1. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hi, I haven't got used to the Thread business. Hope I am doing this right.

    We've gone through all he preliminaries and assessments, Mum's AZ appeared almost overnight though perhaps cos we weren't aware of it, but she was found wandering out at night which we now realise had been happening for some time, coupled with total disorientation about day/night (ringing friends at 3 a.m. for example). 6 weeks in an assessment unit and the psychiatrist said she could not live alone, needed 24-hour surveillance, but didn't need a specialist unit. She's now been 8 weeks in a care home, and though it isn't perfect (none is), we are fairly happy. Staff are nice, jolly, caring, there are some activities (we'd like more), and despite mum's initial hatred of the place, she is now "settled".

    I say "settled" cos two weeks ago she told me she was thinking of applying for a council bungalow, last week she was thinking of looking for lodgings, and this week she and another (totally incompatible) resident are going to get somewhere together.

    Mum has no idea she has AZ, and I don't think she would understand what it was, as she has never known anyone with it. Her sister in law had it, but mum hardly ever met her, and has forgotten the meetings anyway. She simply doesn't understand why she needs to be in a home, wants her own place that she can clean and do her own cooking etc. She has no hobbies or interests others than housework, so being in the home is very limiting to her. That said, she is not agressive about it, is very accepting when I tell her she needs to be there.

    I have been thinking of taking her to visit her old friends (her Home is not in her home town, but not too far away), or to her old church, or to my house for a cup of tea as she used to do, but on Thursday I had an odd experience with her.

    I took her for a new hearing aid. The journey from the Home to hearing aid centre was about 25 miles, and took us an hour. That upset her, cos she was constantly asking "how much further is it?", but she didn't recognise any of the towns we passed through even though she has been through them many times in the past. Until we passed the hospital where my dad was treated for cancer before he died in 2004. And she said "I'm not going to the hospital am I?". "No mum, a bit further on to the Hearing Centre". Okay. We get the hearing aid, and return home. Just as we are passing the hospital again, she says "It isn't far off lunch time, I'm not sure what to do about it". "What do you mean?" I ask. "Well, where shall I go for lunch, I suppose I'll have to go home". I said "Where do you mean?" and she said "Home, to New Mills, where I used to live" (she must have recognised that the road we were on led there), and in the next breath "Oh, I don't suppose I can, someone else lives there now" (the house is up for sale, completion any day). I said "No mum, you don't live there any more, you live at the Pavilion Home" "Oh, will they let me back into the Hotel to have lunch?" "Yes mum, they will let you do anything you want. It isn't a hotel, it is where you live now, you pay to live there, you can ask them for anything". "Oh".

    We carried on, another half hour. We arrived at the Pavilion. The care staff happened to all be in the hallway, and they all came to greet Mum. I said "you have a new resident - one who can how hear!" and Janice came to ask mum how she was. "Oh, I'm alright" said mum "but I'm just worried about where I'm going to have my lunch, can I stay and have it here?". Janice, being an extrovert, put her arms round my mum, gave her a big hug and said "you can have your lunch here every day", and another care worker said "let's take you upstairs and put your coat in your room". "Oh", said mum "Do I still have a room here, oh, thats a relief, I didn't know where I would go".

    It was as if the time away from the home (about 2.5 hours in total) had caused her to think she had left it, or perhaps it was passing the hospital where dad was treated that caused her to remember that we used to go there and then go back to her home. I don't know. But I was just surprised at her obvious concern that she now had "nowhere to go". She's obviously upset at having to have the house sold, that she had lived in for 50 years. If she was the sort of woman to cry (and I've never seen more than a damp eye in all my life), she could have sobbed about it. I am so proud of her for not doing so. But I was upset by the fact that she thought she had nowhere to go.

    Has anyone experienced this? I'd like to hear from you.

    But my ideas about taking he to her old dentist, her old church, or even to my house for a cup of tea, seem now to be a bit "dangerous". What do people think?

    I am now worrying about Christmas. Mum and Dad (and indeed hubby's mum and dad when alive" always came to us for Christmas lunch. I assumed mum would come this year. I hope our daughters will come (probably their last time as they both have long-term partners and things change), and thought Mum would love it. But is it wise to take her out of the Care Home and put her back in a situation that she remembers from the past? Will it cause problems in settling her back in the Care Home afterwards? Should we keep the visit very short - just in time for Christmas Dinner and then back again asap? I know it's months off yet, but I am just worried.

    Any help gratefully received.

  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Margaret.

    My husband is continually is a state of anxiety about being homeless, as we have only lived in this house for 5 years and he is still unsure about the ownership. He thinks he has to pay rent, or he thinks others live here too, and he keeps wanting to return to the home of his family, where he must have felt more secure. And when I tell him he owns half of this house with me, he is so relieved it`s unbelievable.

    Your mother really does seem to have settled in her new home. There may be hiccups now and then, but she was pleased to return, after an outing, so I think your worries on that score are over.

    As for Christmas, I would ask the advice of the Home. They will certainly be having their own celebrations and your mother will be included. But they will know whether she will be able to cope with a traditional family Christmas with you, whether the excitement will be too much or whether she`ll really enjoy it.

    Dear Margaret,please stop worrying about not doing threads and posts properly, you are doing just fine.

    Love xx
  3. maria29al

    maria29al Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    Hello Margaret,

    I think you and I are in a similar boat.

    My Mum went into a Care Home last Wednesday. She is also unaware that she has Alzheimers, although she knows something is wrong with her and she gets very frustrated with her stammering and her "bad head" as she calls it.
    She had started wandering around her village and I was getting calls every day to come and pick her up from the doctors, the hairdressers, neighbours!

    Since taking her to the Home on Wednesday I have not visited. I agreed this with the Manageress as I really want her to settle a bit. But, apparently after I left on Wednesday Mum had a proper tantrum and threw her handbag and got very agitated - and again the following day. I am going to visit her tomorrow and I am already dreading the leaving part of it! I too have thought about Christmas and bringing her to past places etc.

    I am sorry I cant offer any advise here as I am going through it myself. I just wanted to say that we seem to have similar worries and it helps to know there are others going through the same.

    Maybe all the wonderful people on here can give us some much needed advice. Its so tough to know what to do for the best. I feel so sad that Mum is now no longer at home but I realise that its for the best. I went to her old house the other day to clean a bit and it felt so lonely in there. I just sobbed!

    Anyway, take care and all the best.

  4. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    Dear Margaret,

    what you describe above is what we experienced with my gramps. he was never diagnosed as having AD or dementia, and he was lucid a lot of the time. When he first moved into the nh, we used to take him out quite a lot in his wheelchair. We could still transfer him in and out of the car easily, so we drove around hte local area with him, to beauty spots for cups of tea, etc. Some days we just wheeled him down the local pub up the road for a pint. Since my grandparents' house had been handed back to the council already at that time, he didn't have a "home" to go to any more, but he spent many days at my aunt's house...He would ask "where am I going now?" when we took him back to the nh, but he wasn't terribly perturbed by it, just settled back in once we had assured him he didn't need to cook himself lunch or make his own tea or do any shopping.

    However, there came a time when this seemed to unsettle him. Being at my aunt's more than going out for a drive and returning to the nursing home. I can remember the last Christmas we had him at home, the poor soul didn't know where he was or what he was doing or where he was supposed to go back to. It was upsetting for him, and upsetting for us to watch. From then on, we didn't bring him home any more. We still took him to the pub or outside in his wheelchair, but by then he was so immobile that we couldn't get him in and out of the car any more, so we couldn't drive around with him any longer either.

    And he often used to ask, when he was in the nursing home nad confusion progressed, "well, what will I have for dinner?", or "I#d better go down the shop now and get something for tea", and he used to worry about having to cook something himself. We used to reassure him in the same was as you do your mum and he usually settled again then.

    I'm not sure if mum would be more unsettled if you brought her home, or if it would be difficult for her to settle again into the nh after she had been to your house. I would ask the nh staff for advice. And it's good that you can still take her out for a drive.

    Take care, thinking of you.
  5. Devonmaid

    Devonmaid Registered User

    Sep 23, 2007
    Dartmoor Devon
    Dear Margaret , I really do sympathise with you , its a really tricky one , my Mum used to be just the same , anxious and confused about where home was . We found that taking her out only added to the anxiety and caused panic attacks and she used to talk of home being one that she had lived in many many years ago but every case is different isnt it ? I`m sorry I cant offer any real help but I would tend to play it by ear, one day at a time and ask the advice of the staff re Christmas , it could be too much for her to cope with . Sorry again that I cant really help ,
    love Kate
  6. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hi all,

    Everyone's advice helps. It is great to get a mix of different opinions and experiences, and sometimes just someone to listen. I know at the end of the day, we are all in the same position - we have to make our own decisions, and we may be right, we may be wrong, but at least they are "informed" decisions.

    We are also in the same position in that we CARE, and I have to say that emotion has come as a surprise to me, cos for the last 40 years or so I haven't had a good relationship with my mum, she is not a loving person, not demonstrative, has always been rather critical of me, and suddenly I am in charge of her and I feel so protective, and she seems to be so glad of my support. Odd, aint it?

  7. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Margaret.Yesterday's the past,tomorrow's the future.todays the present and that's why we call it a gift.Don't focus on the future,focus on today,tomorrow may never come for any of us.Christmas is something our loved ones may not think about at this time(although we do with trepidation).I advise to wait and see and do whatever you feel is best.love elainex
  8. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Margaret,

    Its very early days yet for your mum to get settled into the NH, and to recognise this as home.

    Personally I wouldnt take her out of the NH for a while yet, let her get totally used to it and settled into home life.

    I was also advised not to see mum for a couple of weeks, and whilst I felt really dreadful about it, it did work. I also didnt take mum out for a couple of months, in fact I was again advised to wait until mum had been out in the mini bus with the other residents a few times first. I followed their advice, now I bring mum home on a regular basis, we also have trips out in the nice weather, and she is fine. Of course, what may work for one, may not work for another. You know your mum best.

    Please try not to get upset, this massive change is also a change for you too.

  9. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Cate, I have done as you have, had a period of not visiting. At first I visited almost every day, then dropped off to 3/4 times a week, and now down to twice. I itsn't set in stone, as I pass her Care Home on my way to work, but being a University lecturer, August is a quiet period for us, so I was able to drop in more, and September onwards is a nightmare, so I have told her today that I probably won't see her till next weekend. She seems okay with that. Plus my car needs a service on Thursday, my day off, so no chance.

    Plus we are about to exchange contracts on her house, and it is still full of her and dad's stuff, so that is going to take some time to get rid of. I just can't do lots of visits as well.

    Ah well, can only do my best.

    One of the ladies in her home has no visitors at all. Wonder who buys her soap, her shampoo, her tights? Who helps her write her Christmas cards etc? How sad. At least mum has me.

  10. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi Margaret,
    My mum has been in a care home since last May I have only had a couple of visits where she hasn't asked if I was there to take her home. Mum usually accepts the NOT TO-DAY answer. I have had to take mum out on several occasions to visit Hearing centre, Dr's etc these all been at one time familiar with her, now no recognition. I have also taken mum to my place and daughters place and she is good for about one hour then she is very anxious to go back to the home I try to gently persuade her to stay a little longer but she then racks her brain for reasons as to why she better go back and these reasons are usually based on fear of having nowhere to stay. Yesterday my daughter was celebrating her 30th and when I went to get mum I told her we were going to a birthday party she said; good and I'm not coming back you can take me home so help me with all my clothes. I said OK... it's a pity we didn't have a suitcase to put them in, as, their are to many to carry. She said; they have been nice to me here so let's just leave them here. When we were leaving she said goodbye to all in the lounge area and informed them she would not be back. We arrived at my daughters we were there fifteen minutes and she wanted to head back to the home. I managed to hold her off for only one hour then she became upset was convinced that the care home was hers and she let other people stay there but everyone including herself were moving to her new home that would be completed to move into at anytime and if she didn't get back everyone would go without her and she would have no idea where to find them. I took her back straight away and she was so pleased to get back to her safety zone. I was hoping to bring mum home also on Christmas Day as that's also her 84th birthday I feel if things remain the same with her it will be a short visit, but, at the end of the day I would rather see her content than troubled. Even to visit mum I have done really well if I manage to stay 45 Min's she has identified with the place and is in her routine and I feel she is at a stage where that alone is a big enough struggle. I accept this but it is heartbreaking. Regards Taffy.
  11. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Thank you all, you are great supporters. I will read every reply in more detail (now that I have found out today how to find your replies)., and send love to you all

  12. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hello everyone,

    Not read this thread for a while, sorry, other things have taken over, read other threads. But it's now getting to thinking about Christmas again, and I am considering leaving mum at the Home for Christmas lunch. Last week she had to change bedrooms in the home (all that is on another thread), and it so upset her to be out of her routine.

    She thought that they had given her room to someone else, and she wouldn't have anywhere to live. She was so distressed and so was I. It is now resolved, but she still isn't happy cos there is a new resident who goes into other people's rooms during the day, so they all have to be locked. Mum likes to potter in and out of her room, for her twice-daily strip off wash, and other things, and now feels she can't do that. I am asking the staff if she can have a key to her room.

    But I am now thinking it could totally mix her up if she came to our house for Christmas lunch. It is a shame, and as I have said on several posts, this has all come on so rapidly for us. Last Christmas she was with us all, and was perfectly normal. Glass of sherry, mince pie at 12 noon, watch a bit of telly, talk to the girls, lunch at 2.30, glass of wine, coffee, glass of port. More telly or even a board game. Home about 7 p.m. No way this year. I can only envisage bringing he for the main meal a 2.30 and taking her back about 4 p.m. Even that might upset her. Any advice please?

  13. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Margaret,
    That fact that you have written "even that may upset her" sounds very much like being away from the N.H. could confuse your Mother. This is my first Christmas with my husband being in a N.H. and I know he can not come home as he is in a E.M.I. unit and would be very confussed.
    As much as you would love your Mother to be with you it probably would not be advisable. In saying that you know your Mother best and as Carers' we want the best care for our loved ones.
    Your Mother will probably have a great time there. As I am writing this, I am thinking along the lines of I hope my husband has a good time. There never seems to be any easy answers for us is there?
    Wishing you all the very best. Christine
  14. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Thanks Christine,

    I will be so disappointed if my daughters come home for Christmas Day and mum doesn't join us, as she has always done. But I am learning bit by bit that mum is a lot worse now that she was a few months ago, or even a few weeks ago. This illness progresses without any plan. Anyway there are still 7 weeks to go till Christmas, so we will see how she progresses.

  15. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Margaret,

    Could you all go to the home and have a sherry and a mince pie with your mum on Christmas morning, before returning for your Christmas at home?

    A friend is in a very similar situation as her Dad has dementia and is in a care home. Last year she brought him to her house for Christmas and he was very unhappy and just wanted to get back to the care home asap. It's a sad fact but he has become institutionalised and is happier in the home.

    So this year the whole family is going to visit him en masse, have a drink with him, and then leave him where he is happy.
  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Oh Yes, Sue, we will not just ignore mum. 4 years ago it was my mother in law in a care home 30 miles away, and we all went over at 12 noon for the glass of sherry, came back home for our meal, and then my two daughters felt bad about leaving her, so they went back again in the late afternoon.

    That grandma was physically unwell, so it wasn't possible to bring her to us, but my mum is not so.

    But I am listening to everyone's advice. If she is confused about a change of room, is it going to be worse to bring her to our home? I really did want to do that. Yes, Institutionalised comes to mind. I am really upset about it. Last Christmas she was with us, and no problem at all, one year on we are in a different situation. It is all so fast. I just want to welcome her into our home, make her happy and take her back happy that she has been here. Can I do it? Shall I risk it? I want her to know we care, and we still regard her as part of the family. Am I asking too much?

    Love all

  17. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    If only wishes could be granted

    Dear Margaret,
    By visiting it is showing your love. I know it is not the same as you I would love my husband to be with the family for Christmas but I know that is out of the question. Situations do not get any easier do they. Take care.
    . Love from Christine
  18. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Try it this year

    Since it is her first Christmas in the home, I would try bringing her home for Christmas lunch. Can you have it timed so that she is picked up just before your lunch and brought back to the home fairly soon afterwards? I found with my mother that the sitting around and chatting didn't work very well for her. But she was quite happy to sit and eat.

    So perhaps a half hour of socializing before the lunch & half and hour afterwards would work out. Be prepared to return her to the home earlier if she starts to get very agitated. I brought my mother home for Christmas lunch up until last year, when she became confined to a wheelchair. Her last Christmas at home she did get a little confused & walked to the hallway, which was quiet and empty. You should keep that in mind - all the noise & bustle is very disconcerting to someone with AD. Having the TV or radio or stereo on with everyone laughing and talking at once is far too much stimulation for someone with AD. If you have another quieter room where everyone can take a turn sitting & chatting with her one-on-one, that could help also.

    I think you can make it work.
  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Margaret, I think you're right not to make any decisions yet. John seems to be deteriorating at a very rapid rate just now, and though I would dearly love to have him home, I'm very doubtful about it. And he's only been in the NH for a month.

    Last week we took him out to lunch for my birthday, and he was so confused and disorientated. He wouldn't eat anything, and just wanted to go back.

    I think we all have to make our own decisions on this, because no-one else knows the exact circumstances. I expect I'll end up spending the day at the NH, but I haven't a family. In your case, a morning visit may be the best solution all round.

    It's going to be hard, however we do it.
  20. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    This is a very useful thread for me because like others I am wondering what to do about Christmas with my Mum and Dad. On the assumption they are still in the care home I was thinking of joining them for Christmas Day lunch (I'm sure that will be possible, as I can invite myself to meals whenever I like there) and then coming back home. I was wondering too whether I could bring them home, but I think that may confuse them more. They seem to enjoy most of the activities the home lays on, so Christmas could be the same. Maybe I'll just ask the advice of the staff, they have been so helpful on other things.

    Oh dear I'm waffling, must be the late hour.

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