Mother in law refusing nursing home

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by DM1, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    That's my mum to a 'T' @DM1 ......mum was and is a caring, empathic person who prefers one to one interaction. So that's one thing we've tried to emphasise to staff, with a little bit of success. Mum is often too disruptive to sit in the lounge, and then they look after her in her own room, and frequently pop in and out for little chats. Also we found and paid for a private OT to visit mum weekly for about six months, to give that intensive one to one that she needs. She made up a file of things that interested mum, 'finish the saying' games etc (eg 'quick as a ......(flash)' to help staff connect with her. Not ideal but the best we could do.

    In answer to your question, how does mum behave when I visit? Well, obviously that's varied over the years. In general, however, she's relieved to see me, still regarding me somehow as someone who might be able to rescue her from her situation. What I mean is, it may be a lack of comprehension, but for whatever reason, she has never 'blamed' me for arranging the care home placement.

    In the early days I tried to make my visits as pleasant and social as possible, took pot plants, painted her nails, listened to music, read poetry, did quizzes and crossword puzzles....Despite not wanting to be in the home, she never wanted to go out, not even into the garden.

    Over the years, mum has become unable to enjoy even these low key activities, so mainly I just sit with her, make conversation about domestic things like drying washing, planting geraniums etc and she nods along while I hold her hand. The other day as I left I said 'Love you, mum', as I always do, and she replied 'I know'. I found that a great comfort.

    Between my visits (and sometimes during them), mum continues to shout a lot and staff say she is only comforted by the reassurance that 'Lindy will come soon'. It's a responsibility, but one I've more or less come to terms with. I now visit three to four times a week, for about an hour. I'd love to do more, but it's not fair on the rest of my family.

    I hope you find this of some help and that your husband in particular is reassured by seeing his mum. It's awful thinking of someone you love being in distress like that, and wondering whether or how you could alleviate it.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Love
    Lindy xx
     
  2. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    I'm so sorry for this short response but haven't time for a proper reply at the moment.

    My mother showed every sign of not settling in her care home. We had the crippling anxiety, anger, distress, walking the halls, and a lot of vitriol and abuse towards me (all my fault, of course, and I had dumped her and just wanted her money and to sell her house out from under her and she was going to disown me and so on, and on and on).

    The nurse manager honestly thought there was no chance my mother would settle.

    I didn't visit for over two months, as my appearance, or the mention of me, would kick off the angry reactions.

    But to all our shock, she did settle after about three months or a bit less. What helped: fabulous staff, getting her medication and some health problems straightened out, improving her nutrition, more social contact (she had been alone for a long time), and finding a "best friend" st the care home.

    She thrived, in fact, before illness and an accident and the dementia all took their toll. She is still stable and doing remarkably well considering how much worse the dementia is.

    So it could work out!

    Very best wishes and I'm so sorry, this is all terribly hard.
     
  3. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    Canadian Joanne,
    I have a feeling my MIL won't settle until she is no longer aware and that is hard. We will try and be a little bit optimistic though and hope she settles a bit, that would be enough for us. Thanks.
     
  4. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    Lindy, that is a nice insight to your mum, she sounds like a lovely lady.
    Before my MIL went into the nursing home she became very unsettled in herself and was very frustrated because she couldn't read the paper any more and she couldn't concentrate on the TV. She kept saying her brain felt 'muddled' and 'what was wrong with her'. She did have come comprehension of her illness. We just said that she had a 'memory problem' but was coping very well with it and she would feel better when she had a walk to the shops. She loved going across the road to the shops everyday with us or a carer just to get out. They take her to the local shop at the nursing home too which we are pleased about. I have heard a lot of Alzheimer's sufferers hate going outside but she loves it. She wouldn't really sit outside but likes a walk to the shops and back (not far but getting out).
    I believe and hope she will react to seeing her son as your mum has to you, relieved.
    I know she will be pleased to see him and him her. I
    think she will still want out of there but we can deal with this.
    They did say at the nursing home that if we go to stick to the same days and times so that they can tell her when we are coming and give her something to look forward to.
    When we heard that she was walking up and down the corridor's at night looking for her son my husband was distraught and feel that he had abandoned her, he was just so upset but he didn't go to her as he wanted to let the nursing home do their job and let her settle down a bit. It was very hard though for him not to rush to her. Thanks again Lindy for sharing your experiences with your dear mum, it helps.
     
  5. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    Amy, thankyou for telling me about your mother. There is always 'hope against hope' she will settle in the fullness of time.
     
  6. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    Just wanted to update everyone on my mother-in-law's situation. She has been in a nursing home for a month now. It hasn't been easy as I predicted and they have informed us that she is 'challenging' not in an aggressive way but she won't sit down and wanders around all day looking for 'her son'. She has been hospitalised twice after two falls, nothing serious but enough to take her to hospital. She is being very well looked after and the staff are very caring. Although my husband visits her everyday we have got a bit of our lives back. She asks him to take her home but only in a half hearted way, she knows she is being looked after and she is eating very well. It is all better than expected. We just wish her to be the best she can be for each stage of her Alzheimer's and I think she is achieving that goal. Thanks for all your comments earlier when we were at our wits end what to do.
     
  7. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,489
    Female
    Thank you for updating us, it sounds as if things have gone as well as they possibly could and she is settling well - it is still relatively early days so she may settle in more as time goes on.
     
  8. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,167
    Merseyside
    I’m glad your MIL is settling @DM 1
     
  9. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    Nearly one year later. My mother has Alzheimer's and has been in a private nursing home for a year. She has been difficult but the care has been very good until her Alzheimer's got worse. Early on she had a few falls and they asked if we would sign an agreement for her to have a seat belt on while sitting down which we agreed to, we weren't happy but we didn't want her to fall and suffer either. It is only to be in place when there is no one around. Now she shouts and takes off all of her clothes in the lounge. I think this is partly to do with being restrained most of the day. A couple of weeks ago we found her strapped in her chair in her room with the TV blaring 3 feet away from her face and she was crying her eyes out with no one around. We were told that the other residents and visitors were upset with her behaviour and this was working for the manager and for the staff. Well it wasn't working for my mother or for me and at well over £6k a month I think she deserves better care than this, her life is hell as it is without being put away and she hates TV anyway, even when she could follow it. It was never discussed with me before they took this action. They always promised that whatever stage of dementia she had she would be the best she could possibly be - well that isn't happening! The manager was very confrontational when I told him how unhappy my mother is and accused me of being 'bullish'. Well I am, my mother has no-one else to speak for her and I will do whatever I can to make sure she is looked after in the best possible way. This home specialised in Dementia and Alzheimer's, yet they are treating my mother so badly. So worried about moving her, she is very frail and took a long time to semi settle in. Can the home treat her like this, we have taken video's. Can anyone suggest what I can do?
     
  10. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    112
    I would seriously look around for another care home. You say that it took a long time for her to settle in - it’s sounds like she still hasn’t, so you and she have nothing to lose but so much to gain. At the level of fees she is paying, I’m sure there must be much better options out there and in your area. As we’re finding out very quickly, the higher the fees doesn’t reflect the higher the quality of care.

    Good luck and keep us posted. X
     
  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,214
    Female
    South coast
    I think that sounds awful. Ive never heard of anyone being treated like that.
    Has anyone done a medication review recently?
     
  12. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    Thank you both for your comments. The care has been exemplary until a month ago, every time we went round she had someone with her holding her hand, giving her attention, there is no doubt she is quite demanding and takes up a lot of the carers time. Then the next thing we found was that she was in her room, tied into her chair two feet infront of a blaring TV and nobody around. She is totally frightened to be on her own and it was one of the main reasons why we choose that particular nursing home. I could keep her at home, tied up and stuck her in front of the TV! I think it is so cruel. We insisted on a chart of her behaviour and it is heart rendering to read how distressed she is constantly crying, shouting out, stripping off. We have no idea how long she is left on her own and strapped in to boot. She is very frail but loves to go outside for a walk with her trolley, I don't even think they take her out at all. She is a little old lady of 91 very frail, talks all the time - total gibberish but does like someone around her all the time. It is unbelievable and all the lovely carers are now giving us the cold shoulder and when I asked someone how she was doing they immediately told me to talk to the manager. It is as if there is a big secret and we aren't in on it. We desperately don't want her moved, we want her back in the lounge as things were. We suggested moving her to a quieter area. We haven't had a medical review since she has been moved into her room, perhaps we should ask for another one. Today they said they would take her into the lounge in the evening (I expect when all the visitors have gone). I have been subjected to some mild abuse and shouting in the lounge myself but 'hello' it is a nursing home with Dementia and Alzheimer's residents so I took it with a pinch of salt. May have to move her though but will push for better care first. Am still livid.
     
  13. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,214
    Female
    South coast
    Has there been a change of staff/manager recently?
    I cant get my head round the sudden change in attitude
     
  14. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,489
    Female
    I think you need a formal meeting with the manager to discuss whether they can still manage your mother, and agree how they plan to do this.

    My friend was told by the manager she would have to move her mother from her v expensive hotel-type CH because her behaviour (verbally aggressive, occasional lashing out at carers) was upsetting visitors and carers. My friend went further up the food chain to the manager's boss and had a meeting with senior management and a SW. It was agreed they would enable the carers to manage her better.

    If this CH cannot manage her any longer and you need to move her, don't worry about her not settling in again, if she's in the right place that should not be a major issue. At £6k you're at the high payment end, my mother only pays £3400 and they do accept challenging behaviour although I am not sure where they draw the line.
     
  15. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    I have a gut feeling there is something going on they mentioned something about staff shortage, I think she is taking up too much of their time.
     
  16. DM1

    DM1 Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    38
    Female
    It was at the formal meeting when the manager told us that putting her in her room suited his staff and also suited him! I think we may do what your friend did and go up the ladder. She deserves better.
     
  17. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,214
    Female
    South coast
    I dont usually recommend this, but I think she may qualify for CHC.
    It might be worth asking the manager about this.
    I dont know much about how to apply for CHC - my mum was never eligible
     
  18. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    337
     
  19. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    337
    You definitely need to go higher.To find her tied in her chair is classed as abuse.Whether or not there is a staff shortage they should have sorted it.You can always report them to CQC.She may be better off in a specialised EMI unit in a home.There are more staff and they are better equipped with tactics to handle her.It is against the law to use restrictive practices on someone unless it is in her care plan and it will specify when it is to be used....
     
  20. Rosalind297

    Rosalind297 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2017
    60
    I read the whole of this thread from start to finish this morning before taking Mum to lunch with my brother and sister-in-law but I cannot get it out of my mind. I was shocked by the recent turn of events. Thank god you found her when you did as heaven knows how long she would have had to endure what is little more than torture.

    The whole point of residential care is to have the peace of mind that your loved one is safe and cared for. I would classify this as abuse and possibly assault. The CQC must have guidelines on such practices that you can refer to.

    Please exhaust every avenue open to you to understand why this has happened and to stop it happening again. I can’t offer any suggestions as we haven’t gone down the residential care route yet but I am desperate to know what the resolution is.
     

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