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Elderly parents

Grandmother unhappy in care home

12 replies

Wafflesandcrepes · 16/04/2023 19:49

My grandmother moved into her care home in October after a bad fall left her with a broken arm and jaw.

She really hates it. She hates not being able to cook for herself, she hates not being able to go to the shops (there’s no shop nearby and she might be too frail to go out on her own anyway), she hates being washed, she hates having staff coming to her room. She wants to be independent like before.

Before her fall, she was in a small home with her own flat and kitchen. She’d cook for herself (though she was getting very thin so we think she wasn’t eating much) and go to the market.

She turns in June.

Any ideas/tips?

Thank you.

OP posts:
NotTooOldPaul · 16/04/2023 20:05

Is there a suitable home where she could go out and go to the shops etc? If she is somewhere remote I can see how she feels.

beeskipa · 16/04/2023 20:12

Tough, isn't it? I haven't known many elderly people who enjoyed going into a care home.

Does she need the level of care she's currently having? i.e. could she cook for herself, wash herself, etc? Or is that a holdover from while she was recovering from the fall?

Assisted living might be an option, if not. Or in-home carers. But it will require her and you being VERY realistic about what she can and can't manage. Alternately, could you look at different care homes? Some have different approaches to independence - one my grandma-in-law was in had a 'safe' residents' kitchen where more able residents could make their own food, etc.

Ultimately, she may just be facing the real and horrible fact of getting older and not being able to care for yourself safely. Which is not nice for her, but safest!

helpfulperson · 16/04/2023 20:20

Why is she being washed? I'm guessing because she isn't able to do it herself. Even with fairly advanced dementia my dad was always shoved into his bathroom with a wet face cloth prepared with soap. And only once he'd had a go at washing himself staff would finish off. This meant he kept his independence but hygiene standards were kept.

Does she have an input into menus?

It is so hard for them to accept the can't do what they used to but a good home will encourage them to feel they still have some independence.

RandomMess · 16/04/2023 20:24

Perhaps what she actually hates is that she isn't able to be independent anymore Sad

FlyWildAndFree · 16/04/2023 20:30

You can understand why, must feel like being in a prison.

LindorDoubleChoc · 16/04/2023 20:32

Sadly it's a common experience. No one wants to accept they can't do the things they used to do any more. Do you honestly think your Gma could manage a trip to the shops alone now OP?

AnnaMagnani · 16/04/2023 20:36

RandomMess · 16/04/2023 20:24

Perhaps what she actually hates is that she isn't able to be independent anymore Sad


Does she hate the care home/being in a care home or does she hate that she is now very frail and heavily reliant on others?

Wafflesandcrepes · 16/04/2023 20:46

Thank you for your replies.

  • Her previous place was in an assisted living home. Her children (my dad, his three brothers and his sister who used to work in social care) were all adamant she couldn’t go back to there after her fall. She was too frail and had been found to be malnourished so we don’t think she was feeding herself properly despite her children dropping in on her almost every day.
  • Unfortunately, there is no other home close enough to the town centre.
  • No input possible into menus. I wish she could eat dinner in her room but that’s not possible either.
  • while the home is nice, well rated and not too big (80 residents), it feels very institutional, with rules and things that have got to be done in a certain way. Like the other day, they gave her her shower and washed her hair, ruining her perm which she had had done the day before. Her hair was standing on end afterwards and she felt awful.

I feel like she’s just past the assisted living threshold (which, in France, where she lives, has very strict criteria) but is too “able” for a care home where most residents are in a much poorer state than her.

She now wants my dad to find her a little flat in the town centre…

She turns 100 in June.
OP posts:
Mosaic123 · 16/04/2023 22:04

She sounds like she is fiesty, at least in her head!

Can your Dad take her out to tea once a week so she has something to look forward to?

QueenSmartypants · 16/04/2023 22:06

washed her hair, ruining her perm which she had had done the day before. Her hair was standing on end afterwards and she felt awful.

Thats unacceptable and I'd be taking it up with the manager, emphasising her rights and autonomy and insisting they treat her with respect.

gogohmm · 16/04/2023 22:09

It's tricky but I think the answer is to speak to the manager about how she can safely have more input into decisions and family take her out as frequently as possible

Smartiepants79 · 16/04/2023 22:13

The problem is that, at the end of the day, what she wants is no longer possible.
She is not age to be living independently and,sadly, this is very unlikely to ever be true again.
We’ve had similar with my grandmother who is 102. All we can for is keep telling ourselves that she is in the best possible place. She is safe and cared for. There are NO other feasible answer. Work on making where she is as acceptable as possible.

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