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Residential Care

BrumUK

New member
Feb 11, 2020
2
My mother, who is 58 and has early-onset has started wandering at night recently. It had happened previously but her neighbours had managed to guide her home when it happened in the day and evening which prompted us to get door sensors fitted. Thankfully we did but the other night it happened in the early hours and by the time someone got there she was nowhere to be found, the Police eventually found her safe and well but put a referral into Social Services who have no recommended she go into a Residential Care Facility.

I just wonder if anyone else has experienced something similar, I'm so torn as to what to do for the best. I'm not local either and now I'm told I wouldn't even be able to visit a potential home because of COVID19. I, of course, want her to be safe and SS said in their opinion this is the only way they can guarantee that.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,571
N Ireland
Hello and welcome @BrumUK.

You have come to the right place for information and support. I have little doubt that you will get replies from others with similar experiences.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,934
South coast
Hello @BrumUK and welcome to DTP
My mum had to move into a care home. There were lots of reasons why it was for the best, but right at the top of the list was the fact that she was wandering out in the wee small hours dressed only in night wear. It is incredibly dangerous for the person with dementia, so the only way to keep them safe is having someone awake with them 24/7 and, practically, this means a care home which is secure and where there is always staff on duty 24/7. Door alarms may work for a while, but eventually the person with dementia will simply ignore it.

It is unfortunate that at the moment all the care homes are on lockdown. Think of this care home as being temporary until the restrictions lift and you can go around and look at others with a view to moving her if necessary. You might decide that the home your mum is in is, in fact, the best one for her. That is what happened with mum - she was placed in the care home temporarily and I didnt have any choice. Initially I didnt like it as it was old fashioned, a bit scruffy (although clean) and needed decorating. After a few weeks, though, I discovered that the care was excellent and it was exactly right for mum and her place was made permanent.

Tell yourself that she will be looked after and kept safe.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,621
Nottinghamshire
Hi @BrumUK welcome from me too.

My experience was much the same as @canary. SS placed dad in a home which I hated, it was dated and dingy and I felt that everyone else there was far worse than dad. After about 3 or 4 weeks it became clear that the staff were friendly and caring and good at their jobs. It was clean and really dad was as bad some of the other residents, worse than some, better than others I just couldn’t see it at first - it is a shock to see an EMI home the first time until you understand how they work. My dad was content there. I could’ve moved him but felt it was best to leave him there with people he’d got to know.

Your mum will be looked after and safe and hopefully settled by the time this ends.
 

BrumUK

New member
Feb 11, 2020
2
Thank you for your encouraging words and wisdom. I feel totally out of the loop and part of me knows this is for the best to keep her safe. I did explain the situation to her and she said she'd rather die than go in a home, which makes me feel so guilty. She's still relatively young and able in her lucid moments but they are becoming less frequent and coupled with wandering at night, I don't think I have any other choice. I'm waiting to hear back from SS as to what is available.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,934
South coast
Mum fought tooth and nail against going into a home, but eventually there was no alternative. She surprised me, though, by settling and, after she had settled, thrived there. She joined in the activities and made friends. She was happy and yet she had fought so hard against it.

Best not to try and explain to her as she will not be able to understand the truth. Tell her instead that she is going on holiday to a nice place where she will be waited on hand and foot! Or that the doctor wants to get her a bit bit better. My mum went from hospital, so I told her she was convalescing. Dont tell her its permanent either - just say vaguely its for a couple of weeks.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
802
Hi @BrumUK, I can concur with the experience of @Bunpoots and @canary once the wandering started it became a serious concern to my Mum's wellbeing. It was also the fact that she didn't recognise her own home in the evening when she was sundowning and was fearful that made me realise she could no longer live 'independently' i.e. with home care support. We were self-funding and I did explore 24/7 home care as the price was fairly similar but decided against it and I was pleased that I did as after couple of weeks in residential care Mum had a much richer life and was far happier and healthier (put on weight that she had lost) - taking part in activities, Church Services, spending time in her own room when she wanted and made some friends too. I really did kick myself for resisting it as Mum had always said she didn't want to go into residential care as we experienced it with Dad - with the wonderful benefit of hindsight I should have been brave and made the decision probably 3 months earlier, before the worst of the wandering and fear started, however I didn't.

However, I guess the situation at the moment makes things a lot more difficult for you. If Social Services are unable to offer residential care due to the lockdown perhaps they may offer and overnight home care package (they don't normally do that). The other alternative is perhaps a member of the family could stay with Mum through this period of time until the restrictions are lifted on Residential Care Homes?

Do you have a helpline already installed for Mum?

I hope you get something in place to help alleviate your fears - the wandering is certainly one of the most difficult things to deal with as you are always on edge.
 

MrsV

Registered User
Apr 16, 2018
169
Northamptonshire
My mother, who is 58 and has early-onset has started wandering at night recently. It had happened previously but her neighbours had managed to guide her home when it happened in the day and evening which prompted us to get door sensors fitted. Thankfully we did but the other night it happened in the early hours and by the time someone got there she was nowhere to be found, the Police eventually found her safe and well but put a referral into Social Services who have no recommended she go into a Residential Care Facility.

I just wonder if anyone else has experienced something similar, I'm so torn as to what to do for the best. I'm not local either and now I'm told I wouldn't even be able to visit a potential home because of COVID19. I, of course, want her to be safe and SS said in their opinion this is the only way they can guarantee that.
Hi BrumUK,

We are in exactly the same position. Mum 84, lives alone, Alzheimers, was admitted to a Residential care home as an emergency at the weekend. There was no other way we could guarantee Mums safety, as she had suddenly started wandering. It started off once a week, and increased to 4-5 times a day/night. We got SS involved and they found an emergency place for Mum. Due to the speed this happened we were not able to chose a home, it was wherever they had a vacant bed and due to all the care homes being on lockdown we are not allowed to go inside see the place, or visit for a good few weeks. We had to wave goodbye from the car. Very distressing, gut wrenchingly painful. Mum thought she was going away for a nice little break.

We had no choice, the minute the carers turned their back she was off, down the street or knocking on doors. We had alerted SS as soon as we knew about the wandering from neighbours and were waiting for them to get back to us. In the meantime other neighbours reported us to SS for neglecting a vulnerable person, without understanding the nature of dementia and wandering. They did us a favour really as it added weight to our situation. SS got back to us with a place for Mum.

We understand this is a temporary arrangement, it could fall under be respite care, we dont know as they didn't give us much in the way of details. We have been given a price per week, and that's about it at the moment, awaiting more info.

We know we have acted in Mums best interest, there was no other way. If you are like we were, trying to figure out a way around it and stay over etc, take turns etc, you would be only putting off the inevitable. Sad as it is. We can sleep at night now knowing the phone is not going to ring with neighbours saying Mums out in the street again. Good luck finding a place, it really is for the best.
 
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