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Mild care home concerns

Hannah_1234

Registered User
Apr 1, 2019
25
Dad moved I n to a care home just 2 weeks ago. He is in his 60s so young for a person with alzheimers..on a good day you Almost wouldnt know he had it and comes across as a very happy happy. However recently declined quite a bit to the point where he went for a walk in the night and got himself in danger (thankfully hes physically fine) and we realised he couldnt live independently any more. He also realised this and actually asked to go into a home , something he always was adamant he didn't want before, so the he didn't have to worry about day today life 'stuff'


Dont get me wrong, the care home is a lovely place and hes told me himself that the facilities are very good. So they should be for the price of it!
Whilst I know that he is still settling in and getting to know how things work he has been calling us quite a lot saying he is bored. There are daily activities, however the other residents are quite bit older than him and possibly further along with their dementia even though it is sectioned out depending on their needs.
I thik he finds he doesnt have much in common with the other people due to the age difference. He has lost the ability to entertain himself really and I could take in some puzzles etc but I dont think he do them unless someone is always there with him.

He also complains that the food isnt good. Initially I thought he was being over fussy or would get used to it but this is something he mentions every phone call. I dont know what the food is like as I havsnt seen or tried it. Due to covid we cant go in.

We are paying a lot for this place as it seems to suit dad quite well with how it looked and the nice garden. I feel like at least he should be able to enjoy what hes eating.

He is a very outdoorsy active person so the fact the in current situation he cant leave the care home is also causing some cabin fever, even with the use of the garden.


Has anyone else experienced this where the activities arent suited to him? Am I being over fussy?
I have spoken to the activities co-ordinator and given her a background on dads life and hobbies.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
518
I do like reading.

I have to say my dad complains about the food almost constantly, even though I think it's rather good. I think it's part of the dementia for my dad. Tastes change and dad often accuses them of forcing him to eat meat in stock or sauce, and then will request a ham sandwich? He has been vegetarian for decades but not his whole life. The home do no such hiding of food - they buy tinned soup and special meals in but he doesn't believe them!
I'd ask what a day of meals might be and try to work backward from there.

Entertainment wise I'm not sure what else so suggest but you can certainly ask the carers to prompt him to do a jigsaw or something.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
749
Poor you!
first of all he has entered the home at the wrong time of year. Can you imagine the difference in June, wandering around the lovely garden in sunshine?

secondly the food will be different to what he is used to. Steak and chips won’t be on the menu, because half the residents will be in A and E with choking issues.

Dementia often changes the taste buds. One of the most common changes is for sweet things. People who never have taken sugar in there drinks can start demanding it , ect.

When you talk to someone with dementia it can be difficult to think of subjects of conversation, and bad food is one you can really get your teeth into ! (Sorry couldn’t resist that joke). Is it worth asking the home if a take away can be delivered specially for him every now and then? (You would have to pay )

The transition into a home for someone of his age is likely to be difficult. Visiting and Covid makes this so much more difficult for you. He is safe. I would try and relax and let the complaints go over my head a bit. If the problems persist then hopefully by next year things will be easier for you to start thinking about the future.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,094
Kent
Hello @Hannah1234

In addition to the advice given above I would aslo have a word with the manager just to see if anything more could be done to give your dad a little more attention.

How would your dad feel about `helping` staff by working alongside them, serving teas or something like that. I`m not sure about Health and Safety rules but surely there could be something to help him feel useful and occupied.

Did your dad do odd jobs around the house when he was well? Perhaps he could assist in odd jobs in the care home.

I know female residents have been helped by assisting care staff and perhaps the same could be considered for your dad, in a therapeutic rather than in a menial sense.

I remember feeling so sorry for a younger resident in my mother `s home. He just sat at a table with a newspaper and looked so bored.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,002
Hi @Hannah_1234, Covid has made things so much more difficult for care homes. My mum's home has several male residents who are quite young and seem at first glance to be 'with it'. Pre-covid the activities co-ordinators would take them down the local pub or for lunch at a local jazz club, but of course things like that have stopped, as well as having entertainers coming in.
I think seeing if there is anything he could do to 'help' is a good one, even if it is only looking through seed catalogues and planning next year's garden. As for food, mum complained at first and I thought she was being fussy, then they changed the caterers and from feed back from other residents families there had actually been a problem. So maybe worth mentioning to the manager in a non-confrontational way. Can you take in treats of things he likes to eat. I send chocolates in for mum every couple of weeks or so.
 

Hannah_1234

Registered User
Apr 1, 2019
25
Thanks for the replies everyone. Yes I take treats in at the weekend, usually his favourite party and some biscuits or chocolate. My auntie is going to send him some wine as hes always e enjoyed wine with dinner and the wine provided isnt good (even the staff told me that).
I have mentioned the food to the staff member I spoke to recently and she said shed ask dad about it (he will probably tell them it's fine 🙄). He also told me hes made friends with a lady there and they often sit together at meal times and complain about the food so it could be more of a talking point!
I like the idea of asking him to help out
He might like that and has always been good with odd jobs etc.
 

Kellyr

Registered User
Aug 8, 2020
101
One of the care staff in my Mums carehome has said the food is worse now than before covid and this could be because they are cutting corners for whatever reason. My own personal experience and info Ive gleaned from others is that all homes have schedules of activities posted on the walls to look good, but few actually do very much..again especially in the current situation. Sorry to be negative but thats just what Ive been told..