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Will mum get used to new flat?

(10 Posts)
KikitheKitKat Sat 14-Mar-15 06:32:10

My mum was diagnosed with mixed dementia a few momths ago (Alzheimers/vascular) though I've been taking her to the Memory Clinic for some years as I could see ther was something wrong. On top of this her eyesight is very poor.

Anyway, over the years mum's need for me has increased a lot and instead of taking her out a couple of times a week, I am finding more and more I need to go every day, especially if she is unwell. I also worry when we go on holiday how she will cope.

So we bought a lovely sheltered flat just a mile from me where it will be easy to pop in regularly, my kids can walk there from school and there's a lovely warden etc.
I moved mum in yesterday, and despite me taking care of everything and trying to keep her stress to a minimum, she is terrified of getting lost in the flat, not finding the bathroom in time, not finding her things ( I tried to place all her things in corresponding positions to where they were before), how to use the phones (they are her own and we brought them with her so no change really). She gets up for the toilet in the night and I said 'leave the bathroom light on so you can see where it is' but she'll likely forget.

So I am hoping to get reassurance here: will mum get used to things after a few days/weeks/months, or is she always going to be scared from now on?

CoffeeBucks Sat 14-Mar-15 06:48:56

Oh love, this must be difficult. I think you have done the right thing though. The security of the warden & family being nearby must be a real relief for you.

It might be difficult for a while, compounded by your mum's condition. Did you have any discussions about moving her - did she have a chance to look around etc before going there? I wish I could say that your mum will get used to things after a specific time period, but it's difficult to tell.

It's good for dementia patients to have visual reminders - eg a picture of a toilet on the loo door, picture of cups/plates on kitchen cupboards. This can help with the fear of not finding the bathroom on time. There's a lot of good advice on the Alzheimer's Society website as well.

KikitheKitKat Sat 14-Mar-15 07:12:44

Thanks for your reply Coffee. Yes I did discuss it with her and we viewed the flat together. She was a bit worried because she kept thinking it was an old peoples home (there is a communal lounge for those who want it) and she has always said she'd rather be shot etc. than go to a home. But she seemed to like the flat ok and could see the benefits. However as it got closer to the move she got more worried, then for the last 3 weeks she has had sciatica, and pain relief is not helping, so she feels very helpless and her confusion is worse.

I can't help feeling guilty for kind of pushing her into this because maybe from now on her dementia will be worse because of the change. At the same time I think she needs to have a more sheltered environment. Also, like a poster on another thread, When I cleared out mum's old flat I found it was really filthy. This made me feel so sad as not so long ago she thought it was untidy to has a couple of newspapers lying around.

KikitheKitKat Sun 15-Mar-15 11:40:12

i am so scared i have done the wrong thing moving my mum. The dementia seems to have doubled over night. She is scared all the time and keeps crying and saying she wishes she hasn't moved. it is day 3 and I have visited twice each day plus my brother has already visited twice and he lives an hour away, but each time I leave she doesn't understand why I have to go and looks puzzled and scared when i say i need to go back to my children. Please can anyone reassure me she will get used to it and be happy one day?

KikitheKitKat Sun 15-Mar-15 11:43:17

We've done everything to make the new flat lovely too and to try to replicate how things were st the old flat (which was falling to pieces but she hated to have anyone in to fix anything). it's heartbreaking that she can't appreciate it one tiny little bit.

Needmoresleep Sun 15-Mar-15 11:54:57

Dont worry too much. You almost certainly moved her because she needed to move. Hopefully she should now be able to stay out of a care home for longer.

1. Expect it to take two months for her to settle. The dementia may seem to be getting worse as she will have lost her routines and be having to concentrate on remembering where the basics are. Give her more support, take her out etc, to help her develop her orientation.

2. If need be fib. She is probably very stressed. Tell her that this is temporary as something is being fixed in her old flat etc, some excuse that she will be happy with. As time goes on she wil forget old routines and develop new ones.

3. Keep an eye out for what she finds difficult and find work arounds. My mums heating in on a theromostat as she can work the boiler. We had to cover the plug as she kept tunrning it off. She can shower herself but her carer turns the water on and checks the temperature. There is a table by the door to put her keys.

I don't know if it helps, but think about the brain fog you can get with flu where you are barely functioning and have to concentrate hard on the basics. This must be what it is like for your mum all the time. At the moment she will be feeling very vulnerable. It did get better after 2 months. After six, when my mother started bleating about wanting to go home, offered that she could. "Not yet" was her response. "When I am better". Tow years in and she really does not remember her previous flat much, and considers her current flat as home.

KikitheKitKat Sun 15-Mar-15 12:27:19

Thanks so much for your reply Need. I so hope you're right that things will change a bit in a couple of months. For the moment i'm saying 'give it a few weeks to see if you settle in.' I feel so guilty though - and resentful that I feel guilty, when my life seems to revolve around looking after my mum.

twentyten Sun 15-Mar-15 21:18:24

Great wisdom from need more - and please don't feel guilty about resenting the pressure and demands on you. On the support thread on this section there are a number of us who can say the unsayable and get support- plus loads of wisdom. Do what you can but look after yourself too. Get carers in to help etc- you cannot do it all. thanksthanks

KikitheKitKat Mon 16-Mar-15 09:00:42

Thankyou twentyten

ZaZathecat Sat 06-Jun-15 11:26:54

Resurrecting my own thread to update:
Almost 3 months on I am happy to say you were right. In fact my mum is almost a different person! Obviously it helped a lot when she finally got relief from the sciatica with pain patches about 2 weeks in and started to feel more human.
In the last month or so she has started going to some of the social events like quizzes that the warden organises in the afternoons. I had to start this by going along with her a few times. She has never been a 'joiner' so I thought it would be an uphill battle, and she was very worried about meeting people because she has so much difficulty remembering faces and names, and can't find her way from her own flat to the communal lounge. Anyway, the warden is so nice he comes to get her and now she happily goes 3 times a week.
I still see her almost every day but it's so much more enjoyable than it has been for years because she's so much more cheerful!
Thankyou for the supportive messages when I was worried at the beginning, and I hope this encourages anyone in a similar position to wher I was smile smile

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