Should my mum stay in the care home

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MimoMilo, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. MimoMilo

    MimoMilo Registered User

    Feb 6, 2016
    Hi everyone, first time on here and feeling like I now need some advice. Mum (77) has vascular dementia, diagnosed 3 years. On top of that mum also has COPD. The last year has been very stressful. 18 months ago mum had no carers in place. My sis and me managed her care with electronic med dispenser and regular contact to remind her of things. To give you an idea how her dementia has progressed she currently has carers 3x daily for food, drink and meds, a door sensor which alerts me when she wanders at night, a vega gps watch to locate her when she goes missing, the gas cooker has been disconnected. Mum sometimes does not stay in for carers and regularly goes out without any money, meds, bus pass. Gets very confused at home. We do house work, washing etc. mums COPD has got considerably worse over last few months. Constantly on antibiotics and steroids. When she has an exacerbation of COPD her vascular dementia gets worse which makes sense with the lack of oxygen getting to her organs. Basically we put mum in respite for a month. Mum has now another exacerbation of COPD, not cleared and has been on antibiotics for 1 week which has been increased to 2. Her breathing is very tight, not very mobile. We asked mum to think about staying in the CH as she will have better care, security etc. she said she cannot fault the place. Mum still gets up in the night but is secure and safe instead of in danger on a dark street. Mum keeps changing her mind now, one day " I know I'm better here" next day " I want to go home" personally I don't think she can go home. How do I deal with this. I'm getting anxious how I can support her with her care if she keeps changing her mind. The CH is private, it's lovely. If she were to go home and be in danger I am concerned it would be taken out of my hands and she might end up somewhere awful. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated x
  2. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    This is a very hard time for you and your mum. Your post is very clear and I think you have answered your own question. Your mum is not safe to go home. That doesn't mean you should ever tell her that she has moved permanently into a care home, but maybe that she is there until she gets better? Good luck, take care.
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Could you tell her the doctor wants her to stay there until she's better/stronger/while they make sure her medication is right, etc.?
  4. Dazmum

    Dazmum Registered User

    I also agree that you have answered your own question, just by saying that it's lovely, she is secure and safe. I had the same dilemma with my own mum and for me her safety was vital as she began to wander too. I can really understand your concerns, but I personally think that this is best for your mum and also you and your sister and can continue to help care for her without the worry. I agree it's a good idea to say that the GP says she needs to be there for a while.
  5. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi MimoMilo
    Welcome to TP - as you've discovered, there are lots of sympathetic and experienced people here to listen and help
    I agree with AnneED and Witzend - your post reads like someone getting their thoughts together, rather than asking a question
    Sadly, I've no doubt she will keep changing her mind; most of us would rather stay in our own home if at all possible - however you've made it clear that it's no longer possible - you are right to put her care needs over her wants - especially as you say she is actually happy there
    I guess you have looked into her financial situation and that she is able to stay in the home
    so just extend her stay there with a good conscience - you've done so well by her and will be able to continue to be her caring daughter with peace of mind knowing she is well supported
    best wishes
  6. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015
    Your Mum is safe and well. That is the main consideration. You can continue to be the great daughter you are and also keep yourself well and strong. Am assuming that " I want to go home" is a reasonably common factor with people with Alzh. My OH wants to go home every day. I try to distract him but this does not always work either!

    Virtual hug from Ireland.
  7. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    I know this is difficult for you, its really stressful to be in this situation and you have both tried so hard to care for her in her own home. My Dad was in a similar situation; vascular dementia and COPD, plus anaemia, diabetes, heart disease..... After a second spell in hospital in six weeks due to not being looked after properly at home by carers I had a bit of a breakdown (I was trying to care for him as well as work and had no brothers or sisters to help. My mum died in 2014). Dad went into respite care in a lovely care home and didn't come out again. We just told him he was here until he got better, now he loves it and has made friends. I don't think he would want to go home now. He is happier and healthier than he has been for a long time.
    You have answered your own question. Your mum is safe at the CH, at home she is not. You are acting in her best interests, try no to beat yourself up.
  8. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    MimoMilo, welcome to TP. I am sorry to hear about the situation with your mother and know this must be very stressful and upsetting.

    I think that sometimes we have to make difficult decisions, and one of those can be choosing between keeping someone safe and keeping someone independent. It's unfortunate that "safe" sometimes feels like doing the wrong thing, when in fact, it's the necessary thing to do.

    I will gently ask if you feel your mother has capacity to make decisions about what is best for her, and to ask you to remember that when you are feeling upset. It may not be a situation, where she gets to make the decisions for what she wants, but rather a situation, where others have to make the decisions for what she needs.

    Regarding the "going home" statements: I think that many people with dementia often say, "I want to go home." That must be hard for you to hear your mother say, when she's in the care home and you are unsure about what to do. Please consider that she may not be talking about her current home, or a real place. She may just be expressing a desire to be somewhere familiar or safe, or to feel better physically. Some people with dementia, who are at home, talk about wanting to go home. Some people with dementia, who are not at home, and are taken home, do not recognise it and do not want to stay. Just some thoughts for you to consider.

    Given that her dementia will only get worse, and not better, and that she has the COPD as well, and that she may be at risk for wandering, not to mention the fact that you know she is better cared for in the care home, well, I think you have your answer. I would not underestimate not only her safety and the medical care, but also having more company.

    My mother's situation was different to yours but she has thrived in the care home setting in a way I would not have thought possible. Being taken out of her home was the best thing that could ever have happened. Not only was she not safe there, but she was not content. A care home doesn't have to be bad.

    I hope you are able to make a decision in a way that feels acceptable to you. Best wishes.
  9. Missy

    Missy Registered User

    Dec 18, 2006
    My sister and I had to make the decision that my Aunty could not go back home after yet another fall (and she has vascular dementia), but would needed a care home. We found a fantastic one and "sold" it to her as convalescence (something she understood as my grandparents regualarly "convaelseced" when they were older).

    I saw her yesterday and she no longer talks of going home, she said how nice the home was, how it was wonderful to be looked after and see lots of people.

    Care homes really are sometimes the best place for an elderly unwell person to be.
  10. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    My Mum also has Vas Dementia and COPD and I had to make this decision for her too. You know you need to keep her safe, and home does not sound safe.

    Its hard, and you will need to use love lies. I told Mum the doctor said she could not go home and was in CH until she got better. She was happier and healthier in CH so that helped with the guilt.

    You have switched placed now due to dementia. You are now her parent. You will get to be a loving daughter again rather than a carer. You will visit to see her rather than cook, clean wash etc.

    It can work. Bets of luck xx Quilty
  11. theunknown

    theunknown Registered User

    Apr 17, 2015
    Hi Mimo, for you this is a very personal situation. However, on here, you'll find loads of people that understand your feelings. My mum has COPD and has never been diagnosed with any form of dementia. She was sectioned and I was told she could never go back to her own home. I had to find a care home in a very short space of time and I hated her being on the psychiatric ward of the hospital she was in. I don't have a diagnosis as such for her, but it became obvious to me over the course of a year (since the sectioning) that there's no way she could look after herself, even if carers came in. She's in a closed EMI unit, but I'm happy with the home. It's natural to think that we should be able to deal with this stuff ourselves, and not rely on public services, but actually a lot of the time we can't.
  12. MimoMilo

    MimoMilo Registered User

    Feb 6, 2016
    Thank you everyone for all your support, so much advice in such a short amount of time. So appreciative x
  13. MimoMilo

    MimoMilo Registered User

    Feb 6, 2016
    Now doctor says she doesn't have mental capacity

    Hi all. The doctor in the ch now says mum does not have mental capacity to make decisions for her safety if she did go home. Ch is now getting DoLS in place. Mum does always say she wants to go home still, however she looks really well. Mum said " your dad hasn't bothered to visit me" my dad has been gone for 11 years. I have a meeting with a social worker this week. He wants to meet mum and ask her what she wants. Mum is obviously going to say she wants to go home. Will the social worker take the doctors views in to account and support us with the ch route? It's so hard
  14. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi MimoMilo
    The SW does need to meet your mum, however s/he should also be in contact with her GP and speak to the care home staff
    if you are able to be at the meeting make sure that, when your mum is asked where she wants to be and she says she wants to go home, this is followed up by questions about where is home, who is at home etc so that it quickly becomes clear that your mum's idea of what being 'at home' means is very far from reality (a rouse suggested by a member here!) IMO it's silly of anyone to merely ask 'Where do you want to live?' or 'Do you want to go home?' - what would any of us answer!!!
    best wishes
  15. MimoMilo

    MimoMilo Registered User

    Feb 6, 2016
    Thanks, I will definetly be there and will ensure the follow up questions are asked. Thanks for the support x

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