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'Kidnapping Mum'.....

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by piph, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    There are always a lot of questions and answers on TP about the best way to get a dementia sufferer into a CH when they are determined that there is nothing wrong with them, and no way are they going to be 'put in a home'. It seems that a lot of you 'kidnap' Mum or Dad and tell them you are taking them out for tea or a meal etc, and them take then to the CH. But how do you do this without lots of preparation? Surely there must be some involved - labelling and packing clothes being the least of these. I was just wondering how you get around these things - I suspect that it won't be all that long before we have to do something similar for Mum.
  2. Benrese

    Benrese Registered User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Hiya Piph,

    Although this was not the route we took, I have read many examples of what others have done. One road is to use the "cafe" routine. This enables you to actually take your loved-one to the CH, as a visit for a lovely lunch. Some decided to use this as a way to both familiarize their loved-one, whilst also the family to bit by bit figure out what they need to bring and how to get set up.

    I suppose it completely depends on what type/level of Dementia one has. If they are never happy with going out to eat, or to go "visiting", then of course this would not work.

    I will look forward to what others can offer.

    Luck to you x
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I told my husband the doctor said he should go into a convalescent home to build up his strength.

    He liked the idea of name tapes on his clothes because he was paranoid people were trying to steal his things and his name would prove they were his.

    When I write this I dont know how I did it but somehow I did. I think I was blinkered.
  4. Torontonian

    Torontonian Registered User

    Hi there,

    In our situation, when the call comes, we are to tell my mom that we have a doctor's appointment... I always take her to her appointments but this time my brother will go too... she will be suspicous as to why he is going but we cannot predict what will she think.

    As to packing... I am told to start packing a little bag and leave it in the car in advance. So I started slowly, I have put in a couple of underclothing and nightgowns.

    I kind of know which pair of pants and a sweater or two to take.. As I live with her, I can't properly pack so I hid a duffle bag inside my closet and hope she doesn't see it as she looks in there to see whose clothes are hang there so that she can figure out who I am (sometimes).

    I have another little bag for shoes and slippers... I will take that first and leave in the car. some mornings she is up with me and she sees me to the door so I have to do this one of the days when she is still asleep.

    When we are to the nursing home, we are planning to say that the doctor thought they need to do some blood work and other tests so she may need to stay there overnight but I have to go home and come in the morning.... She may figure something is wrong as my mom never stayed in a hospital without me... I always stayed with her, all the time!

    OR as her recent memory is really bad... she may not remember all this but will ask to go home when she sees me next..
  5. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    We planned it all like a military operation, so here goes. My sister who lives a long drive away, came and stayed the night before with BIL. Sister packed some of her things surreptitiously the night before. I then came down on the day, and my brother came over - he doesn't live too far. Then my sister and I took her 'out for lunch' - we were petrified that we wouldn't be able to get her out since for ages she'd been very reluctant to leave the house at all. Luckily her GP had prescribed Valium to make her more tractable and thank heavens it worked.

    So we drove her the 60 miles to a CH near me, and all the way we were having kittens in case she twigged and demanded to go home, or even didn't twig and wanted to go home.
    Meanwhile brother and BIL (who were 'getting on with some little jobs in the house') put her immediate things, a few small pieces of furniture for her room and her TV etc. in the car, and followed a bit later. We all met up at the CH for lunch, and even while we were eating our poor mother thought it was a restaurant and offered to pay. We all felt awful. There is no big sign outside, but I had thought she'd realise straightaway where we had brought her - I would have thought it so obvious - but she was bad enough by then that she had no idea.

    My sister undertook later, after coffee in the garden, to tell her she was staying. I don't mind admitting that I was too chicken. She wasn't at all happy, but to be honest by then there was absolutely no alternative and we had really left it too late anyway. She was 89 then, now 96, infinitely worse, and still there.

    Good luck - it is such a very difficult and worrying time.
  6. Isabella

    Isabella Registered User

    Jan 4, 2014
    I just told mum that she was moving to a nice place to be closer to me. She was pleased with that, and asked if it was like a hotel and I said yes, a bit! She took that very literally though, as when we got there and I was showing her the view of the garden from her window, she asked if there was a pool there. Bless. The manager then came to collect her for a cup of tea and off she went, without even looking back to say goodbye!

    Mum was quite unconcerned by the whole thing, and I packed and labelled everything in her bedroom while she watched tv in the living room, popping in every now and again to see what I was doing and then disappearing again. I had it really easy compared to many people on here, I know.

    One bit of advice though the clothes labelling took absolutely ages! You might want to try doing it in stages far in advance. Labelling socks is particularly irritating! Now when I buy clothes for mum I go for light colours so I can just write on them and not bother with sowing in labels.
  7. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    We have got through an awful lot of name tapes, but wherever possible now, if there's a light coloured label at the neck, I just write on it. I stopped buying her black knickers because the labels were black and no use for writing on. The CH orders its own name tapes, but I always label anything before I take it in.
  8. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    I used a sharpie pen to label most of mum's clothes, also used some name tapes but gave up because it took too long. I did most of it without her seeing. I had become very devious through necessity.

    On the day mum was due to go into the care home for her first respite stay dad took her bag and bits and pieces over in the morning and sorted everything out with the care staff.
    After lunch we said we were going out for tea, but I think mum suspected something (though she often accused us of kidnapping her even on innocent outings to anywhere). She went in to the care home quite happily but in her bedroom was so very angry with me. Dad left in tears and I took the flack.
    I spent a few minutes of explaining that Dad was going to visit his brother who was ill and she didn't want to be all alone at home did she, so she was booked into this nice hotel for a few days - I am afraid this was not true.

    Then a nurse came in and asked if she would like to go with him for a cup of tea, she took his arm and went off without even a look at me.
  9. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    If it was me, I'd do it gradually. The packing, I mean. Setting aside the problem of what to tell your loved one to get them there, and just thinking of the practical preparation - bearing in mind that I haven't yet had to do this myself! - I would try to remember that they don't need everything at once.

    With regards to clothes and toiletries etc, just pack a small bag to start with, with just enough things for a few nights and days. This will surely be easier than trying to pack masses of stuff while your relative is around, possibly watching and worrying. That can be done later, once they are there and you can do it on your own.

    The same goes for personal possessions. Just pack a few items. Leave anything super-necessary to the last minute, just grab and go, so to speak (I mean like a cuddly teddy or soft throw or handbag, or whatever your mum might be attached to.)

    If you want to personalise the room with bits of familiar furniture, bedding, etc, this might just have to wait, or if there are small things you could take with you that you could then put in her room while she's having a cuppa with someone else, then that might work.

    I hope this has helped. If it all seems a bit idealised, many apologies! What do I know, I've never actually done it :eek: :D. But I think this is how I would approach it myself, otherwise it just seems far too daunting.

    Good luck!
  10. Homerose

    Homerose Registered User

    Dec 8, 2014
    I agree that you don't necessarily need to take everything in one go. My mum just went in for respite so I packed a shoe box with some photos and personal items and enough clothes for a few days marking the labels with a pen. I then took in bits and pieces each time I visited saying 'mum I've brought your blue fleece' etc. It was very hard at first, I sobbed the night I left her there feeling I'd failed her but within a few days seeing her relatively settled and knowing she was safe and had people to interact with reassured me and I felt much better about it. She's back home now so I'm back to worrying 24/7!

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  11. pippop1

    pippop1 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2013
    We weren't able to pack a bag for my MIL before she went into the CH as she would have come into the bedroom to ask what was going on and who was interfering with all her stuff.

    This is what we did.

    I ordered name tapes in advance and then bought enough new items to last for a few days. I bought a couple of bras, few pairs of knickers, tracksuit bottoms and so on. I tried to get similar stuff to what she had already. Also bought new hairbrush, toothbrush and so on and labelled them with white nail varnish with Sharpie pen on top.

    We packed all this stuff and left it in a bag in our car's boot.

    We delivered her to the care home (leaving the bag in the car) and when we were able to leave we popped in to the office with the bag. They took it up later. We then drove back to her house and retrieved any items of clothing that would be useful. I took them home and washed them (don't ask) to ensure they were clean and then labelled them (v boring but did this in front of the TV).

    When we were ready to take this stuff into the CH one of us put it all in her room and the other kept her chatting.

    If and when she needs new clothes we just buy, label and hang in her wardrobe. Things do seem to disappear a bit but we expected that.
  12. Insomniac

    Insomniac Registered User

    Apr 29, 2014
    We used the 'going for a coffee' routine. We wouldn't have got mum there otherwise because she didn't think there was anything wrong with her. When we were there we told her there was work being done at the house which would make it impossible for her to stay. Wasn't easy by any means, but no other way.
    As for packing, I was doing her washing anyway so just kept holding back things and packing them in a bag. On the day we were 'going for coffee' I made the excuse i'd left my bag in her house so had to run back for it. Armed with my list I gathered up the last few essential items and put them in the bag in the boot. She didn't notice a thing. As for labelling, the CH said not to bother as it was all passed to housekeeping for labelling. I've just taken in additional stuff over a period of time.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures! Good luck!

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  13. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    My heart goes out to all of you who are having to contend with this problem. I had it lucky (!) as my OH didn't have the speech or understanding to object.

    This is a terrible situation for you all and you all seem to manage it so well.

    Please, please don't give yourselves a hard time. Your loved ones will be safe and well looked after if the CH's that you have chosen are as caring as my late Husband's.

    A friend of mine is going through this with his own Mum; she has had two fires in the house where she lives on her own.The family have to keep her safe.

    Remember it's not you 'placing' your relatives in a home-it's Dementia.

    Love to you all

    Lyn T XX
  14. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    Thanks everyone, for all your suggestions - I think though, that we might have to go the way pippop suggests, and buy enough new things to last a few days, then I can go and collect, wash (!) and prepare other clothes. We aren't at that stage yet, so I've plenty of time to think things through and make a plan, should one be needed.
  15. Isabella

    Isabella Registered User

    Jan 4, 2014
    I just wanted to add something. Things will go missing, even if labelled, so be very careful about what you take to the home. Only take copies of photos, and put them on the wall if you can. I often find things in mum's room which don't belong to her and return them to the office, but apparently other visiting relatives don't do the same! We've lost mountains of clothes and a photo album, though some turn up eventually, some never do. Just please consider that so you don't lose sentimental things that can't be replaced.

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