Mum reacted very badly to car home

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by JayneB6367, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. JayneB6367

    JayneB6367 Registered User

    Dec 18, 2013
    Hi All,

    We moved Mum into a care home only yesterday, really wonderful place, great carers etc but Mum has reacted so badly to it. Pacing the corridors, she has set the fire alarm of twice which opens all the doors so she or others could get out. She is so unhappy and when we popped by this morning they made it clear in the nicest possible way that she was High Risk and they were not making any promises that she could stay.

    We are at our wits end, we didn't expect her to settle immediately but this extreme behavior is so frightening. My sister and I have both gone home now (we both live 60 miles away) but I feel awful leaving her but we were not helping her at all or offering her any comfort. She was beyond that.

    I am so scared we have done the wrong thing and if it doesn't work out we have ruined the routine she had at home albeit she wasn't safe anymore and was wandering but this feel so much worse.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience of such an extreme reaction. Should we just take her home?

    I just feel desperate, this is just like a feeling of loss and grief.
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I know this is very hard for you, particularly as you are quite a distance away. I don't think taking her home will necessarily be the answer. If you felt it was time for a care home, I think it was.

    I have to ask, is your mother on any behavioural medications at all? Perhaps something for a week or two till she starts settling down? I know many people are against meds for behavioural problems but we had to deal with a physically and verbally aggressive and violent mother. We had to resort to them. In fact, my mother was on anti-psychotics for many years, as her behaviour was so challenging.

    As for your emotions, yes, you are experiencing loss and grief and it is only normal that you feel so desperate.
  3. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    What a nightmare for you all.
    Imo you have to ride out the adjustment period. You obviously felt she needed 24 hr care to move her into the home.
  4. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    So sorry you are having these problems, no guarantee that they won't continue but it really is very early days, too soon to say that things won't settle.

    My husband entered an assessment unit and for the first few weeks would not take his coat off, carried his clothes around tucked under each arm and only put them down to pick up a fire extinguisher to try to break a window. He also tried to scale the garden wall. He constantly walked around and never slept, a living nightmare was how I described it.

    We visited daily and would always find him waiting at the door. Then one day we arrived and he was not there. We were ushered to one of the lounges and there he was, no coat, no clothes under his arm and he was sitting chatting to a carer and had a cup of tea in his hand and cake at his side. From that day on there was no looking back.
  5. JayneB6367

    JayneB6367 Registered User

    Dec 18, 2013

    Thank you, that sounds like a terrible time but with an eventual good outcome. It has given me some hope. I suppose we cant expect miracles straight away.
  6. JayneB6367

    JayneB6367 Registered User

    Dec 18, 2013
    Mums on anti depressants but her carer let us down last week and forgot to give Mum her tablets so she was 4 days without them which I am sure will have unsettled her too. I will ask the Dr at the CH what they think about her medication.
  7. Mollygoose

    Mollygoose Registered User

    Dec 19, 2014
    Care home

    Hi there. Give your mum chance to settle down ! My sure she will , I put my mother in a care home for restbite whilst I was on holiday for a week ! I left her my mobile number on a big piece of cardboard so the carers could help her ring me at anytime whilst I was away ! The first three days she kept ringing saying get me out of here the others are three sheets to the wind ! Note mother has dementia and hardly ant short term memory ! But by the end of the week no phone calls ? So when I went to bring her home after my hols she had settled down and didn't want to leave the care home ! So give her chance to settle x good luck x x
  8. Tray2283

    Tray2283 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2015
    Hi there, I put my mum into respite for 2 weeks& in that time period she declined rapidly. She went in walking with a stick& came out hardly walking, couldn't hardly feed herself& was totally petrified.Also her ground& under her breasts were red raw.
    All her needs although given to the lead nurse were totally ignored& not supported.
    After 2weeks of having her home she is back to her happy self but is housebound& now walks with a frame.
    I know mum wouldn't get the care I gave her at home but I was totally shocked at the rapid decline.
    I think it must be terrifying to be in different surroundings & not all homes & carers are bad, but I dread having to put my mum in permanently

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  9. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    It is honestly VERY early days, and wandering the corridors is pretty normal behaviour for people with dementia. Is this a specialist dementia home, or a residential that takes some people with dementia? If it's a specialist, I wouldn't have thought fire alarms should be easily accessible to everyone, since people with dementia do fiddle with all sorts of things.

    Please try not to worry too much - easy to say, I know - but it does often take a while for people to settle.
  10. fizzbomb

    fizzbomb Registered User

    May 10, 2014
    I really feel for you, but your situation has similarities to mine. I live over 120 miles from my mam, and not having my own transport, can only afford to visit once a month.She was unsafe in her home, and went into an assessment unit when an when on day one of moving into a care she became aggressive and they had her placed in the assessment unit under section against our will,where she remained for 8 weeks)

    She is now in a specialist dementia nursing home,and though the first few weeks did go much better than expected,( we were over the moon at how happy she was) she is now once again showing behaviour she had before, being aggressive and crying a lot. We have no worries about the care home and the staff are really good! But she paces day and night, not sleeping, and even using somebody elses room as a toilet at night sometimes! oops! The care home and doctors are looking at her meds to see if there is anything they can do to calm her down. She was on antidepressants before she left her own house too. I am going to a care review meeting in a few days to see how things are.

    It is still very early days for your mum, and if the care home are good they will try to do what they can before making a decision on her long term placement. Please do not doubt your instincts about whether the time was right to move her into a home. You knew she was unsafe in her own house, and placing her back in an environment that is ultimately unsafe for her would be only prolonging the time till she may have to move out again. You have not done anything wrong , and the feelings you have are ones that we all go through in similar situations. I know I have, and still am doing!
    I wish you luck and hope things settle. Please let us know how things go.
  11. bailie

    bailie Registered User

    Oct 16, 2015
    my dad and alzeimers

    My dad has alzeimers he was sectioned and spent 6months on an acute assessment ward he has now moved into care home he doesnt seem to b settling ia very depressed moat of the time gets angry an frustrated I cry every time I leave him and dont know if it wil ever get easier lifes so sad now its such an awfull disease an a no win situation the 1st two times dad went away we brought him home to try again but wen hes at home he crys an wants to go to hospitalwen in care he wants to come home it just goes on an on your
  12. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Welcome to TP bailie :)
  13. Liz57

    Liz57 Registered User

    Dec 22, 2013
    Jayne, I've just come back from visiting my mum and I wanted to let you know that when she first moved into the lovely carehome she's at she was just like this. She paced the corridor, banged on doors, threatened the staff and nearly broke a window with her walking stick. I was advised not to visit for about ten days. She was like this for several days but eventually agreed to join in some of the activities during the daytime. I started to visit again and she seemed genuinely pleased to see me although she often asked how long she had to stay.

    Over the next few weeks she seemed to be OK at times but at other times she became anxious and her behaviour was a challenge, particularly in the afternoons. As the staff became used to her, they learned how to manage her behaviour and now they often spend more time with her in the afternoons as this is when she can be difficult. They accommodate her wanderings at night, making her cups of tea or pieces of toast, wrapping her in a blanket if she wants to sit up all night in the lounge and sometimes taking her for a walk along the corridors if she is unable to sit quietly at night.

    She's now been in the home for nearly six months and has settled well. It isn't a specialist home but the staff are brilliant. Today she was smiling and telling me stories about what she has done (which couldn't possibly be true - skiiing, really?!!), but to look at her, well what a difference. Gone is the troubled old lady who was scared of being alone (she never is now), unwashed and smelly and anxiously looking for her mum and dad. She is now well cared for, is gaining weight again and is happier than I've seen her for many many years. She was comforting an old lady who was unhappy when I arrived. She now seems to have a purpose in life again.

    The point is, I agonised over putting her into care. I went through months of guilt but now I realise that it was the best thing I did. I couldn't possibly look after her as well as the care home can.

    Stick with it.
  14. fizzbomb

    fizzbomb Registered User

    May 10, 2014
    Liz57, your post has really moved me. It's such a heartwarming account of how your mother is settling, and the care she is receiving sounds fantastic. I am so glad for you that she is settled, happy and not frightened. For me it was about accepting that she was too unsafe at home, and letting go enough to trust other people with her care.
  15. JayneB6367

    JayneB6367 Registered User

    Dec 18, 2013
    Just revisiting this post as it's over a week since mum went in and so many of your comments really resonate now. Liz57 you final paragraph particularly. When I was with mum on Thursday she had a bad neck and stayed in bed all day but whilst I was there someone was constantly checking on her, bought her food, drinks, meds. Washed her and stripped her bed. It's still hard to picture her there but I know realise how lost she must have been at home when we weren't there. She gets up in the night but they lead her back to bed, they calm her down. With all the best will in the world we just couldn't have given her that level of care. She does seem to have progressed into the next stage of dementia since she went in but I understand that's not unusual and maybe as subconsciously she can let herself be looked after now.

    Maybe we kidded ourselves that she was coping when she wasn't.

    Anyway as you all know you can agonise over these things over and over but as much as I feel guilty I feel relieved knowing she is safe. She stil asks to go home but without as much aggression as her first few days. She told me she had lived there for ages and that she had two homes but this is where she stayed now!

    Off to see her this afternoon and hope I find her settled
    Now on to the next nightmare, registering her POA with the bank. Why do they make these thingsso difficult! Always another hurdle isnt there!

    Happy Sundays all xx
  16. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Jayne, I am so glad that your mother is settling now :)
  17. Clemmy

    Clemmy Registered User

    Aug 14, 2015

    That was a great post, thank you.

    We have some difficult decisions about moving my aunt from care at home into a nursing care home - I am full well expecting my aunt to be difficult as she 'doesn't want to go in a home' plus that's also the way she can be sometimes with the dementia. Your post really helped as I can see that in various cases people have posted with their own family members that there are a week or 2 weeks when things can be fraught, but then there is acceptance.



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