Torn between care home and home

My partner has recently moved into a care home as his mobility and physical and mental capacity have all declined after a bout of pneumonia. He had a stroke many years ago and was recently diagnosed with vascular dementia.

After many years of caring for him at home I should be relieved he is in a friendly place of safety but I am still feel very torn. He can’t do very much independently but the staff just don’t seem to recognise his needs. I’m sure he doesn’t drink or move enough. They don’t make sure that he had social contacts with others and I often find drinks and diversions out of reach. I know they have many people to care for but his needs don’t take much effort just a little thought .

I know he’s lonely and depressed and worry he’s going to go downhill fast without the right attention. It’s a good home generally and one of the more pricey but sometimes I’m tempted to bring him home again with a live in carer. I live very close and have started to pop in at mealtimes to ensure he has a couple of drinks. But still feel I can’t really trust them with his care It’s driving me crazy

Hello Janet
I have been in your position. If it’s a good care home( or is it a nursing home?) then I wouldn’t give up. Obviously your husband’s decline has made it much more difficult for you to be full time carer. Now you over see his care. Fight his corner, and if you have to state every time you visit about his drinks, his well being then so be it. Go to the manager and express your concerns. If possible go at different times of the day. I had a note put on my husband’s door telling them to knock before entering, as he considered it rude to barge in( always did). If they didn’t and he became verbal to them it was their own fault! Have the staff asked you about his likes and dislikes? He may need encouragement to interact. All takes time. You know your husband best. Sometimes I thought my lovely hubby was depressed, but he wasn’t, just quiet. Retreating in to his own little world, as the vascular dementia declined.It took hubby 6months to settle, some residents take less time.
I feel your pain, truly.

It is very sad to see a loved one decline, but I would suggest that you write down everything which you found difficult when caring for him at home. Your heart wants him home with you, where he belongs, but your head knows that with his current ailments, he needs a TEAM of carers available 24/7.

When did you last go on holiday?

Hi Janet
Sorry for late reply but I have been away.
Is the Home really so good? Doesn’t sound like it to me.
Although a move may be somewhat disturbing you might find there is another that suits him better.
Check out the contract with the current one, then go looking at others.
Or raise your concerns with the management, he should be getting the things you mention, you shouldn’t be having to cover for them

Hello Janet,

My Dad was in a nursing home and he frequently had his drinks placed out of reach when someone had taken his meal tray away. It is such a simple thing to do, just put the squash cup/jug back in place, but 90% of the time I would go in and Dad was thirsty with them left over the other side of the room.

I never complained as I didn’t want to rock the boat. When I did finally raise some issues the manager she said I should have spoken to her much earlier.
Try to be brave and do speak to the management as problems arise. Another good tip I was given was to photograph things that you find are wrong if you start to have problems so you can remember them.

I hope your husband settles soon xx

I definitely agree with taking photos. My husband had bowel problems along with other issues. Once found his dinner served up. Over half a plate of mushy peas with his fish and mash! Took a photo and showed the manager on her return. She went mad to be honest! Was a ridiculous amount to serve to anyone, let alone some one with tummy issues. Had a job to persuade hubby to leave some, as he was at a stage where not a morsel could be left on his plate.

Thanks everyone for your support and replies. I will be talking to the manager as he has had two small falls recently ( luckily fell into a chair) but the carers responses were ‘it wasn’t me’ and ‘I checked him an hour ago’. No thought about how to prevent it. The pressure pad on his chair was missing and found broken but nobody had reported it or saw it was an important aid. Carers say he should press his alarm bells and I have to remind them he has dementia.

Thanks again everyone. You’re all brilliant and supportive xx