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Does anyone else find this? One 'last problem'.. - Carers UK Forum

Does anyone else find this? One 'last problem'..

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I wonder if this rings a bell with anyone else.

That it's possible to sort out 'everything' about care....except for 'one last problem'....?

For me, it's this. My MIL hates being in the Abbeyfield, and anyway, her mental state may be deteriorating to the point where she has 'gone beyond' what they can cope with, and is therefore looking at more intensive care (and a lot more money to pay for it!).

I've just spent a week with her in my holiday home in Cornwall, where all her furniture is from her now-sold flat. It was very cosy, very nice, and she was fine and happy (I was there all the time!).

I'm wracking my brains to see whether it MIGHT be possible for her to actually live there, bringing in outside carers four times a day to get her up, give her lunch, give her supper, put her to bed. She sleeps well through the night.

If I found 'somewhere else' for me to live nearby (my brother's family lives in that area, which is why I got my holiday house there - it's for my retirement eventually!) so I could visit and take her out, and spend some evenings or afternoons with her sometimes (but not always!)would her being in my house actually work? She likes it and it's cosy and, as I say, full of her things anyway (!).

BUT.....for 'one last problem'.....

Which is her perpetual boredom when there is no one else around to interact with her and pay her attention! She used to be Ok being 'parked' in front of the telly, but now her ability to follow anything on the TV at all has gone, and unless I'm there with her 'talking her through' what she is looking at, she just gets instantly bored. She really only responds now to other people, having no 'self-stimulation' ability left in her brain.

So, I guess, what I'm saying is - are there other folk here who have 'perfect' care solutions for their carees, that would make them happy and content (plus safe and fed and watered etc)....except for 'one last problem'??

To me, it's so frustrating that I've got a perfectly good place for her to live, that I can organise carers to come in four times a day to do all the 'necessary' care stuff, BUT that 'entertaining' her as she now needs to be entertained the WHOLE time (except when she's asleep!) is the stumbling block to making that scenario possible.

So, sadly, I think I'm going to have to bite the bullett, and find a care home for her where she is never 'left alone' and can have all the non-stop attention her poor failing mind now needs and craves.....and which I can't (ie, won't!) give her myself, day in day out, non-stop.

I just hope they exist!

I now wish so much I'd moved her from Glasgow sooner, several years ago, down to my holiday house - but there you go, I didn't. And anyway, she'd still be the way she is now, needing attention all the waking hours (sigh.)
Hi Jenny
Sounds like your MIL is generally very happy in her familiar surroundings. If she were in a care home instead, I doubt she would be as contented. I very much doubt that she would get full time attention as the staff would need to spread themselves around the residents and she would not be any better at concentrating . She might be looking bored but can she remember that she was bored earlier if you see what I mean?
With several care visits a day plus you and other family nearby she sounds as though she would be very contented. You are never going to achieve perfection in a situation like that.
Hi Jenny,
Having read your posts for a while, it sounds like MIL is slipping down "the slope" fairly quickly. If she is now unable to cope with Abbeyfield, then a proper residential home is the only practical solution left, in my view. The difference in less than a year is huge, and next years difference is likely to be another huge slide downwards. The difference in my own mum is saddening beyond belief. Yes, MIL might be happy in Cornwall for a while, but how long? How would she cope in 3 months, 6 months, a year, 5 years? Is it worth all the upset for either of you? Perhaps writing down what she can and cannot do for herself now would help. Then write down concerns you have about your own health, the amount of free time you have, any unmet dreams. My own mum managed well for a long time with carers 3 times a day, despite being physically frail, but mentally very good. Septicaemia, mini strokes and then a full stroke have changed so much, and now even mum accepts that she has to be in a nursing home. I often think doctors are trained to much to make people better, they find people who are old that they can't "cure" difficult to deal with. As a relative, I too find accepting the lack of "cure" so difficult. My own role has changed hugely in recent weeks, the house has been emptied and sold, now I am just the buyer of flowers, special tissues, etc. More than anything, mum wants to be young and fit, to walk out of the nursing home. I just can't arrange that. I'm sure MIL would love to turn the clock back too.
Nothing is ever perfect Jenny and there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes it feels like you have to pick the least worst solution.
Mum is contented in her care home, which is good as I had no choice - she had stopped eating and drinking and had started wandering the streets at night dressed only in her nighty and knocking on neighbours doors because she didn't know where she was. I couldn't look after her myself as I already care for my hubby who has an acquired brain injury with uncontrolled epilepsy and I also work.
So, in my circumstances there was no choice, but it wouldn't be the best solution for everyone.
You will never find a solution that is perfect, Jenny. Even the best care home would not give your MIL 121 support. Also, with the elderly, what works today will not work in 6 months time. Personally, I think you need to take the long term view.

Has your MIL had a care assessment as to what her care needs are. Please note I say needs not wants. Sadly, the two are rarely compatible.
Jenny, have you looked into 24 hour live-in care? I found this link for you, there are bound to be others.
http://www.consultuscare.com/live-in-ca ... care-costs

Or, if she sleeps well, may some one to be with her all day until she goes to bed?

The costs compare favourably to residential care apparently.
Jenny, here's another link from above about case studies with people with dementia. You can just have someone there during the day. This happened in first case study until it got so bad the person eventually needed two carers, one day carer and a second night carer.

http://www.consultuscare.com/live-in-ca ... imers-care
Jenny, here's a wild card: does your MIL have any previous work or social or church connections to cash in on? Quite a few Trades Unions, Churches, ex-Military charities etc run nursing homes. My fil was very happy at his BLESMA home for ex-services amputees, and they were very affordable.
jenny lucas wrote:I wonder if this rings a bell with anyone else.

That it's possible to sort out 'everything' about care....except for 'one last problem'....?
Yes, indeed, it's never ending trying to keep on top of all the problems that crop up when dealing with elderly relatives. With my mother, there is a never ending list of gardening/maintenance/repair issues to sort out because she lives in an old house with a huge garden. Then there are the care issues, because although she is physically capable of doing things for herself, she won't lift a finger to help herself, to the point where she doesn't even go to the kitchen to get herself a drink/food of any sort any more - it has to be waitress service all the time for her! All that is perhaps understandable in view of her age (86) but I got very fed up of being her part time carer (it had gone on for years) so arranged agency visits 3 times a day to take care of her food/drinks and also to prompt her to visit the toilet. It seemed to be going well but I've recently discovered she keeps declining to visit the toilet and is still only changing her tena pants around once a day, with the consequence that now her bottom is starting to get inflamed again. The agency suggested that maybe I should take her to the GP, but we've been down that route before and nothing changes, because all they do is give her a pep talk about toilet issues/personal hygiene but the issue isn't a medical one - it's a matter of ongoing poor hygiene and not accepting prompts/help from the carers. She likes to sit on the sofa watching TV day and night and hates going to the toilet so keeps putting it off. Her bottom is going to be permanently sore and inflamed because of the choices that she makes - it's SO frustrating!!! So, maybe she will need to go into a home soon, but I keep telling her that co-operation on the toilet issue is vital if she wants to stay in her own home.

Jenny:
I'm wracking my brains to see whether it MIGHT be possible for her to actually live there, bringing in outside carers four times a day... I could visit and take her out, and spend some evenings or afternoons with her sometimes (but not always!)would her being in my house actually work? She likes it and it's cosy and, as I say, full of her things anyway (!).

BUT.... unless I'm there with her 'talking her through' what she is looking at, she just gets instantly bored.
Jenny, my gut reaction is don't do it. I fear you will end up being there every day, which is just what you never wanted. From everything you say you'd probably end up moving her again anyway, to a care home. Moving her twice would be a lot of hassle and upset for both of you.

Dad is settled in his care home now and though I'm sure he gets bored at times, I feel that is part of life for most people, especially as they grow older and lose their independence. It is not your duty to be your MIL's 'redcoat' and you've done a lot for her, so don't feel guilty about moving her into care now that her needs have grown. Remember that none of this is your fault, it's old age that has robbed her of things, not you.

She won't get 1 to 1 attention 24/7 in a care home, but will have more company and distractions than she'd get from 4 carer visits a day. Remember how you felt when you llived with her 2 weeks each month - you were going stir crazy! I think your health will suffer if you get too heavily involved, seeing her most days.

Jenny:
I now wish so much I'd moved her from Glasgow sooner, several years ago, down to my holiday house - but there you go, I didn't. And anyway, she'd still be the way she is now, needing attention all the waking hours (sigh.)
Jenny, she wouldn't have let you move her years ago - she was still busy enjoying her life and wouldn't have wanted to uproot for no reason. Be kind to yourself, this is none of your doing.
Jenny

I'm inclined to agree with SheWolf (ace name.)

All I know is that my mother does not want to die in hospital. I am doing my best to see this does not happen. But it's hard when your mum is calling out for the ambulance.

We've already been told that she's on 'palliative care.' Sometimes I think we are (me) terrified of death.... maybe we shouldn't be?

It happens to us all in the end.
I am so torn.... I want my Mum to die dignified (whatever that means) yet I want her to die so that I can get on with my life. I feel like I'm waiting for Godot!

There, I said it. But my mother will not die in hospital.