Mum moved to care home - dad utterly distraught

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MissDiane, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. MissDiane

    MissDiane Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    After many months/years of constant worry about mum and dad's ability to cope I moved mum into a lovely care home when a space came up.(mum has moderate to severe dementia) We had waited several months for a room when they rang me to say they had a room free. I felt so positive about the move as I felt mum would finally get the care she needs and it was close to me so I could visit regularly.

    Dad had been begging me to do 'something' for months as he could no longer cope with mum and mum had rung me in desperation to say dad had pushed her and she fell to the floor and banged her head. Dad kept saying 'it's time' now, meaning he couldn't carry on caring. He also has dementia and lots of other medical issues. There had been a few minor incidents before but these were getting more and more serious.

    THe main triggers for mum having delusions were that the carer's were overly friendly with dad and mum often felt left out and rejected. They would giggle with dad in the kitchen and give him hugs and this would upset mum.Plus there was verbal and physical abuse from dad towards mum. And mum nagged dad most of the time about the carer's and dad reacted to it every time in a very negative way.

    So 4 nights later mum has settled remarkably well into the care home and cannot fault a thing. She seems more relaxed and is definitely getting the care she needs.

    The problems is dad is utterly distraught and wants her back. I arranged for them to both go for lunch today and dad kept saying things like 'when you come home' and getting her muddled.

    he wants to visit often but I am trying to let mum settle in and I think dad will just confuse her and remind her of what she has left behind. Mum is making friends in the home and is chatting away whereas at home with dad she never really had anyone except dad and was so lonely.

    I don't know how to manage dad's feelings, and I don't know what is best for mum regards visiting. Dad is desperate for mum to come home but when she went for respite previously within 2 hours they were arguing and dad was flipping out. So I know it won't work bringing mum home. But I feel so awful for dad it's like mum has died to him.

    Can anyone advise what they would do please? A worried daughter.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I`d just try to convince your dad he is having help sharing the caring which will enable him to rest and enjoy your mother`s company more.

    Once he realises and accepts this I wouldn`t try to stop him visiting as often as he wants to. This way they will both get the best of both worlds.
  3. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    You've obviously made a brilliant choice of home for your Mum and she's well and truly settled remarkably quickly.

    Would it help your Dad (and would it be possible) to keep him very busy over the next few weeks, having a "holiday" doing all the things he previously couldn't? Maybe try to avoid talking over your Mum's move as something permanent (though it is) until he's had at least a little time to readjust?

    A teacher friend once said the way to manage a happy, safe away trip for the difficult kids at her school was to make sure they walked every day until they were tired. A version of this idea might possibly help your Dad?
  4. MissDiane

    MissDiane Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    Thank you for the lovely suggestions, they sound just the job. I will try to think up a list of things to do with dad over the next couple of weeks to keep him active and will try to tire him out, although not too much obviously! Dad made an impromptu visit to mum today and she was thrilled. They had a nice time chatting and mum did not seem too unsettled after he had gone. So like you say, maybe they can have the best of both worlds without all the stress of trying to care for each other which had proved impossible.
  5. MissDiane

    MissDiane Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    Just an update - mum has been in the care home for one week now and had initially settled reasonably well, she liked the staff/food/room etc but Dad has been visiting saying how much he Is missing her and he'll do anything to have her back.

    I try to reason with dad to remind him of why she is there in the first place (physical, emotional and verbal abuse by him) but he doesn't want to hear it. he also has dementia.

    He thinks he can have her back home, get rid of all the carer's (as their presence upset mum when dad got flirty) and everything will be ok.

    Well it won't. How can I stop him visiting? He even wants to move into the home with her but then the arguing would start again. She would get jealous of dad chatting to the staff/residents and we are back to square one.

    Mum has had visits from either me or dad every day and outings too. She now expects this every day. I can't do this I have a young family and a disgruntled partner as I am struggling to cope with everyone's needs. I don't read to my kids, do homework, do housework, pay bills, all the everyday I need to do. It just piles up.

    The care home said she is not complaining at all but thinks the visiting is unsettling mum. Mum said tonight she'd rather die than stay in the home.

    It was all going so well. Dad is so unhappy on his own he is desperate for mum to return but I could not see mum abused like that again.

    The only thing I can think of is a move to extra care housing for dad which is a stones throw from the care home so he could visit mum. But its his visiting that reminds mum what she has left behind. And she forgets about the abuse.

    What do I do?
  6. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    You are trying so hard to make mum and dad happy, but it is probably impossible. You can't make them happy, you can only keep them safe. My mum made the same comments about wanting to die when she was in a care home so I know it's heart-wrenching to hear it. But she had been saying just the same when she was at still at home and complained about being lonely and fed-up.

    I guess you can't do anything about dad visiting often, but I would definitely take the staff's advice and take a break from visiting yourself. Mum is living a different life now and needs time to get used to it. It will also give you a break from constant complaints. You can always phone to check on her, but I have read many times on TP that their relatives are perfectly happy except when visitors come.

    Your partner and children need you too and they are your future. Please don't compromise your own happiness; your mum and dad would surely not want that to happen if they were able to express their feelings.

    I'd be wary about moving dad to extra care housing unless you are sure that would work for quite a long time. Maybe think about a needs assessment for him in his new circumstances first?
  7. MissDiane

    MissDiane Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    Thank you Pickles 53, your post has helped me put things into perspective. Mum was not happy in her own home either thinking about it, and also said she would rather die when things were particularly bad.

    I know mum is very safe and is in a lovely home, I don't think I could find one better for mum. If I left things as they were then the aggression between mum and dad would have escalated, mum may have been sectioned and ended up in an EMI ward, when really she is settling fine in a residential home who understand her issues as she if fine without dad upsetting her. (not ready for an EMI) She is a bit emotional about having to leave the marital home but this is understandable.

    It's horrible not being able to make my parents happy, but I think you are right, it is impossible thanks to this horrible disease, which mum and dad both have.

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