Just hope I’m doing the right thing

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by CardiffGirlInEssex, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    So, my mother (PWD) has 8 weeks in hospital recently, by the end of which her cognition has nosedived. She went home mid November and I was hoping she would settle, but instead her condition has continued to deteriorate. She is often confused about which house she’s living in and it seems to me she thinks it is her childhood home. Long story short, with wandering in the night and a couple of falls last week, my 92 year father (who is himself very frail and has significant physical problems) has finally said he cannot cope and wants her to go into a suitable care home, I think this will mean an EMI unit as she is still continent and can wash, dress and feed herself, but is verbally abusive and I suspect likely to attempt physical abuse, not that she is strong but even a light shove would send both of them flying.

    The community nursing team is already involved so I phoned them this morning and uttered the magic words “dad cannot cope”, “vulnerable adult” and “safeguarding concerns “. The lovely occupational therapist asked what we thought was the best solution and I said care home, so she’s going to speak to memory nurse and social workers to get mums capacity formally assessed and start the wheels in motion. Mum qualifies for local authority funding so I suspect we will meet resistance but I shall stand firm on this.

    But...I feel awful having done this even though I know it is the best way to go.
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    70,151
    Kent
    I think all of us who have been in similar positions will identify with you @CardiffGirlInEssex

    Even though we know it is for the best, it's not what we would wish for.

    Your father sounds far too frail to cope with wandering and falls and the fact he has asked you for help justifies your actions.

    Please post updates if you can. It will be helpful for others to see how this decision develops from the start.

    Good luck. I hope you won`t need it.
     
  3. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    T
    Thank you @Grannie G I will indeed post updates. I am so thankful for the support on this forum.
     
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,310
    Yorkshire
    hi @CardiffGirlInEssex
    hard and sad as this decision is, you are doing tne right thing by both your mother and also your father ... they both deserve help and to have their individual needs met
    I'm glad you have the team already involved and the OT understanding the situation
    best wishes to you all
     
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,648
    Nottinghamshire
    I'm sure you are doing the right thing @CardiffGirlInEssex although I know it probably doesn't feel like it. I hope it goes smoothly.
     
  6. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    390
    Male
    Hi @CardiffGirlInEssex, I think we all pretty much have experienced that terrible feeling when that step has to be taken, but it does sound as though there is no other practical or safe option that you can explore. Your Dad will be taking the brunt of the nighttime issues and if he has reached that conclusion you would be failing them both not to act. I hope you manage to source a suitable home as soon as possible. Stay strong.
     
  7. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    First update...the community team Occupational Therapist has organised an urgent GP visit, to rule out infection as a cause of aggressive behaviour, to be followed by urgent GP referral to elderly mental health crisis team. Also pushing for emergency allocated social worker for mum, and capacity assessment by consultant geriatrician. All of this will take a few days I guess, but it is being taken seriously and they are doing as much as they can. Fingers crossed.
     
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,986
    Female
    Glad to hear the process has started, I hope you can find a suitable care home for your mum.
    It is such a huge decision to make, I think all of us are probably reluctant to do it, but there comes a point it really is the best thing.
     
  9. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    Well, I seem to have lit a blue touch paper, I think! The GP has visited, then phoned me to get the full story as dad found himself unable to explain the severity of the situation with mum present, and mum is still sometimes surprisingly good in front of anyone with “authority”. Next thing is elderly mental health crisis team and capacity assessment. I’m astonished at how quickly things have happened so far today.
     
  10. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,310
    Yorkshire
    I'm so pleased that your call for support is being taken seriously
     
  11. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    2,244
    please don’t feel awful. I have gone through this with Dad & am going to be going through this process again with Mum.
    The guilt monkey is always hanging around & needs shooing away regularly.

    my mantra became “ in their best interests”
    Be kind to yourself
    X
     
  12. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    Thank you @DesperateofDevon, and all the other members who have kindly offered reassurance. Dementia is a real b****r, isn’t it? All the professionals I’ve spoken to so far have been similarly kind and reassuring, which helps. Off to clobber the guilt monkey with a wrench now....
     
  13. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    2,244
    Keep clobbering him - he’s a real pest!
    Xx
     
  14. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    So, an update. The mental health triage nurse visited yesterday, spent some time first talking to my dad. Then went upstairs to see mum. Despite mum insisting to my dad that she wasn’t talking to anyone else etc, she did in fact engage with the nurse. However, this has given me a new worry, that her hostess mode will have given an unrealistic impression. Still waiting to hear the official outcome of that visit, still waiting for capacity assessment and social worker allocation, though the wonderful OT is chivvying everyone she can think of. She’s also tried to reassure me that the mental health nurse and the consultant geriatrician (who will do the capacity assessment) are well accustomed to hosting mode and have ways of seeing through that. I just hope she is right. I have suggested to my dad that we find a respite place for him, and pay for it, which would force the issue with mum as she couldn’t be left alone, but he can’t bring himself to do that.
     
  15. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    And the latest joy.. my dad on the phone tonight saying he can’t take any more, if mum isn’t taken somewhere else tomorrow then he wants to go into a home himself, to get away from her. Tomorrow’s going to be fun. Not.
     
  16. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    I’ll be with you in spirit tomorrow trying to get respite/capacity assessment for dad. Have just emailed the office to say I won’t be in in anticipation. Really, the absolute best of luck tomorrow.
     
  17. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    11,111
    Female
    South coast
    Contact SS first thing tomorrow and say that you need urgent respite for your mum as your dad has reached carer breakdown
     
  18. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    Thank you @canary, I shall use those words. I've just been making lists of care homes to call tomorrow, in case I have to make good on my threat to move dad. That would certainly be the easier option in many ways, because as things stand he would go willingly, and I know mum won't!
     
  19. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    And best of luck in your efforts too, @Ponddweller. We can give each other moral support
     
  20. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    131
    So, I followed @Canary’s advice and phoned social services this morning, saying we were in a carer breakdown situation and if they didn’t get their act together today, I’d be making arrangements to move Dad to a safe situation. And surprise surprise, the social worker is visiting them this afternoon with a view to arranging respite care for mum. Just hoping they don’t decide she has capacity to refuse something that’s in her best interests. They are going to “sell” it as a little break for her, somewhere with people to talk to and things to do. That might just work.

    I have got potential care places lined up for Dad just in case, but am hoping now we won’t have to do that.
     

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