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How long until care home is needed?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by rainsong, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. rainsong

    rainsong Registered User

    Aug 9, 2013
    My husband and I have been caring for his mother for the last 6 or so years since she was diagnosed with vascular dementia.
    MIL lives alone in her own home with support from us. We visit daily to assist with her medication, a meal, shopping, cleaning, showering, climate control and household organization.
    She also goes to a day centre once a week and an exercise group another day.
    For the first few years of caring we only needed to support with medication, finances and orientating her to the day of the week. In the last year we have had to disconnect the stove as she had a couple of small cooking fires. We have organised meals on wheels. She no longer sleeps in her bed and prefers to sleep on the couch. She is regularly confused about the time of day thinking that it is morning when it is evening and vice versa. She has shaky turns and is unsteady on her feet but this seems to correct itself if there is an authority figure present eg. The doctor. She wears unusual combinations of clothing and gets upset if we try to help her change her clothes before going out. She refuses to shower unless my husband insists and we need to run the water and assist her to remove clothing as she finds this difficult. She makes up all kinds of very plausible stories about what she has been doing that we know can't possibly be true.

    We have requested an assessment to get some help for her. We would like her to have at least two carers visits a day. One in the morning to get her up, oriented and fed, and another in the early afternoon to turn on heating or cooling, give her a snack and some fluids. They said we have to wait at least two months for the assessment as she is not urgent. We can only visit her in the evening as we both work full-time and have young children.
    This morning she called my husband's mobile phone and asked if her husband was at our house. He died 15 years ago. This is the first time she has done this. I am guessing that it is the beginning of another downward step.
    I guess my question is how long can she continue to live alone like this? I feel so sorry for her but I don't know what else we can do.
    She is in total denial of her condition and believes she doesn't need any help.
  2. balloo

    balloo Registered User

    Sep 21, 2013
    I would say she is not safe in her own home full stop. my MIL moved in with us 2.5 yrs ago after a Christmas with us she did not want to go home she was not safe or happy.she now needs to be in the same room or area of garden as us or she gets confused upset and shouts for us. i have gone from working 50 hrs a week to 15 hrs a week as I work from home but she takes up more of my time . you either need to put her in a nursing home or bring her to live with you and quit work, I am guessing I am going to have to give up you in the next few months completely although I hope we an last me working until my daughter has finished uni as it costs a bomb
  3. irishmanc

    irishmanc Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    My Dad was doing the same thing with the unusual combinations of clothing and refusing to wash. He was also in total denial of his condition. He now lives in a nursing home where he is happy and very well cared for. It sounds as if a major crisis may come soon for you so maybe you need to think about looking into care homes and funding while you still have the chance. There comes a point with all of us in respect of this disease when we have to step back and it's a good idea to have a plan in place for when that time comes as it can come up sooner than you think. Good luck with your situation.
  4. mrs mcgonnagal

    mrs mcgonnagal Registered User

    May 9, 2015
    #4 mrs mcgonnagal, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
    I am in the same situation with my mam at the moment, she needs 24 hour company, so I can't work, and have ended up living with her. She has gone through a very bad time, and I have got her through that, but now I am realising that I can't do this forever for my own welfare, health etc though I know it, its hard to outright acknowledge it. So while she is in a fairly calm period she is visiting a CH for day visits and respite breaks. It's very nice, small, well run and busy, she seems much happier there than at home. In the longer term I think I am going to have to have the courage to let it transform into a permanent thing. I am hoping it makes the decisions easier, everyone already knows each other and its familiar surroundings. You may find that introducing things slowly like this might help, I am hoping it will for us. its all so difficult for everyone concerned. Best wishes.
  5. Waterlilly

    Waterlilly Registered User

    Jul 29, 2015
    southwest London
    #5 Waterlilly, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
    Hello I'm pretty new here and I so appreciate TP and am inspired by people's dedication in their own journeys.
    We moved in with Mum (has vascular dementia) about 4 months ago. She is increasingly confused but generally very thankful to us. The most difficult thing currently is that she is always so busy, always moving things around, taking dirty laundry out of the basket, putting dirty cutlery in the drawer, taking things from everyone's room etc she doesn't secrete them, though they may be hard to find, just puts them in different rooms, or in bags, puts the rubbish in the food recycling bin etc. I can hardly keep up trying to be one step ahead washing up etc and am very tired. There's no point in giving her little tasks to do to enable her to be busy usefully, she can't follow instructions like 'Yes please we need three plates on the table' when she asked if we wanted plates taken in. Also dresses dangerously like top of petticoat round waist instead of over shoulders so it hangs round ankles. and changes clothing fairly regularly during day.
    She goes to a wonderful day centre 2 days a week. But to make home safe and suitable for everyone (17-yr old daughter finds the moving hence losing of things distressing) we need to fit locks on the bedrooms and our bathroom, find out how to turn off cooker gas supply, double lock front door (sometimes goes out to speak to bank manager next door etc) and I wonder if it can feel like a home any more being locked out of most rooms.
    OH very against CH but I think I'll be exhausted soon. I think she'd quite likely enjoy CH - loved boarding school and living in nurses' hostel, loves being with people.
    So I sometimes too think how long till CH is needed? As she needs constant supervision for safety.
  6. rainsong

    rainsong Registered User

    Aug 9, 2013
    Thankfully MIL doesn't need constant supervision yet as she doesn't wander and enjoys pottering around in her garden I would hate to move her before it's necessary. Hubby is very against moving her to a care home but is starting to see that this may become necessary some time soon.
    Do you think she may start wandering soon?I am concerned she may if she thinks her husband is still there but hasn't come home.
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hi rainsong. Unfortunately with dementia it is almost impossible to predict exactly what will happen and when.
    If you and your dad are beginning to think that a care home will be needed some time soon then I think it is probably time to start looking at CHs so that you know which one you would like her to go to when the time arises. Good CHs usually have waiting lists, so when you have decided put her name down on the waiting list. If they contact you to say there is a place that doesnt mean that you have to take it just at that time - you can keep her name on the list.
  8. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent

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