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Is care home best option - Carers UK Forum

Is care home best option

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Hi I was main carer for parent 94 with dementia recently with support from carers. I now have serious health issue and family think it's time for care home. Social work do to . But this is only because of my health and I feel bad about having to think about care home.
Hi M
Always a hard decision, could you consider a period of respite toi try it before comiting to a permanent residential home. This will give you a break and you can see how you all feel about it in a month or so.
A difficult question. What you don't want is for the move to fail!
More information would help, especially about the person's financial situation and home circumstances.
Does he own his home?
Have over £23,000 in the bank?
Live alone?

Would having a "live in carer" be practical? If there are spare bedrooms and a spare bathroom for example?
Is the current home adapted, so bathroom OK?

Do you live with him?
Own your own home?
How old are you? (More relevant than you might realise!)
We so often see the 'worst side' of care homes - they are in the news for neglect and poor value for money etc etc.

But that is the 'bad side'! Honestly, do believe me, a good care home is 'lovely', it truly is. My MIL has been in three, and two have been 'lovely' - the third has become much better since she was able to move out of the rather 'grim' (of necessity really, sigh) 'secure unit' into the ground floor 'normal' unit.

The second care home she was in (she had to leave as she was 'wandering' dangerously, as in, out of the front door heading for the road!)(hence the need for the secure unit....though now she is wheelchair-bound she can be back in the 'normal' area again thankfully, much nicer!), was truly lovely! It was like a very nice 'country hotel' and I seriously would not mind ending up there myself if I had to go anywhere!

Think of them more as a 'hotel for very old people' - the second one for my MIL had lovely rooms overlooking the gardens, and a cheerful dining room with views, and tables where patients were carefully chosen to get on with each other. The afternoons always had an 'entertainment' schedule, of something like sing-songs, or 'games' like chair-yoga and things, and then activities like painting and so on.

Also, do bear in mind that 'just becuase' they need to be in a care home 'permanently' does not mean they can never go anywhere else! I used to take my MIL out regularly for drives, and we'd have cream teas out, and as she grew physically weaker, I'd stop off and get a 'picnic cream tea' which we'd eat in the car at a nice view spot.

Earlier, when her dementia was not too bad, she would even come to me twice weekly for 'sleepovers'! I thought that was a good compromise - for two days she got 'home life with me' again, but the rest of the time I knew that 'someone else' was looking after her, and that I could 'get on with my life'.

Another KEY advantage is this - so, so often when WE are the cares, all our time is spent doing what I call 'chore caring' - the 'work' such as helping to dress, shower, make meals, etc etc etc. But when 'someone else' (ie, the care home!) is doing all that - and any nursing that is required - then WE can get back to 'keeping company' again, the way we used to be able to do before they needed care. So there can be a real improvement in relations when they are in a care home - and it can be interesting and stimulating too. They are less dependent on us for their 'entertainment'.

So, in all, please don't think of it as an entirely 'negative' thing - it needn't be if the care home is nice!
My Mum has alzheimers and poor mobility and is in a lovely care home. She self funds but it is run by the council. Prior to this she was in a privately owned care home for 8 months which was clean but the care side and the food and the everything else was dire.

Mum has a very nice bedroom and ensuite which is nicely decorated with lovely bedding and curtains and a fridge, wardrobe, chest of drawers, kettle, TV and radio. We have put in lots of her personal pictures and bits and pieces. The staff are all well trained and polite and helpful and they all genuinely seem to care about Mum. The food is really good. Everything is homecooked and portions are very good. They have plenty of choice and a dessert trolley with always one hot pudding and a choice of cold desserts.

Mum gets very tired and sleeps quite a lot so she does miss out on some activities and events but they always tell her whats going on and encourage her to join in if she feels up to it.

She could never manage at home because she couldnt even make herself a cup of tea or use her stairlift. I spent 10 years helping her and we hung on as long as we could before even considering a home but a series of falls meant we had no choice.

She has had to sell her house to fund her care.

I visit her every other day and spend time with her. I cannot safely get her in and out of the car any more but we spent many years going out and she stayed at my house every weekend for those 10 years. I do take her out for a walk in the wheelchair on nice days and in the lovely weather this summer we spent a lot of times in the very sheltered gardens at the home which she enjoyed.
Penny - that sounds like you've found her a really good care home! They definitely DO exist.

The key is the staff - far more important to have kindly, enthusiastic staff than a five star 'hotel'. I'm in the Home Counties, and there are loads of 'five star' care homes, that are like luxury hotels - they don't sell to the residents, but to the residents' family ....

I also think it's important for us to take on board that as the dementia worsens, so the 'where they are' gets less and less important. In the lovely second home I described, MIL was oblivious to the beautiful gardens and views - she just did not 'see' them any more.

Now, the only 'reality' left to her is the staff at her current care home. She recognises them more than she does me now. Sad, but I'm glad of it in a way.....