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Shared room in care home?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Jesskle66, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Jesskle66

    Jesskle66 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2014
    99
    Just wondered if anyone had experience with this? I have found a home which seems very nice, it's small and personal but the only drawback is mum would be in a shared room. The other lady in the room is very quiet and frail, as my mum is most of the time now, but I don't know if it will 'work'. The room is quite big and with an ensuite, and there is plenty of room for some of mum's things.
     
  2. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    257
    Norfolk
    I had just typed a really long reply to you but it has got lost! My mum had to go into care. She was already in respite sharing a room. This doesnt bother her as she is not the person she was. I wanted her to have her own room when one became available but the home say she is happy and moving her would probably confuse her so she is still in that shared room and she doesnt have a problem with it. I think I had more of a problem with it as I wanted her to have her things around her but to be honest she doesnt care as this illness has taken the person she once was away from me. Good luck with your decision
     
  3. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Tbh, I think the 'nice room' scenario is just for the relatives' benefit too. Neither my mum or MIL were/are the slightest bit bothered about by who or what was in theirs. Same with an en-suite - as long as there is a washbasin, for hand washing, then it's not an essential either. Mum had her own toilet but ended up stuffing things down it and flooding the place, so I can see it's not without its problems when dementia residents are involved :D

    In fact, my mum ended her days bed bound and it would have been nice to think someone else was around, rather than her lying there on her own. That thought was one of the more upsetting times for me and was the first thing I asked advice about on this forum.

    I suppose my only concern would be if the other person wanted music or the TV on when my parent didn't. But if they're both very quiet, then I should imagine it would be OK. I doubt the CH would have suggested it unless they thought it would work. And most elderly people seem to like the company when they're in a shared hospital ward.

    Only issue further down the line would be if anything happened to the other lady, then you wouldn't know who would be in with your mum, but you always have the option of her changing her room to a single then anyway.
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    I think sharing a room would work, probably better for the resident than for the visitors.

    If the two sharing are compatible it should be company for both.

    It might make visitors uncomfortable if the residents are bedridden, not knowing whether or not to include the other in their visit. Not knowing even if they would want to.
     
  5. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Good point about visiting.

    I don't think it would be appropriate for visitors to go to the bedroom if the other lady was present. It might be worth asking the CH to clarify what happens in such situations because you'd want to protect your mum from well-meaning but potentially annoying visitors too.

    I always sat in a quiet part of the communal areas with Mum as I like to interact with the other residents and staff, whereas we do seem to tend to sit in MIL's bedroom (not my choice, far too intense, esp. when conversation is a bit one-sided)
     
  6. Jesskle66

    Jesskle66 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2014
    99
    Thanks for your replies, they have really helped me look at different aspects of this. I remember watching some horrible documentary expose a few years ago (before mum had dementia) and one of the things that upset me was when they showed a resident in a room on her own all day with what looked like very little input. I don't for one minute think this home is like that, but the idea that someone would be left alone in a room strikes me as terribly sad. I got such a positive feeling from the home that I think I need to give it top consideration. The people who were in the single rooms seemed to have higher needs than mum at present, lots of calling out and restlessness. I did ask the clinical lead if a single room came up would it be possible to change, and she said that would depend on need, so I suspect the more disruptive residents are put in single rooms. Thank you once again for helping me in what is a heartbreaking decision however I look at it.
     
  7. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    I think that the answer is that it depends. There are advantages but also more disadvantages in my opinion and it might very well depend, not only on you but also the person with whom you are sharing. The person who you start off with may very well change a number of times too.

    Around here, once the LA are contributing towards the care fees, it invariably means sharing a room and that still means a top-up of £1,000 plus a month.

    My husband was prone to being frightened by noises and sometimes other people and could sometimes become a bit paranoid so it would have been risky to allow him to go into a shared room.
    He was unable to walk and mainly in bed so would not have been able to escape from his room if he wanted to.
    He spent 4 hours in the lounge so did have contact with others but slept for a lot of the time. He became frightened at times by the television so could very well be frightened of another person in a bed near him.
    His choice of music might not appeal to another and that was his main source of comfort. Vice versa of course.
    Also the television itself could prove a problem.
    He couldn't communicate his wishes and I think could have become very distressed.

    I think it could work but a lot of consideration would have to be put into the pairing and nursing homes rarely have the time or the choice to do that.
     
  8. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    In Pete's CH there were two ladies who shared-both bed ridden and they seemed to be at the same stage. When relatives visited a screen was put up between the two beds-which was always there and used when personal care was carried out. It seemed to work well.

    These decisions are always hard aren't they?

    Take care

    Lyn T
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    When my husband was admitted to residential care I told staff I only wanted him in his room when he was sleeping. At all other times I wanted him in the sitting room among other residents and where he could watch the comings and goings of staff and visitors.

    I knew if he was alone in his room he would be frightened he was alone in the world.

    Like Chemmy, when I visited I sat in the communal sitting room with Dhiren and acknowledged all the other residents. I took part in activities and chair exercises just to make him feel we all belonged together.

    When our son visited, he took his dad into his room because he wanted a more private visit and didn`t really want to involve himself with other residents.

    We need to assess each situation with the knowledge of the needs of the individual resident and what the home can offer. What we had worked for us and when Dhiren became ill he was happy for the peace of his own room although at no time was the door closed.
     
  10. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Unless it's a conscious decision to watch TV, listen to music or the radio or read a book, then I think it's far better for the residents to be in a communal space, particularly so when they become less able to communicate themselves. I loved the busy-ness of my mum's CH with its constant but not intrusive chatter going on between the residents and the staff. I even ended up helping another old lady with her meals too. Like Mum, she was in there for years and in a similar state so it was one spoon for her and then one for my mum (not off the same plate, obviously :D).

    I like to think/hope the other visitors interacted with my mum too when I was not around.
     
  11. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    The doors to rooms were only ever closed in Dave's NH was when personal care was beinbg carried out. Many on Dave's wing were bedridden as it was the 'nursing' wing of a nursing home so they needed to be seen frequently as carers and nurses passed. The only other time they were closed was during fire practice on a Friday at 2 pm when they all were shut electronically.
    Really scary the first time it happened!
     
  12. Jesskle66

    Jesskle66 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2014
    99
    Just an update and again many thanks for all the advice. I think I would have driven myself crazy in the last couple of weeks if it hadn't have been for this forum.
    Mum is moving into a single room tomorrow at another care home. What eventually ruled out the shared room was surprisingly cost as we would have had to have paid a extra 420 pounds week on top of nhs chc.for a shared room!!
    The last care home on 'the list' provided by the LA was by far the best choice for mum. It didn't look like a hotel as some of the others have, but was clean and I liked the way that chairs were grouped in living areas facing each other rather than pushed back against the walls as they seem to be in so many homes. What really impressed me was the staff, all absolutely lovely and very welcoming. I have just been in to take some pictures and ornaments in so it is ready and welcoming for mum, and they had made the bed and put up some lovely matching curtains. They gave me as long as I wanted and said I can put up shelves etc if I want to make it more cosy. It overlooks a park and the window was open and birds were singing which mum will love.
    I am in tears as I write this because the relief at finding a s117 place that is fUlly funded and so perfect was getting beyond my hopes. I know mum can be happy there and she has probably needed this for the last three years. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and all our lives are entering a new phase.
     

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