• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Dad moved into Residential home is not settling...is this normal?

Miniminx55

New member
Jul 23, 2020
7
0
Hello I am looking for some advice my father has Alzheimer's Dementia and was diagnosed in January 2020 having been admitted to hospital after a fall. He was discharged after a month with a Care Package and that continued but in October 2020 the care package had to be increased as it was agreed he needed 24 hour Residential Care but it was a struggle finding a home as he was in Wiltshire but I wanted him close to me in Dorset. He has now moved into a Dementia Care Home very close to me on Friday 27th November and that evening I had two telephone calls to me from him demanding to go home he hated it he was very agitated and upset saying he will get a taxi he wants to go home now! After two calls I asked the Senior staff member to not call me anymore as he needed to be calmed and calling me is not helping him. I called and spoke to Dad on Saturday afternoon and he was much calmer still not happy but calmer and seeming to be more positive, however he asked to call me again on Monday (yesterday) and I struggled to understand him as his speech appeared to be very slurred and he was again stating he hated it but knows he cannot go back to his bungalow but he wants to move to another home as this one is horrible. The home has a very good CQC report and reviews are all over 9 and is in the same village as me and whilst I appreciate it is very different for him to being at his own home but I also understand that the levels of Dementia are different in the residents and some are very late stage. I have been told he will not come downstairs and mix with the others despite him being desperate for company and his mobility compared to in his bungalow appears worse and he is sitting in his room alone watching TV, is this normal and to be expected? I totally get its only been a few days but I am feeling guilt, fear, sadness everything you can think of for agreeing with the Social Worker that he needs to be in the home as he now requires 24 hour care and I am spending all my time beating myself up for making him so unhappy. I just need advice on how to play this, the home are saying do not visit until towards the end of the week dependant on how he is (which I can understand as he is so unsettled) but he asks to phone me and pleads for me to visit him. He keeps asking me if I have forgotten about him (he used to phone me at least every half hour at his home during the day everyday) and I have explained no I haven't but he needs to make friends and settle down in his new home and that I will call him in a day or two...am I doing the right thing? He is like a lost and sad little boy who sounds so frightened and sad and that is breaking my heart but at the same time I am now ready to start getting my life back after months of constant telephone calls, weekly visits driving to Wiltshire from Dorset and just not having the headspace to deal with anything other than him. Any advice would be most gratefully received thank you
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
716
0
Hi @Miniminx55 , welcome to TP, I am sure others will be along with helpful advice soon. My mum moved into a home just over a year ago, and very surprisingly settled well, soon enjoying the activities and company. I know others will tell you that it can take quite a while for people to settle, and like the home has suggested it's best not to visit initially. Perhaps stop the phone calls too this week as they're not helping you or your dad. You could ask the home to tell your dad you have had to go away for a few days, but will phone when back. Or say your phone is broken may be a good one. Then you could send notes/ letters in , take little treats with a note etc. It is very difficult with visiting right now, but hoping there may be a "pod" for visiting, or at least window visits. It will be good when you can go in "normally" and encourage your dad to go into the lounge for company and activities. It's very early days so don't get too downhearted. We all feel the guilt, but you know you did the right thing, and getting your dad in a home close by is brilliant. Caring from a distance can be very tough, I'm a 3 hour drive away and wish mum was closer, but she's in her home town, with other family close by.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,103
0
Hello @Miniminx55 .

I'm sorry, this is heart breaking and extremely hard to deal with but not unusual. Your father will still be settling in and it can take a bit of time. The staff will be used to this and should have the experience to help him settle. When my mum was really unhappy, I would say it's just for a while until I can sort out somewhere else. I think making it sound as though it is not permanent is the kindest way to deal with it. If he doesn't settle over the next few weeks, perhaps a review of medication might help with anxiety.

I was advised to visit every day when my mum was first in care but this is unusual and I regret doing it now as I don't think it helped her to settle at all. Mum was just waiting for me all the time (she thought I lived there for a while and was always looking for me). It does seem better not to visit at first, painful though it seems.

Keep posting for advice and support. This is very difficult stuff but there are lots of us out here to help you along.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,123
0
High Peak
My mum was very much the same. She would either stay in her room reading (until she could no longer do that) or would pack her things and sit by the door, hoping for a chance to escape. In 3 years, she never joined in or mixed with the other residents. Every time I visited I would be treated to a litany of complaints, some real, mostly imagined and she would expect me to 'sort things out'.

My main advice would be to deflect the blame and become your dad's helper. With mum, I would agree she needed to 'get out of here' but I wasn't able to do that today because The Doctor Says You Need To Stay Here Till You Are Stronger. Other excuses would follow e.g. 'Yes, I am looking for a nice place for you'. If she thought I was on her side the anger dissipated but unfortunately always returned.

But basically, lie through your teeth. Say anything you think he wants to hear but add in a 'delay' as to why you can't do it today/right now. And keep blaming the doctor.

Mum never really 'settled', but in the later stages there was more of an acceptance, simply because she didn't have a clue where she was or why. A sad solution but there it is - dementia is progressive.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,344
0
South coast
My mum was packing to "go home" every night for about 6 weeks when she fist moved into her care home. By a couple of moths, though, she stopped and was really settled. She made friends, joined in the activities and actually thrived there.

Id give it time.

PS - I agree about the phone calls - its not doing either of you any good. Is the phone his own? If so, it might be the sight of it that is triggering him. Perhaps it could be removed for a while.
 

Miniminx55

New member
Jul 23, 2020
7
0
Thank you so much everyone its wonderful to have others who understand, this is a horrid journey and I am under no illusions its going to get harder and harder but when he sounds like a lost little boy and that is breaking my heart. He does not have his own phone the home call and then pass the phone to him and the Social Worker thinks that a daily phone call would help him as to just stop the contact is what he is finding so hard at the moment. I have just been told by the home that he is unwell today has been sick and has no energy whatsoever needing carers to help him (2 carers) to go to the toilet and to stand up which is not like him at all and certainly not how he was when he went in, I am guessing that the chest infection he had and is on antibiotics for may be getting worse or he has another infection of some sort am now waiting on another call from the Home Manager to advise on what they are going to do going forward. All of this is such a worry I am just grateful Mum is settled in her home and has been for 18 months so I do not need to worry about her and we chat regularly but as for Dad the worry continues but thank you all for the support its a huge help to me I am very grateful indeed :(
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
560
0
I agree with the others here. My mother has not been as much of a problem but she has regularly said she wants to go home. That is not realistic. I think very few care home residents want to live there but then nobody wants to be infirm or frail. My mum doesn't take part in activities and cannot speak intelligibly so largely cannot take part or make friends.

It is all very sad but you're doing your best for him and there seems little alternative other than to do as the others have suggested.
 

Wildflowerlady

Registered User
Sep 30, 2019
397
0
Hi @Miniminx55 I had to take my dad to a CH just over a week ago initially it was for Respite Care as his Care Company gave notice as they struggled to deal with him any longer. ASC were unable at that time to replace care at home so understand how you feel its horrible. News today does suggest its very unlikely dad will return to his home but as he appears to have a UTI and is being put on antibiotics starting tonight the Social Care Worker will see him again on Thursday. I was told today my dad is a bit unsteady too. My dad has mixed dementia and has had carers at home for just over three years four visits a day plus lots of extra visits on daily basis from sister and I. Sadly I think we will have to accept dads time for needing 24/7 care has come and we have done as much as we can to support him in his own home. According to Social Workers visit yesterday dad has no idea where he is and is referring to living where he did over 40 years ago and saying his mum and dad are alive. My dad is also spending a lot of time in his room but we are hoping he will mix a bit more nurse said dad is chatting to her and I think they are getting to know him a bit already. I think its a very trying time but be assured you are not alone am going through similar feelings myself.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
117,573
Messages
1,720,867
Members
68,420
Latest member
Jane56