Transition from hospital to nursing home

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi Regina
It is going to be a difficult time for Mum, BUT there is no other option. Her needs are now too great to be cared for anywhere else. You just have to keep reminding yourself of this.
Please don't go putting timescales on how long things will take, she is living in a different timeframe now which is very hard for those of us in 'real time' to comprehend.
The staff will make sure she has what she needs and would step in if necessary.

Meanwhile we are here for you and fully understand how difficult it is to hand over your own excellent personal care to someone else. Even if Mum didn't have her particular ailments you would be finding the transition hard. None of us likes to handover our loved ones, but do it we must. It will take time for you to get used to it too, so please don't beat yourself over it.

May I suggest you start putting some strategies in place to help yourself? We've already mentioned limiting visiting to what to you is a managable level. Given mums needs maybe she will need you a little more than most, but do always keep in mind thy she will need time without you to start adjusting by herself.
You need to have other things to do and think about so plan some trips out, even if it a just for a coffee somewhere. Exercise and fresh air and healthy eating are good too.

Every 10 minutes tell yourself you are a good daughter

Have they allocated a dedicated nurse to mum yet? Might be worth asking, and talking to her about mum.
Thank you for your reassurance, it means alot. I can't believe what a wreck I've become. I used to travel the world, now I can't bring myself to go away for the day. I'm scared and overcompensating for absent/estranged family members.

I am not aware of a designated nurse, there is always someone on duty for the whole home. I will ask.

This forum has been a lifeline. - thank you.
Regina, it's perfectly naturally for you to have 'abandonment' issues over your mum going into a nursing home - as in, 'guilt at abandoning her' (as I am sure the Guilt Monster - who haunts all of us, I promise you! - is telling you you have!). With time, it will lessen, I promise you, as everyone adjusts and settles.

This is a 'heart vs head' conflict inside you. Your heart says 'It's my MUM, I want her HOME with ME!', but head is saying 'She NEEDS professional nursing care round the clock'......and that is the conflict.

(Ideally, if we were all millionaires, we could have a huge house, with a 'wing' for our ailig parents, and a full time staff of nurses to do the necessary caring, but our loved ones would still be 'with us'......)

On the issue of the sleeping in a chair- Regina, MANY elderly people find it physically, and psychologically, more comfortable to sleep in a chair! It seems very odd to us, but I promise you that is so. My MIL, in her eighties, before dementia set in, often settled down for the night in her very comfortable armchair recliner. She never slept well, as in, only slept patchily, and she liked not only having her legs raised, and the contoured chair to support her back, but also having the TV remote to hand so she could flick it on if she wanted, etc etc. And my SIL's sister's MIL does the same!

The KEY thing now is for your mum not to feel distressed, and if that means letting her sleep in a chair, so be it. It could be, psychologically, she may feel that if she 'goes to bed' it's kind of 'committing' her self to where she now has to be - sleeping (or dozing) in a chair, may be easier for her to accept at this stage.

Give it time, time for YOU to settle, as well as she, and this now will become, as it must, 'the new normal' for both of you. We are adaptable beings, it's a safety mechanism for humans, and whilst it will always be sad that she is frail and elderly and needing round the clock care, she is still your mum, and you still love her, and NOTHING can change that. You are doing what a daughter should do - make sure she is in the best place for care, and good quality of life at this stage in her life.

Kindest wishes to you at a traumatic time, Jenny
Thank you Jenny, you speak such sense.
The last few months/years have been very difficult, you've probably been "holding it together" for too long. What you are feeling now is a tidal wave of pent up emotion, frustration, resentment, and grief, all rolled into one. Time for a holiday this year I think. There should be one nurse who is specially responsible for mum, possibly not arranged yet.
Regina_1709 wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 pm
Thank you for your reassurance, it means alot. I can't believe what a wreck I've become. I used to travel the world, now I can't bring myself to go away for the day. I'm scared and overcompensating for absent/estranged family members.
A lot of the emotion you are feeling is because you have been so stressed for so long that it comes as a shock to the system when it stops (or changes). I remember my first clear 2 hours respite, I wanted to do so much but all I could do was sit and stare at a cup of coffee. I felt like a zombie. My body felt like it had been run over with a steam roller. It took several weeks to get used to having my freedom back, and several months to get rid of the Guilt (even though it wasn't real Guilt).
If there are family issues too, how about treating yourself to a little counselling to help you understand what's going on inside? You've been through a hell of a lot and its nice to have bit of help sometimes
Your life will come back to you, give yourself a bit of time and compassion

I realise its early days but when I visited my mum today, she had apparently 'slid' from her chair/bed (non one could be precise) and had cuts on her legs. A plaster on one. Also she's only been in the place since Friday and things have gone missing (they are in the laundry!) that's alot of clothes already in the laundry and the fleecy blanket, missing and found yesterday is apparently in the laundry also.

I am alarmed and have spoken to the nurse on duty but I keep being told my mum needs to settle in. The carers change so frequently its all 'I think' and 'not sure. I am worried. Along with her not sleeping in her bed this is really distressing me.

If I want to change nursing homes, how quick/easy is this. My mum has been assessed as having a primary care need which will be reviewed in three months time. I think I will phone a couple of other places tomorrow and also the mental health nurse on the assessment panel who is liaising with me.

I am sick with worry and guilty I have made a bad choice.
I'm sorry you still have cause to worry. On the 'missing thigns' front, providing they all have name labels in them, then they should emerge from the laundry at some point.

Would it help if you took photos of her clothes? You could lay them on her bed, and take a photo, and that would make them easier for the staff to identify. I know it can be distressing, but honestly, it is, you know, quite common. Of course it shouldn't happen, but it does, and it does not necessarily mean its a 'bad home'.

Obviously, though, monitor the situation, in case it escalates or the items never find their way back to your mum. As well as the clothes being labelled, I stuck on labels to everything that was my MILs, eg, bedside lamp with the words 'Personal property of Mrs xxxx' Just in case!

All that said, if you are still worried about the quality of the home, then definitely check out others - if nothing else it will give you peace of mind that you are checking out potential alternatives. Always good to know you are not necessarily 'stuck' with one you don't like.

As for the practical side of changing homes, if your mum is self-funding, in one sense it is very simple - her money, her choice where to spend it! However, at some point she ....or you (if she does not have mental capacity)(which I think is not the case with your mum??) will have to sign a contract, and then there will be the issue of giving a month's notice, etc etc, so you have to factor that in.

However, if her fees are being paid by the council, then I don't know how easy, or quick, it would be to move her. Obviously if you have serious concerns they SHOULD agree swiftly and make no objection, but again I just don't know. Hopefully others on the forum will. Do be aware that not all homes take LA-funded residents - my MIL's second care home only accepted self-paying residents. So that, again, is something to watch out for.

If yo ufind one you like better, and she is eligible for it, but there are no vacancies, it might be sensible to go down on the waiting list. You always give up the place on the list if, in the end, you decide against it.

I know these are worrying times, but give it a little while to settle down. How is your mum when you visit her?

(Re the cuts - as a new resident, I dare say the nurses haven't quite worked out yet what she can, and can't do - obviously this should be in her notes, but you may have to say this to their faces as well, and emphasise what can and can't happen. And since, as you have already seen, the nurses 'come and go' a lot, you may have to say this several times.

When complaining or showing 'unhappiness' with something happening at the nursing home, to begin with it's a good idea to use the word 'concern' in 'I'm concerned that mum has ended up with cuts'.....

'Concern is a good 'neutral' word, and isn't 'accusatory'. At least to begin with, give the staff the benefit of the doubt. Only if things STILL worry you, should you escalate to a 'complaint'. On the other hand, it's important not to be 'fobbed off' as a 'fussing relative' etc, if you feel that is happening!

You will probably find over time that there are some nurses/staff you 'take' to more than others - and some, to be honest about it, who seem of a 'better calibre' than some of the others.
If clothes are in the laundry, then that's good surely? It means mum has been changed regularly. It may be that the laundry works Monday to Friday? I'm not making excuses, but you MUST give it at least a month, or tbree, before deciding to move mum. Presumably she is settled in her own room now? Have you been given a "handbokk" fot the home? Looked at the CQC website (Care Quality Commission).
I often warn people how difficult this phase is, as a nursing home is very alien to people to start with. Think back tk why you chose the home,for good reason no doubt? Give yourself a good talking to and agree to give it a month. If neccessary talk to CQC. Try to focus on settling mum in, getting to know staff. Use the phrase "can you explain what/how/why".....
For yourself, keep a diary of how you are feeling. You've been through a tough time, totally stressed out, be kind to yourself.
My disabled son had to move into boarding school as I was ill and exhausted, my mum had to move into a nursing home when she was too frail to live at home, I well remember how I felt. Once I got to know who was who, what was happening and why, I was reassure. It will seem better soon.