• 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<.

Feeling hopeless

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
47
0
Because it is becoming increasingly clear that Mum is unsafe in her own home I have recently begun to seriously consider whether now is the time for Mum to go into care, so after lots of conversations with a local homes yesterday I had my first 'tour' of a care home with a dedicated dementia wing.

This home is one of the 'posh and expensive' options but I came home and just burst into tears as I found it the most depressing, shocking experience, even though the staff and manager were lovely it didn't feel like a happy place, the residents in there appeared much , much worse than Mum, it felt like somewhere people went to die rather than to live.

Deep down I'd hoped that a care home would potentially be a place where Mum could possibly thrive with lots of company and new friends to make, all of which would be great for her cognitive function but the residents I saw yesterday didn't appear capable of having any sort of conversation and everyone looked incredibly sad and confused.

I'm at a loss to decide what's best for Mum - I simply couldn't leave her somewhere like that and I now wonder if I had the most unrealistic image of a 2021 care home in my head.

I'm going to try and get some tours around other homes in the hope of finding the image in my head of a happy home for Mum, but yesterday's was an example of an expensive one what the heck are the others going to be like!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,980
0
South coast
Hi @Miss Elli - the cheaper ones are often better because the money is spent on better care, rather than posh "window dressing" that is often the case with the more expensive places.

Mum was in a small EMI home, that was* at the cheap end of the market and definitely wasnt posh. The decor was a bit shabby and dated, but the care was wonderful. I must say, though, that EMI homes take a bit of getting used to and it was a while before I could see beyond the decor. You actually want to see people in all stages of dementia. If there are only people at about your mums stage, this means that once they get to a certain stage (not far ahead of your mum) then they cannot cope with that stage of dementia and your mum would be asked to leave. If you have people at all stages this means that they can look after people right up to the end.

It also makes a difference what time you visit, too. They usually have more things going on in the mornings when residents are usually at their best and then in the afternoons things tend to be a bit quieter as lots of them have an afternoon nap. If you visit in the late afternoon/evening you will be there while they are all sundowning and they will all be more confused than earlier in the day.

*edit - I wrote wasnt, instead of was - oops!
 
Last edited:

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,408
0
Hello @Miss Elli

I remember looking round all the care homes in the area when I had to move mum from one which was not geared up for her level of dementia. I visited so many of them and I am sad to say I was horrified by most of them. In any case, none of them would accept mum with her "challenging behaviour". I became so stressed out and tense that I displaced my own tailbone (I didn't even know you could do that).

Don't despair. I did finally find one which was not at all smart (it looked more like a pub really) but when I looked round, I heard laughter, saw carers hugging residents, some residents actually made eye contact and talked to me. Thankfully, the home was perfectly willing to take mum too after assessing her because they understood dementia.

Things have not always gone well there but that's more to do with mum than the care home I think. There is sometimes a bit of shouting and I'm afraid occasional screaming (which is generally mum). The carers take it all in their stride with good humour and compassion. The genuinely care for the residents.

It's difficult with the restrictions but keep on looking is my advice and trust your heart when you walk in.
 
Last edited:

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
47
0
Hi @Miss Elli - the cheaper ones are often better because the money is spent on better care, rather than posh "window dressing" that is often the case with the more expensive places.

Mum was in a small EMI home, that wasnt at the cheap end of the market and definitely wasnt posh. The decor was a bit shabby and dated, but the care was wonderful. I must say, though, that EMI homes take a bit of getting used to and it was a while before I could see beyond the decor. You actually want to see people in all stages of dementia. If there are only people at about your mums stage, this means that once they get to a certain stage (not far ahead of your mum) then they cannot cope with that stage of dementia and your mum would be asked to leave. If you have people at all stages this means that they can look after people right up to the end.

It also makes a difference what time you visit, too. They usually have more things going on in the mornings when residents are usually at their best and then in the afternoons things tend to be a bit quieter as lots of them have an afternoon nap. If you visit in the late afternoon/evening you will be there while they are all sundowning and they will all be more confused than earlier in the day.
It was a 5.30pm tour so yes sundowning may well be the reason for the behaviour and atmosphere. It just looked like everyone was sedated!
 

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
47
0
Hello @Miss Elli

I remember looking round all the care homes in the area when I had to move mum from one which was not geared up for her level of dementia. I visited so many of them and I am sad to say I was horrified by most of them. In any case, none of them would accept mum with her "challenging behaviour". I became so stressed out and tense that I displaced my own tailbone (I didn't even know you could do that).

Don't despair. I did finally find one which was not at all smart (it looked more like a pub really) but when I looked round, I heard laughter, saw carers hugging residents, some residents actually made eye contact and talked to me. Thankfully, the home was perfectly willing to take mum too after assessing her because they understood dementia.

Things have not always gone well there but that's more to do with mum than the care home I think. There is sometimes a bit of shouting and I'm afraid occasional screaming (which is generally mum). The carers take it all in their stride with good humour and compassion. The genuinely care for the residents.

It's difficult with the restrictions but keep on looking is my advice and trust your heart when you walk in.
Thank you for the reply - I will persevere in the hope of finding a happy place for Mum.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,980
0
South coast
It was a 5.30pm tour so yes sundowning may well be the reason for the behaviour and atmosphere. It just looked like everyone was sedated!
It may be that the posh home couldnt cope with the behaviour so they may possibly have been sedated, although this is generally frowned upon these days and in mums home they only used medication in the extreme cases (which didnt include mum)
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,408
0
Thank you for the reply - I will persevere in the hope of finding a happy place for Mum.

Good luck. There'll be somewhere you feel comfortable with, a bit of life going on with cheerful staff who are there because they love their job.

It's not easy. Let us know how you get on.
 

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
47
0
Just had a conversation with a local dementia care home and feeling much more optimistic, they have streets set up inside so the residents feel like they are moving around a little town and community and their rooms have individual front doors. It sounds perfect, but unfortunately because of Covid they aren't allowing any visits of any kind. Must admit even with the rapid flow test I was shocked that I was allowed into the actual wing of the home I visited on Saturday, but really glad to have seen it for myself otherwise I would have never believed the reality after seeing the brochures and chatting to the managers.

Just hoping I can manage to keep Mum safe at home long enough to get through to a more normal world.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,408
0
That sounds promising @Miss Elli and good to hear you are feeling more optimistic. It's difficult contemplating such a change, even more so with the restrictions in place. Hopefully the care homes will be opening up before long and you will be able to have a good look around.