Moving into a Care Home

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by BHowes, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. BHowes

    BHowes Registered User

    Dec 8, 2015
    4
    We have had to make the devastating decision that we can no longer give my Mother the 24 hour care she needs, and she will be moving into a care home this coming Monday. She spent the day there a couple of weeks ago and, although initially she was not happy about being left, she seemed to enjoy the day.

    The problem we have is that we have not actually told Mom she is moving into a residential home, and we do not know how to brooch the subject. Have any other forum members faced the same situation - do we tell Mom the truth ? How do we bring the subject up ?

    I have previously talked to her about residential care and she was horrified and insisted that she never wants to 'end up in one of those places'.

    Any advice please x
     
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    Hi there
    Many people have said that they have used a softly softly approach. It's going to be difficult for everyone whichever way you do it but you could say that the doctor has said (takes it away from immediate family because she's gonna need you for your support especially in the early weeks) that she needs a bit more care at the moment than can be managed at home and so until things improve he is insisting she goes to xxxxxx

    Just a thought

    Take care of yourselves xx
     
  3. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    I would tell her its to help her build her strength up. My mum thought she was in a hotel to start with.
     
  4. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    Yes, I would say to my Mam or my dear FIL who is in the same position 'You're here because the Doctor thinks you need a rest, when you're feeling a little better we'll see what she says' for it is the truth, if he was ever to get better, perhaps even a little, he would be back home.

    Poor you, it's so very hard. Cry your heart out but stay strong, these things are done because there is no other way.
    Very best wishes to your aching heart x
     
  5. onlyme1

    onlyme1 Registered User

    Sep 10, 2011
    105
    scarborough
    my mum and dad reached same point and went in for a 4 wk stay with a view to not returning home. they have different types /stages of dementia and had been once before for respite. first 2 to 3 weeks dad was fine with it, thereafter he kept asking when they were going home. I kept dodging the question, thinking he wouldn't understand or accept my answer. in the end my friend said I needed to be honest and tell him 'you're not going home dad, you live here now, with mum'. I can't tell you the relief I felt when I finally told him that, and to be honest I think he settled into the transition better once he knew that was the plan. you may find it's easier than you expect. x
     
  6. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,623
    USA
    BHowes, I am sorry this is upsetting for you all, but glad your mother will be safe and cared for and hope the care home works out for you. I hope you will get some relief from the demands of 24 hour care, and get some sleep.

    I was at a dementia carers' support group last night, and this topic came up. A lady in the group is moving her mother into a care home, and asked for advice. She and her sister have taken it in turns to stay with their mother, but they both live hours away from their mother, work full time, have their own families, and their mother now requires 24 hour care and they can't do it any longer.

    Twice a month, the group is led by a neurologist who specializes in dementia care (and is the consulting neurologist at the care home where my mother lives). His advice was that if you think the person won't remember it (short term memory issues where they don't remember anything more than five minutes ago, as a rough guideline), and/or you think it will upset them, then don't tell them, as it will do no good and will possibly do harm.

    So, for whatever it's worth, there's an expert's opinion.

    I absolutely agree with blaming a third party, usually the doctor (or hospital if they were in hospital prior to the move). If your mother says, where am I? Why am I here? I don't need to be here, I want to go home! then you might try the approach of: Mum, I'm sorry you're upset. You are at the care home/rehab place/whatever you want to call it because the doctor says you need looking after/to get your strength back/to have your medicines sorted out/for a little while. I don't know when the doctor will say you can go home. Let me see what I can find out for you.

    I'd follow that up with a distraction (food works for my mother, or a walk, or an activity). I think the key is reassurance, validating emotions, staying calm, shifting the blame off of you, and picking a party line and repeating it.

    The neurologist also told us last night that a patient with no major medical issues and not much anxiety/"going home" syndrome (his term) will need at least two weeks to settle in a new place, probably longer, and those with more anxiety/going home syndrome/other issues will need at least six weeks to settle.

    So don't get upset if she doesn't settle in right away. Give it time. Establish communication with the staff so you can call to see how she is doing, when you are not there (possibly better than you think, and probably better than she reports to you).

    The neurologist also said, very firmly, that while it's perfectly understandable for families to feel upset when they can no longer provide hands-on or live-in care, to try not to beat yourself up for it. He said that if we had a family member who needed surgery or radiation therapy, nobody would ever expect us to operate on them or give them their therapy, so why should we expect ourselves to become dementia experts and full time caregivers? You can only do the 24 hour one-to-one care for so long, before something will give.

    He reinforced that a move to a care home doesn't mean you are no longer caring for your mother, or being her carer, just that you are not doing the hands on caregiving. There is still a job to do, just in a different way, and the care home placement allows you to focus on other things.

    He also said that in all his years of practice, he's never had a patient who wanted to go into a care home, but that he also never has had one, who didn't need to be there.
     
  7. BHowes

    BHowes Registered User

    Dec 8, 2015
    4
    Update on Mom

    Well, my Mother has now been in a residential home for 6 weeks. We thought she was settling in Ok - although she was constantly asking if I would take her home - but the home has recently advised us that mom is not settling in at all. She's not sleeping, wanders around the home looking for an escape route and is becoming verbally abusive with the staff and violent towards some of the other residents. The care home Manager has informed us that they have tried every thing in their power to settle mom but, due to her volatile nature, they can no longer offer her the care she needs. We are so upset with this news (although we completely understand). We are now waiting for social services to go and assess mom, so back on this roller coaster of grief that mom has deteriorated so quickly and anger that we do not seem to be getting the help and advise we so desperately need.
     
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    I am so sorry. Usually care homes are very good at settling people in. Have they thought of referring her for some medication which might help ease what sounds to be depression? It would be a shame to move her all over again if there is something that the memory clinic specialists could advise. Would it be worth a try or perhaps they have already done it?
     
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,623
    USA
    I am very, very sorry to hear this. What an upsetting situation for you.

    I am especially sorry to hear that the staff are not able to cope; I would think that with a dementia patient, wandering, aggression, pacing, and looking for the exits are not uncommon behaviours!

    However, if this is not going to be the right place for her, I suppose it's better to know that sooner rather than later.

    I hope you are able to find a solution. And I wish you could get the help that you desperately need. I'm so sorry.
     

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