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anyone with experience of parent going into nursing home? help please.

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by san38, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. san38

    san38 New commenter

    Hi, don't know what to do next really - seeing GP tomorrow but hoped someone might have practical experience. My Mum is in her late 80s and for some time has been in poor physical condition, including not being able to eat and being fed directly into her stomach which she has always managed herself. She also can't speak and although we can understand her we can't hear her on the phone etc.. Anyway, despite these problems she has been perfectly 'compos metus' and has managed all of this well. Last few weeks she is going downhill mentally - I am getting phone calls in the middle of the night becuase she doesn't know it's night, she is seeing and hearing people who aren't there and now she has 'forgotten' how to do her feeding and for the last 2 days I am having to go and do it for her. I saw a GP last week and Mum agreed that it may be the time to start looking at residential care 'for the future'. However, if she can't feed herself the future I feel is now. I will be back at work full time next week and can't imagine how I am going to cope. Websites say people usually recieve an assessment for care whilst in hospital - she's not in hospital though and the GP last week said this wasn't 'acute' so nurses coming in/hospital admission wouldn't be appropriate. To repeat though - don't know what to do next - can I go to care homes direct? Does she have to be assessed first and how do I sort this? Anyone with any advice about the whole system? I'd be very grateful to hear.
  2. If she has a property to sell to pay for the fees, you can look for any care home yourself. My dad told me that he needed to go into a home even though I was helping him as much as I could. I looked at many places with my brother while he came to stay with me and he was in a home within the week. The fees were paid for a while [ 3 months I think] by the local authority while we were selling his flat.
    I am not sure what happens if you are not selling a property. I am sure your mother would be entitled to have carers going in to sort out her feeding and other things if she is not capable.
    I would visit some care homes and ask them how you go about getting a place for your mother.

  3. I think you can ask Social Services to come and do an assessment. You should qualify for a carers allowance which means you can get money towards the cost of having carers. This would be in the home or can still be claimed in you decide to put your mum in a nursing home.
    You can look round care homes, I'm sure they will be able to advice you on what you need to be doing. I'm sure for my Grandma the GP got social services involved....it was dementia so not classed as a medical need...if a medical need than I'm sure the nurses should be visiting if she can't feed herself...but then maybe this does come under a carers role...the boundaries are all blurred and social services or the nhs don't like to give out money if they can get away with it.
    Also if you feel her memory has declined it might be worth getting her checked for a urinary infection. My grandma use to rapidly go down hill when she had one and the antiobiotics did wonders.
  4. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    Hi San You have my every sympathy.
    My mum had to go into a care home last September. I had always said that this would never happen but the decision was taken from me by her GP who sent her for respite when her home carers couldn't manage her. I was at work so they called him. TBH it was the best decision ever as I no longer had to worry about her.
    You will have a financial assessment form to complete. Talk to CAB to find out all the ins and outs. Mum did not have any savings although she owned her own house. She did not have to pay for the first 12 weeks of care. Sadly she died just before Christmas so I'm not sure if we would have had to sell her house to pay for the care or not.
    The confusion could be caused by an infection so her GP needs to do some tests. This may clear up everything and give her a little more time at home.
    Choose your carehome carefully. You must be sure that she will be cared for. Most are very good but you can usually get a feel by talking to the staff. Also ask around to see if anyone you know has used a carehome in the area. However take their comments with a pince of salt. If your mum was in a care home would you tell someone that it was a bad one? Try to see and maybe sample the food. My sister llives in Yorkshire and I live on the south coast. She came to stay with me for a couple of weeks and spent all day every day with Mum. The home provided her with snacks and a cooked lunch every day free of charge and she assured me that the food was excellent.
    Choose one that is about 5-10 minutes drive from your home as you can then visit your mum often. I saw mine every day even if it was just for ten minutes. This helped with the guilt. My friend has a 20 mile drive to see her mum so it's a huge chore for her and she only visits every couple of weeks.
    They all smell so don't be put off by this - you'll get used to it after a couple of weeks!
    Try to keep your pecker up. It's obvious how much you love your mum and this must be an awful time for you.

  5. san38

    san38 New commenter

    Thank you for these kind and detailed responses. She actually seemed much better earlier so that's good. However, I have been to look at 2 care homes today just to start the ball rolling as it were and to give me some idea of which direction to go if she declines again. Luckily there are quite a few in my immediate area so that will help. I will also be getting the UTI checked again as suggested. Thanks again everyone for taking the trouble to reply - horrible situation which leaves me feeling helpless and guilty - nice to have some sympathetic ears to share it with!

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