Not Settling In Care Home

Hello, my mum is 93 with Alzheimer’s dementia. Also partially sighted with macular degeneration but otherwise good for her age. Always a very independent lady and not one for mixing in groups.
She started going out in the night, despite us having cameras and alarms in place so in April took the difficult decision to move her into a care home for safety.It is a very good home. Currently she is in dementia unit but not settling.she is aware she is not quite right but very much aware everyone else is mad as she puts it. She is very withdrawn and sad, asks to go back to her flat constantly. Very upsetting for me as an only child and been very close to mum. I go and visit her everyday.
Has anyone any suggestions? Have spoken to the home and they will consider moving her to be with the non dementia people. Also I have told her it’s assisted living facility as she always said she would never go to a care home although I think she is aware she is in a home.
I have thought about bringing her back home but I work full time and would not be able to live with her.

Sometimes relatives see a different person when they visit someone in a Care Home. It’s worth asking the staff how your mum is when you aren’t visiting as it’s possible that she is more content than you think.

It can take a while for a person to settle and, hard as it may be, sometimes visiting less often until they are more settled can help. Seeing someone from ‘home’ every day will trigger memories of home and maintain the unsettled feeling.

Sometimes putting a few personal things from home in the room can help a person to settle and that may be worth trying if it hasn’t already been done.

The early weeks or months in a Care Home are often the toughest to get through so I wish you strength for that. Knowing that it’s a good place with 24/7 care from a team helps with this.

Must NEEDS to have 24/7 care now, it’s incredibly sad, but true. IF she can manage in the “non dememtia” part of the home it might be better for her as long as it’s secure and she can’t wander off.

Do NOT visit every day, it’s better for all concerned. Gradually reduce your visits, say “I can’t come tomorrow but I’ll see you on Saturday” or similar. You need to get your life back.

Hi ScotsLady
Any change to Mums environment would have caused a decline and a grump - even if she were moved to the Ritz with a full 5:1 staff and champagne on tap , it’s the nature of the condition and her age.
You have done the right thing getting her somewhere she has 24/7 care. There is no way you could have coped alone and nor could she. Try not to feel upset or guilty. You may well find she never appears to fully settle, but then she would have got just as upset and down over time at home too. Again it’s the symptoms of the condition and her age. Even if she stayed at home she would unlikely recognise that and revert to wanting to go back to a childhood home for example.
My Mum went into a home before her dementia really took hold so she did settle/cope/put up with it, but now asks all the time to go home but when we ask where home is she cannot describe it or give an address. She was Ok there but now she says she’s bored all the time but it’s just a phrase as she is doing all sorts, she just doesn’t remember that she has!

Try not to visit so much, it’s probably more upsetting for you than for her. She will still save her grumps and moans for you, but learn to let them rollover you. Get good at distraction and at ‘kind lies’ e.g. “you can come home when you are better”, or “maybe next week”

Go armed with other topics to talk about and keep visits short. Just before a meal time is good

You are a good daughter and she knows that deep down

I would always take my frail mum some flowers when I visited. It gave me something to do, emptying out the old ones, filling the vase with water, etc. etc. as a distraction. Mum liked to watch me do it as it took her back to happier times when we would do this sort of thing together.

It took my husband at least 6months to settle into the nursing home. Saying he was going home with me etc. When he had an assessment for depravation of liberty he gave his home address as his childhood one. We moved into our home in 1980! Eventually, he confabulated, one day he was in a hotel, the other a hospital, airport, all sorts. I always agreed and changed the subject. The kind lies I told, its a wonder my nose hadn’t dropped off let alone grew! Eventually I visited every other day. For my own mental health as well, as seeing my soulmate decline so much was heartbreaking, and it was the way I coped.The guilt monster kicked me many times, and had to counsel myself. Eventually he wasn’t unhappy, living the moment. Most in the home eventually settle.He knew I loved him, never rejected a kiss, and it helped
You are a good daughter that is very obvious, and you must look after yourself too.