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"You're just someone who's here all the time"

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,872
0
Hi @Dimpsy I'm so glad things are working out for you. You sent me a kind message when I was feeling quite low and encouraged me to get back to my knitting, which is almost complete now. Thank you. I hope you have a lovely time.
Hello @Justmary I'm so pleased that you are feeling happier, I still think of you when I'm knitting, have you got your next project planned? It's such a calming, repetitive motion, although my preference is sewing, pushing a needle through material is almost hypnotic and I can feel my blood pressure coming down. I thought if mum stays in the CH, I'm going to leave some knitting in her room as she likes to watch me.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
6,226
0
Southampton
Rant away @Snuffette, I haven't been on TP for a week and I hope your mum is on the mend. Isn't it shocking when behaviour changes so suddenly.
My mum has been in the home for two weeks now, and yes, you clever people, the belt is a handling belt, used to assist movement, although we were told it wasn't used for mum and couldn't think why it was in her room (?) we have given them the benefit of doubt, as all the things we have asked for have by and large been done, for instance putting shoes on during the day, not sitting in slippers and her hearing aids are in every day and the batteries are being changed.
We have visited mum every day and watched the change in her as she has settled a bit. She stayed in her room for ten days but is coming downstairs to be with the others now. Her stubbornness has gone and she lets the carers care -first shower this morning, so progress is being made.
We paid for another weeks respite, but it really feels as if mum has settled, the problem is me.

I'm finding it so difficult to let her go, the house feels empty without her and I hate the carers who are looking after her because it should be me.
OH and I have so much free time, it's extraordinary how much of our day and night was taken up with sorting mum out and we don't quite know what to do with ourselves.
I feel such a sense of loss, which is ridiculously stupid as she's alive and kicking not five minutes walk away and I can see her and take her out as much as I want.
Deep down, I am starting to think mum is in the best place now. We have talked to a local dementia care agency who said they would be able to take over mum's care if she came home (at a huge cost, mind you), but mum really enjoys the view and people watching from her window, she's as happy with the carers as she is with me and has plenty of people to talk to.
My best interest would be for mum to come home, we always hoped she would be with us for the duration, but being honest, mum's best interest is maybe to stay where she is.
I'm not a brave person, I've always been too soft for my own good. As many of you have said, it's the toughest of decisions to have to make, organising someone else's future life, so I'll have to dig deep and learn to share her. The home are having a Garden Party at the weekend to which we are invited, it will be an opportunity to see if mum really is settling.
i didn t like the thought of a restraining belt. she seems to have settled in nicely. its a big change and its going to take time for you to adapt like when children leave home. at least your mum is accepting care and having showers. your concerns have mainly been addressed. have a nice time at the garden party. there may well be more activities you are invited to in the summer which could broaden your knowing other residents families. you will have something in common. unlimited visiting so you get to be her daughter again instead of a carer
 
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imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
671
0
Whoops I commented too quickly! Having a parent go into a home is so hard, even when you know afterwards it was the best thing to do.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,680
0
South coast
The garden party sounds lovely, I do hope the weather holds!
Im glad the manager has addressed your concerns - that is a mark of a good home. It takes time for everyone to get used to someone moving into a care home. The resident has to get used to the new surroundings/routine/people, the home has to get used to their needs and quirks, and you have to get used to then being there too. It takes a lot of adjustment all round.

BTW, lots of things tend to go walkabout in dementia homes. There is not much you can do about it. I could quite picture another resident picking up the handling belt, popping in to say hello to your mum and just leaving the belt behind. Its definitely the sort of thing my mum would have done.
xxx
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
6,226
0
Southampton
i didn t like the thought of a restraining belt. she seems to have settled in nicely. its a big change and its going to take time for you to adapt like when children leave home. at least your mum is accepting care and having showers. your concerns have mainly been addressed. have a nice time at the garden party. there may well be more activities you are invited to in the summer which could broaden your knowing other residents families. you will have something in common. unlimited visiting so you get to be her daughter again instead of a carer
im sorry if i caused offence, it should have read i didnt and i dont like the thought of restraining belt. i feel really bad if you thought i meant differently im sorry
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,872
0
im sorry if i caused offence, it should have read i didnt and i dont like the thought of restraining belt. i feel really bad if you thought i meant differently im sorry
Of course you didn't cause any offence @jennifer1967, I'm really grateful for your comments. It's strange isn't it, I worked in a care home, which was a lovely job, but it's very different when it's your own loved one who is in a home, you see things in a different light.
The Garden Party was fun.
Mum was dressed and downstairs, enjoying a Pims when I arrived (✓vg) but only one hearing aid in and was given a ham sandwich for tea; when are the words "she's a vegetarian" going to sink in?
On the plus side, she only needs one carer for dressing/going to bed and she seems to be using a walker. Mum's in for another week, but it seems inevitable that she won't be coming home. One of the carers sent me a video of the residents "chair dancing" to music and mum is clearly animated and joining in. It's that bit of filming that's keeping me going.
I
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
3,065
0
Dorset
Your reports sound good @Dimpsy and although you are finding it hard to undo the apron strings maybe this is where you have to let your Mum venture off out into a new world just as she had to do for you so many years ago, knowing it is probably the best thing for her but difficult for you!
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,669
0
I think it's time to let go and let the home do the caring. the fact your mum is enjoying the activities and the garden party was fun are plus points. Do keep on about the hearing aids though, as you don't want her to be unnecessarily isolated. And as for the ham sandwich, I'd flag that up as well. I'm a vegan/vegetarian and I'd be very unhappy to be given a ham sandwich. I guess your mum doesn't have allergies but if she did carelessness around diets could be very serious indeed.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,872
0
Thank you @Banjomansmate and @Sarasa and wow, you've nailed my feelings precisely, except I hadn't thought of it like that.
Cutting the apron strings is exactly how it is.

Mum has moved rooms today, downstairs to the "Garden Room" which became available. It's lovely and next to the lounge, so the carers are hoping she will be able to wander between and around a bit.

Personally, I feel that she has lost a lot of independence during the last three weeks. After the first week when she was so aggressive towards the carers and said NO to everyone/everything (and I still secretly think they had a method of sorting her out that is unorthodox).
She no longer dresses/undresses herself or cleans her teeth (not false). She is encouraged to use a walking frame (assessed by who?) instead of her walking stick.
I know she's eating her daily grapes that we take in, but she seems shrivelled and shrunken and doesn't respond to me.

Tuesday's "we're having fun shaking maracas to music" video WhatsApped to me was lovely. When I replayed it I realised she wasn't wearing her specs.
This morning's video " Smiley mum throwing a ball"; heart gladdening, my mum in her own clothes, specs on, but when OH and I visited this afternoon, mum had been changed into someone else's revolting purple blouse, five sizes too large.

OH and I agreed to the room change as we think it's a positive move and also said yes to full time care. The manager said she would draw up the contracts this weekend 😱😨😵. Contracts? What contracts!

Then we saw the revolting purple blouse.

I've got the wobbles again and asked OH to phone tomorrow for another weeks respite to see how mum copes in the new room?

In care is it ok to expect certain expectations are met?
Ours are: -
1) hearing aids inserted correctly, batteries changed frequently.
2) vegetarian diet. Mum would now eat what was given to her, but I want her life long principles upheld.
3)bra on (wasn't in week one) / shoes on during day.
4) own clothes.

Please tell me ii you think I'm being too picky, it's a strange new land we're entering and I don't know if I'm being too pernickity over mum's care.
And what will the contract say?
Thank you.
x
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,669
0
Hi @Dimpsey, I'd pick your battles. The hearing aid one is important, though I imagine your mum can lose the aids/batteries at the drop of a hat. Maybe ask the staff to keep them safe when she takes them out. I know how disconnected I feel from the world if I don't have mine in. Secondly the diet is important to, and shouldn't be difficult to do. If your mum suddenly decides she wants a ham sandwich, even after years of being a vegetarian I guess that's her choice. Finally I don't think the clothes battle is that important. My mum, and several other ladies on her floor go into each others rooms and pick out things they fancy. Clothes do disappear, washing destroys some of them for instance and residents do put things in odd places.
I think it's early days so just keep an eye on things. The new room sounds lovely by the way.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,333
0
Kent
I agree about picking your battles @Dimpsy and the hearing aid is the most important in my opinion.

Did your mum wear outdoor shoes at home? Most people wear slippers at home and slippers in the care home may help her feel more `at home` rather than a visitor.

I have elderly friends who remove their bras for comfort as soon as they get through the front door.

The ham sandwich is a matter of principle really. People do change, especially with dementia and you will know if your mum would be upset about eating meat or not. I was vegetarian for 20 years and for no specific reason decided to eat meat again. A slice of ham would not have upset me as much as a whole chicken cooking in the oven.

The care home sounds really thoughtful towards your mum and her new room sounds lovely.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
6,226
0
Southampton
definitely hearing aids and glasses on[cleaned]. need to make sure your mum knows its a ham sandwich but they shouldnt be offering ham sandwich if she is vegetarian. that comes under special diet so they need to follow it like they do with someone who has soft food, its a requirement. mention about clothes as its part of their dignity to wear own clothes.could substitute a vest for her bra as might feel more comfortable and they are easier to put on, hate bras as well as feel trussed up
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,018
0
High Peak
Mum's care home were often given clothes or some were left when a resident died. The good stuff was carefully washed then either given to anyone in need or kept as 'spares'. The laundry lady was doing this job one day and hung all the ironed spare clothes on a rail which happened to be in the corridor near mum's room. Of course, mum thought this was a 'sale rail' and had a rummage, selecting a few things which she was kindly given, even though I had bags of her clothes at my house.

Henceforward, I quite often saw her in things that weren't hers. I only found this out after making enquiries - at first I just thought they'd dressed her in someone's else's stuff and complained. Mum's 'new' choices were nothing like the clothes she usually wore! So it's possible your mum said 'yes' to questions such as, 'Is this yours?' or 'Do you like this ghastly purple blouse?'
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,872
0
Thank you @Sarasa @Grannie G @jennifer1967 we are going to take your advice and pick our battle's. I'm going to photocopy and laminate the booklet page of "how to insert hearing aids". One of the carers said she had never seen any like mums, so I hope it helps them.

Mum has always worn shoes during the day, slipper's at bedtime and it must be deeply ingrained as we had a poo incident late one afternoon. After a shower I put mum into nightie and slippers, thinking it would save time, but she disappeared and reappeared fully dressed, shoes on, despite only being a couple of hours from bedtime.

I'm going to investigate the bra incident and see if it was one of the expensive soft M&S bras that she had fitted and which she subsequently loathed after day one - much too plain! She went back to her lacy bras. I took the posh M&S to the home as spares, the carers wouldn't know and maybe put them on her, it could be she remembers how much she hates them after all and whipped it off.

The carers really do seem to be doing their best and I'm going to stop stressing so much. Every day since Sunday we have been sent pics and a video of what mum's doing and she seems fine, animated and joining in. Today's message says the move downstairs went well and there's a photo of mum holding a man's hand! Settling in well wouldn't you say.

So yes to persevering with hearing aids, glasses and diet and let the rest go.

@Jaded'n'faded you do make me laugh. One of these days I'll remember what dementia does - and doesn't do. It's robbed mum of knowng which clothes are hers, but not taken away her love of new clothes and bright colours, so yes, I can imagine mum brightening up at the thought of a new ratty purple blouse.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,680
0
South coast
Im afraid that people with dementia have a very "fluid" notion of ownership and things go walkabout on a regular basis. They pick things up, walk around with them then put them down somewhere else. Mum was always taking her hearing aids off and just putting them somewhere. I once found her false teeth wrapped in tissue paper and put in her bin! Sometimes they take a shine to something that actually belongs to someone else - scarves, cardis etc get taken off and left on chairs or the floor and then someone else comes along and insists that its theirs! For a while mum insisted on wearing someone elses glasses and was adamant that they were hers. She said "I really aught to take them back - I cant see much better in them", but she still insisted on wearing them........

Its almost impossible to stop them wearing each others clothes. I was quite upset about this to start with but eventually I got quite sanguine about it. I have a story similar to Jaded'n'faded. I discovered that in mums care home there was a lady who used to go "shopping" by going into other peoples rooms, trying on their clothes and coming out convinced that she had bought them! I also discovered that when the carers brought the laundry back, they put it on a little trolley, then take the clothes to each room from the trolley. While they were in a room the trolley was left unattended and mum used to go through the piles of clothes and take what she fancied.

All of this is the reason why absolutely everything needs to be labelled. Things might go walkabout, but if they are labelled they do get back again. Once you are able to go into your mums room it will be easier to keep tabs on whether something has gone missing and you can check for things that dont belong and get them returned. When I used to realise that something was missing I used to mention this to the housekeepers - they usually knew who the "magpies" were.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,872
0
So this evening's visit was ...................... I really want to insert a rude word at this point.
We took her little table and family pictures in to the new room.
Lovely room, never mind half her belongings from upstairs haven't made it downstairs, we'll sort that on Saturday.

And what is sat in her green dish by the television?
TWO HEARING AIDS.

If a blind person who relied on a white stick and guide dog for their independence had them taken away, what could that act be called?

If a person with amputated legs was deprived of a wheelchair, what would that act be called?

I would say it was deprivation of liberty; worse torture.

How do I explain to a hearing person the importance of fitting hearing aids to a person without hearing?

Mum lived for over fifty years following a conversation by lip reading and body language. When she couldn't lip read, she would smile and nod and pretend, because deaf people are treated as stupid if they don't respond.
Hearing aids were fitted for mum when she was sixty, her life improved beyond measure.
Now mum has settled in the home, she is back to being smiley and nodding, not because she agrees, but because SHE CAN'T HEAR.

I put new batteries in, re-connected the tubing in one aid which had been shoved in the wrong end and had a sensible conversation with my mother. Yes, she's looking forward to going out on Saturday and what time are we picking her up?

Sorry folks, to rant and repeat what I've written countless times before.
I feel as if I'm hanging my head against a brick wall.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,669
0
@Dimpsy , I reckon I could get a job as a hearing aid fairy, care to join me? I agree that it is important, and I think this is the thing you need to stress at the moment. Surely there must be quite a few aid wearers in the home, but maybe not many whose deafness is not just general can't hear so well as because they are old, but people like your mum and me who have been hearing impaired for years. I know that if you get aids too late your brain doesn't adjust so maybe the home is just used to aids not necessarily making a lot of difference, which of course they do in your mum's case. Hope you get them to see the fundamental importance of the aids, though it could be tricky if your mum is getting in the habit of taking them out and leaving them places.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,872
0
Im afraid that people with dementia have a very "fluid" notion of ownership and things go walkabout on a regular basis. They pick things up, walk around with them then put them down somewhere else. Mum was always taking her hearing aids off and just putting them somewhere. I once found her false teeth wrapped in tissue paper and put in her bin! Sometimes they take a shine to something that actually belongs to someone else - scarves, cardis etc get taken off and left on chairs or the floor and then someone else comes along and insists that its theirs! For a while mum insisted on wearing someone elses glasses and was adamant that they were hers. She said "I really aught to take them back - I cant see much better in them", but she still insisted on wearing them........

Its almost impossible to stop them wearing each others clothes. I was quite upset about this to start with but eventually I got quite sanguine about it. I have a story similar to Jaded'n'faded. I discovered that in mums care home there was a lady who used to go "shopping" by going into other peoples rooms, trying on their clothes and coming out convinced that she had bought them! I also discovered that when the carers brought the laundry back, they put it on a little trolley, then take the clothes to each room from the trolley. While they were in a room the trolley was left unattended and mum used to go through the piles of clothes and take what she fancied.

All of this is the reason why absolutely everything needs to be labelled. Things might go walkabout, but if they are labelled they do get back again. Once you are able to go into your mums room it will be easier to keep tabs on whether something has gone missing and you can check for things that dont belong and get them returned. When I used to realise that something was missing I used to mention this to the housekeepers - they usually knew who the "magpies" were.
Hi @canary your lovely message came in the middle of my rant. Mum's wardrobe is full of her clothes, all labelled and yet hanging in the middle is that damned purple blouse, laughing at me (has anyone lost a ratty tatty purple blouse circa 1960, size 20?).
I must say, my expectations of standards have changed dramatically in the space of three weeks, I'm clinging onto the fact she's settled and joining in and certainly not pining for me.
What a huge learning curve this is.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,872
0
@Dimpsy , I reckon I could get a job as a hearing aid fairy, care to join me? I agree that it is important, and I think this is the thing you need to stress at the moment. Surely there must be quite a few aid wearers in the home, but maybe not many whose deafness is not just general can't hear so well as because they are old, but people like your mum and me who have been hearing impaired for years. I know that if you get aids too late your brain doesn't adjust so maybe the home is just used to aids not necessarily making a lot of difference, which of course they do in your mum's case. Hope you get them to see the fundamental importance of the aids, though it could be tricky if your mum is getting in the habit of taking them out and leaving them places.
@Sarasa oh yes, let's get together, be Fairy Aids and champion the importance of hearing aids, correctly fitted and functioning.
I'm positive the majority of oldies have h/a in the home. One resident was talking in a loud voice (a sign of old age hearing loss) and the carer was responding by talking directly into her ear - someone else without her h/aids in then!
You've set me on a mission now and I'm going to suggest (in a nice way) maybe training for the staff?
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
728
0
I really don’t get it, having worn aids since I was 26, take them out, put me in a room of people and all they would get is nods and smiles!!
Unless they are fiddled with they don’t fall out! Maybe mum was fiddling with them cos the battery had run out and she was trying to alter them. All they have to do is ask you how often they need changing week/10 days and change them even if not needed. Saves excess yelling!
I think I would be having very stern words with the powers that be