• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

The Gult Monkey and care homes


Registered User
Aug 4, 2014
Hi All,
Haven't posted for a while - been a busy and stressful time searching for a care home for mum. Have now rung over 30, visited 14 and finally found one that will pay the council rate ( a miracle), has a vacancy, has a good CQC report and is near enough for me to visit at least twice a week. It's not bad, the staff seen caring and kind, it's a bit tatty and smelly but that's par for the course, mum seems to have settled well, chatting to staff and residents, eating well ( another miracle) and has never once asked to come home.
So why the guilt monkey you ask ?
The problem is me.
Where she stayed for respite before was gorgeous but soo expensive - a new place so almost one to one care as hardly any residents yet, everything new, clean, even a Facebook page to see what residents were doing each day- and yes I know I shouldn't be influenced by nice furniture and it was only ever meant as a treat for mum but, had money not raised it's ugly head, I would have loved her to stay there.
The "biggy" is I'd always promised mum ( before Dementia) that she would never go in a care home, an idea she both hated and feared :( I know she is safer there, has more company and distractions, is eating better but I can't help worrying. I know some of it is letting go and accepting it's best for mum and me but yesterday she whispered to me "They're all mad in here you know" and looking around I could see what she meant - how could I do this to my lovely mum ?
Each horrible press story about abuse sets me worrying more - I know mum isn't frightened and has never complained about staff ( some of the residents are another matter but that's bound to happen - no group of people with or without Dementia are always going to get along )
So why can't I seem to relax ? :confused:


Registered User
Aug 22, 2013
Guilt parrot

I visualise the guilt as a large parrot on my shoulder. My mum is still in her own and I am sure she would be happier with more company in a care home, the pressure would be off me a bit, but the parrot would undoubtedly get a lot heavier.
For what it's worth I don't think there is an answer to the guilt creature, however you visualise it, but there has to be a balance of caring and at the same time protecting your own health and well-being.


Registered User
Oct 2, 2014
West Midlands
Pepper&Spice, my story is very similar to yours but honestly if all is good for your mom- great. Think how much better off she is now. My mum is also in a very "down to earth" care home but is self funding. This is what we chose for her as it resembled her own home. She is clean, well fed, has others to chat to and has also got her dignity back. The staff are lovely. I felt so guilty just like you but five months on I realise that there was no alternative and it was actually the kindest thing for her. You will feel better.
Take care.


Registered User
May 16, 2010
Sounds like your mum has settled in well. She isn't asking to come home, so that tells you it is at least ok for her. When she asked you earlier not to let her go into a care home, she was a different person. And you wouldn't have let her go into a care home if she was still that person - and if you had, she would have objected. Rationally you have nothing to feel guilty about. It's a good idea to remind yourself of this.

As regards the 'nicer' care home.... I had the same thoughts, until I met a very wise person who had cared for a mother with dementia. She told me she very much regretted sending her mother to a 'posh' care home, just because she could afford it. She said the person her mother became, with the dementia, was no longer comfortable in that nice posh environment, and the choice she had made as a daughter was more to reassure herself - and she wished she had instead taken her mother to a more homely place. That taught me a lot, and it might apply in your case too!


Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
West Hertfordshire
Guilt monster sat on my shoulder too for a long while.

Like you, it wasn't about the treatment mum was getting, that was fine but about my having agreed to her going, although it really wasn't optional.
As well as dementia she had an in operable heart condition which needed 24 hour supervision - we got CHC funding without a fight so you can guess how she was.

It took me a long time to feel better about it- I think the harder life got for her, the more I realised it was right, and the monster got a little lighter.

She lasted less than 6 months in total, and I that time I came to realise what was important both for her and me - she was always spotlessly clean, and food was plentiful. Staff were kind.

Consider this- if you had £10 to spend would you rather the residents passed round a plate of home baked cakes, that had been made in an activity session, or the lounge display a large bunch of lillies? I know what i'd choose EVERYTIME.

The pristine homes are okay - but a sticky floor in the activity room means something has been going on! There needs to be a happy medium obviously and you know what you are happy with.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
All I can say, and it's very cold comfort, is that if it goes on long enough the guilt-parrot finally dies, or at least that's what I've found. Although its ghost does occasionally still haunt me.
My mother has been in her CH over 7 years now, she was 89 when she went in, and the parrot was more like a whacking great ostrich. She didn't settle for ages and I felt dreadful for feeling I could not cope with her in our home. I had done it before, with FIL, and just couldn't face it again.

But as she has deteriorated over the years, now so very bad, the wretched bird has diminished and finally died, since I know she is very well cared for and most certainly needs someone on hand all night, as well as all day. And TBH that has been the case ever since she went in.

I suppose it would be different if she still knew me, and ever asked me (as she used to) to take her home, but that has not happened for so long now.