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Care home, or care at home?

(8 Posts)
bigoldbird Fri 21-Nov-14 00:48:58

My Mum has been a widow for 5 years. She used to live 120 miles away in the family home. My siblings all live some distance away as well. About 2 years after Dad died she said she would like to live closer to one of us. There are many sheltered accommodation places here so she moved to be near me. I have popped in every day since she has lived here, unless I have been on holiday.

The last few weeks she seems to have given up and is eating and drinking very little. She has had blood tests which showed nothing, but refuses utterly to supply a wee sample. As she is 93 I am of the opinion (as we all are) that if she wants to go then she should be allowed to go in her own way and own time, but obviously we want her to feel cared for and as content as possible.

I have upped her care package to 3 visits a day and one from me, but when I left her this afternoon I felt that it isn't enough really. She has difficulty getting out of her chair to the loo so how is she managing?

I visited a really lovely care home earlier this week to discuss respite care. But she is quite confused and I can see her being upset and tearful if she wakes up and doesn't know where she is. I can't bear that thought as I fear she only has a few weeks left.

Does anyone have any experience of this dilemma and if so, what did you do?

Thank you for your thoughts.

Cooroo Tue 02-Dec-14 20:46:48

My mum is 96 and we've had to up her care package as a recent stroke means she can't move her legs at all. She's currently spending a week in a care home. It's a good one, the staff are amazing. But she is registered blind, is pretty deaf and sometimes confused. She has no understanding of her surroundings at the home and is longing to be back home. Good as the home is I would hate her to go there forever. I hope she can die in her own bed. And as quality of life is pretty crap I hope that's fairly soon.

Sorry, not much help.

My mother is 91, has vascular dementia, arthritis and, as I learned today, breast cancer. She wakes up every morning in her own bed, where she has slept for 30 years, in tears because she does not know where she is. But she still knows me and her granddaughter and has a horror of strangers, so she will stay with us as long as is possible. I really hope this will not go on much longer though.

whataboutbob Fri 19-Dec-14 08:48:27

Wishing you fortitude Belle Dame. It is so hard that you are making a massive sacrifice for your mum s well being, and she is still distressed every morning. If I can just make a suggestion- do not feel guilty for saying enough is enough, if it comes to that. The dementia means the idea of "home" is probably not where she is, but somewhere in her past, maybe her childhood home . It may be OK for her to move to residential care, especially if the cancer develops.

Thank you Whatabout ... I realise that she no longer recognises her home, but she does recognise her family. Due to unfortunate experiences in the war (she was a child whose family had to flee to hide), she has a great fear of strangers. Just having a carer bring her lunch when I am at work is very upsetting for her and therefore to me, when she begs me to reassure her that no stranger is coming into the house while I am out. Realistically, I could not be with her in a care home all day and she would be so afraid. I don't know what to do about it.

Bigoldbird, I wasn't being any help with your dilemma ... I think what I wanted to say was that it may be that she is soon as confused at home as she would be elsewhere. If you think that she really only has weeks left, could you really up the number of care visits? Or could she/you afford someone to live in?
No answers, just sympathy.

whataboutbob Fri 19-Dec-14 12:10:02

It is a difficult dilemma Belle Dame. My Dad was started on anti depressants which really made a difference . His symptoms are different from your mum's though (manic energy, restlessness and outbursts of aggression). I am just concerned that your mum is alas unhappy because of her dementia and you feel such a strong responsibility to protect her, which puts a massive burden on you. Maybe a psychogeriatrician could help (that's who prescribes for my Dad in terms of dmeentia and behaviour drugs) , if she is not already under one the GP could refer?

CMOTDibbler Sun 21-Dec-14 09:18:06

LaBelleDame, I'm so sorry things are getting worse for you and your mum. IIRC, your GP wouldn't refer your mum? I think it would be worth pushing for a referral now, just to see if the geratologists could do something to help relieve your mums distress, or recommend some tactics.
TBH, the only people that have seen my parents as people, and taken a holistic approach are the geratologists.

If its not too hard a question, will you be pursuing any treatment, even palliative for your mums BC?

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