Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Elderly parent and respite care refusal

(14 Posts)
mamaa Wed 11-Apr-18 22:44:36

Hello gransnetters advice please. Im a 59 yr old long time married wife, mum and grandma who lives 300 miles away from her 87 yr old mother. My older brother found himself divorced 9 years ago, so he moved in with mum temporarily and being still there is now mums primary carer, she has carers in 4x a day while he's at work, and cannot fend for herself. He does all her washing (takes to launderette) and her shopping, staying at home a couple of nights per week, but calling in every morning and evening, phoning home each lunchtime.He is due to go on a cruise on Friday with his newish partner and mum who has Alzheimers agreed to go into a home for 2 weeks respite but when I discussed it with her earlier this week she got upset and said she didnt want to go and wouldnt stay, I haven't mentioned it since. Im visiting her for a week ( I look after GD and still teach part-time) and it has fallen to me to take her to the home, which Im dreading. Ive had to pack her case in secret, visit the home without her knowing and shall take her case while she’s at the hairdressers on Friday! My question is how do I get her through the door on Friday afternoon? My brother will have gone, and I have to set off for home early Saturday morning. I know mum will cry, and beg me not to leave her. Help please! Thankyou in advance.

MissAdventure Wed 11-Apr-18 22:47:36

Oh dear! Is it possible your mum may be in a different frame of mind come 'the day'?

MissAdventure Wed 11-Apr-18 22:50:59

What time are you planning to take your mum to the home?
I was wondering if you could buy something nice, like cakes or fish and chips, and have them together as soon as you arrive?

mamaa Wed 11-Apr-18 22:51:21

I don’t know MissAdventure but knowing my luck I doubt it! The home were very reassuring but they’ve no idea just how upset she can get!

mamaa Wed 11-Apr-18 23:01:40

I’d still have to leave and I know she’d keep saying don’t leave me. Advice from those who have done it say it’s like taking a child to school on the first day and it’s best to ‘drop off and leave’ but I don’t know if I can do that!

BlueBelle Wed 11-Apr-18 23:08:30

Well he’s left you in the doo do hasn’t he When mum had to go in for respite I told her she was going to a hotel for a weeks holiday however I found the place the SS had alloted us dirty, the door was opened by a VERY young teen who seemed in charge for that shift there was a horrible smell and there was no way I could leave her so I took her home with me, changed all my week around and got friends to help with ‘gran sitting’
I hope you have better luck

MissAdventure Wed 11-Apr-18 23:14:17

Yes, if you're going to have to leave then you'll have to just go at some point..
Its difficult, but maybe she may be quite taken with the 'hotel'?
I don't think there is a technique you can use, and I think staying on and trying to talk her round to the idea might cause more upset.

Eglantine21 Wed 11-Apr-18 23:55:45

I was going to write that it would be like taking a child to school but thought it might sound condescending. But honestly it is. I was a nursery/infant teacher and saw with my own eyes how quickly they settled once the upset parent left.

A few months ago I had to make arrangements for an elderly aunt to go into residential care. She cried and begged me not to leave, not to leave her there. The staff advised me to go and get a coffee at the cafe down the road and come back in an hour.

I did that and she was watching television with a new best friend. She said how lovely of me to visit her but it would be better if I came when she wasn't so busy!

My advice would be to leave cheerfully and reasonably quickly. If you are upset it will trigger upset in her. And then, if possible, pop back unobserved after an hour or so. Just to reassure yourself.

It's not easy I know.

Hilltopgran Thu 12-Apr-18 00:01:12

We found it worked best with our Mum who had Altzeheimers to be factual and brief. So we would tell her she was going to stay overnight whilst we were away. Then arrive hand over to care team, reassure her she is staying only a few nights and she will be going home and then leave.
With impaired memory long explanations only cause confusion and distress. It is not easy to leave a loved one in others care, but if you are happy you have chosen the right place, remember its short term and your brother needs a break.

mamaa Thu 12-Apr-18 00:06:09

Thankyou for taking time to reply Eglantine. I too taught in EYFS then KS1 and can’t count the number of times that I told parents their children would be fine, and they were. It’s just that she’s always said she’d hate to be in a home and up to now we’ve managed not to need one, with her friends and relations staying with her but unfortunately very few are left and those who are can no longer help for whatever reason. I can’t take her home with me as she’s scared of falling down our stairs, why I don’t know, and I just couldn’t manage my mum, 20 month old granddaughter and go to my little teaching job ( I retired early from DHT post last summer) and leave her alone in our house. She will be safer in the home it’s just convincing her of this! 😱

mamaa Thu 12-Apr-18 00:10:46

Thankyou Hilltop Gran, I appreciate your advice from experience. I think I will have to say it’s just for a few days, and hopefully the care Home will play along too. Who knows she may get to like being in others company because at present when Im not there she speaks with no/one during the day apart from the carers and says she hates being on her own!

NfkDumpling Thu 12-Apr-18 07:02:11

The care home will be well versed in how to cope with your mum. Tell her it’s just for a day or two and she’ll probably cotton on to the word day. The home will do the rest. Walk away quickly and firmly. You can ring the home a few hours later to set your mind at rest. It may be better if she thinks you’re going straight back to your home rather than spending the night nearby and handy.

You need to turn things around in your head here. Your brother needs the break, you can’t have her with you, you know how young children settle and your mum is now behaving like a young child. As we age our world, our ‘bubble’, gets smaller and we get more selfish as we rely more and more on others. We become more and more like demanding, wheedling children - only with a whole life experience to make us better at it! My mother could lay on the Guilt so well - she says she learnt it from her mother! I fear I’m going the same way, I feel it sometimes and try desperately to nip it in the bud. Be strong! I hope your brother has a good time away. He deserves it.

kittylester Thu 12-Apr-18 07:22:32

It was probably a mistake to tell your mum that she was going somewhere until just before you took her. She probably has no terms of reference for a modern day care home and remembers care homes from years ago.

As nfk says, the staff at the care home will know how to help you so let them know your worries and your time of arrival.

You should help your mum settle into her room but then take her to somewhere with people around and leave.

Have you had contact with the Alzheimer's Society? Too late for this but they are invaluable for help and advice generally.

OldMeg Thu 12-Apr-18 07:34:55

The trouble with Alzheimer sufferers is you don’t know what they are going to be like from day to day. I’d ring the care home and ask for advice and support in the handing over process.

You’ll find they are quite used to this.