In a dilemma about care for mother

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by GVic, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. GVic

    GVic Registered User

    Sep 10, 2015

    My husband and I are in such a dilemma about what to do for the best. My mother in law is 71 and has had an Alzheimer's diagnosis for just over a year. She lives alone, and we live a 3 hour drive away with our young family (we have two children under 3 years old). Recently she has had several incidents (one including her going missing for 20 hours- police involved etc) that we are finding very alarming and worrying. We feel so far away that we aren't able to support and care for her as much as we would like. My husband spends a lot of time on the phone to her and also arranging visits from friends and relatives. We visit when we can, and have her to stay regularly. However, he is an only child, so ultimately, we feel the total responsibility for her care lies with us.

    Since the incident where she went missing, we now have a carer going into her home once a day, which gives us some peace of mind, but we live in fear that she may have another incident, and are living on tenterhooks. She gets lots of visitors, and I'm certain she wants to be in the familiarity of her own home, but is she safe? She has also lost a lot of confidence to go out, so will spend days without leaving the house.

    We both feel she is not progressed enough to be in a care home (and would feel terrible forcing that decision upon her). Our dilemma is whether or not to look into moving her into our home where we can keep an eye on her and she will be around people (although we both work full time, so would still require carers to come during the day), or whether to try and keep her in her own home for as long as possible, where she has lots of variety of friends who visit her regularly, but she still spends long periods of time alone.

    Does anyone have a similar situation that they can share? We know friends with relatives with Alzheimer's, but none in a situation like this, so would be really grateful for any advice or experiences to be shared.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    Welcome to TP.
    I'm not in same situation but a few are on here who I hope can advise further.
  3. GVic

    GVic Registered User

    Sep 10, 2015
    Thank you :)
  4. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Mum with dementia, two very small children, work......I don't see that's going to work at all for you. I mean, children grow up, but they are so young they're a full time job anyway. Mum will get worse, maybe slowly, maybe not. Plus she will be out of her normal residence and away from friends. Both very confusing for her, even with Carers coming in to check her.
    To be honest, I don't see how this will work.
    I would find a nice residential home, with dementia unit attached, near you, and you and your family will be able to enjoy visits to her.
  5. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    My Mum wanted to stay in her own home until the very end and she did but with mountains of support from us, she lived very close to us. However, we couldn't have done it without the support of the day centre, lunch club.

    I think you may have several options depending on where she lives. Can you find out, or inbox me and i'll help, if there are day centres or lunch clubs? My Ma was really resistant at first but in those days she was aware enough to understand that the alternative would not be what she wanted. Let me know where you are and i'll see what I can find out.

    Another option is extra care or flexicare housing where she can have her own flat and her own front door and there are carers on site and in a good scheme there are lots of on site activities and people around all the time. They are safe and secure environments.

    All worth looking into.

    In my experience when my Ma was occupied she didn't have a problem. She wasn't a 'wanderer' but the few times she did go off she was actually looking for company and had been left too long on her own.

    If you could get her settled into something in your local community it may well extend her independent life xx
  6. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    I have children aged 14 and 10. Crisis hit with my mum, I realised her living conditions were unsatisfactory and she couldn't return to her house. I also knew that there was no way we could cope with mum in our house for any length of time without it impacting massively on the children, so whatever you do don't move her in with you.

    I did think about trying to find somewhere suitable for her near where she came from - a 3.5 hour drive away, but quickly realised that it would need such a high level of time input that I would struggle so decided she needed to move near me.

    I initially looked at sheltered accommodation, but realised this wasn't enough support and then looked at sheltered extra care (sometimes known as assisted living). The care team are onsite so it is consistent carers all the time, my mum has the minimum level of care which is 5 hours a week, and this can progress up to a maximum of 20 hours. She has her lunch in the restaurant most days, although some days she makes herself a fried egg on toast in her flat.

    Mum did have a strong circle of friends where she came from and I do regret having to remove her from them, but in reality at the level of input needed from me, I couldn't support her in her home town. She made friends when she moved in, and goes to a lot of the social events on offer.

    Hope this gives you some thoughts as to how to help her.
  7. GVic

    GVic Registered User

    Sep 10, 2015
    Thanks so much for your honest response and advice. We really appreciate it and are going to review our options.
  8. GVic

    GVic Registered User

    Sep 10, 2015

    Thank you so much for your advice. The flexicare sounds brilliant, and not something we were aware of. When we have decided where she'll be living I may take you up on offer of finding out where lunch clubs etc are. Thanks again for taking the time to reply, and for your advice.
  9. GVic

    GVic Registered User

    Sep 10, 2015
    Thank you for taking the time to message us. It's really good to hear how other options have worked out and your experiences. Many thanks, this has been really useful.

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