Ken two and a half weeks on

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by TinaT, May 1, 2008.

  1. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    This is a little update on Ken's first two weeks in the Care Home

    I think I will have to divide this post into two sections - one from Ken's point of view and one from mine.

    My view - I feel as though an enormous burden has at last been lifted from my shoulders. I now have no need to worry that he will be physically assaulted by other patients (as he was on the ward). He can now wear a watch and his glasses all day long without fear of them going missing or being broken. He is beautifully dressed every day, is shaved and toileted properly for the first time in 9 months. Every day I visit I am thrilled by the lovely well dressed, clean looking man who is waiting for me.

    He is treated with great kindness and respect, as I myself am and other members of the family have been when they visit with me. He is in clean, warm safe surroundings. The whole atmosphere within the home is of one rather large family. The other residents are on the whole kindly souls with their own unique personalities and problems but there are certain periods of the day when they do interact with each other, even if it is for very short periods of time. Ken has been completely accepted by the residents.

    The staff are quite honestly the kindest, most hardworking people I have ever come across. Nothing is too much trouble for them. Not once have I come across a group of them sitting and gossiping together and leaving residents to their own devices(sadly I witnessed this happening on the ward every day of the nine months Ken was there). Staff make me welcome, offer me a drink and tell me what kind of morning Ken has had. There is such an air of calmness and a truely family feeling within the home.

    I am able to visit Ken at any time of the day unlike the hospital ward with its strict visiting hours. Ken's older brother visited with me today. We took Ken out to a garden centre and then on for a pub meal. We arrived back at the home at 6pm to be met by smiling faces asking had we had a good afternoon.

    His bedroom is delightful. It has large airy windows with lovely views. I've put a TV and radio in the bedroom, not for Ken's benefit as he ignores them both but for me, so that we can sit together and have a little cuddle in our own space! He has his own wardrobe and clean clothes are washed and ironed well and carefully hung up. He has drawers which are kept neat and tidy.

    When he was on the ward he had a locker for his belongings. He shared the room and all his shoes, slippers clothes became communial property with the man he was sharing with. I think that whilst on the ward Ken got a skin infection because they even shaved the other resident with Ken's own electric razor. Ken's skin is now beginning to clear again now that no one else uses his razor. I had to throw away all of his clothes from the hospital as they had been ruined.

    Mealtimes are a lovely experience. Tablecloths and napkins are set, cups and saucers laid and home made food is served. Residents who need help to eat are attended to. One or two residents who for some reason or another want to eat in one of the living rooms are taken a tray with their food. It is their choice.

    As Ken has a better appetite than all the other residents, he is always given a second helping!

    For me, we have reached a safe harbour at last and I thank God for the peace which this has given to me.

    Ken has somewhat settled in. I've told him that it is a convalesence home which the doctor has sent him to so he can have a rest and get better. I think he is as happy as he can be or ever will be but he doesn't want to be there. He's completely forgotten the hospital ward - swears he was never in hospital! He spends his days looking for me. He wanders up and down the corridor waiting for me. The staff try to reassure him that I'm coming. When I arrive he clings to me like a lost child and weeps. He loves me taking him out for a walk or a ride in the car but gets very agitated and unhappy when we come back.

    The staff are telling me that he is not causing them any problems, and that the problems he has, are quite normal and well within the range they can cope with.

    We are to have a review next month with his consultant. She had warned me that if the staff couldn't cope, then he would have to go back on the ward. This terrified me the first week he went into the home. I was on pins worrying about this. Now after two and a half weeks of his stay, the staff are happy with him and I think that I may now breath a sigh of relief.

    All is well in Tina's world at the moment and, at last, I'm beginning to think that my lovely husband is in the right place and getting the care and attention he deserves. I could not single handedly take care of him as well as he is now being cared for. When I visit him I am able to be loving, relaxed and caring towards him, thanks to the wonderful atmosphere that the staff generate. Whatever the future holds for us both, I know, deep down that I will always treasure this oasis of peace and calm which this wonderful place has given me.

    xxTinaT
     
  2. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    541
    TinaT

    What a wonderful post and I can only say how pleased I feel for you that you have found this haven. I hope if Alan ever needs a care home that I will find for him what you have found for Ken.

    Best wishes TinaT

    Helen
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,642
    Kent
    Tina, this is wonderful news from you.

    No-one could ask for anything better and I`m so pleased this is the outcome, after such a long, hard and very upsetting struggle.

    I do hope Ken becomes just a little bit happier in himself, but perhaps that`s too much to ask for.

    But I`m so happy for you.

    Love xx
     
  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Dear Tina, thank you for the update. What a wonderful, positive post.
    Those of us who have found, though various routes, safe havens for our loved ones are among the more fortunate. The peace of mind a good home can give is such a blessing.

    After your long battle on Ken's behalf you both deserve nothing less.

    So glad for you at this time. Love n'hugs, Connie
     
  5. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Now thats all very good news , well all the post is good news .

    Am really pleased for you xx
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Tina, what a wonderful post, thank you.

    You've had so many upheavals in your journey with Ken, it must be wonderful for you to feel that you have reached a safe haven. It sounds as if they are going to be able to cope with Ken without any problems, so you can put your fears of hospital to the back of your mind.

    Apart from our one blip, this is exactly how I feel when I walk into John's unit.

    You are lucky that you are able to take Ken out, and with the summer coming (?) I hope you have lots of lovely days together. You deserve them.

    Love,
     
  7. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    Thank you Tina for that very positive and reassuring post.

    For those of us who face something similar in the not too distant future, it is heartening to know that a move to a NH can work. I guess it is early days yet for Ken to feel totally 'at home' - perhaps he will be less clingy as time goes on.

    I am so pleased that you feel the burden is lifted. You are enjoying quality time with Ken instead of being harassed (gosh, that may be me in a fortnight's time:(.

    Please continue to update us.

    Best wishes Jan
     
  8. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Tina
    It was wonderful to read your post. You have worked so hard to make things better for Ken and your patience and dilligence has really paid off. The feelings of relief really come out to everyone who reads your thread. I suppose its like having been in a very dark place(yours and Kens experiences in hospital) to a place of comfort and light, Ken being cared for with kindness and compassion. You have been included, as his carer, as well.
    Ken will still have his battles with this disease, but at least now he will get the care that deserves, its been long overdue.
    I am so pleased and happy for you both, this is what you have worked so hard for.
    take care
    hendy
     
  9. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    I cried when I read all of your posts. You are all are a truely magical bunch of people who support each other through thick and thin (very often more thin than thick!!) Bless you each and every one of you, it is a joy to share good news and Hendy you are so, so right, I feel like we have come out of a very dark, dangerous and frightening place into the light.

    Now that I feel happier about Ken I am going full steam ahead raising the profile of all of us carers of people with dementia.

    This morning I attended a high powered meeting with the 'movers and shakers' within our MH Trust - I've literally been to dozens of meetings with the aim of getting somehow to the people who really can change things for us. At one point I got the opportunity to bring in what so many of us carers need; to be a vital part of their 'loop' with a real, important input into what care they are offering. It was agreed that they were still very patriarchal in their dealings and I think I opened up a little chink. I had one activity to do within a group which included Ken's consultant and we had a little time to chat about Ken. We were both very pleased by the way Ken was settling into his new home and how the staff were coping well with him.

    At the end of the meeting the organiser approached me and asked me would I speak at another conference/event he was holding soon in Cumbria. Needless to say I was very pleased to say 'yes'. One way or another we WILL get our message across to the powers that be!

    I went on from there to visit Ken. He was playing musical bingo with the help of one of the staff. A tape of various songs was playing such as 'Daisy' - 'Happy Birthday to You' and residents had a card with the names of the songs being played and were being helped to cover the title if they had it on their bingo card. Ken found some titles and I was thrilled to see the effort he put into this activity. He actually sat down for about 20 minutes!! I asked if the Snooker could be put on the TV in one of the rooms and by chatting to him, he managed to sit still for another half hour or so and enjoy some of the game!!

    When I arrived home I had a phone call from the Today Programme on Radio 4. They will now be broadcasting my interview probably on Monday 2nd June and putting it on their new website for the following two weeks. Another little victory for us carers who have had bad experiences when trying to find a good care home for their loved one!!

    Bless you all, and we must never give up hope of a better care system for our loved ones. This is an upbeat post. One of the few that I have been able to write for a very long time.

    xxTinaT
     
  10. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Wow, Tina, there's no stopping you, is there?

    WELL DONE! :):):)


    Hope fully there will be many more to look forward to.

    Love,
     
  11. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    5,543
    I loved your upbeat post

    It did me the world of good, and long may your new outlook on life continue.Love to you and Ken.
    Barb & Ron X
     
  12. heartbroken

    heartbroken Registered User

    Feb 17, 2008
    747
    derbyshire
    Fantastic post
    I'm so pleased for you Tina
    The only way is up for you keep on going
     
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,642
    Kent
    All this energy Tina, it has been renewed since Ken has been in his woderful home. :)

    I seem to remember one of your posts, during your long and lonely fight, saying how worn down you felt and how your strength seemed to have gone.

    It`s back with a vengeance. :)
     
  14. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Tina,
    Congratulations on all that you have achieved.
    Seeing them as we would expect them to be, clean and well looked after makes such a difference.
    Best wishes
    Christine
     
  15. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    5,543
    Seeing them as we would expect them to be

    Clean and well looked after.
    THEM
    Sorry,this offended me.

    I think it was the word THEM:mad:
    Barb X
     
  16. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    I quote Sylvia because many of us have been at a low point and now benefit from your inspirational thread.
    I am full of admiration that you have managed a wonderful NH for Ken and now continue good works within the 'dementia' field. Please remind us to listen in to the Today programme on 2 June - it will be lovely to hear your voice and feel close to you.

    Take care Love Jan
     
  17. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    5,543
    I am taking a holidaty from TP

    Given too much info.
    Grannie G, thank's, Bruce, you also, Tina, Gigi,Hendy etc, well I could go on, and on. You all know who you are. XX
    I feel I am becoming a bit addicted to this forum, to this site.
    I need a break. If not a holiday,it will be a rest.
    Lot's of love Barb and Ron XXX:D

    PS Will have a sneaky look from time to time. X:D
     
  18. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Barb and Ron
    I'm sure everybody will understand. Do take care. Speak to us soon!
    hendy
     
  19. j.j

    j.j Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
    91
    TinaT
    I read your post and identified exactly with your experiences, i think some of the care staff deserve medals as big as frying pans, when you visit and feel the care and the comfort they are giving to our loved ones it truly wonderful, especially when one considers the hard job they do mostly understaffed and underpaid,
     

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