First day in care home. Now the house to sort.

SMBeach

Registered User
Apr 19, 2020
267
0
I’m travelling to Scotland as I type this. Dad was taken to his new home (care home) and I just feel a little sad. Thinking about how it must have felt for him to leave his home after 30+ years and everything in it. He shared that hime with mum who passed in 2008. I know he’s going to a lovely care home but I just feel for him having to do that. He was picked up by the care home manager and a cadet plus enough stuff to get by til I arrive. I’ll be with him tonight. The care home have kindly allowed me to stay in their guest room for 3 nights as it’s a fleeting visit just to see dad settled with all his digital gadgets for us to keep in touch. But now I’ve got his home tk deal with as it needs to be sold to pay the fees. And it’s full of stuff. Everywhere. I’ve found a company that do this sort of house clearance but I’m aware of costs and don’t want to put too much in storage. Stuff that dad might have given to people his will. Nothing in the house is ours to take or throw out as dad is of course very much alive.

I’m hoping I can put what needs keeping into a small storage unit as dad will be paying for this on an ongoing basis and he needs his cash fir care home fees.

I dint want to tell dad I’m clearing the house out as I’m sure it will get him vet concerned and anxious that his life is just being erased which obviously isn’t what I’m doing.

I have no emotional tie to the house myself as I never lived there but dad does and I just want to do things sensitively. From 500 miles away. lol.

Anyway. I’m hoping dad is going to enjoy this care home experience. And hopefully make friends.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
5,227
0
High Peak
It's a difficult time and I wish you strength.

Please go through the house carefully even if you get a company in to clear it. There will be paperwork and personal things, maybe squirrelled away in odd places. The same for cash! We found cash in every nook and cranny when we cleared my mum's place...

And torches. A whole lot of torches. And umbrellas, batteries, long life milk, bars of chocolate...

I hope your dad settles in OK.
 

Florida Girl

New member
Aug 5, 2022
1
0
I feel for you. Mum went into a home this year had to clear 58 years of belongings and sell property. It is so hard. Just know you are doing it all for his best interests. Just make sure you look in all the pots and pans etc.

Good luck
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,100
0
Nottinghamshire
So glad you've sorted out a care home for your dad.
As @Jaded and faded said do go through things carefully. I know that may be tricky with your dad being a hoarder. Do you know what is in your dad's will. I knew mum didn't have any valuables (or indeed have much of value anyway) she wanted left to anyone so I was happy to take most of it to the charity shop.
Don't worry if your dad doesn't seem to settle right away, it may take time but at least you know he is safe.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,701
0
South coast
There will be paperwork and personal things, maybe squirrelled away in odd places. The same for cash! We found cash in every nook and cranny when we cleared my mum's place...
I found the same - including a heavy gold chain in the tea caddy underneath the tea bags. I have also heard of someone placing jewellery in a cereal box between the outer cardboard and the inner bag!

So check everything - pockets, shoes/boots, inside boxes (even things you are sure would be empty. I found cash in an old soap box), shake books in case notes have been secreted between the pages, check bags and bins, look behind and underneath furniture as well as in the drawers, see if anything has been stuffed behind radiators, folded in the spare bedding, posted between the towels, tucked into her best linen..........
 

SMBeach

Registered User
Apr 19, 2020
267
0
Hi guys. I feel I’ve made a mistake. The hime is lovely. Gets fantastic reviews and a very good inspection report. But I don’t feel it. I’m not warming to the staff at all. Reviews of staff are all very good so I wasn’t expecting this. Dad is extremely confused. He’s also told me he’s very frightened. He’s told me he feels like he’s dying. He’s crying. The confusion is awful. He’s getting anxious about what he can and can’t ask from the carers. Will they come if a call them. He poo’d himself so I pressed the buzzer to show him how it worked but nobody came. 45 minutes later I went to get a girl and she came straight away with another girl. I was trying to be polite but wanted to get my point across about the buzzer and nobody coming. All I got in response was a straight faced blonde girl and she said yes we come as soon as we can. If we are busy with other residents then it takes time. Yet she was able to come immediately when I went out to get someone????? Made no sense. But it was the straight face I didn’t like. No warmth or compassion at all. Then after leaving dad I was starting to worry about him and asked another carer if they’d keep an eye on him as it’s his first night has Alzheimer’s and is very confused. She too had a straight face but did manage to make a frown as if I was asking something unreasonable. Then said yes we’re here all night. Well I know that but I was asking her to check in on dad. He’s so frail. Has a sore side with what feels like a bulge. I’m wondering if it’s a hernia. He’s in pain with it. So I’ll have to raise this. Not sure what would be fine about something like a hernia on an 81 year old man with Alzheimer’s. Dad says he doesn’t want to do any social stuff or get to know people. He’s mentioned before that he feels like he’s dying. I just burst into tears when I got to the guest room. I honestly feel like I’ve made a mistake. A friend said the night time staff are usually very different from day time staff in care homes but I can’t see why that would be. I’m very worried about leaving him. He keeps saying he’ll go upstairs to get something out his room and I have to remind him he’s in the care home. He doesn’t believe this is the same home that the lady showed him in the brochure. I sense it’s not what he expected. I can’t care gif dad at hime. He’s double in continent and I need to work from home. I don’t think it would be easy moving him either as it’s a long journey and would require a lot of organising. I just feel at my wits end and actually feel quite cruel leaving him. I’ll be here 2 more nights then back to Kent.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
81,215
0
Kent
Hello @SMBeach

My experience is the night staff were very different from the day staff so please don`t panic.

There is absolutely no way you can recover from this trauma in such a short time. Please give it a chance.
 

SMBeach

Registered User
Apr 19, 2020
267
0
I’d have thought the night time staff were the same staff as daytime staff but just on different shifts? The duvet is very thin. He was cold. I’ll have to either bring one or ask them to provide another.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
81,215
0
Kent
The night staff have different duties as far as I know and it`s only the experience of one home. They are more responsible for laundry and other tasks, meals aren`t served and there are no activities at night time.

I may be wrong but I think there are fewer staff on duty at night.

I`m sorry your dad was cold. These places are usually over heated.

You are staying for a couple of nights. The manager has been welcoming to you and allowed you to stay which makes me feel they have nothing to hide.

Have a chat with them tomorrow and try to get some sleep tonight.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
5,345
0
Dorset
I think a lot of families provide their relative with their own extra cover for their bed, not necessarily because the one provided isn’t enough but to give them something of their own. I had given The Banjoman a leopard print throw for his settee so when he went into residential care I made sure that went with him and he had it on his bed or over his chair. When he died I made sure I got it back and four years later I have it on my settee!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,701
0
South coast
I think it is really too early to know whether this is the right place or not.
At the moment your dad is understandably confused and frightened. It will take several weeks (at least) for him to settle - no-one with dementia fits into a care home immediately. He will have to learn the homes routine and layout and learn to transfer his dependence from you to the care home staff. And the care home staff will need to learn about your dad and his likes, dislikes and his needs.

Meanwhile, the guilt monster is whispering in your ear that you should never have moved him into a care home and should have tried harder to keep him at home. Im afraid that this feeling is normal. It is such a huge change and momentous decision that it is not surprising that you are now plagued with doubt. Nowhere is perfect. Give it a few weeks - even if the carers dont come immediately its quicker than when there were only visiting carers coming to his home! He will be fed and cared for, so see how it goes and it might all look very different in a few weeks.
 

jimkd

Registered User
Nov 28, 2023
27
0
Hi guys. I feel I’ve made a mistake. The hime is lovely. Gets fantastic reviews and a very good inspection report. But I don’t feel it. I’m not warming to the staff at all. Reviews of staff are all very good so I wasn’t expecting this. Dad is extremely confused. He’s also told me he’s very frightened. He’s told me he feels like he’s dying. He’s crying. The confusion is awful. He’s getting anxious about what he can and can’t ask from the carers. Will they come if a call them. He poo’d himself so I pressed the buzzer to show him how it worked but nobody came. 45 minutes later I went to get a girl and she came straight away with another girl. I was trying to be polite but wanted to get my point across about the buzzer and nobody coming. All I got in response was a straight faced blonde girl and she said yes we come as soon as we can. If we are busy with other residents then it takes time. Yet she was able to come immediately when I went out to get someone????? Made no sense. But it was the straight face I didn’t like. No warmth or compassion at all. Then after leaving dad I was starting to worry about him and asked another carer if they’d keep an eye on him as it’s his first night has Alzheimer’s and is very confused. She too had a straight face but did manage to make a frown as if I was asking something unreasonable. Then said yes we’re here all night. Well I know that but I was asking her to check in on dad. He’s so frail. Has a sore side with what feels like a bulge. I’m wondering if it’s a hernia. He’s in pain with it. So I’ll have to raise this. Not sure what would be fine about something like a hernia on an 81 year old man with Alzheimer’s. Dad says he doesn’t want to do any social stuff or get to know people. He’s mentioned before that he feels like he’s dying. I just burst into tears when I got to the guest room. I honestly feel like I’ve made a mistake. A friend said the night time staff are usually very different from day time staff in care homes but I can’t see why that would be. I’m very worried about leaving him. He keeps saying he’ll go upstairs to get something out his room and I have to remind him he’s in the care home. He doesn’t believe this is the same home that the lady showed him in the brochure. I sense it’s not what he expected. I can’t care gif dad at hime. He’s double in continent and I need to work from home. I don’t think it would be easy moving him either as it’s a long journey and would require a lot of organising. I just feel at my wits end and actually feel quite cruel leaving him. I’ll be here 2 more nights then back to Kent.
I don't think you have said if he is in a home that provides nursing care. The presence of nurses should be taking care of any medical concerns and there are usually weekly doctor visits. He should have some sort of care plan stipulating his needs and what the care will entail. If social services are involved in his going into care or part paying , I think they will review how he is doing after about a month to make sure the home is right for him. It's not just about how good the home is but he may need to be able to make friends with others at his level of illness. My mother was placed in a good home with great staff but not one of our choice due to an emergency but the deprivation of liberty order assessment said it was unsuitable for her ( basically because all the others were drugged zombies and she still had her reason) because she needed social interaction beyond the staff. She's now in a lovely home she likes but where i have concerns about staffing levels, ( She thinks she lives in a hotel with maids). The council may help me move her again if we decide to do anything. Some homes seem to operate with different floors or wings for different levels of illness/care, they may themselves assess when they get to know him that he might need to be in a different area of the home. These areas might have different staffing levels. My dads new care home that he entered very recently seems very good but I've noticed that the floor he is placed on is mostly women and he's not too interested in socialising but there are more gents like him on the lower floor that he might interact with. I'm hoping they will move him to that floor but it's too early. The home does not like people hiding in their rooms so tries to get everyone involved in activities. Its not too hard moving homes if you do it before they get too attached. The home's contract probably stipulates advance notice is required unless the home is not meeting needs so there could possibly be some overlap of contracts and payments if you move quickly to snatch a placement elsewhere before it goes. I've found that the landing phase in a new home is potentially stressful as someone arriving in a home and being taken to a fairly bare room and then just left there must be daunting, even frightening, and so I think its important to be there and if possible make it comfortable with their belongings before arrival so they don't feel dumped with nothing. I also think its worth being around for the first few days. When my mother went into her current home I had the distinct impression the staff didn't even realise her room was occupied for the first 3 days due to constant shift churn. With regard to the 'straight face', I've noticed some home staff seem to get used to humouring residents and start reacting to visitors the same way and don't pass on communications to staff more relevant to dealing with a concern/question.
 

jimkd

Registered User
Nov 28, 2023
27
0
I think it is really too early to know whether this is the right place or not.
At the moment your dad is understandably confused and frightened. It will take several weeks (at least) for him to settle - no-one with dementia fits into a care home immediately. He will have to learn the homes routine and layout and learn to transfer his dependence from you to the care home staff. And the care home staff will need to learn about your dad and his likes, dislikes and his needs.

Meanwhile, the guilt monster is whispering in your ear that you should never have moved him into a care home and should have tried harder to keep him at home. Im afraid that this feeling is normal. It is such a huge change and momentous decision that it is not surprising that you are now plagued with doubt. Nowhere is perfect. Give it a few weeks - even if the carers dont come immediately its quicker than when there were only visiting carers coming to his home! He will be fed and cared for, so see how it goes and it might all look very different in a few weeks.
Yes, It might take quite a while. I do understand though about not 'feeling' it. In my mams current home I'm seeing all the housework and maintenance and meal routines etc being done to a very high standard but I'm not getting much engagement from carers or seeing them talk or interact much with the residents. I'm not seeing any of the posted activity routines happening. Not all the facilities we were shown when looking around are accessible to residents unless we specifically ask when we visit. I don't feel any staff want to stand still to discuss how my mam is doing, I often can't find staff when i look for them. She likes not being bothered by the 'maids' but I'm edgy about it. They seem to put all effort into the non dementia wing of the home. I get the feeling that management just agree with everything you say and then do a reset when you finish the conversation and turn away.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,701
0
South coast
In my mams current home I'm seeing all the housework and maintenance and meal routines etc being done to a very high standard but I'm not getting much engagement from carers or seeing them talk or interact much with the residents. I'm not seeing any of the posted activity routines happening. Not all the facilities we were shown when looking around are accessible to residents unless we specifically ask when we visit. I don't feel any staff want to stand still to discuss how my mam is doing, I often can't find staff when i look for them. She likes not being bothered by the 'maids' but I'm edgy about it. They seem to put all effort into the non dementia wing of the home. I get the feeling that management just agree with everything you say and then do a reset when you finish the conversation and turn away.
Yes @jimkd , there are indeed homes like that, and they are usually "high end" ones with bells and whistles that look good in brochures and are designed for the "discerning relative"! Quite often they will also give notice on the resident with dementia once they reach a certain point in their progression. If you are continually concerned, though, then it would be a good idea to look around for somewhere else

I do feel, though, that a day or two is not long enough for the OP to know whether the home is this sort or not.
 

SMBeach

Registered User
Apr 19, 2020
267
0
So. After dad’s first night having nobody respond to his call button and me mentioning it to the home manager and her saying she’d look into it, the same thing happened tonight. Dad pressed it and nobody came. When I approached a carer sat at her desk doing paper work she just said oh, ok no problem. When I said the same thing happened last night and I’m concerned because if it was an emergency nobody will come. And all she said to that is she’ll get someone to him now. No apology. No explanation and no reassurance offered. In the morning (dad’s first morning wakening up in a care home) I arrived to find nobody had been to get dad up and take him to breakfast. The care home manager witnessed that so went ahead of me to get him and as she came towards me she said he wS having a lie in. I’m not struck by the care at all. When dad pressed his buzzer at hime somebody from the community alarm team came out to him immediately. That’s not happening here at all. Staff do not react to buzzer. Not only that, they are not pro active either. They should be regularly checking if dad needs the toilet to help him get to the toilet rather than allowing him to wet and poo himself which causes much distress and discomfort but then not come to help clean him up because they don’t answer the buzzer. It’s a nursing home but I haven’t seen any nurses. I dint know what type of uniform they wear. Dad is concerned about a sore bulge on his lower right abdomen which he’s had gps out to his home but no investigation. The care home manager said they’d keep an eye on that. Get the gp to look at it etc. I feel sick to the bone as dad still has reason and still recognises good practice from bad and he grunts when I refer to staff as carers. Although he got to that stage also with his hime carers. I’ve got to leave to go back to Kent tomorrow and I’m really rather worried. I feel he gif more attention at home and when he pressed that buzzer the community team were out quickly. Also there’s a phone in his room but it goes by make any calls so I have no idea why it’s there. In the brochure it says landline in every room. So dad can’t call me when he feels he needs to. I think dad is going to feel more isolated than ever here as far as care goes. The manager did say there was lots of staff off with chest infections but the non reaction of staff that are there to my concerns hasn’t reassured me at all. I can’t re home dad now. And he needs to sell his home to pay fees and that’s meant to be done in 12 weeks. That in itself is going to be a huge strain on me let alone trying to find another care home that might at the end of the day be just as bad. This care home gif outstanding reviews on the Carehome U.K. page and a ‘very good’ inspection report throughout. The lady showing dad the hime in her brochure has left dad feeling like this isn’t what she sold him. He said nobody cares. I’m not eating or sleeping now and I’ve got to go back to work. I’m self employed do I can’t keep taking time off work. I just dint know what else to do.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,235
0
Oh dear @SMBeach you do have a lot to deal with at present. Would it be possible for you to raise your concerns with the care home manager before you leave for Kent. Explain quietly and calmly why you are concerned about your dad and the level of care.
 

AlzWife

Registered User
Nov 19, 2023
45
0
So. After dad’s first night having nobody respond to his call button and me mentioning it to the home manager and her saying she’d look into it, the same thing happened tonight. Dad pressed it and nobody came. When I approached a carer sat at her desk doing paper work she just said oh, ok no problem. When I said the same thing happened last night and I’m concerned because if it was an emergency nobody will come. And all she said to that is she’ll get someone to him now. No apology. No explanation and no reassurance offered. In the morning (dad’s first morning wakening up in a care home) I arrived to find nobody had been to get dad up and take him to breakfast. The care home manager witnessed that so went ahead of me to get him and as she came towards me she said he wS having a lie in. I’m not struck by the care at all. When dad pressed his buzzer at hime somebody from the community alarm team came out to him immediately. That’s not happening here at all. Staff do not react to buzzer. Not only that, they are not pro active either. They should be regularly checking if dad needs the toilet to help him get to the toilet rather than allowing him to wet and poo himself which causes much distress and discomfort but then not come to help clean him up because they don’t answer the buzzer. It’s a nursing home but I haven’t seen any nurses. I dint know what type of uniform they wear. Dad is concerned about a sore bulge on his lower right abdomen which he’s had gps out to his home but no investigation. The care home manager said they’d keep an eye on that. Get the gp to look at it etc. I feel sick to the bone as dad still has reason and still recognises good practice from bad and he grunts when I refer to staff as carers. Although he got to that stage also with his hime carers. I’ve got to leave to go back to Kent tomorrow and I’m really rather worried. I feel he gif more attention at home and when he pressed that buzzer the community team were out quickly. Also there’s a phone in his room but it goes by make any calls so I have no idea why it’s there. In the brochure it says landline in every room. So dad can’t call me when he feels he needs to. I think dad is going to feel more isolated than ever here as far as care goes. The manager did say there was lots of staff off with chest infections but the non reaction of staff that are there to my concerns hasn’t reassured me at all. I can’t re home dad now. And he needs to sell his home to pay fees and that’s meant to be done in 12 weeks. That in itself is going to be a huge strain on me let alone trying to find another care home that might at the end of the day be just as bad. This care home gif outstanding reviews on the Carehome U.K. page and a ‘very good’ inspection report throughout. The lady showing dad the hime in her brochure has left dad feeling like this isn’t what she sold him. He said nobody cares. I’m not eating or sleeping now and I’ve got to go back to work. I’m self employed do I can’t keep taking time off work. I just dint know what else to do.
I’m so sorry you and dad are going through this and that the staff is so unresponsive and disappointing.
You have to ask yourself what are your options?
Then choose. Do you have siblings or other relatives who can help you consider other options? Is selling Dad’s home a done deal or can you move in with him and supervise home care? It seems like whether we put our loved ones in a care home or make radical changes to our lives to keep them in their homes there are sacrifices either way. Leaving him where he’s soiling himself and not getting help must be so distressing. I am truly sorry to hear this is happening. Please keep us posted.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,701
0
South coast
What sort of care/nursing home is this @SMBeach ?
Is it one that "accepts people with dementia", but is mostly designed for people without dementia?
Is it one that looks fantastic in the brochure?

I know I said it will take longer than a couple of days to see what the care home is like, but some of the things you have said are concerning. Im beginning to wonder whether it is, in fact, one of those homes that puts all the funds into making it look good in the brochure, but skimps on the staffing. One of those ones that keeps its good feedback by concentrating on residents who are mostly independent, but sidelining the residents who need more help, and the staff are not well trained in dementia care.

Did you manage to visit the home before choosing it? As you live such a long way off Im thinking that you wernt able to and simply trusted the brochure and ratings. Do speak to the manager about your concerns, but TBH, I think it might be a good idea to actually visit some other care homes while you are there - ones that may not look so pretty, but have more caring and better trained staff who are used to dementia.
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
223
0
Hi @SMBeach, I used to be a nurse and my husband is now in a Dementia Nursing Home which is extremely good. This is what I think you should expect from a Nursing Home. Bells should be answered promptly only a delay of 5 -10 minutes is acceptable( sometimes carers are with other residents). All residents who are incontinent should be checked regularly. My husband is even though he is becoming more continent. The staff should have a warm friendly attitude. They should get to know the residents so they can direct them to the most appropriate activities. When I arrive at the Home all staff give me a cheery greeting and that is all staff from managers to cleaners.
I do agree the duvets are thin I think that is because they need to be laundered frequently. I have taken woolly throws from home partly to help him recognise the surroundings.
I think if its feeling off you need to address it with the management.