1. BettyL

    BettyL Registered User

    Jan 20, 2008
    My situation is probably very much like many posters here so I'm hoping many of you may have some reassurance.

    My mum has been in the Mental Health Unit of the local hospital since April 2007. She was initially on an assessment ward and eventually responded quite well to treatment. The background of her admission is very briefly - my dad suffered a ruptured aortic aneurysm in Jan 2006. An erst while healthy 80 year old became a fragile invalid and when he eventually came out of hospital mum just couldn't cope. She has always been anxious and had already started showing signs of early stage dementia before dads illness. Anyway, she couldn't cope when he came home and was admitted to the Unit.

    AFter about five months the doctors decided to let her go home for a few hours, which was fine, but when they decided to let her try a stay overnight it all went horribly wrong and dad being so frail couldn't cope with her. The decison was made for her to go into Residential Care. Finally a lovely home was found and we moved mum on Wednesday.

    Since her move though she has cried incessantly, had terrible temper tantrums, she wouldn't get dressed today and my previously gentle mum slapped me round the face!

    I dearly wanted mum and dad to be together, they have been married for nearly 60 years and are devoted. I am dad's carer now, but his needs are completely different to mum's, so they won't take him in a dementia home. It's a hideous situation and I've cried buckets.

    Do you think mum will settle in the new home? It's so much nicer than the hospital unit but I am fearful she end up there. Anybody had a similar experience?

  2. SusanB

    SusanB Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    Hello, Beryl

    I'm not in your situation (my own Mum as VAD and lives on her own) so I can't offer you any practical advice and for that, I apologise.

    However, your Mum IS in the best place and when I read that she had slapped you my heart almost skipped a beat - how very very dreadful to have that happen and you must have been appalled. I do hope that you have friends and sisters/brothers that you can speak to. It's not her, it's the illness and you must always remember that (almost impossible!)

    My Mum had a good day today although when she is angry with me it's a truly awful thing to behold, it's like dementia slipped in through the letter box and stole her away.

    Are you getting support for your dear old Dad? I do hope so as you will need this in the weeks/months to come.

    My parents were also married for nearly 60 years before my Dad died and were devoted, as yours seem to be.

    You are doing the right thing.
  3. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Oh Betty, what a horrible experience you've had, my heart goes out to you.

    I think all that you can do is to keep thinking that your mum is in the best place where she will get the care she needs. It does sound as though it's the only way to deal with this situation, as your dad is so frail and you have your hand full with his needs and with your mum the way she is neither you or dad could cope with her.

    It does seem as though I have read lots of posts from people who have said their loved ones found it difficult to settle into a care home but that this has eventually happened.

    You might want to sit down and discuss things with say the manager of the home, they must have had similar problems before and may be able to offer advice. Don;t be offended if it;s suggested that you perhaps visit less often, or for shorter times or something like that.
  4. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Betty,
    Welcome to Talking Point. I am so sorry about your parents. Although the ideal solution of keeping them together, unfortunately with A.D. and any type of dementia makes the required caring so different.
    It will take your Mum a while to settle in. Beinging in a completely different surroundings, would be difficult for us, so for those with the illness it is so very hard.
    You say you have found a lovely home and with the 24/7 care, your Mother is in the best place.
    I wish you all the best
  5. SusanB

    SusanB Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    Hi Betty

    Just to add - sorry for getting your name wrong. Must have been having a funny five minutes.

  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Please try to remember (and it can be so hard) that it was the disease hitting you, not your mother. It's part and parcel of AD and we have to learn to put it aside. My mother once said to me "I should have chopped your head off when you were a baby". To which I replied "Too late now".

    You mother will need more than a few days to settle in. My mother took a couple of months at least. It was 7 years ago so I don't really remember anymore.

    Focus on your father, your mother is in a good home now. Take care of yourself also.
  7. witchkat35

    witchkat35 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2008
    settling in

    Dear Betty,

    I work in a care home, the reaction from your mother is quite common from my experience, I can say it takes time to settle in under any circumstances it takes people time to get used to their surroundings. With AD you have all sorts of feelings going on.

    Again i would talk to the home manager or the staff who look after mum. They should be able to tell you anything you wish to know. I can imagine this may not be of much comfort but I can only tell you what i have seen of new residents settling in.

    During my dementia course we covered the feelings of the resident coming into a new environment, not only is it new but now you have a whole crowd of strangers in your new home whom you have to share your living space with, you have people (staff) who know your name but you have no clue as to whom they are, trying to wash,dress and come in to your bedroom talking to you as though you are someone they have known for a long time.

    Your mother is battling with all kinds of emotions at the moment and it's natural for someone to react in her situation, I know I would! They say "we hurt the ones we love the most"

    I hope your mum settles in soon and she is in good hands, talk to staff and home manager,I am sure they will be able to help.

    Take good care of yourself and your family
  8. BettyL

    BettyL Registered User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Thank You

    Thank you so much for all the comforting replies to my message.

    I particularly take comfort from witchkat35 who works in a care home and has dealt with this sort of thing on a regular basis. I think dad is quite bewildered at what has happened to his beloved wife, so he isn't really a source of support. He is very depressed so I just keep trying to humour him as best I can.

    This hideous disease has had a terrible impact on us all but so many other people have managed to cope with it over the years that I expect we will too - eventually.

    Thank you

  9. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Hi Betty

    My Mum has been in two residential homes now - the first was an EMI home and the second, and present one is a nursing home. Prior to her admission to her present home, she had been in hospital for five weeks, following a fractured hip. She was very difficult to deal with in the first week in the nursing home. She displayed an aggression that I had never seen before and it was very distressing indeed, for her and her loved ones. However, she did settle down after a week or two. I think it is very likely that the same will happen in your Mum's case.

    A move of any kind is very stressful and if someone has dementia it is very much harder. She has only been in the home for a few days so hopefully things will improve soon. Try to take things one day at a time and remember that there is always a virtual listening ear and shoulder to cry on here.

    Take care
  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hi Betty

    It takes several weeks for a person to settle into new surroundings, new carers ("nurses"), new people to share the home with, a new bedroom, new living areas, new routine. I was advised on 6 weeks but in fact it took 3 months, and after 5 months we still have some tears.

    You have done the right think, give your mum time.

    I was advised not to visit too much initially otherwise she would rely on my visits and not bother to get to know the new people, and I think that advice was wise. For the first couple of weeks I went every other day, then I dropped it off to every 3 days, and then to twice a week maximum. Much depends on your mum and your relationship with her (I don't have much of one with mine, but not letting it stop me taking appropriate notice of her), but my approach seems to have worked. I feel I could now increase the visits if I wanted to without mum becoming dependent on them.

    Hope it works out for your mum and you,


  11. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hello Betty and welcome to TP,

    My situation is similar to yours, my dad is in poor health my mum was diagnosed in 2000 with ALZ. My dad should be in a care home himself but refuses point blank.

    Mum had to go into care 8 months ago and it took her awhile to settle in, once she adjusted to their way of life things became easier for her.

    Mum frequently packed her belongings and over time she would let days pass without packing then weeks and until today it was two months no packing and the last three weeks no asking if she was coming home. A lot of this I feel was habit.

    I don't know what happened today as yesterday when I seen her she was fine. Today, all her belongings were packed. She was quite distressed and confused. The carer was at a loss as to what had caused the sudden change.

    I do hope that your mum settles in soon, it is only very early days for her and from my observation of other residents that followed mum they all settled over a short period. One lady came for respite and after a difficult first week she settled and by the end of her stay she refused to leave and stayed on permanent.

    Take Care and best wishes for your parents. Taffy.
  12. BettyL

    BettyL Registered User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Update - It's Been A Long Month!!

    It's been a month since mum went into her care home and I suppose she has settled - somewhat. Every time I visit her though she tells me (in her garbled fashion) about how some of the residents are so horrible. She's fallen out with this one, or she can't stick that one.

    She has been quite verbally aggressive to some of the residents - I was really shocked - this just isn't my mum! She claims they don't like her and are "horrible". I try and turn the conversation away to happier things but it does absolutely no good. I feel myself getting further and further away from a mum who I used to be so close to. More and more I feel detached from the situation - I've lived and breathed it everyday for a year and I'm completely drained. I don't want to examine my feelings too closely at the moment because there's a certain comfort in the detachment. The guilt though is hovering in the back ground - waiting to pounce!

    Her review with Social Services and the care home is due on Tuesday with a view to making her stay there permanent, if I'm honest I'm worried to death that they will want to send her back to hospital. It was so grim there and I don't think I could bear to visit. Am I being selfish?

    Dad is in the local community hospital undergoing rehabilitation - he keeps having falls. He will probably be there for several weeks. Thankfully he seems quite perky and is always happy to see me.

    Thanks for listening.

  13. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire

    Stick with it for a while longer, even a month isn't long, and yes, mum complains that certain residents aren't nice - and they aren't, cos they've all got dementia too, and it affects them all in different ways. There is a bit of a laugh with my mum, she had "made friends" with a Scottish lady, whom mum can't understand at all because of her very thick Scottish accent, so at times she is almost swearing at mum, but mum hasn't a clue, and so they get on well!

    3 months is a reasonable time, and even then, if mum hasn't settled, you have to ask yourself if she would prefer anywhere else any better?

    It's hard, love. Keep going.


  14. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    Hello Betty, sorry for coming in late to this conversation and very sorry to hear about your mum and dad. Having wrestled with various care setting issues for my mum over the last few years, I'd say a care home is almost always a better option for people with dementia than being in a hospital. Ok so there are people that your mum doesn't get on with in the home, but having dislikes and likes is part of normal life, and sometimes they can be interchangeable! Nowhere is perfect.

    I'd want to speak to the care home staff if someone in particular is named as often being 'unpleasant', and sometimes old ladies can be cool to newcomers so it might be worth seeing if the dining or daytime seating can be changed: i.e Can your mum be sat somewhere away from them, or vice versa?

    Some old ladies with dementia can be really sweet. One or two , in my mum's case had believed themselves to be good friends of my mum and taken special care of her even though they were complete strangers. It can happen! Do take care of yourself, as Joanne so rightly says.
    Kind regards Deborah
  15. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    Hi Betty,

    I'm sorry to hear about your mum and dad but glad they're both starting to settle down and get used to their new situation.

    I hope you can start to take care of yourself because you matter too! You can be of more help to them if you're rested and calm.

    As to your mum's aggression, well my mum is the same - she's unrecognisable from the woman she was and I too have developed that sense of detachment as it helps me not to take her aggression and unpleasantness personally. As you say yourself "that's not my mum" and it isn't - it's this horrible disease taking hold.

    I hope your mum continues to settle and makes some nice companions for herself - I'm sure she will.

    Take care of yourself.

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