visits to my mum in her care home

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by lilacwarm, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. lilacwarm

    lilacwarm Registered User

    Apr 5, 2008
    18
    u.k
    HI everyone , I visited my mum tonight I manage to see her about 4 times a week because her care home is quite local .
    My dad visits her nearly day and like me is finding all of this really hard. He relies on me for emotional support and I try my best to support him .I speak to my dad several times a day on the phone,him telling me what he isnt happy with why he coudnt cope with mum at home all of which I try to listen patiently to telling him he did his best. When i then visit my mum , she says wheres your dad he goes out all these hours and leaves me, I dont like this house bungalow hotel .Then I am told I dont care about her and hmm she supposes I am leaving soon.OH goodness It just seems never ending questions at times .
    I love them both dearly and am trying the best I can..but it doesnt stop the guilt at leaving mum and trying my best to cope with it all
     
  2. DianeB

    DianeB Registered User

    May 29, 2008
    765
    nottinghamshire
    Oh honey (((((hugs))))) I know exactly where you are coming from, its heartbreaking. My Mum has been in her nursing home now since the 9th Sept this year. Like youself it is only a 2 mile journey from me and I go every day, Dad goes now twice a week. I worked out yesterday I spend 4 hours a day either speaking to Dad on the phone or being with Mum, my days are completely taken up, the life I once had has gone, which is the same for all of us. Is there anyway you could take Mum out for a few hours, and if so do you think it would help? A brave move at first but if it can be achieved it is certainly worth it. I have had Mum here for dinner twice now, took her to Tesco to help me do some shopping and the most recent took her for lunch at a garden centre where they had all their christmas displays out, she has loved every minute, and it has helped me to lessen some of that guilt. Upon return back to the home I always say that the nurse will be ready for sorting out her medications and she needs to see the nurse, once inside the home I search out the nurse who knows now what excuse I use and she takes over. Quite often when I leave Mum I will tell her what I need to go for e.g cooking hubbys dinner etc., but I will be back later.
    When Mum has her good days I am left thinking could we have cared for her now, but on her not so good days it really hits home there is no chance we could.
    You like me are doing the best you can, being there for both your parents and at times I often think where do I fit in here, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Another tip that we do is to take Mum to her bedroom rather than visit and spend all our time in one of the rooms. In her room the staff will bring us tea and biscuits, and we bring in some of our own too. This has helped Mum to feel that the room is "hers" and allows us to spend time with her without the distraction of the other residents and any noise.

    Sending you loads of supportive hugs

    Diane
     
  3. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    Wow Diane, I could have written word for word what you have only mine would be about my husband not my mother.

    Everything you do, I also do. It gives me such a lot of pleasure to take him out on our afternoon jaunts and I know that it helps my husband to still feel a part of 'normal' life.

    There are a few days when this is not possible. Yesterday was one of them. I got to the home at my usual time to find he could hardly walk. He had paced so much that his back had given way and he was almost touching the floor on one side of his body. He was very confused and it would have been too dangerous to take him out.

    I too go to his bedroom and the staff bring us coffee andbiscuits - the staff are so lovely always welcoming and supportive. Yesterday one of the staff told me they had a spa footbath so I got that out and we sat in his bedroom watching tv whilst he had a little pampering session on his sore feet.

    I never feel I've done enough and always feel very bad when I have to leave. I also give the same reasons why I have to leave as you do.

    I must have 'caught' his bad back of yesterday as during last night I woke up with the most painful shoulder and back. I smell terrible at the moment as I have rubbed so much 'deep heat' on myself and am still in my pyjamas with the dressing gown tightly zipped up to keep my neck and shoulder warm. I'm worrying about driving the 25 minutes to visit but know that I will try to make myself do so. I feel so guilty if I don't see him every day but also know how much this takes out of me both physically and mentally.

    xxTinaT
     
  4. DianeB

    DianeB Registered User

    May 29, 2008
    765
    nottinghamshire
    Tina lol I also pamper Mum, I wash dry and style her hair 3 x's a week, massage her face and neck every day and also do her nails, she loves it, even on the days where she can't speak much I can tell by the look in her eyes. Just knowing that she is feeling some pleasure helps me to deal with some of the guilt. Lilacwarm is there anyway you could try some of these things yourself, do you think they would help you both.
    Now all we need is for somebody to pamper us ;)
     
  5. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    I cut his hair every two weeks or so and shave him every day. I love to see him looking dapper and smart. The staff again help me by really taking care to dress him well each day. For example yesterday he had on his white shirt with pale brown stripes, brown trousers, shoes and a brown jumper. He looked so smart. Just as I would have dressed him myself! I can't tell you how much I appreciate these signs of care for him.

    xxTinaT

    ps - have signed your petition
     
  6. susiewoo

    susiewoo Registered User

    Oct 28, 2006
    82
    Bromley Kent
    My lovely Mum has been in a home for two years nearly and some days I find it hard to visit and then feel guilty that I haven't been. I've done everything already mentioned...going to a garden centre has proved the best as they have a clothing section as well and we can shop at our own pace with no hassles.
    I went in last night and turned all Mums wardrobe out and filtered out some stuff which is too big for her now. I gave Mum all the socks to pair up and to my amazement she did it!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,115
    Kent
    An old skill, Suzie, still retained. So often there`s something to surprise us. You haven`t lost your mother yet, she`s still there, you just have to be lucky to find her.

    Love xx
     
  8. Lanie

    Lanie Registered User

    Aug 31, 2008
    293
    Surrey
    I can't add much just to say I to do all the sorts of things that have been suggested. In my Mum's case she has made friends with a lady of 97 whose company she enjoys immensely, so i know when I leave she's happy. Have you asked the carers what your Mum is like when your not there, as sometimes although you feel guilty when you leave they are actually fine after you've gone.

    Lanie
     
  9. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    I am envious of you all. My mum wouldn't thank you for visiting a clothes shop or a garden centre, she might like a 20 minute run in the country, but would be itching to get back. She has no interests at all. It is hard work visiting her in such circumstances.

    Margaret
     
  10. lilacwarm

    lilacwarm Registered User

    Apr 5, 2008
    18
    u.k
    Thanks for the replies, petition signed, mum was in hospital for 11 weeks prior to emi unit so we have witnessed life on a busy ward for staff and patients. I cant take mum out on my own as I dont drive and simply cant manage to weight bear her. she has had quite a lot of falls in the last few months and coz of my own physical health it isnt practical.dad is part sighted 82 and also not in good health.staff say mum calls out frequently in night and asks what is she to do?Night staff have given her some colouring books crayons . She isnt sleeping hardly at night they report.She has seen doc who is changing her meds slightly. she has previous heart attack, c.op.d frequent uti ,chest infections and cellulitus with ulcers.we being my dad and myself visit as often as we can and she has about 3 visits weekly from her sisters.
    I have looked at picture books to try to stimulate her occupy her and made up photo albumn n wall pics for her. please can anyone reccomend anything I could take to try and interest her. conversation is very limited and repetitive, many thanks for reading
     
  11. heartbroken

    heartbroken Registered User

    Feb 17, 2008
    747
    derbyshire
    have you tried playing a game of snap my daughter used to with Edna plus dominos was another after a while she was happy to just sit and watch us play because she forgot how to play and didn't want to look silly by making a mistake

    just a thought worth a try
    I don't know what stage you are at but jigsaws are good to a childs one thats easyier plus a smaller one doesn't take to long to do so holds intrest more
    hope this helps
     
  12. Helen33

    Helen33 Registered User

    Jul 20, 2008
    14,697
    Hi, my husband is still at home and he gets great pleasure from two small toy stuffed dogs which he looks after and they seem to give him purpose and responsibility.

    You could google doll therapy. Someone has posted a thread about doll therapy on the thread I wrote about Alan's New Pet.

    I hope you find something suitable.

    Love
     
  13. DianeB

    DianeB Registered User

    May 29, 2008
    765
    nottinghamshire
    (((((Lilacwarm))))) just had a quick thought, taking everything into consideration, would this suggestion work ..... if you were to use a disabled taxi, one that allows a wheelchair to remain open with Mum still sat in it. You wouldn't have to go far, even a local supermarket, and then if they have a cafe have a coffee etc., My Mums home offer a carer to go with you, wonder if your Mums home does this. This way you wouldn't need to do any weight bearing what so ever.

    Heartbroken I like the idea of playing snap and I shall buy a pack today and try that one out, so thank you.

    (((((Margaret))))) I'm sorry that you are not able to do things like this with your Mum, I'm sure soon I may be in the same position. Would your Mum allow you to pamper her at all?

    When Mum was in the hospital I took in my cutlery tray and filled it with everything except knives for obvious reasons. I 'washed' them and asked Mum to dry them and sort them out for me, as I had 'so' much house work I needed her help ;) I was amazed that she got all but 2 spoons in the correct slots .... a little like a shape sorter.

    I try and think along the lines of housework because that is what Mum was so used to doing. I have even given her a duster and polish and collected the little ornaments for Mum to dust. If I buy Mum flowers we sit down together and she arranges them, I cut the stems and hold on to the vase so it does not tip over. Even artifical flowers in some oasis has worked and kept Mum occipied.

    In fact I think alot of us would benefit if we could get our heads together and give each other ideas, so I will start a new post and let's see what develops. ;)
     
  14. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    I love the idea of an 'ideas for visiting' post. Sounds a super idea and one which I will use if it gets off the ground.
    xxTinaT
     
  15. heartbroken

    heartbroken Registered User

    Feb 17, 2008
    747
    derbyshire
    diane with snap you can play pairs as well place all or half the cards face down and take it in turns to find a pair good game if there is no speach

    please let us know how it goes
     
  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Oh dear, we tried flower arranging, no go, not suprised, I just put them in the jar as they arrive. No interest in shopping for clothes or anything else. No interest in anything really, never has had.

    Mum is a bore and it is hard work. One of the activities co-orindators painted her nails. What for, said mum? She brought dress material and said they were all going to make a dirndl skirt - meant nothing to mum never heard the term. A facial means nothing to her. Massage, no thanks. She doesn't read any more, can't follow the plot. What a boring existence.

    Love

    Margaret
     
  17. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    82
    Visiting my MIL in her EMI unit is hard work too and distressing for all since she is so agitated still depite the diazepam and longstanding citalopram.

    We constantly have to move from bedroom to lounge, outside, upstairs, back down to bedroom etc. I always take in small cream cakes to eat with a coffee which she has always enjoyed but this is just thrown back without tasting or any enjoyment before the movement starts again. Have tried getting her to help with clothes sorting and other small tasks but she has zero concentration span so everything is just abandoned.

    She hasn't been able to concentrate on a newspaper or magazine for many months and has now even stopped having the TV on - seems to be a nuisance to her. The small CD unit we bought with thoughts of past favourite music played quietly was treated with suspicion and told to take away.

    MIL happy to go out in the car but never at peace when we get to where we are going and asking to go home.

    THe NH staff told us yesterday that my MIL much worse in the afternoon, standing at the locked door to the EMI unit banging on the glass at anyone who is not staff for attention. Her language and communication is really poor so she can't put her anxiety into words, just starts to cry.

    Starting to feel the strain of visiting and wondering how long we will have to carry on and how much worse it will get..
     
  18. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    723
    London
    I like the idea of an "ideas for visiting" thread too.

    Like a lot of us, I like to visit my Mum, but it is so difficult as she seems to have no interest in anything. Sometimes I take magazines with lots of pictures in so we can look at the different clothes, pictures of the Royal Family (which she remembers).

    Also I take in a new version of Scrabble which is just letters in a box and you shake them on to the table and try to make up words, you can make it as simple as you like. Mum makes up most of the words, but I don't argue and it doesn't matter really, at least we are doing something active and it's something we can (sort of) chat about.
     
  19. DianeB

    DianeB Registered User

    May 29, 2008
    765
    nottinghamshire
    I was thinking of doing a scrap book with Mum, especially of places where she / we as a family have been too. This would give us something to talk about. Also I could put in pictures of food Mum taught me how to cook or bake.
     
  20. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    723
    London
    Another thought ....

    My Mum's home have a "life story" for each the residents. Just a few sheets cut and pasted with lots of photos of old friends, her old school, holidays etc etc and if pushed I get that out and we chat about it.

    My goodness, aren't we all going to be busy when we visit now!!
     

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