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Move to care home

Give me sunshine

Registered User
Mar 1, 2019
18
0
London
Hi everyone. My 82 year old dad has Alzheimer's and has quite rapidly deteriorated. He's had live-in care for the past two years but it's now definitely time for him to move into a care home. I have found somewhere lovely and we're planning to move him in soon, but I'm very nervous about the next stage ie a) how, when and what to tell him about the plans b) how to settle him in. I'm aware that a few white lies will be needed but also despite his limited comprehension I'm pretty sure he knows something is up/about to change and I want to be respectful and not just suddenly spring the move on him with absolutely no preparation. Is it a good idea for me to take him to the care home a couple of days advance of the move-in date for a cup of tea/a chance to look round and get a feel for the place? Really hope others will be happy to share their experiences and advice as it's so hard to know how to approach this. Thank you in advance :)
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,271
0
Kent
Is it a good idea for me to take him to the care home a couple of days advance of the move-in date for a cup of tea/a chance to look round and get a feel for the place?

It sounds a good idea but is more likely to help you than to help your dad. What do you do if your dad`s having a bad day?

Have you considered respite care for a week or two? That will give you a better idea.

You could tell your dad he will be going to a convalescent home to help build his health and strength but even so I wouldn`t tell him too far in advance. It may only give him something to confuse or cause further anxiety.
 

Give me sunshine

Registered User
Mar 1, 2019
18
0
London
Thank you. I honestly don't know how to handle this, how far in advance to tell him etc. Also it definitely needs to be permanent, there's no way we can bring him back after a couple of weeks of respite unless something goes badly wrong.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
2,418
0
Newcastle
My suggestion would be to say as little as possible in advance. Moving to a care home is in his best interests and you see it as irreversible. Telling him might spark bad feeling or hostility for no apparent gain. You are being respectful by doing what is best to meet his needs. I did not tell my wife in advance, avoiding potential resistance, and - I believe - making the transition easier.
 

Give me sunshine

Registered User
Mar 1, 2019
18
0
London
My suggestion would be to say as little as possible in advance. Moving to a care home is in his best interests and you see it as irreversible. Telling him might spark bad feeling or hostility for no apparent gain. You are being respectful by doing what is best to meet his needs. I did not tell my wife in advance, avoiding potential resistance, and - I believe - making the transition easier.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experience with this, it's hugely appreciated. This is a lovely supportive community. Can I ask - what did you say to your wife on the day of the move? How did you explain it all to her when you were there? Thank you again
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
2,418
0
Newcastle
It does depend on how much the person with dementia notices. My wife's ability to retain what she was told was diminished by the time of her move. I said that we needed to go out in the car, having previously packed her suitcase and put it in the boot. On the 5 mile drive she asked a few times where we were going. I was well used to just grunting a reply along the lines of 'we are nearly there'. Her care home has no sign outside. As we drew up I said that I had some business inside. Would she wait in the car or come in with me? She of course chose to come in. I rang the doorbell and the friendly staff opened the door with a cheery greeting. They whisked her off for a cup of tea. Out of her sight, I handed over the suitcase and left. By the time I reached home I knew that her trial stay was almost certain to become permanent.

I have never talked about it with my wife. I did not visit for a week and when I did I was met with smiles and no recriminations. For months she talked about going 'home' but it was to a home that was a memory of childhood where her parents still lived. She settled in quite quickly at first then went through a short-lived aggressive phase. Now, 3 years on, she has all her needs met, is accepting of personal care, loved by the staff and more content than I thought possible. I can be her husband again rather than her carer. That is about the best that I could wish for.
 

Give me sunshine

Registered User
Mar 1, 2019
18
0
London
This is wonderful to read, and I am so happy to hear that things are peaceful and settled for you both. Thank you for sharing your experience.
 

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