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Convincing someone they need to stay in a Care Home

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
I had been trying to get Mum to accept she wasn’t coping at home for ages but she flatly refused to accept she had any difficulties and wouldn’t accept a “stranger“ coming into her home or consider a care home at all. However, my daughter and I took her on holiday to Spain and it seemed to open her eyes to how much more relaxed she was with people helping and she had a change of heart and decided to try out a lovely home I found near me. Trouble is that on the way there she had another change of heart! Aaagh!
I need advice as to how to encourage her to stay. Dementia Connect and the staff at the home suggested I stay away on her first full day but I am going in today as they think she needs reassurance that I am nearby. She is packing her bags all the time and waiting for me as she says “I’m going home” How do I turn things around again and make her realise she needs to stay? Her dementia isn’t so bad that she’s forgotten home just that she’s forgotten how much she was struggling. I’ve been told she is eating and engaging with the staff so is that enough? I just need pointers as I don’t want to make the situation worse by saying something I can’t retract! Thanks everyone.
 

56von

Registered User
Jun 19, 2022
28
0
My mum had a one month stay in a home last year and from what she told me every resident on the unit wanted to go home and they all blamed their family for putting them in there, and one woman in particular put her coat on every day waiting for the family to come and get her out. My aunty was also exactly the same a few years earlier. Others may have more experience of this than me and be able to give you better advice, but I'm starting to think that this is classic dementia behaviour and I've got it all to come soon - along with the accompanying guilt trip and the doubts - but her safety and over-all welfare should be the main consideration I would think.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,048
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @Originally , it's early days and both you and your mum have a lot of adjusting to do. I never worked out if going in or staying away was better for my mother. Like yours at the time mum knew exactly where her home was, just forgotten that she was hating living there as she thought the neighbours were stealing from her. Gradually that faded, though it did take a good few months, and even when she was pretty settled mum would often talk about getting out of there and going home. By then home was her parents' bungalow in 1930s Southend on Sea.
What I found helped a bit was timing my visits for when there was an activity on that we could both join in with. I could then slip away when they were all having their pre-lunch sherry.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
Thank you Sarasa. I was wondering if that would be a good idea to share her experience of activities and help her integrate with other residents so I’ll ask the home if I can. They do seem to have a good programme of things on.I think I may have chosen well.🤞
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
My mum had a one month stay in a home last year and from what she told me every resident on the unit wanted to go home and they all blamed their family for putting them in there, and one woman in particular put her coat on every day waiting for the family to come and get her out. My aunty was also exactly the same a few years earlier. Others may have more experience of this than me and be able to give you better advice, but I'm starting to think that this is classic dementia behaviour and I've got it all to come soon - along with the accompanying guilt trip and the doubts - but her safety and over-all welfare should be the main consideration I would think.
We all do guilt too well and
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
We all do guilt too well and shouldn’t beat ourselves up because we are doing our best for our loved ones. They just don’t realise it!
 

Yishyee

Registered User
Jul 12, 2021
23
0
Hi every time I visited my dad in the care home he would say “take me to yours darling please”. I would make an excuse each time, “the weather is awful today let’s wait until it’s sunny”, “I’ve come by train and it’s such a long journey home”. He would have his bag ready too and his coat and shoes on ready for me to take him. I hated leaving him, each time I would cry when I saw his face peaking out behind the glass in the door but I knew that he was safe. Bless him. He passed away in January after being in the care home for 3 years and I miss his cheeky laugh. Take care everyone. X
 

JanBWiltshire

Registered User
Jun 23, 2020
160
0
My parents are now in a care home and it has been tricky. My mother (with dementia) has surprised me and settled very well, seems happy and likes not having anything to worry about. Plus, she needs significant care,

My father has not settled so well but I try to remind myself what it was like when he was at home and I know he is in the right place. At 95, he needs a certain amount of help and he has memory lapses so he was a bit of a danger as regards scamming from various angles.

I always try to remember my parents needs are being met in a say they never would be if they remained at home.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
mum has now been in the care home for just 3 days for a holiday/trial which she was happy to do and we have involved her in the decision as much as she is able to. Now all she wants is to be at home where she thinks she can cope. She can’t! She would be 3 hours away from me and I can’t keep visiting whereas I can here. I have Financial POA. Can I ignore her wishes, in her best interest and make her stay put by refusing to take her home? Do I spell out that she has dementia and isn’t capable of making her own decisions? She denies there is anything wrong. Do I need a Social Services assessment? Any help would help. Thanks
 

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
0
HI there 3 days is very very early days and not long enough for her to settle. How long is the trial likely to be? I would make up a reason why she can't go home at the moment, i.e some work being done there, problems with electrics or something similar. There is no point telling her she has dementia and can't cope as nothing will convince her. In her mind she will think she is fine and can cope. My mum is the same, she forgets that she was so unhappy at home and telling me "it was a living hell". She just remembers the days when she could cope and was happy living alone.

Regarding ignoring her wishes, I think you need a health and welfare POA to make decisions like this. Is she self funding?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,342
0
Kent
Hello @Originally

I told my husband he was in a convalescent home on doctor`s advice to help him re build his strength.

Going home depended on the doctor's opinion.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
HI there 3 days is very very early days and not long enough for her to settle. How long is the trial likely to be? I would make up a reason why she can't go home at the moment, i.e some work being done there, problems with electrics or something similar. There is no point telling her she has dementia and can't cope as nothing will convince her. In her mind she will think she is fine and can cope. My mum is the same, she forgets that she was so unhappy at home and telling me "it was a living hell". She just remembers the days when she could cope and was happy living alone.

Regarding ignoring her wishes, I think you need a health and welfare POA to make decisions like this. Is she self funding?
Thanks Linsac. Yes, mum is self funding and we have chosen a lovely place that she herself liked the look of. She is still saying that she wants to be closer to me but just doesn’t realise this means here. I guess I’ve been trying to justify my decision to her and talk rationally about it but she’s not capable of that. Rookie error on my part! It’s just that sometimes she is very lucid and seems like my old mum. Trouble is she is basically self neglecting so needs care But doesn’t realise it.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
Hello @Originally

I told my husband he was in a convalescent home on doctor`s advice to help him re build his strength.

Going home depended on the doctor's opinion.
Thanks @Grannie G. I was wondering if asking her GP ( who she trusts implicitly) to speak to her would be the answer. Trouble is she is now near me rather than him so he won’t be able to visit.
I think that when I visit today I should tell her that “Dr Horn thinks it’s a good idea for you to stay a bit longer to get your strength up. The meals are lovely here arent they and you are never asked for any money” She thinks she’s eating in a restaurant each day!
Every little suggestion helps me build up an arsenal of strategies so thank you.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
Thanks Linsac. Yes, mum is self funding and we have chosen a lovely place that she herself liked the look of. She is still saying that she wants to be closer to me but just doesn’t realise this means here. I guess I’ve been trying to justify my decision to her and talk rationally about it but she’s not capable of that. Rookie error on my part! It’s just that sometimes she is very lucid and seems like my old mum. Trouble is she is basically self neglecting so needs care But doesn’t realise it.
The trial is for two weeks. I stayed away for the first day but the Senior carer reassured her at the weekend that I would be in and so I felt I had to be. Plus I wanted to show her that I live locally and what life can be like if she’s close. Perhaps I do need to leave her to it? So, so hard to get it right.
 

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
0
I know, I am in the same boat but 10 weeks down the line! Mum still thinks she is going home, I posted about this only the other day. I would definitely recommend blaming the GP but say that he says you must stay longer. If there is any suggestion of it being a choice, she will still choose to go back home. It is so hard to know if you are doing the right thing but it sounds like you have picked a nice home. I go and take mum out for tea and tell her that it is nice that she can be looked after and have all her meals prepared but still see me and get out and about.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
I know, I am in the same boat but 10 weeks down the line! Mum still thinks she is going home, I posted about this only the other day. I would definitely recommend blaming the GP but say that he says you must stay longer. If there is any suggestion of it being a choice, she will still choose to go back home. It is so hard to know if you are doing the right thing but it sounds like you have picked a nice home. I go and take mum out for tea and tell her that it is nice that she can be looked after and have all her meals prepared but still see me and get out and about.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
Oh @Linsac . I feel bad that I’m despairing at day 4! I will willingly pass the blame to the Doctor! I am hoping that in a couple of weeks we too may be able to share outings out but am afraid to even put her in my car at the moment as she would be convinced we were heading home. In fact, it might even be “broken” and in the garage for a while! All suggestions are useful and it’s so good not to feel that any of what I’m dealing with is unusual.Thanks.
 

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
0
I do get that with mum when I take her out, when we are heading back to the care home she asks why we are going back there and not home. Probably best not to take her out for the first couple of weeks at least. Good luck, there are lots of us on here in the same boat wondering if we have made the right decisions!
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,048
0
Nottinghamshire
Keep plugging away with various excuses @Originally as it is early days. Your mum may never completely settle, but a care home you are happy with is so much better than her being at home and getting into various pickles. The first few weeks mum was in her care home I didn't take her anywhere, then I started taking her down to the coffee lounge on the ground floor of the home or out into the garden. I then built up to going to a cafe round the corner where I knew I could phone for help if mum didn't want to go back to the home. It actually worked really well and mum enjoyed the trip out. I then took her into town a couple of times and out on trips with the other residents. Covid put the kybosh on that, and by the time things opened up again mum was beyond wanting to go anywhere much.
 

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
197
0
Bristol
Hi, my mum is 87 and has advanced mixed dementia. She has been in the care sector for over two years. She asks me every time I see her when she is going home. But home to her is her childhood home, not the home she’s not seen in over two years. We show pictures of past happy times and she never recognises her home. Making the decision for mum to go to a care home based on hospital doctors advice after a bout of delirium, was the most difficult of our lives.

We use messages like, ‘the doctor says you need some extra support at the moment so we will speak with him in a few days….’ Of course she has no concept of time so we share these love lies to protect her. We too are accused of dumping her there! Hard but I would say you have to imagine a dementia monkey sat on her shoulder saying those things not my lovely mum!

We removed any bags from her room which could be packed with clothes, it’s another stress out of sight for her.

I also use language like, do you feel safe here? Do you like the food? Are the people helpful? Of course she says yes to all so use that as little reinforcement messages when needed.

We always visit in the mornings. We take my dad to see mum 3 times per week and around 11.45 mum tells us we should go soon as she will be going for lunch! So for all her protestations, she is happy there. This is a nursing home as mum had a stroke last year too, so she now has restricted mobility. They have a good mix of entertainment, and we have videos showing her joining in everything. Dementia oddly enough has taken away mum’s shyness. Her empathy for others is still there as she comforts those still unsettled. Staff adore her because she gives them a bit of back chat and reminds them of how to make a bed properly! We love seeing that her standards of looking after a home are still there in the depths of her mind.

Everyone is different, it’s been said here many times, when you’ve met one person with dementia- you’ve met one person with dementia. Some people share traits of dementia but everyone has their own personality, which makes their experience unique.

My final piece of advice is safety, keep reinforcing that with your mum how she’s always got someone on call and you are a few minutes away from her when needed. Don’t beat yourself up about the decisions you have to take for your mum’s safety and well being. Give her more time to settle, remind yourself, this is in your mum’s best interests. It gets easier and you develop an outer layer to help with the tougher days.
 

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