In a Dilemma

annw

Registered User
Feb 18, 2007
4
Sussex
Hi,
I am new to this board having discovered you all while trying to find information to help my husband and his family. Basically my Mother-in -law has been living at home on her own for several years but was admitted to hospital following a fall. We have been told she is now fit to be discharged but is not able to continue looking after herself so must be moved to an extra care facility. Our dilemma is where? She lives in London and we live near the south coast - approx 1.5 hours drive if no traffic (unusual!). Her other son also lives an hour away and her daughter is in the USA! My brother in law thinks she would be better off staying close to her family home. We are concerned that this means fewer visitors (we have young children) and are worried that she may keep going home getting increasingly confused. I can see both sides of the argument as she is still active and likes to go for walks so she does know that area whereas nearer to here would be totally new. Does anyone have any experience of this or can offer any thoughts? I know only we can decide what is best but it would be nice to know what others have decided in similar circumstances. Sorry toramble but I don't know who else to ask. Thanks
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Annw

Welcome to TP. I've no experience of your problem, but there are lots who have.

From what I've read on TP, the best solution appears to be to find the best possible care facility, wherever that is. As near to you as possible would be ideal. You need to visit as many as possible.

I'm sure others with more experience will be along to talk to you.
 

Charlie

Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
161
Hi Annw, totally depends on you personal situation of course.
I only suggest the following after my experiences over the past few years:

1. Does your mother-in-law have friends in london that would still visit and care for her?
2. Involve the whole family in the decission including your mother-in-law if possible.
2. Care homes in london are more expensive than the south coast, so this may be a consideration. Find out the type of care home required, eg EMI or just residential.
4. There are very few dementia care homes in certain areas in london, depending where you are an the south coast, you may have a wider choice.
5. Consider the financial implications. Do you have and EPA for you mother inlaw, how are you going to sell her house, who is paying for the care. I'd contact the alzheimers help line for any advice on this. It may be key to the decission and timing.
6. This is a bit more personal and subjective, but you need to consider who is most likely to visit and care for your mother-in-law, if it is likely to be yourself, consider moving her to a home as near to your own home as you can. Being able to pop in and check on someone will make life so much easier for your family. That is my humble opinion after travelling hundreds of miles back and forth to see my dad every week.

There is loads of information on this forum about finding a care home and EPAs etc, so make sure you take advantage of the search feature and the hundreds of people on this forum who have been in the same boat.

good luck
Charlie....
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,103
Kent
Dear annw,

I`m afraid you are in a `catch 22` situation.

Your MIL needs support but still maintains some independence. What you need to ask yourself, when considering a move, is how long the little independence she has will last.

My husband and I moved to the coast, when he was probably already a victim of Alzheimers, but we didn`t realize it. He has been unable to settle and is very unhappy. He still manages to find his way round, though to go for walks.

The thought of him being by himself, away from family support is unbearable.

If you move your MIL within her known environment, even the move to a different district might cause confusion.

I would be more inclined to move her into a care facility nearer to you.

There really is no simple answer. Sorry if I`ve made things worse. Sylvia x
 

Áine

Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
994
sort of north east ish
Hi, and welcome to TP. I think Charlie makes some excellent points.

Think people not sure what "extra care" is. I wonder if it's the same as the sheltered/supported housing that I looked at for dad at one time - that was called "extra care". Like separate flats within a complex, but probably more support than typical sheltered housing complexes, and lots of options re adaptations for increasing physical needs.

If it is, maybe something that it's important to take into account is how rapidly your mum in law is losing her independence. It would have been fine for dad when I first considered it, but a few months later he needed EMI nursing care. Thankfully not everyone deteriorates so quickly.

ps. there's no "RIGHT" answer ...... all you can do is what seems the best option with the information you have available at the time.
 

annw

Registered User
Feb 18, 2007
4
Sussex
Thanks everyone for your replies.
The accommodation she has been offered is indeed sheltered Housing with a bit extra so she would have her own flat - hence my worry about keep going back to her old house especially as I understand it is only a few streets away. She does have a few family members and friends in London but we don't believe they visit very often as they too are now old and frail. Her daughter does have an EPA set up. On a personal, possibly selfish note, we feel that we would like to visit more often especially with the children who she adores, but cannot do this often at present due to distance involved. Her other son also lives in the south which would hopefully make it easier for him to visit too. We are also concerned that a sheltered scheme may not be long term. As she deteriorates we may have to move her again fairly soon which worries me as I understand that any moves can increase confusion. Relations between the various members of the family are also a bit strained which certainly doesn't help!!:rolleyes:
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,103
Kent
Thanks Nada. That`s a new development I knew nothing about. I hope it`s as good as it sounds. Sylvia
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Extra care is also known as very sheltered housing: that's what my mother's in (or was).

Annw, I think you're right to be concerned about the possible short-term suitability of such housing. I assume since you're here that your MIL has some form of dementia, and I'm a bit surprised that this sort of accomodation would be considered suitable. As I said, my mother's in this type of flat, and she has stroke induced dementia, but she is also very immobile, so where you put her, she stays. It sounds, from what you say, that wandering is going to be a real concern for your family, and these places are really not set up to deal with this.

As to location, as time passes, possibly not much time, even familiar places will become unfamiliar to her: closer to her family would seem a good idea.

Jennifer
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
annw said:
Thanks everyone for your replies.
We are also concerned that a sheltered scheme may not be long term. As she deteriorates we may have to move her again fairly soon which worries me as I understand that any moves can increase confusion. Relations between the various members of the family are also a bit strained which certainly doesn't help!!:rolleyes:
I think this is the biggest worry, having to move her again. The scheme sounds like a good idea, if it works properly, but how tailored is it to the needs of people with dementia, I wonder?

I'd try and get her close to you. I don't think it is selfish to say you and your family want to visit a lot. That is a very worthwhile thing to do for all concerned.
Deborah
 

annw

Registered User
Feb 18, 2007
4
Sussex
Thanks again for the comments.
Jenniferpa - sorry I forgot to say that my MIL does have AD. She has deteriorated quite a lot in the last 6 months or so and seems to live in the past most of the time. When we visit she constantly refers to having to get her husband's tea (he died 2 years ago) and that she has to go and see her mother as her dinner will be on the table (her mother died over 20 years ago). She usually recognises us when we visit although she often can't remember any of our names except my husbands (and after her recent fall she didn't immediately recognise him but thought he was a nurse).
I think this is why we are worried about the proximity of the sheltered housing to her own home - she has lived in the same house for 45 years so is very likely to forget that she has moved and before her fall she was still very active and could walk quite considerable distances. She often walked to the local shops, although she did not need shopping - good old supermarket Home delivery!
 

Nels

Registered User
Jul 25, 2006
61
Romford Essex
My mother moved into extra care sheltered housing at the beginning of January. It has worked quite well for her, so far, although she is quite mobile she is frightened of going out on her own as she knows she cannot find her way back and the move has thrown her a bit. she has not mastered the intercom system yet so I always have to get a carer to let me in unless my sister is there (they share a 2 bed flat, my sister has learning difficulties so needs support but they do keep each other company). There are 2 doors that require a button to be pressed before you go in or out of the building (not the flat door) so that may slow some people down, mum cannot remember about this. They do not receive any actual care (apart from me) as all the hours were used up very quickly but just knowing that someone is around 24 hours a day is helpful and reassuring for them and me. The manager is very helpful during the day but is completely separate from the care side. They also have residents activities 5 days a week, sometimes just a sing song but all seem to enjoy it. there is also a hairdressers on site, rooms for nurses etc and a day care centre run by Age Concern. The flat itself is great, had a problem with mum not wanting to use the shower (its a wet room) as she was convinced the flat would flood, but am slowly getting around that.

Go and have a look at the place, if you are still worried about the distance perhaps there is somewhere nearer to you that is run along the same lines.