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First thoughts on visiting my wife in residential care

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by northumbrian_k, May 25, 2019.

  1. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,094
    Kent
    It often happens when we find a good home.

    Everything is geared to the residents` needs which so many of us are unable to provide by ourselves in our own homes.
     
  2. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,022
    Female
    Chester
    I'm so pleased to hear this.

    When my mum moved into sheltered extra care it removed a lot of the anxieties of every day life and her quality of life was better - as she had to do less thinking and there were less triggers that made her think she should be doing something but she didn't know how to do it.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,861
    Female
    South coast
    Yes, when mum moved into her care home her anxiety went away too. I think she no longer felt that she had to be the "mistress of the house" and fit into a domestic setting. She also had a whole team of people to reassure and direct her 24/7
     
  4. Agzy

    Agzy Registered User

    Nov 16, 2016
    827
    Moreton, Wirral. UK.
    This is so uplifting m8 and I’m sure will give comfort to those who face this new challenge in the near future. In a way I wish my Pauline was at that stage as it is her expressed wish to go into assisted living flat ASAP but there is no way we can afford it unfortunately. Good luck with your new lease of life.
     
  5. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    711
    Male
    Newcastle
    Thanks @Agzy. The fish, chips and mushy peas looked and smelt lovely today when I visited my wife. She is getting her hair cut and coloured this afternoon. After nearly 4 weeks she still talks about going 'home' - maybe she always will - but when she goes out for a walk with the staff she can't wait to get back. It seems that she has taken to her new residence rather well. I registered her with a local GP today (as she is out of area for her old practice). Bit by bit her move is taking on permanence and I am getting into the rhythm of living separate but still intertwined lives.
     
  6. Agzy

    Agzy Registered User

    Nov 16, 2016
    827
    Moreton, Wirral. UK.
    Good to know that the care home was the right thing to do
     
  7. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    711
    Male
    Newcastle
    #27 northumbrian_k, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    I'm still tying up loose ends as my wife enters her 5th week in residential care. This morning I have notified the Disability and Carers Service in relation to Attendance Allowance, which continues to be payable whilst my wife is self-funding. After nearly 4 years of enjoying free viewing courtesy of my wife's over 75 TV licence, I'll need to start paying again when the current licence runs out next January (though it seems most others will not be far behind). My wife doesn't need it as she has no television in her room.

    There is still plenty to be done as a 'remote' carer, it is just different from the intensity of caring for someone 24 hours a day in the home environment.
     
  8. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    711
    Male
    Newcastle
    My wife was not very happy today as her bedroom door was locked. She has been up to her old trick of blocking the toilet (with who knows what) then flushing and flushing until it spills over. Her room is still carpeted but this flood might mean that it gets moved up the schedule for laminate to be laid. The good thing was that I saw the home manager and she did not mention it, so I’m guessing that it is seen as just one of those things. I was having a laugh with the staff about some of the rude remarks that my wife makes about passers-by when they are out for a walk – definitely not sotto voce! She had some toffees in her bag from her sister and even gave me one. She wanted to go ‘home’ or to her gran's but cheered up when lunch was served. It was a choice of mince cobbler or pasta Bolognaise (mince again I guess). It seems that my wife really tucks in and enjoys her food.
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,094
    Kent
    I hope you are coming to terms with your current situation @northumbrian_k It sounds as if your wife is even if she can`t get into her room.
     
  10. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    711
    Male
    Newcastle
    Thanks @Grannie G. I am coming to terms with it and getting into a routine. My wife was a bit restless yesterday and would not sit down much until tea time, but that is no different from how she was at home. Meanwhile, another resident was doing her usual wandering so my wife was ‘looking after’ her. I asked L (a staff member) what one of the other residents was doing as she seemed to be tickling L's chin. She replied that it was such moments that made her job worthwhile, despite being paid a pittance. I have seen how close she is to the residents, which is often very touching.

    My wife was in the mood to contradict everything I said. L remarked how quickly she can retort and that I would never win, which I already know. That made me think that moving her to the home whilst she still has a personality that the staff can appreciate was better than waiting until she has become unresponsive like some of the other poor residents. In fact, moving her to the home seems to have helped her to relax and for some of her former sharp wit to reappear.
     
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,094
    Kent
    Such a good point .
     
  12. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    711
    Male
    Newcastle
    Unfortunately my wife seems to have been more unsettled recently, pacing the corridors into the night and not getting up until late each morning. She has become more confrontational when asked not to go into other residents' rooms and made to physically assault one of the care staff. Talking to the staff member this morning reassured me that she just sees this as one of those familiar things that go with the job. She has been trying to get a urine sample in case of a UTI. She has also escalated my wife's case, looking for a solution that will bring her more challenging behaviour back to the former level of relative calm. To be fair, my wife was sometimes like this when she was at home, so it is not anything different from what I described when she was first admitted. I can't help worrying about it though.
     
  13. MoodyC

    MoodyC Registered User

    Sep 22, 2018
    31
    Hello @Northumbrian, thank you for sharing your current experiences. Really relevant to me as I am now considering care for my husband who has become violent in the last few months. I am finding it hard to come to terms with planning the move as I keep telling myself that I can manage but I live on the edge of my seat waiting for the next 'blow' and hoping I can manage the consequences. And then when he does 'blow' I feel really unsafe. It's exhausting keeping everything on an even keel. I just hope I am going able to see the move through.
    I hope that if there is a UTI, it clears up quickly.
     
  14. Sarahdun

    Sarahdun Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    339
    Me too. My husband now coming up to four weeks in care - because of these kinds of aggressive and disturbing behaviours they have moved him to a different ward/house. He seems more in place there - other residents are more like him - but it is more expensive and the approach is different - more nursing (mental health nursing) and less focussed on mere residential. I am glad (apart from the increased cost which is punishing). However there was definitely a 'honeymoon phase' that passed after around a week - now hoping and optimistic that the new specialist ward/house can cope with his specific needs. All very challenging. Also makes me see how his increasingly complex needs could not be safely met by me alone at home. Hard times.
     
  15. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    711
    Male
    Newcastle
    I cycled by a devious route to my wife's care home.. She was in a good mood so I am too. We spent a little time in the garden, had a few hugs and kisses and I got her to clean her teeth (a little bit anyway). Being Sunday there was no cooked tea. She was tucking into what looked like chocolate swiss roll when I left and still had sandwiches and other things too. A bit like a child she went for the nicest looking thing first.. It was touching but a bit sad and I am glad that she seems to have settled down again.
     
  16. Sarahdun

    Sarahdun Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    339
    It is up and down with the visits. This weekend my husband did seem more settled, more ‘relaxed’ with the other residents and enjoying simple things. I am settling on spending 2 days a week there (it is an hour away) but others are visiting too.
     
  17. pevensey

    pevensey Registered User

    Feb 14, 2012
    102
    Northumbrian, you have made me feel a lot better, I'm taking my hubby OH to care home tomorrow for 3 weeks respite to give me a rest, I'm really struggling with his care now due to him being housebound and having numerous falls indoors. At the end of his respite there is a chance he will stay permanently, a d you saying g how your OH seems happier and soon settled and smiling more is very positive for me.
    I hope she Carrie's on with being content in her new home and you soon settle down with your new life.
     
  18. Wifenotcarer

    Wifenotcarer Registered User

    Mar 11, 2018
    219
    Central Scotland
    I am so grateful for all the comments above. OH is now booked for admission to Care Home at 11.00am this Wednesday. He will be on a trial basis to start, with a review at 3 weeks and 6 weeks, though the expectation is that he will stay there permanently. I am all of a dither trying to make a list of things to take and things to do.
     
  19. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    711
    Male
    Newcastle
    Best of luck with this. My wife also went for a short trial but almost the instant that I dropped her off I realised that it would take some big disaster for me to contemplate having her back. We are now into week 8. From her care home's perspective the first 3 months are seen as a trial period that can be terminated at 1 week's notice. After that it is 1 month.

    Remember to label everything but be aware that doing so will not stop things from going astray.
     
  20. Wifenotcarer

    Wifenotcarer Registered User

    Mar 11, 2018
    219
    Central Scotland
    Here we are on OH's last day at home. He will be admitted to the Care Home at 11.00 tomorrow. I can't tell you how I feel, the nearest I can get is numb, It has been such a busy day of packing, labelling, taking OH for a haircut and making tea for a constant stream of visitors, all trying to be jolly and encouraging. OH has spent most of it asleep, even dozing off while waiting in the Barber's. He is aware that he is moving tomorrow (well some of the time) and agrees that it is for the best. His only 'red lines' are that he MUST have a TV in his room, a constant supply of bananas and that no male carers/nurses have to be involved in his personal care. I have checked and there are no male carers, only the physio/activity coordinator is a man.

    I have cooked his favourites for his tea and he ate the lot and I have a dozen bananas ready for tomorrow, It will be fine.
     
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