Guilt!!

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
So, we have bitten the bullet and found a place for my mum in a retirement home .... and today was the day she went in!!! I have been panicking about this for quite some time (sometimes literally with anxiety attacks). The staff could not have been better - they were attentive and engaged my mum for the minute we entered. They had a gift to welcome her and it went very well. However, the issue is that this retirement home is in France because that is where we live and my mum does not speak French! The staff have prepared lots of things for her - flash cards and a question sheet with translations and I know they will try very hard. But we have placed her in there with a language barrier. She will no longer have access to UK TV and the food will most definitely be different to what she is used to. I sit here several hours after leaving her and I am feeling such guilt about the position we have placed her in. There is not really any other option - if we return her to UK to a home then there will be nobody there to visit her - at least here we are 30 mins down the road and can visit often and take her out etc. I am pretty sure in a few days I will feel better about this situation and hopefully my Mum will have settled a little ..... here's hoping ..... and thank you to this forum it really has been an excellent source of support. Just knowing you're not the only one going through some of these things certainly has helped :)
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,174
0
Hello @anaworm It really sounds as if you were between an rock and a hard place regarding your mums care. From your description the home are doing their best to make your mum welcome and as you say you will be able to visit on a regular basis. I think that under the circumstances you have done the best that you can and I hope that everything works out well for you and your mum.
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
Hello @anaworm It really sounds as if you were between an rock and a hard place regarding your mums care. From your description the home are doing their best to make your mum welcome and as you say you will be able to visit on a regular basis. I think that under the circumstances you have done the best that you can and I hope that everything works out well for you and your mum.
Thank you :)
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
Four days and it really hasn't gone too well. My mum did not take kindly to the washing routine nor the food and basically stopped eating and drinking for a couple of days!! We visited yesterday to find a very fraught mum who hated everyone! We visited again today (because of yesterdays situation) and things are a bit better, she has eaten a little and drunk a little but her mouth is sore and nothing tastes good ( we took items in from home and they too were 'horrible'). She also has a bruise on her hand - I have written to the care home as there was no one to chat with after our visit and I am waiting to hear their side of the story as to where that has come from! I am really struggling with seeing her there..... she had isolated herself from the group today in the communal area. First gut reaction is to just remove her but I really don't think that is the answer long term. I would be very interested to know how long it took for other loved ones to settle in in similar circumstances and how you coped during that period!
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
235
0
if this continues to be so for a lot longer, maybe the best of the bad situation is a home in england. I am from Indonesia and I know I can afford a much better home there and loads of help for me, cheaper cost of living, warmer climate etc. But my husband does not speak the language, he likes indonesian food but will miss his native tastes, the interaction with his care givers, people around him etc. Worst of all, he will feel isolated as no one around him understands him and he does not understand them. daily visits cannot bridge this cultural gap for the most part of the day, can it really? How much time can you spend every day in the home, realistically? It is really really hard choice , I almost chose not to reply for fear of saying the wrong thing and making it worse, Or being thought as heartless. Please forgive me if in my desire to help I actually made it worse for you.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,669
0
South coast
I would be very interested to know how long it took for other loved ones to settle in in similar circumstances and how you coped during that period!
It took my mum a couple of months to settle and during that time she was constantly "packing to go home". I stuck it out because there was really no option - she was at risk in her own home, not eating or drinking properly and was wandering outside at night in the cold and dark wearing only nightwear. I had tried her staying at mine to see whether I could look after her, but after only a weekend I knew I couldnt do it. The staff at mums care home were good and reassured me that this is a normal reaction and said she would settle. She did settle and after that she thrived, putting on a bit of weight again and joining in activities.

Dont assume that what she is like now is how it will always be - its still very early days
 

Cerisy

Registered User
Jun 9, 2021
52
0
It’s something I dread anaworm. We also live in France - Manche - and Jo’s french has virtually slipped away. I promised to look after her for as long as I could, but we never know how long our own health will hold out. You clearly had your good reasons for taking this decision and hopefully you can give your mum a bit more time to get used to the French care home - presumably an EPHAD. When Jo’s mum went into her first care home she constantly wanted to ”come home”, but her dementia eventually took over and the memory of home was replaced by the familiarity of the care home routine.
 

SMBeach

Registered User
Apr 19, 2020
265
0
So, we have bitten the bullet and found a place for my mum in a retirement home .... and today was the day she went in!!! I have been panicking about this for quite some time (sometimes literally with anxiety attacks). The staff could not have been better - they were attentive and engaged my mum for the minute we entered. They had a gift to welcome her and it went very well. However, the issue is that this retirement home is in France because that is where we live and my mum does not speak French! The staff have prepared lots of things for her - flash cards and a question sheet with translations and I know they will try very hard. But we have placed her in there with a language barrier. She will no longer have access to UK TV and the food will most definitely be different to what she is used to. I sit here several hours after leaving her and I am feeling such guilt about the position we have placed her in. There is not really any other option - if we return her to UK to a home then there will be nobody there to visit her - at least here we are 30 mins down the road and can visit often and take her out etc. I am pretty sure in a few days I will feel better about this situation and hopefully my Mum will have settled a little ..... here's hoping ..... and thank you to this forum it really has been an excellent source of support. Just knowing you're not the only one going through some of these things certainly has helped :)
Maybe you could set up technology in your mums room to translate. The staff could ask Alexa to ask your mum something in English. 🤔🤔
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
1,947
0
@anaworm, I too think that you may need to move your mother to a care home in England as she’s not going to be able to cross the language barrier. You won’t be able to visit as much but perhaps a visit for a weekend every few weeks would be possible. As has been said above, there’s not just a language barrier but a cultural gap.

I wonder whether it would be possible to get British television in your mother’s room or, at least, a DVD player with box sets of programmes that she likes.
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
if this continues to be so for a lot longer, maybe the best of the bad situation is a home in england. I am from Indonesia and I know I can afford a much better home there and loads of help for me, cheaper cost of living, warmer climate etc. But my husband does not speak the language, he likes indonesian food but will miss his native tastes, the interaction with his care givers, people around him etc. Worst of all, he will feel isolated as no one around him understands him and he does not understand them. daily visits cannot bridge this cultural gap for the most part of the day, can it really? How much time can you spend every day in the home, realistically? It is really really hard choice , I almost chose not to reply for fear of saying the wrong thing and making it worse, Or being thought as heartless. Please forgive me if in my desire to help I actually made it worse for you.
Thank you so much for your reply .... and I don't think you can say the 'wrong' thing .... just how you see it which is always useful for others as it gives many perspectives on the situation. You definitely have not made it worse for me and I appreciate the conversation to be honest. I have support here from my partner and my daughter at the moment but still feel the weight of it being my decision. My sibling has decided to be not involved in any of this so it's all on me. We have discussed UK since she went in but we do think that she would struggle with that too as she clearly has a view that nursing homes are for elderly people and at 91 she thinks that does not include her!!! She thinks she is independent but needs help with pretty much everything to a degree. I need to speak to the home and hear their side of the situation and see how this goes . Thank you again for taking the time to reply - it really is invaluable to me to be able to talk to people that really understand all the issues. Good luck with your journey .... Take care :)
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
@anaworm, I too think that you may need to move your mother to a care home in England as she’s not going to be able to cross the language barrier. You won’t be able to visit as much but perhaps a visit for a weekend every few weeks would be possible. As has been said above, there’s not just a language barrier but a cultural gap.

I wonder whether it would be possible to get British television in your mother’s room or, at least, a DVD player with box sets of programmes that she likes.
Thank you - I think we continue to have this as an option. The french tv does have options for english speaking programmes and to be honest she doesn't really watch or engage with it - it is just a background noise. She also has a radio which too provides her with some other option. However, at this time she has not settled and is not using either. I completely understand the cultural gap - she has hated the food presented to her to date and it may well be that we won't be able to get over that hurdle. When she lived in the UK independently I felt a long way away when there were issues... I know she would be in a 'care' facility and have the support she would need but not sure how we would get to find the 'right' place for her and get her there. I hate everything about this and just want the last period of her life to be as pleasant as possible so we will make whatever decision that needs. It is just the ongoing pressure of trying to get to that place. Thank you for taking time to reply :)
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
It took my mum a couple of months to settle and during that time she was constantly "packing to go home". I stuck it out because there was really no option - she was at risk in her own home, not eating or drinking properly and was wandering outside at night in the cold and dark wearing only nightwear. I had tried her staying at mine to see whether I could look after her, but after only a weekend I knew I couldnt do it. The staff at mums care home were good and reassured me that this is a normal reaction and said she would settle. She did settle and after that she thrived, putting on a bit of weight again and joining in activities.

Dont assume that what she is like now is how it will always be - its still very early days
Wow - just read a number of replies and now just seen yours ..... firstly thank you so much for replying .... and thank you so much for giving my a little bit of hope. Typing through tears now!!! I know it has been only a couple of days and I know I am expecting miracles to change everything about her world and expect her to embrace it immediately. I think I will be happier once I have had a conversation with the home and make sure that my mums personal limits are respected. I have had a mini panic this morning - beating myself up thinking we should have looked at more units in case there was a'better' one out there!! I too need to stick it out for the minute so I really hope we have the same outcome as you. I am really pleased for you that she has settled and hope that gives you some real respite ..... Good luck with everything going forward and Thank you - best thing I could have heard today :)
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
It’s something I dread anaworm. We also live in France - Manche - and Jo’s french has virtually slipped away. I promised to look after her for as long as I could, but we never know how long our own health will hold out. You clearly had your good reasons for taking this decision and hopefully you can give your mum a bit more time to get used to the French care home - presumably an EPHAD. When Jo’s mum went into her first care home she constantly wanted to ”come home”, but her dementia eventually took over and the memory of home was replaced by the familiarity of the care home routine.
Yes an EPHAD .... and yes realistically we have to give her more time. We need to work with the home over a few things and hopefully that will be better for mum and make me feel a bit easier about it. I have read lots of posts on here about people going through the same issues, and loved ones constantly asking to come home is very common but when it's your loved one and there is a home it pulls so hard on the heart strings. I know that she wasn't happy here either and we were straying into territory that we needed more professional support but even now I keep thinking if we did bring her home we could cope - but also know we will remember in no time how much of everything her care takes. Good luck to you with your journey - I wish you well :)
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
So we are less than a week in and my mum is still very distressed and she now has another bruise on the top of her leg. My daughter has gone in this morning to watch them wash her and I will go in on Saturday to observe the same. She continues to not really eat and drink and we are taking in small things to tempt her. It is highly likely that we will have to look to remove her from this situation and bring her back home, and then possibly look again - but where!!?
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
235
0
The bruise could be from clutching her too tightly. But top of her leg? Best of luck for your next move, anaworm
 

MichellePer

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
17
0
Hello, I’m sorry to hear your mum is struggling to settle, I suppose the difficultly will be if the same happend in England also and you are far away, which will make the situation worse. My recomendación would be stuck it out for at least a month to 6 weeks as this seems to be when behaviors change.

Your post stuck out as I live in Spain and have been considering a move from a UK home to here for my mum. I wanted to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind.

Are you self funding? What did you do regarding BREXIT/VISA, I’m applying for a visa at present. It’s not moving very quickly. Also medications, my mum is on many. She’s currently having her care paid for due to being sectioned but I’m unsure if this would continue here in Spain.

I hope you find a resolution.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,669
0
South coast
Your post stuck out as I live in Spain and have been considering a move from a UK home to here for my mum.
Please dont do it @MichellePer
Ive read your other thread and I think it would be an absolute and unmitigated disaster. There would be very very few nursing homes in Spain that would be able to cope with your mums level of care needs and no, I dont think that the NHS funding would be transferable.

There is also the cultural/language differences, not to mention the travelling. It is hard enough with people who do not have challenging behavioural issues - it would be a nightmare with someone who has been sectioned.

I also think that it is unlikely that the unit that she is in at the moment will allow her to be discharged to this scheme. They have a duty of care to ensure a safe discharge, and TBH, I dont think this would be.
 

anaworm

Registered User
May 30, 2023
19
0
Hello, I’m sorry to hear your mum is struggling to settle, I suppose the difficultly will be if the same happend in England also and you are far away, which will make the situation worse. My recomendación would be stuck it out for at least a month to 6 weeks as this seems to be when behaviors change.

Your post stuck out as I live in Spain and have been considering a move from a UK home to here for my mum. I wanted to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind.

Are you self funding? What did you do regarding BREXIT/VISA, I’m applying for a visa at present. It’s not moving very quickly. Also medications, my mum is on many. She’s currently having her care paid for due to being sectioned but I’m unsure if this would continue here in Spain.

I hope you find a resolution.
Thank you for replying ..... I am afraid to say we have taken the decision to take her out. Both the retirement home managers and ourselves have come to the conclusion that she isn't far enough down the dementia route for that unit. They do have another part to the home but she needs too much support to be in there. She still isn't eating anything of any worth and drinking much less than she would here! We will probably have to go through this experience again some time in the future so I thank you for your advice about how long we need to stick it out . To answer your questions which I am very happy to do .... yes, we are self funding - there is a small amount of support that you can get here but we will not get to the point when we can apply for it given our decision. Our visa application was an absolute nightmare (sorry but better to be prepared!). Nobody would help you here to say which visa to apply for via the online system. We eventually picked one and then we had to arrange appointment in UK. Flew over and appointment was horrendous - told me we had applied for wrong thing and she would change it but we needed more paperwork!!! The office itself we couldn't park close enough to get there with wheelchair .... long story short - got visa only to get back here(France) and register it to be told she needed to pay more money (a significant amount) and then we had to attend medical - again in a place far away from us with no wheel chair access for half a dozen questions and a piece of stamped paper! This year we applied for her residency card and had an equally hard time - has taken 8 months so far and it still isn't in our hands but it has been approved. -) : Advice is read as much as possible - prehaps find someone been through your process .... and fear the worst but hope for the best!! - Good Luck :) We are very lucky as my Mum is on no medications at all. We have her medical card for France (another long battle) and additional assurance, Really sorry for the very long reply .... but it is not easy, they do not make it easy and will not help!!! I wish you the very best of luck and if you need any other questions answering - I am happy to do so .
 

MichellePer

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
17
0
Thank you for the reply. I hope you find the best situation for your mum. We are using an agency to apply in for a regrouping of the family visa. We submitted it in May! A lot has changed since then. I’m spending Xmas in the UK and hoping to see what if anything I can do to sort out this very difficult situation. I fear there’s little unfortunately. Take care