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Is it time for care home?

Delphie

Registered User
Dec 14, 2011
1,269
I dreaded the idea of a care home for my mum. One reason was that some really aren't very good, and the other reason was that there was no way on this earth that my mum would've ever agreed to needing residential care, so I had no idea how and if I could make it happen. She was/is physically very good for her age and active and considered herself to be mentally absolutely fine, when in fact she was self-neglecting and lived in a bubble of almost permanent paranoia and delusion. We were constantly being accused of all sorts and she imagined people in her kitchen and her cupboards. TV became a warped reality too, so all in all there was nothing terribly positive about her fake independence (and I say fake because I was running myself into the ground to keep her as safe as possible, trying to do what I could without her noticing as this created further lines of accusations). So she wasn't happy, or particularly well fed, or warm, or clean, and I was tired, stressed, getting poorer by the month as my business suffered, and in a constant state of worry about what was waiting around the next corner. Something always was and it was rarely good.

She didn't settle in the lovely care home I chose immediately and it took the doctor a while to get her medication right (and she's given it covertly as she's quite against all medication), but after a few weeks/months the situation turned a corner. She's really quite proud of 'her house' (it is very lovely, I have to say) and she gossips to me about her friends (staff and other residents), and she's clean and has put on weight (the food is excellent so I don't blame her for tucking in!). And I've regained my life, which is also important. :)

I still feel guilty when I leave her there, though she doesn't mind these days and has things to do next, but that's probably because her life looks limited to me, looking in from the outside. And it is. But that's all my mum can cope with these days. If I gave her back her independence all she would do with it would be try to survive in a daze of confusions, and she'd fail. If I mentally take her out of that lovely care home and put her back in her house I shudder. So, what I'm trying to say is that residential care doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world, this horrible last step. Hand on heart I wish I'd moved my mum at least 12 months earlier.
 

Mrs Mollon

Registered User
May 5, 2012
7
Northwood, Middx
Moving into a Care Home Strategy

I think you need to meet with his social worker to discuss what happens next. Contact social services for an assessment. If you intend him to be self funding you can bypass that and look for a suitable care home and sell it to him as a hotel for a break or a convalescent home.
I told my Wife I needed some respite from caring and I would like her to spend a week or so in a home. We went together looking at several homes as I told her I wanted her to be happy while she was there. Without much difficulty we selected the one I thought best and a couple of weeks later I took her in. I didn't visit but phoned how she was and after a day or so they said she was OK and suggested I visit. When I went she had generally accepted the situation. After a fortnight I suggested I extend my respite which she accepted having by then become much happier than her mood at home. She has been there now three and a half years! I visit regularly, she is being properly cared for 24 hours a day and my physical and mental health has improved. Perhaps I have been lucky but I am glad that I did it.
 

Rosie56

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
75
Hi Rosie,
Mum spent 6 weeks in hospital last year, and was in there all over Christmas. We had spent many anxious hours on the phone late summer of last year taking phone calls from passers by, paramedics, neighbours as my Mother went from one issue to another, thinking she was having a heart attack, and on the third visit to hospital in 4 weeks she actually was, not eating properly, loosing weight, loosing things. Carers of 6 days had proved diabolical not making sure she was dressed, or watching her eat anything so that added to our cause as we had tried the carers at home route. Eventually she went in in November weighing 5st 13lbs with a D&V bug and her AD got worse while she was in there, only able to ask 3 questions on a continuous loop when we visited....1 How was your journey? 2. how are the children? 3. How was the traffic, before she went round them all again. It was draining....a 2 hour drive for an hours visit with the 3 same questions over and over again. When she became "stable", and I mean "stable" from a medical point of view (and even that was a small window as she had had a urine infection, a fall in hospital and a bleed on her brain) the hospital social people visited her. They knew they had to do something with her, and as a family we had made the ward staff very aware we didn't want her discharged home as we mentioned it every time we went in there. The SW assessed her as having "complex physical needs". We had already told the ward and her consultant that under NO circumstances should she be released back home, and frankly I think they saw that as she had been in 3 times August to September finally with a heart attack, then again November to just after Christmas, they knew if they sent her home, she would be back in again with weeks, and they didn't want that. We basically mentioned it every time we phoned the ward, every time we visited the ward and every time we spoke to her consultant. So we looked at homes near my sister, and found a nice one. We got a phone call from the Social Worker, (as she knew from the ward staff of our intentions) and did it all from there. In the end the ward tried to get rid of her very quickly, but we dug our heels in as we needed to get clothes into the hospital for her to make the journey in and so said NO, they would have to wait until we could get her a decent outfit to the hospital to travel in, or otherwise they would have just sent her off in the hospital gown. The SW was supportive of this. Also like you, we knew to put Mum in our car and to drive her to the home would be a no-go due to the stress it would cause everyone, and she trusted the medical staff, so we asked them to organise it. We thought she would go by private ambulance, but she actually went by hospital car. But even the night before she left the hospital we were phoned up and asked to pay for the private ambulance!!! We actually refused point blank and said you need the bed, you pay for it. And she was being moved from one NHS authority to another anyway, she wasn't a private patient. The SW said we shouldn't have been asked to pay. Even then when she turned up at the care home the hospital didn't even send her with any medication and the manager had to get the locum GP to organise an emergency prescription. So, long story short, it was easier for Mum not to go home from hospital but straight to the home, that way she just thought it was another branch of the same thing, and she had been institutionalised for so long in hospital, that made things slightly easier. I think you need to speak to the SW as it is in everyone's interest if she moves to a home near you, and they are the people who know how to make this happen especially if it is between local authorities. We didn't have the Welfare POA but this was never an issue because everyone at the hospital knew that full time care was the safest option for Mum. The solicitor said when we did the financial POA that it boiled down to the fact that if Mum was happy for medics to make decisions on her medical care, then there was no need for the Welfare one, and if as a family we were happy for the medics to make decisions that were in Mum's best interests then again the welfare one wouldn't be much use. It would only be useful if we had specific medical views (like on religious grounds that may conflict with a Dr's viewpoint). Mum had also done a DNR which they would take into account and the solicitor said that was good too as there would be no conflict of opinion should that come into play. Hope all that helps. :)
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed and helpful response, Roseylee. Like you I am very dissatisfied with some of the 'care' my mum has received. It's hard to keep any kind of an eye on things living far away; you can't micromanage things from a distance. But I can't move where she is and she refuses to come and live here, so like you I am dependent on neighbours phoning me to report crises - and these are becoming more and more frequent. I've found a great place for her that is very close to my home and I know it takes residents funded by SS. The battle will be to get her into it. It's terrible waiting for the fall or other accident which will take her into hospital and trigger the important decisions. I'm always impressed by the resilience, patience and love shown by people on these forums, but I'm also angry at what carers have to go through.
 

AnneED

Registered User
Feb 19, 2012
80
East Yorkshire UK
Thank you, AnneED,
This is my first attempt to write in this Forum after lurking gratefully for several months. I am caring for my husband of 41 years of which the last two have been challenging after a stroke and now vascular dementia.
He is reducing what he drinks, and even though I'm with him 24/7 (three two-hour breaks per week courtesy of the NZ Health system) I'm not sure he is doing as well as he might if he was with someone else/in care. So that is my response to your first point.
And that is related to the second point. I am very, very tired. I don't really know how long I can keep going with an increasingly complex and demanding life-style and responsibilities.

I have visited five care-places now. None of them is right, but some have less problems than others. I think this process will go on for a while and gradually (or maybe suddenly) it will become clear..

However, I'd like to thank you for making these two considerations so very clear...
I'm glad that was helpful for you. I find the forum very helpful emotionally as well as practically as we all seem to have very similar issues and people seem very supportive. I sound very sure of myself on paper (or screen!) but emotionally it's very hard for everyone dealing with this sort of issue and I've just realised that includes me!
 

Solihull

Registered User
Oct 2, 2014
97
West Midlands
AnneED, how right you are. I have written many times on here and recalled the horrendous time I had last year with my poor mum who almost faded away and the struggle to find a good care home after being pushed along by SS & hospital. When I read my posts now, I sound as though I've got all the answers- how wrong. I truly feel sorry for those who are just beginning the journey and I know mine is still ongoing. Good luck to you all.
Sue
Xxx
 

martinmc

Registered User
Feb 3, 2015
1
ask and research

My dad has Alzheimers, and has steadily been declining over the last 6 months. He lives alone in his own home, has a carer 3 times a day, i visit during the week(i live an hour away) and my brother and sister visit at the weekend. He spends his days wandering round the house losing things, moving things, ringing each of us constantly demanding we go round, making up stories and crying. Recently he has started losing his door keys and now is even struggling to know what keys are. The other day i found him trying to unlock a door with a 20p ! We are at our wits end. We worry he isnt locking up at night, some mornings he cant open the door for his carer. We are going to install a key safe outside. What if theres a fire and he cant get out? He really is clueless most of the time. Struggles with remembering peoples names, doesnt like to leave the house, the list goes on and on. I personally feel its time to think about a care home, but how do we persuade him? Its such a big step, daunting for us all. We just need some friendly advice as no one seems to help from his clinic.
Sorry for the moan :(
Trust me your not moaning,by the way my name is martin. Unless you have looked after someone with Dementia you have NO idea how hard it is. I've been looking after my mam for the last 8 - 9 years at home. I have two brothers and a sister who care for mam at a distance. The one thing we did do was we got social services involved, believe me that was a god send. Social services get a lot of stick, but I have found out that if you get the right social worker it can really help you through some sticky situations. I also try to talk to my go about mams deteriation and how it is affection me. We after all human and it does affect us. All I can advise is to talk to social services and find out which homes are central to where you and other members of the family live and then make an appointment for the home managers to pay you a visit and talk to them also pay the care home a visit off the cuff. That way you can see how they operate and what they are like. Then maybe see if you can get your dad in for a few days just to se how he likes it. If you think he might object to staying over at first ask if he can go there on day release to see if HE likes it and then slowly build his visits up so he feels comfortable. ASK questions. have a look around. I hope this has helped a bit. kind regards martin
 

SerenaS

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 7, 2011
13,443
London
Hello everyone,

The vast majority of posts made to this discussion have been constructive and the topic has been of interest to a number of members. The discussion topic is also a sensitive issue which many members have varying views on.

We’d ask all members to please bear the sensitivity of the discussion topic in mind before posting and, as always, to ensure that you post within the rules of this forum which can be viewed here.

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southwalesgirl

Registered User
May 1, 2014
3
A quick update...i was at dad's yesterday when his community nurse came to take his blood pressure as he has recently started on memantine tablets (is that right spelling)
Anyway I told him how bad I thought dad was getting, and that we wondering about care homes and he said he was no where near ready for a care home! I told him about our worries about security and he said dad knows how to lock up and just pretends he doesn't to get our attention! How does he know? Dad constantly loses his keys, I'm sure that's not attention seeking! He said that unless he's in danger there's no need for a care home. Anyway it's made me think, do I want him in a care home so he's not my responsibility anymore? I think the answer is yes, which makes me feel awful. So we shall carry on as we are, and wait for the next thing to happen.

My MIL plays to get attention. We couldn't believe it at first, we thought the carers were being unkind. But they showed us how to deal with her attention seeking, story telling and sulks. They were right. Once she saw we did not respond every time she stopped. It took us a while to learn how to tell the truth from the attention seeking, but things are better now. It is hard to believe that someone with dementia can be so devious. She is sometimes like a spoilt child, having tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants, sulking when you say no and having a go at you being nasty. She pressed her emergency button this week and told them she had had a fall. When they responded she was sat on the settee watching TV. When they questioned the fall, she got up from the settee and promptly sat on the floor and said "there I have fallen." After picking her up and telling her off they left her sulking. She kept hiding door keys so we got a chain and secured it close to the door so it can't be removed but easily used. She sulked for a week, and even spent an hour with a pair of scissors trying to get the key off! Showing us she might have dementia, but she can still be a crafty old thing when she wants to be.
 

lizzybo

Registered User
Jun 6, 2014
5
Mum in care

Hi all,
My mum has gone into care after years of dad struggling to cope, with family help of course. This was a decision that was not an easy one to make and it broke our hearts to do it but dad has Cancer and it was extremely difficult for him to cope day to day.they are very close, 'living for each other'.
Mum has been in for six weeks and has settled not too badly I think, except when she sees us especially my dad she keeps asking when she is going home.Dad is beside himself with grief and guilt and sys he can't stand it, living on his own without her. He goes to see her every day.
What can I do to help him cope? He isn't the 'tea and bingo' type. So I'm not sure about clubs etc.He is totally lost without her. I need to give him some direction so he can have a reasonably happy life. He came over last night and was so sad. I didn't sleep for worrying about him, I thought things would get easier but they haven't .
Would be grateful for any suggestions or advice
Thanks
 

Beannie

Registered User
Aug 17, 2015
94
East Midlands
Beannie

I can understand exactly where you are coming from. My husband is 61 years old and has Parkinsons Disease as well as Alzheimers dementia. We recently reached crisis point and I knew my husband D needed some respite care. We told him it would be like a hotel. He has been there 4 weeks now and is really happy as he has everything he needs at the touch of a 'buzzer' in fact he has decided he wishes to stay there, which is a great relief to us all. Hope everything works out for you.
My dad has Alzheimers, and has steadily been declining over the last 6 months. He lives alone in his own home, has a carer 3 times a day, i visit during the week(i live an hour away) and my brother and sister visit at the weekend. He spends his days wandering round the house losing things, moving things, ringing each of us constantly demanding we go round, making up stories and crying. Recently he has started losing his door keys and now is even struggling to know what keys are. The other day i found him trying to unlock a door with a 20p ! We are at our wits end. We worry he isnt locking up at night, some mornings he cant open the door for his carer. We are going to install a key safe outside. What if theres a fire and he cant get out? He really is clueless most of the time. Struggles with remembering peoples names, doesnt like to leave the house, the list goes on and on. I personally feel its time to think about a care home, but how do we persuade him? Its such a big step, daunting for us all. We just need some friendly advice as no one seems to help from his clinic.
Sorry for the moan :(
 

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