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Guilt over moving mum into a care home

Palom

New member
Sep 26, 2021
1
0
After much deliberation, my sister’s and I moved mum into a carehome last week. Despite having good care in place at home, it was becoming ever more challenging. Mum is making us feel so guilty.
“ How could we do this to her” etc….
The problem is she thinks she is fine and we know that she isn’t.
We know there is no going back, but how long is she going to be so unhappy and how long am I going to be in emotional turmoil?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,354
0
Kent
Hello @Palom Welcome.

I doubt there is a person on this forum who has not felt absolutely dreadful about their decision for residential care. Emotional turmoil is what it is as long as the person with dementia either finally settles or their dementia progresses to the stage when they no longer protest.

Until then all you can do is find any excuse you can think of to enable your mother to settle and accept.

I told my husband it was on doctor`s orders to help him build his strength. This made sure it wasn`t `my fault` and the onus was on the doctor.

My mother accepted residential care herself when she returned from day care and didn`t recognise her home. The decision was made in an instant, everything was in place and she was in residential care the same evening. She objected strongly for a while but the care staff were able to support me and manage her distress.

Deep down you know it is the only answer when 24/7 care is necessary and family can no longer meet the person`s needs. It will never be easy but nothing about dementia is.

Please keep posting. I`m sure the support you get will help you.
 

Kapow

Registered User
Nov 17, 2019
129
0
It's par for the course to feel guilty....and it makes it even worse when the person with dementia claims there is nothing wrong,how long am I being in here for,how could you,etc.,etc.,I am feeling the same,don't know if that feeling ever goes...
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,125
0
I doubt there is a person on this forum who has not felt absolutely dreadful about their decision for residential care. Emotional turmoil is what it is as long as the person with dementia either finally settles or their dementia progresses to the stage when they no longer protest.
I raise my hand and claim the trophy as the one, or maybe one of many. who doesn't feel dreadful about the decision. Whilst it is not a happy situation, I know my mother needs more care than it would be practical for her to receive at home, and that if she were at home the impact on my father's mental health would be negative because he could not cope mentally even if there were a team of carers. So I am quite sure that I have done the best that I can for my mother and that she is well cared-for in a care home. I actually feel quite good about the fact that I have done my best for both of them.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,593
0
I raise my hand and claim the trophy as the one, or maybe one of many. who doesn't feel dreadful about the decision. Whilst it is not a happy situation, I know my mother needs more care than it would be practical for her to receive at home, and that if she were at home the impact on my father's mental health would be negative because he could not cope mentally even if there were a team of carers. So I am quite sure that I have done the best that I can for my mother and that she is well cared-for in a care home. I actually feel quite good about the fact that I have done my best for both of them.
I think perhaps it depends on the relationship between the person with dementia and the family member. Personally both my husband and I didn't feel guilty at all about my mother in law going into care. My husband and his sister had a poor relationship with their mother, she emotionally abused them throughout their childhood and even tried as adults. My husband cared for her out of a sense of duty, frankly it was a relief for someone else to deal with her. She was well cared for including when she was end of life .
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,693
0
South coast
I remember clearly the moment of horror and the awful feeling of "on no! Surely mum hasn't reached that stage yet?" when mums GP started talking about a care home. I had tried hard to keep mum at home, but the dementia got too advanced. Eventually, there was no choice. I knew it was the right decision and the best thing for mum but it was still hard. It took both mum and I several weeks to adapt - she was constantly "packing to go home" and I was upset. Eventually she settled and thrived there. I used to visit and I have good memories from the time.

You will have the same. It won't be exactly as it used to be, but there will be good times. You know in your head that this move is the best thing for her, but it will take a while to reach your heart.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,326
0
I think almost everyone wonders if they are doing the right thing in moving their relative to a care home, it is a decision none of us want to have to make. But it can work out very well.

There is no way of knowing how long your mother will protest. It is a very different environment from what she's used to so it may take a few weeks or months for her to settle. My mother only took about 5 or 6 weeks and then announced she loved it, and since then she's seemed to be very happy there.

If your mother continues to protest it would be worth asking the staff what she is like when you aren't there. It could be that seeing you triggers the 'want to go home' response but the rest of the time she is more content, and knowing that would be helpful for you.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
236
0
In this context, I am firmly of the view that a decision can be painful but still be the right one.
 

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
66
0
It may not feel like it but it will be the right decision for the right reasons. It is the start of a new life for your Mum and I'm sure she will eventually settle.

My Mum is only in her second week of a care placement and does tell me constantly that she wants to go home, but the home she is talking about is actually the one she had in the 60's.

According to the carers when I'm not there or she's not talking to me on the phone she is very settled and calm. I think sometimes we act as triggers for memories of 'home'. If your Mum is in a good home the carers will make sure her time is occupied and filled in more ways that it could ever be living in her own home and most importantly she will be kept safe 24hrs a day.
 

Feeling unsupported

Registered User
Jul 9, 2021
32
0
I moved mum into a care home a month ago. Compared to places I had looked at for my father a few years ago, it is a palace, with the most competent and caring staff you could wish for. On the day I left her there, I cried all the way home, an overwhelming feeling of guilt and a sense of having put her in a prison from which she could not escape and where I would now have to book an appointment and don all sorts of alien PPE before I could visit. Having been away on holiday since, I have made my first visit since that day this morning. She was really well settled and appears to have made friends. I know it was the only decision I could make, she now needs 24 hour care for her own safety. The relief of having somebody else take the stresses of the day to day responsibility, is wonderful, but the guilt is still there in the background. It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but for her safety and my own well-being, there was no alternative. I think most of us feel the same and it is certainly helpful to read other similar posts, it is the price that we must pay for our love for them.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,125
0
In this context, I am firmly of the view that a decision can be painful but still be the right one.

I think perhaps it depends on the relationship between the person with dementia and the family member. Personally both my husband and I didn't feel guilty at all about my mother in law going into care. My husband and his sister had a poor relationship with their mother, she emotionally abused them throughout their childhood and even tried as adults. My husband cared for her out of a sense of duty, frankly it was a relief for someone else to deal with her. She was well cared for including when she was end of life .
I rather reject the implications of this that you would only feel good about putting your parent in a care home if the relationship had been poor. I have always had a good relationship and they have supported me in various ways all my life. I therefore feel determined to support them now they need it. It is because I want to do the best for my mother that I feel I have done my best for her by putting her in a care home. She gets the professional care she needs there.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
236
0
Few partners / families manage to care for the PWD at home until the very end of the PWD’s life unless the PWD is taken by something else eg a heart attack or stroke. In the later stages of the illness a whole team is needed to care for the PWD and most families don’t have the deep reserves to provide that. It requires a close knit, geographically close family with several family members willing and able to help. Most younger family members have jobs / children / grandchildren and some will have health problems. Older family members may have health problems of their own or, in the case of, say, siblings of the PWD, be looking after a partner with health problems. Families have got smaller. Most people with dementia will have had two or three children and it is likely that at least one of them will be living some distance away or even abroad. Research shows that most care is provided by partners and children. More distant relatives (eg nephews and nieces) and friends will rarely be involved on an ongoing basis as the PED’s needs increase.
 

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