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Feeling a bit helpless and confused

madex

Registered User
Sep 21, 2015
2
Hi I am a new member to this forum and hoping for some advice/thoughts/listening ear.

My mum is 76 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimers for the past 18 months but we are sure she had it for a lot longer but diagnosis can be inconclusive and take a while. My parents live in NZ and I am in the UK. My dad put mum into respite care back in May when he came over to visit me. She originally went into the nursing home but within a day she had escaped and was walking to her sisters (they live in Australia) so she was put into the secure dementia ward. This is where she has stayed ever since.

Her care seems to be okay in this secure dementia ward however, the management and staff have been rather awful to my father because he has questioned certain things, like why there were no plasters available, where all her clothes have gone, why does she have such swollen legs etc. Now management and staff feel like my father is picking on them and the manager met with my father last week to tell him that the staff feel like he is picking fault with them and making them feel uncomfortable. My poor Dad, was so upset, he now does not want to go to the home and visit mum as they have made him feel so uncomfortable. It has upset me so much too and I feel totally helpless so many miles away. Right from the start of mum going into care, we found it very hard to communicate with management and it felt like we were causing problems if we asked about things. I have spoken with the social worker who has been so good with Dad and mum over the past year and half, she helped Dad looked for a home and advised him so now she feels a bit responsible for how things have turned out.

She has suggested that we move mum to a new home where Dad can start a fresh with the staff and management as she doesn't think this relationship can be repaired and questions why they are so defensive. I have mentioned to my Dad about possibly moving mum but he is worried about doing that and there are only so many in the area, although there is one that I liked the look of over the internet which was in the countryside and they had lots of secure outdoor space, mountain views, and even some animals to look after, such as baby lambs to feed which I know my mum would like as we have always had animals on our small farm. My Dad also does not want to rock the boat too much with the current care home as he thinks they may take it out on Mum which I dot think they would but I will respect his wishes and will not be calling the home to complain although i really want to.

That said, there are some lovely carers in the home who do a great job but equally there are some that aren't that great, one of the nurses said to me over the phone, at least you have both of your parents alive, mine are both dead.....which I thought was a little insensitive.

The question I guess I want to ask is, has anybody been through similar experience where staff have labeled you as being difficult and made you feel uncomfortable visiting your loved ones?

I am heading to NZ in November, the idea was to help Dad sort out mum's clothing etc but I maybe helping mum settle into a new home. I have not seen my mum for nearly a year and I am feeling really anxious about it as just talking over the phone is a huge emotional roller coaster as she is getting worst each time.

Sorry for this rather long winded message and hello to you all.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,662
South coast
Hi Madax
Im not impressed with management either and I think the comment by the carer is totally out of order :mad: I agree with the SW - these are not unreasonable questions that your dad is asking and if he is being made to feel that he cant visit then a change in CHs is the best thing.
I think if he went and looked at the other CH and talked to the manager he might feel better about it all.
Is he online? If so he might like to join us here :)
 

madex

Registered User
Sep 21, 2015
2
Hi thanks for your replies. Dad went to all the care homes in the area with the Social Worker before putting mum into the one she is in now. The one I liked online and it is also one that the social worker is keen to revisit is the furthest away for my Dad, it is about 30 minutes drive whereas the current one is only 10 minutes away.

The social worker is going to gently mention to my dad about revisiting those care homes and meeting with the management again and re-evaluating things. My dad is hurting both by the way he has been treated and also with my mum deteriorating so quickly, he feels extremely guilty about it all and he really shouldn't as it was the right decision as she was wandering a lot down main roads where cars are going 60 miles an hour, it was getting dangerous for her to be at home.

When he opted for the current care home, the manager and staff seemed really on board with things but she was just newly appointed as manager and since she has been there, it seems a lot of the long term permanent staff have gone and been replaced with casual staff.

Dad is only just getting to grips with email and Facebook so this forum maybe a little step too much and plus he is dyslexic so struggles to write, we talk a lot of the phone instead.