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    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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Nursing home - restriction on visiting times

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Beachlover, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Beachlover

    Beachlover Registered User

    Jun 27, 2017
    30
    Wales
    To cut a long story short my Mum had to go into a nursing home at the start of this year. She has had dementia for 20 years but she fell at the end of last year and can no longer walk. It was a difficult decision but my father is in his mid 80s and after dealing with the dementia for decades it came to the point that he felt he couldn’t cope with Mum in the family home. My dad and I looked around over 20 homes (we nearly had a breakdown with all the stress of it) and eventually she was accepted into a great home - but it was quite a distance a 1 ½ hour round trip there and back. Although the home was lovely – going there regularly would have become a problem esp if my Dad could no longer drive as there were no real bus/train services there.

    After about a month of being in this 1st home - a space became available in a home near my Dad so my Mum moved there. One thing that’s a problem though is the pressure they put on me regarding visiting. In the 1st home visiting was 24/7 – we had a code to get through the door and we were told we could visit at any time – Dad visited in the afternoons and I visited straight after work – between 6 and 7 p.m. The trouble is in this 2nd home they don’t like visitors after about 6/6.30 – which doesn’t affect my Dad but affects me as I don’t finish work until about 5.30-6 and then have to cross the city to visit Mum. In this 2nd home there’s a code pad to get in/out but only the staff have the code – so they have to manually let visitors in/out. We weren’t told this at all when we were in the process of moving mum there – nor was it in the “welcome pack” we were given. In fact no-one mentioned it until Mother’s day back in March when I went to visit Mum at about 6 p.m. (my normal time). When I phoned the manager the following day she said it was OK for me to be there after 6 p.m. as I worked full time. But when I went to see mum last Saturday the manager was there and she brought the topic up again. Tbh I’m sick of it. I keep telling them the times I finish work (I’ve even started to finish work earlier than normal so I’m not at the care home too late) and it takes me a while to cross the city to get there. When I visit Mum I try not to stay late - so I leave usually between about 6.30 and 6.45 which in my mind is a reasonable time. When the manger spoke to me on Saturday she said “Oh why don’t you come earlier on weekends” and also “If you have a day off work you can visit earlier” – but:


    a). My Dad visit my Mum in the afternoons so I don’t want to be there at the same time as mum will end up having all her visitors at once and then no-one later on

    b). I have loads of other things to do on weekends and days off as I work full time – I have to try and have some life of my own yet I now feel pressurised about going into the home as it’s more convenient for them

    I think this 2nd home has become rather “spoiled” as many of the visitors are retired or work part time so they can come in the day. I think the manager has also become slightly paranoid as, before my Mum went there, - a visitor left the home at around 6 or 6.30, found out the code and let themselves out (but also let a resident out at the same time). Obviously the police had to find the missing resident but the visitor who had done it denied doing it. I understand the manager’s concern about the same fiasco happening again but why make other visitors (and residents suffer) due to the stupidity of 1 person? I also feel offended as I’m an ex teacher and took my role seriously in looking after pupils so there’s no way I’d let a resident out (and wouldn’t let myself out either – although I don’t know the code). We moved mum to this 2nd home so we could spend more time there but, in regards to myself, I’m more restricted than before. Surely visiting between 6 and 7 p.m. isn’t too late? I also don’t know why we weren’t told of this before we moved my Mum – all other care homes seem to be more reasonable.

    Sorry it’s so long!!
     
  2. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    I don't see any problem with only the staff knowing the code for the keypad, that's fairly common and is how it works for my mother's CH for exactly the same reason - a couple of years ago a visitor accidentally let a resident out. I don't see any paranoia, it's basic safety - imagine how you'd feel if a visitor let your mother out and she was wandering around lost.

    However I can't see why the staff having to let you in would make any difference to you visiting early evening, I see those as two separate issues. My mother's CH just says you can visit at 'most times'. Some times will be more difficult than others and where possible I'd try to negotiate. In your position I'd meet them half way, so at weekends I'd go at some point during the day. But it's up to you whether this is 'a hill you want to die on', as it were.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    I could visit at any time when mum was in her care home, although I was never told the keypad code, so staff had to let me in and out.

    I wonder if the manager doesnt like you visiting then as this is often the time when the residents are sundowning and the staff are more stretched.
     
  4. Beachlover

    Beachlover Registered User

    Jun 27, 2017
    30
    Wales
    I think you may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I don't mind being let in or let out although I think the manager's reaction is knee jerk in that now everyone has to suffer. I used to be a school teacher so I don't need to be lectured about safety. My complaints is that I think visiting at 6 p.m is a perfectly reasonable time to visit a person and not to be able to visit this time is to me very extreme. I also think that this should have been told to us before we moved my Mum there. IMHO nursing homes should try and at least keep the same times as visiting in hospital. Most people work full time so "closing" so early is just awful. I visit my Mum every day (including weekends) so my weekends are sacrosanct as I have other things to do - if I visited my Mum early on satursday and Sunday I won't be able to get on with other things. I just feel bullied tbh.
     
  5. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    If you agree re the safety aspect, no problem. As I said, it's up to you whether you want to negotiate.
     
  6. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    718
    Male
    Newcastle
    #6 northumbrian_k, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    The home has to think of the welfare of all residents not just your mother. There may well be good reasons for what you have found and the point about sundowning seems very apposite. The care home daily schedule may be very different from the outside world. Finding out if there are any issues and coming to an agreement with the manager would be a positive way forward. As for security, I come from a professional background other than teaching and would not be happy if a lot of people I don't know (such as other visitors) could compromise my wife's safety by having access to the door codes to her home. I don't find ringing the door bell just as I do at a private house to be a problem. It does not always happen, but visitors should also sign in so in an emergency they are known to be in the building. Perhaps you and the manager have got off on the wrong foot and are seeing this from different perspectives. You sound stressed not bullied. A more conciliatory approach might help sort things quicker. It is better to work with the staff in the home to ensure your mother's safety and welfare.
     
  7. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    My mum works at a care home and they now have finger print access so that any old staff can’t just enter the building with a key code

    If I were you (which I’m not) I would cool off for a couple of days. Then I would ask for a meeting with the manager.
    Explain your situation again, does your Dad have a good rapport with the staff there? Maybe he could join you in talking to the manager
     
  8. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    233
    Female
    #8 Jale, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    Is it possible that your visiting time is about the time that the home starts to put residents to bed. The nursing home that mum is in start around 6.00 - 6.30? I agree with other comments too about sundowning, Mum kicks off after teatime at about 5.00

    ETA - The nursing home that Mum is in doesn't have a restricted policy - we can go any time.
     
  9. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,380
    Kent
    My dad's NH when he was there had flexible visiting regardless of sundowning, teatime etc. It is the resident's home and visitors, particularly family, should be welcome at any reasonable time and evening is certainly reasonable. When dad was unwell I would often pop in for an hour or so late evening and was always made to feel welcome. Key coded through 2 doors. In fact one night when he was very unwell I visited after midnight and again made to feel absolutely that it was OK. I would be unhappy about their inflexible attitude in terms of you visiting at a different time is in your loved ones interests and seek a meeting with the manager to discuss fully.
     
  10. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    718
    Male
    Newcastle
    It is a fair point @love.dad.but.. Where my wife resides (which as you say is now her home) asks only that mealtimes are 'protected' to preserve the dignity of all residents. I have been there when meals are served which meant only that I stayed in the lounge while the residents went to the dining room. Beyond that, I'm not aware of any restrictions, even if my wife has gone to or is still in bed.

    On his very rare visits to our house I used to suggest to my wife's son that evening was not the best time to call to see his mother as that is often when the manifestations of her disease are at their worst. I tend to heed my own advice and avoid evenings just because that is typically when she is at her most truculent.
     
  11. Jintyf

    Jintyf Registered User

    Jun 14, 2013
    46
    My mothers nursing home has no restriction on visiting times...I can go anytime 24/7. It's her home after all? I would be outraged to be 'banned' form seeing my Mum any time I wanted to.
    But the very least I would expect is the same as hospital visiting in the evening e.g 6pm to 8pm.
     
  12. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    I spoke to my mum last night who works at a NH and they have no restrictions on visiting hours however there is a common sense rule, so people only come middle of the night if someone is very ill

    I really would re speak to the manager and maybe take your dad if he gets on well with staff
     
  13. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    387
    Female
    High Peak
    I agree with you. Your mum is in a nursing home, not a prison.

    If you are turning up in party mode at random late hours, with a bunch of unruly children in tow, bothering busy staff and upsetting the residents.... they might have a point. Otherwise no - your request to see your mother at that time is completely reasonable.
     
  14. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,293
    SW London
    We always had to be 'buzzed' in and out at my mother's (dementia only) CH. Seemed v sensible to me since some visitors, esp. new ones, could be so easily fooled by a resident who presented well trying to slip out with them. In fact I saw this very nearly happen more than once, even with the 'buzz' system.

    However there were no restrictions on visiting times within reason, though since staff were all invariably very busy at mealtimes, dishing out and helping residents where needed, they did prefer you not to arrive during those times (since someone had to come to the door to let you in) though beforehand was fine. So given that you are working full time, I do think they are being unnecessarily inflexible about this. Having said that, I would keep any discussion/requests - albeit firm! - very polite, since you don't want to become known as 'that' relative.
     
  15. Pet37

    Pet37 Registered User

    Sep 12, 2018
    13
    Thee shouldn't be any restriction on what time you visit. Both my fathers care home and now his nursing home were 24/7 visiting, although I agree that a level of sense does mean most people would not visit late at night.

    I would ask the manager for an explanation of why they limit the times and ask why you were not made aware of it before agreeing to move your mum in. It is her right to have a family life and you should not be made to feel rushed in your visits. There may be a very good reason for it, but even if there is you should have been made aware of it before Mum joined them.

    I hope you get a resolution that works for you all.
     
  16. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    335
    At my mum's NH we initially had free reign accessing, leaving and inside the home whenever we want through a key code. Then after a while, a new resident's family acted beyond stupid and then the rules changed.
    We can use still use the key code within the home but we have to wait to be given access after 6pm by ringing a bell. Before 6pm, the staff in the reception area are there and the door is open for access. After 6pm the nurses/care staff have to answer the bell but they may be busy attending to someone or something at the time I want access, so may have to wait a bit before someone answers the bell.

    This may be a reason applicable your situation @Beachlover. It may be that there was free access before your mum moved in but may be someone else's actions caused the change in access since your mum moved in. Best to speak with the manager there and see why it is the way it is.
     

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