How do you know when it is time for a care home?

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by VIB35, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. VIB35

    VIB35 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    Hi - I'm not sure if anyone out there can help but there must be others in this situation. My dear mother is 64 and has AD. She is still at home but we have carers in from 8am till 9pm every day (apart from the odd hour or so).

    My father is at breaking point in terms of caring for my mother and is talking about care homes which I just cannot imagine.

    I've been looking at care home websites but it just breaks my heart to see photos of these old ladies/men sitting in their chairs.

    How do you decide when the person who is your mother (or father) is ready for a home. She has moments of lucidity when she is totally aware of her illness and it just breaks my heart to think that she will be aware of her surroundings and thinking we have 'dumped' her in a home. (her words when she was in hospital last year for 3 months). This is illness is the most cruel thing in the world and I can't help think that a care home will make her worse in terms of the depression/confusion etc. Although there are frequent times when she doesn't recognise her own home. She has several bouts of 'pain' each day which can last for hours but then pass - we think they are down to anxiety but are not sure.

    I just don't know what to suggest to my father but realise that we cannot go on like this. His life has been totally ruined too by this horrific illness. As has ours.....

    Is anyone else at this stage of trying to work out the future? My mother can no longer dress/bath herself etc, eats very little (a sandwich with a spoon on a good day), can't read/write/watch TV, but during the few minutes of lucidity each day is just lovely and like the old Mum....

    I, along with my sister and brother, just don't know what to do...
  2. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    So very many of us face the same decisions - raw, hurtful and painful. Perhaps the post under the heading - Dad is asking when he is coming home - might give you some insight into the emotional turmoil I am sure your dad is going through. My love and best wishes to you xx TinaT
  3. VIB35

    VIB35 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    Hi Tina, thanks for that, have just had a look. So sorry to hear what you are going through with your husband. Sounds similar to what we are going through - just horrendous. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Vicky
  4. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    #4 CraigC, Jan 21, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
    So difficult to say. However you mentioned that your father is now at breaking point which means that perhaps it is the right time. You've got to consider his needs and health. Not all homes are terrible, in fact there are some pretty good homes and there are a lot of loving caring people who work in homes who have professional experience looking after people in your dads situation. We realised that they could do a better job than us once the needs became so demanding.

    Saying that, I know how you feel. That initial look at homes is quite a shock and hits hard. Forget how much I've hardened up to it :eek: .... however I do remember how good it was to feel that dad was safe and mum no longer needed to cope with the day-to-day issues that were damaging her health. The emotional issues that followed mean your dad will need a lot of TLC (and you!), but no need to do this alone. Lots of friendly people here if you need us.

    There are many threads helping you to find care homes so I can give you some pointers/links if you like. As you can imagine this issue is ofter discussed. The Elderly Accommodation council are particular good.

    And don't be disheartened when you visit the first few and try and go with a good friend or relative. It may take a little time to find the right home if that is what you decide.

    You may also be able to find day care centres - we used these at first for dad to give mum a rest during the day, but as time progressed the weekends became longer and longer and she was at breaking point. I still remember the day she called me and said she was going to crack. To be honest, we left it a little late and mums health suffered, but who could blame her for keeping it up for so long. You are doing the right thing looking now rather than leaving it to late.

    All I can say is that you'll get a lot of support here on talking point and practical advice if you need it.

    Rambling a bit, so just fire away if you have specific questions about finding care, there are some good charitable agencies out there who are just waiting to help.

    Kindest Regards
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi. I can understand your upset, but please consider your father in this. If he says he's at breaking-point, thenyou have to accept that. He doesn't want to see your mum in a home either, and will be feeling very guilty, but there is only so much anyone can do.

    I went through this three months ago with my husband, he is now in a care home. It upset me very much, but he is now receiving care that I couldn't possibly have given him.

    Please tell your dad that you support him, and encourage him to visit care homes with you. Hopefully you will be able to find one where your mum will be well cared for, and your dad will be able to spend quality time with her without being constantly exhausted.

    Sorry if this wasn't what you wanted to hear, but please don't let it get to the point where your dad collapses too.
  6. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003

    Hello VIB35,
    I suspect you know in your heart that hard decisions are looming. It is not easy for your Dad to admit that he is struggling - it feels a bit like admitting failure or defeat, and he will need as much support in this as your Mum!

    Try and enlist the help of your nearest Alzheimer's Society and your GP or CPN in your search for a care home. They may not be able to recommend any by name, but they can help you with a list of important questions, what to look for, etc.

    Would it all feel a little less scary (for all of you) if you looked for respite care first? Your Dad might feel refreshed after a couple of weeks 'off', and you could monitor your Mum's reaction as well as getting an idea of how well she would be looked after.

    Best wishes!
  7. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Please start looking positively before a 'crunch' decision has to be reached.

    Never an easy time, but there are good homes to be found. One thing that helps is time. Some of the worst decisions are those that, through circumstance, are taken in a hurry.

    Listen to your dad. He is as important as dear mum in all this.
  8. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hello Vib35,
    From the time of my husband's diagnoised he was 58.
    As a disabled Carer, I wanted to have my husband at home till the end. Unfortunately, due to my own health deteriorating the matter was taken out of my hands by the Consultant. On a ward at the local Hospital was his suggestion but I did not want that for my husband. I for a lovely Care Home about 5 minutes from our house. So Peter was placed in the E.M.I. Unit receiving the 24/7 care that he needed. Anger at my disability that I was not fit to care for my soul-mate was heart breaking.
    I did do research into Care Homes a year previous so I knew when the time came I would find the best I could for my husband. In all fairness the Consultant did allow Peter to have that extra year at home and being stubborn, I would cope, even with Carers coming in, I knew in my heart I had made a mistake.
    It is not an easy things to think about but at the end of the day we want the best care for our loved one.
    I wish you sincere best wishes at this difficult time that this herendous illness does to all concerned.
    Take care
  9. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    I can only say that Hazel has said EXACTLY what I wanted to say - but better.

    The MOST important thing now is to help your Dad cope with the grief and guilt he will be feeling about being unable to cope any longer. Only you, hisd nearest and dearest, can do that - by telling him you understand and support his decisions.

    Your dear Mum is young to be going into a home but from your description it definitely sounds as if it is time.

    And please remember, this is not the end of caring - it is just a new stage. Your Mum still needs you all to visit her, to spend time with her, to do things for her. But all of you, and especially your Dad, will be spared the exhausting tasks that go with caring.

    Many of us have found it is easier to spend quality time with our loved ones once the every-day responsibilities of cleaning, cooking, and caring are being taken care of by the Home.

    I encourage you to try and see the "bright side" of this, for your own sake and especially for your Dad and your Mum.

    There is much you can do to help your dear Mum feel comfortable in the Home. Be prepared for her to be non-accepting for a time, but remember that this is a necessity, not a choice.

    Every best wish for the difficult times ahead. May your outcome be as good as possible.
  10. BeverleyY

    BeverleyY Registered User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Ashford, Kent
    My Dad asks for me to take him to the Doctor to be referred to a home quite often.

    He tells me he needs a 'chat' with me, and then I know what he is going to say. He says, that with two young children, I should be focused on them and not be burdened with the hassle of him living here anymore. We all reassure him that we love him, and the time is not right yet and then he forgets about asking for a day or so again.

    He eats (too much), still dresses himself and showers (with some persuasion). I think, for most of us that are realistic, we know that there will come a time when we have to consider full time care - for both our loved ones, as well as for ourselves.

    My key deciders will be when Dad is a risk to himself or my children, or when I physically cannot cope (i.e. incontinence etc.)

    It's all a heartbreaking decision, and you have my best wishes.

    It's especially heartbreaking to see that you Mum is still so young.:(

    Beverley x

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