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Long Distance to Care Home

AlifieBow

New member
Oct 21, 2021
6
0
Hello. Looking for advice on how to manage with mum in a care home that is too far away for me to visit more than once a month. My brother lives 5 mins away and visits once a week but is not good at giving me feedback and I am constantly worrying what's going on. I am going to pay an ex carer to visit on my behalf twice a week now - any other words of wisdom? I worry that she is not drinking enough, eating enough, all the usual. Staff are very reassuring and obviously rushed off their feet and I just wished I was nearer to pop in daily and just 'check'. Guilt is at an all-time high. I moved away 20 years ago and have seen mum once a month for most of that time with regular phone calls. Now she cant manage phone calls really. My brain is on overload!
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
393
0
I think that paying a trusted ex-carer to visit your mother is a very creative solution. You would like your brother to give more feedback, and probably to visit more often, but he's probably not going to. Is there any unexpressed resentment on his part about shouldering the 'care burden' when your mother was still living at home? If so, he might be making a point, perhaps subconsciously, that he has stepped away from the 'primary carer' role now and is not going to visit more often / check up on the home / keep reporting back to you to keep you happy.

If you are really unhappy about not seeing your mother more than once a month then you have two options: visit more frequently (is that impossible?; do you live abroad?) or move your mother to a home near you. Alternatively, why not take a week's or fortnight's holiday and stay somewhere near the home (it might be best if you don't stay with your brother) and go in every day for a few hours, perhaps at different times of the day) and see how the home is dealing with your mother. If you are reassured by what you see then you will feel happier about the monthly visits.

Did you worry about the carers looking after your mother properly when she lived at home? If not, then why do you worry about your mother in the home?
 

AlifieBow

New member
Oct 21, 2021
6
0
Thank you - I would like her nearer me but my brother not keen and I dont want to unsettle her by moving her if he is not in agreement. When she was at home, and first in the care home we spoke daily so therefore I had her input. It is now that the conversations are not possible that I am struggling. I think the idea of staying down there for a week is a brilliant idea, I had not thought of that. Thank you.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,891
0
Hi @AlfieBow and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. Do you have any concerns about the care the home provide? If you do it might be a good idea to arrange a meeting with the care home manager to discuss them. A meeting might be a good idea in any case as it may well put your mind at rest. Unless the ex-carer you are going to ask to visit your mother is very tactful I can well imagine the care home staff may feel that you don't trust them.
I think @Violet Jane's idea of spending a week near her so you can call in every day may well set your mind at rest. It will also give you time to talk things through with your brother. What exactly would you like your brother to tell you? I'm the first port of call for any problems with my mother and I tend to give my brother quite an up-beat account of what is happening. He is too far away to do anything in a crisis and has also been very ill so I don't want to add to his stress
 

AlifieBow

New member
Oct 21, 2021
6
0
Hi @AlfieBow and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. Do you have any concerns about the care the home provide? If you do it might be a good idea to arrange a meeting with the care home manager to discuss them. A meeting might be a good idea in any case as it may well put your mind at rest. Unless the ex-carer you are going to ask to visit your mother is very tactful I can well imagine the care home staff may feel that you don't trust them.
I think @Violet Jane's idea of spending a week near her so you can call in every day may well set your mind at rest. It will also give you time to talk things through with your brother. What exactly would you like your brother to tell you? I'm the first port of call for any problems with my mother and I tend to give my brother quite an up-beat account of what is happening. He is too far away to do anything in a crisis and has also been very ill so I don't want to add to his stress
Hi - had a good chat with them today and they said mum was in her own world but happy. My brother was visiting her today and I made a point of phone call rather than texting to see how things were and got more information than normal. I am hoping to get there next week - I rely on my partner to take me and he has been under a lot of stress recently making things harder. I think Emma will be fine - they are accustomed to a Dementia worker visiting her for me and as she has now gone on maternity leave Emma will be her replacement. I think they understand I need that feedback. The home has great reviews it's just everytime you go it feels like there is something not quite right - staff handing out hot tea, giving mum drinks in mugs she cant hold, finding mum munching on a serviette. - I have lost confidence I suppose.
 

HardToLetGo

Registered User
Oct 10, 2020
44
0
Hi - had a good chat with them today and they said mum was in her own world but happy. My brother was visiting her today and I made a point of phone call rather than texting to see how things were and got more information than normal. I am hoping to get there next week - I rely on my partner to take me and he has been under a lot of stress recently making things harder. I think Emma will be fine - they are accustomed to a Dementia worker visiting her for me and as she has now gone on maternity leave Emma will be her replacement. I think they understand I need that feedback. The home has great reviews it's just everytime you go it feels like there is something not quite right - staff handing out hot tea, giving mum drinks in mugs she cant hold, finding mum munching on a serviette. - I have lost confidence I suppose.
 

HardToLetGo

Registered User
Oct 10, 2020
44
0
Yes also struggling with long distance, more difficult with appointment only and limits on visits at my Mum's care home so the week thing would not work for us. The proxy visitor is a good thought. I think it is probably nicer for my Mum to have familiar sounding accents around her and there is a sibling near by so yes it's not ideal and I empathise.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
827
0
The problem at the moment with regular and frequent visits might be the Covid visiting restrictions. For instance, I can only visit mum twice a week as there are not any free time slots, I can only see her in reception rather than inside the care home and no visits at meal times.

So although I live close by, I have no idea about what she eats or drinks, how she interacts with staff or other residents or what she does all day. It’s very frustrating but I have no choice.