1. Mummy's Girl

    Mummy's Girl Registered User

    Oct 27, 2006
    Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Mum's wandering is constant now. she is regularly found just walking by friends and neighbours who deliver her to my sister's or home if she has a key. This happens 4 or 5 times a day in all weathers and a risk assessment has been done by our brilliant social worker that concludes she is unsafe (we agree). The consultant has said we have a choice..... stick with the current situation and run the risk of an accident/mugging etc or put her into a home (where she will probably quickly die - he didn't say this in front of her). When mum heard this, she violently pointed into the face of the consultant and screamed ' I am NOT going into a home'. She was a psychiatric nurse and the mention of the Mental Health act set her off. The other option is direct payments to employ a babysitter to sit with her all afternoon (when she mainly wanders).

    2 of my sisters and a brother went to see a local home with a fab EMI unit this week which would be perfect

    My sister is bearing the brunt of this as she is at home all day so this is who is called on when mum wanders. She's not coping.

    So do we lead her to total unhappiness and pursue the home, or take the chance she will not get injured/mugged etc? The latter is not good for my sister's health.

    I know you can't necessarily give me the answer... but it is good just writing it down. Sigh! Thanks for listening

  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Karen, couldn`t day care be arranged for the afternoons your mother is at risk, wandering.

    This was arranged for my mother, who was a wanderer too, and was very satisfactory.
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Well you're certainly right about the rock and the hard place.

    The problem is, of course, if she refuses point blank to go into residential care, you can't make her. The exception to that would be if she came under the category of "sectionable" and that takes considerably more than wandering (wandering without clothes, maybe).

    Apart from Sylvia's suggestion, the only option I can think of is try to get her somewhere for a week's respite (you never know - some people take to it like a duck to water) or persue some of the technology "solutions" that may be available. I put "solutions" in inverted commas, because I, personally, have not found them to be solutions but they may work for some people. Does she seem to have a reason for the wandering? Is she looking for someone or something, or is it more random? I ask because my mother (when she was still walking) did respond to a large notice on the door that said "DO NOT GO OUT THIS DOOR" :D I have also seen on some companies websites that specialise in disability products full-size door posters that look like bookshelves that they claim help to stop wandering (on the basis that if you don't know it's a door you don't go out of it). How effective they are I don't know.

    It does help to write it down, doesn't it? Even if there's no solution.

  4. janetruth

    janetruth Registered User

    Mar 20, 2007
    Hi Karen

    I have 5 siblings and our mum lived on her own SS care package wasn't working and mum was going downhill.
    We were also told that she would not last long in a care home.
    My wonderful partner said she should be with her family and we now have her living with us.
    It wasn't easy, but nearly nine months later things are more settled. my mum has benefitted from having routine, with scope for changes.
    Medication,diet, company and love have given my mum a quality of life and it's great to hear her laugh again. Her general health has also improved.
    She is now part of our family and our home is her home.
    I hope you can get something sorted and whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best.
    Take cae Bye for now

    Janetruth x
  5. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Don't assume your mother would be totally unhappy if she were to be put in a home. Yes, that's what she's saying now but things can change dramatically when a person is actually there. Depending on what a home is like, the activities and even just the company of others can make an enormous difference. This can also take time. I don't want it to sound like a breeze because it isn't. The hardest thing will be your emotions and guilt. Eventually, your mother would adapt.

    Your main focus now has to be her physical safety. With her wandering up to 4 or 5 times a day, it sounds like she requires constant supervision. That's why I think (personal opinion only) it may be time for a home. However, if you can get her into some kind of day program (tell her she'll be "volunteering" - it worked for my mother) a couple of days a week & then perhaps someone to fill in at home for the rest of the days? The person could ostensibly be a helper/ cleaning lady or whatever title would work with your mother.

    Is she a church-goer? Anyone from her congregation that would help?

    Good luck, and keep us posted.

  6. Mummy's Girl

    Mummy's Girl Registered User

    Oct 27, 2006
    Thank you

    Don't know how to do multiple quotes... so sorry for not personally replying:rolleyes:

    Day care hasn't worked out. She was so distressed that the centre have suspended her :eek: :D They said to leave it a few months before trying again as she currently needs one to one care. The consultant actually did say he could section her.... that's when she got all agitated and violent!

    SS were going to put a sensor on her door, but that would be worse as my sister would never be in as she'd be looking for her every 20mins! The picture to cover the door made me :D

    She is a churchgoer and the ladies do visit her every week, but she's not always in!! Out a wandering! I have asked my sis to see if there might be someone else from church who could do the babysitting and even be paid for it.

    Respite is something we are considering although I'm not sure that she would go!!

    And we have talked about moving her in... but it would not solve much as there are 5 children and we all work full time. My stay at home sis is actually my 'nanny' who cares for my 2 children while I work.

    My brother (who is mum's favourite) is going to talk to her about the home... I don't hold out much hope though!

    Thanks again for the support everyone!

  7. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex

    I am amazed that the consultant said such a terrible thing to you.

    What does he base that sweeping statement on?

    I understand from the other things you say that your mum is totally against the idea, but to have a proffessional making a statement like that is not going to help anyone make an informed choice.

    My own Mum went into emergency respite care 2 1/2 years ago and settled within a couple of weeks, she has been in a home ever since and I honestly think if she were not so well looked after, she would probably not be with us any more.

    Making the decision to have mum in residential care was forced on us by my Dad having a massive stroke one morning, we needed to spend his last days by his side and as Mum had no idea who he was, it was the best option all round.

    I say this now, but at the time it was horrible, we felt we were abandoning her and were worried sick that we had not been right to do it.

    It is lovely that your sister cares for your children while you work, but she must be frantic with worry that something bad will happen to your Mum.

    It is a very tough decision for you all, but put out of your mind that by getting full time care for your mum you will be sentencing her to death.

  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Kathleen has made an excellent point. A residential placement absolutely doesn't mean a death sentence, even for someone who is highly resistant to it. They may think they'll die if placed in that position, but that's not the same thing at all. My mother ("I'm not moving in with those loonies") is actually much happier now living in the nursing home because she doen't have the level of fear she had when she was living on her own.

  9. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    Sometimes residents actually thrive in care homes. Honest. (Hard to believe I'm writing this after all my grumpy comments, I know:) I must have had a funny turn in the night. ) I saw a story in a local paper a few years ago about three people in one home celebrating their 100th or 100+ birthdays all at the same time! ( Wouldn't you be fed up if you reached your 100th birthday and had to share the balloons with someone reaching 104?:D )
  10. Mummy's Girl

    Mummy's Girl Registered User

    Oct 27, 2006
    Deborah, Jennifer Kathleen... thanks for your replies. The 'die' quote came from my sister who went with her and so it may be elaborated! I was confused too when she said he had said that! Ithought it was rather unprofessional.

    The fact is that mum isn't safe at home alone... so being cared for 24hrs a day will extend her life surely... what a positive way of looking at it and without this forum, I would never have seen it!

    Thanks again

  11. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Hi karen
    it's an awful position for you to be in.....could you persuade your mum that she's being booked in for a break in a rather pleasant hotel....where she will have all her meals, washing done and plenty of company of her own age?
    Mum lived with us but it was very hard....she used to go a-wandering several times and that was with me supervising her 24/7!!!! We had to keep the door locked but sometimes it was left unlocked by mistake:eek:
    Love Wendy
  12. Mummy's Girl

    Mummy's Girl Registered User

    Oct 27, 2006
    Thanks Wendy. I spoke to oneof my sisters today and she is going back to the unit next week to speak to the manager and she's going to take mum too (good luck to her :eek: ) We will tell her it's a hotel break or something!!

  13. sophie123

    sophie123 Registered User

    Feb 14, 2007
    Deciding to move your mother into a home is probably one of the hardest decisions you'll have to make for her, but I had similar 'wandering' experiences with my mum and for her own safety we had to move her somewhere permanent as my sister (23) works full time in london and i (21) am just finishing my degree in Exeter - neither of us was able to make such a commitment to caring for her 24/7. We tried explaining to her where she was going, not sure if she really understood, and although the first few months were hard, it's a year on now and she's very settled. I picked up on the fact that you said she needs one-on-one attention - my mum's the same, and she gets that in her home as they're all allocated a nurse who can take them off for an afternoon's walk etc. Hope it works out for the best.

    Soph x
  14. blackburn

    blackburn Registered User

    Feb 20, 2007
    North East
    What's best

    I can only repeat what others have said. Going into a residential care home does not mean a death sentence. My mother wasn't exactly happy about going into residential care because as she said "but I'll be there for the rest of my life won't I". It's now been 9 weeks since she went into care and her mental state has been very much improved. The only time we see a slight deterioration is if she is a bit more tired than usual.

    We bring her out for a visit from time to time for a change of scenery and what we find is that she is looking weary by the time we take her back, but then as soon as she reaches her room, gets her coat off and puts her slippers on, the smile is back on her face and she seems relaxed.

    I hope this helps you make your decision.

    Good luck.


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