How to persuade relative to be taken to care home?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Dagne, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Dagne

    Dagne Registered User

    Feb 16, 2013

    I’m new here and have already benefitted from the advice on this forum.

    My partner and I have tried to get suitable care in place for his cousin - he is not close to her, but is the closest family she has. We have finally got meals on wheels and daily carer visits arranged. She lives in a retirement flat, where there is no support, and she could wander out into the street. She is wandering the corridors at night, is not able to wash, dress, or cook, and has had a few falls. A pressure sore is healing but it is a matter of time before she gets another as she spends most of her time in bed.

    At a best interests meeting it was agreed that 24 hour residential care would best meet her needs. She can afford good quality care, and we have found an excellent home - probably in the top 10-20 of care homes in the country. The problem is that we can’t force her into a car or ambulance, we really need to persuade her at some level. Most days she doesn’t answer any questions at all, and when she has a good day and is more alert, the most she puts up with is being brought a meal before telling us to leave her alone.

    I’m hoping that carers will have some luck with bathing and getting her dressed, so that we can gently persuade her to take a short walk or take her out for a cup of tea (she likes to eat in private). If we manage to establish this, then maybe the next step would be to go for a meal at the care home, maybe pretend it’s a hotel? and hopefully persuade her to stay (having had an assessment done at her home by the care home first and arranged it in advance with them).

    Realistically though, it will be weeks before this happens, if at all. In the mean time, she is getting no exercise, so her balance gets worse, and no mental stimulation. It’s frustrating to know that an excellent care home which would provide a safe, pleasant and therapeutic environment is available to her, while she stays in her flat where she is alone, bored and at risk. And the one bed available in the home we like will be gone. Because she doesn’t have a close relationship with us (although she does recognise my partner still), we don’t know how to build trust, especially given that she probably associates us with the unwanted intrusion of social workers, carers, etc.

    Looking forward to visiting when carers have been in so that we have more meaningful time to try to connect with her rather than just to do emergency cleaning and repairs to her flat, meetings with social worker, etc., which have been taking up most of the time we’ve been able to spend with her (we visit about once a week). Next time I will bring old photos, read aloud to her, play some music from her youth - anything to make some kind of connection beyond bringing her meals.

    Should say we’re in the process of applying for deputyship.

    Thanks in advance for any advice on logistics of getting someone physically to a care home!

  2. tomkitten16

    tomkitten16 Registered User

    Sep 24, 2012
    when we took our mum to her CH -because she had been ill in hospital with a urine infection- we told her that her trusted GP had arranged for a ''holiday'' for her. We took her in my sister's car and she had a small weekend bag packed in the boot of the car.My sister and I were distraught as once we arrived at the Ch we were terrified mum wouldn't get out of the car.However poor mum trusted us and we led her in.The Ch were expecting us and they took over taking mum down to their'' restaurant'' for lunch.Mum was like a lamb to the slaughter and my sister and I dissolved into tears( I still cry now trying to write this).All I can say is good luck and don't be afraid to tell a few fibs- you are doing the right thing.Lorrainex
  3. Dagne

    Dagne Registered User

    Feb 16, 2013
    Lorraine, thank you for writing this even though it brings up difficult memories. Thanks too for the reassurance about telling fibs - it really goes against the grain, but our relative might have a grim idea about a care home which is miles away from the reality of the place we’ve chosen for her. If she saw it and was able to, she might knowingly consent to move in, the difficult thing is getting her physically out of her flat.

    It sounds like you and your sister did the right thing for your mum, and I’m so glad it worked for you.

  4. BrightSide

    BrightSide Registered User

    Oct 22, 2011
    I absolutely agree, it is all about subterfuge and white lies....JUST to get them in the door. My father is the same going to respite which he hates. For some reason, although his memory is sporadic and failing...he always knows where he is when he is there - and knows he hates it! The drive in, all false and bright, then the look on his face when he gets in there and has a momentary flicker of recognition. God alone knows what we will do when a vacancy comes up in the nursing home. All he wants to do is sit in his comfy chair by the window at home...watching a load of nonsense on the TV - cr@p he would never have given house room to before.

    This damned cruel illness. As if it is not bad enough that it decimates their lives and turn us into fibbing, guilt ridden wrecks.
  5. gingernut45

    gingernut45 Registered User

    Mar 7, 2013
    personal furniture in care home

    Some care homes allow new residents to bring in a favourite piece of furniture. Obviously it depends on space in bed rooms and the usual fire regs, but if it's the carrott to tempt them in why not ask.
  6. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    #6 Witzend, Mar 15, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
    Hello Dagne,

    I'm not sure you'll like this, but here goes.

    There was no way my mother would have gone voluntarily into a care home. Even though she was very bad by then and the need had become urgent, she did not think there was anything wrong with her (in fact we'd long given up trying to discuss it since it was pointless and just upset or or made her angry.) On top of that it was almost impossible ever to get her out of the house at all, except very occasionally to the doctor - somehow that was OK, doctor being aka God.

    Talk of a 'little holiday' or similar would never have worked - she would simply have refused to go.

    We consulted the doctor, who prescribed Valium to make her 'easier' on the day. The whole thing was planned like a military operation. My sister and I were to take her for 'a drive and maybe out for lunch'. Brother and BIl stayed behind to follow later with her things (surreptitiously packed by sister the night before.)

    It was a 60 mile drive (to a CH near me) and we were petrified the whole way that she'd twig and demand to go home. But mercifully she didn't. The care home had asked us to arrive for lunch - brother and BIl turned up and we all sat down to a very nice lunch. She actually thought it was a restaurant and offered to pay - you can imagine how awful we all felt.

    Some time after lunch my sister undertook to tell her she was staying. Of course it was pretty awful, she wasn't a bit happy. However, in our case this was the only way we could see to manage it - she simply wasn't safe at home any more and hadn't been for quite some time.

    Should add that we had welfare power of attorney, which did mean we were able to act in her best interests, even if she didn't like it. By that stage to be honest she had completely lost the capacity to know or recognise what was in her own best interests.

    Good luck - I just hope I haven't made you worry even more!
  7. tomkitten16

    tomkitten16 Registered User

    Sep 24, 2012
    yes and the lies go on-mum asks about her house and when is she going home- I say that she needs a break and to get better then she asks about her pets.( We had to rehome her little dog and I have mum's cat.)Sadly it is all lies and I just keep repeating that all is ok. I feel like s*** but there is no other way this illness is evil and affects everyone it touches. Lorraine xx
  8. Dagne

    Dagne Registered User

    Feb 16, 2013
    Thanks for this thought. Luckily, the homes on our list all allow their own furniture (within the limits of what will fit in the room) and even decoration. I’m thinking we should get the room painted the same colour that she has her living room, and take a picture of the way she has pictures on her wall to recreate as closely as possible. :)
  9. Dagne

    Dagne Registered User

    Feb 16, 2013
    Thank you - yes we will probably have to try something like this - Like you, there’s no question of even having a discussion, because she is so uncommunicative. I am pinning my hopes on the fact that we are in an extremely fortunate position that the homes we are looking at have good-sized rooms, so that we can try to maintain the illusion that she is in another flat, once she’s there. We will probably have to resort to stretching the truth to physically get her in the car though. You haven’t made me worry more - it’s reassuring to know that other people have had to grit their teeth and do what it takes to get their relatives to a safe, caring place.
  10. Dagne

    Dagne Registered User

    Feb 16, 2013
    This sounds tough. Maybe it will be easier when that space does come up, in that you will just have to get him in, not have to go through taking him back repeatedly. Please don’t feel guilty though - I know, easier said than done...
  11. elizabet

    elizabet Registered User

    Mar 26, 2013
    gulity for being "economical with the truth!

    HI folks,
    I am so relieved to read other folk have had to resort to little white lies - taking their relative out to lunch when in fact they have as I did have a packed suitcase in the boot of my car.
    I know my Mum is in the best place for her needs- regular meals, regular medication fluid intake monitoring medical care ,centrally heated pleasant bedroom with en suite , activites and outings other folk/staff on hand 24/7i
    but leaving her was heart breaking , especially as I feel I betrayed her trust in me..
    I live over 250 miles from her -she would not move to my area so a care home is her only option in her situation -forgetting to take her pills, not eating properly, being dehydrated etc and although we tried having home carers was not very happy with this set up.
    Good luck to all who find themselves in the same situation One has to console oneself that you have done your best for their future.
  12. poll1

    poll1 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2009
    Hi Dagne

    No words of wisdom, I'm afraid; just to say we are in almost exactly the same position, with my mum in a temporary assessment bed about to transfer to permanent residential care.

    I cannot imagine how she will ever be persuaded to move, believing as she does that there's nothing whatsoever wrong with her but will be going down the line of 'Dad's too ill for you to go home yet, but this new place is much closer and will be better for you in the meantime.'

    Not that she'll buy it for a second.

    It seems like such an impossibly difficult situation, but we have to try to stay optimistic and hope it will work out for the best.

    Good luck. Let us know how you get on.
  13. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012
    Persuading relative to go into a care home

    With my mother, we had the complication that my father wouldn't resort to "white lies" as his Presbyterian background wouldn't let him go down that road ("That's not nice" or "God forbids it" were typical responses.) My mother simply wouldn't accept she was ill, let alone that she was violent or dangerous. In the end, she was sectioned, which was worse, but did mean public funds were available to pay for her care.

    It is important to remember that someone cannot lawfully be forced into a nursing home against there will unless they are sectioned, although having health and welfare attorney power can help greatly with getting a relative to go in to care. My father had refused to seek this and refused to allow me or anyone else to do so.

    One way of coping with the guilt is to remember that the alternative to "persuasion" by one means or another is sectioning, which is much worse to cope with.

  14. bad daughter

    bad daughter Registered User

    Jan 26, 2013
    Taking your own furniture

    Just a little comment so this doesn't catch you by surprise if it happens. Of course it may not.

    My mother was furious that we'd moved all her best possessions into her room in the CH. It meant that she was definitely staying and she's been trying to get us to take it all away again ever since!
  15. Dibs

    Dibs Registered User

    Jun 19, 2009
    When my mum went into her carehome nearly three years ago, the circumstances leading upto it were similar to what you describe. I told mum that hubby and I are were going on holiday and I wanted her to stay in a rest home and be looked after so I didn't have to worry about her whilst I was away. I told her as we were driving there and as soon as she arrived the carehome staff were brilliant with mum and whisked her off to lunch. I went back to her flat and packed her things and took them back and arranged them in her room for her. The next morning mum refused to get out of bed but with encouragement from the staff she did and she settled quite quickly and I'm certain it was because she wasn't on her own anymore, she felt safe as there were people around her all the time and she could relax and interact with people on her level.
    Dibs (Deborah)
  16. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    Wanting to go home

    Have been reading this thread with interest, because on another, different thread, I've just been telling how I think my husband ( with Alzheimer's) and I both feel we don't want to move away from the home we've loved for a long time. The other thread started with the worries when someone with Dementia becomes obsessed with wanting to Go Home, from wherever they are. My husband gets distressed and confused away from home but manages very well here,in familiar surroundings.

    Luckily I can help him, and later he could have Carers. But seeing this thread has made me wonder if we're being selfish wanting to stay in our home.

    There are two sides to this thorny issue.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.