1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Mum lived on her own until recently but had an accident

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Skid, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. Skid

    Skid New member

    Dec 2, 2017
    Hi, I'm new to talking point and forums. My mum has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia (mixed dementia). Dad died five years ago (2012) and without him around, we realised mum was having memory issues. NHS were not supportive and so we had a private diagnosis of early stage dementia. Mum has lived on her own until five weeks ago when she fell down stairs at my sister's house, breaking her clavicle and several ribs. We live far apart - Mum's in Essex, me Hampshire and my sister Wiltshire. We noticed a change in Mum's dementia earlier this year and she said she thought it had 'gone up a notch'. With advice from her GP, we decided to move her closer to me in Hampshire; she was happy with this and quite excited that we would finally be closer. However, she then had the accident and has been in hospital in Wiltshire until Thursday this week. Based on the hospitals advice and care needs assessment, we put her into a dedicated dementia care home on Thursday but it was evident, within 24 hours, that she isn't advanced enough in her dementia to be there and she is going stir crazy as the other residents are further ahead and she can't find a pal/stimulus. We know this is the perfect home for her in the future, just not yet, but that wasn't evident until she got there. I just don't know what to do and can't believe the experts at the hospital got it so wrong - I was at a distance which made it difficult to judge how she was, and Mum and my sister don't get on - my sister just kept telling me she was 'fried'. What to do now? Do we leave her where she is as she will need that care at some point or move her now? We are self funding but only for so long! The hone are being brilliant and have said they will assess her properly and help us place her in the right care. Mum is 76 and very young; she likes a night out with the girls, rock music, pizza/pasta, boogieing and I can only find care that caters for quieter souls. If you read my introduction to the end, bless you, and any advice you can offer will be gratefully received!! Thank you.
  2. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    Hello and welcome!
    You do have a dilemma. It's likely that your mum's dementia presented worse than it actually is while she was in the hospital. This is quite common. Shock, pain, the strange environment, unfamiliar people, the general busyness and bustle and different people coming and going, can be quite confusing.
  3. Skid

    Skid New member

    Dec 2, 2017
    I think that's exactly what's happened, @LadyA . We seem to be at the most awful stage where Mum has awareness; she's very clear about her diagnosis and what the dementia is doing to her - this evening when I called her, she was furious with herself as she couldn't work the new TV control so she could watch Strictly - in the end I called the home and asked if someone could go up to help her. So sad to see so many amazing, capable people affected by this disease.
  4. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Registered User

    Nov 18, 2016
    Your mum sounds quite a character and it does sound to me as though she's not as bad as the hospital thought. The staff sound pretty clued up though so maybe they can suggest somewhere more suitable for now.

    How does your Mum feel about being in a home?
  5. Skid

    Skid New member

    Dec 2, 2017
    This is an amazing forum - was just suggesting to my hubby that we should put our heads together and reform the dementia services available nationally as you guys know loads!

    Mum's very sad, tearful that she's in a home, which is not a normal emotion for her. Whilst she understand's her predicament and the need for support at the moment as her hand has lost movement temporarily due to broken shoulder, she's asking when she's going to get her proper home. She understands that her home in Essex is 'under offer' and that even if she could, she can no longer cope without support, but she's asking when will she get a sitting room and kitchen so she can look after herself. May not be realistic with only one arm at the mo' but at least the intention is there.

    Thank you @SnowWhite
  6. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    Do you think she'd manage in sheltered housing? Where there was someone available if she needed it, and company, but some independence too. Of course, that is just a "for now" solution. Ultimately, she will need more care. She will not be able to manage alone.
  7. Oh Knickers

    Oh Knickers Registered User

    Nov 19, 2016
    Hi Skid,

    Following on from Lady A's excellent suggestion, should you look down the retirement home route look at Extra Assisted Living. Assisted living means there is a restaurant on site. The Extra should mean extra staff. I found mother and excellent one not part of the huge national chain. Mother enjoys socialising at lunchtime. The home mother is in also have at least one activity a day.

    What you need to look out for is the services charge. For some chains this can be quite a wallop.

    Mother is managing well despite increasing memory loss. She is unable to use the TV remote so watches her favourite programme every day as she does not have to change channel. Her ability to change channels or use the DVD went 3 years ago. 'Murder she wrote' may not be my cuppa, but mother's happy.

    She has the back up of the home cleaning everything once a week and then a carer coming in every day for 30-40 minutes. The staff are good at keeping track of mother's progress and are insightful as to where she is on her journey.
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello @Skid

    At present , because of her broken shoulder, your mum is not capable of looking after herself and needs help. Her dementia is a progressive illness so how she is today is the best she can be expected to be and you know her condition will deteriorate.

    From what I know of sheltered housing and/or assisted living, the support available is limited.

    You and your sister both live a distance away from your mother and are unable to provide the help she needs.

    Could you persuade your mother to stay where she is until her shoulder heals, when she may be able to be more independent. Once her physical disability is sorted you will be better equipped to assess how safe she will be living in sheltered accommodation.
  9. Grable

    Grable Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    It sounds like she really needs to go somewhere else, doesn't it? When I was looking for homes for my mum (deciding between Derby, where she lived, and Dorset, my home) I found a few larger ones which had different areas for different needs. Basically, you'd go in at one level and then, as the dementia moved on, so did you. That's what I'd be looking for if I were you, I think. One caveat .... make sure they will continue to look after her when she is no longer self-funding.

    With a diagnosis of dementia, it's unlikely that she'll be accepted in sheltered accommodation, in my experience.
  10. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    There is a vast difference between sheltered and sheltered extra care/assisted living which doesn't seem to fully appreciated. The terms are not the same at all.

    When my mum was diagnosed, I looked at both sheltered and sheltered extra care. Whilst at that point in time I knew nothing about dementia, I did know about the differences between the 2 (through my job) and it was clear she couldn't manage in sheltered, but she has thrived in sheltered extra care.

    It isn't for everyone, and isn't suitable for wanderers, and aggression, but many sheltered extra care facilities are built with the needs of dementia sufferers in mind, I am involved (through my job - I am an accountant) with social housing providers that do this.

    I think it only works for those at early stages when they move in. My mum doesn't really understand that she isn't in a home, but thinks I have found her a special one, that means she still has her own kitchen, and living room. It took her weeks to settle in, and there does need to be enough comprehension to settle in.

    My mum now has 3 carer visits a day plus a weekly flat clean - it started at 2 visits, and can be increased more.

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