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91 year old father

(35 Posts)
kassi Fri 15-Mar-13 18:56:09

My 91 year old father needs full time care. The problem is that he smokes 30 a day. No care home will take a smoker. Even smoking outside is no longer allowed. I am at my wits end with what to do. He has all his faculties and is totally aware of what is going on, but is nicotine dependant. A recent overnight stay in hospital saw him crawling the walls with nicotine withdrawal. Any suggestions welcome.

Mishap Fri 15-Mar-13 19:04:07

What a very difficult situation; although I can see the care home's difficulty. He has done very well to get to 91! I do hope you can manage to find a solution - I am not at all sure what it might be.

Grannyknot Fri 15-Mar-13 19:05:54

Nicotine replacement therapy? Some of the e-cigarettes now have nicotine in them ...

kassi Fri 15-Mar-13 19:12:32

They are not even allowed e cigarettes! We have found a lovely home for ex servicemen, but the smoking is the stumbling block. He has been a smoker for 79 years since he was 12. There is no way he will be able to stop. Just don't know what to do.

JessM Fri 15-Mar-13 19:29:10

oh that is tough. An elderly cousin of mine was in hospital for ages and it was very difficult for him. They gave him nicotine patches.

granjura Fri 15-Mar-13 19:33:59

Could you arrange for somebody to take care of him in his own home. It can actually be a lot cheaper.

FlicketyB Fri 15-Mar-13 19:37:02

My aunt is in a care home where smoking is allowed outside so there are some care homes that will permit it.

Grannyknot Fri 15-Mar-13 19:41:30

kassi that is tough. Interesting too how times have changed and the world has become a different place around him.

Family members of mine actually found a specialist care home in South Africa for their elderly father who had an addiction to painkillers - in other words a substance misuse care home for the elderly. I remember at the time, I was amazed.

So (not being flippant) there seems to be a similar gap in the market for a care home for smokers. There must be lots of people in the same situation as your dad.

They shouldn't have left him 'crawling the walls in withdrawal' in hospital, he should have been started him on NRT whilst in there, a missed opportunity?

Granny23 Sat 16-Mar-13 02:33:44

The LA authority run home where ancient uncle lives has a smoking room with armchairs, a TV, coffee table and magazines. Certain areas of the grounds are designated as smoking areas. My understanding is that they are obliged to provide these facilities as the residents are in their own [care] home - it is where they live and not a nursing home or hospital.

I have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks visiting and waiting at Forth Valley Hospital and the Beatson in Glasgow - both totally non-smoking buildings, grounds and car parks with signs everywhere. The paving around the entrance and the patio beside the cafe is covered in cigarette ends, no ash trays or bins are provided and nobody sweeps up the area. Patients in their pyjamas huddle under the canopy at the door and obviously distressed relatives light up as soon as they come out - except one elderly man, with tears streaming down his face who reached for his cigarettes, only to have his wife say 'No smoking here, you'll have to wait until you are home'.

The blanket ban does not work. It annoys non-smokers and is cruel to smokers at a time of great stress. Surely a little compassion could prevail and a small covered and screened area could be set aside and bins provided instead of the current farce which benefits no one.

ninathenana Sat 16-Mar-13 11:05:25

No help to offer sorry. Good luck with your quest.

This is something I hadn't even thought about. My mum is in EMI home. I have no idea what their smoking policy is.

granjura Sat 16-Mar-13 11:09:53

Where my parents were, there was a small smoking room with a telly for the few residents that did smoke - 2 out of 13 when they were there.

granjura Sat 16-Mar-13 11:36:02

Just asked OH as he looked after many OAP homes. Many used to allow smoking in the person's room, unless they were a danger, eg, dropping cigarettes, falling asleep while smoking, etc. If they were a danger, they would ask one of the staff to volunteer to go and be present a few times a day for a smoke, but not 30 a day. This has changed since the new smoking in public law, but he does not know of any OAP home that would not allow someone to smoke outside in a designated area.

I'd discuss this with Age Concern and also with my local MP. I ma totally against smoking, but an OAP home becomes someones home, and therefore their rights should be respected.

Galen Sat 16-Mar-13 12:21:26

As an ex smoker. I agree, it is their home and there should be facilities!

Nanban Sun 17-Mar-13 19:41:59

Oh crikey - I looked at the heading 91-year old father and assumed that he was coming on for advice re parenthood!!!!! That aside, my 92 year old aunt asked for nicotine patches - of course she didn't understand the concept of only one at a time, but she did cope against all expectations.

suzied Mon 18-Mar-13 06:25:10

I'm surprised an ex serviceman,s home doesn't cater for smokers as didn't everyone in the war smoke? At least that's what my 93 yo MIL (30 a dayand no intention of stopping) tells me, and I'm sure she's right. Both my parent smoked but they are long gone, both from smoking related illnesses.

kassi Fri 16-Jan-15 16:46:22

I am ressurecting an old thread of mine. I think maybe members with parents who are smokers might be interested.

Dad was in a really difficult situation regarding his smoking. No care home would have him.

He became unwell and was admitted to hospital. He was there for 5 weeks. Of course, he was unable to smoke whilst in hospital. No choice. I removed 500 cigs from his home and sold them.

He returned home and had 'carers'. Joke.

He then went into a home as a none smoker.

He is now 93. Still in the 'home'.

He hates it. He has had a DVT and a broken hip since being there. He had survived 2 six hour operations .

I have nothing but praise for the home. They have bent over backwards to help him acclimatise and socialise, but he is having none of it. He was always anti social. He will not join in or take part in any activities. Nothing.

He stares out of the window all day. Visiting is a misery for us and him too.

He wants his old life back. He had all his faculties and cannot come to terms with what has happened to him.

I don't enjoy visiting.

Mishap Fri 16-Jan-15 17:14:58

That is sad. My Dad went into a home when he was 92 and enjoyed watching the TV at least - and was always a good person to visit. And the staff enjoyed his weird sense of humour too.

My Dad had a broken pelvis, then acquired a fractured femur in hospital (that's another story!) and it was ll downhill physically then.

Poor chap - your Dad obviously feels his life has come to an end - I know that mine was just drifting along towards the end at this stage. You have done all you can - there is no more you can do, nor the home. It is a trial for you all and I am sorry he has not settled.

kassi Fri 16-Jan-15 17:39:43

Just to add... He is in a wheelchair. He is permanently catheterised. His sight is failing. His hearing is poor, even with hearing aids.

His mind is still ok.

He just looks SO SAD.

Can't exactly ask him what he's been up too!

We tell him what's been happening with us, but little or no response.

loopylou Fri 16-Jan-15 17:54:52

He sounds seriously depressed*kassi*, poor man. Has he been seen recently by a GP?
Must be so hard for you seeing him like it (( hugs)) to you and him x

soontobe Fri 16-Jan-15 18:01:11

Ask him what he would like?
He may list 9 things that cannot happen, but you may be able to improve one thing for him?

absent Fri 16-Jan-15 18:12:33

Prisoners can smoke but not an ex-serviceman in a care home? Doesn't seem right.

soontobe Fri 16-Jan-15 18:20:12

I agree.

hildajenniJ Fri 16-Jan-15 19:06:47

My 91yr old father went into a care home on Wednesday. They have a dedicated smokers room agreed by the authorities. After all you can smoke in your own home, and a care home is your home if you need looking after 24hrs a day.
I was really surprised, as the care home I worked in banned smoking indoors and the poor service users had to shiver in the garden when they wanted a cigarette.

Mishap Fri 16-Jan-15 19:27:17

I am not surprised he is sad, and you cannot alleviate these degenerative problems for him poor man. That is hard for you both. You can only do your best.

My OH (a doc) once said that the professor of geriatric medicine who taught him asked him what the most common pathology was in the elderly - my OH guessed arthritis, but the prof said no, it was depression.

absent Fri 16-Jan-15 19:31:30

Obviously there is an issue about subjecting the people who work in care homes to second-hand smoke as they may well be needed in a smokers' room to help someone get out of a chair, for example. Other residents would not need to go into the smokers' room so would not be at risk. However, it is perfectly possible to install an efficient filtration system – the business class lounge at the airport in Singapore had a superb system in its smoking room – but I would guess that no one wants to spend the money required.

Nicotine patches can be a great help when people are trying to give up smoking but there is more to a smoker's pleasure than satisfying a nicotine addiction. The physical act of smoking and the routine, such as the after-lunch and after-dinner cigarette, also have a role. I would also think that it is very hard to be treated like a naughty child at the age of 91.