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Transitioning loved one to care home both emotionally and physically

BertyBinder

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
Does anyone have any advice on how best to transition a loved one to a care home? Normally there would be visits and a gradual build up however with covid this isn't an option.

My mother doesn't recognise herself as having Alzheimers even though she is advanced in her disease. Undoubtably she will be upset and really angry at the idea of a care home, however my stepfather can no longer cope so we have taken the decision to put her in - the problem being how best to introduce it to her?

Many thanks,

L
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,334
Don't say anything!
Especially during the planning stage, she won't agree to anything.
Be prepared to use subterfuge, "come on, we're going out for lunch at that nice hotel"
It's going to be a difficult time, but you are doing the best for her.

Bod
 

JGDMG

Registered User
May 5, 2020
47
In a panic, at the start of lockdown, I took my mother to a home (one she had been to before for respite for a week (but always argued about not wanting to go, but enjoyed when she got there) I went in to her house (with daughter for moral support) and said we had to go now. got her in the car with protestations and me crying behind her back. took nothing just her. Couldn't go in with her because of Covid and it had to be that day before total lockdown. I went back to her house and packed a lot of stuff she would need. For me, it was the worst day of my life. And I've cried daily for 4 months. However, she has been very happy since day 1. 'I like it here, I think I will stay, its nice to have people around all the time' I do hope that your Mum surprises you and says she loves it. It doesn't happen often but you never know!
good luck
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,734
Essex
Dear @BertyBinder,

I cared for dad at home until after half a dozen falls and three 'escapes' I could no longer care for him. I did use carers but we ended going through two agencies.

At first my youngest brother and I looked at care homes for respite and we found a lovely one near us where the manageress came round to meet dad and our wonderful friends here suggested that I
introduce her as a friend. The meeting went very well with dad on his best behaviour and we were invited for a visit.

The first visit was an hour long although dad was supposed to stay for tea. He kept going for the door and I thought there could be a problem but the manageress suggested another visit lasting a whole morning this lasted a bit longer and although dad aimed for the door they were willing to accept for respite.

Each time we went to the home I made out we were visiting and when he went for respite my brother took a suitcase to his room. I took some more items the night before and unpacked the suitcase (my brother didn't do this) arranged things in his room. I suggest bringing photo albums and personal effects to make it feel like home. Also don't forget treats. The next day I told dad we were going to see our friend again and we arrived just after 10.00
am and just in time for an activity.

I was able to make a discreet exit and took the advice of dementia friends and I didn't see him for two weeks but my brothers came as soon as they could.

I felt terribly guilty leaving him there but I knew that I needed the break. A fortnight later I collected him and he had settled in so well I had trouble getting him out. He ended going back in permanently after another fall and whilst he said this he won't stay very long just before going into the home. He forgot about me as soon as he saw his friends. I had a final meeting with dementia friends and we decided that this time it had to be permanent. The elder of my two brothers wasn't happy eventhough I thought I had talked him round. I felt grief taking over but I knew it was for the best. My friends and pupils helped me through this and I felt relief as well. I also looked to seeing dad's happy face whenever I visited and when had many happy outings.

MaNaAk

PS: Please keep posting to let us know how you get on.
 

BertyBinder

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
Dear @BertyBinder,

I cared for dad at home until after half a dozen falls and three 'escapes' I could no longer care for him. I did use carers but we ended going through two agencies.

At first my youngest brother and I looked at care homes for respite and we found a lovely one near us where the manageress came round to meet dad and our wonderful friends here suggested that I
introduce her as a friend. The meeting went very well with dad on his best behaviour and we were invited for a visit.

The first visit was an hour long although dad was supposed to stay for tea. He kept going for the door and I thought there could be a problem but the manageress suggested another visit lasting a whole morning this lasted a bit longer and although dad aimed for the door they were willing to accept for respite.

Each time we went to the home I made out we were visiting and when he went for respite my brother took a suitcase to his room. I took some more items the night before and unpacked the suitcase (my brother didn't do this) arranged things in his room. I suggest bringing photo albums and personal effects to make it feel like home. Also don't forget treats. The next day I told dad we were going to see our friend again and we arrived just after 10.00
am and just in time for an activity.

I was able to make a discreet exit and took the advice of dementia friends and I didn't see him for two weeks but my brothers came as soon as they could.

I felt terribly guilty leaving him there but I knew that I needed the break. A fortnight later I collected him and he had settled in so well I had trouble getting him out. He ended going back in permanently after another fall and whilst he said this he won't stay very long just before going into the home. He forgot about me as soon as he saw his friends. I had a final meeting with dementia friends and we decided that this time it had to be permanent. The elder of my two brothers wasn't happy eventhough I thought I had talked him round. I felt grief taking over but I knew it was for the best. My friends and pupils helped me through this and I felt relief as well. I also looked to seeing dad's happy face whenever I visited and when had many happy outings.

MaNaAk

PS: Please keep posting to let us know how you get on.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. I couldn't imagine a more perfect transition;
the home you chose sounds wonderful.

Unfortunately with restrictions in place she's unable to do short visits, she's either in or out ,and when she's in she'll have to have a period of isolation, it makes the whole experience so much more difficult..

I hope you father remains happy and well.

Best wishes
 

BertyBinder

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
In a panic, at the start of lockdown, I took my mother to a home (one she had been to before for respite for a week (but always argued about not wanting to go, but enjoyed when she got there) I went in to her house (with daughter for moral support) and said we had to go now. got her in the car with protestations and me crying behind her back. took nothing just her. Couldn't go in with her because of Covid and it had to be that day before total lockdown. I went back to her house and packed a lot of stuff she would need. For me, it was the worst day of my life. And I've cried daily for 4 months. However, she has been very happy since day 1. 'I like it here, I think I will stay, its nice to have people around all the time' I do hope that your Mum surprises you and says she loves it. It doesn't happen often but you never know!
good luck
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with me.

I have no doubt that my experience may very well end up being the same. We are unable to do bite size visits due to covid. She's either in or out and when she's in she will have to go into isolation for a week. I have no doubt it will be a shock and betrayal to her.. along with being terrifying and overwhelming.

I have been advised to introduce her to the idea in the up and coming weeks but think it would massively distress her and she would only continually forget.. its hard to know what to do for the best really.

I'm so glad your mum has settled and likes her new hom.

Thank you again.
 

BertyBinder

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
Don't say anything!
Especially during the planning stage, she won't agree to anything.
Be prepared to use subterfuge, "come on, we're going out for lunch at that nice hotel"
It's going to be a difficult time, but you are doing the best for her.

Bod
Thank you for your response Bod, it made me smile, I think you might actually know my mum. Your right, she won't agree to anything and she's going to be super miffed, which is putting it lightly..

I hope your experience worked out.

Best wishes..
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,734
Essex
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. I couldn't imagine a more perfect transition;
the home you chose sounds wonderful.

Unfortunately with restrictions in place she's unable to do short visits, she's either in or out ,and when she's in she'll have to have a period of isolation, it makes the whole experience so much more difficult..

I hope you father remains happy and well.

Best wishes
Dear @BertyBinder,

I hope she settles and that you can at least video call her. It must be very difficult in these times. I'm afraid dad passed away in June 2019 but he had a very good last year in a lovely care home.

Thinking of you in these difficult times.

MaNaAk
 

Sophie20

New member
Jul 5, 2020
4
I had the exact same question as you a few weeks ago but the decision ended up being taken out our hands as Mum was admitted to hospital first. The only person she would listen to was her GP who called at the house and convinced her to comply with social worker and paramedics. She was discharged to a nursing home last week. Under Covid restrictions we had no choice in where she went, she’s the other side of town 😔 she has to isolate/be barrier nursed for 2 weeks due to guidelines even though she’s had 3 negative tests. To add to that a local lockdown has been imposed since last Friday so we really have no idea when we’ll see her again. It is such a stressful situation for us all! We are taking it in turns to speak to her on the telephone once a day. The staff reassure us we are doing the right thing even though most of the time Mum just cries. Last night I had a good call with her though, she has noticed the tv in her room and was very animated about the goings on in Beirut! The staff say she is a very quiet lady that needs encouragement to eat and drink and assure us that we will be called in to see her if she deteriorates further. We just want Mum to be safe and comfortable, the social workers have been great and are following Mums situation closely but we mainly feel helpless. She was originally discharged to a care home but had 3 falls in 12 hours and was taken back to hospital the next morning. We met her at the care home to drop things off for her and it was traumatic to leave her there BUT when we spoke to her after she had no memory of being there, which was a relief. I am waiting for the current home to set up a video call so we can see her/her room etc.
These are very strange times that seem unbelievably cruel to PWDs but my Mum does seem to be settling and not as depressed now she has been in one place for a while. I am also getting more confident that the staff know what they’re doing and Mum is getting the care she needs that we couldn’t provide. Feels like ‘tough love’ though so try not be hard on yourself.
 

JGDMG

Registered User
May 5, 2020
47
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with me.

I have no doubt that my experience may very well end up being the same. We are unable to do bite size visits due to covid. She's either in or out and when she's in she will have to go into isolation for a week. I have no doubt it will be a shock and betrayal to her.. along with being terrifying and overwhelming.

I have been advised to introduce her to the idea in the up and coming weeks but think it would massively distress her and she would only continually forget.. its hard to know what to do for the best really.

I'm so glad your mum has settled and likes her new hom.

Thank you again.
I hope it goes better than you anticipate. I wonder if isolation for a week is strictly necessary now that tests are available in the homes?
 

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