nursing home - how do we convince mum ?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by mollieblue, May 24, 2007.

  1. mollieblue

    mollieblue Registered User

    May 16, 2007
    Hi all, i've a question. My mum is at that difficult in between stage. Not really bad but not great either. She has vascular dementia and her weight has plummeted, her personal hygiene has gone, everything you try to do for her theres a row. Like today there was at least 10mins of an arguement before she'd let me wash her hair, which hadn't been done for at least 5 days!

    At present she lives with my brother but he's getting married soon and my new sister in law has two daughters (12 and 6). Starting married life with two kids is going to be a big change and mum is becoming more and more difficult. my brothers at work all day and i live 25miles away and work too so mums on her own for long periods. she refuses to go to day centres and is constantly out walking and buying the same things in the shop over and over - it's almost like OCD.

    My brother and I feel it would be best for mum to live in a fold of some sort and her case worker has been asked about this but how do we persuade mum that this is a good thing and that we're not just throwing her out of her house! We obviously only want her to be watched over and have company but any time we do mention it she starts telling people that "he (my brother) want to put me in a home but i'm not going"

    She also has it in her head that she can child mind the girls while my brother and their mum are at work. obviously this is out of the question !! :eek:

    Any advice?
    Ann x
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Ann,
    Dont mean to be negative, but I would be surprised if you were able to persuade your mum that it was a good idea. My mum suffered with vascular dementia too - we couldnt persuade her to go to the daycare centre, until she was too ill to realise.

    I think that you and your brother may have to make the decision, and act on it. If your brother and his wife do not wish to continue to care for your mum (and I quite understand that decision, your brothers priority must now be his wife and step children) then together you need to arrange how mum is to be cared for.

    I dont envy you.
    Love Helen
  3. mollieblue

    mollieblue Registered User

    May 16, 2007
    Thanks Helen, I know we have to do it for all our sakes but it upsets her so much and I hate her thinking that we don't care about her and love her but we can't keep a close enough watch on her and it would definitely give us more peace of mind .
    Ann :(
  4. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Ann

    This is a difficult one, mum sees things changing around her, and no doubt she is very frightened about how she fits into the new family, and this could well be a reason why she is being more difficult. She wants to feel useful, and therefore secure a place for herself with your brother by saying she will look after the children, in her mind, I'm sure she thinks she will do a good job.

    It could well be that she is also refusing the day centre, because if she is anything like my mum at that stage, it was admitting something was wrong if she goes.

    Personal hygiene, we went through this also, and to a degree still are. Mum is now terrified of water on her body, (this is something that I have read about, and is not uncommon). We gave up having battles about it when mum was still living at home, it really wasn't worth the upset it caused her in the wider scheme of things. I took to washing her face and hands, (and other bits) if she was in the right frame of mind simply by using a face cloth, it seemed to be less traumatic for her. I would wash my own face and hands first, then say, "your turn", it seemed to work.............sometimes!!:eek: If it didnt work, I simply left well alone for another time, better a wiffy mum than an upset one!!:eek:

    Strangly though since mum moved to the NH (which has a hairdressers), she is fine with the back wash and now enjoys having her hair done, maybe this would work for your mum.

    Shopping for the same things, my goodness, when we moved her out of her home to the NH we found more Kleenex and Andrex than they have in Tesco!! We knew she was doing it, but as there is no reasoning, I got to the stage, why bother saying anything, if it makes her happy.

    I know its so very hard, but maybe if you and your brother take a step back a bit, try not to pull her up on things, forget the washing/showering for a while and just let her see that things will carry on as normal, you may well find things settle, even if its only in the short term.

    Also you may well find that she will be more willing to move once she sees its for her benefit, and not that she is being pushed out, it just could be one of timing.

    I'm sure, like me, it is so very hard not to want to make mum look pretty by having her hair done, changing clothes. I used to battle with myself not to say 'no thats not right, dont you remember this is how it is' etc etc., trust me it took a lot of lip biting to get to that stage, but I came to realise that I was robbing her of dignity by correcting her, and making her feel stupid. When all's said and done, in the great scheme of things, it just doesnt matter. Things are not going to get any easier, better to go with the flow.

  5. mollieblue

    mollieblue Registered User

    May 16, 2007
    Thanks Kate,
    Its helpful in a strange way to know that the same things you are going through have been felt by others, as time goes on I am finding that I do let some things go and try to say things with a softer tone to my voice, the white lies are increasing too as i just make her meals after she specifically says shes not hungry and then tell her she wanted them and watch her eat it all! I also find I secretly raid her food cupboards and throw out things which have gone out of date - thankfully she never notices!

    We were up visiting my dads sister today and thats how the fold conversation came up. She did seem to come around to the idea of the company and security aspects at the time but sure this thought is only fleating and 30mins later she's back to refusing to talk about it!

    I do understand that she must feel like we're just wanting rid of her and abandoning her and i feel so bad that she thinks this. I just wish we could reassure her better, but i guess there's no real way to do that. :(

  6. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Ann,
    As a TPer with a Mum in a home, I think you will be wise to find accommodation for her.

    I remarried when my children were 12 and 13 so I also have an understanding of entering a new marriage with teenage children. Believe me! That is QUITE hard enough without taking on a MIL with dementia!!! This may sound harsh and uncaring of your Mum, but it is not meant to be. Your brother and his new wife and family deserve a chance at happiness and I cannot see how they will be able to adjust all their lives AND take care of your Mum. The older child is at a "difficult" age, and even if they both get on well with your brother, they may have difficulty adapting to living with him. Likewise he is inheriting a ready made family, and with the best will in the world, this is HARD WORK!! My darling husband was wonderful with my children, but it was not easy for any of us.

    As for your Mum, the changes in the household are likely to be very disturbing. Whilst she may appear to understand (and even to welcome) your brother's marriage, the reality is that much will change. Changes are very hard on dementia sufferers, so she may be increasingly unhappy even at home. :(

    It seems that now is the time to have her move - even though it is heartbreaking for all of you to see how upset she is by the thought. It might comfort you to know that many TPers have posted about the same situation and have been agreeably surprised that their loved one has settled in the home, often quite quickly and easily, despite their determined efforts prior to the move to NEVER "go into a home"!!

    I really, really feel for you as I know others on this forum do. We all want our loved ones to be happy and to realise we are doing what is best for them. It is SO hard when they are resistant or resentful.

    Try to think about how your Mum would have been before she had this illness. Probably she would have clearly realised that your brother and his new family deserve time alone to start their new life together. I'm guessing your "old" Mum would not have hesitated to make choices that gave him (and them) that chance. Now she can no longer make such choices herself, so you and your brother need to make them for her. Hard to do, but probably necessary in the end.

    Thinking of you and sending you the most caring of wishes.
  7. mollieblue

    mollieblue Registered User

    May 16, 2007
    Thanks Nell,
    It means a lot that you all empathise. I had a conversation with mum about nursing homes a few years ago when she was more herself and she said she didn't want to be a burden to either of us and that she would want to be placed in a home.Obviously that was then and this is now so we will have to see how things play out!:)
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #8 Margarita, May 25, 2007
    Last edited: May 25, 2007
    Oh how I remember those days when mum would not want bath or even wash herself down in the sink , or when she did she would not do it properly .

    So I had to get her in the bath , then when I use to wash her hair and the water run down her face she scream , then I read up that they get a fear of water , they perception in how they perceive thing get distorted , so they think they are drowning.

    then mum perception got all confused getting in out of bath she could not lift herself out of the bath , that she got scared to get in a bath so I had to have the bath removed and a shower unit put in .

    then another stage

    My mother would also would not go to day-center , I got her to go at the end ,
    I sat my mother down , she new how much purser she was putting me under , but she could not help it I new , she was not stupid she just say I wish I did not come to live with you why did you let me live with you ( I could of gone a a guilt trip but did not ) So I just said I needed time out for myself , it was not heathy that the two of us are together all the time for ether of us yes with the tone of my voice she new she had to go and she did.

    Yes I am only human , I let myself drop and do not assert myself over my mother . when I do assert myself over my mother I find I can cope better with my mother living with me
  9. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    The thing you should keep foremost in your mind is that when your mother was well, she said she did not want to be a burden to her children and should go to a home when the time came. Yes, things have changed drastically now and she wouldn't say the same, BUT that is the disease talking.

    What you should focus on now is having your mother in a safe and secure environment. Your brother has done what he can but with a new family he will need to have his own space. Taking care of someone with dementia can put a great strain on an established relationship, never mind a brand new marriage.

    You are not abandoning her. If you were, you would do it blithely without any qualms about hurting your mother's feeling.

    Please remember it's the dementia, not your mother, speaking.

  10. mollieblue

    mollieblue Registered User

    May 16, 2007
    Thanks everone for your advice. keep you collective fingers crossed as we head into this.

    I'm just back from a week in gran canaria and i've never been so chilled out!. am heading down tomorrow to see mum and it's her 70th birthday on saturday so her brothers and dads sisters and their families are coming for a bbq to my house to celebrate. I asked mum before hand and she seemed to like the idea so hopefully it'll be a good afternoon.

    we'd done a big surprise party for her 60th (before she was ill) and she loved it! Fancy cake with a picture on it from when she was 16 party games for the kids and I did a whole scrapbook of old family photos (some of which she'd never seen).All done out like "this is your life" and a slide show of old move footage from when she was young, her wedding day, when we were small!! it was a great day!

    fingers crossed sat will be good too!

    ann x:D
  11. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Ann, my fingers are crossed for you too! Hope you have a WONDERFUL day!!

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