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I want Mum to go into residential care

Boredhousewife

Registered User
Dec 18, 2012
83
Because I think it's the best thing for everyone, specially Mum. But most people, everyone whose posts I read and people I speak to feel that going into carehomes must be fought desperately at all costs. Have I got this wrong, are they that bad? I think mum is lonely and would benefit from company and routine and reminding to eat etc. She's agoraphobic and has anxiety so doesn't go out unless someone takes her, so staying on the premises shouldn't be a problem... Have I got thus badly wrong?!

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jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I think we must be reading different posts. :) In fact, there is a lot to be said for a decent well-run home. Many people get a new lease of life when they enter one partly because they are not alone so much (and loneliness can be really corrosive), partly because they are getting regular meals, and partly because I think when you have dementia it can be quite frighting simply coping with the day to day things and being in a home gives structure.

When it's a case of your children or your parent, even if it isn't an ideal situation, then your children must come first. My son was in his mid teens when my mother became ill, and trying to deal with her care really impacted him, not just at the time, but still I think. He really went off the rails because I wasn't around and it's taken us many years to get back on a more even keel, and he still has issues that I can trace to that time.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Because I think it's the best thing for everyone, specially Mum. But most people, everyone whose posts I read and people I speak to feel that going into carehomes must be fought desperately at all costs. Have I got this wrong, are they that bad? I think mum is lonely and would benefit from company and routine and reminding to eat etc. She's agoraphobic and has anxiety so doesn't go out unless someone takes her, so staying on the premises shouldn't be a problem... Have I got thus badly wrong?!

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People who haven't had anything to do with care homes often think they are all awful, because they go by the horror stories in the papers. And people with no sharp-end experience of dementia often seem to think that it's only callous, selfish relatives who put anyone in a care home, because they simply have no idea of the practical, day to day realities, or of how anxious and confused someone with dementia can become if left alone at all.

However there are plenty of posts on here from people whose relatives have done very well with good, constant care and someone always there to reassure them. Of course there are negative stories and opinions too, because sufferers and care homes do differ, and not everybody settles well or easily. But if you think a CH would be best for your mum then please don't be put off by anyone else's opinion. Personally, depending of course on individual circumstances, past a certain stage of dementia I think a good CH can often be the best place, both for the sufferer and for their often very hard-pressed carers.
 
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2jays

Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
11,598
West Midlands
I was considered a person who moved my mum into care too early, by her GP, the care home staff, my sister...

Mum is self funding, I was travelling over 200 miles each way twice a week to visit mum. I started to have carer breakdown. I had no support from anyone - apart from TP

It is the best thing I have ever done for mum. I moved her to a residential home with dementia care available in site.

She was still able to enjoy her new life, with more activities in her day if she wanted them. Was able to make new friends and interact with the staff.

Sadly this care home, whilst it was very good initially, I felt mum need to move.

The care home she is in now is excellent. Not 100% excellent, probably 80%, but I guess I'm never going to find 100% excellent.

She was reasonably content in the first home, after a while, but in the second place, mum is "at home"

Her dementia has progressed rapidly - and I am convinced it's not because she's in a care home, just they way it's developed or mum - but she still has levels of understanding her situation. At these times she feels very happy to stay where she is, until I move nearer - which isn't going to happen - but I think it helps her, thinking that way.

For mum, whilst the place is lovely, the thought that it's not permanent, is important.

The reasoning I used to move mum to care, was that the doctor needed to assess her tablets and her general health and it was better in a convalescence home that in hospital.

Hope this helps
 

zeeeb

Registered User
I disagree that people should be kept at home at all costs. Often a specialised and trained team of carers will offer much much more than any one untrained, and often elderly or ill person can offer alone.

I think many people will do better in residential care than at home, as much as none of us want it, sometimes its just the best for everybody's health, well being and safety.

I guess it all depends on how the primary carer copes, their abilities, their personality traits, patience levels, physical health and mental health. And the behaviours, physical abilities, disabilities, and mental health of the caree.
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
Unfortunately attitudes are coloured by sensationlist newspaper and TV articles which are almost uniformly horror stories about bad care homes. Of course these exist but they are a minority which makes the headlines. A good care home without problems is not "news" - it's just the accepted normality. I think too there is still the hangover from the bad old days of "institutions".

Also, most people have no idea of what caring for a dependent elderly relative, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for years on end is like. Let alone one with dementia. So they form the opinion that elders are being shoved into a care home because their families are uncaring or selfish.

I don;t agree with the concept that care homes must be resisted at all costs. It is only natural to resist the idea - most people wouldn't want to go into one themselves or be afflicted with the conditions that necessitate it. But there comes a point where a persons care needs can only be met in a professional environment because they are simply beyond what can be done by a friend or relative in a domestic home.

Sometimes the care home is an unhappy necessity - but it can also be a happy one that turns out well for everyone.
 

Moonflower

Registered User
Mar 28, 2012
775
I don't think you've got it wrong at all Boredhousewife, my mum is in an excellent care home and I'd be happy to live there myself. I think sometimes people try to avoid residential care because of the cost, because they have promised the cared for person that they wouldn't be "put away" or because of awful stories in the media. And maybe sometimes the massive effort put into struggling to keep someone at home for another few months would be better directed into finding a really good residential home - the difference between best and worst is tremendous.
Just my opinion of course, but if it's any reassurance my mum is cared for far better than I could manage at home.
 

juicy13

Registered User
Jan 22, 2014
18
Looking back I think the best thing for My Mum was being in the care home, I hold my hands up and say I think I did wrong bringing her back out and I do feel I am being selfish by trying to keep her out as long as I can as I can see I have to think of her needs as well as mine and my Dad's and to me her needs were met most in the care home, I gave in and brought her home as every day she kept saying to me she wanted to go home and would be good and it just tugged at my heart strings and I gave in.
 

Vordrak

Account Closed
Jun 12, 2011
10
It is difficult. Each carer and the person they care for is different. Ultimately you can only do your best.
 

Fed Up

Registered User
Aug 4, 2012
464
I am puzzled as have posted many times that being in care is not a sentence but a positive experience. Not always and for some it is dreadful but thats down to that home not homes in general. Do not be swayed by press horror stories. They are sometimes only too believable as a country wide abuse of the elderly, the reality is so boring as they are places of care !!
Do believe me my mum is in the grips of VD her reality is not real but she is treated with love, dignity and respect with great humour. She is really cared for and I am happy she is happy.
I also believe that occasionally the Carers allowance/ Attendance allowance can be a factor and of course it is hard to admit sometimes that the best place for a loved one is not at home but in a home. Home is the key word, find a good one and you will feel that no matter what anyone else says you are doing the right thing. Be at ease and listen to your inner self you know what is best for your loved one.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,786
England
I sometimes think I was guilty in keeping my husband at home too long. I cared at home for him for 7 years on my own, no outside care at all. After three crises, two of which involved the police my husband was admitted to an assessment unit. I still believed with medication changes he would be back home with me. I now wonder what planet I was on.

Just three weeks into his eventual 9 week stay in the unit I was told that his needs were so complex they were way beyond my capability even if they set up a very robust care plan. I am so glad I took their advice and my husband has been in his nursing home for 17 months and is content, less tortured and though his dementia has progressed he is coping very well. He has his moments but he has 1:1 care 24 hours a day so has someone to walk and talk with and instant medical care when needed. He is with just 8 other men which suits him very well. The staff and men are now our extended family.

There are some very bad homes, the first one we visited frightened me. Too many residents, too few staff, dark and dingy and too many awful smells. We visited in excess of 20 and found several that we were happy with. During the last few weeks at the assessment unit he advanced dramatically and he was granted CHC in a nursing home.

Having experienced the care he gets, the dedication of the specially trained staff and the upbeat atmosphere of the home I feel I denied him this care for some months when I thought my care was the best he could get. I don!t feel guilty he is in a nursing home, I feel sad that our retirement has never happened and a bit selfish that I may be prolonged his agony because I thought I knew best.

Care homes are not a last resort or a dumping ground, they are a necessity for so many sufferers and with the right home chosen, their lives can be enhanced .

He was diagnosed at 62.

Jay.


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stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
It is difficult. Each carer and the person they care for is different. Ultimately you can only do your best.
You've summed it up very succinctly Vordrak.

I'd add though that stories about poor care homes are not confined to 'the media'. They appear regularly on TP. Probably there are many more members who have had a positive experience but they would not necessarily post to say so, unless the issue is raised in threads like this one.

I also seriously doubt whether there are many people who believe that care homes are to be avoided 'at all costs'. There are many situations where it becomes unavoidable. Carer breakdown has been mentioned but I am aware of situations, particularly perhaps when a female carer is looking after a male caree or when the carer is elderly or disabled themselves, when it becomes physically impossible for the carer to continue, however much they would wish to do so.
 

Padraig

Registered User
Dec 10, 2009
1,039
Hereford
When the going gets tough....

It never ceases to surprise me when I find posts about good and bad Nursing homes.

The NH my wife was in for a while was considered good by many visitors. For the price I was paying I expected good value as should everyone. Good service should be the norm and poor service should be the exception.

There are many reasons why most people can not be cared for in their own home and I've mentioned them in my story. By and large they are Daughters with families of their own, who care for parents. Many male carers can't cook, wash, iron, shop and house clean in addition to care.

In my case I chose to remove my wife from a NH having witnessed the system first hand over an extended period of 8 to 9 hours daily, I just knew I could do better, in so many ways. I'll admit I was angry and upset at much of the system and rejected the offers of help.

I had so much going for me that resulted in the mental strength to go it alone all the way. The challenges life presents me with no longer come as a surprise. Alzheimer's was just one of many, followed after my wife passed, our son's emergency operation for a busted appendix, and they discovered he had bowel cancer. Shortly after I had stomach cancer. Most days and nights I'm in pain (support; what support?) but I'm still fighting and running while I'm alive. It's still one day at a time.
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
Dementia behaviour and the ability to deal at home with the varying demands this brings varies so greatly that no one, not one person's personal experience can count one way or another when faced with your own family's decision on residential care or not..

What is so very important is that there is some family supervision and conviction that if a care home is needed, that it is a good care home where the environment and care given is of a good standard. Going into a care home never, ever negates the caring that a family has given and continues to give.

Caring and ensuring the best for a relative does not end the moment a care home is needed.

xxTinaT
 
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