Mum has now gone into a care home

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Emily M, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    #1 Emily M, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
    Mum went into a home last Thursday. It is a very nice place (an old house that has been extended) and the staff are very caring. She will have much better 24 hour care in a fit for purpose home. Better, more regular meals, a safer environment, people at her beck and call.

    She didn't know she was going and wouldn't have remembered if we'd told her. She was sitting so peacefully in her conservatory and it was very upsetting to think that it will be for the last time. I started up the engine and waited in the car and her husband got her to the front door but she refused twice. I felt absolutely awful. She trusted me and I had to trick her to get her into the car. I managed to coax her out saying that she was going to see the nurse as she had not been well. Her husband led her out like a lamb going to slaughter. These images of her last moments in her own home and what I had to do will live with me until the day I die. It was the right thing to do for her own wellbeing, but that doesn't help the way I feel.

    When she got there she was welcomed in and they were doing manicures so she had her nails painted shocking pink! She then had lunch with 2 puddings. She seemed to settle almost immediately except for some odd comments - whose idea was this.............. I am surprised my daughter isn't here .............. why did my daughter take me here. Very strange as she knew both me and her husband were there, but then that is what Alzheimer's is like. That evening she was wandering around looking for her home, but the next day she appeared to have forgotten about that. She spent quite a lot of time wandering around the following night which was unfortunate as she was asleep most of the time when the family visited on Sunday. I hope she settles in OK.

    It is definitely the right thing to do. The disease had progressed so much that she wasn't taking an interest in much anymore. Last summer she was still going for walks, picking the roses in her garden and talking to her cockatiel. Not anymore. A horrible disease - for the family it is like being bereaved without there being a death. The person dies slowly. My bright, beautiful Mum has only a spark of the old person remaining. I can't believe that she has actually gone in at last.

    I had been staying there since last Monday week and came home on Sunday. I felt so exhausted that I was worried about dozing off at the wheel while I drove the 160 miles home so had to stop an hour into the journey to have a coffee.

    I can't believe it has really happened at last. How do you ever come to terms with this?
  2. Blondebomber

    Blondebomber Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hello....I have been looking after my Mum and Dad both in their 90s and both with dementia. My husband age 77 and myself age 67 have been living with them for nearly a year having left our own home 180 miles away to do so. My Dad's dementia is getting worse and he can get very agitated especially at night. He often doesn't know Mum and she herself is frail but not so affected by dementia. His behaviour irritates her especially at night when he wanders into her room and wakes her up. Although we have managed Dad and coped with his nursing needs we are all getting exhausted. Dad started going to Day care only a week ago and seems to enjoy it. Today I have been offered a full time Residential Placement for him and I feel almost in a state of shock at the thought of him going in and leaving his home and Mum. We have tried other care options but it doesn't work especially as Mum hates ' strangers' in the house. I am being urged to let him go especially as my health is starting to suffer. We have no 'Plan B' in order to care for them, we are a very small family Unit.....I didn't think I would feel so guilty
  3. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015

    Thank you for replying. If Dad readily accepts the placement then it may help you feel less guilty as it is for the best. My problem was that Mum resisted any kind of Respite and Day Care in the past. How does your Mum feel about it? The health and welfare of three other people have to be considered here. You don't have to feel guilty. From what you say it is the right decision and it seems your Dad will be happy.
  4. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    Just a note to say I know exactly how you feel. I had to do the same for my mum in January. I couldnt stop crying for a week even though I knew it was the best thing for her. Friends dont really understand when I say I feel like I am grieving for my mum because she is still alive. I think it is the reality that life will never be the same and I have handed over her care to a bunch of strangers that dont even know her. Nevertheless it was the only thing I could do for her otherwise I would have had carer's breakdown and our relationship is now not all about arguing and disagreeing. I am still struggling but she is happy and content and it makes me feel better seeing her so well and relaxed. It will get easier for you to come to terms with what has happened but it will take time. I'm only just beginning to see the light 5 months on!
  5. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Emily, you love and care for your Mum and are doing what is best to keep her safe. He were able to do it before it became a crisis. We had 2 periods of Mum being on the floor all night confused and scared before we managed that.

    You Mum sounds like she is already starting to feel at home. You feel the loss of home more than she does. Dementia has stolen that from her. On the other hand she does not feel the pain of leaving either. Every cloud has a silver lining.

    You will start having a new normal. You wont have to worry what is happening to her. She will be cared for and make new friends. She will have happy moments again.

    Please be kind to yourself. You should only feel guilty if you do nothing. You can now focus on being a daughter again and just loving her.

    Big hug for you.
  6. Blondebomber

    Blondebomber Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    What feels so awful is that Dad can be so lucid one minute and capable of holding a reasonable conversation then gone again and he Sundowns so evenings are difficult. Because I have provided all aspects of his care I am now all included in his life and so dependant and it hasn't all been easy because he can be a difficult man. Leaving him almost seems cruel. I am not sure that Mum fully realises the implication of Care but sometimes it seems 'out of sight is out of mind'. I fear that she might die before Dad anyway as she is failing and not well. It would be awful then. Inspite of a Dad going into care we still have Mum to look is heartbreaking to be honest
  7. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    This is a searing pain for the carers and one I am about to undergo. John has always been a good husband and is still as nice a person as you could meet but I cannot keep him safe as his wanderings have got completely out of control. I am exhausted and have found the right place for him to be entertained, have space to walk, be with people he can exchange memories with but I feel sick with dread.

    We have had a community care assessment and reports from police and psychiatrist support the need for care but we are at that limbo stage where we cannot go forward until all the ducks are in a row to mix metaphors.

    On the one hand I want my life and sanity back but on the other I am handing my husband over to strangers and trusting them.

    Believe me I feel your pain.
  8. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    My dad died a few months ago, but I still think the day I took him too the care home was the worse day of my life.
    He sat in the car, so trusting, I had to wear my sun glasses as I cried all the way there. I felt so guilty and still do.
    Even though my dad settled well, the guilt never went and I often visited him and cried all the way home, months later.

    I will have to do the same thing soon for my mum who has also been cursed with this disease. She has really gone downhill the last few weeks but managing ok at home still with help. I don't think this will be the case for many more months to come though.

    We can only do our best, do what we believe is right at that point in time and love them unconditionally. Your mum is safe and well looked after and you can sleep at night knowing she is safe.
  9. mrs mcgonnagal

    mrs mcgonnagal Registered User

    May 9, 2015
    Dear all,
    Facing the possibility \ probability of this myself at the moment. It's like a nightmare. It's the consequences of trying to deal with it all that's going to force the issue. There was a thread earlier about the effect on families, I don't want us to break, but its so hard its like a betrayal. I also feel ill with the decisions I know are ahead. Best wishes to all
  10. theunknown

    theunknown Registered User

    Apr 17, 2015
    Coming to terms with the situation

    The way I've come to terms with my mum going from being independent and last staying with me for Christmas 2014, to being sectioned in January, then going into permanent care in April, was by accepting that I've lost the mum I've always known. I now have another mum. Like others have said, we grieve although we're not yet experiencing bereavement. Until you experience it yourself you can't comprehend what it's like to have the same parent, but only their outer shell.

    I hate the fact that my mum doesn't know what's going on, but I see it as a positive that this only happened when she wasn't able to understand that she's gone from her home to a mental health hospital bed, to the care home. I can so sympathise with the guilt thing, but I think anybody who is in the situation where their family member goes into a care home, and they feel emotionally responsible, is somebody who is doing the only thing they can do, which is thinking about what is right for that family member.
  11. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Thank you

    Thank you all for your kind comments. It is some reassurance to know that others have the same feelings. I suppose it will take her a while to settle in and me to come to terms with it.

    However, just as I thought things were OK I had a phone call today to say she has been hitting people. She was never a violent person, but this dreadful disease has changed her behaviour. The staff are used to it, but the residents are another matter. I think one of the residents retaliated as well. She has been refusing to take the Risperidone to control her behaviour and that might be the reason why. Family members were putting it in a drink but the carers are not allowed to do this without her next of kin and the GP signing a "covert" form.

    It is the only medicine she takes and despite being 87 she is physically very mobile and spends a lot of time walking around the home. The body still fit, but not the mind. Hopefully this is just a minor setback.

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