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When to move a parent into a care facility

PRGirl

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
10
I have made the decision to move my mother into a care facility - a very nice one at that where I am very impressed by the staff and facilities but she hasn't moved yet and although she has little understanding of anything these days and her short term memory is virtually gone and her long term memory diminishing I am still not so sure I have made the right decision. She has carers in three times a day but refuses live in care - we tried it but the carer resigned after a couple of days. It is the fact that she switches off the phone every night and doesn't have the capacity to switch it on, she is delusional although if you met her because she is physically fit you could be fooled for a while until you tried to have a conversation with her. I have signed her up but still struggling as she does seem to view this as something terrible although I have said I need to get her house rewired which I do as the wiring is outmoded and dangerous.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,087
Nottinghamshire
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @PRGirl

It’s never an easy decision and I spent months wondering if I should move my dad into a carehome. Looking back I wish I’d done it sooner. Dad had been anxious at home and he was happier with people around him - although he still said he wanted to go home if anyone asked him..

The right carehome can be a positive experience for both the PWD and their family - not terrible at all!
 

PRGirl

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
10
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @PRGirl

It’s never an easy decision and I spent months wondering if I should move my dad into a carehome. Looking back I wish I’d done it sooner. Dad had been anxious at home and he was happier with people around him - although he still said he wanted to go home if anyone asked him..

The right carehome can be a positive experience for both the PWD and their family - not terrible at all!
 

PRGirl

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
10
Hi Bunpootd thank you for responding .i have booked the room today and will move her in two weeks . Strangely she managed to hang onto the story and tell her neighbours . Two have been telling me for ages it is time but one started crying and saying if only your brother was here you could share the load but I think it has gone beyond that, To look at Mum you could think she was okayish until you tried to have any kind of conversation . She had told two separate people she didn’t see me at Christmas and had friends over or went to her sisters / not the case I picked her up and she had forgotten and was having a bowl of microwaved coleslaw. Lunch was eaten and she became anxious about getting home and not wanting to be a bother and in the end I took her home. Her reality is so different from the facts and on this basis I think she is too vulnerable to live alone with 3 hours of care a day. I could get more care but she is still alone at night in a house with stairs. The live in thing just didn’t work for her or the carer. I can’t live with her as I run a business and I would go mad myself Still feel bad though as she loves her house
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,008
@PRGirl, you are doing the right thing and even if your brother was around it sounds like too much. The final thing that tipped me into moving into a care home was my brother going into hospital that meant he'd be unable to pick up any emergencies I couldn't.
Telling your mum it's a 'holiday' while the house is re-wired is the right way to go. By the time it's down she will hopefully be settled.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,087
Nottinghamshire
My dad loved his bungalow (at least I didn’t have stairs to worry about!) and his garden and the fish in his koi pond so I found it a real wrench thinking about moving him out. Eventually it becomes impossible to keep them safe though. I think it would’ve been sooner if he’d had stairs to negotiate.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
199
We had this very difficult decision to make last Spring. At the time I wasn't sure if it was the right or permanent decision but as it turns out it's been very good. The home is great and dad moans about anything and everything but was past the point of living independently. He confabulates and gets up in the middle of the night demanding breakfast, calls the carers waitresses and all sorts but he's settled there and that's the important thing. I've banged on about how it all happened in my thread so if you want the full story it is there. I'm sure you're doing the right thing though.
 

Twopoodles

Registered User
Dec 23, 2019
35
@PRGirl. I really hope you will keep us updated as going through the same thing. Just never sure when the “right” time or the “right” place is. My husband would say 6 months ago. Mum is hostile to the carers, we are on our second company already so at the moment I am living in. I can see that mum can’t live on her own and doesn’t want to be on her own or move into a care home. You get lulled into a false sense of security and then realise they can only stay at home if you enable it and cover everything. I feel awful as probably going to make things worse by staying with her 24/7 and then going to move her into a home who knows where or when.
Mum also does a good job of fooling people with the conversation that if you didn’t know any different would think that it was true.
Respect to you for being brave enough to do this for your mum and I truly hope it works out well for you both.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
580
I think she is too vulnerable to live alone with 3 hours of care a day. I could get more care but she is still alone at night in a house with stairs.
Hi @PRGirl, it is such a difficult decision. My regret with Mum was that I didn't do it sooner - she had three visits a day but the evenings and sun-downing made the situation unsafe (wandering out of the house on her walking frame trying to get 'home', no longer recognising her own house, calling the Police etc etc) and her anxiety levels were through the roof. I was trying to keep her in her own home that she no longer recognised. When she went into residential care after a few days the anxiety left as did the urge to wander - we only had one sun-downing incident where they called me to speak with Mum as she was worried about members of the family and when I spoke with her she was totally fine. What I found was visiting her each day in the care home she was very at ease and we could have quality time looking over old photos and films etc rather than the situation of the past year or so. She also took part in activities so actually had a much richer life. Really only you can make that judgement call, in my opinion it is easier to continue to try and muddle through until there are incidents that force your hand, but that isn't necessarily in the best interests of the person with dementia. You have to trust your own judgement. All the best.
 

PRGirl

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
10
Today is a terrible day for me and I have been and am still on the verge of tears and have emailed the immediate family to say I can't cope and can change the position if necessary - it makes me cry just typing this as Mum was so upset yesterday and I really feel like the bad guy. So far there have been no major incidents but the fact she switches off the phone each night and does not have the capacity to realise that she needs to switch on to make it work, the fact she thinks people are in the house saying nasty things, the fact she thinks she has been to the moon a few times etc are all very alarming. I am on the point of undoing everything I have arranging and wasting close to £1K. The house definitely needs painting on outside as windows are starting to rot and she would definitely not cope with builders being around banging etc and would likely keep interrupting them or telling them to stop.
Trying to work with all this going on in my head is unbearable frankly and as I have said I have emailed the family and told them all can be changed and they have to decide as I have done it all for so long and apart from one aunt get no support from anyone. My brother just wrote yesterday and talked about Mum being upset and crying and last week that she would die sooner so lots of emotional blackmail going on from someone who has done nothing for 29 years.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,169
Today is a terrible day for me and I have been and am still on the verge of tears and have emailed the immediate family to say I can't cope and can change the position if necessary - it makes me cry just typing this as Mum was so upset yesterday and I really feel like the bad guy. So far there have been no major incidents but the fact she switches off the phone each night and does not have the capacity to realise that she needs to switch on to make it work, the fact she thinks people are in the house saying nasty things, the fact she thinks she has been to the moon a few times etc are all very alarming. I am on the point of undoing everything I have arranging and wasting close to £1K. The house definitely needs painting on outside as windows are starting to rot and she would definitely not cope with builders being around banging etc and would likely keep interrupting them or telling them to stop.
Trying to work with all this going on in my head is unbearable frankly and as I have said I have emailed the family and told them all can be changed and they have to decide as I have done it all for so long and apart from one aunt get no support from anyone. My brother just wrote yesterday and talked about Mum being upset and crying and last week that she would die sooner so lots of emotional blackmail going on from someone who has done nothing for 29 years.
I totally empathize with your situation. My mother-in-law was very much like your mum . She lived on her own in her own property with carer visits 3 times a day. My mother-in-law hallucinated was anxious and lonely particularly at night . There was no problem when the carers were there , giving her meals, prompting medication the problems arose when they weren't there. We also had no help from other family members my husband and I lived about 5 minutes drive away his sister lives abroad and had had little contact with her mother. My mother-in-law had always point blank refused to go into a care home and my husband was not prepared to dupe her into going.

So we waited for a crisis which eventually happened in the heatwave of 2018. She became ill went into hospital and we took the opportunity then to find a care home place for her she was totally self-funding.

With hindsight I think my mother-in-law should probably have gone into full-time care much earlier. But once it became obvious that she could no longer remember where the bathroom was in her own home and needed prompting with absolutely everything then there really was no choice. She needed 24/7 supervision and the only way to deal with it was in full-time residential care.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
580
My brother just wrote yesterday and talked about Mum being upset and crying and last week that she would die sooner so lots of emotional blackmail going on from someone who has done nothing for 29 years
So sorry to hear about your situation @PRGirl - it is inevitably traumatic. As you allude perhaps your brother could step in and take up the baton if he doesn't feel it is the right move?
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,437
North West
Today is a terrible day for me and I have been and am still on the verge of tears and have emailed the immediate family to say I can't cope and can change the position if necessary - it makes me cry just typing this as Mum was so upset yesterday and I really feel like the bad guy. So far there have been no major incidents but the fact she switches off the phone each night and does not have the capacity to realise that she needs to switch on to make it work, the fact she thinks people are in the house saying nasty things, the fact she thinks she has been to the moon a few times etc are all very alarming. I am on the point of undoing everything I have arranging and wasting close to £1K. The house definitely needs painting on outside as windows are starting to rot and she would definitely not cope with builders being around banging etc and would likely keep interrupting them or telling them to stop.
Trying to work with all this going on in my head is unbearable frankly and as I have said I have emailed the family and told them all can be changed and they have to decide as I have done it all for so long and apart from one aunt get no support from anyone. My brother just wrote yesterday and talked about Mum being upset and crying and last week that she would die sooner so lots of emotional blackmail going on from someone who has done nothing for 29 years.
Hi @PRGirl -not a good time for you at all. Just want to iterate what others have said about moving to a care home. I always promised mum I would keep her at home. But there comes a point when it all starts to go wrong and we the poor frazzled carers can no longer put things in place to make them ok and safe. Switching of the phone is only just the start of what will be a progessive decline. I think as the main carer you are going to have to make some big decisions about care home placement, this isn't easy and I know I didn't want to go down that road with mum. But take a step back and look at what you have written plus you are anxious and stressed yourself. I think the time to place someone into to full time care is when they are increasingly confused, have less awareness of where home is and they are themselves anxious about where they are. As @Bunpoots and @Pete1 have said and I can also confer, mum was much better once in the care home and her anxiety had lifted. She is much more better than when she was home alone. Its a hard transition to make, but unfortunately it becomes the only option if you exhaust all others.

As for the house I would pause and think about having any work done, if your mum is likely to go into care then you will probably sell her home anyway, so why pay for any further work unless it desperately needs to be done. Anyone that buys it would most likely gut it and start over anyway.

I was in a similar situation with no support and a brother who just complicated matters. Sometimes you just have to put aside what others say and think and focus on sorting out the immediate issues, your mum and what the next best step is for her. I found that dealing with one thing at a time was better than trying to deal with everything and best to exclude unhelpful and unconstructive viewpoints. It will get better as you wade through this, be strong and let us know how you get on ;)
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,656
South coast
My feeling is that relatives who havent been involved in the caring havent earned the right to tell you what to do, so ignore emotional blackmail, put your foot down firmly and say you are unable to look after her. Youve booked the room and it sounds to me like it is the right time.

This idea that moving into a care home will finish them off is a myth. My mum was another who who was much, much better once she moved into a care home. She was totally paranoid before then and thought everyone was stealing from her and doing unspeakable things to her. She was declining so rapidly that I feared she would not live the year out. Once she settled in her care home all the anxiety and paranoia went, she joined in the activities and made friends so she was no longer isolated and ruminating over and over her fears. She had two good years in her care home and only the final year was marred by health issues.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,366
My feeling is that relatives who havent been involved in the caring havent earned the right to tell you what to do, so ignore emotional blackmail, put your foot down firmly and say you are unable to look after her. Youve booked the room and it sounds to me like it is the right time.

This idea that moving into a care home will finish them off is a myth. My mum was another who who was much, much better once she moved into a care home. She was totally paranoid before then and thought everyone was stealing from her and doing unspeakable things to her. She was declining so rapidly that I feared she would not live the year out. Once she settled in her care home all the anxiety and paranoia went, she joined in the activities and made friends so she was no longer isolated and ruminating over and over her fears. She had two good years in her care home and only the final year was marred by health issues.
I agree, canary. My beloved late husband used to frequently say about his nursing home, I am so happy here!
KIndredx
 

Donkeyshere

Registered User
May 25, 2016
464
channel islands
Hi we have just made this decision I have questioned myself if this the right time but at the end of the day no one else is in shoes and as she lives with us its hard not to be able to get away from the world of dementia as it eeks into every part of your life until it comes the point that you have had enough and can no longer deal with it or want to. I know the MIL is not happy about the decision (she has not mentioned it today as she has forgotten already) and we are waiting for certain things to be put in place first before mentioning it again. At the end of the day just look at the bigger picture - my friend said she knew she could no longer support her gran when she got so angry she threw her dinner at the wall! I have reached that point, as the social worker mentioned a care home will enable us to give her quality time with us not just "doing" stuff for her because we have to. Good luck
 
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northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
969
Newcastle
Hi @PRGirl. You have chosen a hard but necessary path and need to stick to it regardless of what tearful neighbours or absent brother have to say about it. They aren't giving you any practical help so have no say in your decision. No-one can say how a person will react once they go into residential care and it is possible to tie oneself in knots just thinking about it. As others have said, it can be a beneficial and positive move that enhances the person's quality of life. I wish you and your mother all the best in seeing this through.
 

PRGirl

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
10
Thank you for all the very constructive comments. I am still struggling and emailed the family yesterday to
Say I was at breaking point and felt as though I was the most evil person in the world etc and if they wanted me to leave Mum at home I could cancel everything. I got no response. Spent most of the day in tears. Mum has been telling people I am trying to get rid of her.Her memory for this seems remarkable given she could not recall seeing the GP 5 minutes after the consultation last week. As I lie in bed this morning with my mind a ball of confusion I feel like running away and resigning from all responsibility . Only one of the 3 family members I have discussed this with agrees abs the others just go silent.Nonevof has health power of attorney but with a memory span of less than 5 minutes I cannot believe it it safe to live alone with 3hours care a day. If we added a night sleeper the fees would be more than the 24/7 if a home and she would still be alone during the day with gaps and no stimulation other than a meal. She is not bathing and won’t let the carers help with this so hygiene is an issue too although to look at her you wouldn’t think so
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
199
Thank you for all the very constructive comments. I am still struggling and emailed the family yesterday to
Say I was at breaking point and felt as though I was the most evil person in the world etc and if they wanted me to leave Mum at home I could cancel everything. I got no response. Spent most of the day in tears. Mum has been telling people I am trying to get rid of her.Her memory for this seems remarkable given she could not recall seeing the GP 5 minutes after the consultation last week. As I lie in bed this morning with my mind a ball of confusion I feel like running away and resigning from all responsibility . Only one of the 3 family members I have discussed this with agrees abs the others just go silent.Nonevof has health power of attorney but with a memory span of less than 5 minutes I cannot believe it it safe to live alone with 3hours care a day. If we added a night sleeper the fees would be more than the 24/7 if a home and she would still be alone during the day with gaps and no stimulation other than a meal. She is not bathing and won’t let the carers help with this so hygiene is an issue too although to look at her you wouldn’t think so
I think it's been very convenient for everyone else to have you do everything but it is not sustainable and like you say, mum needs professional help. The bathing issue is all well and good for a while but her skin will suffer eventually and a home will be able to deal with this. My dad wouldn't accept any personal care a few months ago and now he has a supervised bath every week! Get the help for mum, it will benefit you all.
 

Twopoodles

Registered User
Dec 23, 2019
35
So difficult for you especially as sounds like you are not getting much support. My mum is physically very strong and when she has visitors her hosting skills are amazing all they say is “she was quiet”. However all the things you have said are a problem are probably just the tip of the iceberg as a lot will go on that you don’t see. Some days mum seems really bright and I do think she has stabilised on the memantine. But if I wasn’t here there would be no shower, no change of clothes, sleeping in clothes etc, even basic house hygiene has deteriorated. A neighbour who she didn’t know knocked on the door recently as her car has a flat tyre, he offered to pump it up. Luckily he realised she had problems and didn’t come in. She spent the next 2 days totally confused and she was beside herself when I got home I had only been out an hour. Sorry I’m rambling but just saying that in this inbetween stage they are so vulnerable. So for peace of mind, I would forge ahead. Especially going by the advice given by people who have walked this path before.
 

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