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Wish us luck

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
MIL's 12 week disregard ends tomorrow, self-funding from Friday but house not yet sold. Application for Deferred Payment in with LA, not yet approved. Offer today of a place at our preferred CH, assessment tomorrow, move on Friday if approved.

It all seems to fit together and we are so hoping that the new CH will be more comfortable for us all.
En suite toilet, more open spaces to wander around in, daily activities, closer to family for visiting and the possibility of taking MIL out into town for meals without getting tired and stressed by car journeys.

Funding is an issue, but she has enough to cover 6 months or so of self-funding before her property is sold, even if we don't get approval from the LA for the Deferred Payment scheme.

We are worried about the upheaval for MIL but she doesn't really seem to know where she is now, although the CH staff say she has made friends. We think she will make new friends and will probably know some of the other residents from her past life living and working in our town.

She deserves to have the best of care. Wish us luck that all goes well and that we are making the right decisions. :)
 
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starryuk

Registered User
Nov 8, 2012
1,323
0
I certainly wish you luck and for your MIL. Looks as if you have thought it through thoroughly and hopefully all will go smoothly.

Hope you all manage some stress free lunches together in the near future.
 

turbo

Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
3,852
0
I hope the move to the new CH is approved and your MIL's house is sold soon.


turbo
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
MIL is moving to the new CH tomorrow! Funding still hasn't been sorted out but we'll deal with all that as it arises. For now, I am just so pleased that I can collect MIL and bring her back to our home town in the morning. If the Lord has found her this place at just the right time He isn't going to let her be homeless in the future, so I trust that her house will sell soon.

Either that or we'll win the Lottery, but that's not happened yet and we've been buying tickets for years. :confused: I can't imagine what is going wrong! :D
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
Things are going well so far

I thought I'd post an update while things are fresh in my mind. It's good to have some positive news to share. :)

FRIDAY - I went to collect MIL from the old CH. She was weepy and frightened by the change in routine but glad to see me. I spent nearly an hour gathering her 'missing' possessions, then drove her back to our home town. MIL was surprised that I turned into the new CH car park, but then decided she was going for a short stay here prior to "getting home a.s.a.p. because it's these places that are making me confused; I would be fine if I was just by myself back at my own home." :rolleyes:

MIL was frightened by the size and space in the common areas of the CH but OK once we got to her unit. The staff were all lovely and welcoming. I was so reassured by their professionalism and team working.
I think this is going to be OK, for both MIL and the family members who support her. I left her to have her lunch. I spent the afternoon organising clothes, shoes and toiletries, sewing name tapes, writing labels, etc. What came back from the old CH mainly had to go in the bin. :(

I returned in the evening. MIL was skipping around in a borrowed pair of jammies, hair freshly washed and neglected toenails cut. Quite chirpy and relaxed. Had eaten a good lunch. Refused her teatime sandwich but ate it after 10 minutes gentle prompting. She has developed a habit of refusing food because it's not good for you to eat too much, or squirreling food away 'for when I get home'. She's lost 2kg in the last fortnight so staff will be prioritising eating and drinking.

SATURDAY - OH and I, plus BIL and SIL, arrived at lunchtime. MIL was tired and weepy. She had slept for 6 hours but was then was up in the small hours, pacing around and refused to sit down or relax. Staff kept a watch on her but allowed her to wander. There are large common areas beyond her unit that are safe and secure.

Lunch was served to us at a table in the main lounge where we were able to enjoy a relaxing family meal together for the first time since ? Christmas 2012? Come to think of it Christmas dinner wasn't very relaxing. She put half a jar of strong mustard on her dinner with painful consequences, and went for a wee so often that we were close to taking her to A&E in case she had a UTI. The last relaxing family meal with MIL was probably on her birthday a year ago. On Saturday the food was good and MIL ate heartily. She wanted to find a paper napkin to wrap her pudding in for later - we said this wasn't the best thing to do with ice cream! :D She actually said she was still hungry but "I must keep something for when I go home". Hey ho. With a few laughs and jokes she agreed to eat it.

OH and I then left after he'd seen her room. BIL and SIL left soon after. MIL was getting clingy, which she does when she is tired. Staff seem skilled at distraction.

SUNDAY - OH visited just before lunch. His mum was still a bit agitated but the staff said she'd begun to settle a little. The constant refrain of "thank goodness you've come, have you come to take me home?" is familiar from her stay in hospital and her early weeks at the old CH, so it's going to take time for her to trust the staff. Currently she has pressed the reset button whereby family are your security. She had moved on from that to accepting that we were visitors not rescuers, so we are confident that she will settle again.

MONDAY - Do you know what? I am actually looking forward to visiting her today. I haven't been able to say that for many months. We feel as if the staff make this place feel homely (for non-UK readers this means cosy and comfortable). Family are made welcome. It's an artificial 'home environment' I know, but it still feels comfortable to us and we will be enjoying popping round rather than dreading a trip to Ammonia City (my name for the old CH).
 
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jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,445
0
Oh Katrine, it does sound positive. I know it's early days but I really think this sounds as if you have found a solution. At the very least, this home sounds much more like a "home" than the last place.
 

starryuk

Registered User
Nov 8, 2012
1,323
0
The CH sounds lovely. I do hope all continues to go well. With your mum nearer home, you will find visiting and caring for her much more relaxing I imagine.

Well done all of you!:):)
 

Moonflower

Registered User
Mar 28, 2012
774
0
Katrine, I am so glad you've found a good caring place.
We had a similar problem with my mum wanting to squirrel food away for later, so I thought I'd post what worked for us - feel free to ignore!

After much thought, we realised that what was bothering mum was not having any stocks of food "in" . I suppose after so many years of running a house with a fridge/freezer/pantry stocked with what she needed, having a room in a care home with "nothing" felt very strange for her.
So we supply her with bits of food for her to keep in her room - then if she suggested keeping part of her dinner for later, we could say "oh you don't need to do that, you've got those nice biscuits for later" or whatever. I think some of it is to do with her wanting a degree of control.

What "stocks" she wants varies, she generally likes a bowl of apples in her room - sometimes they get eaten, sometimes I replace them when they get wrinkly. Also either crisps, biscuits or chocolates - it varies according to what she is focussed on at the time. I'm not really trying to add to her calorie intake from her CH meals, just to stop her hiding odd bits of meals away. She likes to be able to offer a chocolate to staff who visit her room.
 

fullmoon

Registered User
May 22, 2013
331
0
Katrine, I am so glad you've found a good caring place.
We had a similar problem with my mum wanting to squirrel food away for later, so I thought I'd post what worked for us - feel free to ignore!

After much thought, we realised that what was bothering mum was not having any stocks of food "in" . I suppose after so many years of running a house with a fridge/freezer/pantry stocked with what she needed, having a room in a care home with "nothing" felt very strange for her.
So we supply her with bits of food for her to keep in her room - then if she suggested keeping part of her dinner for later, we could say "oh you don't need to do that, you've got those nice biscuits for later" or whatever. I think some of it is to do with her wanting a degree of control.

What "stocks" she wants varies, she generally likes a bowl of apples in her room - sometimes they get eaten, sometimes I replace them when they get wrinkly. Also either crisps, biscuits or chocolates - it varies according to what she is focussed on at the time. I'm not really trying to add to her calorie intake from her CH meals, just to stop her hiding odd bits of meals away. She likes to be able to offer a chocolate to staff who visit her room.

Had not thought about this before but maybe this is the root of my mum's obsession about wanting to go to the shop daily! Sometimes twice in a day. She lives in an annex and has her meals either with us or taken in if she does not wish to come in. I do put quick and easy snacks in her cupboard and fridge but she cannot seem to break the habit of wanting to shop.
 

angecmc

Registered User
Dec 25, 2012
2,108
0
hertfordshire
Hi Katrine, thanks for the update, so pleased you are happy with how things have gone so far for your MIL, may it continue for you all xx

Ange
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
Katrine, I am so glad you've found a good caring place.
We had a similar problem with my mum wanting to squirrel food away for later, so I thought I'd post what worked for us - feel free to ignore!

After much thought, we realised that what was bothering mum was not having any stocks of food "in" . I suppose after so many years of running a house with a fridge/freezer/pantry stocked with what she needed, having a room in a care home with "nothing" felt very strange for her.
So we supply her with bits of food for her to keep in her room - then if she suggested keeping part of her dinner for later, we could say "oh you don't need to do that, you've got those nice biscuits for later" or whatever. I think some of it is to do with her wanting a degree of control.

What "stocks" she wants varies, she generally likes a bowl of apples in her room - sometimes they get eaten, sometimes I replace them when they get wrinkly. Also either crisps, biscuits or chocolates - it varies according to what she is focussed on at the time. I'm not really trying to add to her calorie intake from her CH meals, just to stop her hiding odd bits of meals away. She likes to be able to offer a chocolate to staff who visit her room.

Brilliantly explained and described, Moonflower. I am so glad this works for you. We also feel that there is a memory of having to have food "in", and of the need to have a degree of control. There is a sort of script running along the lines of "I haven't got any food in, so I can't go home. However, if I can get some portable food, then I can go home. I'm hungry now so I must eat, but I could manage if I ate half and saved half for later."

Unfortunately MIL would not cope with the snacks in her room idea. It never worked when she was in hospital because she has almost zero short-term memory. Out of sight is literally out of mind. If you then point out that those are her snacks she denies it and is worried that she will get into trouble if she touches them because they must belong to someone else. In the CH she does not acknowledge that she has a bedroom and cannot remember that she has any personal possessions or treats available. The only treats that she wants are toffees but if we leave a bag she will eat them all and then refuse food.

We have been recommended to give her a couple after her meal as a treat. The idea that has come to me from your suggestion Moonflower is that the visitor could produce the toffees out of a pocket and say "it's OK, eat up, you've got your toffees for later." She will protest that they are not proper food but it might still give her that feeling of having 'got food in for later'. Thank you.
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,837
0
England
Monday - day 5

I went to visit MIL this evening. They had just finished tea and she was helping to dry up and put away the cutlery. She seemed cheerful and confident and was smartly dressed in matching clothes for the first time in ages. She said she'd "just finished some job, I'm not sure what. I'll just get my coat and we can go." She's back to the delusion that she has a part-time job looking after the old people.

I talked to the staff with her present which made me feel uncomfortable as I never know how much she picks up when I am 'talking in code'. Fortunately she doesn't seem to understand that we are talking about her but projects all comments about 'she' and 'her' on to one of the other residents - you know - the poor old folk that live there.

Various peculiar behaviours that we described to the staff have persisted but they seem to be able to manage them better. Example, in the old CH "she throws her clothes out of the window". In the new CH they checked her early today and found she had washed her clothes and draped them on the windowsill to dry, so were able to scoop them up for washing. They will check this more than once a day instead of once a week. :rolleyes:

Miraculously MIL has stopped walking like a sailor with rickets. The CH staff say her toenails were really bad, curled under, and must have been painful. "Yes they were!" said MIL "but they are fine now." One more strike against the previous CH where they promised to cut her nails regularly. She saw the chiropodist today and fortunately things had been caught just in time before infection set in.

MIL has been scoffing her food. The senior care worker said "did you tell me she didn't eat?!" He agreed that she needed prompting not to squirrel cold food, so she is better with hot meals and puddings that cannot be wrapped in tissue. They are checking her pockets at regular intervals for biscuits, batteries and rubber gloves.

She has been in and out of other people's rooms distributing all her possessions and scooping up things she takes a fancy to. She did the same in the other CH. Apparently most of them do the same so instead of it being seen as 'her fault' that she has no clothes or personal items the staff in this CH take it as normal daily behaviour and check things throughout the day.

I know there is a sort of halo effect for us with the improvements in her care, but we do feel that there is such a different culture here. All the residents in her unit are EMI, they all display strange behaviour, anxieties and compulsions. The staff seem to genuinely enjoy these eccentricities and to relish providing the residents with a structured environment without them being aware of the work that goes on behind the scenes to achieve this. ;)

Once again, I am looking forward to visiting her tomorrow. It's hard to explain why that is such a novel feeling if you haven't experienced the opposite. :(