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Carer for mum - New and saying hello ! - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Carer for mum - New and saying hello !

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I would certainly agree that if their minds are still capable of absorbing TV etc, then of course it can be fine for them to be in their rooms all the time!

Also, as Pet says, things will 'change' as your mum ages anyway, so what might suit 'now' may not 'later'.

I would point out that if you aren't going to be visiting 'that often' anyway, there is no particular need for the care home to be 'local' if you see what I mean.

With my MIL, because of the dementia, she was becoming immune to 'time' and so although I visited every few weeks (when I went to stay in the west country where the rest of my family is), she was not aware of me NOT being there often.
Thank you all - you all make very valid points. I agree about the “luxury “ Care homes and I do wonder whether the money spent on these would be “wasted”. She’s not going to want a cinema or a bar to sit in and, of course, someone has to pay for all of those !

I do feel I am a breaking point at the moment which is part of why I’m looking, but I understand what you say about maybe she won’t want to participate and may still end of just sitting all day. Honestly, with her kidney failure I’m actually surprised that she’s still with us so feel we are on borrowed time to a certain extent. But as some of you have said I can’t know that for certain and she may surprise us and that needs factoring in

Thank you I’ll keep reading
I was in a fairly similar position a few years ago.
First I wrote down all mum's income on a weekly basis - a very generous Civil Service pension plus highest DLA Care and Mobility.
Knowing how much the care home fees were, also on a weekly basis. I worked out how much she would need to use from her savings every week.
Knowing the extent of her savings, I divided the total amount of savings by the weekly amount she would need to contribute, on a weekly basis, and that told me how many weeks she could stay in the home without selling the house.

Has anyone from Social Services told you that for the first 12 weeks, there is a "capital disregard", mum should only pay fees based on her income, not capital? (I reclaimed £8,000 from mum's LA as they didn't apply this rule properly!)

Even if she runs out f money, if you want to keep the house, the council can pay the fees, and put a charge on the house.

Most important of all though, is to get the Continuing Healthcare Assessment done, because then all care, nursing and social, is paid for by the NHS!
The one HUGE 'gift' of a care home is YOUR 'peace of mind'.

I can't tell you the 'bliss' of visiting MIL, taking her out for a lovely drive through the countryside, along the coast, stopping for a cream tea (which she put away with gusto!), me chatting away to her with all the 'family news' and so on, and then, at the end of the afternoon, driving her back to the care home and 'handing her over' to the staff. And then I could drive away knowing she was 'safe' and well looked after.

The 'worry' just vanished!

Yes, I wished she hadn't deterioriated so much she NEEDED so much care, but there it is - as is often said on the forums, 'infirmity is often the price paid for extreme old age'.....

Had my poor MIL died at 89 'in good health' and living quite independently in her own flat, she would have been remembered as having had a 'wonderful old age'....but she didn't die then, she started to decline, and 'lingered' getting progressively weaker and frailier and more mentally infirm, until the very end, five years later.....sad, sad, sad....

I would just point out that, statistically I believe, longevity and care homes can go 'either way' ....sometimes simply 'going into a home' seems to trigger a 'decision' that they do NOT want that, and so they 'turn their face to the wall'.....or, sometimes, the reverse happens, they 'revive' to an extent with all the good non-stop care, and the company and 'goings on' etc etc.

In terms of 'choosing' a home, again, it is always said on the forum that 'you'll know it when you find it'. I certainly found it in MIL's first two homes - they just 'felt right' straight away'. The third was 'not so good' but that, sadly, was simply because the residents were SO 'advanced' in their dementia and infirmity, that that made the difference. The staff themselves were lovely!
The other thing to consider is what the personal cost is to you. If I could have my life again, I would not have got sucked in to a situation where I did more and more and more and more for my mum especially.
At one time I was supporting FIVE different relatives all entitled to highest DLA/AA at the same time. Too much for too long.
I developed a life threatening illness and was told never to care again, my husband DIED of a heart attack soon after.
We should have stood up for ourselves so much more. Don't put your life on hold. None of my dreams of retirement ever came true, because I was widowed. My husband worked so hard from the age of 16, it's so sad he never lived long enough for his pension.
Don't let this happen to you. YOUR life is just as important as mum's.
And don't forget to look at CHC which means if her medical needs are great enough she won't pay for care/residential (I think, check,out the link Chris sent earlier)
CHC isn't necessary 'all or nothing'. My MIL's care home fees were something like £830 a week, but CHC was awarded for £130 a week which was calculated to be the 'nursing element' of her care (the rest was assigned to 'old age and dementia' and that is not covered by the NHS, so it's either self-paid or LA-paid).
Hi Claire

I second what people are saying about the 'very elderly' and care homes. My mum, 95, moved into one recently and within a couple of months had fallen several times, bruised herself badly, and been admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with delirium.

Now she is back in the care home and slowly regaining her equilibrium, but her memory of anything beyond age 20 is non-existent. Nor does she retain any new day-to-day memories. If you ask her what she did this morning she will quite likely describe something she saw on TV. She has little mobility, is fairly deaf and her sight is failing. She still only wants me to talk to, is still lonely and still depressed. So any hope I had that this would improve by moving her has been scuppered!

All I can say is I'm profoundly glad it all happened in the care home and not while I was looking after her.
Starfish - that doesn't sound very good, re the fall at the care home! I suppose they can't look after them ALL the time, but even so! My friend with her dad now in a care home said the first time she visited him he had a huge plaster on his forehead where he'd taken a bump/tumble! Not really encouraging!!!!!!!

That said, my MIL used to try and get up in the night, and they occasionally found her 'collapsed' on the mat. They came 'instantly' as the mat was a pressure sensor, so the alarm went off the moment she fell, and she usually seemed to be tangled in the duvet (which was probably why she 'collapsed' in a heap on the mat).

It's sad she still feels lonely and depressed. My MIL was put on a very low dose of Diazapam (or equivalent) just to 'lift' her slightly. Not sure if that might help? (But if she's still mobile at all, they may not, as it increases wobbliness alas)

All so sad. So sad.... No way to end a life, is it?.......
The falls all happened over a brief period and the home responded immediately with pressure pads on mum's chair and mattress. Removed her rollator and now use wheelchair and zimmer to transfer her.

I'm wary of diazepam. She used to take it a lot, before it was considered addictive, and I think she came off it too quickly as she had a lot of unexplained panic attacks. But maybe another antidepressant might be worth a try.

I've told my kids I'll be setting off with a bottle of whisky to lie down in a snowdrift before I'll go into a home...... :shock: