To Move or not to Move?!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by sony, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. sony

    sony Registered User


    My grandparents (Granny has Alzheimer's, Granda has vascular dementia) had to be moved into a nursing home at very short notice just after Christmas (15weeks ago). The nursing home is a 45 minute drive away from all family, so it's a bit of a trek getting there, etc. Otherwise, it is very good, although in the last month or so it has changed hands from a private owner to a company (don't know if that's the right term) ownership. My Grandad has been very unsettled in it for the past 2 weeks, everytime we visit he wants to come home with us and gets very agitated, we tell him that my granny isn't well so she has to stay and would he mind staying with her to keep her company...! He doesn't be too imrpessed but it does the trick.

    My Mum, who was main carer for almost 10years got a phone call today to say that a nursing home 10 miles from home has a double room vacancy which would be ideal for my grandparents. She was told she had to decide by Thursday morning as the room could easily be filled by someone else. So, she went with one of her brothers tonight to see it (the other 4 brothers and 1 sister weren't too interested for a change!!).
    She really liked it, although it isn't as clean and tidy as the one they're in now...but the crux of the thing is that the new closer nursing home doesn't have a lock on the main door...which is a major concern as my Granda is a bit of a wanderer...if he got out through the door they might never get him back in again. The lady my mum spoke to tonight reassured her that although it isn't locked as soon as it is opened an alarm sounds and a member of staff goes to it to see who it is...! Is this good enough? Surely it wouldn't be that difficult to put a wee lock on the door? The home they're in now has a code access lock on all their doors...

    It's such a tricky decision, do we risk rocking the boat since they're relatively settled where they are to bring them closer to home or do we persevere where they are?? The other thing about them being closer to home is that we may be able to include them in some of their former activities since where they are now we don't know anywhere or anyone!

    I hope this makes sense, and although I know you's can't make the decision for us I would appreciate your views...

    Thanks so much...
  2. CHESS

    CHESS Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    Dear Sony,
    Sorry, I haven't had any experience of NHs as yet, but would caution about making such a major decision in such a rush. There are so many issues to consider. Not sure if the system is the same over in your neck of the woods, but you should be able to access the reports relating to individual homes. I'm sure someone else will come forward to explain how you can do this.

    Wish I could be of more help. Let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes.
  3. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Hi,being a carer in a home,albeit residential,i do have experience of dementia care.Firstly i would ask that if the home your grandparents are in is a secure unit?If so then there should be no worries on them gaining exit from the home.If not then there is a possibility that they may gain outside access.wherby i would imagine there is a risk assessment in place for access to outside the home and the possible risks to the resident.of course the resident must be made aware of the concerns and they or representative for them sign the risk assessment.hope it helps.elainex
  4. sony

    sony Registered User



    Sorry I meant to update you's about this but forgot...
    Well my Mum's family OKed the move and the wheels were set in motion...the new home went to the home they're in now to assess them and point blank refused to take them because my grandad kept getting up and wandering off...they say he's too mobile for their home considering they don't have a lock on the main door!! We were all pretty let-down about it, we had been so excited about them coming closer to home...but I suppose it's for the best, they're safe were they are...

    The other thing is it's my Granda's 84th birthday this Sunday, we've ordered a big cake for him so that the whole nursing home can have some too...the only thing is I'd love to bring him something to keep him occupied as he's always wandering and complains about how long the days are...but is there such a magical thing?? Everything he used to do has been taken from him...any ideas would be greatly appreciated! :) Just want to make it special for him.

  5. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Hi Sony,
    Thanks for the update. A let-down, but better that the home was upfront about not being able to properly keep an eye on your grandfather.

    I wish there were. We all wish there were. If he used to like jigsaw puzzles, perhaps puzzles with larger & fewer pieces? Is there a garden room in the home he can putter in? It really does depend on his capabilities.

    The essential problem is that the boredom is internal. Most NH have activities but it can be very hard to engage a dementia patient's attention. And the things they can fasten on are so often NOT what we want:eek:.

    The recreational therapist at my mother's home earnestly told me this week at the care conference that my mother was a "passive observer" of the activities. This means she's sitting in her wheelchair ignoring everybody.

    I hope someone else has better suggestions than me.
  6. sony

    sony Registered User

    the rollercoaster


    Thanks for your reply Joanne...the visit on his birthday was horrible - we brought a big cake but from the minute we arrived my Grandad was terribly unsettled and distressed looking home. Was awful to watch... :( My Granny is great, so settled, much more so that she as at home!! :)

    Well at the start of this week my Mum had yet another phone call to say that the NH closer to home is willing to put a keycode lock system in, therefore can take my grandparents!! least you would think!!
    My Mum rang round all her brothers and one sister to let them know - 3 of them were all for it, the other 3 weren't so keen (even though 2 weeks ago they'd said yes!!)!! They would do you head in!! Basically they're happy that my granny has settled so well and is looking so well that they worry that the move would unsettle her, they also think that no matter where my Granda is he'll never settle...but our point is that my granny will probably setlle no matter where she is as she isn't that aware of her surroundings...whereas if my granda was closer to home we could do more things with him - take him out, etc...!!
    But basically it came down to the conclusion that it was up to my Mum - it was her decision!! She would love to move them but IF anything went wrong or they weren't given the same level of care they're getting now, she'd be the worst in the world coz it was her decision!!

    She's to let them know today...and I don't think she's any closer to an answer...should she go with her gut instinct...or listen to her brothers?? Baring in mind my Mum is the one that visits most often!! :)

    Hope all is well with everyone else... :D

  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Sometimes we just have to go with our gut instincts. Since the new home is very close, and your mother does most of the visiting, it might be worth the move. I would point out to the brothers & sister that 2 weeks ago everyone agreed so what's the problem now?

    Since your mother was main carer for nearly 10 years, her sibling should cut her a break and agree with her thoughts on this. With the home so close, everyone can keep an eye on things. Is your mother the eldest? We eldest always seem to bear the brunt of thing :).
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi Sony,

    So sorry that your mother feels the burden of this decision onher shoulders at the moment.

    I just wanted to say that managing someone with dementia who is mobile and determined to go home consists of a lot more than putting a lock on the door.

    A good home that has handled residents with those needs will have developed a whole range on strategies based on awareness and training to keep the residents as safe and calm as possible (not always possible, sadly).

    If you like, the lock on the door is the last resort, not the first line of defence.

    Also it takes a lot of awareness of staff and other visitors for a lock like that to work. Many people have reported on people with dementia who were able to get out by attaching themselves to another resident's visitors.

    Take care,

  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I do think Sandy's absolutely correct - a door lock should be the "fail safe" rather than the first line of defence. That doesn't mean the move might not be a good idea though: one wonders how much distraction and redirection the first home is employing. I suppose what would concern me about home number 2 is that they clearly have no experience with dealing with wanderers (otherwise they would already have the locks in place) and I'm not sure that you want your father to be their guinea pig.

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