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Elderly parents

Settling into Care Home

11 replies

Beachhutgirl · 11/09/2023 14:55

Long time lurker here. Now looking for advice.

I have been caring for my Mum for sometime, and been living mainly at her home ever since covid. She has now gone into a care home. How long should I expect for her to settle down and accept the situation? She has been there about 3 weeks, and I thought things were improving, but now they seem to be getting worse again.

She would really like to go home, but that is not practical, we could try another home, I don't think we will find anything better, but it's possible that moving would make it easier for her to accept.

Any thoughts please

OP posts:
StylishM · 11/09/2023 14:55

Was she part of the decision making process for the move to a home, does she have capacity?

Mosaic123 · 11/09/2023 15:19

It will take time. Does she have any specific objections or ask for anything that is not available?

We bought my Mum and Dad a mini fridge each when they went into a care home. My Day mostly had fruit in it and my Mum's mostly had chocolate. They liked being able to help themselves to their own snacks or even offer items to visitors.

Would that kind of thing help?

countrygirl99 · 11/09/2023 15:48

It depends what the problem is. There's a chance you would just face the same issues 3 weeks into a new home.

DutchCowgirl · 11/09/2023 15:55

My dad had this phase during which he was angry all the time. Unpleasant to the carers, rude to the doctor. But they all stayed so nice and patient! Then after a while he became silent… giving up the resistance. And eventually he accepted the move and now he is just being himself.

He also has a minifridge with snacks and drinks. A sonos where he an play all his old music on. An enormous tv set… Netflix, Hbo, Disney+ … we totally spoiled him.

Beachhutgirl · 11/09/2023 16:59

She has capacity, and has agreed to the move, albeit reluctantly.

Helpful to think about things that might ease things, but some things can't really be done until she agrees to stay, at least for a time.

The silent giving up phase is what worries me, good to hear of someone coming out of the end of that.

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IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere · 11/09/2023 20:13

My mum agreed to try a care home very reluctantly. She was deemed to have capacity but had no insight into her situation. She was so angry with me ("I'd rather die than go into a home!" "I'm so ashamed that you are shoving me away!" "None of our family has ever gone into a home!" "I can't believe you're doing this to me!") Then tears at every visit, telling me how much she hated it, trying to bargain with me to take her home, ("I'll stay in my room" "I won't try and walk!" "Can I put my name down for one of the old people's bungalows if you won't have me at home?"). After that came the lies ("The staff all shout at me!" "It's so dirty- the farmer brings his cows through the dining room for milking!" "There's a man hiding in my wardrobe!"). The staff however said she was sweet and easy going, always grateful for everything.

It took a good 9 months for her to settle, all the time she was getting worse cognitively. Now she has been there two years. The past couple of weeks she has started to talk about going home again - she needs to know the plans for Christmas and will she be home in time to help. But she no longer cries when we leave, she is easily distracted about going home and she is as settled as she is ever likely to be. But she has deteriorated a lot and has very little language or conversation.

LindorDoubleChoc · 11/09/2023 20:25

It took my Mum about 4 to 5 months to settle in.

When she first moved in she was so happy and relieved they had a place (her preferred choice of Care Home if it came to it) as she'd had falls at home, a couple of hospital admissions, and was scared.

A couple of months later she was hating it and livid and wanting to "go home".

Now (9 months since moving in date) she is genuinely happy and content.

EmotionalBlackmail · 11/09/2023 20:29

It seemed to be an easier transition for one of mine that went in for respite after a hospital admission as he'd never have made it up the stairs to his flat. We thought it was likely he wouldn't leave again but it seemed to help him thinking he was only going for a few weeks, he then liked it so much he asked to stay!

Could you frame it as a trial?

Beachhutgirl · 11/09/2023 22:16

Thanks all. It basically is a trial, we are booking 2 weeks at a time. But she knows it's only a trial of this particular home, going back to her own home is not an option.

The time frames some people are suggesting are a bit scary, but good to know that there can be progress even after some months.

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Borntobeamum · 12/09/2023 07:56

My mum went in initially for 2 weeks whilst dad was in hospital. She was waiting for a dementia diagnosis and was totally unable to stay at home alone.

Dad joined her after 2 weeks and we knew they were both unable to carry on living at home. Dad was 100% compus mentus and was making plans to sell their home when, unfortunately he had a massive stroke and passed away, leaving mum alone In The care home and totally confused.

She wanted to go home. She was sundowning. She also thought I was her mum. She hated me because I had a husband and she didn’t.
She offered one of the staff £200 to kill her.

It was a dreadful time but we took comfort that the staff were amazing and we used to call unannounced at all times of the day and mum was always nicely dressed and chatting happily until she saw us and then her demeanour changed.

She had a fall and declined rapidly and actually passed away the day her Dementia assessment was due.

In my opinion, if you’re happy with the care she’s receiving, just persevere.
I know it’s hard. It’s sad and frustrating too.

Sending you love x

Beachhutgirl · 12/09/2023 10:14

Thank you

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