Settling my Dad into care home

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by naylorq, May 15, 2019.

  1. naylorq

    naylorq Registered User

    Feb 27, 2012

    I'm new to this forum and hoping someone can give me or point me in the direction of some advice. I'm sure the situation is very familiar to many people.

    My 87-year-old Dad, who is now physically quite infirm and has suspected vascular dementia, went into respite care at the weekend, after a very difficult few months both for him and my elderly Mum, who's been his full-time carer for a while now. Although it's respite care for three weeks my Mum can't cope with caring for him anymore and he has refused home care. He clearly expressed his desire to go into a home instead.

    Now he's there, he's v confused and distressed He's been managing on associations for a while - needing everything untouched around him at home - and now he's in a new environment he can't make new ones/learn anything new. He keeps calling my Mum telling her how much he hares it, that she must take home and accusing her of cruelty. He's refusing to leave his room (not unusual - even when he was at home) and, I suspect, isn't treating the carers very well.

    It's obviously incredibly distressing to see him in this state and I'm not sure how best to help him settle in and, worse, what happens if he doesn't and this continues My mum is at the end of her tether. His sight is v poor and he's not interested in anything so I don't think taking in familiar things etc will help.

    Any advice gratefully received.

    Thank you
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello @naylorq. Welcome to Talking Point.

    If your dad only went into residential care he is bound to be disorientated and more confused than usual.

    All I can suggest is you have a word with the staff. I`m sure they will assure you this confusion is often the case in the early days.

    They might suggest you don`t visit for the rest of the week. This was suggested to me when my husband went into respite care.

    If your mother is finding being a full time carer is more than she can cope with and if you have all had a difficult few months, I think all you can do is persevere with residential care.
  3. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    Hello @naylorq

    I was going to write the same as @Grannie G but she beat me to it!

    It's early days and your mum needs help to care for your dad.

    Give it time.
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    How often is he ringing your mum? Has he got his own mobile, or a phone in his room? If he's ringing her a great deal and it's very distressing for her, maybe it'd be an idea to have the phone 'broken' for a while, and perhaps get the staff to ring for him once or twice a day.

    I say this because we had a similar situation with my mother, only it was my brother she wanted to ring incessantly, as she'd been in the habit of before. So we arranged for the above, and were amazed at how quickly she forgot about it.

    As pps have said, it's very early days. Many of us will understand how very difficult it can be, but do hang in there - it will almost certainly get better.
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    It usually takes about 6-8 weeks (sometimes longer) to settle into a care home, so it is very early days yet.
    I agree with the advice to remove the phone and not visit for a week. It is counterintuitive as it feels like you are abandoning him, but actually, all the while he can contact you whenever he wants and he sees you everyday, he is just living for when you come to visit, constantly thinking about home and neither learning the layout and routine of the care home nor forming relationships with the staff.

    Im sure it will get better. Once mum settled in her care home she thrived there.
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    It is very early days. My mother is pretty amenable but after four days she was still very confused about her new environment and routines in the care home. It did initially seem as if she deteriorated but actually after the initial 'shock' she levelled off. It took her about two months to settle properly, she's been there over a year and is very content there. I agree with what others have said about the phone, as well as upsetting your mother his constant calls are doing him no good. It is all very new to him and he needs time to settle in and hopefully develop relationships with the carers, he won't do that while he is on the repeatedly on the phone berating your mother. The first few weeks are difficult but it should improve, give it some time.
  7. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    As I was dad's main carer I was advised not to visit for the first fortnight but that my brothers should. Dad settled in surprisingly well despite some unsettling moments and wandering into other residents rooms at night!


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