Mum now in a home, but things aren't necessarily better

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by steve54, May 1, 2008.

  1. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    Mum was finally discharged from hospital 3 weeks ago after spending two months in a psychiatric ward. We found a nice home for her and moved her in and we thought things were going well. But the patterns are repeating themselves. She doesn't seem to be settling and every time I visit her she clings to me and wants me to take her home, just as she did in the hospital at the start. So far she hasn't broken down when I leave and begged me to take her with me. So I suppose that's an improvement.

    Then last week the manager rang me to say she has been shouting and threatening other residents who she thinks are following her. They seem to be in a later stage of dementia than Mum and wander about a lot. I've tried explaining to her that they are ill and can't help it and that no one is following her or trying to hurt her. The manager has also said Mum threatened to thump someone and now Mum has accused one of the carers of hitting her head against the wall. I don't believe this is true but it is just one thing after another at the moment. I'm worried what will happen next if Mum can't contain her frustration.

    Should I look for another home for her, one where the dementia in other patients isn't so bad? I'm running out of ideas and getting into that mindset of dreading going to see her in case something else has gone wrong.
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Steve

    The challenge with homes that take people with dementia is that those people tend to become residents and then stay until the end.

    That is great, really, as there is stability, but it means that a home that one year has lots of less-far-down-the-road residents will automaticaly have lots of farther-down-the-road residents in succeeding years.

    Generally the homes I have seen tend to have regions where the most advanced residents are, and regions for the others, but the wanderers will by default, get everywhere.

    Have you tried getting her GP/consultant and the home manager together to work out some possible solutions?

    If the home is a good one in your terms in all except this, then it is worth trying to fix the broken bits there, rather than having the upset of a move elsewhere where the broken bits may not be clear to you yet. Another home might be worse in other ways.

    It is a difficult situation, I agree.

    Good luck!
  3. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Is the home a registered dementia care home , or a registered dementia Nursing home ?

    As after two months in the ward I am wondering what type of care home was suggested in your mother assessment ?
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Before I would consider moving her I would be asking (myself and the home) what they are trying to achieve by telling you all this. If it's to keep you informed, that's good, but if it's in the nature of "and how are you going to fix this?" that's not so good. If you think it's the latter I would ask them outright if this is the case, because obviously there is no way for you to fix this, and the home should know this.

    I don't think moving her to get away from the wanderers will be practical - as Bruce says, wanderers are everywhere. Moving her to somewhere they can cope with her outbursts: well that might be worthwhile. The thing is you need to make sure that there really is a problem, and then decide if you can fix it. I think one of the difficult things about placing a relative in a care home is that to a certain extent you can and should take a step back, and that can be jolly difficult, particularly if such things have been on your shoulders for some time.
  5. Carolynlott

    Carolynlott Registered User

    Jan 1, 2007
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    When my Dad first went into his CH (which is also a NH) I felt the same as you - that he was no way near as bad as the other people there. He was fairly lucid and would say "this isn't the place for me" and sit and chat when I went to see him. After about 4 weeks he too became agressive and thought everyone was out to get him - he started attacking the others and was put on antipsychotics.

    Five months down the line he has deteriorated quite markedly and lives in his own world which it is very difficult to break into. It is now difficult to compare his stage of AD with the others - they are all different really but all in equal need of care. Many seem to just sit in a chair all day, others wander peacefully, others wander and antagonise the others. The progression of the disease takes different forms. In a way I wish my Dad would sit in a chair because his restless wandering is causing him such distress, and he irritates the others so much I am sure someone is going to thump him again. I heard one of the residents asking him yesterday if he had got his papers sorted. Others try to calm him down - it is quite touching.

    Like you I initially thought about moving Dad to a CH where the others' AD wasn't so advanced - but his SW correctly pointed out that the progressive nature of the disease means that Dad will get worse and new people coming in will not be so bad, and she was right. Dad now doesn't have a clue where he is. I took him to his room yesterday to try and get him to lie down and he didn't know it was his room - he said he had never seen it before.
  6. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    Hi Steve, I can understand and sympathise with your worries and in my experience, it sometimes feels like you have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Your mother's behaviour in not wanting you to leave her there raises the guilt monster and your feelings that the situation is quite out of your control, make a heady brew for you to exhaust yourself with.

    I feel the same as Jenniferpa, step back from the situation. You are not in control of your mother's behaviour. The responsibility for coping with such behaviour lies with the staff. Of course you are there to help in any way you can but your mum has behaviour problems, just the same as all the other residents in the home have their behaviour problems - all caused by this dreadful, shocking disease.

    If your mother's condition deteriorates to such a point where the staff at this particular home feel that she will have to be moved, then don't blame yourself. You did not cause this disease.

  7. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Steve
    I think you've been given some very good advice so far. I would also add, that had this been happening to my dad, I would immediately ask what were the home doing to help him with his behaviour, ask them for suggestions to help deal with it, should he need to see his consultant etc. The home do have a duty of care to your mum. Like Jennifer said, these comments could have been given genuinely or could have been more negative in nature. The home should surely be used to dealing with this sort of thing? Hope you get reassurance soon.
    Take care
  8. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    Thank you all for your thoughts and sound advice, most of which confirms my thoughts. I find it helps coming to TP to let off steam. Mum was a bit calmer when I went to see her on Friday, still quite confused and still pleased to see me. One of the things I'm struggling with is the frequency of the visits I make. I'd like to reduce them to once a week or 10 days. I'm an only child so I don't have siblings to share the responsibility. Equally it means Mum has fewer people to visit her. She has a younger sister but she has just had knee replacement surgery and can't drive for 6 weeks.

    I don't think Mum frets when I don't go, at least the care home staff haven't said anything. I sometimes wish I could set up a camera and observe how she is when I'm not there, whether she's any better or worse. But then I realise what good would that do? If she was worse so too would be my problems.

    One day at a time.
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #9 Margarita, May 3, 2008
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
    Snap :D I was thinking, wondering that also for when mum go into care home , but then I bet someone will say we just being overly concern , we be worrying so much that we won't give ourself peace of mind .

    I think about visiting is up to you, what make you feel good go for it .

    SW said to me yesterday that Mum seem, she is going to find it very hard settling in care home , because she still know her surrounding in my home .

    All that came into my imagination , o as I said to him well she won't know how to get to my house if she except, as all she knows of her surrounding feel safe is Not the house Its me Me Not the house the 4 walls we live in if you get my point, but Me . Its Me I am the Home I am the reminder of her home . felt like I was in a tunnel all I could see was Me all mum see as home is me as the reminder of mum home .
  10. Christinec

    Christinec Registered User

    Aug 8, 2007
    Dear Steve,
    Frequency of visiting - I visit Mum in NH once a week. Home 45 mins drive so visit takes 3 hours approx. Advice from Alzheimers Society was to visit as often as I would have seen her before she went in to CH. To be honest I would find it difficult to find time or energy to visit more but it would be so much easier to drop in more often if CH was closer.
    Problem is I feel so guilty at not visiting more but do hope that the home is the best for her. I know my father feels I should be there more. Brother has not seen either of them for over a year but we are not a close family. He lives a few hundred miles away.
    It does come down to what you can manage and that is going to be different for each of us.

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.