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I moved mum to a different care home

PinkSheep

Registered User
Jan 25, 2021
16
0
In my previous post I talked about some of the signs of possible poor care mum was receiving at the care home I chose for her. I asked advice on this very useful forum and lots of lovely folk suggested it may be worth looking for a new care home which is what I did!

Mum had only been at the first care home for eight weeks (3 of which were spent on the residential floor, where she seemed fine, well cared for and taking part in lots of nice afternoon teas and cinema showings) but that all changed when they moved her up the dementia ward. She was frequently dirty and dressed in pjs under her clothes when I visited, left to wear someone else's slippers for two weeks making her feet sore with staff who did not seem very caring. We were often getting calls telling me 'we have put your mum on a behaviour chart' for (uncharacteristic) challenging behaviour, with no concern for mum's welfare, almost like we were being told off! She always sobbed uncontrollably when I visited and seemed deeply unhappy, talking about wanting to throw herself out of the window. I think the final straw was when I got to visit inside and the same member of staff who when mum had said 'the carers do nothing' had shouted over in a stroppy way ' apart from get you dressed and give you breakfast' had come to get another dementia patient out of the room we were meeting in, and when he started talking about how he was going to go on a bus journey she literally tutted and rolled her eyes as if to say 'here we go again'.

When mum asked to be taken out for a walk, she was told they were too busy despite not having many residents on her ward, they were left just to sit around gawping at a tv. It had a very depressing atmosphere.

Anyway, as soon as visited I decided I had to get her out of there and I knew my suspicions about her poor care were leading to her low mental health and mood. She was staying in her room and refusing to take part in activities or join in the lounge area. I don't think they should advertise as dementia specialists when really they are just a holding pen.

We are lucky as mum is self-funded so we have the luxury of choice and I managed to get some recommendations from friends who gave a good report on the place I have moved her to and I was also allowed to have a lateral flow test and go in to see it so I could make a better informed decision, than choosing from a zoom call.

It is very modern, nice and light and airy so even though it is a busy ward, with lots of people sat around in chairs, it still manages to seem like nice environment and there are plenty of staff, who most importantly act in a caring and kind way. They also have a nursing ward upstairs so they have a nurse on the dementia ward which is a plus point for me (and a nurse who is the dementia lead). They have an activity team of four who seem very proactive and mum gets taken out into the garden a lot.

She has been there 2 weeks now and on the day mum joined they invited me to join mum for a private lunch in their bistro area downstairs and the activity team and dementia lead all came and introduced themselves which filled me with confidence.

Mum is much better, I have had some good visits! She no longer sobs uncontrollably, and says she wants to die. She will still complain that there is no one to talk to and the carers don't do much but the difference now is that I have the confidence to know that this is simply untrue which makes a massive difference to me. I took my daughter to visit yesterday and while were were there they came and offered us tea and cakes. She is always clean and dressed nicely - perhaps a little more untidy on a weekend, but nothing to worry about.

The main difference is that I can now start to relax as I have faith that they are looking after her as best they can, whereas I was constantly worried before as I knew she was being neglected. I know everything won't always be rosy and some visits are better than others, but I am very glad I made the decision to move her, she doesn't remember the other place and is joining in with the activities and although she tells me there is no-one to talk to she is often to be found chatting with other residents!

When choosing this new home, the things I feel I have learned that I wish I knew before: having nursing is a plus point, the number of activity co-ordinators is important, the old home had 1 person for 60 residents, whereas this has a team of 4 for 80 residents, the ratio of staff seems good, always plenty of carers on the floor and they have separate hospitality staff who deal with meal times. Most importantly the way the carers interact with mum and other residents is very kind and caring (which you cannot tell over zoom!)

I am glad I acted on my concerns and the move itself was not too stressful and soon forgotten by mum, so definitely worth it!
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,921
0
I'm so glad you moved your mother @PinkSheep. From what you've said I wonder if it is worth reporting the first home to the Quality Care Commission. I know that not even the best run homes get everything right all the time, but that one, or at least its dementia floor ,sounds to have got everything wrong.
The new home sounds well suited to your mother. I remember you said she liked gardening, so hopefully they'll get her involved in that. as things ease you'll be able to visit more freely and get involved in things too. The best times with my mother in her care home pre-lockdown was talking part in keep fit and dancing along to guest singers.
 

Suze99

Registered User
Nov 8, 2020
37
0
That's such good news. Very pleased your mum is happier and you are satisfied with the staff and setting.