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Convincing someone they need to stay in a Care Home

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
3,190
0
North West
I think its very much dependent on where someone is at with their dementia, but more importantly we overlook how powerful emotions can be. Its all very well trying to do what is best, but it doesn't necessarily accomodate the persons feelings and no amount of persuasion will change the strong emotional ties people have. Home is where the heart is as they say and that is a very real truth for a person with dementia, wherever that place is. Moving is always difficult for many of us and it takes time to adjust.

I knew my mum wouldn't cope in care home until she had gone beyond the point of knowing where she truly was, but whatever we do in trying to do what is best there is always a price to pay unfortunately -nothing is ever 100% fool proof. I would speak to the care home and see what their assessment is as well as your own. It might be that the general feeling is that this is right for your mum now or to try again in the future
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,895
0
South coast
Wanting to "go home" is almost universal in the later stages of dementia. The trouble is that this "home" that they remember is from several (or more) years ago - from a time before dementia when they were younger, fit, had no problems in being at home, could do everything necessary and had family living at home (or just up the road). Sometimes the home they are thinking of is a previous or childhood home and sometimes the relatives they are expecting to be there are long dead. My mum wanted to go home to her childhood home (which had been bombed in the war) and was expecting her parents and siblings (all long dead) to be waiting for her - truly a mission impossible! Even if they home they want to return to is physically the same home that they came from they will be remembering it from several years ago and will have no understanding that they can no longer do the things they used to, that they were lonely and it is now unsafe for them to live there.

It is not about bricks and mortar. If you took them back to the home they want to return to it will not solve their problems, nor make them happy, because it is not the life they remember and want. When they get to this stage most people with dementia have no idea that they have dementia, so they think their problems are due to where they are living. What they are actually asking for is to go back in time to a place before dementia where they can escape the confusion of dementia, not understanding that wherever they go they will simply take it with them.

How safe would your mum be in her own home? I would be very concerned that you live 3 hours journey away and therefore would not be able to get to her in an emergency.

Yes, it is important to consider what they want, but ultimately, there comes a time when you have to stop enabling their wants and start implementing their needs.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
Wanting to "go home" is almost universal in the later stages of dementia. The trouble is that this "home" that they remember is from several (or more) years ago - from a time before dementia when they were younger, fit, had no problems in being at home, could do everything necessary and had family living at home (or just up the road). Sometimes the home they are thinking of is a previous or childhood home and sometimes the relatives they are expecting to be there are long dead. My mum wanted to go home to her childhood home (which had been bombed in the war) and was expecting her parents and siblings (all long dead) to be waiting for her - truly a mission impossible! Even if they home they want to return to is physically the same home that they came from they will be remembering it from several years ago and will have no understanding that they can no longer do the things they used to, that they were lonely and it is now unsafe for them to live there. It is not about bricks and mortar. If you took them back to the home they want to return to it will not solve their problems, nor make them happy, because it is not the life they remember and want. When they get to this stage most people with dementia have no idea that they have dementia, so they think their problems are due to where they are living. What they are actually asking for is to go back in time to a place before dementia where they can escape the confusion of dementia, not understanding that wherever they go they will simply take it with them. How safe would your mum be in her own home? I would be very concerned that you live 3 hours journey away and therefore would not be able to get to her in an emergency. Yes, it is important to consider what they want, but ultimately, there comes a time when you have to stop enabling their wants and start implementing their needs.
Wanting to "go home" is almost universal in the later stages of dementia. The trouble is that this "home" that they remember is from several (or more) years ago - from a time before dementia when they were younger, fit, had no problems in being at home, could do everything necessary and had family living at home (or just up the road). Sometimes the home they are thinking of is a previous or childhood home and sometimes the relatives they are expecting to be there are long dead. My mum wanted to go home to her childhood home (which had been bombed in the war) and was expecting her parents and siblings (all long dead) to be waiting for her - truly a mission impossible! Even if they home they want to return to is physically the same home that they came from they will be remembering it from several years ago and will have no understanding that they can no longer do the things they used to, that they were lonely and it is now unsafe for them to live there. It is not about bricks and mortar. If you took them back to the home they want to return to it will not solve their problems, nor make them happy, because it is not the life they remember and want. When they get to this stage most people with dementia have no idea that they have dementia, so they think their problems are due to where they are living. What they are actually asking for is to go back in time to a place before dementia where they can escape the confusion of dementia, not understanding that wherever they go they will simply take it with them. How safe would your mum be in her own home? I would be very concerned that you live 3 hours journey away and therefore would not be able to get to her in an emergency. Yes, it is important to consider what they want, but ultimately, there comes a time when you have to stop enabling their wants and start implementing their needs.
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.
Yes “various pickles” would certainly occur. Thanks for your advice. I am not visiting today because, after all, she would have been on her own at home and not have been safe, fed and watered nor seen a soul! I need a thicker skin. On the other hand I have had a total “Mum “ day researching and reaching out for answers from everywhere I can. But of course she won’t ever be aware of how much time she consumes!
 

Yankeeabroad

Registered User
Oct 24, 2021
90
0
As Granny G says - home is where the heart is. My mom would say “I want to go home, wherever that is”. What it meant is she wanted to be with my dad 24/7, which was not possible due to her physical and mental conditions. She has settled more after 5/6 months but still often says “get me out of here”, particularly when bored so then we go for a walk even if it’s just up and down the halls.

I have picked up what she really misses is having family around going about their own business. So often now everyone chats around her as she dozes or drifts off into a nap (she sleeps much more now) and then we say we’re going off to run an errand when we leave. She feels quite secure then and doesn’t protest.

It is tough at first (& we had to go thru it a few times as my mom moved several times between hospital and the facility in the first months) but I always emphasised she was someplace safe, she needed more care than we could give, and she was building up strength and recovering.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
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.
Thanks for your advice. I’ve noted quite a few of your phrases down for my arsenal of excuses! I do fully accept that this is best for her and am not feeling particularly guilty at the moment just sad and challenged In trying to convince her that it’s best too.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
Wanting to "go home" is almost universal in the later stages of dementia. The trouble is that this "home" that they remember is from several (or more) years ago - from a time before dementia when they were younger, fit, had no problems in being at home, could do everything necessary and had family living at home (or just up the road). Sometimes the home they are thinking of is a previous or childhood home and sometimes the relatives they are expecting to be there are long dead. My mum wanted to go home to her childhood home (which had been bombed in the war) and was expecting her parents and siblings (all long dead) to be waiting for her - truly a mission impossible! Even if they home they want to return to is physically the same home that they came from they will be remembering it from several years ago and will have no understanding that they can no longer do the things they used to, that they were lonely and it is now unsafe for them to live there.

It is not about bricks and mortar. If you took them back to the home they want to return to it will not solve their problems, nor make them happy, because it is not the life they remember and want. When they get to this stage most people with dementia have no idea that they have dementia, so they think their problems are due to where they are living. What they are actually asking for is to go back in time to a place before dementia where they can escape the confusion of dementia, not understanding that wherever they go they will simply take it with them.

How safe would your mum be in her own home? I would be very concerned that you live 3 hours journey away and therefore would not be able to get to her in an emergency.

Yes, it is important to consider what they want, but ultimately, there comes a time when you have to stop enabling their wants and start implementing their needs.
I too want to go back in time and not take the dementia with us. Again such wise words. Thanks. We will navigate this but with a lot of support from this network of people who have got the t shirt.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
As Granny G says - home is where the heart is. My mom would say “I want to go home, wherever that is”. What it meant is she wanted to be with my dad 24/7, which was not possible due to her physical and mental conditions. She has settled more after 5/6 months but still often says “get me out of here”, particularly when bored so then we go for a walk even if it’s just up and down the halls.

I have picked up what she really misses is having family around going about their own business. So often now everyone chats around her as she dozes or drifts off into a nap (she sleeps much more now) and then we say we’re going off to run an errand when we leave. She feels quite secure then and doesn’t protest.

It is tough at first (& we had to go thru it a few times as my mom moved several times between hospital and the facility in the first months) but I always emphasised she was someplace safe, she needed more care than we could give, and she was building up strength and recovering.
Thanks for sharing. Yes, she is somewhere safe and being cared for which is more than she was at home.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
17,559
0
68
Toronto, Canada
I think you have made the right decision. My mother packed up her clothing every day for about 2 months. When every bag was taken out of her room, she managed to find plastic bags from somewhere. She was going to leave, no matter what! The problem is that I had moved her from BC to my home, a trifling drive of about 2,500 miles. She said she would take a taxi!!

Once I asked her where home was - it was the home she had lived in with her parents in 1950. So 'going home' can be almost anywhere.

It is still very early days for both of you. If I were you, I would have a chat with the staff and see if they think you should stay away for a day or two.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
I think its very much dependent on where someone is at with their dementia, but more importantly we overlook how powerful emotions can be. Its all very well trying to do what is best, but it doesn't necessarily accomodate the persons feelings and no amount of persuasion will change the strong emotional ties people have. Home is where the heart is as they say and that is a very real truth for a person with dementia, wherever that place is. Moving is always difficult for many of us and it takes time to adjust.

I knew my mum wouldn't cope in care home until she had gone beyond the point of knowing where she truly was, but whatever we do in trying to do what is best there is always a price to pay unfortunately -nothing is ever 100% fool proof. I would speak to the care home and see what their assessment is as well as your own. It might be that the general feeling is that this is right for your mum now or to try again in the future
Of course. I have reached out to the care home for their take on how things are going as they have obviously been here before.
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
I think you have made the right decision. My mother packed up her clothing every day for about 2 months. When every bag was taken out of her room, she managed to find plastic bags from somewhere. She was going to leave, no matter what! The problem is that I had moved her from BC to my home, a trifling drive of about 2,500 miles. She said she would take a taxi!!

Once I asked her where home was - it was the home she had lived in with her parents in 1950. So 'going home' can be almost anywhere.

It is still very early days for both of you. If I were you, I would have a chat with the staff and see if they think you should stay away for a day or two.
Thank you. I thought moving mum 3 hours away was bad! She too is on the look out for a taxi or bus! Yes, the care home staff are the experts after all. This is not a specialist dementia home though as I felt Mum‘s current condition doesn’t warrant that and I was told to think how her current needs can be best met. They do have a sister home that is so we can up the anti when we need it. I have emailed them asking just that question. I want to make the transition less painful for us all so will stay away if that’s best.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,430
0
High Peak
Another tip for you. (Or lie, call it what you will!)

If the much-used 'the doctor says you must stay here for a while until you're a bit stronger' method isn't working, you'll need another excuse why she can't go home 'just yet':

Unfortunately the boiler has broken and there's water everywhere but you've got some good people on the job so she doesn't need to worry. There will be a lot of mess and noise for a while though, so just as well she's in this lovely place. Then the spare part for the boiler needs to come from abroad. Then - imagine that! - they've sent the wrong part, would you believe it? Carpet replacement might come next or a little decorating - you get the idea...
 

Originally

Registered User
Jun 25, 2022
32
0
Another tip for you. (Or lie, call it what you will!)

If the much-used 'the doctor says you must stay here for a while until you're a bit stronger' method isn't working, you'll need another excuse why she can't go home 'just yet':

Unfortunately the boiler has broken and there's water everywhere but you've got some good people on the job so she doesn't need to worry. There will be a lot of mess and noise for a while though, so just as well she's in this lovely place. Then the spare part for the boiler needs to come from abroad. Then - imagine that! - they've sent the wrong part, would you believe it? Carpet replacement might come next or a little decorating - you get the idea...
Love it ! Amazing how sneaky and inventive we have to be. I‘ve just spoken to the GP surgery. Sadly the beloved doctor is on holiday! However I have asked them to send a letter to the CH supposedly from him stating that “I recommend ….. continues to receive care at your care home until she is much stronger.“ Mum usually responds well to anything the darling doctor recommends so fingers crossed. Then he can be still reviewing her notes, making enquiries, off on holiday etc etc. I’m already learning from you all. I feel a little calmer and equipped with some strategies now. Thanks
 

TC63

New member
Jun 15, 2022
3
0
It is so reassuring reading all these comments. We had a full time carer for mum since my dad died in October and mum has found it very difficult living with a carer and being 'managed'. She would come out of her bedroom fully dressed in the morning making it difficult to get her to shower/wash, she would often refuse to eat (but would love biscuits and cake!) and started rushing off out of the house when the carers back was turned. For a couple of months she's refused to leave her home with the carer which was so sad as she would love talking to everyone she met on her walks and used to love pottering around the shops. Although mum is a lovely lady, she is very stubborn. I've been considering a care home for a while but things came to a head last week when I had to let the carer go as she wasn't looking after mum appropriately and the care agency couldn't source another carer.
So once again I had to move in with mum whilst I organised what happens next. Fortunately I've spent time researching the local dementia care homes, talking to the doctor and the dementia advisor and my favourite home had a space. They assessed mum on the Tuesday and I took her into the home on Wednesday. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do but our lives couldn't carry on in the same way and mum was becoming a prisoner in her own home. She really didn't want to stay at the home and I found it so hard to leave her there. It's been 4 days now. The hardest thing for me is that mum and I would talk on the phone/Alexa every day at least 4 times and I would visit once or twice a week. Mum hasn't been able to make a call as she doesn't have her phone and I realise that it's probably best to not visit for a while whilst she settles in. Fortunately the home post pictures of activities of her on Facebook so I can see her interacting and smiling. I'm trying to not feel guilty for taking mum to the home but I carry an overwhelming worry that mum may feel abandoned by me. I desperately want to visit to reassure her that I'm still here for her - it's so hard.
I hope you don't mind me sharing my experiences with my mum. I'm hoping my mum's life will soon settle down so mum's family and friends can visit her like they've always done and she enjoys all the benefits of life in the care home. I wish that for you and your mum and for all the other carers struggling with the same dilemma. Good luck x
 

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
197
0
Bristol
It is so reassuring reading all these comments. We had a full time carer for mum since my dad died in October and mum has found it very difficult living with a carer and being 'managed'. She would come out of her bedroom fully dressed in the morning making it difficult to get her to shower/wash, she would often refuse to eat (but would love biscuits and cake!) and started rushing off out of the house when the carers back was turned. For a couple of months she's refused to leave her home with the carer which was so sad as she would love talking to everyone she met on her walks and used to love pottering around the shops. Although mum is a lovely lady, she is very stubborn. I've been considering a care home for a while but things came to a head last week when I had to let the carer go as she wasn't looking after mum appropriately and the care agency couldn't source another carer.
So once again I had to move in with mum whilst I organised what happens next. Fortunately I've spent time researching the local dementia care homes, talking to the doctor and the dementia advisor and my favourite home had a space. They assessed mum on the Tuesday and I took her into the home on Wednesday. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do but our lives couldn't carry on in the same way and mum was becoming a prisoner in her own home. She really didn't want to stay at the home and I found it so hard to leave her there. It's been 4 days now. The hardest thing for me is that mum and I would talk on the phone/Alexa every day at least 4 times and I would visit once or twice a week. Mum hasn't been able to make a call as she doesn't have her phone and I realise that it's probably best to not visit for a while whilst she settles in. Fortunately the home post pictures of activities of her on Facebook so I can see her interacting and smiling. I'm trying to not feel guilty for taking mum to the home but I carry an overwhelming worry that mum may feel abandoned by me. I desperately want to visit to reassure her that I'm still here for her - it's so hard.
I hope you don't mind me sharing my experiences with my mum. I'm hoping my mum's life will soon settle down so mum's family and friends can visit her like they've always done and she enjoys all the benefits of life in the care home. I wish that for you and your mum and for all the other carers struggling with the same dilemma. Good luck x
Why don’t you visit your mum, take her a treat and make sure your first visit is short, perhaps an hour before lunchtime so that there is a distraction point at which you can leave. Mum now tells us it’s time to go, after an hour of telling us we have abandoned her! As you leave, just say ‘see you later…’ that emotional feeling of seeing you will stay with her but she sadly will forget the memory of you visiting. I take lots of photos when we visit mum and show them next time I see her, telling her what we did last time. It reinforces the fact you have seen her.
 

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
0
It is so reassuring reading all these comments. We had a full time carer for mum since my dad died in October and mum has found it very difficult living with a carer and being 'managed'. She would come out of her bedroom fully dressed in the morning making it difficult to get her to shower/wash, she would often refuse to eat (but would love biscuits and cake!) and started rushing off out of the house when the carers back was turned. For a couple of months she's refused to leave her home with the carer which was so sad as she would love talking to everyone she met on her walks and used to love pottering around the shops. Although mum is a lovely lady, she is very stubborn. I've been considering a care home for a while but things came to a head last week when I had to let the carer go as she wasn't looking after mum appropriately and the care agency couldn't source another carer.
So once again I had to move in with mum whilst I organised what happens next. Fortunately I've spent time researching the local dementia care homes, talking to the doctor and the dementia advisor and my favourite home had a space. They assessed mum on the Tuesday and I took her into the home on Wednesday. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do but our lives couldn't carry on in the same way and mum was becoming a prisoner in her own home. She really didn't want to stay at the home and I found it so hard to leave her there. It's been 4 days now. The hardest thing for me is that mum and I would talk on the phone/Alexa every day at least 4 times and I would visit once or twice a week. Mum hasn't been able to make a call as she doesn't have her phone and I realise that it's probably best to not visit for a while whilst she settles in. Fortunately the home post pictures of activities of her on Facebook so I can see her interacting and smiling. I'm trying to not feel guilty for taking mum to the home but I carry an overwhelming worry that mum may feel abandoned by me. I desperately want to visit to reassure her that I'm still here for her - it's so hard.
I hope you don't mind me sharing my experiences with my mum. I'm hoping my mum's life will soon settle down so mum's family and friends can visit her like they've always done and she enjoys all the benefits of life in the care home. I wish that for you and your mum and for all the other carers struggling with the same dilemma. Good luck x
Perhaps you can ring the CH home and they can pass the phone to your mum so you can speak to her-that's what my mum's CH do. Then you can have a chat, she will hear your voice and know that you are still in her life. it is very, very hard, especially the early days of admission to a home. I do hope she settles in.
 

TC63

New member
Jun 15, 2022
3
0
Why don’t you visit your mum, take her a treat and make sure your first visit is short, perhaps an hour before lunchtime so that there is a distraction point at which you can leave. Mum now tells us it’s time to go, after an hour of telling us we have abandoned her! As you leave, just say ‘see you later…’ that emotional feeling of seeing you will stay with her but she sadly will forget the memory of you visiting. I take lots of photos when we visit mum and show them next time I see her, telling her what we did last time. It reinforces the fact you have seen her.
Thank you for your for your kind suggestion. I think a visit before lunchtime is a good idea as mum tends to be less confused in the morning. I'm actually going away for a long weekend with my family at the weekend so I've decided to send mum a card and let her know I'll visit once we're back. Great idea with the photos too!
Perhaps you can ring the CH home and they can pass the phone to your mum so you can speak to her-that's what my mum's CH do. Then you can have a chat, she will hear your voice and know that you are still in her life. it is very, very hard, especially the early days of admission to a home. I do hope she settles in
 

TC63

New member
Jun 15, 2022
3
0
Perhaps you can ring the CH home and they can pass the phone to your mum so you can speak to her-that's what my mum's CH do. Then you can have a chat, she will hear your voice and know that you are still in her life. it is very, very hard, especially the early days of admission to a home. I do hope she settles in.
Thank you Linsac for your reply. I spoke to the care home today and they said she's still a bit unsettled - talking about going home but she's made a couple of friends and been chatting to the staff. I feel a bit more optimistic after hearing this and think I'm going to write to her :) and plan to visit in a week.