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Dementia - when to start thinking about a move into a care home?

(13 Posts)
MumGoneCrazy Fri 28-Sep-12 18:38:53

I need opinions on when you would say that the person in question is no longer able/safe to live alone.

ninjanurse Fri 28-Sep-12 18:40:57

When they are no longer safe to live alone or care for themselves without someone being there 24/7. Are they forgetting to eat or drink? Are they able to undertake their own personal care? Do they do things like leave the cooker on? Leave the front door open? Wander out the door and forget where they are going or how to get home?

MumGoneCrazy Fri 28-Sep-12 20:17:20

Its my grandmother, She's constantly eating but only easy things that take no prep like biscuits, crisps and fruit, she hadn't cooked a meal since November and can no longer remember how to make a cup of tea (I found that out after being given a cup of vinegar) she constantly thinks she's Hungary and says she hasn't eaten that day even 5-10 minutes after eating a full meal. She's started eating blackberries off the bushes in the lane but then denies it even if caught doing it, she won't even get herself a glass of water so could go all day without a drink if it wasn't for the fact that I care for her and make her a drink several times a day, I've left jugs of squash and water out on the table right next to where she sits and she ignores them.

She don't bath, wash or even comb her hair anymore and wears the same clothes for days, weeks even. In feb she had 2 heart attacks and was in hospital for 2 weeks then had carers coming in everyday in the morning to help bath her as she was refusing any help from family but she just kept telling them to get out of her house, after that she started letting me help her around the house with housework and bathing but in the last 3 months she's started having an attitude with anyone who tries to help her or even enter her house including me and my father (her son) and its getting really hard to be around her, she tells us to get out, says stuff like "oh god it's you again" and "what do you want? Why are you touching that? Go away I can do it myself"

I have to wait until she goes out for one of her many walks a day until I can go in to have a quick tidy up and a few hours later her table is piled high with clothes from her wardrobe, teddies, needles and knitting stuff, well anything she gets her hands on really, I put stuff away to keep it tidy and she gets it all back out again.

We've had to padlock her door key onto a plastic photo keyring thing with my address and phone number written inside it because of the number of times she has lost it and she only remembers to lock her door about 50% of the time but she is very rarely at home because she constantly walks in a loop from her house to my house then over to my dads house then back round again and just will not sit down and rest despite the fact it leaves her in pain due to arthritis in her knees and back pain from a curved spine (she uses a walking stick when she remembers)

MumGoneCrazy Fri 28-Sep-12 20:21:22

Her cooker was disconnected last November after my db found she had gone out and left it on, when he warned her it was hot and to stay out of the kitchen for a bit she replied with "no it's not" and touched the ring on the electric hob burning 2 of her fingertips

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 20:21:30

Oh dear. it's time to ring social services and ask for an assessment.

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 20:21:52

And tell them the carers didn't work out as she won't let anyone help.

suburbophobe Fri 28-Sep-12 20:27:14

She really needs an assessment.

Can you go via her GP? Or back to the dept. that organised the carers.

I feel for you. My mum has had dementia for about 7 years...
She's in a home now, it is so hard to go through it all as family. Heartbreaking.

Llareggub Fri 28-Sep-12 20:33:42

Go and chat to local Home Managers and see for yourself what is on offer. They will be delighted to talk you through it all and will guide you through the process.

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 21:19:58

Yes, sorry OP I forgot to add that I am very sympathetic. A friend of mine is going through similar and her Mum is in a home now and well looked after.

MumGoneCrazy Fri 28-Sep-12 22:20:26

The problem is that she is very stubborn and refuses to talk about care homes and constantly says I'm not leaving my house, she won't even think about visiting a day centre so she has something to break down her day and has a bit of company, the social worker even suggested a friend program where a volunteer will visit her for an hr or two to give her some company and her reply was "no one is coming in my house" the social worker only got over the door frame because she was out when he arrived. Her friends have stopped visiting because the way she speaks to people have changed lately, she makes inappropriate comments then laughs like she just told a joke or she'll be perfectly fine with you and normal then 2 seconds later she's ignoring you and looking at you as if you were shit on the bottom of her shoe.

I love her to bits and get very upset at the thought of her not being here anymore as we were a very close knit family and grew up seeing her everyday but at the same time seeing her now is like looking at a completely different person. She has mixed dementia and depression after losing her youngest daughter (29 at the time) 6 years ago then her husband 2 years later both to cancer. I have 4 dc and my DP works so I have so much to do in so little time and I feel like I'm letting her down and not doing as much as I should sad

MumGoneCrazy Fri 28-Sep-12 22:25:22

She's had an assessment and I've had a carers assessment, she's had extra rails installed as well as a key safe and there was talks of a bath lift thing about 5 months ago but nothing has come out of that yet but because she's refusing all help, they said there's not much they can do and as I said in my last post I already feel like I'm failing her so if I go back and say that then I really am letting her down because I know how much she truly wants to stay in her own home sad

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 23:12:33

My friend's Mum also refused help. They sent daily carers in to help her take pills, but she wouldn't take them. Sometimes she wouldn't let them in. She stopped washing and caring for herself. Eventually, after a case meeting, it was agreed she would go into a home.

Can you get Power of Attorney? my friend had to get that to take charge of bills etc. Her mother is in a home and whilst she didn't refuse, she didn't really know what was going on either.

Try talking to a car home manager as suggested above. They will have come across this before. My friend secured the care home place herself rather than waiting for SS to sort it.

oneandnomore Sun 30-Sep-12 23:01:33

Has anyone completed a capacity assessment in respect of the decision re residential care? The social worker should have done so, and if the outcome is that your grandmother hasn't got the capacity to understand the risks of remaining at home, and if it is unlikely that she will regain capacity, ythen a Best Interest meeting is held, with your grandmother's family, your gran if it is felt appropriate for her to attend, and a senior social worker who will act as decision maker.
All the options will be considered, and if the risk of your grandmother staying at home is too great, then the decision maker may decide that she should to into a respite bed for further assessment.

All of this is under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Also, if you visit Direct, you will find information regarding the different aspects of Power of Attorney.

Hope this helps, feel free to pm me if you need to.

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