Help! Mum's been in care home one day and freaking out

Kate and jack

Registered User
Jan 19, 2014
159
Southend on sea in essex
Artyfarty,
Guilt is the biggest killer,I hate the feeling it brings to us,but give everyone time to settle,at least 3 weeks.such a long time I know but hang in there,I'm sure you have done the right thing xx
 

charl89

Registered User
Apr 26, 2014
0
It is the hardest thing, when mum went in last year she wasn't happy at all. We had lots of trouble and lots of tears from us all. She now seems happy there with support from carers and getting used to her new surroundings.
My support to you would be see how she goes, talk about the positives, and bring her little something's when you go. My dad was advised not to go everyday, for the well fair of both of them.
Hugs, hope it comes out well in the end, keep smiling xx


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Eternity

Registered User
Jul 17, 2013
226
London
I can see from your post how much pain you feel. Wish I could fast forward time a few weeks for you, to a time your mum is settled and you know it was the right/only thing to do.

Hold on to the reason why your mum needed to go into a care home. You love your mum, you haven't betrayed her.

I know you would have searched to find a good home for your mum too. Keep talking to them as you are doing.


Like others, sending you hugs x
 

dizzyjake

Registered User
Jan 15, 2011
3
Hurtful Truth or Loving Lie

All of the advice here is really helpful Artyfarty but in my experience will depend heavily on what stage your mum is at. My mum was exactly the same as yours and made it very difficult for us to leave her initially, often 2/3 hours, but now I arrive an hour or so before a meal or an activity and tell her that while she has her meal, etc I will go for my meal and then come back to see her later, but I don't actually return. In this way she is happy and smiling and waving when I leave rather than sad and upset if I had told her the truth. The carers say that after a few minutes she has forgotten that I visited her at all but feels happy without knowing why. Telling her the truth leaves her sad without knowing why which tends to last much longer.

Whilst mum can still just about hold a conversation, especially using old photo albums or talking about her past, I tend to react more to her emotions now than I do her words. I've even offered to take her for a ride in the car but by the time we've walked slowly to the main entrance she has forgotten where we were going, so I then distract her lovingly and again she holds the emotion of having looked forward to something even though she can't remember what.

The first few times I did this I felt so so guilty, I had never lied to mum before, but now the carers feel that at mum's stage it is by far the best strategy for mum. I hope your mum settles soon, my mum took a few weeks - would probably have taken less had I lied sooner!! :confused:
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
The first few times I did this I felt so so guilty, I had never lied to mum before, but now the carers feel that at mum's stage it is by far the best strategy for mum. I hope your mum settles soon, my mum took a few weeks - would probably have taken less had I lied sooner!! :confused:
I did the same. It was the only way. I was just nipping to the shops before they closed, or to the dry cleaner's ditto, or just going to pick OH up from the station or the airport - but I'd be back very soon.

Once I had to nip back within a minute or two because I'd left a cardigan - she had already completely forgotten that I'd been at all.

IMO nobody should ever feel bad for telling this kind of fib when it is only to save distress.
 

artyfarty

Registered User
Oct 30, 2009
267
London
Oh dear. We really seem to have mucked up the whole thing. She's been in a week and her behaviour has been so terrible that the home don't think they can cope with her. They have asked that we look for somewhere else. I do think that the staff have really tried their best but it is becoming obvious that mum is getting worse and worse - not even a glimmer of her settling. She was throwing things , shouting, swearing and really frightening the other residents today. She refused her medication and has been generally completely obnoxious.

Sister has booked train tickets to London this weekend and between us we will be starting the search for a home all over again. At the moment mum is in a dementia nursing home and they have suggested that we look for a dementia care home. I hadn't realised there was a distinction. Actually told this by the person who assessed her before she moved in. Do wish he had mentioned it at the time. But as I am sure many of you will know, mum can be as sweet as pie with other people. It was only myself who has seen her worst behaviour before and I am sure it never crossed his mind she could be harbouring such anger. She always comes across as a sweet old lady to outside people.

Can't believe we have to start all over again. I am so knackered and wiped out by all this.
 

ollyfran

Registered User
Oct 9, 2010
21
West Midlands
But as I am sure many of you will know, mum can be as sweet as pie with other people. It was only myself who has seen her worst behaviour before and I am sure it never crossed his mind she could be harbouring such anger. She always comes across as a sweet old lady to outside people.

I am so sorry to hear about how upsetting this has been for you and your Mum. I hope that you have now found the right place for her and everything is much calmer.

I was interested in the comment you made at the end about your Mum being sweetness and light to everyone but you.
I have exactly the same thing happen to me and thought I was doing something to antagonize Mum but maybe it is just another phase of this terrible condition.
It has got to the point where we barely speak because whatever I say I am in the wrong and she "blows her top" just hearing my voice. Dad is still caring for Mum full time so we are not at the same stage as you but the lack of communication worries me. If anything happened to Dad we would be in a really awful situation.
Mum will ask a question but if I try to answer she simply turns her back on me and quite literally stares into Dad's eyes unfalteringly, totally ignoring anything I say or I get a retort to my answer (no matter what it might be) of "I know that, I'm not stupid you know" in a really hateful tone of voice.
The egg shells seem to get thinner every day and if anyone has any advice I would be eternally grateful.
 

Tilly Mint

Registered User
Jun 14, 2011
21
I've had similar feelings when my mum went into hospital after breaking her hip. She kept wanting to come home with me and crying when I left. It takes it out of you.
When my nan went to live in a nursing home my mum was told not to visit every day as it would give nan chance to adjust better and settle in.
So mum went every other day. She did eventually settle and was there several years afterwards.
 

Tilly Mint

Registered User
Jun 14, 2011
21
Mum will ask a question but if I try to answer she simply turns her back on me and quite literally stares into Dad's eyes unfalteringly, totally ignoring anything I say or I get a retort to my answer (no matter what it might be) of "I know that, I'm not stupid you know" in a really hateful tone of voice.
The egg shells seem to get thinner every day and if anyone has any advice I would be eternally grateful.
What I have done is leave the room and return with a big smile as if I'm someone else.
I also give mum a hug or kiss her cheek or top of her head and even when she's being beligerent I tell her "I love you even though I'm not your favourite person right now". lol

Stay as positive as you can with the thought and words to her of "we will get through this, you being mad at me because deep down we love each other".

To begin with this was difficult to do as it went against my natural inclination to keep away but hugs, kisses and reminding her that I love her has helped break down the wall.
I still have times when it's almost too much. I'm no saint and when things are really bad I go away to my space upstairs or in the garden.
 

comprehension

Registered User
Jul 11, 2012
4
What is in your mum's best interests?

I had a very similar problem with mum and it was always my fault.
Ask yourself what is the alternative and what is in mum's best interests? More than likely when you are not there she is more settled. When my mum went into care I was told to stay away for a couple of days, which I did do. This allowed me some time to recover from the stress I had been going through when mum was at home. It also allowed my mum to come to terms with things.
I lost my mum a few weeks ago and I miss her very much despite the worry and heartache caused to my family and I due to her illness.
It is not easy to deal with and everyone is different but try not to let it get to you.
Look after yourself and take care.
 

Lynn 19

Registered User
Nov 26, 2006
4
Lancashire
Yes it's normal

Am desperate. Mum went into the care home yesterday and things are going extremely badly.

She seemed to understand where we were taking her but when she was hit with the reality of the place she freaked out. Two and a half hours later we managed to calm her down enough to leave. She's had periods where they have distracted her enough that she has stopped crying and shouting but she is obviously very unhappy.

I have said I will visit tonight and I am totally dreading it. The home advised us to visit frequently in the first week and my brother went this morning - he said she was crying and constantly saying she wanted to go home.

I know it's early days, I know we have put her there for the right reasons (she kept going out and getting lost, accidentally set fire to the kitchen etc), but I feel terrible. I don't know if I am going to be strong enough to walk out of there without her tonight.

I absolutely can't go on looking after her though. I've reached the end of my endurance - but I also can't bear the idea of her being so miserable.

I've been told it might take a couple of weeks for her to settle - has anyone had this with the person they care for - can they start off this unhappy and eventually settle down?
Don't panic or show your so sad with this situation, this will not help your mum. Try to ween the visits but do start with being there more at the begining, if your mum enjoys doing something drawing knitting, anything to make her smile, even if it's you just joining her at an odd meal time during the day, the care home should understand. Take some photo's and help your mum to put them into album chatting about each photo, take her mind away from the negative, take her lead and enhance on it. Do not feel guilty, imagine how you would feel if she went wandering and hurt herself. Get back to me if you need any help. Deb
 

Chris.B

Registered User
Feb 24, 2013
6
It's very hard, (but we do it with the best of intentions)

After two years of looking after my Aunt, it came to a head when she was phoning me up 10 - 14 times a day wanting food, (we lived next door to each other)

She was advised to move into a home ("... you can chat to people, and take part in activities")

Soon as we got there, she was ushered one way, and me to room to unpack. I could instantly tell it was not a nice place. Visit the home you intend to put a resident in, and dont be rushed to accept the room with one day's notice. Although if you're reliant on Council, you'll only have a choice of about two homes anyway

When we met up again two hours later, she was in tears, asking when she could go home. ("Don't worry" said the care assistant in front of her "They're usually llke this until they realise they're not going anywhere else") I left in tears

By day 2, Aunt was drugged up and couldn't even hold a knife to eat / disoriantated. Turns out they had given her something as " ... she'd got agitated when she found she couldn't go home"

I tried - in vain - to get Social Services to let me take her home again. After four hours, duty officer refused: Her case workworker was on holiday for 2 weeks, so she would have to wait until she was available to review the case (In that time, Aunt was 'contined to barracks', and I couldn't even take her out for the day "...until the care worker says its OK for her to be allowed out") She was reduced to sitting in a chair in day room where a CD played in an endless loop. That was the 'activities' mentioned above. There was nobody to chat too, and the staff were too intent in writing up all the case histories for the 40+ people on their wing. (About 12 in day room, rest in their rooms, so 3 staff were all that were needed)

At the meeting SIX WEEKS later, they refused to let her out, citing that her condition would only get worse and we would be back to trying to find her a placement further down the line. Naturally, I was upset to which I was told this was because I was feeling "guilty" (Too right I was for putting her in that dumping ground!!)

Naturally, I was very upset at the situation, and tried every which way to get her out again, but I was hitting a brick wallevery time. Eventually I began to accept I could do nothing to change the situation; she was stuck there.

To make up for it, I would visit three times a week, take her and two other residents out to luncheon club once a week, (at a cost of £15 out of my pocket. And what a struggle THAT was to get Matron to accept the idea!)

Aunt has now deteriorated - they would claim due to the illness - and is almost as vegative as the other residents. She is now untalkative, won't do anything and just wants to sit in chair staring at the TV.

Yes, it's very hard to walk away from the person you know, seeing them so distressed. But both you and patient reluctantly have to accept there is no alternative. "In their best interest" is a mute point, but the illness forces your hand.

+++

Someone likened it to leaving a child's first day at school. To wit; It's etched in my memory so much, I can recall it was pouring with rain, and I watched in horror as my Mum left me, and walked across the school playground. Apparentely, at some time sh'd told me I had to go to school until I was 15. "You will come back to collect me when I'm 15, won't you?" said the anxious little child.
 

Eternity

Registered User
Jul 17, 2013
226
London
Oh Artyfarty,

so sorry that the home has said they may not be able to cope with your mum and I'm sorry too that your mum is so unsettled. I can see why you are knackered and drained.

We are currently trying to find a good care home in London (unsuccessfully so far). Have been confused whether it should be a dementia nursing home or a dementia residential home and what the differences are. Keep being told different things. So I totally appreciated what you are going through and the difficulties of finding somewhere else that will be suitable. It is hard to find somewhere which is more than just safe. (shouldn't we expect more than just safe).

I also know what you mean about only you seeing the more challenging side of your mum. About her need to be occupied. I used to read your older posts to TP and think your mum's symptoms of dementia were so similar to my mum's.

I keep hopeful that there are good places out there. I keep hopeful that once there, residents do adjust with staff playing their part. I truly hope you are able to find a solution soon.

If we come across a good place in London I'll private message you the details

Keep hopeful if you can and look after yourself

xx
 

ollyfran

Registered User
Oct 9, 2010
21
West Midlands
What I have done is leave the room and return with a big smile as if I'm someone else.
I also give mum a hug or kiss her cheek or top of her head and even when she's being beligerent I tell her "I love you even though I'm not your favourite person right now". lol

Stay as positive as you can with the thought and words to her of "we will get through this, you being mad at me because deep down we love each other".

To begin with this was difficult to do as it went against my natural inclination to keep away but hugs, kisses and reminding her that I love her has helped break down the wall.
I still have times when it's almost too much. I'm no saint and when things are really bad I go away to my space upstairs or in the garden.

Thank you so much for your response. Maybe this is something I need to try. Certainly nothing else seems to work. I must admit I have been bawled out so much that there is definitely a brick wall building between us.
Thank you x
 

Lord

Registered User
Nov 22, 2013
1
76
London
My wife has been in for 10 days and is very unsettled particularly when H visits she is refusing to join in with any activities or go into the TV lounge or try and relate to other patients or spend anytime in her very nice room.She spends all her time sitting in the reception area looking out over the front garden.Is this typical
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,839
England
Yes it is typical, sadly. She is waiting to be rescued, or to escape. She may also like the garden and finds it easier to cope with her thoughts when not having to talk to strangers.

I remember my MIL saying she didn't want any of her personal things in her room, which she called 'that place'. She would get angry and say her room was at home, not here! She also begged us not to make her sleep there because if she did that then it would all become 'real' and her home wouldn't be real any more.
A breathtakingly perceptive thought.

If this is the right place for your wife, and I do hope that it is, then eventually she will transfer trust to her carers, but she is not ready to do that yet. They will keep working on getting to know her and drawing her in to what is going on. It may take some time. We use behaviours that have previously been successful when we meet new challenges. How would she have managed in the past when faced with things she didn't want to do?
 

Liindaloo

Registered User
Jun 14, 2013
8
My Mum nearly 100 has been in a care home for two years and still freaks out on occasion. It is a constant worry although the home and the carers and nurses are brilliant. I concur with the lady who said visit a short time before a meal time as otherwise she cries when I go and it kills me.
I think it is just as hard to accept the situation for the family carer as it is for the resident. Knowing intellectually that it is the right thing to do does not seem to overcome the dreadful guilt that a loved person is in that situation.
Look after yourself - us daughters are not always good at that but we are more help when strong.
 

AvvyGabby

Registered User
Mar 5, 2014
7
Northumberland
Am desperate. Mum went into the care home yesterday and things are going extremely badly.

She seemed to understand where we were taking her but when she was hit with the reality of the place she freaked out. Two and a half hours later we managed to calm her down enough to leave. She's had periods where they have distracted her enough that she has stopped crying and shouting but she is obviously very unhappy.

I have said I will visit tonight and I am totally dreading it. The home advised us to visit frequently in the first week and my brother went this morning - he said she was crying and constantly saying she wanted to go home.

I know it's early days, I know we have put her there for the right reasons (she kept going out and getting lost, accidentally set fire to the kitchen etc), but I feel terrible. I don't know if I am going to be strong enough to walk out of there without her tonight.

I absolutely can't go on looking after her though. I've reached the end of my endurance - but I also can't bear the idea of her being so miserable.

I've been told it might take a couple of weeks for her to settle - has anyone had this with the person they care for - can they start off this unhappy and eventually settle down?
Dear Artyfarty,

I was wondering how your Mother is.My Mother went into care almost 6 months ago.We have lived together all of my life & it was the hardest things I have ever had to do but her dementia is progressing.I was so ill when she went into care I was off work for weeks.I still don't cope very well.I miss her so much & the guilt never leaves me.

I too find it best to go maybe an hour or so before lunch then when she goes into dining room she usually forgets that I have been.I put together a photo album from over the years & she enjoys looking at that with me & my Brother.She likes to help the carers fold napkins & wipeover the placemats etc.So perhaps you may like to mention that to the staff looking after your Mam.

I do hope you Mother is starting to settle but it will take time & each person is different.

Take care

AvvyGabby
 

artyfarty

Registered User
Oct 30, 2009
267
London
Hi Eternity

Just a quick note as it's 1 in the morning and I have to get up at 7 for work. Its kind of you to ask how mum is. I wish I could say a bit better but unfortunately just the opposite. Today she was trying to break windows by swinging her handbag at them. Got to admit the idea of this gave me a giggle but now getting daily calls from the home where they put mum on the phone and I have to try and calm her down. Tricky when I'm at work and not very effective either. Friday, sister and I are visiting five new homes so really hoping one of them will be the one and mum doesn't handbag someone in the meantime.

To everybody - thank you so much for all your responses. I wish you weren't going through similar situations but in some funny way, it is reassuring that our situation isn't unique. I feel so much better knowing there are others out there who know exactly what I am talking about.

Will post a little update when I have more news.

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