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Anyone with a loved one in care home?

(15 Posts)
Littlemiss74 Tue 09-Jun-20 17:41:34

I was wondering if anyone has been able to see their loved ones who are in a care home yet in any way at all apart from skype? I’ve read of some people seeing them through a window or driving by.

My lovely Dad is in a care home with advanced Alzheimers. My mum is so low as not been able to see him and on the skype calls he doesn’t respond. He did respond to her when she used to visit even though he couldn’t say much, he knew who she was.

She just said to me on the phone she is desperate to see him as she doesn’t know much longer he will remember her for. It’s so hard, I don’t know how to make her feel happier.

The care home look after him very well but they are not good at communicating. We never hear anything from them unless my Dad has had a fall. My mum rings but is worried about bothering them when they are busy.

I just wondered what communication to families has been like in other homes during lockdown or even at normal times?

I’m thinking I might email them to try and get a bit information but obviously don’t want to come across as critical as I know how hard they work.

OP’s posts: |
Cheekychops73 Tue 09-Jun-20 18:04:20

Hi there yes my mum is in a care home and since the 2nd of March we have seen her through a window a handful of times 😭 I hate it it’s hard and it upsets her She had a stroke in January which was massive & has been left with a huge brain injury & paralysed. The care home have kept us updated since she moved in a couple of weeks ago the previous one that she went to when this lockdown started didn’t seem to arsed unless you phoned. I call everyday & am getting to visit her in the garden for 20 mins on Thursday where they have erected a Perspex booth type thing under a gazebo with a screen. They are using this as a trial week. I am excited to see her properly & hoping this works as it’s better than nothing. Hopefully if it does other care homes will follow suit to allow visits to others. Tell your mum to phone everyday the staff shouldn’t mind. Can they send emails with a wee weekly update picture etc? This new care home does this for us too. It’s shit I am sorry I know how you feel Xxx

TheFutureMrsB Tue 09-Jun-20 18:07:00

Care home staff here, please please don't be afraid to ring in, try and do it between meal times if possible and then there should be someone who is able to take more time to chat. I also have a grandparent in a care home who I haven't been able to visit since March so I know how difficult it is but please don't hesitate to phone.

Littlemiss74 Tue 09-Jun-20 18:12:33

Thank you & I’m sorry about your mum. The perspex booth sounds promising, you must be so excited at the prospect of seeing her.

My mum & I both thought a general weekly email update to all the families would be a helpful and nice thing to do especially at this difficult time but I’m not sure how they would react to me suggesting it. I think they are short staffed. I’d do it myself but obviously a bit tricky as I don’t work there so don’t know what there is to update families on. We just find it a bit odd that they never communicate unless it’s to say he’s fallen over. Some people are paying a lot of money for care and I do think families should be kept a bit more informed especially when they can’t visit in person.

OP’s posts: |
Littlemiss74 Tue 09-Jun-20 18:18:50

Thank you @TheFutureMrsB but I think my mum finds it a bit awkward when she rings. The majority of the carers are male, not that this matters in the slightest but I think she feels they don’t have quite the same understanding that she wants to chat as maybe women would. Although they look after him very well there is not quite the emotional connection that I think she needs with his carers. She feels as though they don’t say much and then she feels like she is wasting their time. Sometimes she has asked questions and they say they don’t know and that the nurse would need to answer but the nurse is busy and can’t come to the phone. She’s just so sad and I don’t know how to make things better. I think she feels that he will think we have given up on him😥

OP’s posts: |
Magicismagic Tue 09-Jun-20 18:21:19

My MIL is in a nursing home, my DH has been dropping off her little treats every fortnight but not able to see her, her room is on 1st floor. We tried video chatting but it was just too confusing for her cause of her dementia, speaking on the phone was okay though. Last weekend the staff at the home said they could take her outside for my DH to sit and chat with her ( obviously distanced) he was so looking forward to seeing his mum after so many weeks. Bless her she complained it was too hot and asked to be taken back in after about 10 mins. He felt so much better after seeing her and knowing that she is okay (sadly failing mentally though).

ilovebagpuss Tue 09-Jun-20 18:32:24

I work for a care home group we have just this week opened up to family Visiting outside if the residents health permits obviously. Still offering all the video calls etc too. We have some nice gardens so it’s possible but we have to be able to leave the resident with their loved ones for the half an hour or whatever as we couldn’t spare staff to stand with each visit. It may be worth asking if there will be this option as our managers are following recent guideline changes to allow this.

Grandmi Tue 09-Jun-20 18:50:57

I work in a care home and we most definitely encourage residents families to call as often as they like.Interestingly a lot of relatives havnt been calling and we have called them to encourage relatives to speak to the elderly. We send out a two weekly newsletter and we are now reintroducing visitors to sit out in the garden where at all possible. We have always allowed family to visit the residents who were sadly close to the end of their life . They have had to wear PPE but at least they were able to sit and hold their loved ones hands . I feel so sad for the families that cannot visit because these old people are all getting closer to the end of their lives and unable to see their children,grandchildren...the whole situation is awful for everyone.

GingerLemonTea Tue 09-Jun-20 19:05:53

It was my Dads birthday recently & they suggested bringing him out to the front door of the care home. We stood over 2m away & had a 10 minute chat. It was good to see him, first time since lockdown.

WhiteChocTwix Tue 09-Jun-20 19:20:44

@Littlemiss74 there is talk of visits by appointment starting at my Dad's home soon. They're currently trialling this in a sister home to see if it's successful. I think the plan is all visitors will have to wear PPE and visit only for 1hr. Phones to be disinfected on entry and exit. My Dad wants to know if he'll be allowed out down the local pub when they open the beer garden!

Could your Mum ask if she could visit wearing PPE?

My Dad's home are excellent at communicating with us. Your mum is not a nuisance if she wants to know how your Dad is or has questions about his care!

Please do look after yourself and make sure your mum does too as far as you can. These months have been so stressful for care home residents families and staff and it feels like no end in sight.

Mrsnippycat Tue 09-Jun-20 19:40:24

My Gran is in a home and although we can't visit, they're now having small parties in the gardens for residents' birthdays, so their families can come and join in albeit from a distance.

Cheekychops73 Tue 09-Jun-20 20:19:58

@Littlemiss74 fingers crossed your dads care home starts some kind of visiting (socially distanced) in place soon. It looks like reading the answers on this thread that there are a few trials ongoing to see how they can facilitate this for residents and visitors so it might be possible they are working on it. Can you call the care home and ask and ask abut maybe a wee weekly email to tell you how things are until such times the visits are open again? I call mums care home at 2pm everyday to see how she is and it helps put my mind at rest and the staff have always said call whenever you need to. I can understand why your mum feels awkward though but tell her not too and to just ask questions they will answer them hopefully for her.
Take care Xxx

freddiethegreat Tue 09-Jun-20 21:44:49

My grandmother’s care home opened this week for visits in the garden. She doesn’t know me anymore, hasn’t for a while, but my aunt drove up to see her mum for the first time since early March on Monday. 4 hours drive each way. And my grandmother didn’t know her any more. Heartbreaking.

Andpiglettoo Wed 10-Jun-20 08:42:27

Visited in the garden with mum last weekend. She has advanced vascular dementia and heart failure - vulnerable but not on the shielding list.

The staff are good with phone calls and keeping us updated but with mum’s condition speaking directly to her or FaceTime almost impossible.

However, we are still getting updates from another care home nearby, where another older relative was - they are still in full lockdown and no visitors.

Such a relief to see her in person and know she’s ok.

Lynda07 Wed 10-Jun-20 10:19:52

No, thank goodness. I am 'just elderly' and daresay I'd be the one going into a care home if any though I intend that never to happen. If I did have someone in a home who needed personal care (not dementia because that can be so difficult to manage if the person wanders around and tries to go out), I'd have brought them home with me to look after. I've cared for elderly relatives in the past, wouldn't trust a 'care' home.

It must be terribly worrying.

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