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Where to start with care homes.

Buckles

Registered User
Oct 4, 2020
25
0
My parents have had live-in care for the last 14 months - they both have dementia in their mid-late 60s and live in rural Scotland. It's been hell and laterally the carers really aren't coping or lasting more than 7-14 days before tapping out and to be frank, they are often really weird people with stress-inducing personalities.

Its a 24/7 job keeping it all going, hours spent on video chat, liaising with carers, GPs, social workers, managers, keeping on top of all the bills, and shopping remotely and I have not had any actual leave from work in 3 years because i so often have to leave to go deal with emergencies. In addition, my job is crazily intense, in a hospital throughout the pandemic and i am 700 miles away in my mid-30s.

Anyway, what's really important is that I am no longer confident that all we are doing is the right thing for them anymore, Mum is very confused by the huge turnover in carers and has had a psychotic break with this before, often wakes overnight and usually doesn't know that she is in her own home. Dad is doubly incontinent and relatively content to be with mum but is much quieter and more advanced in his disease, he is also 6ft 4 and not easy to maneuver for a single carer.

I have been putting off at all costs the idea of a care home, especially with covid and visiting restrictions. But I think it's time.

For those who have been through it, what would you advise we look for in a care home?

thank you.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,669
0
I'm so sorry you are in this situation, specially as your parents are so young. I was in my sixties before things became really difficult with my mother. Not sure I'd have been able to juggle a demanding job and her needs, specially from such a long distance.
If you've not seen it already this site, Care Home UK is very good for finding out about homes. Scroll down to the bottom for lots of information about how to choose, funding etc.
I guess the first decision you need to make is do you find somewhere near where they live at present. That could be a good idea if they have a lot of friends, or other relatives in the area. Moving them near year would be much easier for you, though if you live in an expensive part of the country fees are likely also to also be far more expensive. Secondly do you want them to be in the same home? It sounds like they have different needs, which means it could be tricky finding somewhere that will be able to manage them both. My mother's care home has at least one married couple there, so it can work. They've turned one of their rooms into a bedroom and the other into a lounge for them. I haven't seen them for a while, but the set-up seemed to work for them. If your mother would keep your dad awake or vice versa, separate rooms might be better. Also some homes have different sections for different needs, so even if in the same place the home might think they are better off on separate floors.
I'm sure others will be along soon with their suggestions, but it does sound like you've reached the end of the road with live in carers and a care home is the next step. It should mean a lot of the weight of managing things is taken off your shoulders.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,410
0
Scotland
The fact of being in a rural area will limit choice. Usually local people know the quality of care homes best but I take it you are not in contact with them. A decent social worker will usually give you some advice but not all are suitably experienced. I have read by of some members hiring a private social worker and given your distance that might be an answer. Someone to find the right place for both parents and do the paperwork and move,

Have you been in touch with Alzheimer’s Scotland for advice. I could not have got through the first couple of years without them but I am in Glasgow so I don’t know how close you are to them. Give them a call or an email.
 

Susan11

Registered User
Nov 18, 2018
3,786
0
Well let's start with the difficult bit....you don't really have a great choice....you can only choose one from those that have rooms available and you are trying to find 2 rooms available at the same time. So can I suggest you start by ringing the Care homes nearest to the place you want them to be and if they have rooms available you can arrange a visit and if not you can ask to be put on the waiting list. Sorry that's not more positive for you.
 

deepetshopboy

Registered User
Jul 7, 2008
528
0
I sympathise with the carers issues ive had all stress induceing odd ball carers and sympathies with having 2 parents with dementia 😯only advice i can give is google local homes check reviews cqc and i always try and spk to the manager as they will have a better idea on what the homes can provide
Ive just rung a care home and emailed the manager to call me back detailing a long description of my dad he’s dementia and what he does behaviour etc
 

Buckles

Registered User
Oct 4, 2020
25
0
Thanks everyone - all very useful and will look at those links/resources.

On my way to them just now -hoping that I have a moment of clarity when I see them in person so I know I'm doing the right thing for them. However, clarity has been lacking for some time and I think that's probably the nature of the game.
 

Buckles

Registered User
Oct 4, 2020
25
0
I'm so sorry you are in this situation, specially as your parents are so young. I was in my sixties before things became really difficult with my mother. Not sure I'd have been able to juggle a demanding job and her needs, specially from such a long distance.
If you've not seen it already this site, Care Home UK is very good for finding out about homes. Scroll down to the bottom for lots of information about how to choose, funding etc.
I guess the first decision you need to make is do you find somewhere near where they live at present. That could be a good idea if they have a lot of friends, or other relatives in the area. Moving them near year would be much easier for you, though if you live in an expensive part of the country fees are likely also to also be far more expensive. Secondly do you want them to be in the same home? It sounds like they have different needs, which means it could be tricky finding somewhere that will be able to manage them both. My mother's care home has at least one married couple there, so it can work. They've turned one of their rooms into a bedroom and the other into a lounge for them. I haven't seen them for a while, but the set-up seemed to work for them. If your mother would keep your dad awake or vice versa, separate rooms might be better. Also some homes have different sections for different needs, so even if in the same place the home might think they are better off on separate floors.
I'm sure others will be along soon with their suggestions, but it does sound like you've reached the end of the road with live in carers and a care home is the next step. It should mean a lot of the weight of managing things is taken off your shoulders.
I know it would potentially limit options dramatically but I would only consider a care home that would let them be together, they have a truly loving relationship. There are definite positives and negatives about them staying together, Mum will hate any care home and the transition will freak her out, exacerbating negative hallucinations. She will definitely say these repeatedly to Dad who will react to want to protect her and also then hate the care home. But I honestly think it would break both their hearts and mine for them to be separated and I just can't abide that. I will do anything to avoid it. Within my research I found that some homes convert one room into a lounge and one into a bedroom as someone mentioned. How realistic any of this is remains to be seen.

Location wise, there is only one care home in my extremely rural environment, its private and seems to change hands frequently and from chatting with the social worker doesnt have the best repuration. They do have other family locally but I think the major benefit of a care home could be finding one near a place with transport links so that I can see them (visiting permitting) more often. I live in England and them in Scotland, so they lose some benefits and also all familiarity to the staff with a move to my city. The nature of my job means I can't be certain how long I will be here either. So, a place nearer a Scottish City would probably be the best fit.

My main concern is the inevitable dip that they will each take when completely displaced but it's not like there's a scenario where this isn't coming and I need to make the call when the balance of being at home is less than the accepted dip in the care home.
 

Tilly13

Registered User
Jul 27, 2020
14
0
Hi just reading this thread and found it so interesting. I have both parents in mid 80s with Dementia ( different types ) and currently have Carers 4 x a day.
I am working through do we try live in carers or a move to a Care Home - totally understanding what you are saying
Buckles .
i see this was back in April - how are things now ? did you make a decision and if so how has it worked out for you ?
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,669
0
@Buckles hasn't been around since April, so I'm not sure if you'll get a reply from them.
As for live in carers vs care homes I think it depends on a few things.
Firstly how amenable are they to the current carers? If they often don't let them in or ask them to leave then having someone there all the time might make them even less happy. Also how suitable is there house. Live in carers might have worked for my mother in law, who was usually very amenable to carers, or could at least be talked round, but her house wasn't really suitable. No shower for instance and the bath was upstairs. It would never have worked for my mother who would have thrown them out straight away.
Personally I think a care home would be best. There would be a large number of people to look after them, and their differing needs could be more easily managed. However I'm sure some people who have success with live in carers will be along with their thoughts shortly.