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Now in residential care but .........

Emmcee

Registered User
Dec 28, 2015
113
0
Hi there, I really appreciated everyone's advice and support when a place recently became available for my Mum. I moved her up to a lovely wee residential home last Monday and made sure to include lots of familiar bits 'n bobs. Superficially, everything has gone so much better than I had anticipated. She's interacting well with both the staff and other residents, participating in activities and telling everyone how much she likes it. Courtesy of the fact that she's well hydrated, eating well, has been given the opportunity to settle into a semi-familiar routine, being given discreet support when required and easily distracted when a bit muddled ...... in just a few short days she is actually better now than she has been for over 18 months.
As others have found, she's phoning me with a great deal of regularity - particularly after 4pm - basically to ask when she's going home. Sometimes she is easily pacified, sometimes she's tearful++ and other times she's downright rude (but only when she thinks nobody is around to hear her!)
My sister and I have held Mum's POA for over 30 years and she ensured that the wording basically gave us responsibility to make all decisions regarding Mum's health, welfare and financial affairs as and when we considered it to be appropriate - instead of relying upon two doctors to activate an AWI.
However, because she's so much better, I have absolutely no doubt that she would currently pass muster as far as capacity is concerned and I just wondered if anyone else has been in a similar situation. If she does not have an AWI and should she take herself out of the care home, can she actually be stopped?
 

thistlejak

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
112
0
Couple of things spring to mind.
Most likely your Mum is better because she is where she is and , as you say, is well hydrated, fed and in a 'safe' place. She would probably revert to how she was before admission very soon after not being there. If you were to meet MIL, who was sectioned and is on Section 117 , you would think that she would be OK at home with carers, but she is only how she is due to where she is and how she is looked after. I wouldn't worry too much about her convincing a doctor she has capacity as they would look at the whole picture. Is she really capable of taking herself out without any assistance?
You say your mum is phoning you - how is this happening?. Does she have her own mobile ? She will most probably settle if she cannot get hold of you so easily so I would suggest that the phone 'goes missing, needs mending ' or something similar.
 

Emmcee

Registered User
Dec 28, 2015
113
0
Couple of things spring to mind.
Most likely your Mum is better because she is where she is and , as you say, is well hydrated, fed and in a 'safe' place. She would probably revert to how she was before admission very soon after not being there. If you were to meet MIL, who was sectioned and is on Section 117 , you would think that she would be OK at home with carers, but she is only how she is due to where she is and how she is looked after. I wouldn't worry too much about her convincing a doctor she has capacity as they would look at the whole picture. Is she really capable of taking herself out without any assistance?
You say your mum is phoning you - how is this happening?. Does she have her own mobile ? She will most probably settle if she cannot get hold of you so easily so I would suggest that the phone 'goes missing, needs mending ' or something similar.
Hi there, Yes, you are actually quite right insofar as my Mum is an absolute disaster and most definitely unable to tend to all of her owns needs when unsupported. She also cannot cope with a formal package of care (we've tried 4 times now). The only person she consistently phones is me and, as such, I suppose it's been her lifeline. Over the years we have also used the phone as a memory prompt and a strategy that has enabled her to remain at home despite her deteriorating cognition i.e. she'd phone to find out where she was/ whenever someone visited/ when she'd paid someone using the envelope I'd left or even when her dustbin is emptied .... all of the things that she would otherwise forget. Whenever I have tried to restrict or stop its use, she has a complete meltdown, becomes extremely agitated and simply cannot cope. As such, her current behaviour isn't really any different to how we've coped for years now.... on one hand it's sustained her and enabled her to remain at home but on the other hand I've made a rod for my own back.
However, such is the law, that should Mum be professionally assessed right now, she would technically probably have legal capacity. That was my main concern should she really throw her toys out of the cot and insist on leaving.
 

Emmcee

Registered User
Dec 28, 2015
113
0
@Emmcee
I'm so happy your mum is doing well in her new residence. My mother felt out of place the whole time she was there.

Have you considered getting her an Echo Show 8 so that you can have video calls with her.
I'm sorry to hear that your Mum never really settled. Did she like the video calls? I'm unfamiliar with the Echo Show 8 but suspect that it wouldn't be compatible with Mum's wee Doro dementia friendly phone where the only blasted number she uses is mine :)) I've moved her North so she's actually only 10 minutes away and I can see her every day. (She just forgets that bit!)
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
10,731
0
Yorkshire
hi @Emmcee
I agree, a rod for your own back ... rather than video calls or any tech please consider somehow losing the mobile ... your mum needs to settle fully into life in the home rather than it being as it was when she was in her own home ... the staff are there to ensure she is supported and she needs the cahnce to build a relationship with them, even if that means she kicks off a bit if she doesn't get to phone you ... you can see her by visiting, so any phone calls are not really necessary and disturb you, when you need time for you ... sorry, bit of tough love

I very much doubt anyone would question your mum's move to and remaining in the home ... as others say, she's 'better' in that she is receiving the 24 hour care she needs; her needs are being met, but they are still needs ... well done on making that happen for her
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,515
0
Newcastle
Hi @Emmcee, I would just add that any assessment of your Mum would also take account of what the home manager and/or senior staff have to say. It is good that her quality of life has improved as a result of the care that she has been getting, but that is not the same as saying that she is 'much better'. The underlying reasons for her placement in a residential home are still there.

She needs a chance to settle in properly and will not do so if you continue to be available by telephone or (worse) other technology. The best way for you to find out how she is doing is for you to get to know the staff. It is they who can give you updates when you visit or telephone the home. It may be hard for you to do at first, but it will be better for both of you if you can break the dependency that the telephone contact continues to foster.
 
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canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,702
0
South coast
If you are worried that having no contact will make her feel abandoned, then dont worry because people with dementia lose sense of time and live increasingly in the moment. Nevertheless, something I used to do if I couldn't visit mum was to send her picture postcards with a simple message on the back. Mums carers stuck them to her wardrobe and regularly read them out to her. Mum thought I was on holiday and was happy and it gave the carers something to talk about.
 

Emmcee

Registered User
Dec 28, 2015
113
0
Thank you for your responses. In some respects, I am aware that I have been trying to take cognisance of my knowledge of my Mum as a "people pleaser", her opinions/wishes should she ever develop dementia and her desire to ensure that she would never go into Care ............ with my "Mum" that the Care Home are now seeing. It's all made me realise that I have actually learnt one heck of a lot throughout this whole process and although much of it is challenging and sad, there are also quite a few bits that make me smile....