When do i know mum needs to go into care home?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Rach R, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Rach R

    Rach R Registered User

    Mar 23, 2012
    Hi my mum lives at home on her own with a lot of help from my brother and myself. She goes to a day centre 3 times a week (a life line!), has carers who come into give her breakfast and tea every day and meals on wheels on the days she's at home. She's very mobile and can get herself up, dressed and go to bed at night by herself. If she wants to go to the shop round the corner she can. This all sounds goods on paper but the reality is she tells the carers she's had breakfast and refuses to let them make her any (but looking at the weetabix she rarely does), when she dresses she will have at least 2 pairs of trousers and often tights as well and upto 6 jumpers (minimum of 3) and this is all the time no matter the weather even in summer, we hadn't known, until she was ill and so couldn't go to the day centre so i tried to order her an extra meal that day, that she must have cancelled them and so hadn't been having meals on wheels for a couple of months, she hasn't bathed/showered for months and nothing we do can persuade her to do so as she thinks she had one last night! My brother does all her food shopping and i go round and try to clean and wash her clothes etc but when i do round she wants me to talk to her and not clean so we are thinking of getting a cleaner in once a week whilst she is out as the house is dirty - not untidy but dirty. I go a couple of times a week as i work full time and have small children and would like to go round more but my family needs me as well. We have a door alarm on her front door so if goes she's out after a certain time at time it goes through to a centre who try to contact her and the us which helps. So we are trying our best for her but she is geting worse and i don't know when or if i would know when the time would come for her to go into a home - how would i be able to tell as we just deal with each issue as it comes along and move on but these issues are getting more and more and is impacting on our family lives so much more - i hate thinking like that as she is myu mum and i so want to help her and do whats best for her :( :eek:
  2. irishmanc

    irishmanc Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Sorry to hear this. It's always a tricky decision but I would say that, based on what you've said, it sounds like the time is getting closer. It's always better to be as prepared as you can be as you don't want to have to be visiting homes in the middle of a crisis. So, go and visit a few and talk to as many people as you can. I took a lot of advice from nurses and doctors I know who are always a great source of information about homes. You know your Mum and will be able to assess what kind of place she might settle in.
    Don't beat yourself up about the decision. You have a lot to cope with in your life as well as your Mum and you need to focus on your own family as well.
    It's really about how safe she is to go on living as she is. My Dad would also wear several different clothes at once and rarely washed but he had also started to wander around outside at night which was obviously posing a danger to him. Nursing homes are not all bad places (the media only reports the bad ones) - many are wonderful and it will allow you to rebuild your relationship with your Mum, safe in the knowledge that she is being cared for by people who have a good understanding of the disease.
    We are all in the position of being forced to develop skills and knowledge about issues that we could never have imagined. Good luck to you.
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    My mum has passed the stage that your mum is at now and at that point I became her full time carer when she moved into my home. If she was not living with me and I was unable to take on this caring role, she would be in a care home because her safety was paramount. The time to consider a care home again will be when I can no longer cope physically and mentally. I have given up everything to keep my mum safe, I am single with no children but I still need support from siblings-not always helpful, but its something. No harm in planning ahead, get the information to hand, because it won't be that suddenly you need a place for her next week, often care homes have a long waiting list.
  4. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    All good advice. If you look at a few care homes now you will start to get an idea of what is available. If you find one that you think she would like ask about their waiting list and then speak to social services about what help she might get should she need to go into care. It is best to get this under way before a crisis hits.
  5. babystar

    babystar Registered User

    Apr 10, 2013
    You are me about a year ago! Mum was living alone with carers for help with meals and making sure she was suitably dressed. Myself and my siblings visited, cleaned, washed clothes, and did food shopping etc. Just as we were looking into getting someone in to take her out a couple of times a week during the day as well it all got too much.

    Mum was always locked in the house, which wasn't fair, but she had taken to wandering. A couple of times she'd been found out in the street and we worried about her crossing roads etc as she would just walk out into traffic without looking.

    She also had a habit of not dressing appropriately, or stripping off. Even with the carers it was hard work to make sure she was in clean undies etc. They would write in her log that she was already dressed on arrival but obviously she wouldn't have washed etc.

    We also worried about safety such as what if there was a fire. Mum would never have got out the house. There was no point putting in a help alarm service either as she would not have known how to use it.

    Mum was also able bodied. She had no problems with getting around and up and down stairs. With prompting she could dress herself if given the correct choice of clothes.

    Don't let yourself think that because your Mum is capable physically that it means she doesn't need the extra care that just isn't possible for you to give 24 hrs a day. Mental disability results in the same needs, just in different ways.

    I would say safety is the main point to consider. And that covers the health side as well such as eating properly and dressing appropriately, not just physical dangers such as fire.

    Mum spent a lot of time alone. Now she is in the care home she has company all day. Although her verbal capacity has all but disappeared she can still sit in on conversations. She eats really well and has put on weight. And we (the family) can ease up on worrying about her all the time as we know she is being looked after.

    Most of all don't feel guilty for considering the affects on your own life either. If you have other responsibilities allow the time for them. If your Mum is like mine she wouldn't want you to neglect other areas of your life because of her.

    Ask SS to arrange an assessment and go from there. You won't be forced into doing anything you, or your Mum, aren't ready for.
  6. Hyb

    Hyb Registered User

    Aug 5, 2015
    New here but think it will be really helpful

    This sounds so like our own experience, my sister and I are going to start look at what's in the area and what might be good for our mum....sad to think about it but things seem to get worse each time we see her at the moment
  7. Rach R

    Rach R Registered User

    Mar 23, 2012
    Thanks for your replies, i think we will need to start looking around and see what's available for her for when the time arrives. It's such a hard decision and not one i'm looking forward to making :(

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