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Dad thinks woman in care home is his wife

Bettusboo

Registered User
Aug 30, 2020
92
0
My Dad moved into a care home last week. He seems ok although he has no idea where he is or why he is there. He has surprised me by seeming fairly content sometimes and when he has periods of agitation and particular confusion he seems no worse than at home. I had a call yesterday to ask me to speak to him because he thought one of the residents was his wife and he was trying to drag her back to his room ) by that I think he had hold of her arm). The care staff member had been arguing with him and trying to persuade him that she wasn’t his wife and he was getting more and more upset and adamant that she was. The care worker seemed angry with him and was saying it was unacceptable. I spoke to him on the phone and did a bit of redirecting him, chatting about the family and reminding him that my mum is in another care home etc. He calmed down and another staff member was able to take him off for cup of tea and he was much calmer. I was surprised that someone with dementia training would be getting into a confrontation in this way and didn’t try redirecting or other strategies. I don’t know how worried to be and am planning to talk to the manager about it. Is mistaking someone else for a persons wife or husband a common thing in care homes ? While at home my dad has often just assumed that I am my mum and the same with other carers who have looked after him. It hasn’t been too much of a problem when handled sensitively and it worries me that it doesn’t the seem to have been in this case. Any thoughts ?
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,031
0
Nottinghamshire
HI @Bettusboo , thinking another resident is a husband or wife or starting a relationship with another resident is very common in care homes. I guess the carer trying to sort it might have been inexperienced, so its worth flagging it up with the manager and letting them know what strategies work for when/if your dad does it again.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
67,241
0
71
Dundee
I agree that it is worth flagging up with the manager. If the carer is inexperienced then there is a professional development issue which needs to be addressed.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,326
0
Kent
Hello @Bettusboo

I agree with @Sarasa, this is quite common behaviour and a discussion with the manager might be your best way to resolve this issue.

The incident could have been managed in the home by the staff and the carer who asked you, over the phone, to sort the problem, was misguided.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,875
0
South coast
Thinking that another resident is a spouse is not uncommon in care homes for people with dementia. My mum thought that another resident in her care home was her husband (it didnt help that he had the same name) and the carers took a lot of trouble (distraction etc) to keep them apart until mums delusion had passed.

I would be very concerned about the carer who tried to persuade your dad that the other resident wasnt his wife - they are obviously inexperienced in how to deal with dementia and require further training. Do talk to the manager about this and ask what strategies they would use to deal with it.
 

Bettusboo

Registered User
Aug 30, 2020
92
0
Phew. I’ve been in and had a chat with the manager and got a very helpful response. And she wouldn’t have expected that to have happened and will be talking to the staff involved. But in a constructive way. Glad I spoke up.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,031
0
Nottinghamshire
Glad you had a good chat with the manager @Bettusboo. It's early days for your dad and I guess the carers need to get used to how to help him, and he needs to get used to them.