Mum has entered a new care home. This is the second in 3 months. She is not safe at home alone anymore but she is angry with us and says she will not stay and we must take her home how do I cope. All I want is mum safe.
Try to look at it that she is angry with the illness and is taking it out on you, you have not done anything wrong in trying to keep her safe and cared for. My mum was like this and sometimes we lost sight of the fact that whatever happened to her was not OUR fault.
Take advice from the care home, they may see a different side of her when you are not there. Also maybe visit at different times of day or don't visit for a while to allow her to settle in.
Remember as well that "home" may very well not be the house she last lived in but rather a time in life when she felt safe and well, so what she wants could be quite impossible.
so sorry, you must be hurting a lot xxx
sometimes people get over the initial stages by implying it is a break, the doctor says she must be there to help her recover!! Just a thought as i know it has worked for some and eases the tension on both sides xxx keep posting x
Hello, JCN, and welcome to Talking Point. I hope you find some good information, advice, and support here. Feel free to read around in current (and past) threads and join in, or not, as you wish.
I am sorry you're having a difficult time with your mum and that you have had to move her recently. That must be very stressful and a big transition for everyone.
How often are you visiting, and for how long? How far away from you is the new care home?
If you are visiting every day, or for long periods of time, you might consider cutting back on your visits until she settles better. I know it's counter-intuitive, but sometimes it works, especially if one family member is a "trigger" for upset feelings (not to say they have done anything wrong). Also if it's a distance for you to travel and then it's not a pleasant visit, that can make it much harder for you. On days when you don't visit, you might call or e-mail to check in with the staff to get information about how your mum is doing.
It also often helps to blame somebody else, as others have said. I tried deflecting my mother's angry questions about "why am I here? I want to go home! there is no reason for me to be here, I am fine!" (and for the record, she was not safe at home and needed the care home) by saying things like, the doctor said so and it's just until they get your medicines sorted out. Sometimes that worked and sometimes (in her clearer moments) that did not.
Eventually we settled on saying something like: I know you don't want to be here and are upset. I'm sorry you are so upset. Nobody wanted it to be like this, but this is how it has to be for now.
As she got settled, she got calmer and she has mostly stopped talking about "home."
Also let us reassure you that if your mum has been placed in a care home for her own safety, as it sounds like, then you have done the right thing and part of you coping is holding tight to the knowledge that she can't go back to the way it was.
You might also learn some strategies to deflect or distract her comments. One is physically leaving the room (have to go to the toilet, mum!). Sometimes this is enough to change the subject and it gives you a nice, private room with a locked door where you can take a deep breath. (I went to the toilet A LOT at the beginning, but my mother has short-term memory issues so she never noticed!) If it's really bad, I stay there for a few minutes and text a friend or relative.
Another strategy is to not visit alone. My mother was very unpleasant to me if I was there alone but fine if my husband came along. She's better now but I still don't take her out by myself.
And I also recommend having an exit strategy. Whenever you've had enough, or it's just time to leave, then leave and make it quick and clean. If good-byes are very bad, leave without saying good-bye. You might also time your visit for shortly before a meal or activity so they have something to distract them right away.
Wishing you all the best with this difficult situation.
I don't think I could better Amy's answer and her suggestions- it's all there! I especially like the idea of acknowledging her feelings ....I think it must be hard to have dementia and have no control over anything that happens to you- albeit for a good reason. So in that situation I would want someone to notice/care that I was upset... and behind anger there is always upset feelings! It is important to remember that none of this is your fault- you didn't cause the alzheimers and the decisions you are making are the right ones. Sending good wishes and a hug. xxx
Hi, I can only speak from my own experience, but I too have had nothing but anger from my mum, I know how conflicted you must feel.
My mum was taken into a care home nearly 5 months ago. For at least the first 2 months she just stood by the door and made every attempt to escape or argue her way out. She constantly asked to go home- 'theres nothing wrong with me!' and blames us so much. Eventually however she has settled, and at times says she doesn't even want to go home- the place she is now is where she has friends and she would rather be there than with us.
Its hurtful either way to be honest, but your last comment- I just want mum to be safe- hold onto that. She is safe now. Yes she will be feeling all kinds of unsettled and yes she will ask to go home, but it will take time and you will get to a point when you discover that when you are not there, she is settled, and calm, and even makes new friends. This is so comforting despite the pain I know you must be going through personally.... I think if it has got to this stage you know in your heart she cannot be at home, so believe that from this point on, she can have a better time once she is settled. It can't happen quickly, but you have to be strong and believe it can get better.
I have to agree that it is possible to visit too much- for you and for her, she needs to be able to draw on her survival skills and find her feet in her new home, and you need the time to process all this. I went from going every few days and being called all sorts of names and being turned away, to now going every two weeks. Its still hard, she still gets very angry, but I can see that she is doing better, she is settled and she is so much better now than when she was at home and at risk, which makes every word of abuse a little easier to swallow.
From the posts above it looks like theres a lot of support and good advice on here so I hope you find some comfort and I wish you well. I can only say don't expect too much of yourself or your mum too soon, it will take time, try to stay strong and look after yourself, its such a massive thing to be going through xx