Any advice on getting through today? Dad goes in to a nursing home this afternoon to start his 4 week trial and we are both in bits. I keep trying to say it’s just a little holiday, nothing permanent but we both know it’s likely that he has spent his last night in his own home. Life will be easier for us both, particularly me, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
I am sure the staff will make it as easy as possible for you both Henry’s Cat! They will be well used to doing so. It is a bit like a child’s first day at school really. We worry sick all day and they settle fine.
Will be thinking of you. Xx
I remember it well! The guilt, the feeling of failure etc.
You both will adjust although it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. Overseeing care is your role now . Make sure the staff know your dad’s likes and dislikes if you can.
I made friends with a couple of other visitors who’s family members were in the home. Am still friends now. You know you are doing the right thing for your dad, and yourself. Be proud that you are. One day at a time. Be kind to yourself.
Am thinking of you.
Henry’s Cat sending you both cyber support.
Pack some pics of your Dad and family at various stages in his life so that the staff get a real feel of your Dad’s life before he needed care - it will help them get to know him better and give them things to talk about with him.
Keep posting, we are here for you.
Do not let dad take anything valuable into the home that he doesn’t want lost, especially watches and wallets.
Care homes do their laundry at higher temperatures, so nothing made of wool.
When my Mum took up residence in a care home I typed out a short biography of her life together with photos (all labelled with names and dates as far as known) and put them in an A4 display book (the kind with plastic “envelopes” instead of paper pages) and left it in her room - it gave the staff an idea of who she was and what her life had been like - if someone had time and it was a day I wasn’t due to visit they would sit with her and get her to talk abut her past. I also made a brief list of her “likes” and “dislikes” as regards to food and activities.
Initially you will be very tempted to visit every day but the staff will tell you that it’s best to give Dad a few days to settle in before visiting and then to space out your visits to every other day or so. I didn’t have to do this as the reason Mum took up “temporary” residence was because I was visiting an old friend in Devon for a few days (my first break in over 4 years !).
Henry’s Cat, how are you today?
No one ever wants to go into a residential home, but sometimes it’s the only option left when everything else has been tried, and failed.
You have done your very best, and can do no more.
How is it going Henry’s Cat?
Once he’d had breakfast and we chatted about other random things we were both much better. My husband joined us for fish and chips and helped take him to the home. He seemed really happy and even said he really liked the recliner chair the previous resident had left (great condition, not a mark on it, unlike his own disgusting chair that he initially wanted to move in eventually)! I noticed that the sheets didn’t fit the bed and that the bed didn’t quite fit the frame but thought that was probably normal for rails etc. Unfortunately they had had a couple of cases of covid that morning (2 residents plus 2 staff, all independent of each other). They said he would have to stay in his room for 10 days, which we hadn’t been told, and that they couldn’t give his meds as we’d been doing it because his prescription didn’t quite match. But hey ho, he barely shed a tear when I left.
Next day I went in to check on him and I ended up bawling my eyes out, very close to a full on autistic melt down. I had to get my husband in from the car. He absolutely hated it and wanted to go somewhere else - the bed was awful, sheets were awful, room was cramped, lack of food, on and on and on he went. Long story short - some of it was fairly easily sorted, some of it was a learning curve for them and me (nobody seems to be used to a fully blind person) and some of it is him needing to learn the ropes as it were and actually ask / seek clarification etc. He has been judged several times, including just 10 days ago, that he has full capacity - but sometimes he gets into a loop or has a processing hurdle, and this can cause a lot of issues. He complained that he was given ‘just a cup a soup and a slice of bread’ for tea when it was actually a proper soup, served in a mug like he asked. He wasn’t even hungry. A couple of times he has insisted that he hasn’t been offered / given something when he has, like his medication or the dinner choice etc (or so they say). We’ve asked them to be very specific about offering stuff, particularly from the trolley, because he can’t see what’s on it & doesn’t know what is there usually etc. They’ve moved things around in his room already, fixed the plug, sorted the sheets, I’ve bought him a topper to make it less hospital like. Today he called me (we’ve put in his Echo dot) saying they’d lost his hearing aid (his most precious possession as you can imagine) but it had been found and was fixed and working - as evidenced by having a conversation, but he still insisted it was missing a piece. He’d got really angry and shouted at them, but he had apologised. One of the covid cases was a false alarm so he can now go into the dining area (socially distanced) as long as he has an lft.
Every day I go from being sure this is right to being devastated that this might not work but we have no other option. There’s nothing they are doing or not doing that would be different anywhere else (unless he paid a fortune for one to one care) - it’s just teething problems. I spend most of my time now in tears because I thought this would remove some of the stress and now I’ve got stress with a side order of guilt and sadness. I just wanted him to be happy and safe but I can’t fix his mood. He’s been through so much in the last 4 months so it’s totally understandable but I’m a fixer and this all seems to have fallen on my shoulders. My brother is hassling me for the money Dad owes him for wages and still thinks he should be taking care of him (because he can’t get a proper job) but I’m going to have to pay the care home bill partly out of my money as it is because we’re still struggling to get me added to his savings account.
Everything is changing (son hitting 16 and leaving school, disbanding of their rugby team, daughter hitting 13 and not wanting to go to school, Neighbours finishing - I mean my god they could have chosen another freaking time to do this to me after 30+ years!!) and I can’t cope with it all. Poor woman from the sight loss team called yesterday and I couldn’t manage more than choking sobs and snotty’ sorries’. Bleurgh
Dear Henry’s Cat,
sending you cyber support and ((((hugs))).
It’s very early days.
It takes time honestly to adjust to a loved one being in a home. Most are not home from home. It took me ages to adjust to hubbies bedding being below my standard. He had a couple of throws my grandchildren gave to him. I bought a V pillow and cushions for his comfort. My daughter’s and myself cried and cried for a very long time but knew it was for his safety.
You will be his care manager. Take comfort from that.
He needs to settle down and you need to put your answerphone on!
Of course it’s all strange, a huge change for both of you, but he MUST settle down. If he’s always waiting for your visits he won’t try to integrate at all.
Your tears are good, let all that pent up emotion out, it’s a bit like a bereavement.
Do NOT use your money for his care fees.
If he has a savings account, ask the bank to arrange direct payment until such time as you have POA, if you don’t have it already?
If you do have it, why are the bank being difficult?
Hi, Henry’s Cat. This is the tough time.
My Mum had to go into a care home in the middle of the pandemic, straight from hospital. The only say we had as to the choice of home was to accept that this was the only one that was covid-free at present. No visits allowed, no way to check the place out other than a quick visit to the CQC website.
We were lucky: Mum was so pleased to be out of hospital, she’d have been happy in a skip. And, as it turns out, the home itself is pretty reasonable. Because of her dementia, it took almost a year before she’d settled into the routine. It will likely take your Dad a bit longer than a month or two because of his sight loss adding to the strangeness of everything. It sounds to me as if he’s a little panicked at the moment because everything is so strange - there’s literally nothing familiar about the place, so it’s understandable - and that may be making him behave a little more aggressively. Things should settle as he gets to recognise individual voices, sounds, etc.
Thanks for the support everyone. It’s been a really tough few days but I think he is starting to settle. We took him out for the first time today and he always loves to see the kids and they were reassured to see where he lives now etc. Two friends visited and my brother, so I hope it’s not just that he’s had a few visitors and that he’s actually getting into the swing of things.
I’m hoping to meet the deputy manager again tomorrow because there are still issues I’m not happy with and I don’t want to let go until I’m sure things are right. He had a fall and I don’t know if I should have been told by them or not, plus they haven’t managed his pain well at all. He still doesn’t seem to have got his prescription sorted and they haven’t even utilised his existing paracetamol prescription, even though he was in so much pain he now can barely take 5 steps. I also found a pill on the floor of his room that had been in his mouth even though I warned them he doesn’t know when he still has food etc in his mouth and things can fall back out. I thought this was a standard Parkinsons concern.
Some of the things are ridiculous - I bought a mattress topper and laid it out on his bed with the instructions on top of it as it had to air for 48 hours. Today I went back to find he’s been sleeping on it, on top of the sheet!
Bowling Bun - I have general POA (still workong on the other type) but I couldn’t get an appointment with the bank for 9 weeks. The day before the appointment they said was I aware I could do it on-line… Then the instructions on the website were wrong, plus the person I spoke to gave me the wrong info. Eventually we’ve got it all sorted and they are putting it through but it will take a few more days to get the cards etc out to me. I honestly don’t know what people do who have no family that can absorb some of the costs etc when someone either can’t manage things themselves, or passes away. They certainly don’t make things easy for anyone do they?
as you say he seems to be settling which is good. I would make a list of all the things that are concerning you and make sure you address all of them with the Deputy Manager.
It sounds to me like they have some inexperienced staff there if they don’t even know how to put a mattress topper on.
They definitely should tell you when your Dad has a fall. My late Mum’s care home told me they had a duty to tell me when she had a fall and they always did.
The medication issue is vitally important and they must deal with this urgently.
I always think you should start as you mean to go on and any issues should be sorted out there and then.