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My Mum has gone into a care home - Carers UK Forum

My Mum has gone into a care home

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I haven't posted on here for ages but my Mum has gone into a care home. I've been looking after her for 6 years and her health has deteriorated and she had frequent hospital stays following infections and falls. She's 86 and I'm 61 and have some joint problems which mean I find it difficult to do personal care and push a wheelchair for her.
She's gone into a nursing home as this was the only available place but she doesn't need nursing care really - just personal care, she doesn't have dementia. She has to share a room and she's such a private person she's finding it really difficult.

My problem is that she's so unhappy, the staff treat her like she's completely incapable even putting a bib on her at mealtimes. She's finding it all very demeaning and undignified and I'm thinking maybe this was the wrong decision - we should have waited until a residential home place was available but the hospital were pushing to get her out and social services here were unable to find carers to look after her at home in the meantime, so we accepted what was available. I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for this.

The other problem is that Social Services have suggested that we are guilty of deprivation of assets as Mum bought a car at the beginning of this year so that I could take her out more easily. They think I should sell it now - even though that will mean I can't visit very often or take her out from the nursing home. They've also hinted that she shouldn't have sold her house - 6 years ago! - as due to her mobility problems we might have known that she would need care eventually. She sold her house to move in with me so I could look after her as she was falling so much. There is very little money left from the sale as she had one of those mortgages which you don't repay but build up until you sell the house and that will go on fees. It's all a mess really!

I feel so confused and guilty and ashamed. But I've given up 6 years of my life, my career, any chance of a holiday and even seeing my new grandson very often for her and I really felt I couldn't have her living here any longer - it was affecting my physical and mental health.

Not looking for answers - don't think there are any unless I give in and have her at home - just wanted to write this down!
(There is one question actually - if SS can't provide care at home, surely they should pay for her care home fees.)
Julieanne :(
Hi Julieanne ... a bleak morning for many out there ?

A holding reply until the calvary arrive.

Care homes fees ... regulations ?

AGE UK ... one of the better BIBLES out there :

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-ad ... care-home/
Paying for residential care.

Paying for residential care in a care home is expensive. There is some help available to meet the cost, but the care system can be complicated and difficult to find your way through.

You may be eligible for financial help from your local council or, in some circumstances, from the NHS.

A whole gold mine for information ... from all angles.

CHC / NHS Contiung Healthcare ... ever mentioned by anyone , even explored ?

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... inks-32532
Take a big deep breath. Give yourself a big pat on the back for all that you have done for 6 years. You have given her 6 years of being in her own home, for which I am sure she is very thankful. I'm fully of the belief that it is very rare for people to shove an elderly relative in a home without a vast amount of heart ache, soul searching. I am sure you have thought this through in great depth and agonised about this decision, but if you can't go on caring at the level she needs, then you have done the right thing.

Doesn't mean that you have to accept that this nursing home is the right choice for her. Could you look for somewhere else better suited to her needs yourself? Not all residential homes are the same, there will be somewhere out there that will be better for her. Go and check some out yourself. Speak to the staff, residents, relatives and manager and you will soon get a feel for what might work for your Mum. Even if they don't have a place now, one might come up soon and you can feel that you have done everything you can to try and make the situation better. See the nursing home as a stop gap measure.

I am by no means an expert. So please seek out some initial legal advice so you know where you stand, most solicitors will give you an initial consultation for free or make an appointment at citizen's advice. Your local Age UK might also have someone who can help. But my instinct would be to push back massively on the deprivation of assets. You sold the home 6 years ago in good faith. The car was purchased at a time when there was a need for a car. Local Authorities will try it on massively to get you to pay up more. Dig your heals in see what happens. I suspect they will give up, they just want to see if they can bully you to pay up more. My local MP got away with his Mother in Law paying his grandson's private school fees whilst the local authority paid for her care! Work out exactly what was left from the house sale after fees etc so you know where you stand. As you say after 6 years of care I suspect it is not as much as the local authority is presuming.

Lastly, be kind to yourself. You have done your best. Please feel proud of this, not guilty.
"I feel so confused and guilty and ashamed. But I've given up 6 years of my life, my career, any chance of a holiday and even seeing my new grandson very often for her and I really felt I couldn't have her living here any longer - it was affecting my physical and mental health. "

I've only got one thing to say to you - THANK GOODNESS SHE IS NOW IN A CARE HOME!!!!!!!!

Good grief, you've given up SOOOO much for her! OK, that isn't to say you didn't give it 'with love' but you gave it all the same - you've made HUGE sacrifices for her for a LONG time.

It's now time for her to 'let go' of the 'care burden' she placed on you (not saying SHE is a burden but CARING for her became one...)

So, yes, although 'guilt' is highly familiar to us all, what we say here is we feel 'sad' she has HAD to go into a care home.

Look, the blunt truth is that this is the price she is paying for 'old age'.....many don't even long enough to go into a care home! my husband died in his fifties.....

My 94 y/o MIL is in her care home because she is 94! Till 89 she was 'fine', living pretty independently at home - had she died then she'd have been happier alas.

In life, it is 'aught for naught' - ie, what we have, we pay for. Your mum has these years of life now, and she can only have them in a care home now.

I do hope she has been appreciative of the six years you devoted to her, at considerable sacrifice to yourself, and depriving her greatgrandson of time with you - children grow up so fast, and they can't be 'put on hold' while we look after someone else in the meantime.

Please, Julianne - you did the RIGHT THING. I know it's hard for you to accept that, but with time you will see that it is so - a care home is where your mum now NEEDS to be....if she wants to go on having more years of life. 'That's the deal' alas, when we reach that time of our lives.....
About the finances - I would get some top down clarification on this. Best to email the set up to Carers UK, and see what they come back with as to your and your mum's entitlements and obligations etc (eg, re deprivation etc etc etc).

Remember, above all, that councils will TRY IT ON! They will do ANYTHING to avoid having to fork out any money, and if they can con or fool or intimidate even families into paying out money themselves, they will do this. They are RUTHLESS, so do NOT be 'manipulated' by them - that's why you absolutely have to know your legal rights in this.

Even for me, when I phoned my local council to ask them 'what happens when MIL runs out of her own money'....they STILL tried to imply that I 'had' to pay top up fees....

I brutally said 'I have NO financial responsibility for my MIL, and absolutely NO ONE has that except YOU - '.....the woman did NOT like me saying that!!!!!!

They ALWYS try and imply that 'we' the family 'should' be providing care, but the blunt and brutal truth is that not a single one of us has ANY duty of care, either welfare or financial, for a single other human being......hang on to that!
Finally, it does sound like your mum is in the 'wrong' care home. But don't despair. Move her to a better one!

My MIL has moved three times (four if you count the fornight she spent in an 'emergency' one - after she had to leave at short notice from her first one (it wasn't secure and she'd started to wander off - she has dementia), before I found a better one to move her to)

If your mum IS self-funding, then no problem whatsoever in simply 'shopping around' and finding one which is more suitable to her, even if she has to wait a bit.

If the council are paying her fees, then your choice will be more limited. However, they will, ironically, be keener on having her in a 'non-nursing' home as it will be cheaper!

On the other hand, for any 'nursing care element' of the fees, that element should be paid by the NHS under CHC (Continuing Health Care) - my MIL pays for most of her fees, but gets just over a hundred pounds a week 'off' which is paid by NHS CHC (which is NOT means tested, unlike the council's contributions to residential care).

All that said, whichever home your mum is in, she will have to have time to 'settle in' - it's VERY common for them to be unhappy for a good few months alas. It's understandable, but there it is - as I said in my first email, this is the price she is paying for her old age, and that really is all there is to it.....

but there is no reason why she should not be in a better home for herself - even if you have to shop around, and wait for a place to become vacant. Definitely she needs a room of her own!
PS - others here may know more (and the team of experts on Carers UK) , but you may well have a case for insisting that you keep the car in order to visit her and take her out, as she has 'human rights' to family visits etc etc etc.
Remember, the councils endlessly 'try it on'. Don't let them bully or deceive you!
Goodness, thank you so much for all your quick replies.

I'll follow all the links and advice and I know things will get better eventually. For some reason it hadn't occurred to me that I could look for somewhere else for her and that she could move from where she is!! I will start looking around for a more appropriate place.

Actually I'm quite shocked about how 'bullied' I feel, first by the hospital to get her out of there, then by social workers to accept the first place that came up, and by the finance people to provide information about my own health to justify past decisions and now by carers in the nursing home to accept the standard of care they are giving and to 'agree that she must wear a bib like everyone else'! For goodness sake I'm not sure what's come over me! I used to be a professional with a responsible job and now I'm an 'ex-carer' afraid to speak up and argue! I guess I've just got worn down over the years.

Thanks again for all the advice and support - just what I needed today :)
Julie, mum should NOT be in a shared room. I can't remember where I've seen the rules right now (shattered after a busy weekend with my son with LD) but I'm absolutely certain that all rooms should be sole occupancy UNLESS sharing was specifically requested. You should NOT agree to pay for any "top up" to achieve this.
I suggest that you talk to the Care Quality Commission about this, and the bib issue, because it indicates a home which totally ignores personal choice - and doesn't involve the LA or the NHS to find out the rules. Good luck.
With regard to the car, you should not be expected to get rid of the car, as it can be used to take mum out and about, and to enable you to visit.
Feel proud of what you have done for mum, not guilty about what you can't do. She is lucky to have a daughter at all, especially one who lives nearby and loves her.
Julieanne - there is HUGE amounts of collective experience here on the forum and 'we've seen most of everything before' (multiple times).

DO remember that first and foremost all the agencies involved, from hospitals to care homes to SS etc etc have their OWN agenda, and are ONLY interested in that. They are NOT interested in what is best for your mum, or you.

So the hospital simply wanted their bed back (so threw your mum out of it!), SS wanted the least cost and least paperwork (so 'dumped' her in the first home with a spare place) and the care home simply wants things they way they have set them up TO SUIT THEMSELVES!

Can you remind us - is your mum paying for the care home herself?? If she is she is the CUSTOMER and she gets what she wants! And it sounds like she wants - and needs! - a different care home.

Paying for you own care home place is NO DIFFERENT from booking a room in a hotel! You don't have to ask 'pretty please' let alone say 'thankyou!'

If she is being paid for by SS she STILL can insist that the care home is SUITABLE for her needs - and this one is NOT.

When the 'massed ranks' of officialdom (SS/NHS etc) confront you, it can be VERY easy to be intimidated and 'shouted down'.....and 'we' don't know the system the way 'they' do. That's why this forum and the CUK itself is so good - it puts some welly into your shoulders - we 'know' more than you do, and can tell you how and when and where to pick your battles and win! It's like having a union rep in with you when you are made redundant etc etc.

For the moment, the important thing is that even if your mum is unhappy, she is being physically looked after, so is 'off your back' so to speak. So your FIRST priority now is twofold - establishing what her financial situation is, what she must and MUST NOT pay for, and then finding a better care home for her. It's quite a 'project' still, but pay LEAST attention at the moment to your mum being 'unhappy', and MOST to getting her 'settled' in a MUCH better home for herself, and the finances sorted.

Do remember what I said - that YOU have NO 'duty of care' towards her, and the SS/NHS etc KNOW THIS, but try to con you that you DO have responsibility for her!

If they badger you about the car or whatever, simply tell them you are placing the whole matter in the hands of your solicitor, from whom they will hear in due course - and in the meantime YOU do nothing whatsoever about whatever it is they are pestering you about.

Don't be overwhelmed - little by little, day by day, you will sort it out, and get your mum into a better care home, for this next phase of her life, when you can visit her and take her out etc etc, and you have as firm a financial underpinning for herself AND yourself, as can be.

All the best, things WILL clarify, and as I say, both the forum members and the CUK experts have your hand!!