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Care home worries - can anyone understand? - Carers UK Forum

Care home worries - can anyone understand?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Four and a half years ago mum decided she wanted to live near me. She refused to go into a care home and opted instead for a sheltered flat. I didn't really have a say in it, she just assumed I would step up because that's what the daughter did.

She was too frightened of falling to leave the building though she would attend the social events in the communal lounge. I took her shopping and on various outings.

Fast forward to this spring and she no longer feels up to going to the shops. She is nearly 95, lonely, bored, depressed, wants to go 'home' and spends most days asleep or in front of the TV. She gets her own meals but her eyesight is poor and she doesn't really notice that the flat is messy and dirty. I've taken charge of washing clothes and bedlinen, shopping, overseeing medication, emptying bins, cleaning and washing up. I persuade her to change wet incontinence pants and have an occasional bath.

This isn't too arduous as the flat is tiny and she is always grateful, but it is terribly tying and emotionally draining. When I'm not actually with her I am constantly worrying whether she has enough food in the house and if I should do more to keep her clean, and most of all if she is lonely. Getting a carer in wouldn't really save me much effort or solve the emotional burden.

So I've found her a place in a care home which she can afford, and I think she sees the sense in going, though she is worried that she won't have the independence to eat what she wants when she wants it.

It seems like a good solution but I am very torn because it feels like it will be good for me but perhaps not for her. Should I keep on caring for her? Should I really commit so much of her money to doing this? Will it solve her loneliness? Will the meal restrictions cause her too much distress?

Has anyone made this decision for a caree who is still relatively compos mentis and then found that they are still a worry?
At 95 her needs will increase until she dies. From what you have said she would benefit from company, and stimulation, and personal hygiene. It's what SHE NEEDS now, so go ahead. You will really enjoy visiting her without worrying about cleaning washing etc. and make the most of the time she has left. You have been, and will continue to be, a brilliant daughter.
Hi Starfish
My mum is 95 and in a care home. Initially it was her own decision as she had realised how lonely she (everyone else in her social circle had died) and how difficult every day chores were getting. Even though it was her decision it isn't without some gettIng used to. It isn't and won't ever be 'home' but her room looks like home as she took her own beloved furniture, her own pictures and her own sherry and glasses! She also has a goody drawer of crisps and biscuits for those snacks moments, and she does like a few crisps with her daily sherry.
Initially she was disappointed that so many residents were already beyond much socialising but over time she has identified those that are capable. Gradually she goes less and less to the organised events but that is because she is slowing down and getting muddled.
She says she coped with boarding school and being in the forces in the war and so she can cope with living in a home too (said with a smile but truthful)
She is glad not to have to shop or cook or clean. Company is just outside the door when she wants it, and she can close her door when she doesn't.

For us we know she is safe, warm, clean and fed. We do still do her laundry as Home loses everything. We pop in for social visits and taking her out for lunch or coffee, and for medical appointments so there is still much form us to do BUT without the hassle of all the domestic and personal care tasks.

She has deteriorated since being there 2 years, but she would have done this at home too, and in a much more worrying situation with much more work for us.

With your Mum, don't expect her to like it, tolerance is all we ask. You will feel guilty, even without reason. But you will feel guilty if she stays at home and deteriorates too so no difference really.
Her NEEDS will increase, old age doesn't reverse, the onus on you will increase.
In my book if she's showing any interest leap on it and run with it. There so many stories on here of people not getting the support and care they need in their own homes leading to isolation and health issues. Find a Home were you can pop in regularly and that's best for both of you.

Xx
MrsA
Ps
Once when Mum was moaning that the fish and chips in the Home was not up to her standard, I suggested we could phone for a take away. This is of course perfectly allowable but she looked at me with horror, this could hurt the staff's feelings!!!
Thankyou bowlingbun for the words of encouragement. You're right - I must keep reminding myself that mum's needs can only increase. She's certainly in denial about them increasing.

Mrs A thankyou for such a detailed reply. Your mum sounds like a lovely positive person with a very practical outlook.

People talk about 'putting mum in a home' as a kind of trump card for when it all gets too much. I suppose I didn't expect to have such doubts about whether we'd reached 'too much'. Sigh!
I hate the phrase "putting mum in a home".
You will find that those who criticise haven't any idea what it is like to be in this situation, because relatively few people live to be 95!
Their parents may have died when much younger, or they moved away from their parents and others cared for them at home. Residential care doesn't mean abandoning someone to the workhouse where you'll never see them again. It means someone else doing some of the work, so you can have more "quality time" with mum.
It is much better for mum to move now, when she is relatively well, than when there is some sort of crisis. My father in law refused to look at the care homes near him when mum in law was ill. There were two homes within 2 miles of his house. Then she had to move in a crisis, and ended up about 14 miles away, which caused problems for the rest of her life, because he'd given up driving by then, and expected my self employed husband to take him for afternoon visiting, without a thought of the impact of this! Look at the homes as near as possible to your home as possible, so you can pop in and out as much as you like. My mum's home invited relatives to all sorts of events, shared meals etc.
I too hate the phrase, ' put in a home'. I didn't put my lovely husband in the nursing home. His needs are priority and he is well cared for. My daughters, and myself are soon on the case if we feel something isn't right. Never rude, or demanding, we have no need to be. Would be if push came to shove! We do hear horror stories through the media etc, but not all care, nursing homes are awful. Standards are different, but not unacceptable,. It takes time to accept, and to settle, but eventually that will happen. I miss my husband, as he was, dreadfully, but in my heart, ( broken as it is) I know I'm doing the best for him. Given time, I'm sure you will feel the same .
I agree. There's a huge difference between "putting mum in a Home and running for the hills" and sourcing the best possible care for her that means the burden is spread and doesn't all fall on your shoulders. No one has big enough shoulders to care 24/7, without breaking.
Celebrate the fact you have choice and the means to pay for it . Neither is she being forced into it after some medical emergency or unsafe discharge. Taking a considered and measured approach is true caring and loving
Just a thought - but can she 'come out' for weekends and 'holidays' with you 'back home'? So it isn't entirely a 'one way' ticket??

I had my MIL 'back home with me' twice a week for sleepovers until her dementia got too bad. It worked not badly consideringly.
I'm happy to take her out for tea, Jenny, but she really struggles with the steps into my little house and up to the loo. She was almost on hands and knees at Christmas and I suggested my sons make a chairlift of their arms to get her out. :shock:

I'm really trying hard now to look objectively at what she needs and not fall into the trap of believing what she says she needs. Today she was telling me she must have a spare room for visitors (what visitors?) and a bigger kitchen, whilst struggling to get round her flat holding on to the furniture and spilling things unnoticed on the floor. I have to ask myself how on earth would she cope if I went under a bus. She wouldn't, but she won't admit it, and we pretend I'm just helping her out as a favour. :lol:

I'm so grateful to you, Pet, Mrs A and bowlingbun - you are brilliant at pointing out a different perspective even in the midst of personal troubles and heartbreak.