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Is it time for a nursing home?

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
My 81 year old mum has Parkinson’s and dementia plus she’s incontinent and she can’t walk. She has to be hoisted out of bed, washed on the commode, and transferred to her chair for the day. She can just about pull herself up using the Sara Steddy with someone there in order to transfer to the wheelchair or chair. She struggles to eat in that her hands aren’t too steady and swallowing is hard so she has to have soft food only and drinks in a sippy cup as she spills things often. She broke her ankle doing next to nothing 18 months ago and broke her hip falling over a year ago. My dad is 72 and looks after her. They have carers in 3 times a day as she isn’t supposed to be moved by only 1 person. Dad has the patience of a saint and loves her dearly. We think he’s struggling both mentally and physically. He takes her for walks in the wheelchair every day which she hates. She doesn’t actually want to do anything except eat and sleep. She knows who we all are and is sometimes able to talk to us when she’s awake but often rambles nonsense. She’s had several UTIs and a couple of months ago had to go into hospital as her blood pressure sank through the floor and she had to have several transfusions. We think she would be better off in a home as her needs are just so great that it’s too hard on dad to do it all. His quality of life is terrible and he has dreams of travelling and visiting all of us. He says they aren’t ready for a home. He feels too guilty I think. With this situation, does anyone agree that it’s too much? Is a nursing home the answer?
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
8,875
leicester
Hello @Askingformymum and welcome to DTP
it does sound as if it a lot for your Dad but I suppose the final decision rests with your Dad but if he becomes ill with the strain of it all that Will be the outcome then?
I wonder if respite care could be a way forward in the short term maybe if your dad had a break from the caring he would realise that there may be a different way forward.
Now you have found the forum I hope you will continue to post
 

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
Hello @Askingformymum and welcome to DTP
it does sound as if it a lot for your Dad but I suppose the final decision rests with your Dad but if he becomes ill with the strain of it all that Will be the outcome then?
I wonder if respite care could be a way forward in the short term maybe if your dad had a break from the caring he would realise that there may be a different way forward.
Now you have found the forum I hope you will continue to post
Apparently she’s too ill for all the respite care places in the area. They won’t take her. He took a week off recently to visit my brother and had a great time but on return she made him feel extremely guilty for leaving her. That Live in carer won’t be coming again but he’s happy to get another one in next time he goes away. His head is so full from looking after her though, that he can’t cope with many simple things and is very forgetful himself now.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
701
Oh goodness @Askingformymum , that's a lot for your Dad to cope with. He sounds a lovely man, from the generation which will soldier on and on. I'm glad to hear that there are carers coming in to help but it doesn't really sound enough. I hope your Dad feels able to take some more time off, despite being made to feel guilty on his return.

Do you have any nursing homes in mind? Your Dad might struggle with not being able to visit freely at present.

Some couple do move into care homes together but it's a radical move, no doubt hellishly expensive, and may not suit the situation. Just a thought to throw into the pot if affordable.
 

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
He’s got a couple in mind for the future, yes. Because of her disabilities I don’t think any will allow him to move in with her. It’s a nursing home she needs rather than a care home. She can’t be left on her own
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,688
South coast
Not all care homes are the same - many of them are just for people who are elderly and a bit frail. My mum, however. was in a care home and the carers would do things like washing, dressing, hoisting, feeding, personal care etc. Mum was frightened of being on her own, so she never was. The only difference was that there wasnt a qualified nurse on the premises 24/7, although the district nurse would come and see people during the day. Does your mum need a qualified nurse (as opposed to a carer) on hand 24/7?
 

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
Not all care homes are the same - many of them are just for people who are elderly and a bit frail. My mum, however. was in a care home and the carers would do things like washing, dressing, hoisting, feeding, personal care etc. Mum was frightened of being on her own, so she never was. The only difference was that there wasnt a qualified nurse on the premises 24/7, although the district nurse would come and see people during the day. Does your mum need a qualified nurse (as opposed to a carer) on hand 24/7?
No just a carer is fine
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,688
South coast
No just a carer is fine
In that case you can look for a care home (which is usually cheaper) BUT you will need to look for one that will accept people in the later stage of dementia. Mum was in a dedicated dementia unit, or you could look for an EMI unit. Lots of places will say that they accept people with dementia, but actually they only want people in the early, easy stages of dementia.

Talk to the manager and be brutally honest about what your mum is like. Also, ask them what sort of behaviour they would not accept - a decent place that will look after your mum right up to the end will only not accept violence towards other residents. Dont be put off by shabby and old-fashioned decor - the place mum was in looked very shabby, but the care was excellent and they looked after her right up to the end.
 

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
We don’t have a problem finding a place that will take her. The problem is persuading dad to let her go there....
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,860
Nottinghamshire
Welcome from me too @Askingformymum

I had the same problem with my dad who couldn't let my mum go into a home, or even to daycare. My mum had fallen after a stroke and couldn't stand and was incontinent. She wouldn't let dad out of her sight and I used to worry it was all too much for him. He got by with help from me, my aunt and carers but it wasn't good and mum was constantly in and out of hospital with care home rehabilitation in between. I couldn't persuade dad to do the sensible (in my eyes) thing. Not much help I know - but I can imagine how you're feeling.

Why are Homes saying your mum's too bad for respite? That seems bizarre. Can social services offer any suggestions for places that would accept her?
 

Ruth1974

Registered User
Dec 26, 2018
112
My 81 year old mum has Parkinson’s and dementia plus she’s incontinent and she can’t walk. She has to be hoisted out of bed, washed on the commode, and transferred to her chair for the day. She can just about pull herself up using the Sara Steddy with someone there in order to transfer to the wheelchair or chair. She struggles to eat in that her hands aren’t too steady and swallowing is hard so she has to have soft food only and drinks in a sippy cup as she spills things often. She broke her ankle doing next to nothing 18 months ago and broke her hip falling over a year ago. My dad is 72 and looks after her. They have carers in 3 times a day as she isn’t supposed to be moved by only 1 person. Dad has the patience of a saint and loves her dearly. We think he’s struggling both mentally and physically. He takes her for walks in the wheelchair every day which she hates. She doesn’t actually want to do anything except eat and sleep. She knows who we all are and is sometimes able to talk to us when she’s awake but often rambles nonsense. She’s had several UTIs and a couple of months ago had to go into hospital as her blood pressure sank through the floor and she had to have several transfusions. We think she would be better off in a home as her needs are just so great that it’s too hard on dad to do it all. His quality of life is terrible and he has dreams of travelling and visiting all of us. He says they aren’t ready for a home. He feels too guilty I think. With this situation, does anyone agree that it’s too much? Is a nursing home the answer?
I was recently offered 6 weeks a year of residential respite. I get the distinct impression that the OT and CPN are trying to prepare us for G going into a nursing home eventually. I am going to do it gradually and send him for maybe 3 nights initially but maybe this would help? Not only would your dad get a break but he might be able to accept that she is ok elsewhere? It may also help him to realise just how tough things are.
 

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
I think they may offer a 1 month minimum respite care but by that time she’ll have forgotten home. He’d be ok with her going for a week but the one who is ok taking her say 1 month min sadly. He’s not ready for that. If they could only do a week that would ease her in gently and maybe he’d realise it was a good place for her to stay permanently
 

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
No but they were assessed when she was last in hospital so she’s not in danger. I’m more worried about his mental health in fact. It’s too hard for one person and he is missing out on life. He still hopes she might improve (Which she won’t) but some days he calls at the end of his tether. He could have 20 years ahead of him but at this rate she’ll outlive him. Her quality of life is so poor, if she were an animal she wouldn’t be forced to live through it.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,860
Nottinghamshire
That was my worry about my dad while he was looking after mum. Mum was so poorly if she’d been a dog we’d have been prosecuted for not putting her out of her misery and I was worried about dad dying before her. He was 80 and in reasonably good health but mum was 24/7 (she didn’t sleep at night and although she couldn’t walk she could shout). It was a miserable time for everyone. I think he only got through as he had a lot of family support and unplanned respite.

If SS become involved again they may be able to access help that’s difficult to find privately.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
947
High Peak
Could you tell him the respite is just for a week, then at the end of the week tell him 'The doctor says she needs to stay a bit longer till she's a bit better...' Then just keep repeating that?
 

Askingformymum

New member
Aug 8, 2020
8
Could you tell him the respite is just for a week, then at the end of the week tell him 'The doctor says she needs to stay a bit longer till she's a bit better...' Then just keep repeating that?
He’s totally up for that but the homes say they will only do a minimum of 1 month and by that time it would be too unsettling to move her back so it’s essentially not respite and he knows it so won’t agree to that yet.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,688
South coast
It might be a good idea to put her name down on the waiting list of the home you prefer. I have a feeling it will come down to a crisis and in that case if her name is down on a waiting list then they are more likely to take her in a crisis - otherwise she will end up where ever SS/you can find a bed. If her name gets to the top of the list and your dad is still not ready, that is not a problem, he does not have to take the place - her name can just stay on the waiting list.