Yesterday my brother and I- we have a close and supportive relationship - moved my mum into a nursing home. She’s had dementia (diagnosed) since 2011 and in that time it’s been one drama after another and I feel utterly exhausted. For the last few months she’s had a live in Carer which she found intrusive and intense, and key saying she wanted to ‘pack up and leave home’. We have found what we felt to be the right Home- not perfect, and most residents with significantly greater needs than hers- but with wonderful staff, and outstanding CQC and very nearby.
Mum was positive about going- until she arrived. After settling in in the morning we returned to visit in the afternoon and she immediately asked to come home. We left at dinner time and I could feel my heart breaking. My question I suppose is how do we best deal with her emotional needs and ours over the next few days? I feel guilty, broken, and on the edge of a mental collapse, if I don’t protect myself. Any advice?
Wanting to come home immediately after taking up residency is quite common. Most care homes will advise not visiting every day for the first few weeks to give the new resident time to settle in, some even suggest not visiting at all.
In my Mum’s case it was at least a month before she continually stopped saying she was going home - yes, it is heartbreaking but you know that now she is in the best place where she can get 24/7 care. So for these first few weeks try to limit the number of your visits.
I did find that once Mum had settled down we were able to be Mother/Daughter again rather than Caree/Carer
Yes I understand the heartbreak. My husband uses to say, we had better get going now, or similar. To start with I used to say, you can’t yet until the doctor says, then later on, when he had settled, ( took a while) I would have to go with the flow. He would forget what he had said half an hour before. Hard as it is, for your own health, it’s best to have at least a couple of days off a week. Eventually you will find you are overseeing her care.
I noticed, when visiting hubby, that other residents would say to relatives, about going home, but as soon as the relative had left, they were settled again. A bit like children not wanting to go to nursery, as soon as a parent leaves, they happily join in.
Another thing, I stopped asking how hubby had been ,( he could be aggressive in his dementia). If they told me, I would say "that’s dementia for you, "and if they said he had been lovely I would say he is!! He was to be honest, and never would have sworn at ladies.