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Elderly parents

Mum wont come out of room in Carehome

27 replies

Poppy61 · 25/02/2023 16:49

Mum moved into a carefully chosen care/nursing home at the beginning of this month. We looked at all other options of caring for mum before coming to the inevitable decision.
She dosent want to be there, but is not able to live on her own. She has early to mid Alzhiemer's/Dementia; is disabled; has had quite a few falls and has other health issues. The staff are lovely and trying to help her integrate, as are we. There are trips out; activities. She now won't come out of her room, says she is lonely and bored (I know this is partly the dementia; partly character) and says she can't be bothered to talk to anyone. I'm not able to reason with her, partly because of the dementia, but also because she has always been a proud and stubborn woman and rarely listened to anything I've had to suggest in the past. She is lovely in all other ways and still has her sense of humour. Everyone says she will settle, but I am not so sure.

My question is: has anyone else been in this particular situation with a relative not coming out of room, not wanting to make friends etc. I understand all the reasons why this might be happening, but need to know if the situation rectified itself with time, or what actions you took, which helped. Thank you, I am at my wits end!

OP posts:

Poppy61 · 25/02/2023 17:18

Self funding and have LPOA in place

OP posts:

NotTooOldPaul · 25/02/2023 18:12

My aunt was like that. She did not want to mix or take part in activites. She was 200 miles away so I used to arrange to visit over a leal time and pre-booked a leal for myself (which I paid for). That way I could usually encourage her to join me, and other residents, in the dining room. It was hard work especially as she hardly spoke to anyone apart from me during the meal.
@Poppy61 can you join in with some activites with her? Not easy but it might get her to see how good they are.


Mosaic123 · 25/02/2023 18:12

I was thinking that when you next visit you can think of a reason and ask her to help you with something in the main lounge?

You could "accidentally" leave your bag there for example?

It may be that she is worried about finding her way around in the care home and if she is with you it might give her confidence.

If there was an activity on at the time you could say you needed to go to the loo and leave her there for a few minutes.


MrsBunnyEars · 25/02/2023 18:15

My grandad was like this. His dementia was quite advanced so he wasn’t totally aware of where he was, so I can see why it was scary.

What lured him out was rugby on the telly in the lounge. He was happy to watch that a few times, which seemed to make the prospect of sitting there in general a bit less worrying z


orangetriangle · 25/02/2023 20:06

if there are a lot with dementia that is fairly advanced although they sit in the lounge there is sadly little communication. It was like that in my mums home though I think they benefited from being in there and did join in albeit reluctantly with some of the activities. There were those that remained in their room but most o think were taken there every morning many I think were too advanced to protest but it is easier for the staff who are often run ragged and I think it must benefit them as well even if they cant chat they could hurl insults at each other sometimes though and at staff!!!


Poppy61 · 26/02/2023 08:22

Thank you orangetriangle; you've made me giggle this morning! We purposely chose somewhere that has a good mix of residents, so dementia is not the prominent health issue.Thank you everyone else for your suggestions re: joining mum with an activity and reasons to get her into the lounge. Excellent ideas and there are definitely other ladies that are trying to engage with my mum and we have been encouraging that, so yes, with me there, it might give her a bit more confidence. I think i will join her with a meal as well, as you suggested NotTooOldPaul. OK folks, thank you all, I now have a renewed vigour to tackle this. Wish me luck!

OP posts:

Knotaknitter · 26/02/2023 08:41

It's very early days yet, both mum and MIL took months to really settle. The turning point for MIL was the tv in her room breaking. Once she couldn't sit in her room watching it all day she was willing to go and watch it in the lounge. She swears that there are no activities but I see her nails painted, I've caught her in group singing once or twice and she's told me a story about what turned out to be film night.

Be kind to yourself, we want our loved ones to be happy and safe and for you at the moment the priority is "safe". "Happy" will most likely grow in time.


mdh2020 · 26/02/2023 08:43

My mother is extremely elderly and doesn’t have dementia. She is going to have to move into a home in the next six months and I know she won’t leave her room. People say it would be good for her as she would have activities and make new friends. This is just what my mother doesn’t want. We have realised that is was dad who was the sociable one and she has never wanted to make friends.


Chowtime · 26/02/2023 08:44

Another option is to employ an additional private carer to come to see her for a few hours once or twice a week - they could socialise and do activities with them in the room.


silverclock222 · 26/02/2023 08:46

My friends DM took about 2 years to come out into the main room so there is hope.


UniversalTruth · 26/02/2023 08:46

It just be hard to see this happening.

I agree it's early days, it's been a big change for her and it's even harder for someone with dementia to adjust - I would reassess after she's been there 6-8 weeks and has at least got used to the pattern of the day, the food etc.


UniversalTruth · 26/02/2023 08:47

*must be hard to see this


MistyMooninabluesky · 26/02/2023 08:49

My mother wouldn’t leave her room, she didn’t have dementia but was very frail and stubborn.
She was reasonably settled for the 9 months she was there but really just tired of living, she was 94 and couldn’t walk unaided or do much for herself. She was also very deaf and had really lost interest in everything.
It’s sad but there was little we could do, she definitely couldn’t stay at home.
My dad was in the same care home and she refused to see him, really strange behaviour when they’d been married for 74 years and been at home together.
I guess everyone’s different 😊


Badbudgeter · 26/02/2023 08:52

I’ve worked in a care home, like a Pp poster there is often something you can use to lure them in. One lady really liked having her hair done so the mobile hairdresser came
in more often. She had a set up in a smaller tv lounge off the main lounge. Then she’d have lunch in the dining room and integrate a bit


Paulrn · 26/02/2023 09:07

Had this twice MIL gave up completely and DM won’t even try and get up let alone leave the room. She has Alzheimer’s so isn’t to sure where she is. First it was awful tears sobbing about going home but she is slowly cheering up or so it seems. Next step is to get her up.


Poppy61 · 26/02/2023 10:16

Thank you everyone. We are seeing mum later today and taking her for a drive. We'll sit in the foyer on return, as that's where we find people always try to talk to mum. I do tell myself that at least she is safe and that is indeed the priority. MistyMoon, my mum is the same, she dosent want to be here anymore, she's 85 and had enough, so its difficult to motivate someone with this mindset. I'm hoping like others her, bit by bit we will make progress. I'm sorry others of you are going through this too and really appreciate the time you have all taken.

OP posts:

LetMeGoogleThat · 26/02/2023 10:22

My dad didn't want to socialise outside of his room, but that was him. I always felt uncomfortable with the assertion that just because a group of people are sat in a circle it's somehow meeting a social need. We are all different, dad liked his computer, TV and music....he would chat to us and the staff. Alone is not always lonely 💐


Toddlerteaplease · 18/03/2023 01:25

My friend hates coming out of his room. He's always hated enforced socialising. But for once I don't blame him. Everyone else has dementia. So there is no one to talk too. He's a bit confused at times but not as bad as everyone else is.


EmmaEmerald · 18/03/2023 01:44

I'm sure I'd be the same tbh

My late father, I looked at places for him before he died, I avoided anywhere that made a big deal of residents mixing, he'd have hated it.

Mum was in respite care recently, it was not guaranteed that she'd get out. She went to hear the singer they had for Poppy Day and that was it, ate all meals in her room. Me or my sis were with her everyday and friends or family would be there most days if either parent had been there permanently.

Is she lonely in terms of wanting company - or company she likes? A bunch of people who happen to be there isn't necessarily helpful, just like colleagues being around isn't necessarily useful.

A carer or companion might be better if she's lonely. But I do wonder if it's more about just being unhappy generally.

But if she can be connected with someone she likes, that could make a big difference. Ask the home if they have any contacts like that, or Age UK? Do any friends visit?


MrsFezziwig · 18/03/2023 01:56

I’m intending to write a directive that if I have to go into care I want to be allowed to stay in my room most of the time. I live alone and most of the time I’m quite happy pottering about by myself, so I really can’t imagine why anyone would think it would be fun for me to spend the majority of my declining years in a chaotic room full of strangers watching a TV programme I haven’t chosen.


AviMav · 18/03/2023 02:27

Leave your mum I think she will come round in her own time. Don't mention it again.


Toddlerteaplease · 18/03/2023 02:48

My friend says he also can't stand the noises at meal
Times. Having been there. I can't imagine it's a pleasant environment for him.


magicthree · 18/03/2023 03:55

My DM used to prefer spending most of the time in her room. After she had a few falls, one where she fell against the door and the staff couldn't get in and had to enter via a window in the rain, the nurse manager told her she had to spend the day in the lounge so they could keep an eye on her. She took to it like a duck to water and never again spent a day in her room unless she was ill.


wandawaves · 18/03/2023 04:03

Has she been screened for depression? Depression is fairly common in residential aged care, especially when they are new; they've recently lost their health, their home, possibly their car/licence, their friends/neighbours/pets, their independence. It's also very underdiagnosed and undertreated, as it's often passed off as "just their dementia".


Phoebo · 18/03/2023 04:53

I know alot of people like this, it might depend on the home, tbh I found them quite depressing myself when going to visit. Sorry you're going through this, I'm not sure it changed but perhaps you could at least encourage her to spend some time outside or go for a walk around so she at least gets out of the room. Is there any chance that you could see of theres someone she might like to be friends with and try to encourage that even if it's just the two of them, perhaps take them both out somewhere for lunch so they're in a different environment. Is there some activities she might like doing with others, such as puzzles, knitting etc that might encourage her out of the room or even a TV show they could put on in the communal area?

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