Gransnet forums

Care & carers

Mum being put in her room

(26 Posts)
Carolw Tue 19-Jul-16 17:15:46

My mum has been in residential care for around 3 years, as a result of persistent falls. Her mobility has recently reduced to practically nothing and she is also registered blind. But she does not have dementia (or so we are told).
Recently she has had yet another infection that she has finally responded to antibiotics, but she has started shouting and 'making a fuss ' a meal times. The caters response to this is to remove her from the dining room and put her in her room. This has happened again and when I phoned earlier today I was told she'd be staying in her room for tea as well because it is disturbing for the other residents.
Many of the other residents do have dementia but they are mostly mobile. What can I do to make this better for mum, or is it just my guilt that I need to come to terms with ?

breeze Tue 19-Jul-16 17:26:44

Oh bless her, how frightening it must be to be unable to see, unable to move much. But also, if she's had an infection, maybe to do with removal of waste products from the body especially (causes confusion) it could be the reason she's acting out of character. If you feel she is in the right care home, so usually happy, then I suppose it may be more peaceful for her to have her meals alone just for now while she is recovering. And maybe you could pop in unexpectedly a little more often, to ensure she is getting good care usually. If she has deteriorated to the point of needing somewhere different, then you could perhaps ask for her to be reassessed. But, moving the elderly is always traumatic for them, so you would need to be sure this isn't just a temporary problem. I do wish her well and you also.

Christinefrance Tue 19-Jul-16 18:29:53

Really difficult to manage the needs of all the residents, could any of the family visit at meal times to see what the problem is and help.? Maybe you could sit outside with her whilst the weather is good. Hopefully it will be resolved soon. Don't feel guilty and don't stress the small stuff, if the care is good in all other ways then this is not a big issue.

Luckygirl Tue 19-Jul-16 19:15:26

I do agree that trying to be around when she is having a meal would be worth a try - at least you would be able to see what is happening.

Nana3 Tue 19-Jul-16 19:44:32

I spent lunch times with my Mum in the care home when a problem occurred. Sometimes there's no other solution. It lasted about 4 months then she recovered and started eating independently. All my very best wishes to you both, it's hard, very hard flowers

Nelliemoser Tue 19-Jul-16 19:47:08

My mum went into residential care when my dad was terminally ill. She started shouting she was dying all the time the other residents, not all with dementia, became quite abusive. It was very difficult for the staff to deal with.

She was also refusing to drink and kept getting dehydrated. The worst was the week after my father died she stopped eating amd drinking and had to go back into hospital. She was in a side room and shouting all the time.
What was so bad was when she started shouting at me to "Wake (dad) up and tell him I'm dying.) It must be very difficult to deal with.

granjura Tue 19-Jul-16 20:36:58

So hard indeed. When mil first went into OAP home with Alzheimers- we looked for a home where there were no shouting, abusive residents- as we knew that would upset her. But then later she became the one- and her behaviour did upset others, and her eating habits became so disturbing to others (taking her teeth out to take food to her mouth instead of fork, etc, and smearing food all over herself and the table- and shouting- she too was taken to her room for most of the time, including meals. We were so upset and appalled at first- but then remembered how we felt earlier on... and just had to accept this. But yes, it is so so hard and sad.

DaphneBroon Wed 20-Jul-16 09:36:55

My heart goes out to all of you who have or have had parents with issues such as dementia. CarolW is it a UTI she has had? My mum used to get these and her behaviour became really worrying , hallucinating, shouting, quite out of character. But goodness, it is heartbreaking to see someone you love so diminished. If you or somebody from the family, or a friend, can pop in especially at mealtimes I am sure it would be good. A word with the staff re the infection might also be helpful.

Carolw Wed 20-Jul-16 15:03:47

Thank you all for the kind words and support, it means a lot to hear from others that have faced similar difficult times. I think we need to understand why she is behaving like this rather than trying to deal with it ?
DaphneBroon - yes its seems like its constant UTI's that she gets.
I am visiting almost every day, my husband comes along to support me, as far as other family - my brother is useless and has seen her twice this year. Ive tried reaching out to some of her friends and the church she used to attend but no-one seems able to visit.
I have been thinking about this again, and I remembered that the last time she was in hospital she was in a very bad way and the doctors said she had delirium and it was not dementis, so I am wondering if its that again ?
My plan is to speak to her GP and understand what they are doing about these almost constant UTI's, and mention the delirium. There was talk of mum being referred for physciatric assement so I need to ask about this as well.
Speak to the home and ask them to arrange a new assessment.
Talk to the home about meal times, I dont think they want visitors around mealtimes, as they have quiet an established routine that suits most of the residents. I know they wouldnt want me in the dining room at meal times as this would be dissruptive, and I dont want to force mum to have her meals in her room because I'm with her.

DaphneBroon Wed 20-Jul-16 15:08:58

UTI's can involve delirium as one of the symptoms. They can be very serious and if she is getting them repeatedly perhaps her doctors need to look at an alternative antibiotic. Are they likely to listen to you?

Moocow Wed 20-Jul-16 15:32:35

You say you don't think they want visitors at mealtimes... Have you double checked? Our care home encourages it as it is helpful. You may find that they would appreciate it at the present tine even if they don't normally.

rubylady Thu 21-Jul-16 03:09:50

You say your mum has been in the care home for 3 years? How have the staff treated her up to now? Have they tended to be off with her or has she been treated well? If you are not happy, is there a complaints procedure in place?

How long has she had the infection and how long has she been on medication? Is she getting enough liquids in the day?

Try to go and sit with her while she eats, see if this will calm her a little. Take her something in that is a treat for her, her favourite cake or sandwich or whatever. Give her a hand massage to relax her, play some music for her maybe. It's very frightening I imagine but if you try to do things she might remember, music being a good one really, then it might make her feel a little more secure.

Please don't beat yourself up about this. Just do your best, it is all you can do. I have done all the "what ifs" after my dad died but it is pointless because I can't do anything about it now and I did do my best. Look after yourself love. Xxx

Falconbird Thu 21-Jul-16 06:19:53

I've been through this with my own mother. Initially I was so relieved that she was safe in a Residential Home for dementia sufferers. It was such a relief that she was being cared for and I could begin to relax.

I kept an eye on what was going on and visited regularly. I established a good relationship with her prime carer and frequently expressed how grateful I was that mum was in a safe place. Dementia is a complete nightmare as you watch your mum/dad deteriorate but the important thing is not to feel guilty. I did all I possibly could for mum and suffered physical and mental abuse. It was upsetting when friends and people from the church stopped visiting but on the whole visitors upset mum and confused her.She dreaded growing old and senile as she put it but I tried to remain calm and kind at all times and this really helped. She used to say "you are the only one who makes any sense," and that was her gift to me. flowers

NfkDumpling Thu 21-Jul-16 07:17:01

When my mum was first in her care home she only ate with the the other residents on the first day as, despite the otherwise friendly atmosphere there was a lady who was loud and made a fuss and another who was badly disabled and had to be messily fed. After that first day she ate in her room. She felt it was demeaning and embarrassing for the residents concerned.

When she was inevitably put on antibiotics for an infection and they had the effect of her shouting and making a fuss, she was internally grateful when normality returned, that it had happened in the privacy of her own room and no one else had seen her.

There's also the care home upmanship to consider. Entertaining a visitor in your own room with staff waiting on you? Well up there on the Brownie points scale!

f77ms Thu 21-Jul-16 09:17:23

Carol Quite often UTI`s can affect elderly people in the way you describe . My Mum had kidney failure and got frequent infections , we always knew when she had one because she would become confused and start shouting . Are you sure her infection has cleared up properly , has this been checked ? I would not be happy with her being `put` in her room during mealtimes unless she is happy eating alone . Most care homes do like relatives helping out at mealtimes so not sure why the one your Mum is in does not ?

My Mum was mortified when she came back to reality and had vague memories of being confused and distressed , it was a terrible time for all of us . She lived with me so I was able to pester the GPs to check her for infection and change antibios when they made her confused etc so it was easier in one way . Please get them to check her , and don`t put up with any cr*p from the care home , they are very well paid to look after your Mum and quite often they do things which make it easier for the staff not the residents .

GinnyTonic Thu 21-Jul-16 10:49:48

Hi Carolw
After living with us for 37 years, my Mum went into a Care Home last October. The UTI episodes were quite frightening, when she would kick and spit and refuse to get out of bed for ANYTHING. However, she did return to to her usual cheerful chatty self after treatment so fingers crossed for you. We are told Mum does not have dementia, but , like you I really have my doubts. All I have found is that apart from "going with the flow" and agreeing/ignoring some behaviour I have found that a change of scenery , even a short visit to the park or garden centre , does seem to help, even though it can be exhausting and it takes forever to get a partially blind, disabled and confused lady ready for any outing , especially if it is a day when she keeps removing her clothes!
The Care Home staff are amazing , but we recognise some are more patient than others and I see the Matron two or three times a week for a minute or two, just passing the time of day and casually mentioning any changes or issues. We are very fortunate that the staff really go the extra mile, bringing in titbits she asks for , if she forgets to ask me and ready for any repartee on her better days.
Mum seems to have many meals in her room, but that doesn't worry me, as I know staff try to encourage her out of her room as much as possible.

Nain9bach Thu 21-Jul-16 11:19:56

Take your mum out for tea. This will take her away from her usual setting and it will help her relax and you'll be able to talk to her.

Rosina Thu 21-Jul-16 11:56:13

Renal infections really do make older people go absolutely loopy at times - I would not have believed it had I not seen at first hand a friend crying and saying that her lovely Mil would be better off dead now that she had completely lost her mind - a formerly sprightly intelligent lady of 90. Once the infection cleared up she was back to normal. Could this be the case with your mother, that the infection has exacerbated her condition and it may settle when she is fully better? I do hope that time helps her a little - so hard for you to see. Clearly you care, and that is everything.

Chloe14 Thu 21-Jul-16 17:35:11

In older people UTIs have a devastating affect, much as you describe. In this hot weather your mum may be dehydrated as well which will slow down her recovery. When my husband kept having them we saw a lovely continence nurse who suggested cranberry tablets, as he didn't like cranberry juice. She also said to drink filtered water. The care home should be able to add such suggestions to her care package if you think them worth a try. I do hope she feels much better very soon.

carerof123 Thu 21-Jul-16 18:33:53

When i worked with elderly people we had a lady who suffered with recurring UTI and the solution was to put her on a low dose of antibiotics which she took every day. We would get the district nurse in once a week to scan her bladder to see if it was emptying fully as residue can cause a constant UTI. In her case she was retaining urine so they would insert a catheter and drain once a week. This resolved the problem for quite a while then she started having infections again so they would then take her off the low dose antibiotic and put her on another one which was stronger for 5-7days. Once we had a clear urine sample she was put back on the low dose again. Maybe you could request your mother have a scan on her bladder it is done by DN so no hospital visit involved. Just a thought.

GinnyTonic Thu 21-Jul-16 19:36:44

Couldn't agree more about taking Mum out for tea.

Sweetness1 Thu 21-Jul-16 19:50:48

My mum was in a care home and for support for myself on coping with problems the Alzeimer forum 'Talking Point' was an absolutely invaluable source of help. I used it all the time, even in the middle of the night, usually when so worried or consumed my guilt I couldn't sleep. It was my main helpline 24/7, better than family and friends!

Diddy1 Thu 21-Jul-16 21:42:28

UTIs är disturbing, and can affect older people in so many different ways.Definately get a urinary sample, and yes drink Cranberry juice or tablets daily,this really helps to prevent UTI.
Sitting with Mum in the Dining Room at the care home is usually encouraged, and puts Mum and yourself at ease, I hope things improve.Best wishes, a retired DN.

Marieeliz Fri 22-Jul-16 09:14:12

My Mum had halucinations and it was water infection. I only found out because my late brother's friend was a geriatric nurse. No one else realised it.

Carolw Tue 26-Jul-16 11:44:19

Thank you all again. Cateof123 I will speak to doctor and ask for scan as you suggest. This would certainly explain why she gets do many infections.
I have spoken to the home at length and have been visiting either before or directly after lunch. This either helps give mum t g e motivation to get on and leave her room for her meal, or spend time with her after outside 8n the garden. She does seem to be doing a bit better with this approach. I am also getting a wheelchair referal as she is really struggling with transfers and if she had a suitable wheelchair this would me as n she could sit in this during the day.