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Elderly parents

The Cockroach Cafe 🪳 Spring 2023

971 replies

MereDintofPandiculation · 02/03/2023 09:21

Welcome! I’ve done a really good clean of the place overnight, and brought in daffodils from the garden to remind us all that spring is around the corner and better times on the way.

Come in when you want to share good news, or to rant, or to ask a small question that doesn't warrant its own thread. Or just to hang out with others who understand what you're going through.

For newbies: why cockroach? Previous long term resident of "Elderly Parents" Yolo's DM attended a 'small animal event' in a nursing home, and was presented with a "small animal with a hard back" the name of which species she couldn't remember. Her ever helpful DB suggested cockroach, and it has become a toast on here. So 🪳 mes amis/amies, and may you all live to fight another day.

OP posts:
MMAMPWGHAP · 10/03/2023 18:55

@Lightuptheroom You have all my sympathy.

EmmaEmerald · 11/03/2023 18:28

Hey guys
I'm sorry for all of us...what can I say?

I said in my last post that I will be moving round the corner from mum. Can't happen soon enough.

I really struggle with knowing what means I need to trek two hours there and what doesn't. She's had a couple of spells of just feeling unwell or dizzy, I've rushed over and she's been fine by the time I've made the journey. This would all be so much easier if I was round the corner but that's going to be at least a month away.

she has pressed her button twice in emergency so she does know to do that.

Last week she said she was feeling perfectly fine, then had a funny turn. I think it's to be expected at her age? But it's very difficult to figure out when I need to go and when.

I try not to think about it but sometimes it feels like I can't make plans. Then I get other people calling me if they've phoned her and she has said she isn't feeling well.

normally, I'd say she's like me and we always say "I'm fine" but these days I think that's changing, and then perhaps I over worry due to her age.

sorry, that was long!

countrygirl99 · 12/03/2023 18:08

DB2 and I visited 2 potential care homes. 1 was lovely, we could easily imagine mum in the first one. Really friendly and welcoming. Nice views from all the rooms. Had a bit of liveliness in the lounge with a board game session going on and the activities sounded very mum. The 2nd was really dull, the residents just seemed dead eyed lined up against a wall gazing at the tv and the activities sounded half hearted. Definitely God's waiting room. Hopefully 2 more to see next weekend.

orangetriangle · 12/03/2023 18:14

I think what kind of care home suits depends on how far along they are on their dementia journey. Any care home worth its salt should be advising you if they have a lit of patients with severe dementia as there wont then be much chat going on
By the time we reluctantly put mum in a home her dementia was severe and these were the types of home that would take her
The posher all singing all dancing ones despite being for dementia refused her. it was sadly too much for them even though we were paying

SheilaFentiman · 12/03/2023 18:17

Yes, I would flag that not all dementia care homes cater for severe dementia (with EMI places)

GordonBennett345 · 12/03/2023 18:44

I'd be asking the home you liked how they would handle any deterioration in your mum. Would they expect her to move on?

IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere · 12/03/2023 20:57

I'm just here for the company. My lovely mum has been in a care home since October 2021 and is now quite settled and content. It has taken a long while for her to settle in but we are told she is a great favourite with the staff and always smiling and grateful. She doesn't talk much anymore and often doesn't recognise me but she is safe and warm and well fed.

Mum5net · 12/03/2023 21:27

Sounds like a very productive weekend @countrygirl99 Good to have a first choice and a back up. You can also put her name down for more than one waiting list .
at times though there is no choice.

countrygirl99 · 13/03/2023 06:17

The lovely home had the full range of disability from muddled but mobile to end of life They don't move people unless they need specialised nursing care.

Knotaknitter · 13/03/2023 07:38

@countrygirl99 I'm glad that you've found a place that the others will have to measure up to and that we're no longer in the strange times when you couldn't go through the door. I liked being able to see the activity planner on the wall, baking on Mondays, bingo, film afternoon.

countrygirl99 · 13/03/2023 07:51

I think the biggest difference was the staff. At both places we were shown round by a carer rather than a manager (possibly an advantage if a weekend visit). Nice home they talked about the residents as individuals with their own likes and dislikes. Some of the windows had bird feeders stuck to the outside. All the rooms had a view of flowers/gardens/fields. There was a good range of activities. There were plenty of staff and they looked happy.
At the second place we hardly saw any staff, though it was bigger. None of them smiled. We didn't hear any chatter, the residents looked glum to say the least and most of the rooms had views of the car park or a building site. When we asked about activities it was a bit off hand and there was resident artwork on the wall from the jubilee last June and nothing else more recent.

MereDintofPandiculation · 13/03/2023 09:16

One nice surprise at our home - they are totally relaxed about DC’s dog visiting my father.

OP posts:
GordonBennett345 · 13/03/2023 11:15

First place sounds lovely, @countrygirl99

orangetriangle · 13/03/2023 19:40

that first place sounds great country girl and if they Carter right through the dementia journey to EOL then that is so much better than having to move her
Most homes will not cover nursing care as they need a nursing home at that point

countrygirl99 · 14/03/2023 05:15

It's so hard making sure it's the right place. Mum could probably cope at home for quire a while longer but she's expressed interest in hoping to a home because she's lonely. She still does a few activities (but I'm not convinced she I'd going as much as she says so I've just started phone when she should be out - 100% non attendance last week) and has carers coming in but as soon as she's home alone again it's as if she hasn't seen anyone all day. Having someone live in would need quire a few alterations to her house . We would need to convert a room into.a seconded bedroom. She's never liked cooking and doesn't have an oven in the kitchen, if it can't be cooked on a hob or in a microwave she isn't interested. I don't think she could cope either that going on and managing it from a distance would be a nightmare. And she insists she doesn't need the care visits.
I had a panic this morning. I started phoning around 8.40 to remind her thd pest controller was coming before 10 and it took nearly half an hour for her to answer. I was on the verge of phone my boss to tell him I needed to drive up there and check. She was still asleep. Despite her insistence that she wakes around 3/4 and can never get back too sleep so gets up at 6 every morning. No carers until lunchtime if anything had happened overnight.

Knotaknitter · 14/03/2023 08:46

Mum believed that she didn't see anyone for weeks despite me being there for three hours every day. She'd be ringing me before I'd got home to ask me if I was visiting that day. I believe she was happier when she had someone in sight all of the time. It feels like a big step @countrygirl99 and it is, but that doesn't mean that it's not the right step.

Knotaknitter · 14/03/2023 08:48

@countrygirl99 Can the nice looking home offer a week's respite first? It might be an easier decision if she's dipped her toe in the water first.

countrygirl99 · 14/03/2023 09:39

Knotaknitter · 14/03/2023 08:48

@countrygirl99 Can the nice looking home offer a week's respite first? It might be an easier decision if she's dipped her toe in the water first.

One of the things we liked was they were happy for her to come in for a day to join in activities and have lunch 2 or 3 times to see if she liked it. Then she could go for a trial stay. But even though she has raised the idea I fully expect fireworks when she finds out we have actuallybeen looking at homes. She will probably go full on I manage fine, I don't need any help (yeah sure).

GordonBennett345 · 14/03/2023 16:42

I've asked this before, elsewhere, and got my head bitten off, but here goes. Mum keeps putting her heating thermostats up to 25 degrees. She's out of her flat all day and it's boiling in there sometimes. She can't afford it. She has dementia so keeps forgetting she can't afford it. Are there any devices that limit thermostat settings? Manual thermostats not digital.

Badger1970 · 14/03/2023 16:58

You can get a clear plastic locked box that fits over the thermostat to stop anyone fiddling with it - or you can move the thermostat elsewhere (ie get a Hive or electronic one) and leave a fake thermostat in its place?

It's horribly common....

Newmum738 · 15/03/2023 21:43

My niece and my husband are struggling with the fact my mum is lying to them. It's so sad. She already has a pretty weak support team so pissing them off is really unhelpful 🙈

GordonBennett345 · 15/03/2023 22:04

What's she lying about, @Newmum738 ?

Newmum738 · 16/03/2023 07:14

@GordonBennett345 whether and how much she is drinking and whether she has driven the car. My niece has taken the keys off her now.

GordonBennett345 · 16/03/2023 08:10

Oh no. How difficult. We took mum's car keys away a couple of weeks ago. She didn't fight it but wasn't happy. It seems drinking can be an issue, which isn't something I would have thought about.

IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere · 16/03/2023 09:38

I've just had a major wobble because of Mother's Day. When mum was at home it was always a big event and I loved the chance to spoil her.

Now she is a home, lost most of her language, one had is curled up like a claw against her chest and the other is going the same way - she just has the use of her thumb and first two fingers. My MiL is not in the best of health but she lives on her own with her dog, still drives, and is independent. I was organising presents for them both and for MiL I organised a regular delivery of a bag of bird seed to go on the bird table we gave her for her birthday. Simple but practical and useful. But then I tried to find something for my mum. She can't see most of the things I show her, she can't read, she can't do anything for herself but what really broke me is that she is too disabled even to have a fiddle muff. I am so angry at what the disease has taken from her.

Her youngest GD is getting married this summer but she can't go to the wedding and her oldest GD is having a baby in August but she can't see the scan photos. We haven't told her because DD wanted to break the news herself but DM can't even talk on the phone. I'm going to tell her on my next visit but the joy of being involved/knowing about the pregnancy is just one more thing she has lost.

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