Mum moved into a care home today

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MERENAME, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Mum moved into a care home today. Unfortunately she is very confused by it all and the repetitive questions are constant as is her clinging. I had hoped things would have gone a little bit more smoothly. I know that it's early days but I can see the hoped for quality time with Mum being just a dream. I'm not sure that she's capable of adapting to a new routine.
    I desperately need a rest and Mums mobility has forced the move. It's a really nice room, in a really good home just 2 minutes from where I live. Mum is on a trial and I am frightened that if she doesn't settle she will end up miles away in a much worse place. We live in rural Scotland and the nearest emi unit is 18 miles away so we have little choice.
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,949
    Female
    Dundee
    This must be an exceptionally hard time for you.

    It really is early days. Hopefully your mum will settle.

    I'm not speaking from personal experience as my mum and my husband never got to the stage of a care home. Having said that I have read many posts on here by people who have reached the stage you're at. It seems to me that you need to try to take step back and try to get some of that much needed rest.

    I'm sure others with more personal experience will be along. Wishing you much strength.
     
  3. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I know how hard this can be but please don't give up hope. As you say, it is very early days, it can take some people months to settle - and I guess some never really do. However, they are still in a better situation than living alone and being unable to look after themselves.

    Have a chat with the staff and ask how often they think you should visit. Sometimes it is better to back off and let the PWD settle without constant reminders of home.

    I hope your mum settles down and is able to remain near to you.
     
  4. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,815
    UK
    Hope you can find the strength to get you through this settling in period. Remember you had no where else to go. The choices we have get less and less as this illness takes over more and more. Take care and try to get some well needed rest.
     
  5. Scouts girl

    Scouts girl Registered User

    Jan 18, 2017
    308
    Please do try and get some well earned rest. I know exactly how you are feeling as I reached carers breakdown 8 months ago and had no alternative, but on the doctors advice, had to move my dear mum into care. It has been an incredibly difficult and stressful time for us but I have sort of learned to cope and try and come to terms with the realisation that mum is now safe and being well cared for and, yes, I feel terribly guilty that I could not look after her myself, have shed so many tears and am so distressed to see her decline daily with this awful disease, but like me you will know deep down that you have done the right thing for your mum and now it's time to let the carers look after her. Please keep posting on here. TP has been my lifeline for words of comfort and advice which you will need now more than ever at this difficult time. I hope your mum soon settles in her care home and you can get some rest. Xxxx
     
  6. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Such a very difficult time for you, Merename.

    I encourage you to have frequent and open conversation with the carers and other staff at the care home. It's a good way to start to form relationships with them. I would definitely not hesitate to ring them anytime you want an update or are feeling anxious.

    While it can be very hard to do, in some cases, it is better to decrease frequency and/or duration of visits during the settling in period. Again, I'd talk to the staff and see what guidance and advice they can offer you.

    As regards the clinging, that's very distressing. If possible, can you time your visits so that you will leave just as something (a meal or an activity) is beginning, so that it makes a more "natural" end to your visit? Or ask one of the staff in advance to help you, by providing distraction in the form of a cup of tea or something similar.

    If your leaving agitates your mum, then you may want to keep goodbyes very short and sweet (like when leaving a reluctant child at school the first time, the quicker you go, the better), or possibly not even announce you're leaving--you're just popping out to the toilet or something. That approach depends, of course, on her memory.

    I also found, with my mother, that saying "I will see you Tuesday" or even "I will see you tomorrow" agitated her, as she couldn't keep track of days and got confused and upset trying to do so. Now I always offer a very cheery "see you soon!" and a wave and big smile as I leave, which works better.

    And I had to learn to take what my mother told me about the care home with a grain of salt--another good reason to talk to the carers and staff over the phone. If you believed my mother, she was alone in her room with no food, none of her medications, no sight of any other people for days, and bored and miserable. I didn't quite believe it, of course, but it was a real relief to hear the staff tell me that she joined in with activities and made friends and so on. I also sometimes would visit where I just observed, from where my mother couldn't see me, so I could see for myself how she was. I don't know if you will find that helpful, but it's a thought.

    My mother is a care home success story. She settled better, and faster, than anyone had hoped, and has really thrived. Maybe most surprisingly to me, she was able to adapt to the care home routine--I wouldn't have believed it until it happened. I only wish I had been able to move her into care sooner (as her prior situation was so poor). I know it doesn't work out for everyone, and we can't predict the future, but I do hope this situation will work for your mother.

    Very best wishes to you. Remember, it will take time for you to adjust to the new situation, as well as your mum. Please try to get some rest and look after yourself (much easier said than done, of course).
     
  7. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,545
    Ireland
    It does take time for someone to settle. Of course it does - if any of us suddenly found ourselves transported to a communal home, and had to adapt to living there, even if we didn't have dementia, it would take us time! Your mum won't know her way around, nothing will be familiar. That takes a bit of time. It took my husband a few weeks to settle in his nursing home. He was apparently fine when I wasn't there, but begged to come with me when I was leaving, the first few weeks.

    I learned to, as Amy said, time visits so I was leaving as he was going in to lunch, or if that wasn't possible, I got a carer to take him to the loo and made my escape. I never took my coat or bag in with me, I left them in the car, so he had no visual clues that I was leaving by me gathering up belongings. After a while, my husband believed that I lived there too, and was just elsewhere in the building, busy with something!

    It's a heartbreaking time for you, a very hard decision to have to have made. But you have made the decision for your mum's sake, because she needs the care.
     
  8. DollyBird16

    DollyBird16 Registered User

    Sep 5, 2017
    1,186
    Female
    Greater London
    Hi Merename
    What a really difficult time for you, it must be so hard.
    Thank you, it is generous and kind of you to share your experience, that those that have not been there can learn from.
    I cannot offer advice I'm not at the same place as you, but know the same day will come for me.
    I can honestly say reading posts here gives me reassurance and comfort that moving to a care home will be the right decision for my lovely oh so special Mum when the time comes. I would want for her to be safe and cared for 24/7. The many posts provide such worthy advice, definitely worth a read.
    I do really hope your Mum settles and your time with her is what you wish for.
    Keep posting to update on Mums new home. X
     
  9. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Thank you all for your replies.

    Day 2 has gone better than day 1. Mum is still very confused but the questions have slowed down a little. She was asking where my Dad was today, he died 4 years ago so that was hard but she is just trying to orientate herself and was generally calmer and more settled. Also she was walking today which is good to see and someone had done her hair. She is still lost but I can see that things could get better once she starts to forget the old routine and if she can get used to the noise. There are a few male carers which I'm not sure she'll be able to adjust to but I will leave it for now. As far as visiting is concerned I think that popping in regularly for short visits will work better than less frequent long visits. The care home is literally 2 minutes from my house so that's possible for now. There does seem to be quite a lot of visitors around which makes you feel welcome but I am not going to visit tomorrow, first day off since Oct 2015, it will feel strange.
    I feel much better than I did yesterday.
     
  10. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Day 3

    I haven't been in to see Mum today. My head has been all over the place and I've found it difficult to relax. Worry about this, worry about that. My mind just wouldn't settle and I feel guilty about not going. Every muscle in my body hurts. There comes a point in caring where you lose yourself and I'm past that point.
     
  11. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,545
    Ireland
    I found that frequent, short visits worked much better for us too. That's one of the reasons my husband came to believe that I lived there too! It also didn't give him time to get worked up.
    Also, I never actually said goodbye, or made it obvious I was leaving. I'd say something like " I must get the laundry done. I'll see you after a bit. "
     
  12. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Day 4

    Well I felt a little apprehensive about visiting because I didn't know what to expect. Decided I would go about 11am as lunchtime is 12.30pm so I thought that could be a short visit with a natural break. So I went and she was asleep so my first visit today lasted 1 minute. They said that she's been fine, though their definition and mine might be different it was still nice to hear. I expect she will need extra sleep while she gets used to the noise in the corridor. They have games this afternoon and I think she will enjoy that if she is encouraged to go and join in. Dinner is 4.30pm so I think I'll go back at 3.30pm and see where she is etc then pop back in for an hour in the evening.
     
  13. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,815
    UK
    A little nap in the morning is not a bad thing, as you say the noise and activities and just settling in could be exhausting. Seems like a good idea to pop in at different times, just to ease your worries.
     
  14. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Day 4 (part 2)

    Went back in this afternoon. Mum wasn't at the games but was sitting in the reception area knitting. She was offering to teach a man to knit so I thought all was well but the elderly woman who was also sitting there said she had been very stressed and unhappy.
    Took Mum through to her room to watch a DVD and get away from the lady who kept repeating how repetitive my Mum was and how she couldn't be consoled she was so distressed. Mum seemed ok and I got to talk to the carer who said she had been repetitive but not stressed that Betty had been over reacting because she was depressed. On the way out another old lady stopped me and commented on Mums behaviour. Mum can be very very very repetitive and sometimes people do mistake her confusion for distress. I'm not sure what to think.
    Went back in this evening. Mum was sitting in her room in her pj's knitting and watching tv. She was really chilled and quite happy.
    Tomorrow I'm babysitting 2 of my grandkids that I haven't seen much of because they live over an hour away and I haven't had enough periods of time off from Mum to visit. The sitter social work promised never did materialise,
     
  15. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,587
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Merename, I would say thats a fantastic start. Dementia aside, you would have to be in the right frame of mind, and relaxed enough to sit and knit. How fantastic your Mum can knit. I only wish my Mum could, as when she wants peace & quiet and goes into her room at her CH, apart from staff turning on her TV, there is nothing she can really do to occupy a bit of time. Even looking at magazines now, shes not interested.

    Its quite easy to read into everything that other residents tell you. The only ones I would take note of is the care & nursing staff.
    Now that Mum has been in care a year, I've very much learnt also to take evything Mum says with a pinch of salt, but if course if its of concern see staff.
    Mum settled in well first 7 months, and then she had a couple of UTi's which threw a spanner in the works.
    Mum would go around saying she hated the place, hated the staff, hated the people. Not a nice word to say about anyone.
    Just the other day, she was telling me she liked the activities co ordinator, and when one of her friends in the CH home asked Mum if she liked all the ladies there, Mum said they were all very nice, and she got on with everyone. :rolleyes:

    Hope you take some time out for you and your family.
    Just keep reminding yourself, that your Mum is in safe hands, 24/7 nursing, fed, and warm. :)
     
  16. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Day 5

    The knitting has been a Godsend but is compulsive. Sometimes she knits in her sleep, knits with pencils, and has attempted to knit with a ham sandwich which was very disturbing. You can tell her mental state and witness it's deterioration by the state of her knitting. Sometimes she knits quite well but sometimes she knits these big tangles which remind me of the tangles in her brain. I dread her being somewhere where she isn't allowed knitting needles as it's so important to her.
    Day 5 was spent babysitting. I am used to dealing with people who move much more slowly so the day brought home to me how unfit I was and out of practice with rugrats. It was fun. Can see a lot of it in my future. I thought less about Mum because I was occupied from 8am to 10pm. I am going to visit this afternoon and again I have a knot in my stomach.
     
  17. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Day 6

    Didn't go to see Mum. The knot in my stomach turned into full on dread and I had to consider just why I was visiting. Pointless taking all that anxiety with me. I simply didn't want to go. I've had to be there for so long and for the last couple of years pretty much constantly and both my physical and mental health has suffered. Fell asleep on the couch instead. Felt guilty for not going but also hope it helps her settle. This is so hard. Not as hard as keeping her at home though. Sense of relief that I am no longer responsible for someone who is so very ill. I am going through a late menopause and think some of my anxiety is due to that. I hate dementia it destroys everything.
     
  18. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,097
    Yorkshire
    hi MERENAME
    personally, I think you did right
    you've made sure your mum is being looked after and you need to look after yourself
    visiting when you're tensed up isn't wise; not for you or your mum
    I know I have missed some visits to dad because I just needed to be on my own that day; to not have to get in the car and then sit with him trying to stay calm and cheerful when I felt anything but - in fact I did that yesterday, and will visit today feeling the better for just having a quiet reading day, which will mean I'm giving off more positive vibes to dad
    best wishes
     
  19. MERENAME

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    236
    scotland
    Day 7

    Awful day.
    Started off quite well as I got up and dealt with a lot of the stuff I had to do. Went to care home about 2 o clock. Mum wall walking down the corridor crying. carer with a herding cats look on her face trying to stop someone else from going out the fire escape while trying to stop Mum who was heading in the opposite direction.saying she wanted to go home. Constantly repeating the same questions over
    I took Mum back to her room and calmed her down. She was constantly and over. Carer said she's been very unsettled all weekend and that the senior wanted a word with me. Really stressful.They are calling the GP. They also want me to buy Mum some hip pads which are £40 a pair. Will have to get them but LA is taking Mums pension and she doesn't have any savings. £80 is a lot of money when my weekly income is £108. Spent an agonising two and a half hours until dinner and she was begging me to stay. I felt so bad leaving but I can't take anymore. I feel so damaged by someone elses disease.
     
  20. DollyBird16

    DollyBird16 Registered User

    Sep 5, 2017
    1,186
    Female
    Greater London
    Oh Merename.
    I so feel for you, it's really tough.
    Although I'm not there yet, I do believe it's the safest place for Mum. Reading past posts tells me that Mums will settle over time. Which gives me reassurance, but still doesn't take away the yearning for my or your Mum to come back or for us to make it all better.
    Keep giving all the love you are and you are providing the best possible care you ever can for Mum.
    Take care of you. X
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.