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Is my mum in the right care home?

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Hi all, my mum has been in care since January. The home is a residential home for the elderly but they take some dementia patients. There are 17 residents. When I went in this week at about 2.15 I couldnt find my mum and when I checked her room she was in bed with all her clothes on. She got up when she saw me but I noticed her clothes were wet so I told a member of staff, found some clean clothes pad etc. and the member of staff took her to get changed. She was very quick so couldnt have been washed in this process. The staff are all upstairs while many residents sit in the lounges downstairs. There is one particular lady who seems to upset other residents by constantly wandering and closing all the doors etc. My mum is a bit of a wanderer but doesnt seem to bother the others too much. There is also another lady, my mums friend, who is always with my mum. I have found her recently drinking her tea then going to the toilet filling the cup up with water which was not drinking water. On the whole I am happy with the home but every time I go all the staff (i.e 2) are upstairs oblivious to what is going on downstairs. There are buzzers which residents press if they need help but my mum certainly wouldnt remember how to do this. Does this seem right. My gut feeling is that there should be someone downstairs with residents at all times but maybe I expect too much. I admit I do seem to go when the staff are handing over but surely there should be someone supervising residents at all times. This has really been playing on my mind and I havent had a decent night sleep since. Should I be worried?
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,769
England
I think you are right to be worried though the home because it is residential is probably running correctly. You might have to think about your Mum going to live in a home for dementia care where there are more carers.

If the home is accepting residents with dementia then they should have carers watching, leaving them to their own devices can be dangerous.

I hope you can find a way of making sure Mum gets the care cover she needs and you feel more settled knowing she is ok.
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Thanks for reply. I dont think my mum is bad enough yet but I'm just concerned that they do not seem to have enough staff. In fact maybe the other lady who is quite disruptive should be moved or be given more 1:1 care. Oh dear. Thought it was going too well!
 

Isabella41

Registered User
Feb 20, 2012
904
Northern Ireland
Hi Daisy. My own mum is in a specialist dementia unit. She is fully aware of where she is and is able to talk to everyone. She is there because she has a dementia diagnosis and is unable to look after herself and was quite dangerous when living on her own. I'm telling you this to illustrate that there isn't a line where they become 'bad' enough to be moved into an EMI unit. Mum has built a relationship with the staff and is settled. I imagined if she were moved now to somewhere else she'd be very unsettled and confused.
There are others in mum's home who are at a similar stage of dementia. Its a safe place with a staff member always on hand to supervise what's going on. Some of the ladies try to lift heavy items which could injure them but with staff always there they are prevented from harming themselves. A residental home has a much lower resident to staff ratio as the expectation is that these residents are capable of summoning help when its needed.
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Hi Daisy. My own mum is in a specialist dementia unit. She is fully aware of where she is and is able to talk to everyone. She is there because she has a dementia diagnosis and is unable to look after herself and was quite dangerous when living on her own. I'm telling you this to illustrate that there isn't a line where they become 'bad' enough to be moved into an EMI unit. Mum has built a relationship with the staff and is settled. I imagined if she were moved now to somewhere else she'd be very unsettled and confused.
There are others in mum's home who are at a similar stage of dementia. Its a safe place with a staff member always on hand to supervise what's going on. Some of the ladies try to lift heavy items which could injure them but with staff always there they are prevented from harming themselves. A residental home has a much lower resident to staff ratio as the expectation is that these residents are capable of summoning help when its needed.
Hi thanks, but surely the home should not be accepting residents with challenging behaviour if they dont have the staff to deal with them. It makes me feel completely sick to the stomach at the thought of moving my mum and I don't think her behaviour is challenging. She is always helping, tidying, taking cups out etc. She just needs taking care of as she cant remember to take care of herself. Dont know what to do ...
 

Isabella41

Registered User
Feb 20, 2012
904
Northern Ireland
I think it would do no harm to have a look at some EMI units. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find. If your mum were to move into a specialist unit you'd have more reassurance she is being properly cared for.
Its possible that the few residents with dementia moved there when their symptoms were quite mild. If it were my mum I don't think I'd be happy with the staff set up you describe.
 

Gigglemore

Registered User
Oct 18, 2013
526
British Isles
Hi Daisydi - I am a terrible worrier so think I know how you feel. Have never visited the home your Mum is in but a couple of things stand out to me:

Your Mum seems to be happy there, and has made a friend
She is allowed to help and keep busy
Overall you are happy with the home.

In time your Mum will get worse and you may need to think about moving her, but right now your priority is perhaps just assuring yourself that all is as it should be where she is. Do you feel up to making an appointment to see the manager to discuss your concerns about the residents being unattended, and ask about staffing ratios? If this is just something that has cropped up recently perhaps there has been a change of staff or procedures? By "upstairs" does that mean the staff are busy dealing with residents who are in their own bedrooms, or are they doing paperwork that could be carried down to the lounge?

Hopefully the lack of a proper wash was partly because staff knew your Mum had a visitor waiting, if you are generally happy with hygiene and your Mum's skin.

Hope all goes well.
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Hi Daisydi - I am a terrible worrier so think I know how you feel. Have never visited the home your Mum is in but a couple of things stand out to me:

Your Mum seems to be happy there, and has made a friend
She is allowed to help and keep busy
Overall you are happy with the home.

In time your Mum will get worse and you may need to think about moving her, but right now your priority is perhaps just assuring yourself that all is as it should be where she is. Do you feel up to making an appointment to see the manager to discuss your concerns about the residents being unattended, and ask about staffing ratios? If this is just something that has cropped up recently perhaps there has been a change of staff or procedures? By "upstairs" does that mean the staff are busy dealing with residents who are in their own bedrooms, or are they doing paperwork that could be carried down to the lounge?

Hopefully the lack of a proper wash was partly because staff knew your Mum had a visitor waiting, if you are generally happy with hygiene and your Mum's skin.

Hope all goes well.
Hi thank you. I feel like I'm going into meltdown. I think the slightest thing makes me worry so much as I am so unhappy with what has happened to my mum. The room upstairs is where the staff seem to get together, hand over and fill out forms. I think maybe a chat with the manager is a good idea when I am feeling stronger!