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How get round first step of taking MIL to care home?

Poppyred

Registered User
Jun 10, 2015
3
Hi I'm also new to this site today, wish I'd found it before! My MIL has vascular dementia she was diagnosed near 6 years ago, she's still leaving at home alone and myself and my husband (and our 2 young children) are her only family and therefore are her main carers.
We recently had an assessment done by SS and now have help Monday - Friday at 9am for half an hour and again at 2pm for half an hour as she can't prepare any food and unless you tell her to eat she won't. We then go every evening and at weekends to do her cleaning, cooking, shopping and all the usual. SS have now closed the case!!
She has no long term memory and her short term memory is very limited, she can't use the phone, has no idea on time often sleeping in the afternoon waking up and thinking it's the next day and at times even goes out leaving the house open as she struggles with the keys. We got every tea time and have someone bath her once a week. She repeatedly tells us that there is nothing wrong with her and when we suggest going to care home, even for the day she says she won't.
We are having to go away for 17 days and therefore looking to put her in a care home for restbite care for this time, apart from now dealing with all the paper work & finance, we are wondering how she will cope with this. We have been told that if we take her in and one the second day wants to go home then they can't keep her in and she'll have to go home. If this happens then we will be 1000's of miles away and unable to come and get her, she won't be safe at home and we will have cancelled her day care! Has anyone experienced this problem, or tips of how to get them settled in? We are going to take her for day visits between now but worried this will make her worse.
We currently feel that we are having to deal with all of this alone and have no support. Any advice or support is welcome:)
 

2jays

Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
11,598
West Midlands
I don't know the answers but I'm thinking that if you are moving mum into respite whilst you are away, the care home should/will have ways to distract your mum from wanting to go home for the time she is there. They would be failing in their duty of care if they "allowed" her to go home to an empty house are my thoughts

From my point of view, I think in some cases it is a good idea to visit care home, especially during their activities time, so your mum gets to "know" people and the routine - for my mum, the first care home she moved permanently into had a day centre she used to visit so she was "familiar" with the people and carers

What I wouldn't do is keep mentioning she is going into respite. I may tell her once, then on the day just take her as if she is joining in the activities and then pop off to the loo and just not go back - but that might not work for your mum - if I had stopped to say good bye to mum all L would have let loose, but just popping off to the loo worked...

When they can, hopefully others who have the same experience of moving someone into respite for the first time will be along.

What ever you do. Enjoy your break. Every one needs/is allowed to have a holiday, but especially people who care for young children and a person with dementia xxx


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Sooty2

Registered User
Jun 1, 2015
30
Hi, unfortunately we to are in a similar position and I find that the organisations and outside agencies really make life hard. I know this sounds harsh but when the time comes for my MIL to go into care and I don't think this will be long, we will take her on "holiday" and leave her there, because she wouldn't go otherwise, I deeply sympathise with you, because I know how frustrating this can be, what I would say if you take her for respite and she likes it and theres a room available make that move, by the way they cant just let her home as she would not be safe, you need to look at deprivation of liberty safeguards with any home you choose however, and I would also look at getting power of attorney if you do not have it, you can then make the decisions in mums best interests.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Hi, unfortunately we to are in a similar position and I find that the organisations and outside agencies really make life hard. I know this sounds harsh but when the time comes for my MIL to go into care and I don't think this will be long, we will take her on "holiday" and leave her there, because she wouldn't go otherwise, I deeply sympathise with you, because I know how frustrating this can be, what I would say if you take her for respite and she likes it and theres a room available make that move, by the way they cant just let her home as she would not be safe, you need to look at deprivation of liberty safeguards with any home you choose however, and I would also look at getting power of attorney if you do not have it, you can then make the decisions in mums best interests.
It doesn't sound harsh at all. Many people have had to do similar. When a person has no insight into their condition, still thinks they are managing everything themselves, and cannot begin to comprehend that they need so much help and care, there is often no other choice.

If asked, I would guess that the vast majority of people with dementia (or without it for the matter) would say that they don't want to go into a care home, whether for respite or permanent care. So the relatives who care about them do often find that they have to be 'creative'.

I know a lot is made nowadays of 'we can't keep him/her if s/he wants to go home' , but in practice I do wonder how many reputable care homes would simply allow a vulnerable adult to leave when they are incapable of managing alone. For a start someone else would have to take them. And if there were going to be nobody at home, there is the question of getting in...
If it were me in such circs I think I would simply and quietly ensure that house keys were not available.
 

Poppyred

Registered User
Jun 10, 2015
3
Thanks

Hi, Thanks for the responses, we have already activated our power of eterny (as we do all her banking etc) so will look into this to see if it means we have the overall say (I think it does). I know I feel terribly guilty leaving her there, but also know it will be for the best. We have booked her in next week for a session and I like the idea of saying I'm just popping to the loo, it's almost the same way that you would treat a child, often harder on us than it is for them!
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,948
London
Do you have health and welfare power of attorney? The financial one won't help you here.