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How do I help settle Mum in a Care Home

(18 Posts)
Marraway Mon 28-Mar-22 17:18:38

I have been caring for my Mum for many years but following a stroke she needed to go into a Home to get the care she needs. She is very angry, upset, rude, demanding, ringing me night and day telling me to get her out. From all the caring I am tired out and emotional. I need to spend more time with my new grandson but there is a drama everyday. How can I help her settle.

Smileless2012 Mon 28-Mar-22 17:24:39

Could you ask the home staff if they have any suggestions Marraway?

Having some personal possessions in her room may help her to settle and make it feel more like home.

Would it be possible to let her calls go to voice mail so you know it is her rather than a member of staff calling, and resist the temptation to call her back each time?

Sounds harsh I know but it does sound as if you need just a little time and space for yourself after many years of looking after her.

I do hope that things settle down for youflowers.

Redhead56 Mon 28-Mar-22 17:46:17

Done it no matter what you do she will have different days moods. I was close to my mum's home and through guilt I was there every day it was too much emotionally.
I started to miss days visiting her giving time for her to settle more and accept her new situation a bit more. It also gave time for other visitors to go and I had a break from the stress.
I also took plants and flowers and familiar family photos to decorate her room. It sounds cruel but it's the best way to cope. Let the staff settle her she will take more notice of them than you.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 28-Mar-22 17:50:21

If she is able to understand you I think you need to sit down with her and explain that she has to either stay in the home or be in Hospital, there is no middle way.
If she has a mobile phone can they take it away at night?

If she isn’t able to understand, it’s difficult, but we told MIL that the builders were in her house and she couldn’t go back until the work was done, she had Vascular Dementia and after a couple of weeks thought that the Home was her house and that she was being very kind to allow all the other people to live with her.

mumofmadboys Mon 28-Mar-22 17:59:33

You have done a great job caring for your mum for years. Well done. Can you explain to your mum that following the deterioration in her health with the stroke that you can no longer look after her as you are exhausted? Also that now the staff are taking care of her physical needs you will have more chance to sit and talk and enjoy her company. Be firm and say you had no other option. Don't let her emotionally blackmail you. You deserve quality of life too.

Hithere Mon 28-Mar-22 19:56:38


You can choose not to pick up her calls.

Nanagem Mon 28-Mar-22 22:32:23

When my mil went into a home, she physically and mentally couldn’t care for herself, we tried many different ways of trying to pacify her, in the end she settled with staying until she got better then we could discuss what would happen, of course we knew this would never happen, but she believed it was just until ….

We took pictures and things from her home and put them in her room, and tried to take her out as much as possible, infact she saw more of us because the home was local to us and she had lived an hour away.

Al that said, she always complained always tried to make us feel bad, the staff said she was happy but 🤷🏼‍♀️. Then one day, I visited, stopped for a cup of tea etc then when I left she played up, I got out to the car and cried, felt so bad, then realised I hadn’t taken her reading books on, knowing she really needed them I slipped in to leave them in her room, and peaked into the lounge - and there she was, happy, doing an activity with the staff and other residents, laughing singing a totally different person to the one she was with us.

So please, give it time, and be strong, you haven’t abandoned her, given up, don’t love her, don’t want her or find her a burden! And everything else she will say, you have provided her a safe place to live with the care she needs, she will come to except that

Helen657 Tue 29-Mar-22 08:12:01

Marraway- this was us 10 months ago, my mum was exactly like yours only it was my sister who bore/bears the brunt.
We were distraught at how rude mum was to the staff (she’s always been demanding) and she was totally reliant on them after a paralysing stroke, but they reassured us that it would take 3 to 6 months for her to settle (it took 6). She refused the mild anti depressants everyone recommended she take short term, & the painkillers she actually needed which didn’t help!
We’ve taken some personal possessions, pictures from home for her walls and covered the large wardrobe with about 30 enlarged photos from various stages in her life which she loves.
One bit of advice is not to feel guilty if you’ve already had a call from your mum that day and choose to ignore another. You need time for yourself 💐

Marraway Tue 29-Mar-22 18:03:02

Thank you very much everyone for replying to my post and for your helpful tips. We moved her into a new room today which is much better as it has french doors onto the gardens. All she kept saying was stay with me and don't leave me but I told her she had to share me with the rest of the family altough I still felt awful. I am sure things will settle down eventually from what you are all saying, I think we all need time to adjust.

Humbertbear Tue 29-Mar-22 18:09:55

We had to take my dad’s phone away because he phoned at any time of day and night. Rest assured, your mother will settle down.

Fennel Tue 29-Mar-22 18:23:00

How hard for you I went thrrough similar with my Mum, (after her stroke) but she settled quickly thank God and had a lovely room with french doors onto garden as you describe.
We had spent some time looking at other places first.
My first thought on reading your OP was maybe she needs a medical assessment . stroke can lead to unexpected consequences.
Since my Dad died she had been always worried and insecure. She changed when settled in the Care Home - more relaxed and free from anxiety.
I guess we were just fortunate.
wishing you well - you're a wonderful daughter.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 29-Mar-22 18:24:24

It is very hard, you know that you had no choice, please don’t feel guilty about it, she is being well looked after.

tidyskatemum Tue 29-Mar-22 18:43:23

Sometimes it's an elderly version of dropping your child off at nursery/childminder. Tantrums and tears and the minute you're out of sight they just get on with things. And sometimes it doesn't matter where they are as they will be unhappy, as was my DM.

Baggs Tue 29-Mar-22 20:03:52

As others have said, don't feel guilty. You did your best. She will settle and possibly more quickly if you don't respond to her calls and don't visit for a few days. All the best flowers

DaisyAnne Tue 29-Mar-22 20:21:31

When mum went into a Care Home a lovely member of staff had a chat with me as I was leaving one day. She said mum's anger wasn't a personal attack on me. I had realised it was anxiety but it was nice someone cared enough to try and help as I felt it boded well for mum. I did ask how I could help her settle and she suggested photos of the family and of things that would give the staff a trigger on events in mum's life and things she had done. They could then refer to them and ask mum about them.

I did feel some of her suggestions were a bit like parents are told when a child starts boarding school. Give them time to settle without getting in touch too often. Frequent visits remind them of what they are missing. Also, they will usually be okay after they have seen you, even if they seem very unhappy as you leave. I stopped trying to visit every day. I cut them back to two or three times a week and then back to one or two. In truth, I think I missed mum more than she missed me!

OnwardandUpward Tue 29-Mar-22 20:32:15

All good advice here.
I would also let the phone go to Voicemail a bit as nothing you say will make any difference and it will just upset you. You've done your best, she needs care. There aren't many people that can get a place in hospital OR a care home at the moment. The place where my Mother in Law goes take DAY patients because they don't have enough beds.

Mother in law goes on a bit of a rampage after we visit. It unsettles her. The staff dread the aftermath. Dementia which she has, is cruel.

Nanagem, that's interesting what you said. I think my Mum would be like that. When you have kids and they cry when you drop them off at pre school and they staff say "It's all for your benefit" Then you pop back later and they are happily playing. It's the same thing. I am 100% sure that if my Mum has to go into a home she will make it "our fault", even though it wouldn't be. Good to know these things.

sodapop Tue 29-Mar-22 20:38:38

Your Mum is anxious and worried Marraway and of course angry. You do not need to feel guilty at all, you have helped your mother such a great deal. Reassure her that you are still there for her but gradually cut down the amount of time you spend on calls, visits etc. Allow her time to adjust and get more involved with things in the care home. Spend time doing things you enjoy but didn't have time for.

Fennel Tue 29-Mar-22 20:39:10

ps to my earlier post - we had already offered for her to come to live with us. Which she knew would have been difficult for us. But we would have managed.
I think this is always a difficult decision.