Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Phone call from Care Home.

(11 Posts)
felice Fri 12-Feb-16 09:35:11

Hi, yesterday lunchtime I recieved a phone call from my Mothers' care home.
She is 97 and in good health.
I was asked to give them the name and telephone number of the Funeral Director we would be using for my Mother, what we wanted done with her clothes and possessions, and was she to have do not resusitate on her notes.
I asked if there was a serious health problem which I had not been informed about, and told not at all she was quite healthy for her age.
I told them to keep all her posessions for the family to collect and that I would contact them with other details when I had spoken to family.
Ok I am an only child and live abroad, but there are other family members who are very involved with my Mother, one of my sons visits every weekend and cousins every week.
Has anyone else been asked to give such details in advance?
I can fly to Scotland twice a day even get a bus or a train so it is not as if I am living somewhere which would take a lot of time to get there.

kittylester Fri 12-Feb-16 09:41:52

Yes, I was rung when I was on the way to visit my Mum about 2 years ago. I think it is standard practice. But a bit shocking when it happens. I think they try to do it before it becomes necessary. The DNR questions are a bit more detailed really and I talked to the Practice Nurse about it before we made decisions and signed the actual sheet.

In my Mum's case it is becoming obvious that this information will be needed fairly soon but, as they had already broached the subject, it was quite easy to talk about it again last week when they checked if the deatils were still the same.

annsixty Fri 12-Feb-16 09:49:20

I was asked the question about resuscitation when my very healthy and mentally alert mother went into residential care,entirely her own decision. I replied they should ask me again as and when the time came,but I was quite shocked when she did die that her own choice of Funeral Directors was in her file. I never knew whether she told them or was asked.

Luckygirl Fri 12-Feb-16 09:55:36

The only reasonable question is about DNR. Otherwise all these things can wait till after the event.

felice Fri 12-Feb-16 10:05:22

Luckygirl that was my thought exactly, and I am unsure about the DNR as I know my Mother would not agree to that and if she found out I had it would be yet another metaphorical stick to beat me with.
She has no mental incapacity and is quite capable of making such a decision for herself.
I will phone another cousin tonight and see what she thinks.
I phoned a Funeral Director this morning and was told I need to go into the office to sign a form. When I explained where I lived they gave me an appointment for 16.00 this afternoon !!!! umm. It was one of the large chains, I think we will go elsewhere.

trisher Fri 12-Feb-16 10:18:40

My mother isn't in a care home she is 93 and has sorted out her own funeral. She did it a few years ago after a phone discussion with her sister who is 10 years younger but had organised her own. I wonder why they haven't asked your mother to talk to the family about what she wants, it would seem to me to be up to her to make decisions if she is still able to.

Liz46 Fri 12-Feb-16 10:44:37

It is something that needs thinking about. My Mum did not answer her phone one day so we went dashing round and found her collapsed. We dialled 999 and she was taken to hospital. That should have been her time to die because her quality of life after that was very poor.

When my cat was dying of heart failure, I just sat her on my knee and stroked her for hours. I did not want the vet to try to prolong her life as she was old and her time had come.

I do not know what the answer is. I couldn't have not sent for help for my mother.

Iam64 Sat 13-Feb-16 08:08:04

I wonder if the care home had discussed this with your mother before phoning you felice. That would be what usually happens. My parents were reluctant to discuss their funerals or make wills but we adult children kept bringing it up (kindly and with humour I hope) and eventually they did. It was a huge relief to know we were planning their funerals as they would have wanted. I'm eternally grateful that they finally made wills to simplify the practicalities at a time when emotions are far from in control.

Liz46 your point about allowing death rather than prolonging life with little if any quality is one that posters inevitably have differing views on. I'm with you. I struggle to comprehend that I'd have been prosecuted if I'd allowed my old dog to continue to die a slow, painful death when he could neither eat, drink or toilet himself. Yet we are denied the right to make that decision either for ourselves or for our loved ones.

mumofmadboys Sat 13-Feb-16 10:26:45

I agree with Luckygirl that the only reasonable question is the DNR. If your Mum has mental capacity it is best you discuss this with her when you see her.

felice Sat 13-Feb-16 11:28:05

I am not sure when I will be in the UK to visit, and unfortunately my Mother hates the telephone, always has.
My cousin is going to visit the care home on Monday afternoon and will have a chat with my Mother and with the staff in the home.

hildajenniJ Sat 13-Feb-16 14:08:50

I was a Nurse in a Care Home. These were the questions that we asked when admitting a new resident. The questions were on the admissions part of the new care plan. Sometimes the relatives were reluctant to answer them, particularly the DNR and funeral director. I think, in a lot of cases, they had just not given them any thought.
When my Dad went into a care home last year, my sisters and I were prepared, and had everything ready, even to the point of asking that he be given palliative care in the home, and not be admitted to hospital.