1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. KEZH

    KEZH Registered User

    Feb 6, 2014
    My mum is 76 and is mid stage vascular dementia. We recently moved her into living assisted accommodation - her own financed flat with communial restaurant, lounge etc. She has a 3 course lunch everyday and her laundry done. Prior to this she lived in a bungalow near the Coast but wasn't able to cook for herself and was losing weight. She also complained about being lonely and was too far from the shops. She was spending £500 on taxis as she was unable to drive anymore. We tried to get her to go to clubs to meet other people but wasn't interested. So in a nutshell she was crying because she was lonely, the house too big and too far from the shops.

    Now she's crying because she hates the flat, she doesn't want to mix with the other people around her. We've suggested she cooks her own food in her flat rather than go to the restaurant as she doesn't like mixing with the other people there but she doesn't want that either. So she wants to move again. She says her Dr says there's nothin wrong eith her and that she is capable of living independently which blatantly isn't true. She has carers in twice a day to give her medication and take her to the Dr. She says she will move herself but isn't capable - she doesn't even know her address.

    How do we handle this? I visit once sometimes twice a week and my brother once a fortnight as he's 2 hours away. She's threatening to walk out. We still have to sell the bungalow so her money is all tied up.

    It's all so stressful - we can't go through yet another move...she's moved 3 times now in 7 years. We do all the hard work, viewing, solicitors, physical move Etc. and she's never happy.
  2. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014

    The problem is she will probably not be happy wherever she is. There has to be a point where she has to stay put. She has help where she is which must put your mind at ease.
    This is no help to you, I am very much aware of that. You cannot keep going through these moves tho. What the answer is I have no idea.
  3. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    Hi KEZH :)

    She's finding the world a confusing place and wants to keep moving to find peace, I expect.

    You said that the move is relatively recent, so my advice would be to keep making lots of positive noises about where she is now, and give her time to settle. If she's really set on moving then make lots of oh yes, we're looking for something closer to us, larger, next to the shops, etc.comments, whatever she thinks is lacking at the moment, but in reality do nothing. In a word, distract. Hopefully, given time and lots of reassurance, she'll settle.

    Even if she doesn't, another move is unlikely to solve anything, so I wouldn't seriously contemplate it.

    One more thing, she might be reacting by crying and complaining when she talks to you, but might in fact be a lot brighter when she's getting on with life without you there. We sometimes hear stories here about people in care being distraught when loved ones visit but who are absolutely fine once the family leave. In fact some people have stories of arriving unannounced to observe their relative having a great time, and seeing an immediate change once they show themselves. You could be the trigger for the 'I'm not happy, I want to move' loop.

    None of this is easy, and all of it is made a hundred times harder when people are in denial. But the sad fact is that your mum is no longer capable of making considered and realistic decisions so you have to make them for her. Unless you find a place that you genuinely feel would suit her better, having her stay put seems like the most sensible option.
  4. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    #4 RedLou, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
    Kezh - I have posted before on here that I think there comes a time when a carer has to accept they can make their loved one safe but they can't make them happy. The dementia sucks happiness and contentment away. Another move and she will still be miserable.
    My father also claims medical staff say there's nothing wrong with him etc. It's par for the course. I've got to the stage where I just say it's out of my hands and try to distract. It's all very trying because when you visit you want to help and brighten your loved one's life, but you will get used to receiving nothing but complaints on some visits. Other visits may be better. I've found it easier to visit with my brother, as the two of us can talk between ourselves lightly and then he picks up on the mood.

    Re: Delphie's post - I have been told my father is a lot more tranquil between visits and the nurses say he's trying to 'guilt trip' me.
  5. mancmum

    mancmum Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
    It took my father really over six months to settle with constant 1:1

    we have had experience of moving father with AD and MIL without.

    It has taken time for both of them to settle. They are both in 80s and these moves are not to be underestimated.

    My Dad had to walk to the paper shop everyday with me for 4 months before he decided he could go on his own. It took him a year to learn the name of one person. He has learned no more names, although he does have a visual memory of a few more people.

    Father does live with us so that is a bit easier. We have a memory board. When there is something we want him to learn it goes up on there. Can you put up pics and names of key staff. Is there an explanation available of why the person is there. E.g. You are staying here at xxxxx because: you are nearer to xxxxx; there are meals provided; blah blah. Can you give her positive things to think about in the future..summer fete on ....., so and so's birthday. Can you up the care to 1:1 say for a four week period to get someone to accompany her to scheme coffee mornings. Is there a lonely person in the scheme who might like to earn some extra money by acting as a 'companion'. Just some thoughts.

    In MILs sheltered housing there is a very strong ethic of the more able taking care of the less able.
  6. DawnB52

    DawnB52 Registered User

    Jul 27, 2014
    Lytham St.Annes
    What about pointing out the good things about the place she is in now, and how she can make it just the way she wants without the actual trauma of a move. but maybe giving it a fresh coat of paint, letting her look at catalogues for things she'd like, colour schemes, cushions etc, give her an Argos book or something like that.
  7. angelface

    angelface Registered User

    Oct 8, 2011
    Just keep promising to see about that move tomorrow/ next week, and never get round to it.
    When she says she will walk out, have you asked her where she is going? Point out that before she walks out, she needs a new flat, then its back to doing something about it another day:)

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