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Keep everything crossed - Page 5 - Carers UK Forum

Keep everything crossed

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi all
I'm at the stage of trying to mesh the Home and Mum together. They do things differently to what she has been used to. They don't full understand her needs. I'm explaining to both. For example Mum was upset today because she had been fast asleep last night and they came into change her and reposition her a little. They say they spoke to her and explained. Mum, minus her hearing aids and just awoken from a deep sleep says she didn't understand what was happening. After asking them about it we have reached a compromise. I have explained to Mum that they have to move her a little because of the real possibility of pressure sores and also to check that she is asleep, not in a coma. (So they said). I have asked them not to change her continence pad unless it really needs it. Both accepted. Also they told me that they had to swap mum from one chair to another many times yesterday. I explained to them that when Mum says she wants to move, she often means that she wants to be repositioned in her current chair, not actually moved to the other one.
It's a communication thing. I'm realising how very many of Mum's needs I have been anticipating and how much of her body language I have been responding to without her having to say anything.
However I don't know everything.
I was with her today when they brought her tea. She was served a small but very nice ham salad. My heart dropped because Mum is more of a banana and custard person when it comes to tea. She said she would try a bit. I chopped about half of it for her and waited for the complaints. She ate that half. I chopped the other half and she ate it. 'Lovely and fresh' she said. Then tucked into her ice cream. I left her to it.
I'm gobsmacked. At home she would never, ever have agreed to eat salad for tea.
Good grief.
This is sounding positive, remember Rome wasn't built in a day. As an outsider reading your latest post, mum clearly has such high needs, even repositioning, that she does need nursing home care full time now. Can the matron help mum realise this? Being unable to move unaided, needing repositioning, is one of the high care needs in the CHC Checklist. I can't remember if mum has had a recent checklist? Maybe discuss this with the home manager?
Yes Elaine. Things will surprise you. Hubby chose salmon veg and potatoes over Sausage and mash. He wouldn't have entertained salmon at home or on holiday. Or ravilio. Communication with staff should get easier. There is a note on hubby's door stating please knock. I told them more than once he would be grump if they barge into the room. Think it was more than grumpy! He hasn't complained about anyone barging in since touch wood. I don't feel any of us want to be woken harshly ill or not. Have been told more than once that families know the patient better than anyone even with the changes dementia/age bring. So I suspect you will have to keep trying to mesh together. Someone went to see hubby today re how he finds the place. He immediately started talking in a very very loud voice. I had to intervene. I bluffed it a bit and said exuse me E.... I think youve misunderstood. It's me that has a problem with hearing not my husband. He would have been irritated and found it patronising. Luckily E.... saw through it. I do have a problem with hearing. Lost 40% in my left ear. Never thought that would be useful lol. I then left them to chat. It's trying to be one step ahead. Not always easy. But we are spokesperson for our loved ones. Still have my fingers crossed for you. Hope the red eyed dragon keeping away. Xx
Elaine / Pet,

The transition stage is dreadful but read back on your earliest posts and remind yourselves how bad the situation was before they went into a home. I think it is good to arrive at the home at all different times of the day to keep the careworkers on their toes but no, they will never know your loved ones as you do. On the other hand, they will turn up for a shift having had a good nights rest and be more able to cope. I suspect also that you, as I did, may be getting all the complaints but when you are not around, they are quite happy in themselves.

Incidentally mum had not drank tea for 15 years when she went into a nursing home. She then noticed that other people were drinking tea and wanted it! She also only agreed to sit on one side of the living room because "all the old people" were on the other side ....

Thinking of you (and remembering), Anne x
Giggling at those who's likes change...
Reminds me of neighbour D who's dementia husband went into a home after 45 years of marriage and with 2 weeks had found and fallen in love with his wife who he proudly introduced to everyone, including D, who he had forgotten totally. Very sad.

On a lighter note my Mum at first disliked being checked on in the night, which after 93 years of independence she was quite justifed to do, but now has realised it is for staff reassurance as much as her own well being. Now she hardly wakes but does realise if they are late checking and tells them so. As she says , sauce for goose is sauce for gander ;)

Elaine, sounds like you and Mum are doing well for such early days :)
Oh dear. I came home from a visit today and announced to my husband that mum has to come home. I don't like it, I am not feeling any trust in the care at all.
Hubby is arguing, as is everyone else, that it needs time and for everyone to get used to it. I'm not convinced.
Went to see Mum at 3.30. She'd not been changed all day. She had asked but nothing was forthcoming. I collared a passing member of staff, yes, yes, someone would come.
In he meantime she's been sat in one position all day. Her flasks of hot water 1 empty 2 some water but cold - yesterday's?
I'd taken in the sling that she has been using on her hoists at home because theirs was thin nylon and hurting her legs. Gave it to stony faced nurse.
Absented myself as they had said they didn't like being watched while hoisting as it made them nervous and likely to make mistakes. Q:- Shouldn't they be trained well enough that it didn't matter who was watching?
Came back good 20 mins later, maybe longer, listened at door. No conversation, no interaction. Door opened, went in. Mum grey and exhausted.
Q:Why on earth did a simple pad change which takes Mum's regular carers a few minutes be such a long task? Mum says never asking for a pad change again!!
Where was sling? I wanted to label it as Mum's, although it's actually on loan from equipment services. No sign. Eventually found it hung on hook behind fire locked-open door. No other carer would know it was there, Q:-Malice? Usual sling in full view in bathroom. Very bad vibes from this particular nurse, No smiles, no conversation, no sense of humour and takes offence at slightest observation or mild enquiry.
Eventually tea arrived. Semolina pudding. Toast and marmalade.
Offered to Mum, didn't want it. Care worker argued. It was what Mum had asked for earlier. Mum couldn't remember what semolina was, never mind that she had ordered it.
Any other options? Sandwiches, which I have said on the info I have given them that Mum doesn't like, or scampi and chips. Mum is allergic to fish, which I have written down many times, told the kitchen and even told this particular worker before. If I hadn't been there and Mum, not understanding what scampi was, had agreed to try it, what then?
She had a couple of mouthfuls of the semolina. Didn't like it. Luckily I had taken in a bunch of bananas and she had one of them and some toast and marmalade.
There's loads more- complaints from Mum, my own observations. If this doesn't improve and if I don't have one single comment from Mum about having a good day, or talking to someone nice or just having been somewhere else than sat in a chair in her room all day, then at the end of this respite she's coming home and right now I don't care how much of my life goes down the swanee, because I can't stand it.
Oh Elaine :( It is early days but I can understand your concerns. As trained staff using any equipment shouldn't make them nervous because you are around. Could you cope with another meeting with the managers. Care Quality Commission should be mentioned. Your husband is obviously very worried about you having to cope again. We all are. I'm not being much help to you. Sorry. It's just so hard when expectations are not anywhere near met. Try not to be too hasty though. Am sure others on the forum will have some suggestions for you. I do feel for you and your husband. ((( hugs)))
Elaine, I agree that you need to contact the Care Quality Commission, and discuss the situation. What good is having mum home going to do? How long will it be before you think "I can't do this any more?" How long will you cope before your husband walks out, you get so ill that you can't do it in any case, or mum's condition gets even worse? You really MUST tough this one out, make it work. Use hubby to support you in dealing with this, don't fall out, united together you are so much stronger. Keep a diary of all your concerns, but also write out a list for yourself of all the reasons you need to hand over the care of mum to others. It's not a perfect world. Staff work odd shift patterns and it will take them time to all get to know mum, her needs, likes, and dislikes. If you don't think they are dealing with the menu plan properly, why not ask the Matron/Manager if you can see the options and choose mum's favourites. Could she have misheard or misread the options offered, for example?

Do you have a local Healthwatch? I find their reports on homes much more detailed than the ones done by CQC? It may be worth having a word with them too. I would be concerned over such things as allergy information being ignored. Worth a formal complaint to the manager too.

As for your mum returning home, remember why she is there in the first place. 1) Does mum need a home? YES but 2) does she need that particular home? Perhaps not. Would be dreadful to have to move her, I know, but don't forget that option.

Hope today goes better, Anne x
It may not be the right home for Mum, but that is not to say the right one isn't out there. May just take a while to find. Why not use some of this respite time to go looking? You won't have the time if she comes home again....
Xxx MrsA