Looking at Homes for Mum


Registered User
Mar 15, 2006
As I mentioned in a previous thread, I am starting to look for a Home for Mum.
My daughter and I visited one today that specialises in Dementia care. The staff were lovely. The bedrooms seemed small but cosy and it had 3 lounges...one of which was for the more "with it" residents.
I was concerned that all bedrooms are locked during the day (not with residents inside obviously!!) but it was explained that if they arent locked then possessions go "missing"...I suppose that is normal practise....?????
I felt very sad to see how my Mum will be in the future and I feel so terrible about even thinking of a Home for her even though I know it is necessary soon.
I dont want this responsiblity but there is no one else to share it with....:(

Sorry for moaning.



Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
Hi Maria,
Im currently looking for a home for my mum too, although I havent totally had the green light from social services, some of the better homes have waiting lists.
I nursed my nan through AD too some years ago, and went through the same anxiety when trying to choose a home. Check out the Care Standards Commission website, all of the care /nursing home social service reports are on there. Each home is visited twice a year, one announced and one unannounced inspection, the results are on the website and you are at liberty to ask to see them when you visit a prospective home for your mum.
Hope this helps and good luck
Ally xx

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Maria, I`m sorry you are going through such a heartbreaking task.
I would accept the explanation re the locked bedroom doors. Although it isn`t ideal, it`s probably the lesser evil.
When my mother went into the nursing home, I took with her lots of familiar objects, to make her feel more at home. Things like ornaments and family photos, a cushion and a clock. One by one, they disappeared and the home was unable to trace them for me. She also lost her wedding ring.
I couldn`t really make a fuss because one day I went into her room and on her bedside table was a photo of a beautiful baby, the only problem was it wasn`t one of our babies. Another time she was wearing a lovely red cardigan. I said, `That cardigan isn`t yours!.` `I know,` she said, `Don`t tell anyone.`
The most important things about a home, in my opinion, are the atmosphere, the care, the staff and the hygeine.
I hope you find somewhere good. Love Sylvia x

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Maria, you have lots of friends here to share with - including ostriches like me who dread the day I am ever in your situation, know I should be doing something about it and forward planning even now .... and yet keep waiting for that lightning strike that will make all this go away.....:eek:

You're absolutely right about 'responsibility' - you're taking it and some, well certainly me, are still trying to deny it ..... Well done you.......

Much love and big hugs, Karen, x

Eve G.

Another tip: call the visiting nurses' and physical therapists' offices in the area and ask them for the real story on these places. They visit them all and can give you the low-down.

Yes, things can go missing even in the best of places; our main problem is Mom's nurse putting her clothes in the laundry and going back upstairs to look after Mom. When she gets back to the laundry room, some poor demented soul has wandered in, taken what's in the machine, and wandered off again.


Registered User
Nov 18, 2006
Is it common to lock rooms in homes ? My dad will go crazy if he can't go in and out of his room at will.


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
I think they vary Kenny. The nursing home where mum will be going have locks on the doors but the residents can go to their room whenever they wish.....I imagine the staff get to know when the residents want to go back to their rooms......


Registered User
Apr 10, 2006
Hiya Maria

Sorry to hear of your situation, its a tough one, but the best that anyone can do in this situation is make sure that their mum is well cared for and thats exactly what your doing..............as for doing it on your own.........yes, it would be nice to have help and support, but if the rest of your siblings won't give it, then s*d them, your strong enough to do it ........and this way, you get to choose the place you like best and you don't need to consult anyone else.
I know its not an ideal situation but sometimes things work out for the best.

Hope everything works out well for you.
Loads of love
Alex x
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Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
[QUOTE=kennyuk]Is it common to lock rooms in homes ? My dad will go crazy if he can't go in and out of his room at will.[/QUOTE]

In Mum's NH she can lock herself in but is never "locked in" - in other words the door can always be opened from the inside (as in a motel) for safety reasons. If she accidentally locks herself out, the staff have a key which lets her back in. Mum likes to keep her door locked because some of the residents at stages more severe than her's wander in and out of her room otherwise. Naturally she does not like this.

The "wanderers" also pick up objects and remove them, but I have no doubt that they do not do this with any purpose in mind - they simply no longer understand the concept of personal possessions.

Mum could never tolerate being locked out of her room either, Kenny. She spends much of her day in there (not a very sociable person is my Mum!). I would be very surprised if NH prevented people using their rooms as desired . . . .??

Good Luck. Nell


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
One place i visited a while back was a really lovely home but they did tell me they preferred the residents not to spend time in their rooms during the day......that was no good for mum.....she'd rather be allowed to do as she wants...i.e as if she were in her own home.......


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
mel said:
One place i visited a while back was a really lovely home but they did tell me they preferred the residents not to spend time in their rooms during the day......that was no good for mum.....she'd rather be allowed to do as she wants...i.e as if she were in her own home.......
That was also the case in my mum's first home. I suspect that it was for the convenience of the staff as much as anything though - they had 2 large lounges and if most of the residents were in there most of the time then it was easier for them to 'keep tabs' on them.

In her present home the people at either end of the health spectrum seem to spend most of their time in their rooms ie those who are bed ridden obviously and those who have physical problems but not dementia. The 'in betweenies' like my mum spend the bulk of their time in one of the lounges. However, I have noticed that of those who spend most of their time in their bedrooms, they tend to queue up outside the dining room well before meal times. They also tend to do a lot of socialising in there. I suspect that they don't like the communal lounges as some of the other residents can be noisy or argumentative at times.


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Maria

As you probably know we went through this last September, total nightmare making the decision, and then the nightmare of finding the right home.

I have to say I would not want mum to be locked out of her room, where she is now they come and go as they please, mostly though she spends her day in the lounge with the other residents. Thankfully whilst it is a big home (about 70 residents), there are only 14 - 16 on each section, so its easier for the staff to keep tabs on them, they really do make it like home from home.

Bottom line is honey, go with your gut feeling..........personally I would make several visits during different times of the day, without an appointment. If they are happy for you to do this, then I think they have nothing to hide.

Good luck, thinking of you.

Cate xx


Registered User
Jun 3, 2006
Hi Maria

I agree with Cate on this one - go along with your gut reaction. My mum has been in a nursing home for 6 weeks now and it was very much my 2nd choice. However, when I went to look again I had this feeling that it would work out. To give you an example, I've just had a call from them to say mum has has another fall. They couldn't have been more apologetic - have tried sensor pads, talking to her and have now left an urgent message with the consultant. They are very worried and are really trying to find a solution. This impresses me and tells me I was right to go with my gut feeling.

Best wishes