Dealing with other residents in care home

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by HelenInBC, May 3, 2015.

  1. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    #1 HelenInBC, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
    My mom has been in a care home now for 8 months. So far, so good. She's been quite settled and usually has had no complaints. Granted, she can't remember what goes on there but she has always seemed content. This was a big difference to her distress when she was at home, worrying about everything and being bored, anxious and getting angry at others often.

    Recently, two new residents moved in. Both are still verbal. One is very confused and her manner is quite aggressive and she speaks very loudly and gets very close to others to shout in their faces. This is upsetting to everyone, the staff, visitors and of course the other residents. My mom doesn't understand this woman is ill and that's why she behaves this way. She just gets angry and frustrated with her. The other resident is the tricky situation. She and my mom have become inseparable. They go everywhere together, do everything together. I was so happy to see that she had made a good friend. They really seem to enjoy each others' company. I suspect that this woman might be gay, but I have no problem with that. She seems to treat my mom like a romantic partner, rather than just a friend.
    The trouble is that this lady sundowns in the evenings after dinner. She starts to get agitated and wants to leave the unit. She gets angry that she can't get out, and complains, cries, my mom...who in turn goes to the staff and asks why she isn't being allowed to leave? It upsets her to see her friend upset, so she starts getting all worked up and angry- to the point where she has grabbed the nurse's arm and twisted in anger. She and this lady try to barricade themselves inside one of their rooms, leaning on the door so the staff have to push their way in, trying to sleep in the same bed, etc.
    The staff have had to hide my mother's pictures and name sign from outside her door, because the other woman will roam around at night looking for her room and then wake my mom up by knocking on her door.

    I'm not sure what the staff are going to do about this, but it really upsets me to see my mom so unsettled. The last 2 visits, she kept asking to go home and that she didn't want to stay there any longer. She says she's "sick of this place" but can't articulate her complaints.

    I think it may be time to meet with the staff to figure out how to straighten this out.

    Edited to add: any thoughts or suggestions on how to manage this, or should I leave it to the staff? Several nurses have told me about it and things seem to be escalating.
  2. Maggie42

    Maggie42 Registered User

    Mar 7, 2011
    East Midlands
    Hi Helen,
    It sounds as if you need to escalate this to protect your Mum, who is a vulnerable person. There are safeguarding procedures the home should follow.
    Sorry you are having to deal with this.
    Take Care.
  3. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    Hi Helen, my mum has been in her home for 4 months and she has a special friend who always refers to my mum as a him. She is really confused and when I went yesterday she asked if he was my son! As far as I know they havent been up to any mischief but I do worry as everything is just one big confusion which my mum doesnt need but I dont think she remembers one second to the next. It is a worry and if she unsettled my mum I would be quite upset but at the moment I just have to go with it. I suppose it is nice that they have formed a friendship in their very confused states!
  4. Lucy44

    Lucy44 Registered User

    Jul 12, 2014
    Hi HelenInBC

    It must be very upsetting for you to see your Mom unsettled like this and can be difficult to know what to do.

    It's important that you Mom is kept safe and well and I too would be concerned if staff are having to push their way into the room.

    Why not consider meeting with the staff or Manager of the Home and raising your concerns formally,asking how they plan to manage the known behaviours of the other residents
    if they realise you are aware of the circumstances they can put your mind at rest by ensuring there is sufficient staff in place to monitor the situation and safeguard your Mom. Maybe suggest they record a behavioural chart , if not already in place, that can keep an eye and determine any patterns of behaviours they can then risk assess.

    It's something you can then monitor with the home and if you feel it is not being managed effectively and your Mom continues to be agitated then you can take it up with the Manger or Care standards.

    It's lovely your Mom has found a friend but important she and others are getting the care, support and protection they deserve.

    Best wishes

  5. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Hi Helen, That is heartbreaking that your Mum has been so disrupted by this. I also would advocate being proactive in resolving this - from what you've said it sounds as though the staff are simply telling you what's happening rather than following that with "and this is how we are sorting it out".

    Arrange a meeting with the manager/unit manager and be clear that the upset and disruption being caused to your Mum is unacceptable and what do they propose to do about it and in what time scale. As Maggie has said there are safeguarding issues here so if necessary I would also involve the authorities. A new resident in my Mum's care home was there for only a matter of days before being transferred to a secure unit as her behaviour was way beyond that of any of the other residents and posed a risk to all around her.
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Oh, Lordy Lordy! I think we've heard it all but Helen this is a right kettle of fish. Gay girl friends, barricaded doors, planned escape routes for friends. This actually sounds both bizarre and quite exciting. Definitely too big to handle and one for discussion with staff.
  7. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    Spoke to a nurse today who says my mom (and her friend) have now become elopement risks :mad: They lurk near the doors, waiting to scoot out when the door is opened.

    Nurse says they try to take them for walks as often as they can, as they are quite annoyed by the loud resident that I mentioned before. She is very unpleasant to be around, so I can understand. I am hoping they find a different place for her, or a way to settle her loud and intrusive behaviours..
  8. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    #8 Jessbow, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
    Are the grounds secure if they did manage to get out?
    Sounds like staff are aware of their 'escape from alcatraz' plan, which is helpful.

    Do staff ever try and engage them in separate activities, or are they together all day everyday?
    Certainly sounds a though they need to distract your Mum whilst the other lady is sundowning, if it upsets her.
  9. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    Unless the nursing home is very small it should be possible to separate them so that they are on different parts of the building to keep them apart
  10. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    No Solution has been acted upon as yet.

    The nurse told me the other day that they are considering moving the other lady (the one who has become so attached to my mom- let's call her *Carol) They spend all day together, but Carol is enticing my mom to escape, and continues to get her riled up about the fact that they aren't allowed to leave on their own.
    The staff are upset that Carol is making her so unsettled, as mom was content and happy to stay put before. She often follows with whatever Carol wants to do. Sometimes, when the staff have a chance to get them out to walk, my mom will suddenly say "I don't want to go walking" as if she just realized it. She will go back inside, and then a few minutes later they will start getting angry about leaving again.
    I will follow up again by phone. I'm sure the Carol's family is not going to be pleased about her being uprooted, but I can't sit by and see this continue.

    *not her real name

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