1. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    My mother, ages 79, had short term memory loss for a long time. She lived alone and 70 miles from me. Then she had a bad fall and broke her pelvis and was taken to hospital.
    When she was there her confusion got a lot worse and the hospital said she wasnt safe to live alone and she needed a nursing home. So I took professional advice and found her one near to me.
    when her pelvis was a bit better they discharged her to there and I had to sell her bungalow to pay the £800 per week fees.
    But she HATES it...like REALLY hates it. She wont eat the food and she is really rude to the staff and if she wasnt so frail she would be violent. But when she is more lucid, she thinks she is there on a temp basis and she will come out and go and live by herself again.
    If I try and explain to her this wont happen she gets even more upset, but I feel guilty to lie and pretend she will come out and live by herself when I really cant see she ever will.
    My son says just let her think one day she will come out and act like she is just in hospital but this seems morally wrong but it also seems cruel to cause unecessary upset to her.
    What is best for her?
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Natashalou

    Welcome to TP.
    Sometimes lying is the only thing we can do. It is not lying to be deceitful, but can be the only kindness we can give. I think many of us will have done it.

    Have you tried taking any special kinds of food in for her to try... things she may have liked before, or stuff you might have made especially for her?

    Perhaps worth a try.

    Others on here may be able to give more helpful advice...
  3. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Sometimes lying is the only kind thing to do. If she thinks she'll get out eventually and that helps settle her down, it's a good thing.

    It's not about morality, it's about kindness. You might want to point out that she would get out faster if she ate properly too.

    Don't feel guilty.

  4. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Yes, Natashalou, I agree with Bruce and Jo, try not to feel guilty, it is the kinder option.

    Best wishes,
  5. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    I would agree with that. It's kinder to lie. Sadly, even though your mother has lucid moments, the chances are that she won't remember what you told her in the last one; you will have to go through it all over and over, causing distress and agitation every time.

    When she is not lucid, the truth or otherwise won't be relevant.

    I have often found that whilst it can cause a guilty conscience, it is better to take the easier path for all concerned.

    In all likelihood, you probably will not be able to convince your mother that she is wrong, in any case. She will cling to her reality and denial. It is probably better to let her do this.
  6. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    Hi Natashalou. i agree with the above comments. i also think sometimes, thou this might not be in your mum's case, that they know the truth and know what's best but a dear daughters comment gives a little re-assurance.
    A bit like "does my bum look big in this" ? No !
  7. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    I really, really strggled with this one, so I know how hard you will be finding it to "lie" to your Mum. All our lives our parents stressed how important it was to tell the truth and be honest. We did the same to our children, and now we find it all turned upside down!!

    But I totally agree that you have to go with kindness and loving support rather than honesty (which can be brutal). It DOES go "against the grain", but it gets easier as time goes on. Its awful to say, but I can now "lie with gay abandon"!!:eek:

    (On a lighter note: My wicked husband says "who is this gay abandon you are lying with?!!!") Nell
  8. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    Co. Durham
    Not quite there yet, but

    When the time comes for my Gran to be moved into a care home, we've already got it planned what we'll tell her.

    We'll tell her that she'll be there temporarily, that we're decorating her house for her, and it won't be nice enough for her to live in for quite a while.

    Sounds absolutely terrible when I see that in writing, but it's the only way we'll get her there without an argument.

    I feel for you loads.

  9. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    Dear Natashalou,
    Mum also broke her hip and ended up in a nursing home. She took a long time to settle, but eventually she did and she seems to like the staff. The turning point seemed to be when she made a friend and the two of them sit together in Mum's room, each having their own conversation which is apparently quite unrelated to what the other one is saying. They seem to be happy to have company and I find Mum is much more lucid when her friend is with her.
    I think it just takes time for people to feel at home in a new place. If Mum asks, I tell her that she needs to have people to look after her, as she can't even sit up in bed by herself and she seems to accept it. The nurses say that she is quite easy to look after now.It doesn't seem possible that she was still in her own home two years ago and she went into a care home in the summer of 2005.
    I hope your Mum feels more settled soon,
  10. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I know it goes against the grain to lie, but think about it. Are we telling the lies to make our family members feel better, and would the truth make them feel worse.

    Lying is wrong if it`s for our own selfish gain, but to spare the pain of others, is, I think justified.

    I quite like Gill`s family telling their Gran her house is going to be decorated. I hope it works, when the time comes.
  11. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    #11 CraigC, Mar 22, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
    Hi Natashalou,

    In my most humble opinion, lying if OK if it is done for loving reasons and in situations when it gives someone more dignity. You just need to measure up when the truth is important and who is really going to benefit from it. Dementia changes the rule book a little bit in my opinion. It is the respect, love and dignity bit that is important.

    Kind Regards
  12. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    My dear Lionel has been agitated this week. He cannot understand why he does not live with me.

    It is now no good telling him that I am unable to care for him alone, as he does not think that there is anything wrong with him. He is not able to stand alone, or walk, or dress etc, but in his head he is O.K.

    Today I told him that I have been ill, and until I am better he is there to help me.
    "Hurrah" it worked, if only for today. Little white lies, where would I be without them.
  13. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    Hi Natashalou

    I agree with what has been said about white lies. Last year, my Mum asked if I'd seen her mother. So I explained she'd died some 40 years ago. The look of devastaion on my mother's face I'll never forget. And she remembered for about 3 weeks, even asking if I'd organised the funeral and who was there. I never want to go through that again. So now I just answer questions in a way that will give Mum the least pain possible, even if what I'm saying isn't quite the exact truth. I don't feel any guilt about doing it either. If it makes my mother feel better, why not. I hope this is helpful - just my way of working things out.

    Best wishes
  14. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire

    When Mum asks if I have seen her Mum/Dad/ brothers to-day? They all died years ago, I now just say no, sorry I haven't seen them to-day (thank goodness I haven't, I would be terrified)
    She is quite happy with that answer and goes on with the story, about her Mum, Dad or brothers, same thing every night.

    When in the past, not knowing any better, I told her they are no longer with us, as in dead, she was devastated.
    I learned that if it makes her happy to think of them as still here and if in her mind, her father owned this whole village, so what? It is doing no one any harm and giving her an interest:confused:

    Lies are a tool, to keep them happy and help us cope, as long as it doesn't harm anyone.

  15. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    thank you

    for all your messages, I do now feel a lot better about not being honest with mum. However having read through lots of the postings I now feel very bad about her being in the home in the first place as so many of you seem to be coping with so much at home.
    The problem was she was 70 miles away and the hospital wanted the bed, and said if I didnt find her a home they would, which might be anywhere in West Sussex. But now I wonder if I had argued more they would have had to fund a care package at home for her?
    They claimed carers would only go in a maximum of four times a day and for a maximum of twenty minutes each visit.. That wouldnt be enough and I do agree, she had no neighbours family etc close by to help.
    sometimes I wonder if I should try to bring her with me but we dont have room really and I cant afford to give up my full time job.
    Is it really true that local authorities have to give so little help to enable someone to remain at home?
  16. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    My mother's carers were supposed to come 3 times a day, first one for 3/4 hour to help her wash and dress, then 1/2 hour for lunch (meals on wheels, or a microwave meal) to make sure she ate it, then 1/2 hour in the evening to make sure she had her supper and help her get ready for bed. It wasn't enough and they didn't always do it, sometimes only popped in for 5 minutes and sometimes didn't turn up at all. (When they only stayed 5 minutes it may have been that she herself told them she didn't need any help, "I don't need carers, I can do everything all by myself".)

    She was supposed to try that for 3 months and then (if it didn't work) go in a home. I asked how will we know if it doesn't work? SW said the carers would soon notice.

    Of course some people need far more care than that.

    Social workers made it clear it was up to them to decide (although she would have been self-funding), not us, I suppose that is partly to reduce family conflict.

  17. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    Co. Durham

    Please don't judge yourself by others. Lots of people are caring for loved ones in the home environment because it's right for them at the moment. However, they, like others, may have to admit defeat in the end & take all the help that is available to them, even if that means placing their loved one in a home.

    You have a family, a job, & they are equally as important as your mum. Though you may not realise it, they will be your outlet for the stress that goes along with caring for someone in their own home. Having that outlet makes you more capable of doing things for your mum & (sorry this sounds awful) they will be there when your mum is not. That sounds terrible, but I hope you get where I'm coming from? It's meant in the best possible way.

    My mum & me (& my control freak of an Aunt) are caring for my Gran in her home. It's not an ideal situation. Like your mum, my Gran lives 25 miles away from us & we cannot be there as often as we would like to be. Social Services have been a bit less than useless until recent weeks, we've had to struggle to get what care we have in place for Gran, & we've had some potentially lethal situations with Gran whilst she's been alone.

    Your mum being in a Care home is more than likely what would have happened to her sooner or later, so if you think about it, you may well have saved yourself a lot of trauma later on in the illness? You're bound to feel guilty, I don't think I've read one thread where the poster wasn't feeling truly awful. But things will settle, & at least you'll be able to enjoy quality time with your mum when you do visit her. And that, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects of this god-awful disease, being able to enjoy the time you have with your loved one without feeling under pressure or feeling there's something you've forgotten that could lead to disaster.

    I don't know if what I've said makes sense, but I felt for you when you said maybe you shouldn't have done it so soon. You've done what is right for you & your mum at this point in time. She loves you & you love her. Keep that thought in the back of your mind always.

    Hugs aplenty.
  18. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Natashalou,

    Like you, my Mum is in a care home. When you compare the progress of her disease with that of some on TP, she is really capable. Like yo, I have the dreaxed "guilt monster" on my shoulder saying I should have kept her at home.

    But as others have said, every case is different. I won't go into the many reasons that a care home was the best option for us - but there were good reasons as you too have good reasons.

    The best we can do is just that - the best we can do. I do as much for Mum as I can (and it is never enough - in her eyes or mine!!:rolleyes: ). I know you will do the same.

    TP is a wonderful support - I never imagined I'd become part of an "on line community" but TP is such a great help for us all.

    Give the old "guilt monster" a flying kick from us both!! Nell

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