Residential home - no one's like Mum

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Libby*, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Libby*

    Libby* Registered User

    Jul 9, 2016
    11
    Hello. Oh that sounds very upsetting for you and not pleasant for your husband either. I am new to all this so I don't think I can advise you but I do think that it doesn't seem right that you should be washing your husband and changing his sheets. But I can certainly see why you did do this today. I have also showered my Mum when she looked like she hadn't had her hair washed for days and I felt better myself for doing something for her but was also thinking that I shouldn't have to shower her! I guess you will have to keep note over the next week or so and re-address it with the home manager if it doesn't seem acceptable. Really hope today was a one off situation for you both.
     
  2. whatproblem

    whatproblem Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    29
    Male
    Hi Libby, and thank you for starting this thread. My Mum is similar to yours, and she's been in her care home for 3 days now. It's a good place but my feelings about it go up and down like a yo-yo. Sometimes Mum seems too mentally sharp and physically fit to be there (she's 78, has an acid tongue and can run up stairs), which makes me worry that she will look down on the other residents and not relate to them. At other times her memory loss makes her quite helpless. She has however befriended one lady who is at a similar level, so there is hope.

    I guess a care home will never be like a family home, but it's not your fault that your Mum has this disease. And you can't expect her to be happy all the time, as she is ill even when she doesn't look it. No care home, however good, can change that.
     
  3. Libby*

    Libby* Registered User

    Jul 9, 2016
    11
    It is really interesting and in and reassuring to hear so many similar stories - obviously not reassuring in a good way but helps to know that we are not in a totally unique situation. Your description of your Mum (acid tongue) did make me laugh a little! I hope your Mum settles in well and that's really good she has found a lady to converse with. We were the same as you went Mum went in - my head and heart hurt but has got easier and I hope it does for you too. I just seem to have returned to my original reservation that Mum is more aware of what's going on than others and does not have anyone similar to socialise with.
     
  4. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    Oh, I'd say this is not good enough at all, @Diannie :mad: Personal care is indeed their job, as is changing the sheets!! Now I accept that any home can have a difficult day.....but I'd have a serious word with the manager, and if not satisfied by what I heard, I'd be thinking about making a move....
    Wishing you all the best.
    Lindy xx
     
  5. Diannie

    Diannie Registered User

    Jun 2, 2015
    157
    Thank you, Lindy. Yes I will speak to the Manager tomorrow. He seems very approachable. I don’t want to make things worse for my husband when I am not there
     
  6. whatproblem

    whatproblem Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    29
    Male
    I visited Mum today and she whispered in my ear, "This is a madhouse!" I could see what she meant - one woman at the same dinner table was shouting rudely at the carer for service, another one was muttering to herself and the third one (the one who I believe is Mum's friend) was silent. Mum on the other hand was talking to me like a normal person. That scene depressed me and I feared I had put her in the wrong place. However, I don't know how the other residents behave when their relatives visit - perhaps they all perk up as my Mum did. The carers tell me that Mum does sometimes chat to the others, but I haven't yet seen this for myself.

    I do know that it's very difficult to hold a conversation with Mum because of her short attention span, so the other residents probably find her as difficult as she finds them. It's terribly sad, but maybe this is the best that I can expect for her. The perfect home would have Mum as the only PWD, with all the the other rooms occupied by actors paid to keep her company and put up with her frequent repetition.

    One consolation is that, given her broken memory, Mum probably forgets the bad experiences so that each day is like a new beginning. I'll find out over the next few weeks whether she gets more discontented or gets used to the place. It's also possible that I'm worrying too much and it's me that needs to do the adjusting.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,865
    Female
    South coast
    Oh I recognise that - mum used to say that too, but she was generally happy in her care home. I used to think that it was her way of asking to go out. When we got back again she was perfectly happy to back in again and would would hug the carers.

    Theres just no rhyme nor reason with dementia
     
  8. whatproblem

    whatproblem Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    29
    Male
    Ah, that's very reassuring, thanks. So far she's made more positive comments than negative ones, and seems to like the carers and the facilities. If I can take her out for a walk now and then it might cheer her up. I've not had time to do that yet as I've been so busy sewing on name labels, ferrying her belongings around, contacting people about her address change ... the To Do list just keeps getting longer!
     
  9. Norfolk Cherry

    Norfolk Cherry Registered User

    Feb 17, 2018
    287
    Female
    Hi all, @whatproblem and Lindy, I'm in the same situation with mum, in some ways can seem much more aware and articulate than other residents, but at times completely lost, can't remember seeing me before, doesn't know where her room is etc. Tells me "They lock you in here, we are not allowed out" and the carers don't tell her the truth! "None of the people here make much sense!"
    After three weeks I feel drained and exhausted by it all! The guilt and failure to find a resolution that works for all of us is so draining. Wish our mums were together.
     
  10. whatproblem

    whatproblem Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    29
    Male
    Sorry to hear that you're finding it difficult, Cherry. I console myself with the thought that I've considered all the alternatives and this is the only possible solution. What do the carers say about your Mum? Ours are kind and helpful but they don't think her difficulties are unusual. I look forward to having a proper chat with one of them instead of the quick conversations in corridors that I usually get. I think they are due to do a proper assessment after the first week or two.
     
  11. Norfolk Cherry

    Norfolk Cherry Registered User

    Feb 17, 2018
    287
    Female
    Yes I agree about only possible solution. Carers and manager all talk to me and very reassuring after one incident where mum smashed her TV with her walking stick??!! Utterly shocked, sounds like a different person but it was her! They said they had people who had been much more agitated, they think she will settle with time, some take longer than others. Maybe worth phoning and arranging a chat with the manager? Mine said she was there to help me as much as my mum, which was really nice. They have years of experience of such a range of people which we don't have I guess. Nice to chat, good luck with your mum's assessment
     
  12. Platinum

    Platinum Registered User

    Nov 7, 2017
    65
    Female
    South east
    The residential home my OH is in is dementia registered and has a CQC “Good” assessment for all categories. I do have some experience of homes and dementia registered had to be a basic requirement. What do we think of CQC reports in general? This home has capacity for 57 and they encourage activities. It is a nice place, with views of meadowland with the canal and barges in the background. I agree this does influence one’s choice but he does get more visitors because of it. Residents are very visible as they are encouraged to use the lounges rather than stay in their rooms. They also try and group residents in several areas and the dining room means they have meals together. Food is freshly prepared. I agree he may well have been hosting at his hospital assessment but the manager had the benefit of the hospital notes and is experienced in dementia care. The experience in this home is now of three weeks’ duration. If he refuses personal care the carers do go back repeatedly until he agrees (I have questioned this) but it may not be until the afternoon and after I have visited. He can be physically aggressive in refusal which is an issue for the manager as he has a duty of care to his employees. The catheter makes his personal care so much more difficult and he has already been treated for a UTI since his admission - this is about the 4th since January and the catheter has been pulled out twice. It would be the same anywhere and it is a real problem. Only one other resident has a catheter and I can see he is much more compliant than my chap. I think the ratio of carers to residents is variable but sufficient and they are very visible. We would all like 1:1, after all before admission that’s what they got only it was us providing that care and it’s unfortunately and very sadly unsustainable in the long term. It is a pity that the same carer cannot do his personal care in the home as this would build up rapport. I can also see why I should leave it to them for the same reason. They say have good access to the local GPs and community nurses. And it’s is a 10 minute drive from home meaning daily visits are possible at different times of the day. I wonder also if frequent visits unsettle the PWD but do they remember them in any case? I certainly remember them and feel guilty after every visit. It’s why I do all the washing and make sure he is always well dressed - it’s a form of control I suppose.

    My question here is how long does it take for a PWD to settle? I know everyone is different but what is the experience of others? I am always aware that the home may decide he’s not a good “fit” and ask me to move him. I have looked at other places but my overwhelming feeling is to bring him home and reinstate carers. It was awful and restricting before and we got into trouble - it’s a dilemma that many have faced I’m sure.

    As always details of other experiences are very helpful. Thank you.
     
  13. Diannie

    Diannie Registered User

    Jun 2, 2015
    157
    Platinum. Your situation is very like mine. I feel so much more stressed than when my husband was at home.although physically it was draining the anguish I feel now doesn’t seem worth me having him there. I spoke to the manager on Monday (re my earlier post above). He told me when they did his initial assessment they didn’t realise how mobile he was. Though he doesn’t try to escape. He actually said it was a pity he didn’t like to sit in one place for very long and felt I should look for a more dementia friendly place with more staff. I wish he could have said this at the start as I’ve had the depressing job of looking at other homes. None of which inspired much confidence. The heartbreaking thing is my OH told me again yesterday “it’s nice here. I like it”. How can I be sure the next place won’t say the same after a while. Especially after the upheaval of moving him and settling him in again.
     
  14. Platinum

    Platinum Registered User

    Nov 7, 2017
    65
    Female
    South east
    I’m sorry. It’s so hard. How long has he been there? It’s never going to be perfect and they will never care as much as we do. I think it’s unfair to say they didn’t know he was so mobile and things change in any case. It’s unreasonable to say he should sit still especially as he’s not heading for the exit. My OH is more mobile now whereas at home there was less room to wander about but they seem to encourage it. He did have a DoLS in hospital and this is in place in the residential home. I would love it if my chap said he liked it. Hang in there for the time being is my advice. I agree looking for somewhere else is so daunting.
     

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