Settling into care home

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by shark2, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. shark2

    shark2 Registered User

    Aug 22, 2012
    n ireland
    #1 shark2, Apr 15, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
    My mum was transferred from hospital yesterday to care home . They advised me not to visit but I couldn't settle myself because I thought she would be worried that I didn't know where she was.

    Spoke to manager and she said to come up to put my mind at rest. What a mistake that was . As soon as she saw me she started shouting for me to take her home. Blamed me for putting her in it . Tried to change subject but she was having none of it. It was heartbreaking and I was so tempted to put her in the car .

    Had to tell her I was going upstairs to fetch her clothes to get out. Hubby phoned last night so she was upset but they got her up to bed. I've spoken to manager today and she's being very honest . said my mum doesn't look happy but she's eating and if staff speak to her she will chat back. One if the workers took her to weigh her and gave her a hug and apparently my mum hugged her back. She's still saying she wants home.

    I've said I won't go until Saturday but it's killing me to think she's in it frightened , unhappy and all alone will it get better?
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    My mum is in a care home and now settled, but the first couple of weeks were difficult. It usually takes someone at least a couple of weeks to settle into a home, but they usually do eventually. The fact that she is eating and hugged one of the care workers is a good sign.
    Seeing a relative is often the trigger for demands to go home, so that is why the home advised you to leave it a few days before visiting. Tell yourself that she is safe, warm, eating and has people to chat to. Sit it out - Im sure it will get better
  3. shark2

    shark2 Registered User

    Aug 22, 2012
    n ireland
    Thanks Canary. I just hate seeing her so unhappy and I feel so bad not going to see her. It's awful
  4. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    You must be patient. I didnt go to see my mum for 2 weeks when she first went in so as not to confuse her. Your mum is safe and being looked after but I know how difficult it is to let go of a loved one. I wanted to go every day but it was in her best interest for me not to go. When I first started visiting she wouldn't talk to me and was very sulky although all the staff said how happy she was. It took great strength to leave her there but now we are in a much better place. It will get better.
  5. Carrie Anne

    Carrie Anne Registered User

    Sep 7, 2011
    My mum has been in her care home since the beginning of January. She was completely thrown and couldn't make any sense of the new situation. For the first few days she thought she was in a hotel and I was staying there too. She was very unsettled at night and on several occasions disturbed the other residents, waking them up and being quite aggressive, purely I'm sure because she was frightened. She found the other residents a bit scary.

    For about a month she was angry with me for 'dumping' her there, to make sense of it in her mind the place had now turned into a mental hospital.I made sure I wasn't alone with her in her room or she would use the opportunity to really get angry and say very hurtful things. I was worried I had made a mistake and started looking into other care options.

    Three months on though she seems to be settling and I can't imagine her finding anywhere better. She is helping another resident who is often distressed and she listens to this lady in a very sympathetic way. She eats very well and has put on weight. She joins in the activities and goes on the trips organised every week. I have seen her chatting to the staff and laughing.

    I have taken her out for tea and cake and she went back to the home very happily. Her life is very much richer than it was. She is relaxed, but usually gets a bit emotional when I leave. But I think it will probably always be that way.

    I agree that however hard it feels, and it is a dreadful period of time for her and you, be patient and things will probably start to fall into place.
  6. shark2

    shark2 Registered User

    Aug 22, 2012
    n ireland
    I really hope so. Its so hard not to go. Its like letting your child go to his first sleepover or school trip. You don't know what's going on and your mum is at the mercy of others so to speak

    I just pray it gets better.
  7. Girlonthehill

    Girlonthehill Registered User

    Jan 1, 2015
    We had to put mum in a home on Sunday.she has been getting more and more aggressive towards my father. And living in a completely different world. He finally agreed to look at homes and we had chosen the one we preferred but they had no rooms. Last Sunday morning the care home rang to say they had a room and while I was talking to them my other phone rang and it was the paramedics saying they were with my dad who had had a stroke.
    It just was not possible for mum to stay at home on her own so I rang the care home who took her straight in.
    Following all the great advice on here I told her we were going out for a drive, we got to the home and said we were stopping for a cup of tea. They took us in to the conservatory, gave us tea and after an hour I told mum that she had to stay for a while and we were going to see dad in hospital. She was fine with that but I sobbed as I left.
    The first 3 nights and days she was very distressed, wandering all night but last night she got ready for bed by herself and slept all night long.

    She is still asking about us, she remembers that dad is in hospital and at 2pm every day ( hospital visiting times) she wants to go and see him! How bizarre that she remembered that!
    The home said stay away for 2 weeks and I am doing that but it is hard.
    Dad came home from hospital yesterday and although he realises it was for the best he gets really upset and is on his own after 66 years of marriage.
    Old age is a *******!
  8. Jenga

    Jenga Registered User

    Mar 27, 2015
    I am so glad I have registered to this site! Reading all the comments is helping heaps. There are so many similar situations out there. My Dad was admitted to hospital on 29th November and just like girlonthehill I had to get my mum in a care home asap as she had really bad memory problems ( she had not been diagnosed yet) after 3 1/2 months my dad came home in a wheelchair having had a high leg amputation and we had to adapt the home for his life in a wheelchair, because he was being re- baked back into home life it was recommended that my mum did not come home at the same time, this has been the worst three weeks for both my dad and I. We arranged for him to go and have dinner with my mum at the care home every day but she wanted to go back with him. The care home we out her in was ok but was private and we are self funding but know the money will run out and were advised by quite a few profesional people to look for a care home that would take social funding. We found one and they have a bed, we took her for a coffee yesterday ( she swore she had been there before!) it was a lovely place and everyone was lovely but mum kept saying she was being dumped there she didn't even realise she had already been in a care home, she believes her room in the care home is her bungalow but can't understand where dad gets to.

    I guess the new care home will make suggestions as to how we move her this weekend, but it sounds like she is displaying all the usual signs of people with dementia/ Alzheimers with the angry comments and wanting to come home etc. it's really hard on my dad too as he trying to adapt to his new physical way of life and trying to cope with the emotional side of not being with his wife and listening to her pleas to come home, he cries after every visit, me most nights. There was no support or suggestions about how any of us cope with this on my dads discharge everything was centred round him nobody wanted to listen to the emotional draining problems we were having with my mum. But now I have found this site I am feeling slightly better, I can show my dad similar situations and how you have all dealt with it. :) and hopefully we can get past the next chapter in our lives. We just want to see my mum smile and laugh again.
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Shark, I know it's really hard and I'm sorry your first visit to the CH was so stressful for everybody. I agree that it's a good sign if your mother is eating and will talk to staff members. It's so awful and I'm sorry it has to be this way. If you feel up to it, please come back and give us an update.
  10. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    My now late Mum went straight from long hospital stay into a nursing home.

    Not something we ever wanted to happen but realised there was no choice, as she wa pretty poorly.

    She kept asking 'when am I going home?'' although, other than being grumpy , she never got really upset ( but she wasn't ever one to show her emotions anyway)

    We jut kept repeating that she could when she was *better*. We kne she wasn't going to get better, so it then changed to ''when you can walk a bit better again'. etc etc

    She had very little concept of the passage of time, and as time wore on, she did settle , once she realised she did quite enjoy the company.

    I know we lied, she was never coming home.....but it got us over that *Difficult * first few weeks.
  11. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    North East
    We are now 5 months in after my Dad went into care. The first 2 months were terrible. He didn't settle and I spent my life in tears. Christmas was miserable. Not sure what the turning point was but he's fine now. I think it takes time for them to get used to routine and staff. Hang in there. X
  12. shark2

    shark2 Registered User

    Aug 22, 2012
    n ireland
    Thanks everybody for taking the time to reply. Dh and ds went yesterday and she knew dh but not ds. An entertainer visited and they said she was singing and tapping along. I was hopeful. Went today with my aunt. As soon as she saw me she started shouting about going home. Was speaking to an assistant about our children and mum told me to shut my mouth because she thought I was talking about her . Wouldn't take the sweets I'd brought her off me ( took them later though!)

    Feel so rubbish . wish she could just come home
  13. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    So sorry you are having a hard time. My dad was ok when he went into the care home but I still felt such awful guilt ( I think I always will - he died last month) and I know this would have been worse if he had been upset and horrible to me.

    All I can say is we all do the best we can and at least in a care home we know our parents have someone watching them 24/7, they have company, are kept clean and fed well.

    The fact she was happy when your husband visited makes me think she is just trying to make you feel bad (not intentionally I'm sure) I can only compare this too the new children who come to the pre-school I work at. Some are totally fine and others cry their eyes out when there mum leaves, 99% of the time they stop crying within 5 mins of mum going and are perfectly fine till she picks them up and the tears start again.

    Please stick with it, she will get better when you visit, it will get easier, at least you can sleep at night as you know she is safe. You are only one person and can only do so much, don't beat yourself up, your love and dedication for your mum is so evident in your posts.
  14. HelenInBC

    HelenInBC Registered User

    Mar 23, 2013
    I think it's so helpful for us to share our stories for the others who are going through similar trails. It really helps me as well. We placed my mom into a care home 8 months ago. She was struggling along at home, with my daughter moved in to care for her, but it was becoming very challenging. She wasn't happy at home or having someone living with her ("I don't know why she's here, I do everything myself!") If we'd ask her about moving somewhere she could get some better care, she would just deny the need. She had no insight into her limitations because of the dementia.

    Eventually, we chose a place we felt comfortable with, and when a bed came available we took her there with just a small overnight case with a few clothes. We just told her she would be staying a few days so my daughter could take a short holiday. Sometimes white lies are "love lies" and they really help. I felt terrible leaving her there, but in just a few days, she had forgotten all about her home. She was still confused and wondered why she was there, but she didn't ask to go home or complain. I am very lucky that my mom remains generally happy and pleasant, even as her dementia progresses.

    Things have gotten much easier as time passes. She no longer asks about leaving, although she has a hard time believing this "place" is her home. Interestingly, soon after moving in, she started asking about her own mother quite often- thinking she is still alive. I wonder if her mother means "home" to her and she connects that with not being home or needing to get home. Who knows.

    Best of luck everyone with the transitions to care. I know it was the very best thing for my mother. She is safe and cared for and takes part in activities and has even made friends there.
  15. shark2

    shark2 Registered User

    Aug 22, 2012
    n ireland
    So nice to hear that your mum settled. I'd love for my mum to join in and make friends. Hopefully it will happen with time.x
  16. Jenga

    Jenga Registered User

    Mar 27, 2015
    supporting my dad

    So I moved my mum into the new Care Home 4 weeks ago, initially everything was good, but every time my dad visited she became very aggressive with the care staff especially when it came to the time to leave. Because my dad is recently disabled and In a wheelchair he had to rely on the care staff to get him off the unit, his departing picture of my mum screaming and shouting to let her go home with him is what is really distressing him. Last week he said it would be easier for all if he died as he is the antagonist for her distress. He is coping well at home since becoming disabled, it s just been bad timing that he is trying to adapt to being in a wheelchair at the same time as mum needing a care home. For me I am trying to keep both my parents happy and its Soooooo hard!

    We have now made the decision that dad doesn't visit by himself during the week but we will try and have family time at weekends at my house, last Saturday was very good, it coincides with a new resident on my mums unit who gets on well with my mum so she has been a lot better, but it's my dad who is now really struggling and his talk of ending it all is very worrying.
    One positive for me is I really enjoy the home my mum is in and have made a point of getting to know the other residents, I take my dog and they all really enjoy it, i have adapted my life to fit in a hectic job and visiting my mum then my dad, but it is my dad I really worry about now. When they are together they hold hands and talk about the good times in between arguing why mum can't come home, both their lives have taken a dramatic and sad turn and that's the hardest thing to cope with. I am really hoping after reading all the other blogs and forums that in the next four weeks mum will settle slot more and accept dads regular visits so that he can feel better it can't go on the way it currently is. The care home has an admiral nurse so have made an appointment with her so hopefully she can help my dad cope with his loss and distress.

    Thankyou again for taking the time to read, I am not a regular but it is good to occasionally post I feel part of a know Ong comforting group.

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