Mother wandering again - is it Time/

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by josephinewilson, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. josephinewilson

    josephinewilson Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    My 86 yr old mother has vascular dementia. She lives in sheltered accommodataion, has two care visits a day (because she has forgotten how to feed herself) and has recently started on incontinence knickers following a nightime soiling accident. It seems that she remained stable for six months and now in the last three weeks has deteriorated mentally quite rapidly.

    Last Sunday I was phoned up by a good samaritan (story here) to sort her out, because he'd found her wandering around the building. I hadn't realised until tonight that she had actually gone outside and got soaking wet - by the time I got there they had dried her off apparently.
    Tonight I was called by two residents because she was wandering around the main entrance in her nightdress, again very confused. These two women residents took her back to her flat and sat with her until I arrived. Actually, while it was kind of them to look after her, they made some rather critical comments about her care, subtlely directed at me, I think, as if I wasn't looking after her properly. And they said they thought "she should be in a home" and "she can't be left on her own" - and "if this was my mum, I'd be really upset" (as if I was somehow not good enough because I didn't turn up in floods of tears) I have been trying to do the best for her; they don't know the ins and outs of her personal care plan and circumstances but I felt judged for not doing enough. Ironically, this afternoon I had phoned our county council asking about the process for finding residential care homes. (And got a friendly and helpful reply, by the way)

    So.. should she be in a home? Should I at least get her assessed?
    She has a care visit in the morning and mi-afternoon. We tried a care visit early evening, between 6 and 7 but she was always asleep and it seemed pointless. (She pays for her own care) Now she seems to be awake at that time after all - or she has no sense of time. Should we have a third visit around evening time anyway -and if she is asleep, the carers can just go to their next visit?
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    This is so difficult for you. The most crucial point is that now she has lost her sense of time she isn't safe. She really isn't safe if she is outside in the rain, or wandering outside. It was lucky that the other residents found her to be honest because she is in danger of falling, of being attacked, of being taken advantage of and even getting soaking wet is really not ok for her health.
    I think you need to get an assessment as a matter of urgency. She could be going out in the middle of the night and no one will know and so far she has been very lucky.
    Phone social services, tell them what you have told us and say she is vulnerable and at risk and needs someone urgently. Don't take the residents comments personally, they are just really worried about your Mum and don't want to see her like this, I'm sure you want her to be safe too.

    That is my view but I'm sure others will be along soon.

    Go along to your carers cafe and get advice about care homes from the people there -- there are good and bad and talking to people is the best way of finding good. When you have a few names check out the Care Quality Commission website and look a tthe reports on the homes you are looking at. Go and visit them without making an appointment so you see what they are really like and have a look at this checklist

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