Feels like a no win situation

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by 6FNAUTICLUB, Jan 30, 2016.


    6FNAUTICLUB Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    Mum 85 with mixed dementia has been in respite for 10 days, when she went in, it was because she had got herself in a right state, frightened living on her own, had carers in 3 times a day plus our visits etc, she also had a fall. She has really thrived in home, looks so much better, confusion and anxiety just seemed to melt away. As it nears time for her to go home or stay in care home on extended respite, she is really mithered again, want to go home but also knows she is better off where she is, she doesn't really remember much about how she was prior to going in but does remember the fear and the loneliness between carers and us calling. From a selfish point of view we want her yo stay there, she is self funding and can thankfully afford it, but it seems cruel keeping her away from her home but she is well cared for and as I say apart from mithering about home v care home she has been 100 times better, she keeps trying to come up with solutions, none of which give her or us the feeling that she will be safe and won't go downhill again, really not sure what to do
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Could you extend her stay for a month? She might thrive or she might decide to go home but you won't know until you give it a longer try.

    Good wishes.
  3. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    I think it's time to make the decision for her. If she's a 100 times better in care then that is where she ought to be.

    She might not remember how things were when she was in her own home, but you do, so it's not cruel to keep her from that, it's a kindness.

    There is also a very strong possibility that given a few weeks in care she'll forget home. While she's still mithering, it might be best to let her, though, rather than say that going home is no longer an option as this might upset her. I'd go with some 'just a bit longer here until you build up your strength' excuses and let her get used to being looked after.

    Some people thrive in care, and it sounds like your mum is one of them.

    6FNAUTICLUB Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015

    6FNAUTICLUB Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
  6. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I have to second Delphie's view. This is a decision for the family to make rationally, not your mum.

    My MIL has been in her CH for eighteen months now and she looks so much better and is happier than she's been for years. She still moans for Britain but there is no doubt in anyone's mind that it was the best thing for her in every way. MIL has mild VasD so it was falls, rather than dementia that precipitated the move, but she did confide at one point that during the brief period we tried carer visits at home, she used to sit there feeling physically sick at the thought of a complete stranger letting themselves into her house.

    Don't underestimate the debilitating effects of fear and loneliness. So-called 'independence' for the frail and vulnerable is often anything but.

    Good luck :)
  7. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    I'd never say that going home isn't an option even when it isn't - I'd stick with the reassurance that she can stay at the home as long as she wants. I'd try and take away the 'making a decision' worries.
  8. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    I too agree that your mum sounds so much better where she is that to go home would just take you all back to where you were before - she needs to feel safe and have her fear taken away.
    Maybe tell her that the doctors are really pleased with her progress but they all agree that she must have at least a fortnight (or month or ...) longer to assess her improvement [don't mention going home]. That will take away her having to choose (which is an anxiety producer in itself) and hopefully she can just settle. If she mentions it all, just keep saying the same phrase, then distract onto something else so none of you keep it in mind. Saying you are taking it a day at a time just brings back the issue each day - OK for you but creating anxiety for her.
    It's not cruel to keep her from her house; it's now a place she would be unsafe and scared even with all the care you could put in place (I really recommend the change of term - I started thinking of dad's old home as 'the house' and it helped me put the emotional attachment at a distance).
    It's a truly tough situation, having to deal with our parents feelings and our own emotions - and realising that a lot of the feeling we think we see in our parents is really our own we're projecting onto them as it's so hard taking on the responsibility for them : at least that's how I reasoned it out.
    Every time you reconsider remember this:
    I wish you all well
  9. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    Hello. What a pickle.

    The risk of falling when no one is there is significant. We have my mother in our home. She is no longer ambulatory. But when she was - 2008 to Sept 2015 - we monitored her at night and one of us - usually I - got up just as soon as she was up to toilet herself. One night, she got up 5 times (dementia is the pits).

    She was steady enough on her feet, but we finally put a pivoting bar on her bed, so she could grab that when she got up. Then she decided she didn't like that. It was a terrible period - no extended sleep.

    I wonder if you might extend the "visit" in the care home for two months. You might say that you are using this period to assess that her heater is tip-top, and you are checking into the oven, and you are cleaning out the frig - *what*ever you could say that would be unintrusive (you are not clearing her stuff out) and aimed at the idea you are attempting to take care of her home for her return.

    I agree with AnneED that saying she can *never* go home might not be the best thing - too rattling, too much control over her - but instead that you need some time to make sure her home is ready for her.

    If you do decide to let her go home, you might need to stay several nights with her to see what her pattern at night is. Some people sleep soundly, and others wander. Do you know whether your mum is a wanderer?

    These are hard decisions. I think more than 10 days are needed in the care home for you and your mum fully to be able to assess whether she would do better there.
  10. Missy

    Missy Registered User

    Dec 18, 2006
    I sympathise, my sister and I have this problem with my Aunt. She is 88 and needs 24/7 care because of dementia and the huge risk of falling - she has been hospitalised twice because of this. Although she is so much better off in the care home, she does ask a) about the cost and b) about going home. We are just telling her she is convalescing to build up her strength and improve her walking. We will never say never to the going home question, but the reality is she won't be going home unless there is a miracle.

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