Time for a care home but how do we do this?

Rach R

Registered User
Mar 23, 2012
14
My brother and I have decided that we feel the time has come for our mum to go into a care home. Not an easy decision but neccesary. :( Trouble is we don't know what to do next - do we go looking at homes, do we call social services? Don't imagine that mum will get any financial help but again i don't really know. This is hard and to be honest I keep putting off what to do and using the 'not sure what we do' as an excuse i think - any ideas on what we need to do really appreciated, thanks
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,459
Yorkshire
Good words from Katrine :)
Just breathe then
jot down what you think you need to do
and pick one thing to look into eg just turn up to see round one care home, chat with them about what to do
do that
then another
and slowly it will fall into place
I am assuming there is no urgent need to get a place tomorrow?
Have mooch around TP
keep posting

best wishes to you both and for your mum
 

DMac

Registered User
Jul 18, 2015
535
Surrey, UK
Hi Rach,

Firstly, congratulations on you and your brother reaching a joint decision. That is a BIG milestone to be proud of! It is probably one of the hardest decisions you have taken, or will ever take, so please take a moment to accept this accolade from me! :)

You've already received some good advice from other TPers about next steps, which I think all sounds very appropriate. It sounds as if your mum is self-funding - is that right? If not or you are not sure, perhaps contact Social Services in the first instance. They should point you in the right direction. If so, you don't need to involve SS and there is nothing stopping you researching suitable homes in your area. If you have a local Alz society in your area, they should be able to provide you with a list of suitable care homes.

Good luck, and do post again to let us know how you get on. x
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Whatever else you do, I would start looking at care homes ASAP. You may have to look at several before you find one that feels right, and many of them have waiting lists.
Putting her name down would almost certainly not commit you, though - there will usually be someone else waiting.
If your mum would be self funded you do not need to involve social services, although some people prefer to anyway. We arranged care homes for both my mother and my FIL on our own. I won't pretend there wasn't an awful lot of looking both times, though.

One thing I would say, cross off any home that asks you to make an appointment just for an initial look around. Any good care home should be happy for you to drop in at any reasonable hour, though it's best to avoid mealtimes, when staff are often particularly busy.

If your mum does not already get Attendance Allowance, be sure to apply for that ASAP. If she is self funded it will continue to be paid while she's in the CH. Its a bit of a drop in the ocean compared to fees, but every little helps.
Good luck - it can be such a worrying and difficult time.
 

sistermillicent

Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
2,949
Don't worry too much about what the care home looks like as the most important thing is that the staff are lovely. They will want to assess your mum to see that they can provide what she needs, there are different types of care home.
I take the opposite view to Witzend and think that you should make an appointment to see round any care home. I think it is impolite to expect to be shown round if you turn up out of the blue. Anywhere that lets strangers come in at odd times is not respecting its residents properly, but I realise I am probably in a minority in thinking that. You can really get a feel for a place by chatting to as many staff as possible, not about the home but about them. They let a lot slip.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Don't worry too much about what the care home looks like as the most important thing is that the staff are lovely. They will want to assess your mum to see that they can provide what she needs, there are different types of care home.
I take the opposite view to Witzend and think that you should make an appointment to see round any care home. I think it is impolite to expect to be shown round if you turn up out of the blue. Anywhere that lets strangers come in at odd times is not respecting its residents properly, but I realise I am probably in a minority in thinking that. You can really get a feel for a place by chatting to as many staff as possible, not about the home but about them. They let a lot slip.
What I should have added, is that I always phoned first. And most of them said, yes, please drop in at any reasonable time, no need to make an appointment. Maybe it's me, but I was wary of any that didn't.
if I had wanted to have a discussion with the manager, maybe on a 2nd visit, then of course I would make an appointment.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,285
South coast
I agree with Witzend. The places that made me book an appointment felt like I was being shown round a show home and everything had been displayed for me to see. The places that said just turn up felt more honest somehow - you knew that everything was like that normally.
I would also do as sister M suggests and talk to the carers. As she says, you can learn a lot about the place by what they say.
 

Rach R

Registered User
Mar 23, 2012
14
Thank you for all your kind comments, it's given us some ideas on where to start! There is no immediate rush for this so we can have a good look round, it's just a scary process and we haven't spoken to our mum about this as we know she will refuse to go so that part is also difficult as to know when to talk to her about it. She had to go into emergency respite recently for 3 days, she initially refused to go but after a very long phone conversation (I was on holiday at the time on a train in rush hour so everyone on the train could hear this very difficult conversation - not good lol!!) she went and after trying to plot her way out for the first night, when i picked her up she was happy, chatting with everyone and telling them she would be back the next day! She did enjoy it so i think after the initial shock and not doubt absolute refusal to go, she will hopefully settle in and enjoy having the complany of others. If anyone has any ideas on how we talk to mum about this - do we tell a few white lies about it only being for a few days or tell her out right - i would be grateful, thanks
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,459
Yorkshire
So pleased you've had that initial good experience of time in respite. So your minds and hearts can be at rest because you KNOW she will be just fine in a care home (I'm not pretending there won't be 'moments' but you have this positive to fall back on).
Maybe just build on that. Maybe not flat out discuss a full-on move, rather consider a longer respite stay (not really being specific about how long). Can you use a similar reason for more respite as whatever lay behind the 3 day stay? Seems best if you can not to get to the refusal stage which might build emotional barriers - maybe get her there 'for respite' and then face the moment to confirm it's a full move - you may not have to say it flat out if she is happy to be there.
Though, I know that one current trend is to be honest and upfront in all things, as you would pre-dementia (to me that assumes it would have been the best way before, not always the case).
You know her best, and will work out what is best for you all.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Thank you for all your kind comments, it's given us some ideas on where to start! There is no immediate rush for this so we can have a good look round, it's just a scary process and we haven't spoken to our mum about this as we know she will refuse to go so that part is also difficult as to know when to talk to her about it. She had to go into emergency respite recently for 3 days, she initially refused to go but after a very long phone conversation (I was on holiday at the time on a train in rush hour so everyone on the train could hear this very difficult conversation - not good lol!!) she went and after trying to plot her way out for the first night, when i picked her up she was happy, chatting with everyone and telling them she would be back the next day! She did enjoy it so i think after the initial shock and not doubt absolute refusal to go, she will hopefully settle in and enjoy having the complany of others. If anyone has any ideas on how we talk to mum about this - do we tell a few white lies about it only being for a few days or tell her out right - i would be grateful, thanks
Frankly, we did not discuss it with our mother at all - there would have been no point since although she was very bad by then - not washing, zero short term memory, couldn't even make herself a cup of tea - according to her there was absolutely nothing wrong with her and she would never have agreed to go. So it was hard - we had to pretend we were 'going out for lunch' and even that was potentially a problem, since by then she was always very reluctant to leave the house at all.

This was over 8 years ago now - she died in July at 97 - and we didn't think of 'love lies' at the time - would have been easier if we had - though I did use them a little later, when she was asking to go home. I couldn't very well 'blame the doctor' since she hadn't been near one for ages - her physical health was very good - so I was endlessly 'looking for a nice little flat for you, just down the road from me'

Since she had always been an inveterate 'mover', and had often talked of 'a little flat' anyway, this worked for her.
Good luck - it can be such a difficult and worrying time, though having said that, many people find that the move goes far better than they could ever have hoped.