First Days in a Care Home

Doreen K

Registered User
Dec 8, 2005
My Mother's dementia has progressed to the stage where we have been advised that, for her own safety and care, she needs full-time care. She had been "managing" on her own, at home with regular visits from carers and was at a Day Centre for most of the week.

My sister and I visited several homes before choosing one where the staff have a positive and supportive attitude.

Our Mother has no concept of her needs and was understandably very upset at moving from her home and familiar belongings and surroundings. She has been in the home for three days - very little time, I know, but she is so distressed, we feel dreadful and question whether it is right to put her through such unhappiness. Part of her is still the intelligent and fiercely independant spirit she has always been but the dementia means she cannot retain the explanations of why she is now where she is.

Will it get any better or will her spirits be totally crushed? Has anyone else gone through this heartache?


Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
HI Doreen, I went through this with my nan about five years ago. After she could no longer cope in warden controlled accomodation, I had to make the decision to opt for nursing home care. Like your mom, she had an awful time settling in, and initially her condition was made much worse by taking her out of a familiar environment. My guilt was almost unbearable.She did settle after about 3 weeks, when she stopped asking to go home, and stopped trying to make a run for it.!
Its a terrible decision that we have to make, but one made with the best interests of our loved ones at heart.
Give all the love and reassurance that you can, and Im sure your mom will settle very soon.
Ally xx


Registered User
Dec 4, 2005
isle of man
Hi Doreen

This is the hardest - we did the same with my ma, what you got to say is what is the alternative - you mum will be well looked after and cared for mentally and physically. After some weeks she'll get into her new routine - maybe even make new friends. The decision is hard but it will be for the best.

As allylee says plently of love and reassurance goes a long way.

Rest easy



Registered User
Nov 27, 2005
North Yorkshire
Hi Doreen

You sound in exactly the same position as me. My mum has just recently gone into a care home and whenever I go in asks why can't she go home. She also was very independent and thought there was nothing wrong with her, but it wouldn't have been safe to have let her carry on living on her own - even with support from social services and her CPN.

I also hope she will settle down and this will make the guilt feel less. Sometimes it's like there is nothing wrong with her and you do wonder whether you have done the right thing. But just try and remember the reasons why you did it, she wouldn't have been safe on her own even if she doesn't realise it.

My mum actually looks better after just a few weeks, probably because she is being looked after and getting regular meals, keeping warm and cared for.
I hope, like you, that she will settle down in time, but really there in no alternative. We will just keep hoping and reminding ourselves what things were like before, and that it's for the best.

Take care


Registered User
Apr 21, 2005
My Mum had to go into a care home in April after her husband died,and the guilt I felt was unbeleivable.
I felt like I was abandoning her,and that Id left her to die,alone,but inreality thats not the situatiion at all,you must not get upset and feel guilty,there is no way we can look after somebody with alxheimers,not and have a life ourselves.
You can still lover your mum and have a life yourself,thats whay she would have done if it was her mother.
We seem to be,as a race, not as willing or able,due to our life styles to look after our old people as the asians or grekk families do,it is not the normal thing,maybe we should all live in a big house together,but until that changes as normal in our society,we have to look after our loved ones differently,and certainly Ive come to realise that what we are doing as a family is the best for our beloved mum and for us.


Registered User
Nov 27, 2005
North Yorkshire
Hi, just come back from visiting mum. Today she seemed quieter at first, perhaps a bit down? Has changed from saying why can't I go home to why can't I come home to live with you. I explained that no-one in all day to look after her and she says she can look after herself, the doctor says nothing wrong with her.

Was starting to get angry saying she has no family now, no-one wants her, after all the money she has given away, why can't she come and live with me, started crying, was she living here for rest of her life, no point in being alive..... I managed to get her involved with someone else when I was leaving ... but felt like I was being manipulated and slight change of emphasis now. Is this possible, does she realise this, or am I just imagining it?

We will see next time I suppose.


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Care Home Heartache

Dear Kay, When Peter at the age of 62 was put into a Care Home by the Consultant and Social Services, I was gutted, especially as he was diagnoised 4 years earlier. I am disabled but I still continued to Care for him and had Carers' come in several hours a day. When Peter first went, he chose from the 5 diferenct colour schemes for his room. When Jenny(his Carer for approx. 18 months came with me. He settled very well. Returning home was hell. I had to get my life back on track for the sake of my 4 children, 6 grandchildren and myself. Yes Peter has deteriorated very quickly and can no longer speak. The Consultant and Doctors gave Peter 2 years but lasted 4 at home due apparently to the stimulation I was giving him. I know my own health was going down hill rapidly and in January told if you don't give in regarding Care Home, Peter will outlive me. As I have such a very close family I have to concentrate on them. In the early stages at the Home, each time I left I wanted to bring Peter home. When I get into my car I am too upset that I cannot cry. We have only been married for 16 years and I had finally found my soul-mate. I constantly go over if I have done this or had done that but my children and grandchildren all say I could not carry on and I have done the best for Peter. It took Peter about a month to settle in and now he is in a routine. Not one that I agree with but speaking with the Manager, they must have stimulation and not left in front of a t.v. It is very confussing a distressing and no matter what we do for the best, when it is our loved ones it never seems enough. Peter at the beginning use to follow us to the lift which is a secure unit. Now he goes into the day room and sits there with the others. For 29 years Peter was a self-employed painter/decorator, very active with his beloved garden and the family. Now he is moving furniture, collection all the table clothes up into a bundle. Last week he actually had a shouting match with a man who is and can be violent. Peter put a chair across this chaps room so he could not come out. I can see the logic in that.
When it is a parent you do want to do the best possible for them and surprisingly they do adapt better to the situation than we do. I wish you all the best. Christine