How often do you visit the care home?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Jamesthecat, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Jamesthecat

    Jamesthecat Registered User

    Mar 21, 2016
    4
    My mother in law was transferred to a care home 3 days ago. So far we've been to visit her every day - as we used to when she was living at home on her own.

    Is it normal to visit every day or do most people go just a few times a week or at weekends? We both work full time so I can't say the daily visits haven't been a bind!
     
  2. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    I visited every day, the samecas when mum was at home but slowky reduced the length of visits. I then started taking one day off , then 2. I kept it at 5 days a week but most 30 mins with long visit on friday and sunday.
     
  3. baz66

    baz66 Registered User

    Mar 20, 2016
    7
    My mum has been in a home for 2 weeks. Dad visits her every 2 or 3 days and I visit every other weekend as I live 150 miles away. He is starting to get a life for himself though racked with guilt. It's important for him to have time to himself so that his visits don't become a duty. My mum is quite advanced so forgets he's visited as soon as he's left. It sounds like you've been a brilliant son in law so far! Although there are no rules about this I feel you shouldn't be too hard on yourself if you don't go every day. Good luck and lots of strength to you and your partner.
     
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,737
    Salford
    It's a personal thing I think. In over 2.5 months I've missed 2 days but it's not far away and I have the time plus it get's out of the house and gives me someone to talk to. My wife recognises me as someone she likes when I visit but can't remember we're married or what my name is either but as long as we're both getting something out of the visits I'll carry on.
    I do see visitors who get totally ignored by the person they're visiting, they get up and wander off, go to sleep or just don't talk, some are so far advanced that it's not possible to get through to them at all and there hardly seems any point in visiting.
    My observations are that partners are more likely to visit the most often, women much more so than men, women visiting stay longer and are more likely to get involved, talk to the other patients and the staff.
    K
     
  5. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    I should add my mums home was less than 10 minutes away. The travel is a huge factor. Nobody should feel guilty. We all do our best.
     
  6. Maldives13

    Maldives13 Registered User

    Feb 4, 2014
    164
    My Mum is in a care home. I have 2 sisters and they each visit two days a week for 2 hours. I visit the other 3 days but I bring her back to my house for the day once a week and I stay at the care home for tea once a week. I used to spend so much time with her when she was at home that I still like doing it now. I live very close to the care home so that's good.
    Must admit I used to stay with her once a week when my hubby was away and I miss that with her being in the care home. They don't have a spare bed for me!! Working on that! Just joking. Think it varies for each person. Some people get hardly any visitors. Good luck - it's a long road but hopefully you will get there
     
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,623
    Female
    London
    #7 Beate, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    You have to do what's right for you - there is no right or wrong or rule book, although the advice is generally not to visit too much in the first few weeks to give the person opportunity to settle in. At home you visited every day because you needed to look after her, but she is in different hands now, so make visits unstressful affairs, whenever you want to go, but not as a daily duty. The staff won't think less of you!
     
  8. Missy

    Missy Registered User

    Dec 18, 2006
    71
    We live 250 miles away so visit every six weeks for a weekend. IT is really tough to do even that, especially in the winter after a week at work.
     
  9. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    427
    I visit my husband between 3 and 5 times a week. The home is a 25 mile round trip - half hour each way as it is on the outskirts of a city. I spend an average of 4 hours with him so it does take up a lot of my day. I also try and take him out for lunch once a week followed by a walk with our dog, weather permitting. At the moment I have come down with a really bad cold and so I haven't seen him since Thursday and am feeling guilty, but I rang the home and they said he is fine. He forgets I've been as soon as I've gone, as his short term memory is very bad, and when I was away for 2 weeks last year house sitting for his son, he wasn't aware that I hadn't visited.

    I think if it is a strain for you to visit every day, just miss a day now and then and see if your mum is aware of that. If she is ok, then you need not feel any guilt if you visit less often, although having said that I still feel bad if I miss more than two days running.
     
  10. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,586
    West Midlands
    I travel 150 miles round trip visiting mum. Mum is where she is because the rest of the family wanted her near them so they could visit. I'm still the only family member who visits....

    My Tom Tom tells me it should take 1 hour 30 mins. I've yet to do it in under 2 hours in the 3 years she's been in this care home. 3 motorways and winding country roads.

    I used to visit weekly. Go in, be verbally abused by mum, walk out.

    Initially, I would drive 2 hours for a visit that lasted 15 minutes.

    Occasionally I stayed longer..... But no more than an hour

    I now visit rarely. I find it almost physically impossible to visit unless it's an important meeting to do with her care.

    I can do this, because the care at the home is 85% brilliant. I can do this because if I didn't, and continued to visit weekly, I would crash into the deep dark hole of depression again.

    Self preservation stops me visiting as I've had carers breakdown twice.

    The guilt monster.... Is mostly stamped on..... Unless I feed it. And boy doesn't it keep telling me it's hungry..... On my good days, I can ignore it reminding it that mum is very content and well cared for....

    Today is a good day for the guilt monster......
     
  11. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    464
    Female
    Cheshire
    I'm guessing it varies for everyone, depending on the relationship, distance to care home etc.

    It's one hour's drive each way to see my dad. When he first moved into care, I visited every day. But as he (slowly) settled I cut it down to every other day, then a couple of times a week. Now I go once a week and spend a few hours with him. My sister visits every second or third weekend. And he has a couple of friends who go in once a month and take him out for lunch. This works for us most of the time, but sometimes dad gets anxious so I go more if I think he needs it.

    Once a week is personally enough for me, because there's so much else going on in my life right now.
     
  12. angelface

    angelface Registered User

    Oct 8, 2011
    1,086
    london
    My thought is that you visit as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

    I think the minimum really is once a fortnight. The CH really needs to know that family visits,and that you are keeping an eye on the welfare of the person and the standards of care in the home.

    However,if you find the visits too difficult (emotionally that is), then it would have to be
    much less often.I did find that I would limit the time . When the person I was visiting got up and wandered away, then that was my time to go home.
     
  13. Skittering Pig

    Skittering Pig Registered User

    Mar 4, 2016
    6
    What you find comfortable with and able to fit in. Mum is about 10 minutes away I visit every other day or every third day but only for about 15 minutes as that is all she is up to. Personal choice.
     
  14. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,401
    Female
    England
    My husband went into care nearly 4 years ago. I visited daily so I got a good feel on how the nursing home worked and to let the staff see I was always about. My husband was mobile in fact extremely mobile and could join in any activities etc so started to go just 5 days a week, taking the two days on any day to suit me re appointments or a day with a friend.

    My husband has now progressed and needs everything done for him so I am back to every day as I like to give him one of his meals each day and as he is bedbound he is no longer part of the social side and therefor sees no one other than a carer who comes to turn him every two hours and give him a drink. He sees the nurse 5 times a day but she gives him medication and injections so I don't expect he finds her visits pleasurable.

    Visiting probably works itself out according to your relationship. I have been married for 50 years this year so seeing my husband daily is normal and something I am happy to do. Had I had to visit parents then that might have been different. I saw my parents every weekend, I worked full time and had a family. So maybe I would have visited them weekly as I had done for many years. Then again I might have visited more often knowing how precious the time left is, I just don't know. I think we make the decision when we face care home care.
     
  15. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,057
    Toronto, Canada
    It really does depend on the relationship and on the length of time the person has been in care.

    When my mother went into care just over 15 years ago, I visited every day after work and both days of the weekend. She was mobile (very!) and talking so we did a lot of excursions - walks, shopping, drives, meals out. I did this every day for 2 or 3 months then I cut it back to 6 days a week - I didn't visit on Fridays after work. I can't remember how long I kept that up but I do remember being in my support group and being challenged by another member as to why I visited so much and how I should cut back. I am grateful to him as it made me think.

    I cut another day out and eventually I cut it down to Tuesdays and Thursdays after work and Saturdays and Sundays, which schedule I kept for quite a few years. It was only when my husband's work schedule changed that I was no longer able to visit regularly during the week. I must explain - I have to be able to do something when I am visiting so for the last number of years - maybe 8 or so? - I feed my mother. So if I cannot get to the home in time for the evening meal, I feel it is unproductive for me.

    With my husband schedule change, I was reduced to visiting weekends only. I now visit one day a week, and sometimes I can manage to get there during the week. My boss drops me off and my husband picks me up later. By the time my husband gets there, I've finished feeding Mum.

    The amount of time has diminished over the years also. Nowadays I spend about an hour and a half, depending on how long it takes Mum to eat her meal.

    I have found that spouses spend more time than children. I have always felt it is harder for spouses than children. Not that we children don't love our parents but the nature of the relationship is very different.
     
  16. honeybears

    honeybears Registered User

    Oct 18, 2014
    41
    Hampshire
    Sorry, I have come in late on this one, but don't get me started on how many times you should visit. Mum is about 10 - 15 minutes away from where I live and has been in care since August 2014. I do nothing but worry myself as to whether I go to see her enough or whether I should go more as I want to do the right thing by her, yet like you, by partner and I work full time, Saturday & Sunday afternoons are the only time we get to sit down together, and visiting after work is limited due to traffic constraints. I do visit twice a week, for about an hour at a time yet it seems like that is no where near enough when she is so close but some days when she asks every minute or so what the time is, or how long am I there for, even if it is lovely to see her, after answering that question 50 or 60 times during a visit, that hour does not go by quick enough!
    Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit as I wasn't working, but decided that my partner and I deserved an afternoon of rest before the working week starts again - seemed like a good idea at the time, but then I spent the rest of the day feeling guilty for not going!:eek:
     
  17. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,917
    Suffolk
    When OH had 2 weeks respite, I didn't visit at all, the first time I was away, anyway. When he went into his 3rd respite, which morphed into permanent, I didnt go in the first two weeks, it was meant to be respite, and I got a tummy upset. The third week he got a chest infection, so I was going in every day for a while. When that cleared and he stayed there, I was going in 3-4 times a week. I lived about 10-15 mins away ( though the road was closed for a while, the official diversion more than doubled the trip, the unofficial one wasn't so bad. It was so well used it had to be repaired in places!) btw.
    Then I went back to 3 times a week, he couldn't walk by now, talking was not good. I used to go in late morning, so that I could help him with his dinner if necessary. The day he told me to get lost, I left immediately. He never did that again!
    When he was obviously failing, I went in more often, daily for the last few days.

    I think you adapt to what's good for you, what you can manage, and how you both feel about it. Please don't feel guilty! In many cases the pwd doesn't remember, feeling guilty is self imposed, in some cases to ease one feelings. IMHO.
     
  18. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    614
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    My mother is a half-hour's drive from me. I visit each weekend for about an hour.
     
  19. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,162
    My father (lived abroad as some of you are bored with me saying ;) ) wasn't in a CH for most of his dementia years but a hospital. I found it much easier to visit with one of my siblings, so when Dad started moaning or was delusional, we'd chat together rather than have to 'pander' or distract. He also seemed to like listening in and the general easier atmosphere. Equally if friends were there - and they also went in pairs after a while - it made it all quite merry and less of a difficult duty.
     
  20. Gwendy1

    Gwendy1 Registered User

    Feb 9, 2016
    414
    Glasgow
    I think it varies greatly for the individual, and also for how your loved one is doing- physical and mentally. I visited dad 3 times a week, taking him out on Sunday when he was able at first. Few months later, twice a week for a while. Last couple of months I've visited daily after work ( he's only 10min drive away) because he's deteriorated physically. .. A long message to say- it's whatever u can manage and are comfortable with!x
     

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