How do you make a decision about residential homes?

Please help. I’ve cared for both my parents for six years. They’ve lived with us for 12. My father passed in July and the strain was being felt way before then. But now, even with extra direct payment care for mum we are struggling mentally and emotionally with care. I’ve found a home and care direct are supportive but I am consumed with guilt. Mum seems like a child sometimes and I feel like I’m putting my 3 year old into boarding school. She’s never been overly social and I’m worried she’ll hate it. But I really think we need our lives back. Timing bad as dad only passed a few months ago. I wish I could ask him what to do :sob:

Hi R … welcome to the canteen.

A recent thread will be of assistance here … same question :

Thank you Chris. Have read through.

Your welcome.

Every caring situation is different … but the parameters are the same ?

R, hi - it’s not an easy situation. Having lived with you for TWELVE YEARS (!), I can see why it would be ‘so nice’ if your poor mum could pass away ‘at home with you’ just as your dad did. BUT, I can also see how ‘near the edge’ you are now.

One thought, When I ‘had’ to move my MIL into a care home (I was near collapse after half a year of looking after her!), what I then did was have her ‘back home’ with me for ‘sleepovers’.

So I’m wondering whether something similar would work for you mum. The ‘boarding school’ of the care home would be only ‘weekly boarding’, and if she understood she was only in the home to ‘give you a break during the week’ then she would be ‘coming home’ for weekends (or whatever).

You have done enough. Make sure that wherever she goes, they will be able to manage everything until she dies, if she is now like a child, that means an Elderly Mentally Infirm (EMI) home.
Does she have savings over £23,000? If so, she will be classed as “self funding” and can go wherever you like most.

Just to remind that if your mum can’t be self-funding in a care home, as in, she is below that £23,500 threshold, and owns no property or other assets (but see below), then she is entitled to residential care paid for by the Local Authority.

Now, the LA will try to get out of this, and may well say that she is ‘entitled’ to go on living with you. But in fact she isn’t.

IF she has no ownership of your house (but see below), then she is only a ‘lodger’ and as such you can ‘evict’ her. It is YOUR house, not hers, and she has NO right to live in it! in other words, she is ‘homeless and broke’ (ie, below that £23,500 threshold).

Also remember that not a single one of us has ANY ‘legal duty of care’ towards our parents. We are legally free to abandon them on the pavement if so we wish!

Councils and SS don’t like us to realise that, and are very keen for us to believe we ‘have’ to go on looking after them and they are entitled to live in our houses!

The only exception to that is whether your mum GAVE you money to buy your house. The council may then claim ‘deprivation of assets’ - ie, she gave you HER money to buy YOUR house, and so she isn’t entitled to ‘free residential care’, as, had she not given you the money for your house, she’d have had it herself to pay for her own care. That’s what you have to watch out for.

Hi R
What about having a try at respite for a week or 2 where Mum goes into a Home for short period only? You sell it to her as giving you a break/holiday. Then you see how she goes - she will moan and grumble, even my Mum who suddenly surprised us by making the decision herself , moans and grumbles about the other residents (but they’d moan and grumble about everything outside as well!)
Remember perfection is impossible, a good enough Home is enough.

I think a lot of people are frightened by the idea of a Home when they’ve never ever been in one. It’s more fear of the unknown.

After the respite you can see how you feel too, it might be that regular full respite is enough for you to recharge.

Quite a few Homes offer a trial period

Do NOT believe anything the social worker tells you either. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING about “top ups”. they’re unlawful! Come back here as much as you like, lots of experiences, good and bad!

On the respite front (good idea a ‘try before you buy’!)(if you do go ahead and ‘buy’ permanently), do bear in mind that a good care home is actually like a ‘hotel for OAPs’!

If you think of it as such, it is an easier ‘sell’ to your mum. The mum of a family member had to go into respite care (luckily paid for by the NHS), and she loved it! She spent a week in a private nursing home, being waited on hand and foot, nice meals, lots of ‘fussing over’ by staff, and so on (lots more than she got in her little solo flat with her son dropping in daily with the shopping!), and she REALLY enjoyed it. She hadn’t thought she would (was MOST reluctant at first), but ended up having a great time!

A good care home will have a programme of daily afternoon enterntainment - almost like a cruise! - , from ‘chair yoga’ (to keep them flexible!) to painting and sing songs etc etc. OK, maybe that’s not to everyone’s taste, but even ‘watching’ can be more fun than sitting alone in your bedroom??

I think if you present it as ‘her’ holiday’ while you have ‘your break/holiday’ and guarantee she’s ‘coming home’ afterwards, that might swing it for her??

Note - weekly respite rates are sometimes higher per week than permanent resident weekly rates. Just to alert you! Plus, it can be hard to find respite places - understandably, care homes want the room occupied all the time, so unless they do a lot of routine and regular respite care, you may only get a respite room ‘between permanent residents’ (ie, using up an otherwise empty room until the next permanent resident moves in)