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What to tell mum about going into a residential dementia care home for respite.

(15 Posts)
Servingwinch Sun 25-Sep-16 23:18:38

Mum is going into respite care for a week to give my Dad a break. I am trying to come up with a plan of what to say to her that she will accept when we get to the care home, and what to suggest staff say to her to reassure her particularly when it comes to staying overnight. She is at the stage where she will forget what she or others have said immediately, but is aware enough to question what is going on around her. If something is troubling her though she doesn't forget it, but asks about it over and over until she has had a sleep.

Has anyone got any examples of what worked for them? If I say you are staying here because you just need some help she won't accept it as she thinks she still does cooking, shopping etc whereas in reality it is over five years since she has done these things. Thinking about saying central heating at home is being fixed so she has to stay here but that might make her worried about the house and I know she will fret about Dad not being there too. Can't remember them ever having a night apart.

Any suggestions for this and also whether to visit and how often would really be appreciated.

ImperialBlether Sun 25-Sep-16 23:23:34

Could you say that relatives (name them) need to stay in their home, so she's in a hotel (or similar) for the meantime?

What a sad situation.


Tartyflette Sun 25-Sep-16 23:35:16

If it's a nice looking place could you tell her she's having a little holiday in a hotel? I know people who've done this but only you know whether your DM would accept that or not.

Mitfordhons Sun 25-Sep-16 23:39:56

We told FIL that he'd worked hard all his life and it was time he had a break and let other people look after him in this hotel for a bit. He didn't question it, but we did have to repeat it he always accepted it.

julez12 Sun 25-Sep-16 23:44:47

ring and ask the nurse manager of the home for advice/examples of reassuring stories. they should be the best to offer advice as they would see/experience it alot

Tartyflette Sun 25-Sep-16 23:46:06

I told my Mum, who had dementia, that she needed to go into a special convalescent home for a little while (she'd broken her leg while in hospital for a small thing shock and then went to a geriatric OT-type ward for a while, quickly became institutionalised and was judged to be unable to return home. )

Allalonenow Mon 26-Sep-16 00:46:09

Another vote for the holiday explanation.
It might be nice if she has a photo of you/grandchildren etc that can be put on her bedside table.
Perhaps ask the staff about visiting?

Sosidges Mon 26-Sep-16 08:30:24

I told my mum she was going to convalescence for a week. This was a familiar thing in her younger days for people leaving hospital. She said, "that's nice"

Servingwinch Mon 26-Sep-16 16:58:41

Thanks for your thoughts. Must admit I'm not looking forward to taking her.

Has anyone had any good or bad experiences with visiting during the first few days? What would you recommend, to visit or to let her settle in?

Sosidges Mon 26-Sep-16 18:26:30

When my mum first went in she asked when she would be going home. I said, "When the doctors has been, he will be here in a minute" I just repeated it as she could understand the concept of "in a minute" but not any longer. Reassurance in a calm voice and distraction were the key. If she got distressed I would ask, how is your leg/Arm/ foot, anything really just to get her to refocus. The other thing when I left was not to tell her I was going.

I would just say, Do you want a cup of tea and some cake mum? What cake do you want? Then I would give her a list while I was standing up. Then I would pretend I was going to get it. "Back in a mo, one tea and jam donut right". It was easier for me and her not to have to say goodbye. One advantage of her illness was that she forgot I had been minute I was out of sight.

Brontebiscuits Mon 26-Sep-16 18:30:23

This is a situation where white lies and distraction are not wrong. It's kindest by far. Loads of good suggestions on here.

lightcola Mon 26-Sep-16 18:36:48

I would visit as much as you can. She will get more confused and worried if you don't. I work in care homes and those who don't see family often start to worry something has happened. What did your mum do for work? We have one lady who was a nurse so believes she is at work. I give her a checklist to do, or get her to put a bandage on me and she soon settles. Or a washing basket of odd socks to sort through if she still thinks she's doing house work. It will be tough but the staff there will know what to do.

RubyReins Sat 01-Oct-16 17:41:43

We have just taken mum to a permanent care home. She has early onset Alzheimers and has recently declined to the point that dad could no longer cope. She had previously been at that facility for a week of respite so it wasn't wholly unfamiliar. We have told her that this is another period of respite and she seems OK with it. We didn't think it sensible to worry her or stress her out with anything other than knowledge of the present situation. The home is a 3 hour drive from dad's house (and 5 from mine) which is a real issue although we have been advised not to visit for a few weeks to enable her settling in. Dad went on Monday and is in the pits of despair.

Mum is 63 and her illness has affected us all horribly. I miss her terribly but she hasn't been "mum" for a very long time (first symptoms when she was 48).

My dad is a mess and I have had it all to deal with as my brothers both live abroad. I trust the staff but it's so hard.

Sending you good thoughts x

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sat 01-Oct-16 18:08:37

lightcola that is so lovely. I hope someone does that for me when I am old and doolally.

AppleJac Sat 01-Oct-16 18:33:57

I have alot of experience with dementia. Dont hang around too long trying to persuade your mum to stay in the home. Relatives that try to reason with their loved one who has dementia make it very hard and end up staying hours trying to make the person understand whats going on and never getting anywhere.

When you arrive with her tell her its a holiday for her to have a rest as she does so much at home and you have paid for her to have a relaxing break.

Settle her in her room and help her unpack. I wouldnt stay more than an hour tops. Then i would leave and let the staff do their job. You mum will settle very quickly and more than likely adjust to her new surroundings within a few hours.

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