Where do we go from here ?


Registered User
Jan 27, 2006
We think dad will have to have drugs re assessed, so will probably be moved from N/home to EMI home.
I'm not quite sure what to expect from a EMI home, he will probably be in hospital first to have his drugs assessed . Any ideas, i feel a bit in the dark to what is going to happen to him at the moment. Thanks. :confused:


Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
Hi Jan Jan,

I moved my mum from residential to EMI care in August and it was the best thing I could have done.

There is huge stigma atached to EMI homes, possibly if the SW had suggested that in the first instance I would have opposed it.
Mum was managed in residential care through heavy sedation, what little capability she had when admitted in March was obliterated through drugs by July.

There is a totally different ethos in EMI homes toward those with AZ and dementia. Mums sedation was reduced and she has responded well. She is treated with the utmost dignity as are all the other residents.All of the staff are trained in managing all aspects of the disease.

I had huge qualms about this move but if had I known what I know now I would have placed mum straight into EMI care.

Good luck

Ally xx


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Although Lionel is on the residential side of his care home, the home itself is split roughly 60/40.

The EMI unit is the larger and is run on exactly the same lines, although with more emphasis on stimulation on the dementia unit. Indeed, when Lionel was able to use his wheelchair we always went over to that unit for lunch.

I have made many friends among the residents there, and observe how well they are treated, and agree with Ally in that the emphasis is on less medication rather than more.

Lionel went into an EMI unit couple of years ago for two weeks assessment, and whilst at that time it would not have been the right place for him then, I was impressed by how caring the staff were, and how well looked after the patients.

I think the very words Elderly Mentally Infirm (EMI) have a very bad press.
Hope everything works out for your dear dad.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Jan, I also looked at an EMI unit about six months ago when I was considering respite. At that time it wasn't right for John, but I'm reconsidering now.

It was beautifully kept, and very well run.

Why don't you find out where your dad is likely to be going, and visit it? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.



Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
My Mum moved into a NH that dealt both with the frail elderly and had an EMI unit. At first she didn't need the EMI care, being really frail after surgery she went "upstairs". However as she physically improved she did go through a stage of becoming more aggressive. One nurse was all for suggesting sedation at that early stage but the home managed her by getting her used to the EMI unit downstairs through the day and then moving her there eventually.

The locked door policy can seem frightening butI likening it to using a safety gate with a child whom you would not let run in certain spaces unattended.

They believe in minimal use of drugs for sedation and try to maintain healthy interactions between the patients. It is a great place and you can have a great laugh with the residents and staff. The staff also understand and receive specialist training in dementia so they understand when their clients behave unusually.

For dementia I would recommend a good specialist EMI unit. The staff there are my Mum's best advocates.




Registered User
Jan 27, 2006
Thanks to you all for your replies. N/ home had for warned me that he would need EMI , We was informed today that SS will have to move him.
I didn't know how long we will have to wait but i think things are pretty urgent.
Have spent last 3 days trying to help, not the best of times for this to happen, but the time is never right, is it? Son's of to Manchester uni end of week, they break your arms when their little and your heart when there older, lol. So the heartache is coming from both sides at the moment.
So thanks guys, you have put my mind at rest a bit.


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
I think there's a lot of fear attached to the EMI uinits because they are "secure" which brings forth dark images of padded cells and straight jackets.

That's not the case, they are pretty much like standard nursing homes, usually with a higher staff/resident ratio and the staff are specially trained in dealing with and caring for people with dementia.

It is true that the doors are locked but that is for the safety of the residents who are inclined to wander.

A residential care home near me has the top floor reserved as it's EMI unit; an acquaintance does hairdressing there and she says that the EMI floor is just like the others, except there are more staff and the doors are locked with PINs.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear jan,

As others have said, there`s nothing to fear from a well run EMI unit. The only difference is the increase in staff ratio and the combination locks on exterior doors.

As my mother was a master at escapism these locks were essential. The fact there are more staff can only be good.

So try not to worry too much, and do try to visit first so you can have a good look round.

Good luck to your son at Manchester University. My husband will guarantee that Manchester`s a fantastic place. ;) .......................

.............and he`ll be home soon enough with his washing. ;) [your son, that is ]

Love xx


Registered User
Jan 27, 2006
Must admit i did have visions of padded walls an straight jackets, They have all said they will be sad to see him go, he's is a real gentle man, but for his own safety he needs EMI.
Sylvia, Can't i send him with washing tablets, so he can do his own washing, lol. That's 1 thing i won't miss. :D

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
EMI Unit

Sorry, I don't know what one is. Can someone explain? Mum was diagnosed with Dementia in July, her main problem has been wandered out at night, but apparently once settled in the Care Home this hasn't occurred. Indeed, she doesn;t know where the front door is, and wouldn't know where to go if she got out of it. She still wakes early, sometimes 3 or 4 a.m. but the night staff just tell her she is too early and she goes back to bed.

When we were looking for a Care Home, we were advised that she didn't need a specialist dementia unit, just a general home, but some refused us because of her wandering. But she doesn't wander any more now that she is in a routine. So I wonder if we have gone for the wrong level of care for her at the moment. Most of the residents in her home are far worse that she is. Most of the time she is bright and lucid. Yes, she sometimes talks rubbish, doesn't know what day it is, thinks people have visited when they haven't (and vice versa), but in other respects she is normal. I just feel there aren't enough "normal" people in her current home, so I'd appreciate knowing what an EMI is and how it differs from anything else.

I have been proud to have her as my mum during these last 3 months in hospital and care home. All the staff tell me she is a delightful lady, very compliant, easy to look after. I've never had much respect for my mum before, but suddenly she has gone up in my estimation, and suddenly I want to make the rest of her life as happy as it can be, whatever it takes. That might sound as though I didn't want that before, I always did, but suddenly I am more determined than I was.

Any advice welcomed.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
EMI = elderly mentally infirm. They are secure units, but apart from that they can be anything really: it depends on the home.


Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
leigh lancashire
There are EMI residential homes and EMI nursing homes,depending on the S/W assessment and the CPN MMSE result,will determine which EMI unit is needed.sometimes there is a borderline case which then may result in further tests to determine which care is needed.I only have this knowledge through my work as a carer in a residential home and deal with this often.love elainex