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Refusing to go into a care home

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Ruthlee, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Ruthlee

    Ruthlee Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    My mother-in-law 'Jane' is registered blind and has increasing dementia. Her son and daughter live many miles away and carers go in 3 times a day. The neighbours also offer what support they can. However carers, neighbours, friends and family are increasingly concerned about her safety and wellbeing. Jane cannot reliably use a phone any more and doesn't know what her lifeline bracelet is for. She has been very confused about the time of day and has forgotten how to use her RNIB talking clock/calendar. Her memory span is about 5 minutes and therefore she becomes distressed that "no one has been to see me" for days/weeks etc. Jane is also becoming a bit of a problem for the neighbours, and was hospitalised recently after a nasty fall. She loved being in hospital but when she came home had forgotten how to get herself a drink, make tea etc. Jane goes to a local care home twice a week and enjoys her time there but cannot often remember she has been/is going.
    The hope was that she would gradually become accustomed to the home and would agree to go there. However she says (as she always has done) that she does not want to go 'into a home' and 'I'd rather kill myself'. Understandably the home will not take Jane against her will. We are confident though that once there she will be happy as she is gregarious and is lonely at home.
    Son and daughter have enduring power of attorney and so deal with everyday matters for her. The doctor has referred her to the Community Mental Health team.
    Has anyone had experience of a loved one refusing to go into a care home? Any responses would be most welcome.
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Hi ruthlee & welcome to Tp:)

    Could you suggest she goes into the home for a couple of weeks to recuperate & see how she likes it?
  3. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    Hello and welcome to TP. To be honest, I doubt there are many people who would go willingly into a Care home with dementia. The logic of the move would escape them, unlike somebody who could understand the need for the move and even then, I doubt if I'd ever say I actually wanted to go into a home!

    I'm sure that once the Mental Health team become involved in your MIL's life,an assessment will be carried out which will decide if such a move would benefit her and it does sound as though it would. If Social Services are involved too, they will make an assessment of her too. It does sound as though she is vulnerable.

    I haven't been involved personally in this aspect of care as my husband was moved to a Nursing home straight from hospital and we had with no option in the decision but i'm sure others wil be along soon with advice.
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Ruthlee, welcome to TP
    Could you persuade her to go for a week or 2, tell her she's going on holiday or the house needs something doing to it and she can't live there while it's being fixed?
    I'm not by nature a liar but sometimes a small deception when what you're trying to achieve is in her best interests is allowable. With luck she'll settle in and forget about her house.
    Good luck
  5. Ruthlee

    Ruthlee Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Thank you. Things have moved fast and she is there at the moment but will soon be asked if she wants to stay! And I know what she'll probably say.
  6. Ruthlee

    Ruthlee Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    It is difficult isn't it? And the decision about how 'honest' to be is very difficult. Thank you for responding.
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Has the EPA been registered? Has she lost capacity? Because if she has, her opinion can be overridden by a best interest decision, when it's clear she cannot make the best decision for herself anymore. That's also why homes generally get a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards order on their residents, because this allows them to keep them against their will. It sounds horrible, but really, if a care home is the safest option, everything possible should be done to ensure it.
  8. Ruthlee

    Ruthlee Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Thank you all who responded!

    Thank you. The assessment is to be done next week and we hope that it will be possible to gently steer her to stay in the home. I am sure that she is happy there as she loves company and is lonely at home ... but 'I never want to go into a home' seems to have almost become a mantra. We hope ...
  9. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    Sometimes I think a choice to take risks and stay at home even if not considered safe by relatives can be honoured....the mantra of a care home is the safest place resounds too often also..
  10. Ruthlee

    Ruthlee Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Thanks again!

    This is really interesting. The meeting next week is a 'best interest meeting'. Certainly the care home is now just about the only safe option and so we hope that this is decided, whatever she says although obviously it would be preferable if she decided this way for herself. Thank you
  11. Ruthlee

    Ruthlee Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    I agree ... in principle

    Thank you. Yes ... in principle I agree ... but in this instance many different people including the carers are saying 'it's time'. It's not so much her own home although she is locking herself in and out, but now the wandering etc. Certainly food for thought though ...
  12. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    Yes, I agree too, Meme.

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