1. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Well, after my few weeks of thinking all is well with mum in the care home, I came home in tears after today's visit.

    Please, please, anyone whose relative is not happy in their home, please let me know if you did anything about it, what you did, and how you did it.

    I have read so many tales of horrendous problems coping with relatives at home, making the dreadful decision to move them to a care home, and then finding it working out well. I need to hear from those that DIDN'T find it working out well.

    I didn't have any of the preliminary problems, mum went from looking after herself (so I thought, now known not to be the case), to needing 24-hour care in less than 6 weeks.

    She doesn't like being in a care home, doesn't see the need, thinks drugs that she took in hospital have cured her "brain problem". She wants to go home. Impossible now, cos it has been sold and a sizeable chunk of the proceeds invested in a care home plan, non-recoverable. She can't live alone, I have to keep reminding myself of that cos there are many visits when she shows no sign of mental problems, but today she had lost all track of time, and for a few weeks now she has said someone is shouting her name (asked me to listen and tell her she was right - she was not right). She says it is driving her mad, and she cannot stay if they keep shouting her.

    She doesn't like THIS care home cos the night staff are "nasty" (not seen any evidence, but as mum gets up several times in the night, is dressed and insisting on breakfast every half hour, I can imagine they sometimes have to be a bit firm that she goes back to bed). She says the food is not nice, always cold, she doesn't have enough baths. Today she says another resident was about to sit in mum's chair, and mum beat her to it, and the resident said she would hit mum if she didn't move. Anyway, she didn't, but mum was, well, not frightened, but upset. She couldn't tell me which resident it was, so I couldn't do anything about it.

    Unfortunately I think, these things could arise in any care home - couldn't they?

    Mum has been there 3 months. She is much less demented than most of the other residents, and much more mobile. She has sussed out residents who are pleasant and approachable, and "looks after" a few of them. She has sussed out those who are not and avoids them. She has certain staff that she particularly likes. I'd hate to go through this again in another home and find it is no different.

    Today she said she wouldn't be staying there for long, and if she couldn't find somewhere else she hoped she would die fairly soon. However, she is not suffering from any illness that is likely to cause an early death, we can expect another 10 years, barring something unforseen.

    I do feel sorry for her. She has really only got me to visit, and she has no interest in my life so the conversation is limited. My husband comes occasionally, but has even less conversation. She has lost all the interest she used to have in TV - sport, news, Countdown and Emmerdale. She doesn't read - oh, and has lost her glasses (what do I do about that, is she covered by the Home's insurance do you think?). The hospital lost her top teeth, I've done nothing about that yet either.

    I just feel that it is one long battle. I thought that making her safe, warm, comfortable (the home is all of those) were most important, and would be stress-free for both of us. Yet it seems to be building up again, and I don't know what to do.

    Any advice gratefully received. Preferably practical advice. I know lots of you will send me hugs and kisses, and I appreciate them cos I get none anywhere else, but can you add a few bits of advice as well?

    My lovely dad died 3 years ago, and I cried just one night. Tonight I am crying for the first time for my mum, and I can't stop the bloody tears!

    I must add, and you will all be shocked to hear this, I don't love my mum as most people do, so why am I crying? I don't like anybody to be upset, and she IS my mum, and whatever I feel for her I want her to be happy. It is my responsibility.

    I feel so lost.

    Oh, people talk about a Care Plan. I am not aware of one of those being done for my mum. What does that entail? Has mum got one? Should I have been involved in its preparation? And does the Social Worker ever get in touch once mum has been in the home for x weeks? Or am I just left on my own to learn how things work?

    Please help if you can.

  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    sorry can't answer your question

    stress free in this life never , we should be so lucky

    safe warm comfortable yes we can get that and give that, that what your giving your mother may be in a year or few years she feel like that , only living with my mother have I recognize , as i look back when she first moved in with me, she was better of living any where then with my family , now 3 years on its a different story .

    say buy to logic , and welcome in to your world paranoid delusion
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Margaret,

    Not everyone will be shocked. I identify with your sentiments and was in exactly the same position with my mother.

    You are happy with the home, you have no complaints, so don`t even think of moving your mother.
    You could move her to a lesser home and then feel worse than ever.

    Your mother needs watching, she isn`t safe to be by herself. That`s why she is in a home. It`s a shame she is so unhappy there but it is the lesser of two evils.

    Like you, I cried for my mother. My tears were because she had asked to live with me and I refused. I did feel guilty, but not guilty enough. I knew she wasn`t happy in the home but I couldn`t have had her to live with me.

    So I`m afraid I can only advise you to keep things as they are. In time perhaps you mother will settle and that will make it easier for you.

    Sorry I can`t offer more.

    Love xx
  4. nicetotalk

    nicetotalk Registered User

    Sep 22, 2006
    Hi margarat

    sorry you are haveing to go through this with you mother, i just wanted to say, you said you dont love your mother like most people if that wast the case you would not be on here, not being close is one thing and not loveing is another you abviously do love her take care of yourself

  5. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    You do love otherwise you would not be on T.P.

    Dear Margaret,
    I understand where you are coming from. Peter in his Care Home and on E.M.I. chose in the early stages the home, colour scheme he wanted the lot. Yes it is a beautiful well run home but after two months our friend and also Care Worker came with me to see Peter. What did he dislike about the home - nothing.
    Staff - lovely, food - very good. I sat there really happy. Following week - had lost his 2nd pair of glasses, upper dentures, wedding ring, watch all noted in Care Home book. You could check they have these things listed as missing and let them check on their insurance. On top of that the same day he told me he hated it there and complained about staff and other residence. You can move them but and it is a big but, Peter following week loves it there.
    You should have a copy of your Mother's Care Plan. Some S.W. are rather slow in producing them but ask the Care Home and express your Mother's concerns to the Manager and get a copy of the Care Plan and all medication on.
    Do hope this helps.
    Best wishes. Christine
  6. Christinec

    Christinec Registered User

    Aug 8, 2007
    Hi Margaret,
    Coincidentally had a horrible visit with Mum today. She hates the home(although I am pretty sure it is the best in the area) and wants to die.

    I can say to you (although I cannot accept it myself) that you cannot make someone else happy. Because I nagged him husband visited with me today and he reminded me that often when I visited Mum at home things were just as bad from her point of view and he remind me this has been the case for many years. She said the same things when I visited her in house . I think in retrospect she has been ill for at least 5 years.

    At least I think (hope) she is safe and will be looked after consistently day and night which is more than I can say for her former home situation. Alzheimers has meant my Mum cannot be happy except for very short times(minutes/seconds at a time.)

    However when we arrived she was sitting alone in a room which was cooler than she likes, worrying about where all her clothes had gone and I really wish she was somewhere perfect but life especially with alzheimers is just is not like that.

    Perhaps we have to accept that we can only do so much and that the perfect answer does not exist. My Mum is old and ill and no happy ending in sight. She has lived to be more than twenty years older than her mother and father were when they died but for what?

    Sorry practically this has not helped at all but it seems to me that you do your best to find good care and hope it is better than the other options. I also cry for my Mum but can anyone com up with a better soution?

    On a more practical level can anyone sugest how I get my Mum to turn up her room radiator when she is cold. She thinks she is not allowed to do it because of the cost. Staff are clear that she is allowed to but seem to leave it up to her and she cannot remember how to do it. I have tried leaving a note but seems to have disappeared. The heating system seems very good (last home she was in did not have this) when it is fully on.
  7. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Gee, five replies in such a short time, I am feeling better already from your support.

    Just had a blow-up with my husband who simply says "You are doing your best", and I don't feel that I am. Got very emotional, don't want Christmas to come, hate life, daughter from Bristol is coming to visit tomorrow I don't know if I can face it being jolly and relaxed when I am not. Might go out for the day and not come back. Not like me. I feel so upset.

  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Margaret.

    Is it absolutely necessary to pretend to be `jolly and relaxed` with your daughter? Couldn`t you off load to her a bit and let her know how you are affected by your mother being in a home?
  9. CHESS

    CHESS Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    Dear Margaret,

    You know your Mum needs to be in a home and, by and large, the home she is in seems all right. Yes, you need to sort out about her teeth and glasses. This should make your Mum feel better. She has her likes and dislikes amongst the staff and residents. If she's anything like my Mum, feelings about a particular person can change by the second. One minute, my Mum can be singing someone's praises, the next she has absolutely no time for them, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

    You seem to have so much running through your mind at the moment that your brain must be really hurting. I would suggest you accept that this will be your Mum's home for the foreseeable future. Put any other possibilities out of your mind. This should free-up any available "brainpower" to concentrate on making Mum happier and more settled there, whilst accepting this will all be relative.

    Best wishes.

    Chess x
  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    I just feel like I am a real wimp. Mum is sometimes so "near-normal" that it is hard to remember the illness that she has, so thanks all for reminding me. I can't expect perfection, I just wish she was happier. I don't know how to respond when she tells me she wants to die.

    Ah well. Others have it much worse than me.

  11. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Dear Margaret,
    My mum has been in a care home since last May at first she packed every single day she couldn't and still can't see any reason why she can't stay at home alone. The packing stops for awhile then starts again. Mum's for the last week and a half has packed everyday she even ties knots at the bottom of her pj pants and uses them for carry bags the attendant got a laugh, as it looked like half a scarecrow.

    The reality for you is that your mum needs to be somewhere so she can have around the clock care and moving her may only make matters worse for her. I was wondering if that, maybe your mum may benefit by taking anti-depressant medication. This may be worth discussing with her Dr. Also, I would tell him about the voices she hears calling her, as this would be adding to her feeling miserable.

    At least your mum is learning the ropes (so to speak) about who's chair is who's this happens where mum is also, a big No...No to sit on another persons chair. It could be possible that your mum just thought the other resident may of hit her if she didn't move from the chair, BUT, also possible she was threatened with a hit. I watch them where mum is and it isn't unlike supervising kids. One day mum tells me the chappy who sweeps the courtyard helps her and the next time she tells me he doesn't like her and isn't backward in giving her a swat with the broom.

    My mum's conversations are very limited and like your mum her life revolved around her shopping and house work. So, if we are truly honest why would talking about anything else interest them they have nothing of any interest in the home but to find negative things that reinforce their need to go home.

    I know what this is like for you as I also face this everyday, knowing that I had to make a decision on another person life knowing quite well, that they are unhappy with that decision. But with our sadness comes the realisation that the care they need, we, for what ever the reasons can't provide and the care homes become necessary.

    Lost teeth, glasses and hearing aids are common occurrence's at the homes. Mum has lost all three numerous times. I have her name engraved on her glasses frame and been told that you can also have a name etched on the dentures. I am going to find out about the hearing aids.

    Margaret, I just roll with the punches because their isn't anything else to do. As long as your satisfied with the care. Basically, I am satisfied with the way mum is cared for, she is in low care dementia unit. I have had a few disappointments but have learnt to be on the ball now, if it concerns any medical treatment.

    Best Wishes. Taffy.
  12. janetruth

    janetruth Registered User

    Mar 20, 2007
    Hello Margaret

    You say you don't love your Mum, but you want her to be happy.
    Even without AZ it's impossible to expect someone to be happy all the time.

    My Mum lives with us and can convince others in to believing untrue events of her day.

    Have you tried observing your Mum in the home without her knowing you are there.
    You might be surprised to see her not being 'happy' but maybe you will see that she is not 'unhappy'.

    There are 24 hours in a day, have you asked members of staff what their view of your Mum is. Make friends with the people who are looking after your Mum. Ask them if you could do something for her which would help you all.

    If you knew your Mum was ' contented ' maybe you would be more relaxed about her situation and you would be able to do the grieving for your Dad and get on with life.

    Hope you find a solution
    Take care
    Janetruth x
  13. sheilarees53

    sheilarees53 Registered User

    Apr 11, 2006
    Beckenham Kent
    Hi Margaret,

    Oh how I empathise with so much of what you say. My mum has been in an EMI NH for eighteen months, she cannot walk, is doubly incontinent and can just about manage to feed herself. She has been unhappy from the first day she arrived and everytime I go to see her she begs me to take her home and look after her. In her mind she can still do all the things that she used to do and just wants to go home (not sure what she means by home anymore).

    She has lost the ability to concentrate on anything, she used to love reading and watching tv. When I go to see her she cries, I cry for the mum she once was and who I miss.

    The home she is in look after her as well as they can. She tells me that so and so shouted at her or told her that she is stupid, but I am not sure whether these things happen or not. When I am there the staff always seem kind and caring to
    all the residents.

    She often tells me she wants to die, or go to sleep and not wake up and I can understand why she would feel like that.

    I keep hoping that she will settle and be less unhappy but it hasn't happened in 18 months and I wonder if it ever will.

    As for Social workers, I didn't hear from her again once mum had gone into the home - a case of responsibility over perhaps !

    My mum has a care plan which is updated regularly and I have a copy of it. I would ask a senior nurse if there is one in place for your mum and ask to see it.

    I know my mum is safe and being cared for and I also know that I couldn't look after her on my own. It doesn't make me feel less guilty but that is something we all seem to feel when coping with this dreadful disease.

    I hope this has helped a little. Take care. Sheila

    I'm sorry you are finding things so hard at the moment and hope
  14. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    when mum got this disease , I had a long stage that I felt I did not love her anymore hated her, then I was crying for her caring for her I was so confused with my emotion
    then thought I have 4 children and at time I don't like them they behavior , but I still love them

    So it drawn on me that I always love my mother , but I don't like her behavior , and its this disease that I hate and don't like or love , not my mother.
  15. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    Neither is my Mum....

    Dear Margaret,

    Oh dear, there are so many of us in the same situation. My Mum and Dad have only been in the care home for four weeks. My Dad has settled in fine, and the staff love him to bits as he is such a lovely gentle man. My Mum on the contrary, must be the "resident from hell". She keeps trying to break out and hits anyone who tries to stop her.

    I know she gets bored and I go in a couple of times a week and play Scrabble with her. I can't seem to get her to read either and she used to love reading and doing the crosswords. She has only one thought and that is to go home by whatever means she can.

    Like you I don't really think I like my Mum that much but I still can't bear to see her so sad. If it's any help at all, I try to console myself by saying that seeing her sad is better than seeing her unable to cope at home and endangering not only herself but my Dad too.

    I have also spent a lot of time getting to know the nurses and carers in the home and chatting to them about my Mum's interests so maybe, just maybe they can bear that in mind when I'm not there.

    My Mum is now on Quetiapine which may calm her down a bit - not that one likes going the medication route, but at this stage, I'm grateful for anything really.

    Not sure if that's a lot of practical advice, but best of luck, you're not alone.
  16. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Mend it, mend it, now quite litterally!

    Hi Everyone,
    I went this morning to see Peter, faint recognition I don't know anymore as he always gives people a smile. Peter is double incontinent and to-day complete clean up of his room plus he has been leaving little parcels over the E.M.I. unit. Staff Nurse and Carer came into the lounge to tell me that they had to call out Emergency Doctor as Peter's Blood Pressure was dangerously high. Before that has always resulted in a mild stroke. Now Peter has a habit of turning furniture upside down and muttering mend it quite clearly. The Care Home with a talk with me we decided that Peter rather than be drugged up and sleeping all day, they would rather he continued with the furniture and walking around the floor. I then was told that the T.V. in the lounge, he had got behind it and push it over, completely breaking a £2,000 T.V. I only hope they are insured. The Staff were fantastic telling me not to worry. I know he is in the best one in our area and in very good hands. Then I was told his electric shaver was broken - 3rd since May. Then Peter started to nod off, I gentled nudged him and said are you tired - nod o.k. so it was a stupid question. Did he want me to go so he could sleep - yes.
    I got into my car had the usual calm me down before I drive cigarette and my Motobility car was as dead as anything..Taxi driver near me said are you having any problems and I wanted to say yes I b*****y well am. Anyway he brought me home, I got indoors and I could not stop crying. Phone both my daughters and they were both ready to help. Go back to the C.H. my daughter's partner put the key in the ignition turned it and the b****y car started first time. My daughter sat next to me whilst I drove back and her partner followed. Came in took one of my tablets to calm me down. So Care Home brilliant not only with Peter but tea and time with me. There are some good C.H. out there but not enough. Thanks for reading and letting me get this off my chest. Love to everyone. Christine
  17. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Margaret,
    A lot of wise things have been said. I think my first thought was 'why do we expect our parents to be happy'? At times, a large portion of our days are spent feeling unhappy for one reason or another, why should our mum's/dad's be any different?

    I think it is important to accept that our parents pain, grief, sadness - whatever you wish to call it - is part of their own personal journey. We cannot take it away from them. All we can do is walk along side. At times we may be able to ease their pain, at other times we just have to be there, so they know that they are not alone.

    If mum is warm, safe and fed - you have done what you can. By visiting her you give her the emotional support that you can. You have to accept your limitations.

    Activities - what about simple jigsaws, ludo, snakes and ladders, sewing - may only hold mums attention for a short time - but would take pressure off having to try and make conversation.

    Take care.
    Love Helen
  18. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    I sympathise

    my mother has been in her home for eight months now and hates it as much as the day she moved in. But I feel that moving her wouldnt achieve anything as the things she hates she will find in any home, which is really the almost total loss of independence.
    She makes all the same complaints your mum does, dislike of food, boredom etc etc but after a long time soul searching and trying to find a solution I have concluded there simply isnt one. I cant turn the clock back twenty years and make her fitter and younger again.
    she strongly feels I ought to have her to live with me despite me having no room and working full time already. I cant say I actually feel guilty but I do feel unkind telling her "no" there is no point explaining the reasons as she says she will sleep in a chair and claims she doesnt need me there in the day to care for her...even says she will be able to do all my housework!!
    She also says she wants to die which I used to find upsetting and hard to answer but now I say , well, we dont die to order do we and change the subject.
    We have the same conversations ever time I visit her but this I think is only as she never remembers what was said last time!
    It probably wont ever get any better although I hope for you it does.However in my case I do feel ok about it all as I know everything I can possibly do has now been done.
  19. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    hi.reading this and other post on residents being unhappy in their care home makes me so upset.i know homes are not all the same and understand the difficulty in settling in.i just hate the thought of a resident being upset and their families upset.i think we should all chip in and open our own TP home,at least the families will know the care is there and the carers are genuine carers.if only.........love and best wishes elainex
  20. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Natashalou, that is just what I wanted to hear - not that you are having problems, but that I am not alone! I really felt that I was inadequate in not making mum happy, but I am beginning to see that it might never be. My daughter visited today and mum told her she was thinking of moving, but didn't know where she could go.

    I wish none of us had problems, but it is SO reassuring to know that my situation is not unique or my fault.

    There was a new tale as well. Mum says that when she went to bed one night last week, there was a man in her bed, and the staff said they didn't want him to be disturbed so she was taken to another room to sleep. I have no idea if this is true or not - she didn't tell ME about it, it could be just her imagination. Should I ask the staff? If this happened, why did they not tell me? If it is true, I think I should know.

    Elaine, I have said before how much I admire your dedication. I wonder how many there are in your home with dementia and similar. It seems to me that most of the residents in mums home have it to some extent. They are talking to non-existant people, residents with frames are trying to walk on their own, there are argumentative types (one threatened to hit mum, so she says), I'd prefer more staff on duty, but there are always at least 3, often 4, the activities co-ordinator is there every afternoon and she helps with caring too, and steps in at weekends, the housekeeper sits and chats with residents. I cannot see much wrong with the place really compared to others.

    I'd just like mum to accept it and be happy.

    Ah well.


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