How did you get your relative into a home??

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by strawberrywhip, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. strawberrywhip

    strawberrywhip Registered User

    Jun 26, 2006
    I`m intrigued!
    Reading all the tales of woe where families are really struggling with difficult relatives who have no insight of their condition, and are making life hell for their relatives .I just wonder what experiences people have had of getting their relatives into home ...lying cheating..subterfuge.sectioning or truth???
    I have met many patients in hospital who finally go to EMI placments ..assesed by the psychs..recognised they are not safe to go home ..families relatives cant cope they go in from an acute ward, and it baffled me why this didnt happen from home.. I know understand ..because it is a nightmare for relative sto find a way to get people placed who flatly refuse to go and do not recognise the enormous burden they are placing on their relatives.
    My own experience is with MIL who was a delightul lady. widowed for a long time firecley independent who sadly developed ??alzheimers vascular dementia 2 is years ago and declined very quickly.
    With a lot of lying and cheating and liason with her GP we documented outr concerns ..she was seen by her GP .referred to the memory clinic..who initially scored her quite highly ..but after 6 weeks realised just how muddled she was (usual story very bright ..all social skills in place..knew how to smile and say how are you dear what a lovely day etc etc ..pulled the wool over the professionals eyes on brief assesements.
    Great old age psychaiatrist talked to us and counselled us about what to expect ..abut diversionary tactics..recommended applying for attendancew allowance..also to get in as much help as posible asap. As a family we needed time to digest this information and come to terms with it..expecially her children..certain amount of denial. recommended we consider placement and start to think about it when we felt she was ready.
    Registered POA... dragged husband round EMI residential homes..early on looked at prices..started to look at what we liked at what we didnt....talked to social services..establishesd her financial position ..self funding....started to put in carers chance..she didnt recognise she needed help and sent them away looked for EMI day centre..and although she refused persevered with the help 0f the nurses there..and although she ran down the drive and threatened us with the police her scial skills were such that the nurses came out to take her in and she went fairly willingly. At the end of the day alsways said what a lovely time she had.
    After being brought back by the police atr midnight after another wandering episode looked in earnest for a centre home .no looked nurther afield near another relative.
    Chose a lovely home with everything we knew she woudl like dog no agency staff lovely homely atmosphere. She went to daughters ..we moved her clothes and furniture over. Did not tell her (she cant retin information for more than 10 minutes) Day dawned for admission discussion has taken place withj Mum.we picked her up fro her daughters drove her over (she had visited before no dea why but had enjyed it) stayed with her for a music session they went into lunch we left..nurse was just eplaining she would be staying for a few days she was threatening them with the police ....
    Phoned the next day ..she had tried to escape out of the window..but they had restarined her ..quite cross. Dc had atended mildsedation given to relieve agitation.
    Home were in regular contact advised us not to visit for a few weeks until she had settled, but gave us regular updates. She was settling day by day (she had been very agitated at home) We finally visited her last week. We were abcoluely dreading it ..frightened of recriminations anger tears..and difficulty leaving
    She was settled ..not drugged..happy enjpoying the company of the staff busy around the ome..looking after other old ladies...busy with a duster and happy.
    Staff had prepared her for our visit she knew we would be ging and offered a cuppa before we went.
    They were wonderful ..she waved us off from the window.. she did have a few tears because clearly we were triggering old memories but she son cheeredup when we changed the subject
    I really wondered about the legality of what we had done and worried about her.
    But the home have been wonderful she has settled is much happier because the carers are always cheerful they have time off and a shift system. She has consistency a daily routine which she is settled with. No agency staff so goodcontinuity, and her agitatiion has gone. She was looking increasigly stressed at home and she would argue bout everything which was not her nature. Was getting crosser and more aggressive by the day ..and we were not managing at all.
    We carefully selected the home for her ..and then lyed cheated and bamboozled her to get her in. I dont regret it for one minute. And I dont believe many people with relatives who have alzheimers can have a reasoned discussion where the relative says..of course dear pop me into a home whenever you want! She is happy and safe ..we have our lives back .....worth the agony!
  2. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    Dear strawberrywhip,

    Thanks for starting this thread which I read with huge interest as I am faced with the prospect of finding a home for my parents who just cannot cope at home now. I am visiting my first one tomorrow!

    My brother and I discussed at great length how we could persuade my Mum that it was a good thing as we can't reason with her. My Dad who is very poorly will probably go along with anything so he's not a problem. In the end we decided to lie (sorry, we all have to do it, don't we?) and make out that it was Mum's idea and we are going to show her the brochures/information about homes that "she asked us to get." She is a bit of a control freak and we had huge tantrums when we had to stop her driving the car, but now she seems to think that it was her decision to do so all along, so we are going to use this hopefully to our advantage with the home thing.

    I will report back. Hope other people come up with some other ideas, because it's difficult enough having to make the decision in the first place and then having to persuade our loved ones that it is the best thing.
  3. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    How did I get mum into the NH, by lying big time.

    The way I viewed it was, so I tell her the truth, you cannot cope on your own, you are a danger to yourself and others etc etc. Totally no.

    I continue to tell huge fibs, that the NH is paid for by the State Yes her home was sold, but no the money is in her bank etc., etc., I could in no way tell my mum the truth, it would just hurt her too much.

    In my view, you do and say what you have to.
  4. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    I simply lied, I told mum, dad was in the hospital and she wasn't able to stay alone at home, as it was not safe, so, she had to stay until such time as someone could stay with her (of cause this was after she was behind the secure door) mum would never of gone willingly, but, few would. Mum's reasoning ability is very poor. I forgot to mention I also implicated the government, for some reason mum still relates, doesn't alway like, but, accepts what the government says so this worked in my favour. Of cause mum was beside herself with grief and rightly so, as her world as she knew it, was turned upside down and inside out. Mum has settled into the routine now and she copes much better there than what she did at home. This is a big relief for me, but, it is as though one problem is replaced with another as now mum is becoming quite delusional and paranoid again. I'll just go with the flow and hope it doesn't get out of hand. Still to this day mum doesn't know she is there for good.I still can't come to terms with that either. Taffy.
  5. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex
    I took my husband to a newly biult NH which looked like a hotel i told him it was a hotel and he thought he was having a holiday. he never once questioned any thing at all and took two moves after this in his stride. I do believe there seems to be a difference in the way dementia presents itself between AZ and VAS dementia which was the type my husband had.

  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Cynthia,

    I hope you won`t mind me asking, but when you took your husband to the `hotel`, did he not wonder why you weren`t staying too?
  7. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    #7 CraigC, Aug 3, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
    Hi Strawberrywhip,

    I don't think I could ever describe my dad as making my life hell but I do see where you are coming from regarding the move to a home. Dad has been through hell himself over the last 8 years, and no one will know how much suffering he has endured.

    It was hard for all of us and we started it slowly and tried to make the move into a care home as dignified as possible. He was going to a club and then staying at a different club as we moved to a permanent home. So white lies softened the move. Although dad was mid to late stages when he went into care, to this day I believe he was aware deep down of what was going - well at least in some way. Hard to explain but he had a look in his eye. I still get that same look rarely these days, but even a second of awareness is golden to me.

    So, in short the 'club' seemed to help dad with the move - not saying it was easy and we explained what was going on a couple of times just to try and help it settle in. It was mums decision to do it this way, although I was all for telling him what was going on. But I had to eat a bit humble pie as she new best and the decision to 'stretch the truth' paid off.

    As you've read on the forums, it works differently for everyone and the reaction to going into care does depend on the stage of dementia along with the personality. I see people at dads how who seem quite settled and other residents who wait by the door when I'm leaving and ask them to take them home with me.

    We had a good thread running on whether to visit often when people first move into a home and it was really interesting to read different views. A lot of it again comes down to how individuals handle and cope with the situation.

    Glad you MIL as settled and hope it continues to work out at the new home. Sounds like you found somewhere special and also picked the right time for her.

    Kind Regards
  8. strawberrywhip

    strawberrywhip Registered User

    Jun 26, 2006
    short sharp shock!

    Craig, I think I wanted to raise this difficult question because I think famillies in this situation might find it useful to discover how others have managed this highly traumatic transitional period.
    Our psychiatrist I felt gave us permission to use diversionary tactics, and perhaps bend the truth ..because the truth was not recognisable to our MIL who had no insight into her condition or into the enormous amount of time she needed support for. She became more agitated and upset, and cross with us as her closest family, although we had some very good times as well. But we were loosing sight of those.
    We debated long and hard about this..and decided on this course of action.
    Part of the homes regulations ask for a visit by the potential resident and this has to be handled carefully. We didnt tell MIL just said we were popping in for a cup of tea on a day out. It went well she asked no questions just enjoyed a chat and off we went.
    As I have said no warning to her on the day of her admission ..we did not take a bag, or even a coat, couldnt bear the thought of the home struggling to get her coat off. Clothes ere already unpacked an in her drawers..all her belongings werre there in her room ready, along with carefully choosen favourite ornaments soft toys etc.
    It was the most traumatic day of our lives taking her in and not being able to discuss it ..she would never have walked through those doors..but she could not look after herself and we could not cope anymore. We had talked to the nurses before -hand, and we made a quick exit..didnt even say goodbye . they explained she was staying for a while. Traumatic night or 2 ...sedatives to relieve the anxiety...her not us .. But because her memory is so poor she forgot he difficult episodes. Went to meals, became agitated at simlar times that she had done at home ..before meals when she felt she had to go home and cook, but with re-assurance and sensitive, and continuity and a regular routine she soon settled in.
    We kept in close contact ..finally visited 3 weeks after her admission.. she greeted us with hugs and kisses. they had primed her that we were going had a cuppa together. and although she had a tear when we went we waved goodbye.
    No memory at all of when she went it.
    I woudl do the same thing again ..hell on your own conscience..but much less upsetting for her ..short sharp shock ..why prolong the warning her in advance. We choose the home very carefully and then went for it. Good luck to all who are going through this.
  9. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    Co. Durham
    I'm afraid we'll have to join the 'bending brigade' here too.

    We're currently trying to locate a home we like for my Gran, who has told us she knows that the doctors want her to go into care, but she doesn't feel ready.

    We've already concocted the story we will be using to get her to go reasonably happily. There is genuinely some work that needs doing to Gran's house and she will just not be able to be in the house while workmen are in and out of doors, making dust and noise, it just would be too traumatic for her. We are therefore going to tell her that she will be temporarily rehoused while the work goes on, and then when she's in the home, fob her off until she settles.

    That's the theory anyway. We've mentioned our intentions to care home staff we have spoken to so far, and they agree to go along with what we have told her if she asks. They did say that in most cases, the patient will settle a lot more quickly than the relatives think they will, but that in most cases truth bending is allowed, if it makes the transition easier.

    We are anticipating questions about the little boys that visit Gran too, e.g what will be happening with them, who is taking care of them? We'll tell her that the boys will be looked after and we will try to bring them to see her asap.

    It may well prove to be harder than we think, but we all know we're gonna have to tell some porkies somewhere along the line. Dreadful when we were always brought up to be honest isn't it, but needs must I say. Does it sound awful when I say that that's the best thing about this awful disease, the patient will be unaware that you've lied to them and then will forget anyway? I don't mean it as it sounds....there really is no upside to dementia, but I think you'll know what I mean? I hope so anyway.

  10. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    When Lionel was mobile we used to have our lunch in the dining room in the EMI unit at his care home.

    The conversations you could hear: " My roof is being repaired so I cannot go home until it is fixed."

    "The floorboards have all got dry rot"

    One lady, who was convinced she was in a hotel on holiday, used to ask, "have I missed the coach again, I was sure there was a trip out today"

    So many would want to "go home" around tea time, typical sundowning.

    Yes they would all talk a lot about going home, but no one was really unhappy, and somehow friendships formed and some would comfort each other.

    I miss the other residents, as Lionel can never leave his room now.
    The staff seemed to have so much patience.

    Never had a problem with dear Lionel, he always went into respite to give me a break. He maintained right to the end that it was the only thing he could do for me. I guess every story is different.
  11. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex
    Grannie G ,

    He thought i would be staying but i slipped away and next time i visited about three days later he did not ask me again . He had been in respite for three nights and then a week a few months before and when i turned up to collect him he was singing and doing the actions in a group to BONNIE LIES OVER THE OCEAN and when i sat down beside him he looked at me and casualy said "i did not know you were here" and then i took him home and again he took it all in his stride.

  12. Gwenno

    Gwenno Registered User

    Jun 18, 2006
    Just to add that I did the same as Cynthia. The Care Home where my husband went is very modern, and it would be easy to mistake it for a 4* hotel. I never had any difficulty with his acceptance of going into Respite. He enjoyed being there for whatever reason that might have been. In fact, the day after coming home we had to return there to collect his shaver, and after about 15 minutes of being there he had disappeared. The staff searched for him, and found him in the bed he had just vacated. He was so at home there!!!!!! He is now in permanent care at the same Home.

    Like Cynthia I do think that there is a difference in the pattern that Dementia presents itself. My husband has FTD.

    Kind regards to you all

  13. strawberrywhip

    strawberrywhip Registered User

    Jun 26, 2006
    I think that is both the blessing and the curse of this problem..everything is forgotten in a very short time ....we are the ones that remember those traumatic times and bear the guilt. As long as the home is caring and sensitive and prepared for the early settling in problems then we need to trust them to do the job they are trained for. I can see now that MIL will be happy in a very sheltered environment away from the pressure of everyday life. And we can enjoy her again without having the daily battles that were becoming more stressful.
    She was becoming more and more unhappy trying to deal with day to day situations which were beyond her abillity to manage.
    She lived 5 minutes away from us, and at the end we were only taking her home to bed :and locking her in at night for the last week, which I am sure is illegal, and worried us sick, but having been brought back by the police in the middle of the night we felt was our only option.
    However she did slip out during her last day at home and went to our little village on her own, (shopkeepers have been wonderful and very supporive over the last year) she came back highly distressed because the local shops refused to accept screws to pay for her goods!
    We had many ocasions where she was aware enough to read peoples expressions and know she was not making any sense to them and got very upset.
    I do understand Craigs coments about these flashes of insight, and heartbreaking comments that are made which make you think..she can see where this is leading.
    The moment that is imprinted on my memory is when she left her house for the last time ..her daugher came to collect her .MIL said ..I`m just going to put the rubbish out`...stepped over the threshold and we knew she was walking out of her old life into a new one .incredibly sad .... and particulaly because we couldnt talk about it.
    My husband always thught there would be a certain moment when she was completley confused and didnt recognise him any more ..which was when she would be ready ..therefore the placement would be easy ..... of course that wasn`t the case.
    However, on the positive side, we found lots of very old photos at her home, and we have already taken some in ..she can tell us all the family history and I think we are going to take some in every time and build up a reminisence photo album with her while there is still time.
  14. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    Hi SBW,

    I do think it is a good subject to raise and glad you did. But I do think every case is different and reaction will vary upon individual. Interesting that their is a common them of not telling the whole truth - hopefully it will make many feel a lot guilty about those little white lies.

    For me finding a good home that suits the person moving into the home is top priority - even if we all may have different methods of entry ;)

    Both mum and dad have moved into care and it took me a long time to stand back and chose a home that suited them rather than me (if that makes sense). Location was important for practical reasons, but at first I also found myself taking a shining to homes that 'I' liked. However, mum and dad are there practically 24/7 so I realised that it just had to suit them, not just from a needs point of view but as a their new home from home.

    It is one of the most difficult decisions you make and it makes sense to keep visiting until you find the right home - just makes it easier to sleep at night.

    I totally agree with your comment "I think that is both the blessing and the curse of this problem..everything is forgotten in a very short time". Ironically the prime effect of the illness makes dealing with some practical things so much easier - in a way it also helps someone retain a certain amount of dignity. Right from the traumas of incontinence to moving into care and the general progression.

    Dad is unaware of his plight most of the time - that is a blessing for sure. Not sure I'm going to see it that way when I stand with my long list of questions at the pearly gates - he's sure got a lot of explaining to do!

    Kind Regards
  15. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    Very interesting and helpful thread... I took my wife to a care home assisted by the main social worker/carer. A drive of around 50 miles and we lied consistently to her saying she was going to see a doctor and as we arrived that she was going to have her 'dodgy' legs - stomach problems resolved by the medical staff..

    The day before I had hired a van and taken some items of furniture, lots of pictures and ornaments that had been with us for ever to make the room familiar. The induction went OK... Not my worst case scenario but after a couple of hours we left Monique there and at the start of the drive back I seriously considered turning around and getting her out.. I got home, several friends came round and I got drunk...

    The sociologist at the care home believes in truth.... whilst she was OK with going along with the charade to get Monique in without too much trauma she insists that the carer staff do not lie to patients/residents. She gets round the 'impossible' questions by turning questions/demands back on themselves by asking 'why'? 'I want to go home.' response 'why?' 'I am a prisoner here' 'Why do you think that?' (Apparently an American technique) In the end it is of course just semantics... Possibly even a sort of lie within itself. Having spent several years lying to Monique about her Parents, going home, wanting to escape etc etc I do think it does have some value as a technique for dealing with the impossible questions. The sociologue is prepared to invest considerable amounts of time listening to the patients/residents.

    When I or Monique's only friend here in France visit, we have now begun to tell her that she has Alzheimer's and memory problems. The Sociolgue believes that every one of the 50 inmates knows why they are in the home... Well 49 of the 50! Monique has not taken it on board yet and we are advised not to keep on and on about it but to use the 'truth' perhaps once during a visit if the question is asked..

    The truth - does enable me to trust 100% everything I hear from the 'home'. they make almost daily telephone reports to me and it is helpful... And I do believe what they say to me. It appears to be a most caring place - the only problem are all the people with varying stages of Alzheimer's in it.. were it not for them it would be excellent!!!!!

    I do think getting our relatives into these 'homes' is very difficult and some sort of charade may well be necessary - I did it and all who have posted on this tread appear to have done the same... I do not think truth is important in itself but it does lead to trust - I think.

    This last month has been dreadful... near to the edge for me and probably, no not probably certainly terrible for Monique... She is still not settled - up to 3 months I am told - I visited yesterday and she had a pretty lucid day wanting to come home with me, go to the house, come to see the boat!!!!! all stuff to break you up. I cannot really see anyway out of it, leaving her there, but her statements that 'they are all old'. 'I am a prisoner'. 'I am not totally ga ga'. 'you are the only one who can get me out of here' together with a fear of all the other inhabitants cos they are 'nuts' is heartbreaking... The Doctor said it was pretty normal at first and added Monique was very depressed... Just shows what a little training can do for the powers of observation!!! She does of course forget every few minutes, has no problem when I leave - saying I will return.... She was very unhappy with me looking after her so nothing has changed except ... It's all pretty rotten but I hope in another couple of weeks/months she will be institutionalised... Frightening how we use special longer words to cover .... whatever.

    Anyway lets hope that the Truth will indeed 'set us free'..
  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Michael,

    For what they`re worth, my sympathies.

    One thing I would appreciate is the trust you have in the home because of the commitment to be truthful. This is a truly professional approach from people who are objective.

    The lies told by close relatives, to make life easier for themselves and the ones they care for are justified, in my opinion, as they are told to avoid hurting.

    I hope Monique settles, to the point which makes visiting easier for you.

    Love xx
  17. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Telling the truth may have it's place, but it's really much easier to be truthful to someone with dementia if you have a merely "professional" relationship with them, and also are only with them in shifts.

    It;s much harder to be truthful with a loved one whom you are with permanently.

    Very often, lying is the only thing that makes life bearable or possible.

    We tell my dad lies all the time, and agree with him about things we know not to be true, because life would be impossible if we did not.
  18. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain

    Please believe me I did not intend any criticism and I told Monique lies all the time because it seemed to maker her 'happier' or at least less anxious. All that you write is my experience as well... Very very difficult when you are there all the time 24/7 and the staff in Monique's home do 3 days on and 4 days off as it is felt that makes it easier to be patient and polite all the time.

    I really reported on the 'truth' game that is played as it does seem to work in the context of a home -- it is too late for me now but I wonder if 'shades' of it might be useful - in my case I deeply regret following the advice of the Neurologist who felt telling Monique that she had Alzheimer's would cause her an emotional shock she might not be able to cope with..... Hey! Who know...
  19. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Not sure how to respond

    Some of you seem to be in the same boat as me, we were advised not to tell mum about moving to a home, but I felt it was wrong, and told her. Everyone now agrees I was right. I still think I was right. We chose a home we thought had a mix of residents, some obviously not communicative, but some very. Unfortunately it seems we might have been wrong in our judgement. How do you tell? We looked at four homes (3 others had no vacancies). Two had too many residents who were unable to communicate. We had a choice of two, but one didn't have a satisfactory room, it was too far away from the main areas, and I thought she would get lost. It was also right next to the Fire Escape, which I felt was unwise. Mum is unsafe in that she wanders at night, but apart from that, and the usual memory issues, is still quite conversational and bright. She only went into the home yesterday and is already saying it is boring, everyone is old, they only sleep, they don't talk. I know we have to give it a bit longer, but my mum is sociable, she wants people to talk to and who talk to her.

    If this home is not satisfying her needs, I will move her back to the hospital and start looking again.

    Oh, dear, I am so stressed. It has all come upon us so quickly, six weeks ago mum was running her own life, no real sign of anything seriously amiss (though we now learn she was doing strange things several months earlier, like paying bills twice and getting red reminders - never had before - arriving at the post office at 7.30 a.m., going to the corner shop at 2 a.m., and the bus stop at 2 a.m. but she was still "managing"). Now we are "putting her into a home" and she isn't happy. She accepts the night wanderings now, she denied them at first but now believes what she has been told. I haven't mentioned the bill payments, and the phone bill trebbling cos she has been ringing premium rate numbers and friends at 3 a.m.

    What do you do when mum isn't happy where she is?

  20. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Margaret,

    If I had the answer, Margaret, everyone`s problems would be over.

    Would it be possible and if so would it be wise? How many moves would your mother be able to cope with?

    I suppose the only answer is to leave her where she is for the present and keep looking.

    The problem is, she is sociable but she wanders. So she needs somewhere secure, but unfortunately the secure homes are usually for people far further down the line than your mother.

    My mother was refused a place in out first choice of home because of her wandering and had to be admitted to a secure EMI unit. It was unsatisfactory, but the only way to keep her safe.

    I wish you luck.

    Love xx

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