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My Mum's flipping care home!

(25 Posts)
kittylester Sat 01-Sep-12 14:18:52

Some of you will already have heard about my mum but -

The only way we could persuade her to sell her own flat and go into residential care was by appealing to the snob in her. She, therefore, moved into a fairly expensive home which looks like a hotel. It was only 3 months old when Mum moved in so we had no way of checking the track record. The CQC eventually visited 6 months later!!

In his work, my husband visits lots of Homes (and homes!!) and gets a feel for the really good ones. Mum (aided and abetted by one of my brothers - also a snob!!) plumped for the one that looked flashest (not the one DH suggested) and now her dementia is getting so bad that we cannot move her.

The home is based on an American model whereby one pays for a bedroom/ sitting room with an en-suite wet room (some have a separate lounge and kitchen but are hugely expensive) All meals are provided, as is laundry, room cleaning and lots of activities and entertainment. If extra care is called for this is given by arrangement and charged separately.

She is currently paying for an extra 90 minutes per day for Mum which is to include helping her dress after her shower, which she manages herself, in clean clothes and ensuring she is wearing a tena-type pad.

I went to visit Mum at 10.30 this morning to find her sitting in just her pants trying to work out how to fasten her bra. angryangry

My brothers and I have regular 'well-being' meetings with the manager and, because we get nowhere with her, we now meet one of the directors on a regular basis too.

I have no idea why I am posting this but I feel much better for having a rant.

Thank you all for listening! flowers

absentgrana Sat 01-Sep-12 14:22:27

If someone is being paid to help your mother get dressed and then leaving her to do it herself, you have every reason to complain. However, before going in with all guns firing, check that this is really the case and not your mother suddenly deciding to change her clothes herself or some such possibility.

AlisonMA Sat 01-Sep-12 14:43:16

Kitty Ihope you feel better for your rant - go for it. wine

I am sure you are well able to deal with this so I won't offer any advice. Sounds like you agreed to the sort of home your mum wanted rather than what you thought was best. That is admirable, thinking of her and not yourself.

kittylester Sat 01-Sep-12 14:54:35

absent I has thought about that too but there were no discarded clothes around, everything was neatly in the wardrobe.

Thanks Alison I'm paying for being easy going now though although my brother did say he should have listened to us. [told you so] emoticon!

Littlenellie Sat 01-Sep-12 19:41:27

kitty it is horrible to think of your mum being dependant on people that leave her to struggle,whatever the relationship she is your mum and a human being that is vulnerable isn't she,and they have disregarded her dignity,I would be ranting also,regardless of how it costs,but it is worse. Ecause they are extracting a high price for her careflowers for you flowers for mumxxx

merlotgran Sat 01-Sep-12 20:30:29

Rant away, kitty. I would join you but wouldn't know when to stop. My mum has been in Assisted care/Independent living for two years. Fine until you need real care then they can't cope. I think they expect you to pop your clogs once you can no longer do the quizzes and play bingo. angry

granjura Sat 01-Sep-12 20:44:55

My sil chose a nice and expensive home for my mil, in the early stages of Alzheimers. She was the life and soul of the party for about 18 months, then went downhill fast and we were told she would have to move to a specialist home, as she needed specialist care the initial home couldn't provide. We dreaded the day, as the new home was full of very difficult cases. Mil died in the night before the move - we often wonder if she somehow knew and 'decided' to stop breathing. We were so relieved for her.

merlotgran Sat 01-Sep-12 21:09:56

I bet you were, granjura. I pray that something similar will happen for my poor mum whose lack of mobility means she has awful pressure sores and also suffers dementia although not Alzheimers. Her funds have run out and once the district nurse declares they can no longer cope with mum's needs she will have to go into nursing care but I have been warned it might not be local as we cannot afford to fund her care in a local home. I am the only one who can offer mum emotional support as my brothers live three hours away.

grrrranny Sat 01-Sep-12 22:02:28

I have had lots of jobs as well as a career (ish) - non-linear career path I think is how it is described. About 20 years ago I worked in a 'nursing home' as a cleaner for about 3 months. It was new, it was well appointed, people had their own rooms. I wouldn't have put my dog in there but won't rant. Lots I could say but will only say that because of the bare minimum of staff being employed, some residents were got out of bed at about 5.30, dressed and then sat in front of breakfast table for a couple of hours whilst others were got up and similarly treated until all were up then breakfast served about 8.00 - 8.30 on a good day.

Relatives believed that they were getting the best of nursing care. I don't know if times have changed but I doubt it. Unless a relative visits in the middle of the night, without warning, then they will have no idea of what really happens.

Perhaps we should have a subversive GN group taking jobs in care/nursing homes to expose exactly what happens rather than what is presented to relatives and inspectors.

Not a very cheerful post - sorry.

harrigran Sat 01-Sep-12 23:39:59

I have heard some really sad stories about nursing homes. We know someone who was so incensed at the care his mother received that he paid a private individual to go into the home and ensure his mother got food and drink. The home had suggested that she was dying where in reality she was dehydrated and was absolutely fine when given fluids.
Confused patients being left to dress alone is not acceptable and I too would be very annoyed, you are justified in ranting kitty

vampirequeen Sun 02-Sep-12 09:03:30

Report them to social services hunni. Care homes have to fulfill a set of criteria. Ask them to do an unannounced check.

kittylester Sun 02-Sep-12 20:26:37

Vampire we are 'working with the management' at the moment - she is not in danger [except when she gets out on her own!!] and is basically well looked after. But I will contact CQC if things don't improve.

I had a bad time with her yesterday morning so just really needed to let off steam!

granjura Sun 02-Sep-12 22:09:31

Most homes have a code or have to ring a bell to be let out! She should NOT be able to get out on her own. shock

kittylester Sun 02-Sep-12 22:32:00

granjura she should not be able to get out on her own, you are quite right and that is one of the ways we are working with management!! The problem is that there is a mix of people, some of whom have all their faculties and people like mum who have mislaid them!! There is a receptionist who supposedly monitors all door opening and closing and the regular one is brilliant - the relief ones are not!!

She was once picked up by a very nice young man who drove her round Oadby, Knighton and Stoneygate looking for her old 'home'.

As Mum said, she was lucky he didn't pick her up for sex!!

granjura Mon 03-Sep-12 13:22:34

All the homes I know of in the area you mention have a code system for the door. So if a person is compus mentis, they are given the code and easily remember it, others do not- In another home there, you had to ring the bell to be let out by one of the staff. I probably know the home your mum is in - if you wish, tell me by pm. The nicest home is in Bushby near where we lived - but most of the nice ones to not take dementia or Alzheimers patients.

kittylester Mon 03-Sep-12 16:18:25

Hi granjura I'm sure you will know the care home in question - looks like a four star hotel!

They don't have a code system for the door as there is always a receptionist on duty. As I say, the main receptionist is very good but the relief ones are not up to my Mum's wiles. For someone who uses a walker, she is really quick at nipping out behind anyone who is leaving and hurtling down London Road with her frame. My brother spent over an hour trying to talk her back in a few weeks ago. She wouldn't go in 'because he would just leave her there'

The one in Bushby, unfortunately, doesn't do locked doors and has recently changed hands. There are a few really nice ones that my husband has visited, when seeing patients, that do accept dementia patients but my Mum didn't think they were up to scratch and she didn't want people to see her looking like a pauper - told you she was snob!! And, tbh, she was only 'forgetful' when we encouraged her to move in and we were assured that they would cope as she got worse. They have a very good dementia unit on the top floor (Shades of Mrs Rochester!!) but Mum isn't bad enough for that yet.

Apparently, in my husband's experience of visiting a variety of homes, the best is in Tixover! I've booked a place for me!!

We are meeting the director who oversees this home tomorrow and will tell him exactly what we think of the manager and the exceedingly high turnover of staff!

granjura Mon 03-Sep-12 17:02:58

Tixover is lovely - apart from the road noise! hope you find a way to sort all the issues out with management. Bonne chance.

tattynan Mon 03-Sep-12 22:08:39

Hope you get things sorted Kittylester.You are a very supportive daughter.

NfkDumpling Mon 03-Sep-12 22:13:54


kittylester Wed 05-Sep-12 10:31:47

Just thought I'd do an update after our 'working with management' meeting yesterday. We seem to be having an element of success as they have taken quite few of our (my brothers and I) suggestions on board and we are now going to get a 'manager' on each floor. This seems like a good idea because the current general manager seems out of her depth.

Thank you all for your thoughts and input. flowers I hope I don't need to rant again but I don't guarantee it!!

merlotgran Wed 05-Sep-12 15:24:47

Sounds like some progress, kittylester. Are they going to employ extra staff or give some existing ones a new job title?
Hope all goes well.

kittylester Wed 05-Sep-12 16:50:04

No merlot they are recruiting!!

NfkDumpling Wed 05-Sep-12 21:31:24

Wow! Respect - you must be powerfully persuasive!

Anagram Wed 05-Sep-12 21:32:33

Yes - good work, kittylester!

kittylester Thu 06-Sep-12 10:50:36

Can't really take that much credit - my younger brother is Head of Complaining. I'm Head of Clothes Buying and all Girly Things!! grin

My other brother is Head of Being 'Golden Child' at the moment though he will be demoted soon and my other brother will succeed him. They swap the title on a regular basis - maybe it will be me sometime envygrin