Telling the truth


Registered User
Feb 17, 2008
Yes we went the lies and subterfuge route with father and then mother (in two different places and at different times!). Did the old 'packing the suitcase without her knowing' routine and also didnt tell her until the very last minute and said it was just or a visit. It felt really difficult at the time but I took advice from several people first as well as the care home and in hindsight I do think it was the right approach causing her less distress. With our father we managed to get his stuff into his room before him (as he had been in an assessment centre for several weeks before going in to the care home). With our mother we had to do it in two stages - a smaller room first, then when another room became available and she was settled again moved her stuff in first so she arrived to see her furniture there. They were both without doubt the two most miserable days I can remember...but they did both settle and not going to visit for a couple of days, which was tortuous at the time, did seem to help. I think leaving them for the first time is the most awful thing for the relative. We cried our eyes out and wished we could have been flies on the wall to see how they actually (which in fact was better than we were)...I wish you all luck possible for what is just never an easy situation. The daughters quote above is so true and I will remember it. Happiness is all relative isn't it! :)


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
Thank you so much Witzend. I assume that once you are in the CH the staff take over and any reluctance to stay on the part of my husband will be controlled by them and he will not be able to stop me from going. I imagine all sorts of scenes and his temper causing staff to say they will not take him.
I would imagine that most care homes dealing with dementia are used to this. After all, how many of them do actually want to move to a CH? I would imagine precious few. My mother was very angry with us on the day (and for quite a while afterwards) but I don't think she was actually aggressive with the staff. I guess we could just have slipped off, but didn't feel able to do that. However with some people it may be best.

Many years earlier we had moved FIL to a CH - I think we slipped off and left the staff (as they advised) to settle him. He had been prone to very scary rages at home so I was very worried how he'd react, but staff assured us they'd deal with it. Not long after we arrived home there was a furious phone call: 'WHAT AM I DOING IN THIS BLOODY AWFUL PLACE WITH ALL THESE BLOODY AWFUL PEOPLE?' But the staff were fantastic with him and he did settle relatively quickly.

All the best - I know all too well what a worrying time it is.


Registered User
Jun 15, 2009

That really made me smile :)

We're 10 days in now and although Mum isn't really settled at all, Dad and I are beginning to calm down a little bit. I was chatting to another visitor in the CH kitchen and when she heard our situation she laughed and said, 'Don't you worry. This place is just full of people who are only staying for four or five days.'

Yesterday one of the psychogeriatric team came to visit & assess Mum. Ironically, her MMSE score has gone up from around 20 to 26. Turns out the Donezepil has really helped her memory, energy levels and cognitive functioning. It seems very cruel that it also turned her into somebody who could pick a fight in an empty room.

Anyway. The Dr wants to wait a few weeks to see if her temper settles down a bit as she adjusts to her new surroundings (*eye roll*) and then he'll review the medication with a view to cutting the dose or even stopping it altogether.

Dad is slowly improving and knows he can't put off going to visit her for much longer. He's dreading it, bless him, although he misses her terribly. Maybe we'll get something organised for next week. There's no way I'm allowing him to go on his own.


Registered User
Dec 25, 2012
Hi Poll1 you are absolutely right not to let your Dad go in on his own,we have just had my Mum in respite care for two weeks and its likely to become permanent due to Dads own poor health, my sister and I took him in for his first visit on tuesday, theres no way he could do it on his own especially as she doesnt always know who any of us are and it breaks his heart bless him good luck with your Dads first visit xx