Mom going into 24 hour care tomorrow.... feel sick.... is it the right thing?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by kkerr, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. kkerr

    kkerr Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    Hello again

    I am a 44 year old woman with a full time job, also trying to care for my mother who has mixed dementia for the past 3 years. She is currently living with me - I moved her into my house with her x4 pets!! Things have reached a bit of a breaking point this past week.

    I started looking for care homes a few weeks ago as I know I cannot continue to work full time and look after her. She is bored, lonely despite carers coming in 5-6 hours/day. She is difficult to communicate with and I think the carers spend more time cleaning my house than the do trying to engage her in some sort of conversation/activity. She is tearful a lot of the time and then angry at me the rest.
    I am due to be working 12 hour shifts Saturday and sunday, and got an email from the care agency that they had no one to cover the weekend shifts!! I had already decided on a care home for her, about 45 mins away from where I live, and my plan was to make a gradual move starting in September, when my work would be come quieter. I spoke to the care home, and for all practical purposes, her room is ready (is in a lovely new extension they have just completed). So.... she is going tomorrow morning!! I have tried to do some packing today, but all seems so much of a rush. She is extra agitated today, I think she can tell something is going on.

    I don't know if I am ready for this?!! I am dreading coming home to an empty house with most of her stuff still lying around. I guess its almost a blessing that I will be at work most of the weekend. I have been physically sick today, a number of times and was sent home from work this afternoon.

    Has anyone ever tried someone in 24 hour care and then taken them out again?? I am trying to convince myself that its a "2 week respite with the option to extend", as we are self-funding I guess it is sort of like that, as we could terminate her place there whenever we felt like it.

    Overall I feel like I have let my Mom down, as I have not been able to keep her at home with her beloved dog, as I promised. I feel like a traitor and a failure. This is her last night at home with me and all I want to do is sit with her, talk to her, etc and she keeps telling me to "go away". My dad died of cancer when he was 58, honestly, that whole process and his passing was 100% easier than this, even though I loved my Dad enormously!

    Does it get easier? People keep telling me I need my own life, that I have to look after myself, and although I have been stressed/tired/frustrated with Mom in the house - I am afraid after she is gone I will only become depressed/regretful/and paralysed by my guilt. Which one is better?
  2. Maymab

    Maymab Registered User

    Oct 8, 2013
    Would it be possible for your mum to have her dog with her in the care home? In the care home where my husband goes for day care, one of the clients has a dog that lives there. Well behaved small animals can be very therapeutic for dementia sufferers. My husband has been in respite care for a couple of weeks several times so that might well be a possibility for your mum if that is what you want.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Talking Point mobile app
  3. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    Please, please, please don't feel guilty. If there was a choice you wouldn't have made this decision. You can always reverse your decision at a later date if work settles down or if either of you can't cope. Give it some time though it might turn out to be best all round.
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I am so sorry you are in such turmoil about this. I think 99% of us feel sick and awful and guilty when we finally decide it is time for a care home. All you can do, I think (speaking from experience) is to ask yourself why you came to this decision in the first place. If it was because you were exhausted and very stressed and could no longer cope, then what is the alternative?

    Sadly, dementia is only ever going to get worse. I do know how bad and guilty one can feel, especially as the dreaded day approaches, but please try to remember that your life IS important, too. You have your job, your living to earn, and you are not selfish or heartless if you do not give up your whole life to care for your mum as she gets worse. Because that is what it would take, sooner or later. Would your mum (the person she was before dementia) want you to? Almost certainly not.

    Another thing to remember is that despite our dread and guilt, many people do very well in care homes - better than at home - once they settle (which may take a while, so please do not despair if so). They have someone there all the time for company and reassurance, they have all their meals provided, they have activities provided, some of which would be hard to provide at home (at my mother's they play e.g musical bingo, snatches of well known old songs instead of numbers - it's great and they all enjoy it).

    I do hope your mum will settle fairly quickly and that your guilt and emotional turmoil will not last too long. As for the dog, I know how sad it is to have to part them, but are you going to keep it? If so, you will almost certainly be able to take it to visit, and I'm sure many of the residents will be delighted.

    All the best. x
  5. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    I so hope it goes well.These decisions are desperately hard but try to be confident that you are dong the best for both of you. You are entitled to a life too.
  6. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    My personal view is that contrary to you feeling you have failed and feel guilty, you are in fact doing something which is completely selfless on your part. You say that your mum is lonely and often tearful etc and if a care home is the answer for her and she has access to staff and other residents 24/7 then you are setting aside your needs in favour of putting in place something which meets all your mum's needs. You are not abandoning her. You will go visit her and spend time with her without all the stresses of having to meet all her physical needs and your own needs too. This can work well for both you and your mum. You can take her little dog to visit her too.

    It is clear that you care about your mum and her needs so please don't feel guilty as you are clearly making decisions based on her best interests. No one could ask more of you.

  7. Sam and Dave

    Sam and Dave Registered User

    Feb 22, 2014
    Hi Kker.

    You feel like I did on Sunday,My Mil lived with us and went in to a Carehome on Monday,
    It to was short notice in the end as a space became available on Fri,So only had a couple of days notice in the end. I to work full time and it is so tiring and stressful, We felt that we were at The stage where we couldnt go on without having some sort of Breakdown. Mil is settling in okish,But as everyone on here has said it takes time. We to felt Guilty and Failures. But you can only do so much and there has to come a point when you are so tired Physically and Emotionally,That you have to put yourself first. It has been a strange week without Mil. But I know now what everyone on here was telling me.We are not Failures and should not feel Guilty, This week is getting easier and I know now we have made the right decision.

    Sending you Hugs

    Sam xx
  8. copsham

    copsham Registered User

    Oct 11, 2012
    I would say take a deep breath and see this plan through! You are only human not super human and your mother, if like mine might actually benefit from the stimulation, routine and company.

    I will be thinking of you tomorrow. I suppose we all remember the day our loved one moved in to care/nursing home, it is a wrench. A bit like a child's first day at school.

  9. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    I am another who had issues with the concept that mum had to go into care. Mum has/had a dog who now lives with my son. Mum really hates the loss of independence, she isn't allowed to go out of the home without someone, however she has people who are talking to her, she goes out on outings with the home. (lots now). I know logically I couldn't have her at home due to her incontinence and wandering. I did a list of why the home was better for her then living with me. I haven't looked at it for a while but it very helpful in the first few weeks.
    I hope it goes well for you and your mother
  10. BLONDY

    BLONDY Registered User

    Oct 29, 2011
    2000 MILES AWAY
    You have done your utmost for your Mother, now you are just taking the next step it is the right time to do this. Who would look after you? if you carried on the way you are caring and working full time, no one can cope with this lifestyle. There is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. You are doing this for your Mother 25 years ago your Mother would have been in a care home already, now everyone is reliant on carers calling in during the day. When you promised your Mother you would keep her with you the mixed dementia was at a manageable state. All you can do is your very best and that is exactly what you are doing.
    Kind Regards
  11. Trace2012

    Trace2012 Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    Im also trying to work full time and looking after 3 kids, and i also made the promise of no care home! And as much as i hate it i know i cant keep
    That promise, my mam will never let carers in, so i know that it will be a case of let them in or you will have to go into a home, dreading that time but also exhausted so will probably welcome it when it comes, guilt will b immense aswell! But I'm only 41 and i need a life for me and my 2 sons, and i know my mam would never make me go through this on purpose! Although she did make me promise when she was still ok, and said instead of that give me a box of tablets! Haha so i have the choice if guilt or prison haha! Lots of hugs to u though, its a hard life for a carer

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  12. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Good luck today.
  13. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Today will be very difficult for you

    Just remember why she is moving into care.

    Remember it's because you are doing more than your absolute best for mum xxx

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  14. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    Hope everything goes well today & that she settles quickly. Don't beat yourself up you are doing the right thing for the right reasons.
  15. David1

    David1 Registered User

    Jan 2, 2012
    West Yorkshire
    I am in a very similar situation. It is a horrible place to be emotionally. My Mum still thinks everything is ok, when quite clearly to an outside observer it is not. Nobody can tell you when the right or wrong time to do this is. I think putting the reasons for and against may be a good way of rationalizing the decision. I hope that you get through this day. You have to take each day as it comes, and hold on to the hope that things will be better for everyone once your Mum is safely in her new home. My heart goes out to you.

    Sent from my HTC One mini 2 using Talking Point mobile app
  16. kkerr

    kkerr Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    Well... that was the second worse day of my life, closely behind burying my Dad. Mom cried the entire time, and not just her soft sort of sniffling crying she does often, on and off, but full on crying. Then I was crying, and for the first time in 3 years, she kissed me x2 on the cheek and then walked off crying. I could have died right there and then. I felt like the WORST daughter in the whole world. The staff weren't particularly helpful, they kind of left us to it. One young woman walked up and said "Its ok" and I said back "No, not its not ok, NONE of this is Ok" - she walked away again.

    I have been back to visit my Mom twice since then (working 12 hour shifts over the weekend) - and have to say, I don't think I am that impressed. First day, I arrived to find Mom walking around in the garden, by herself, and the staff and the other residents all sitting in the lounge throwing a ball around. When I asked where she was, they weren't even sure. When I raised my concerns that she was left wandering in the garden (which is completely enclosed, but part of it wraps around the house - so she would not be visible to staff if she fell) - they sort of became defensive and said "we tried to bring her back in 4 times, but she just wants to be outside". Well, ok - but does that mean you have to leave her outside by herself, wandering?

    I know its not reasonable for staff to be one-to-one with her, but shes new and she is not coping. I tried to explain to staff that I know that my mother paces when she is scared/anxious - she told me this when she still had some language abilities left. I explained that when she is contented/relaxed, she will sit and look through books, etc. Her constant pacing is a sign of distress. I had left a whole box of snacks for her (my mom sometimes isn't a great meal-eater), no one had gotten them out or showed her where they were in 3 days.

    The second day, when I arrived, Mom was sitting in a chair with the other residents, looking through a book... relief. But then started pacing a while after some singers arrived.

    Overall - I don't think this is working and I don't know what to do about it. My Mom does not communicate very well anymore, sometimes not at all. And when she does, she can be mean and/or sarcastic. So none of the carers are warming to her, and that was always one of my biggest fears. I love my mom dearly, I remember her when she was kind and funny and intelligent. They don't and as a result, they are not forming any sort of bond with her.

    Anyone else experience this? I know my Mom is safe-ish, but I don't think this is going to be the improved quality of life that I was hoping for, mainly because her disease makes it impossible for anyone to form a relationship or bond with her. Am going back on Saturday, if things are not improving, then I may have to reconsider this care home and care homes in general. Gut wrenching.
  17. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Hi Kkerr,

    When my husband first went into his nursing home I saw the other 8 men on his floor as lost souls. My husband at the time was the most mobile, could hold a conversation and other than the AD was fighting fit. Once we started to learn a little of the men's lives before dementia and speaking to their relatives these 8 men became real characters. Every one was different and we have got to love them all.

    I know who to give a hug to, who to just pat on the shoulder and say hello, who to just wave to and who to give a wide berth to if he is not smiling. They are my husbanD's extended family, he lives with them so they are part of our family too.

    Not sure this is helping you but it does take time for someone to become part of the new community, it is not easy for you or your Mum.

    My husband has had 1:1 care from the day he entered the nursing home so I have not had to contend with him wandering around on his own. I did when he was in the assessment unit. We would arrive to find him walking the corridors with his coat on and his clothes under his arms. It took him 6 weeks to take his coat off.

    Hopefully things will change and you will feel more settled. Sorry I have no solutions.

  18. Maymab

    Maymab Registered User

    Oct 8, 2013
    Sorry your mum is so unsettled but it is early days yet. She may settle given a bit more time. Also if you can bring yourself to act as if you are confident that she is ok there , she may well p pick up the vibes and feel that herself. Once she is able to relax you may find that the staff will warm to her.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Talking Point mobile app

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