[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Why do people send their elderly parents to care home - Page 8 - Carers UK Forum

Why do people send their elderly parents to care home

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
87 posts
Every caring situation is unique to each family. Whether sole carers, multi carers, with loved ones with various illnesses/disabilities, no situation is the same or coped with in the same way. We share many of the same emotions, and hopefully forums like this one and others can help support as many carers on a day to day basis.

We have seen many discussions like this one over the years, there is no right or wrong answer. We gather as much information as possible and then hopefully make a decision that will suit all. Just wish we all had a crystal ball, would certainly allay some of our worries for the future.

Reading all these comments I can relate to many of you having gone through similar experiences over the years. They actually reminded me of this verse below. I am not posting it with religious intent, but more to try explain my own thinking in that we all cope with situations and who knows whether we could handle that of others. ( Only word in this verse I dislike is Burden .

x x x


A troubled and burdened man prayed and prayed that God would lift his burden. Day after day he prayed that his life would be easier and he begged for God's intervention.

One day, Jesus came to the man and asked, "My child, what troubles you?" The man replied that his life was full of turmoil and that it had become too much to bear. He again asked for help stating that he just couldn't continue to go on.

Jesus, feeling the man's anguish, decided help was in order. The man was so happy that his prayers were about to be answered that his burden already felt lighter.

Jesus took the man to a room and stopped in front of the door. When he opened the door, what the man saw was amazing. The room was filled with crosses; little crosses, big crosses, giant crosses. The man, bewildered, looked at Jesus and asked how this would help him. Jesus explained that each cross represented a burden that people carry; small burdens, big burdens, giant burdens -- and every burden in-between.

At this point, Jesus offered the man the opportunity to choose his burden. The man, so excited that he was finally able to have some control over his life, looked around the room for just the right cross. He saw a tiny little cross way back in the corner. It was the smallest cross in the room. After a bit of thought, he pointed to the cross and said, "That one, Lord. I want that one." Jesus asked, "Are you sure, my son?" The man quickly replied, "Oh, yes Lord. Most definitely, yes."

Jesus turned to the man and replied, "My child, you have chosen your own cross. It is the burden you already carry."

~Author Unknown~
Before I say anything, and just to make this absolutely clear - you could almost say, it's a kind of disclaimer - what I am about to say, is my opinion, and no-one else's. I'm not speaking on behalf of, nor do I represent, anyone else.

However, in response to the following:
If you look at the top left of this page, Carers UK is all about "making life better for carers".
That is just a wee bit patronising. I'm not referring to "making life better", it's the "If you look at" part, that could perhaps convey a hint of condescension. If that was not the intention, then fine, I will very happily accept that it wasn't meant that way.

At some point, there is a crisis which ultimately leads to residential care.
Such an ultimate outcome is not a foregone conclusion, it may well be true in some instances, with that I won't disagree, but, there are also many, many cases where a crisis does not, nor should it, lead to short-term, long-term, or indeed, any kind of residential care.

I'd like to thank Rosemary, as, at least to me, her post illustrates the humbleness of many, who follow the path of life, carrying the plethora of burdens it may present, willingly, and without bitterness or complaint, regardless of how long, winding and rocky that path may be. I'm not just referring to carers, but to everyone, from all walks of life, who, for whatever reason, encounters difficulties, obstacles, illnesses and disease, discrimination, disabilities, and much more.
It's sometimes important to remind ourselves of the "bottom line" - whatever we are dealing with. Hence me mentioning the main aim of CUK. In no way was it meant to be condescending. (Maybe I should blame my Law lecturer who was determined we should always "start with the facts"?!)

"At some point, there is a crisis which ultimately leads to residential care".

The whole point of the forum is to share personal experiences, good and bad. I was speaking from personal experience, having supported four elderly parents, all desperately ill towards the end, both sets living within six miles of us.
We had a total of 15 years of lurching from one crisis to another, to the point where we nicknamed ourselves the Thunderbirds, ready to act at a moments notice, day or night. I even gave up having a glass of wine in the evening because I might get called out in the middle of the night! I came to dread the phone ringing, especially late evening, because it usually meant Action Stations. My dad ended his days in a hospice, my FIL in hospital. MIL in a secure unit, my mum in a nursing home, each one after a crisis.
Death is said to be the only certainty in life, everyone does it. When I think back at the people who have been on the forum supporting elderly parents, relatively few have ended their days at home. Most seem to have found the forum because they are desperate for help, at crisis point.
In theory, the NHS has End of Life policies to support and enable death at home, but it doesn't seem to happen very often.
Residential care shouldn't be seen as a carer's failure, but an acknowledgement that the caree needs more care than one person can give.
bowlingbun wrote: Residential care shouldn't be seen as a carer's failure, but an acknowledgement that the caree needs more care than one person can give.
A great response to the original question, BB.
Couldn't agree with BB more on most of her comments and just for the record I could not have (and still couldn't) cope if I didn't log in here every single day and look at the similar situation others are in....I don't often post but I find this forum invaluable...my husband is my rock but he has to go to his paid job every day and will never understand the problems (not burdens) that caring for someone who you love brings........ My very dear friend has just reached crisis point and her 94 year old Mum has had to go into residential care and it is breaking her heart she visits every day and fully understands that she alone at home would not be able to cope with her Mum in the position she is now in.My friend is in her 70's herself and has diligently cared for her Mum for the last 10 years following a fall which broke her hip (she has never walked properly since). I have to say I take Mum twice a week (does her dementia the world of good, they talk in a language that I call "Gobbedly Gook" but sit holding hands which warms my heart too) and it has also made me realise that if you choose the right one and you know in your heart the time is right these places are the only answer....the girls at my Mums best mates home are wonderful they cope better because they work shifts they are not suffering from sleep deprivation and they care for the people in a much better emotional way because they are not related and can make more rational decisions and slowly but surely although my friend would still prefer to have her Mum at home she is accepting that this is the only way forward, she would have ended up in care herself before very much longer if her husband hadn't have intevened and insisted that Social Services were involved.....Ultimately he was thinking of his wife's well being. In summary I still believe it's Each To Their Own and if you look at the dates most of us long time posters joined it shows that we care we wouldn't still be doing it otherwise but if our own health suffers then we are of no use to man nor beast ;)
Rosemary, interesting to read a Christianized version of a parable that I've heard attributed to Socrates! Something along the lines of him saying 'If all the burdens in the world were placed in a great heap, and we went back to choose one, we'd always end up choosing the one we originally had all the time'.

My interpretation is that however grim our burdens, others have it worse. (Hard to think of a burden of care worse than Eun's family cope with, but there you go, presumably there must be someone somewhere worse off - ?)

SaA - just to say on my part that please never ever feel you have to defend or justify your views etc etc! I've been on forums where I've felt totally 'got at' (the worst was on a discussion about depression, and I'm a terribly, terribly 'anti-depression' sort of person - possibly (probably?) very very unfairly and unkindly and stupidly and ignorantly, but I got absolutely HAMMERED by everyone else there for daring to suggest that one therapy for depression is recognised to be Gratitude Therapy where the sufferer constantly makes lists of all the GOOD things they have, plus takes regular exercise, plus starts helping others - all help to lift the crushing boulder of disempowered, self-focussed misery that depression brings)(not saying it always works, just saying it IS a recognised therapeutic approach these days!). Anyway, I just say that to show that I do know what it's like to feel you are being 'hounded off a forum' for saying something counter to the prevailing wisdom!

But, whilst I admire your stoicism and compassion and 'caritas', in terms of enduring burden (or, indeed, challenging whether they ARE burdens, or certainly not total negative burdens!), to me, as I 've said before my own attitude to what I'm 'willing' to endure for someone else really does depend on the 'someone else'!

I do think, quite genuinely, that the person has to be 'worthy of sacrifice' and also that the sacrifice itself is 'worth it'. And I do NOT think that keeping someone going from 90 to 100 comes into that category! I just don't! MY life is more valuable than a nonogerian's, if their life can only be happy by my unhappiness. (Just as my son's life in his twenties if more valuable than my life in my sixties!)
Just to add - on the issue of 'worthy sacrifice', in practical terms, when my MIL 'arrived on my plate' I had to divert from the cancer support work I was doing (OK, it wasn't exactly a huge amount, but I did do some stuff!) which I did because it killed my husband at 55, and kills a disgraceful number of people prematurely every day, and worst of all kills the young and children too. So, because my 90 y/o MIL needed me full time, I had to sacrifice others (ie, cancer patients) who, sorry, were more 'deserving' of my time than a nonogerian is!

I don't want to over-egg that, because like I say, I wasn't exactly dedicating myself non-stop to anti-cancer work, but it did illustrate the intense frustration I felt when suddenly I had to divert my life to take on a very old lady with dementia who had no one else to look after her and who relied on me totally.

maybe this sounds callous, but there are SO many folk in this world desperately trying to stay alive, or have a passable quality of life, and surely that is where our priorities should be? Yes, of course it would be great if everyone could reach 101 in fantastic health and cossetted in comfort, but they aren't at the top of my priority list and I truly don't think they should be at the top of anyone's priority list. (THAT SAID, they are INFINITELY more important to look after than wasting the money on any number of other rubbish)(HS2 is the obvious one!)
I suppose it depends on various factors, and most importantly the closeness and sense of duty we owe to our natural parents, spouses, and children. All human life has equal value, but I also have no intention of spending my life adopting disabled kids from Bulgarian 'orphanages' - many of whom have real live parents who simply cannot cope or in worst case scenarios, have even parted with their kids for cash to ruthless child traffickers, masquerading as charities. My own child comes first.

As for my parents, in their nineties, I work hard to ensure they have a dignified and decent care package, but I will not be the one providing it, just as I would not wish to impose that on my own kids.
There is perhaps a moral to all of this. We do what we can, for as long as we can. Sometimes that's enough. At other times, it all becomes too much, and we (carers) need to seek help from elsewhere. There's nothing wrong in any of that.

It's difficult for me to express this, and I've already encountered mis-understandings of what I'm trying to say. Everyone's situation is different. There is no right or wrong way. What we feel is best for those we love, and just as importantly ourselves, is far, far more important than anything else. If we are unable to care, or cope, physically and psychologically - including any related health issues - then we are more likely to be causing damage to both ourselves, and our carees. If this is the case, then we need to seek an alternative arrangement. If that should prove to be residential care, then that's the answer, it's better for all.

Hopefully this clarifies a few things.

For the record, I have nothing against residential care. My late Uncle, who had Alzheimer's, spent a number of years in residential care, where he was looked after far better than would have been the case, had he stayed at home, as his wife was unable (through no fault of her own), to deal with his various behavioural issues.
Test! Just checking this works before I post a long reply!
87 posts