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Putting Dad into a care home

KEA

New member
Sep 16, 2021
1
0
My sister and I have been looking after my Dad who has alzheimer's for the last 18 months because of lock-down. We've now decided that it is not safe for him to be at home so he will be going into a care-home next week. The problem is, we just don't know what to say or how to tell him, we've spoken in the past and he has been adamant that he is not going into a home. He has lived in his house for 41 years and loves it here. We did have carers live in with him before the pandemic but his dementia has got worse and the carers would not be able to cope with him. How have other people dealt with it, or talked about it with their loved one, because I know if I told him the truth he will kick off and won't go. I am feeling so guilty and stressed and really don't know what to do for the best. Do we say, he is going on holiday for a bit a stretch the truth to say that he is going into a nursing hotel. It is just so difficult.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,685
0
Hi @KEA and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. This is a very friendly and supportive place and you'll get lots of help and advice here.
Moving a loved one into care is something that quite a few of us have done. Using the search bar brings up a lot of threads on the topic
https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/search/231895/?q=moving+into+care&o=relevance that you might find useful to read through.
What a lot of people have done have firmly placed the blame elsewhere, so the GP says they need to go to the convalescent home to build up their strength, or a problem has been found with the heating which means moving out for a while until it's fixed. These are called love lies round here and they do help. Telling your dad the truth will only upset him and you may find it very hard to get him there. I told my mum she was staying near me for a while as the flat she wanted to buy near my brother's wasn't ready yet. All sort of the truth, except we had no intention of her buying a new flat that she wouldn't have been able to manage.
My mother-in-law recently moved into care after years of the family trying to keep her at home. She too loved her house, but no longer recognised it, and her needs were beyond what the carers could manage. The home were really good at setting up her room so it was as near her old one as possible. They also took on board her usual routines. So for instance as soon as she arrived she was offered an earl grey tea. Can you liaise with the nursing home to ensure that things appear fairly seamless between home and care?
This is a very hard thing to do, so don't beat yourself up if things don't go perfectly. You know you are doing the right thing so your dad gets the care he needs.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,593
0
We had a similar problem with my mother in law . She lived on her own with carers but the situation became untenable. She point blank refused to go into care and wouldn't leave her home even just to visit us. My husband recognised she should be in care but was unwilling to dupe her out of her house. So we waited for a crisis and eventually she went into hospital. Once there we organised a care home and she went straight to the home from hospital. We kept telling her that her legs were too bad and she needed to recuperate and get stronger before she went home. The reality was she was never going back home.
 

liz9

New member
Sep 22, 2021
8
0
My dads dementia worsened dramatically following pneumonia and he was discharged from hospital into a care home. I told him that he had to go somewhere for convalescence and that he was still unwell. He has accepted that but still asks me to come and get him as he says he doesn't like it there. Or he asks can I get him moved to somewhere else. There is no easy answer because I think that whatever you tell someone they will at some point ask if they can leave. My Dad asked me today if I could come and get him and I had to say you are not well enough to leave the hospital yet Dad. He then asked me when will I be well enough? It is such a difficult situation and so stressful.
 

liz9

New member
Sep 22, 2021
8
0
I am currently trying to find a good care home as the one he is in is not good. Do people have any views on care homes that have dementia floors or wings. It just seems a bit like segregation to me. And I don't know whether within the wings they separate out dementia residents in levels of need. ie. mild, moderate, advanced. Does anyone know?
 

ClaireeW

Registered User
Sep 22, 2021
21
0
This is a current problem for me too liz9. I am looking for my Mum's first placement. During the day, she is not too bad, and could in all probability chat away with people in a standard care home. But at night, her dementia worsens dramatically, and she doesn't recognise her own home, and accuses me of making her move away from her original house (I didn't! She moved 25 years ago to be nearer the family when Dad died). I went to see a care home with a dementia unit on site, but the majority of folk there were in wheelchairs, being fed. I guess units vary hugely and you'd only get the feel for a place by going. I'd like to think that perhaps for the more "able" dementia residents, they could mix with the other residents not affected by dementia, but do worry hugely about the element of "segregation". There are certainly a number of care homes here that have either a unit, a floor, or what's called a "community" such as Memory Lane. But like you, I don't know if their residents are mixed in terms of their dementia stage, or all together. I do know however that many dementia communities cannot cope when their residents develop what is termed "challenging" behaviour, and a specialist unit then needs to be found.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
3,077
0
Dorset
The problem is that however “good” your person with dementia is when they enter any care facility, they are going to deteriorate and end up the same or similar to the other residents and I’m not sure that being moved from unit to unit would be a good idea, although I know some posters here have family for whom it has worked out well.
 

liz9

New member
Sep 22, 2021
8
0
Yes I can see that is a valid point that my Dad will get worse - but nobody knows how long that will take and he could stay at his current level for a number of years. I would say he is at the top of the mild stage and bottom of the moderate stage. I have read that the moderate stage is usually the longest stage. Also it just worries me as my Dad doesn't wander how he would deal with other residents wandering up and down outside his room and sometimes even wandering into his room. Somebody did say to me that the dementia patients are separated from those without dementia because the residents who don't have dementia get annoyed by dementia residents! Last night I googled separate wings for dementia patients - are they a good idea - lots of information about human rights of people with dementia came up as the dementia units were viewed as segregation and even that the care homes liked dementia units because it was easier to make sure no one 'escaped'. The other thing that worries me is how often do residents with dementia go out into the garden areas if they are on a dementia floor which is several floors up from the garden area? If someone is in a more traditional care home then maybe they get more access to the garden. Those more traditional care homes should still be able to deal with dementia residents as the disease advances. I don't know I just don't seem to like the idea of dementia wings or floors. Need to reflect on it all a bit more and agree with ClaireeW that the best way is to go and look at a few and see the reality.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,593
0
Yes I can see that is a valid point that my Dad will get worse - but nobody knows how long that will take and he could stay at his current level for a number of years. I would say he is at the top of the mild stage and bottom of the moderate stage. I have read that the moderate stage is usually the longest stage. Also it just worries me as my Dad doesn't wander how he would deal with other residents wandering up and down outside his room and sometimes even wandering into his room. Somebody did say to me that the dementia patients are separated from those without dementia because the residents who don't have dementia get annoyed by dementia residents! Last night I googled separate wings for dementia patients - are they a good idea - lots of information about human rights of people with dementia came up as the dementia units were viewed as segregation and even that the care homes liked dementia units because it was easier to make sure no one 'escaped'. The other thing that worries me is how often do residents with dementia go out into the garden areas if they are on a dementia floor which is several floors up from the garden area? If someone is in a more traditional care home then maybe they get more access to the garden. Those more traditional care homes should still be able to deal with dementia residents as the disease advances. I don't know I just don't seem to like the idea of dementia wings or floors. Need to reflect on it all a bit more and agree with ClaireeW that the best way is to go and look at a few and see the reality.
The problem is that traditional care homes just can't deal with dementia as it advances. When we looked at care homes for my mother in law, many homes said that they would only take early stages and challenging behaviour wasn't within their training and capabilities. My mother in law was completely immobile but we chose a secure dementia unit within a care home, not because she was wandering, but because of the experienced staff being able to deal with aggression and getting her personal hygiene sorted out. She was on the first floor which had a garden terrace but frankly it wouldn't have made any difference where she was ,she wasn't aware of her surroundings anyway by the time she became a resident
 

ClaireeW

Registered User
Sep 22, 2021
21
0
It seems that locally here, care home websites state "mild" or "mild to moderate" dementia, with the implication that if condition deteriorates, the resident's family would then be expected to find a new placement. Such a worry
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,685
0
We recently viewed a few homes with both my mother and mother in law in mind. We were moving my mother from where we used to live to our new town, and MiL was moving into care as she could no longer be cared for at home.
On the face of it they sound very similar. They are both 93, and both have advanced dementia. However though they got on well when they were both well they have very different personalities and that is still the case. Homes that would suit my mother would have not be good for MiL and vice versa.
They are now in very different homes. Mum's has separate floors, though residents mix (or at least did pre covid) for activities. MiL's in very small and though it can manage MiL who has never really lost her empathy and is usually a very quiet and amenable person, my much more feisty mother would not have been accepted there.
I think you just need to visit a few homes and ask what behaviour is not acceptable. Don't worry about residents seeming more advanced than you loved one. At least it shows the home can cope as things progress, and often we think our PWD is more capable than they actually are.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,702
0
South coast
It seems that locally here, care home websites state "mild" or "mild to moderate" dementia, with the implication that if condition deteriorates, the resident's family would then be expected to find a new placement. Such a worry
You are quite right, that is exactly what would be expected.

My mum was in a care home that was entirely dedicated to dementia residents. The decor was old fashioned and a bit scruffy but it was clean and (most importantly) the care was wonderful. There was a garden there that residents could use, but actually they very seldom wanted to. The different stages of dementia were not segregated and everyone just seemed to find their own level. Mum did not seem concerned by having people with advanced dementia around. The care home was able to look after mum right up to the end and she passed away tended by people she knew and who loved her.
BTW, in most dementia homes, the ones who need feeding are usually fed at a different time to the rest of the residents. It is worth going at different times of the day to get a true idea of what the home is like.
 

liz9

New member
Sep 22, 2021
8
0
Hi canary, that sounds just like the sort of care home I would like to find. I have looked at about half a dozen, there was one which I liked and then when I asked about visiting it was half hour once a week - so I crossed that one off the list. There is one I have been talking to the manager and it has a separate dementia wing so I need to go and look at that one. The websites just don't give a realistic picture. Its such a stressful process to put a relative in a care home and I just feel overwhelmed by all the emotions and then on top trying to be practical and go and view care homes.
 

liz9

New member
Sep 22, 2021
8
0
And thanks Sarasa - you are right to remind me that the personality must be a good match with the care home too.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
5,130
0
Essex
And thanks Sarasa - you are right to remind me that the personality must be a good match with the care home too.
Look at how the staff interact with the residents and ask about activities etc. Dad's home was small but just right for him.

MaNaAk