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finding somewhere for mam

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by fizzbomb, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. fizzbomb

    fizzbomb Registered User

    May 10, 2014
    My mam has Alzheimer's and Vascular dementia. She is in what I think to be the middle stages.
    Up to 2 months ago she was still living in her own home, with carers visiting. However things had become increasingly bad, and her behaviour was agitated and angry. She was shouting and slamming doors(her neighbours even put a complaint in to the local council about her, wow! I didn't think my once quiet, friendly, polite mam would ever have a noise complaint against her, though the council were very good when we explained her situation. Makes me smile when I think about it). She started destroying things in her house, breaking coffee tables, chairs( somehow she managed to break a sturdy chair leg in two!) smashing ornaments, vases, pictures.The list seems endless.
    It came to a head when she put a small window through, brought a heavy computer chair downstairs on her own,(she is only small and frail!),was seen in the street by the carers with 3 cigarettes in her mouth, and also tried to eat bird seed and drink washing up liquid!
    Her social worker said we needed to get her into a home for her safety. I live over 120 miles away, and though my brother is local to my mam, with his own work commitments, he was finding it increasingly hard to provide the care needed.
    We took it on the chin, and found her somewhere really nice. A nursing home with EMI unit. Unfortunately she became aggressive on day one, and within 5 hours of her going there, the care home had her placed under a section 2 for assessment. Whether they should have done is another story, that I don't really have the answer to ,but we knew that at least she would get good care in hospital. She was whisked off to a pyschiatric unit out of town, and kept there for 4 weeks.
    The staff there are brilliant with her, and we have no complaints about her care at all, After 4 weeks she was placed under a section 3, and has now been there in total almost 7 weeks. The staff have now said that the unsettled environment of the unit isn't helping her and she is ready for discharge into the right place..... that's if we can find the right place!
    In her home town of Hartlepool there are NO EMI places available. We are now trying to find a suitable nursing home in neighbouring towns and villages. We have just been turned down by one place, as after they did an assessment of her they decided that due to the residents they already have, there would be ' a personality clash'.
    Due to the homes assessing her before they accept her, she should hopefully be more suitably placed when we do find somewhere, but it is a nightmare. Each time we think we are getting somewhere, it seems we get a knock back. And in the meantime she stays in hospital. She couldn't go home, I know that, but I worry that due to her erratic and sometimes confrontational and aggressive behaviour, we will not find anywhere willing to take her on. She can be so sweet, but then suddenly kick off at nothing, and is very active still, making her unpredictable.
    Sorry for the long post, I just needed to get out how I am feeling, summed up in one word...worried!
  2. Patricia Alice

    Patricia Alice Registered User

    Mar 2, 2015
    I have just read your post and my heart goes out to you because this is what happened to us.

    My mum was sectioned after 24 hours of moving into care. She was sent to one hospital for a week and then on Christmas Eve was moved to the psychiatric unit 5 mins from my house. In there she was a lamb, they loved her, but she was attacked by another patient and had to go on Safeguarding. The care home came and reassessed and took her back (even though they did not want to). She stayed there for the next 5 months, but they were unable to control her behaviour as they were only residential dementia. Last month we were served notice. Social services gave us a list of dementia nursing homes, all were quite a distance away and what they would pay towards and one of these refused to take her because they had residents of the same ilk and said it would be like putting petrol on a bonfire if they accepted her. We did our own research and found one right on our doorstep, which is very expensive for family top up. She has been there nearly 3 weeks and she is amongst people far worse than she is, but I have to say the care is very good and they take them to the pub, the shops, etc.

    The hospital will not release her until you have found somewhere as they have a duty of care. There will be a home out there that will be suitable, I am afraid you just have to put in the leg work and be completely honest about her behaviour. Your social worker should be sourcing homes for you also.

    There will be light at the end of the tunnel, so chin up and keep looking.

    Best wishes
  3. fizzbomb

    fizzbomb Registered User

    May 10, 2014
    Thanks very much for your reply. I'm so glad that you have somewhere for your mum. I hope she continues to settle in where she is, and I send you my best wishes for you and your family.
    It does sound similar . It gives me some comfort in a way to know that my mam isn't the only one who has these problems caused by her illness. Her social worker is sourcing homes too, and giving us an up to date list regularly of places with homes. At least in doing the assessments before accepting her,wherever she does go, they will be totally aware of her behaviour. That's the plus side of it all. It's just such a shame that there is nowhere in her home town, makes it so much harder to look for places that are accessible for my brother to visit, as he doesn't have his own transport. And though I know she will leave on a Section 117 for aftercare, we can't afford any family top up either. We will just have to keep searching and hoping eh.
    We all keep on trying our best don't we. That's all we can all do, I suppose, and just hope that it all comes right somehow. All we want is for her to be settled somewhere, but at least till she is, we know she is safe from harm.
    Thankyou again
    Best wishes to you and your mum
  4. Patricia Alice

    Patricia Alice Registered User

    Mar 2, 2015
    I know it's difficult and my sister and I were at the end of our tether.

    Have you been on Carehomes.co.uk? That site was invaluable to us. Just a thought.

    My only tip, would be to make sure the home you choose does lots of interaction with them as my mum does not sit quiet in a chair and has a low boredom threshold.

    The homes without the top up seemed very good also in that respect, but the one would not take her and the other was in the countryside and not really accessible by bus, particularly if the weather was bad.

    Give yourself a radius of so many miles that you and your family can comfortably get to and work from that.

    Have they said your mum is EMI or EMI nursing? cause this can make a huge difference in the pay scales.

    Good luck in your search.
  5. fizzbomb

    fizzbomb Registered User

    May 10, 2014
    I have been on carehomes uk, it seems to be my passtime now.:eek:. She is EMI nursing, and that seems to be limiting the places too. I just never realised( how silly of me) how difficult it would be to find somewhere.I was shocked that there was nowhere in her home town, though we are going to ask for her to be put on waiting list in a couple of places.
    That's a good idea, setting a radius and sticking to that.
    Thanks for your advice, it's appreciated.
  6. silent

    silent Registered User

    May 13, 2014
    #6 silent, Aug 15, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
    Its lovely..well not lovely, but reassuring to see others in our situation

    My mam went into a care home literally 2mins walk from home, so dad could potter over to visit. Ideal for us all. Lovely staff.She went in as an emergency as she was getting violent at nights with dad.
    She settled unbelievably well. We were relieved all round...
    Till now. 2 months on.
    The home have told us they can't cope with her violence and aggression towards other residents and staff. The residents are frightened of her and everyone avioids her now.
    This seems to have coincided with a uti she had a month ago but its been treated and all sample now are clear. It started off sundowning but its now any time day or night. The sedatives aren't working so she's getting more and more tired and thus more aggressive.
    So they are sectioning her (probably section 2) and moving her to the local psychiatric hospital to assess her, probably on Monday.

    She just seems she have changed overnight. The happy peaceful mam we knew has turned completely unpredictable, volatile and dangerous.
    She was initially diagnosed with Alzheimer's but were now wondering if its vascular too.

    Were hoping its a good thing to section her and hopefully sort out triggers. Truth is she probably needs full time one to one care.
    Does that even exist?

    Hope you get sorted fizzbomb and your mam settles in somewhere great x
  7. fizzbomb

    fizzbomb Registered User

    May 10, 2014
    I'm so sorry about your situation. I feel for you, it sounds similar to what we are going through. I think it may be a good thing for your mam though, the section. The staff there will be able to handle aggression and be able to calm your mam down,and see if there are any triggers.They will be used to handling traits that your mam is showing and they are more prepared for it, I guess.
    In the unit where my mam is, they are excellent. I have seen them in action when I was visiting a few weeks ago, and mam grabbed a patient, shouting at her and squeezing her fingers really hard. They managed to free the poor woman from my mam's vice-like grip, quickly, efficiently, and calmly. While I had to walk away from her, me a blubbering wreck as I'd never seen her do anything like that before. They even calmed me down! :eek:
    With my mam the thing they have found is that noise seems to set her off. That doesn't really bode well, as I imagine a lot of care homes are noisy at times!
    My brother was there yesterday. Apparently she was dancing, chatty and happy! Great, except that a nurse said in the morning she had her hands round someone's throat! So I don't know what is going to happen, who will accept her if she is doing things like that?
    Try to stay positive about the section. With my mam, we know she is safe, in good hands and with trained staff who can handle her 'ups and downs'. I am sure the same will be for your mam, and I do hope that the outcome is good for her. Very best of luck.x
  8. silent

    silent Registered User

    May 13, 2014
    Thanks fizzbomb
    Yes, I think our mams are following a very similar pathway

    The call buzzer sets her off. As does anyone shouting at her.

    She was always such a quiet lady.
    Hated the TV loud. Never had music or a radio on.

    When I go tomorrow (if she hasn't been moved by then) I'll mention about the noise.

    X x
  9. Jesskle66

    Jesskle66 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2014
    Hi fizzbomb, your story is horribly familiar to me as it is very similar to my experience with my mum.
    As your mum has been under Section 3 she is eligible for section 117, free social care from the NHS and LA. Her social worker should be guiding you through finding a suitable home and giving you a list of homes that fulfil the criteria for the care and nursing she will need. The onus is as much on the authorities as it is on you, so make sure you ask for the help you are entitled to.

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