and the presents. Last year on Christmas Day it had to be very low key to accommodate dad and he only wanted to stay long enough to eat with us then you could see he became very restless and confused and wanted to go home, so he only stayed a couple of hours before we took him home and worried that he would try to go out to the bank! (that was his thing).

    His Dementia is a lot worse now and trying to get him to understand the simplest instructions, without getting anxious or aggressive is very hard, so I have decided it's best not to take him out. I think our plans will be to visit him Christmas morning or maybe Christmas Eve, depending on what is happening at the care home.

    Elle x
     
  20. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,227
    Essex
    I was going to send a thread about xmas and ask whether anyone here has brought their PWD home for xmas and then tried to get the them back to the care home. My brother wanted to know the same thing but whilst I think dad would love being here and I don't mind entertaining everyone I am concerned that whilst visiting him a few times he has asked where mum was so it might be an idea to ask the home what they do at xmas. Meanwhile does anyone here think that dad's care home would except five extra guests on xmas day
     

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