Nursing homes aren't always perfect but ....

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MrsTerryN, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    773
    Mum has been in a nursing home almost 18 months now.
    It is a good nursing home. However I am learning to accept it isn't perfect but it is the best place for mum.
    For example,
    I am not always notified of mum's escapes . At one time there was one a week for quite a while.
    There was an incident in her previous section I wasn't told till approximately 10 days later.
    Her newspapers are accumulating again.
    Her clothes are not always right.
    They suggested I not visit the other week because of her delusions

    BUT mum is someone who screams and accuses and tries to leave by smashing the front door. She comes down daily to abuse the director. Mum is hard work and they deal with her. They talk lovely to her , they still, try to get her on the bus knowing she probably won't and if she does there is a good chance she will come back cranky.
    She wanders around the main foyer area and they give her jobs to do because she thinks she works there.
    They encourage her to attend the daily exercises in the dementia unit. They ensure that a staff member has lunch with her every day to encourage eating.
    I have never ever seen mum fearful there.
    My whines are just that and if mum is safe ,warm, protected and cared for then I need to go with the flow.
    I think sometimes I feel like they do it all for mum and I don't always get a say in her life. They want to do the memory book for her . Not me
    They don't want the apron I suggested for her because they state it won't suit her.
    I do accept what they say because they are the experts and mum doesn't have the same interests as before but it is actually quite difficult to not insist.
    I do know they really do consider her and what they think is best for her it is just sometimes I feel like they do all the decisions for her and the control and not me
    Btw this really is just a whinge and a vent.
     
  2. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,955
    Hi, Mum's recently moved into a very good nursing home too and I share the mixture of relief and "loss of connection" that you seem to be experiencing.
     
  3. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    Are you a bit scared of saying anything, MrsTerryN? I always ring up and ask if I can bring "whatever it is" before doing so, and always get a positive response. Anything I ask for is met with compassion whenever I call or visit.

    Is your CH a friendly environment, or are they all constantly rushed off their feet, those who work there? I find my hubby's home is run as if we're all a family. It's a beautiful atmosphere with friendly staff and great managers. I can approach whoever I wish with questions, or just to pass the time.

    I am one who tends to suss out the people and how they act/react, and work from there. Praise is often helpful. I'm told by some they don't get enough of it.

    The more we all get to know each other, the better the relationship becomes. Do keep up a good rapport with the home. It'll serve you well. Can you discuss your Mums difficulties with anyone?
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    Mum is in a lovely CH. Its a bit scruffy round the edges, but the staff are caring and helpful. Mum is settled, content and safe there, she has put on a bit of weight and made friends. There is no way I would move her.

    But its not perfect. My biggest bug-bear is the laundry. Despite all her clothes being labeled VERY clearly her clothes are often misplaced and some have been lost never to be seen again. Its annoying, but I tell myself that, in the grand scheme of things, its not that important.
     
  5. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    773
    Thank you :) I think Chuggalug it is more as AlsoConfused said "loss of connection" with mum. They really are lovely . I have rocked in before 7.00 am and after 9.30 pm . No dramas. The staff are consistent . Majority have been there more than 10 years with quite a few more than 20 and 4 more than 30.
    Maybe I am embarrassed for mum ? She was articulate intelligent traveller etc and now doubly incontinent significant speech impairment.
    Canary mum has that . They also take all her clothing even the ones which I have said I will do . Mind you with mum's weight loss shrinkage of clothes isn't a bad thing :)
     
  6. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    #6 Lindy50, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    This sums up my feeling too. Only a few months ago, I was mum's full time carer and if you like, key worker. I made all the decisions, arranged all the care, bought the food, talked to the care staff about ways of doing things......I feel I've lost most of that. And along with it, I've lost connection with mum.

    I remember reading a lot on here that when mum went to a care home, the staff would take care of the basics, and I'd have 'quality time' with her. It doesn't feel like that, though.... it's difficult to engage with her because of the dementia, and when she was still at home, everyday things like cups of tea, clean washing, use of frame etc, formed the regular conduit of what connection we had. These things were backed up and given variety by music and poetry etc. Now mum is in a care home, there is little connection with her basic care, and I find there's a limit to what positivity I can wring out of talking about what music she liked in her teens, for example, great though it is when we can get to that point.

    So MrsTerryN, you have hit the nail on the head as far as I am concerned. Sad but true.

    Love

    Lindy xx
     
  7. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,971
    Suffolk
    Agree wholeheartedly. Of all the dementia journey, I found care home was the hardest. I am prepared to admit I do not believe any care home would be exactly what I would be happy with, but loss is control over daily matters I found enormously difficult to deal with. As above, all clothes were labelled, but disappeared. His glasses went, never to be seen again, even after several searches. But still home he wore them every day.
    It was probably just as well he died when he did, cos I was ready for a big bust up! Didn't have the energy after he had died, they we lucky!!
     
  8. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    Wow; she sounds lovely. (Your Mum). I can remember the days when my hubby used to build his own motorbikes. One friend gave him a box of bits. It ended up polished and roadworthy in a matter of months. I may still have a photo of that bike somewhere.

    It's so distressing to see how this disease affects not only our loves ones, but us, as well. When I visited the other day, my hubby was wearing a sweater that isn't his; but a spare, as I was told. I took loads of clothes over there, and more since he's lived there. Never found out what happened to all the socks! Other than the clothes thing; the care overall is splendid.
     
  9. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    Oh dear, Spamar: Glasses and hearing aids. My hubby's spectacles were quickly broken, and nothing done to remedy that so far. I have been asked if he should see the visiting optometrist when they next go to the home and I said: "Yes please!" He really does need glasses to be comfy. I've been through needing cataract operations. I'm so uncomfortable without my glasses. I couldn't bear to be without them.

    I took a load of batteries in for his hearing aids, which luckily, are still in his drawer, but why is one not in use? Hopefully, because he didn't have batteries! Now rectified.
     
  10. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    #10 Lindy50, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    Just a tiny thing.....mum has always worn earrings, usually ones given to her by someone close to her. I took two pairs in, kept all the others back for obvious reasons of things disappearing. We put the earrings in and she looked great, and pleased too. The next day....no earrings, and not in drawer or anywhere I could see :(

    I haven't said anything, because losing things, especially earrings, was a cause if great distress to mum when she was at home. And she was inclined to accuse the carers of taking them, sometimes....I'm sure they never did, they always turned up eventually. I don't want to actually re-start a problem which became close to an obsession for her.

    So, I have resolved that mum doesn't wear earrings any more. I've got them all here, don't want them but can't either take them to her or give them away.

    Just a tiny example of the loss of connection with mum....we can no longer spend 30 mins sorting through earrings, promoting memories and deciding which ones to wear.....:( Not much in the great scheme of things, I know, sorry ....xx
     
  11. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,955
    It's the phone calls to my Mum that I miss, even though they were excruciating. I often feel I've vanished completely from Mum's orbit.

    That said, life is so much better now than it was for everybody (including Mum!).

    Mum's clean, relaxed, better fed and hydrated, has more fun, doesn't have to go upstairs to access the loo and no-one's annoyed with her (which is difficult to avoid while someone's spreading poo and bad smells throughout the house). Dad misses Mum acutely (daily visits aren't the same) but he's still far less drained and in pain than he was. We daughters are free from personal care tasks we found revolting and that damaged our backs.
     

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