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Care & carers

Moving to Care Home

(24 Posts)
Granny23 Fri 05-Jul-19 11:18:45

Way back in January I suffered 'Carer Breakdown' resulting in a 2 week stay for OH in Respite Care. Whilst there he was assessed as needing round the clock 24/7 care and as I was assessed as being unable to provide this consistently, urgent admission to a Care Home was recommended. Nothing happened for weeks, then I was presented with a list of 6 Care Homes, all in a neighbouring County, one 40 miles away, the nearest five miles away in the City Centre with no nearby parking nor direct bus route.

Meanwhile I knew that there were vacancies in the wonderful LA Care Home in our village. It is 5 minutes walk away from our house, at the other end of the same street. We know it well as my Ancient Uncle lived there for his last 7 years and we have kept up contact , helping out with fundraising activities, etc.

However, locally we are in the throes of the 'Integration of Health and Social Care'. This is still in its infancy a 'work in progress', which so far has produced reams of Mission Statements, long term plans, financial statements and protocols, the establishment of numerous sub-committees with representatives from local Councils, Carer's organisations and the Voluntary Sector, plus the appointment of Chief Executives and deputies, none of whom seem to have any local knowledge.

One of the pronouncements to emerge from this mish mash of governance was that the 40 bed Care Home in our village was to be closed, the prime site where it sits was to be sold and a replacement Care Home to be built nearby on land already in the ownership of the LA. The intention was that the existing home would continue to operate until the new home was ready, when the entire staff and residents would move to the new facility. Unfortunately, a clerk to the Committee, noted the intention to close and issued a 'No new admissions from 01/04/19 pending closure' notice.

IF our Social Worker had cracked on with OH's referral before 1st April OH would be there now, but she was off sick.
IF I our local Councillor had been aware of this we could have done something sooner but the relevant meeting was cancelled and reset for a month later so that the new CO would be in post. However Cllr L has lobbied and pushed and I (with the encouragement of Care Home and SW staff ( who are prohibited from making any statements) have contacted everyone I know with any influence.

RESULT! At last Thursday's meeting of the IJB the closure order was rescinded, SW rang on Monday to ask if we still wanted a referral [YES OF COURSE], Home rang on Tuesday to say they had the referral and came that evening to 'assess' OH, Wednesday they called to say that they were willing to admit OH and they will be back in touch with details prior to admission NEXT WEEK!!!!

Everyone seems to feel that I have achieved a Victory of reason over bureaucracy, but I do not feel victorious. I know that this is the very best possible outcome in the circumstances for DH (and for me and the rest of the family). However, all of a sudden I have to face the prospect of living alone (which I have never done) and handing over the responsibility for DH's care, safety and comfort to others - a failure to cope on my part.

Septimia Fri 05-Jul-19 11:27:58

I expect you've been so bound up in caring for your OH and fighting this battle that there's now a bit of an anticlimax and perhaps you're at a bit of a loss.
You haven't failed to cope, you've done what's needed to be done to the best of your ability, and given your OH's care priority. This is a new phase of your life and it could be enjoyable for both of you. Take a little time as a 'holiday' from all the hassle that you've had and then look around to see how you can shape your life to be enjoyable - perhaps mixing visits to your OH with joining a new activity that you didn't have time for previously.

annsixty Fri 05-Jul-19 12:10:40

I felt just like that Granny23
Guilt, a failure but all that mattered is that I couldn’t possibly carryon.
I had 6 days notice and they were a dreadful 6 days.
Trying to get his things together when he wasn’t aware, not that he would have realised, but I did.
The weekend, last Saturday supper, Sunday, last Sunday roast, I was a wreck.
However I achieved it although admission day is better glossed over.
He settled as well as he could and within a couple of weeks accepted that he lived there now.

You will be exhausted after your battle with authorities and from your caring role.

Look after yourself and know he will be well looked after and you can be yourself again.

sodapop Fri 05-Jul-19 15:51:53

I understand why you feel as you do Granny23 but there is no failure on your part. In fact you are providing your husband with the best care and ensuring you remain in good health to be a supportive and loving wife.. If you had continued as you were you too would have been ill. Make the most of this time now as Septimia said relax with your husband and enjoy life without all the day to day stresses of caring, I wish you both well.

M0nica Fri 05-Jul-19 15:55:14

granny23 Way back in January I suffered 'Carer Breakdown' resulting in a 2 week stay for OH in Respite Care. Whilst there he was assessed as needing round the clock 24/7 care and as I was assessed as being unable to provide this consistently, urgent admission to a Care Home was recommended

Thet emphatically is NOT the result of a failure on your part. On the contrary,it is a sign that you went to herioc levels to try to look after your DH at home to such an extent that your health also gave way.

You do not give your ages, but I am sure it is well over retirement age and all of us have to admit that as we get older we no longer have the stamina and strength of our earlier years and need much more sleep.

You did your best, your very best and sacrificed your health to achieve it. So stop thinking or talking about failure and accept that you gave your all but your husband's condition requires a whole team of young trained professionals to look after him now. You are just one person, no matter how loving.

dogsmother Fri 05-Jul-19 16:04:38

Can I just send you a huge big cyber hug 🤗
You will start to evolve a new life, a husband who is being managed better than you can manage him and perhaps you now will be a little fitter and healthier and why not even a little happier too xx

GillT57 Fri 05-Jul-19 17:05:38

On the contrary, you have done you best for your husband, you have fought for what you knew was right for him, you have overcome the bureaucracy and got what is right for your family. You will now be able to visit your husband easily, will be able to build up your own health and also reap the benefits of all the hard work, years of fund raising and support that you and your husband put in to the local care home. You are to be congratulated for all you have achieved.

NfkDumpling Fri 05-Jul-19 17:16:54

Guilt is a terrible emotion.

You know in your heart of hearts you most definitely have NOT failed. You’ve kept him at home for as long as possible and now that he needs more care than one person can give you’ve fought to get him into the best possible place for him, with the best possible care and facilities. You can rest and relax completely so you’ll be fitter and happier when you see him.

I remember your angst Ann. And the guilt. Is it something women are born with? Certainly men don’t seem to suffer nearly as badly.

midgey Fri 05-Jul-19 18:28:59

How could you have failed? Your husband will be safe and cared for and will be able to have regular visit from someone who loves him.....who has not died of exhaustion. You have done an amazing job. flowers

Granny23 Fri 05-Jul-19 19:31:12

Thank you all for your support and understanding. My head tells me that this is the caring and sensible thing to do and best done in relatively calm circumstances rather than in a rush at a time of crisis.

But yes, emotionally I feel I have let OH down by being unable to continue coping with his needs along with all the usual ups and downs, aches and pains of everyday life at our age.

NFKD & Ann I do agree about women feeling guilty but think it is not something we are born with but rather the pressure of society's expectations. In my late 40's early 50's I was working full time, while DH worked 2 jobs to fund our 2 DDs at University. However there was never any expectation that he should be involved in the care of his Father, Mother and Maiden Aunt, all in and out of hospital simultaneously. It fell to me to do all the visiting, arrange care, shop and take to appointments, meanwhile sharing with my sister the care of my mother and Maiden Aunt.

I have noted a huge difference in what is expected of a Husband caring for his Wife with Dementia compared with the assumption that a Wife caring for her husband is able and willing to undertake personal care along with adding all the household tasks that her husband used to do + driving and dealing with finances, etc.etc to her other responsibilities. Whereas a husband in the same position seems to be inundated with offers of cooked meals, shopping, visiting or taking his wife to the hairdressers etc.

Same bias seems to operate in relation to single parent Dads who are offered far more support than single Mums.

I am well aware that there are many examples of men coping admirably with a disabled or ill wife - they deserve all the praise that comes their way. I am only pointing out that it is expected that women will happily care for their relatives, male and female, putting their own hopes and aspirations aside to do so.

GranEd Fri 05-Jul-19 21:34:46

Granny23
Well done.You’ve done your best.Please don’t feel guilty,
💐💐💐

Jane10 Sat 06-Jul-19 14:40:09

When he's moved take a little time to yourself to recover from all the upheaval and change. I hope you manage to catch up on sleep and to look after yourself properly as well as everything else! You'll soon form new routines based around visiting etc. Good luck.

Granny23 Tue 09-Jul-19 19:45:01

Here we are on OH's last day at home. He will be admitted to the Care Home at 11.00 tomorrow. I can't tell you how I feel, the nearest I can get is numb, It has been such a busy day of packing, labelling, taking OH for a haircut and making tea for a constant stream of visitors, all trying to be jolly and encouraging. OH has spent most of it asleep, even dozing off while waiting in the Barber's. He is aware that he is moving tomorrow (well some of the time) and agrees that it is for the best. His only 'red lines' are that he MUST have a TV in his room, a constant supply of bananas and that no male carers/nurses have to be involved in his personal care. I have checked and there are no male carers, only the physio/activity coordinator is a man.

I have cooked his favourites for his tea and he ate the lot and I have a dozen bananas ready for tomorrow, It will be fine.

Jane10 Tue 09-Jul-19 20:01:48

You couldn't be doing more. Sounds like it will all go fine. I'm glad to hear that you have lots of visitors - lots of people who care!
I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. thankssunshine

crazyH Tue 09-Jul-19 20:02:26

Granny23 - well done. Your DH will be well looked after and you can have a bit of 'me' life. ...about time too flowers

cornergran Tue 09-Jul-19 21:41:17

Be thinking of you tomorrow granny23. Of course your emotions will be all over the place, be kind to yourself, the move is the best thing for you both.

Jane10 Wed 10-Jul-19 14:16:07

Has he moved? Is he settled? If you're home again, take a deep breath, have a cup of tea and remember you're not alone. brew

Granny23 Wed 10-Jul-19 22:29:22

I entered the home with OH with my stomach churning like a washing machine on spin, thinking I was going to be sick or pass out. However the staff were lovely and so welcoming that within 10 minutes I had relaxed and was laughing and joking (as was DH) while we went over all the personal details, medication, daily routine, etc. His room is lovely with a view through the gardens and up to the hills beyond. It seems very spacious, has a 'hospital' bed with a remote to tilt the top end for sitting up or getting out of bed and an en suite wet room with WHB, WC and walk in shower. The senior carer already had lots of information about DH with reports from his respite stays and from the carers who have been coming morning and evening for the past two months. Because it is in our own village, our own GP regularly visits and is 'on call' for the home and our usual Health Visitor will come there to administer OH's 3 monthly vit B12 injections. The village pharmacy will deliver his meds weekly. DH had scotch broth followed by Haggis Neeps and tatties (both favorites of his) declined trifle and promptly nodded off while we finished the paperwork. I had to zoom off to Council HQ to sign an agreement to pay the (gulp) monthly charge but OH let me go with no fuss and a cheery 'see you tomorrow', as he went off on the guided tour and to meet his fellow residents.

I did a small week's shopping for one (half the usual price) and then home to catch up on some sleep. This evening I went out for a meal with DD#2, SIL and our DGD, then home and ready for an early night.

I'll go back tomorrow to take his wee TV and his breathing and purring kitten. One of the other residents in the unit stopped by for a chat with her 'toy' cuddly cat and is anxious to see the kitten and has promised to help OH care for it. All is well and calm.

Minniemoo Wed 10-Jul-19 22:41:51

Well done on all you've achieved. It sounds as if this a great home and your loved one is in a safe and happy place. I had to put my mother in a home and was filled with guilt. We couldn't have her here for numerous reasons and she had a DOLS in place which also meant we couldn't care for her. She had vascular dementia and it was all very sad. But she thrived there and made so many new friends that she was very happy about. Her social life had deteriorated post stroke and diagnosis but in the home she met people with similar stories which I think helped. The staff were wonderful.

Feelingmyage55 Thu 11-Jul-19 02:10:02

Granny23 Thank you for the update. It is difficult isn’t it when you just cannot keep going. I am glad that you were able to go out for the evening. You will be able to walk down and attend some of the events together and maybe occasionally stay for lunch or church services. 💐 for you both.

Jane10 Thu 11-Jul-19 07:53:29

That sounds very good Granny23. What a lovely home he's in. Local too.
I hope you had a good night's sleep and can look forward to visiting and establishing new routines.

mosaicwarts Thu 11-Jul-19 08:20:22

Wishing your husband happy times Granny23, I am so glad he is so near to you.

It will be odd for you living alone, I do recommend doing some batch cooking so you always have something 'in the freezer'. Leave a light on when you go out in the evening so you don't come back to a dark house, and the radio on.

Granny23 Sat 13-Jul-19 09:45:31

Having seen him installed on Wednesday and visited with DD1 on Thursday, I stayed away yesterday. Had a very busy and productive day, sorting out the finances, finding out who to pay and when etc. In the afternoon went with DDs and SILs to see all 3 DGC performing the play they have (along with others in a week long theatre workshop) written, produced and rehearsed. It was actually very good - all the 10 - 14 year olds performed confidently , speaking clearly, while also being the scenery, props and noises off.

All good, until DGS gave me the biggest hug and whispered 'I wish Granpa could have been here'. That sent me on a guilt trip, though it would not have been sensible to unsettle OH by bringing him out of the home to the performance.

BTW The whole weeks course with 2 trained professionals was provided free in the Village's Community Centre, funded by the Community Levy on the Windfarms at the back of our hills (we cannot even see them from the village). Local Charities and Community groups can apply for smallish grants to cover the cost of projects like this one, funds for the Playgroup, etc., provide the flower tubs in the village, improvements to the Community Centre, etc. etc.

Dawn22 Mon 15-Jul-19 22:24:38

Count your Blessings because they are many.
Dawn.