Nursing Home

@AndyJ1 (12)
March 19, 2008 12:43pm CST
Anyone know how to break the news to a loved one (my elderly mother) that she has to go into a nursing home? It's going to break her heart. She moved in with me last summer - totally independant - had a fall at Christmas, went into hospital, and it all went downhill from there. She cries every day to come home but her time in hospital has left her confused, weak, and with bad mobility. The Socail worker now tells me that she can't come home as she needs nursing care round the clock. She is my life, and I am her only relative within 200 miles. I go every day to see her, listen to her ask when she is coming home.........and I just can't say the words
2 people like this
6 responses
@gratitude (181)
• South Africa
19 Mar 08
Andy Explain to mum that you are unable to see to her special needs now and that her being in a nursing home would benefit her so much more and in so many ways too. She probably pictures the nursing home as another hospital type of living - which to a degree it is but she will be with people of her own age, be able to have many friends to chat to, join occupational therapy clubs etc. You need to help her understand that you cannot be around her all day and that you would never be able to relax knowing she is at home without any help should the need arise. I suggest you take her to a nursing home so that she can see herself what it would be like to live there -let her meet a few of the residents too over a cup of tea or something. Promise her that you will visit her and spend time with her when she is there too. I work as a voluteer in old age homes and I understand the fear she may have too..There are so many old folks in these homes that get plonked in there and hardly ever see a family member..it makes them feel like they are 'throw away' people..so u need to stress to her that your visits will be frequent. Blessings to you and mum...here's hoping your problem will turn out just fine.
@AndyJ1 (12)
19 Mar 08
Yes - I think all old people see nursing homes as the place they are sent to so they can be forgotten about and die!! I've been through the "you can't cope on your own" routine, but she insists that if she wasn't in hospital with everyone ordering her around and making her do things she doesn't want to do, then she would make the effort and get back on her feet. I'm so close to picking her up and taking her home - only the thought of being tied to the house and broken nights sleep are stopping me. At the moment I don't think she will repond in a positive way to being told it is for the best and that she will make friends etc. Will see what tomorrow brings.........
• South Africa
19 Mar 08
Mum may be bitter towards you Andy for a little while but I dont doubt that within a week or so of being a resident there..she will settle and actually feel more positive about the situation. Dont stress over it..remember the words..sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind...you owe it to mum to take care of her but you also have your own life to live. Putting her into a nursing home is not throwing her away so to speak. She will see the light i am sure.
• United States
20 Mar 08
Ask the social worker for a list of nursing homes that they do send people to. Then take your mom on a field trip to them and tell her that she can pick the one that she likes. Make it fun and tell here that you can't care for her like they can and that you will still be there for her but you can't leave her alone at home and she needs around the clock care that you can't provide and it would not be fare to her if something should happen and you not there to help her and you could not live with yourself if something happened under that kind of surcamstanze. There is hospise that is for low income people and she might quilify for that and they go to your home and give her care. There is also day cares for elderly that you might want to look at. Then there is some privet homes that take in people that need care like that. They have much smaller groups of people. Talk to the nurses in the hospital they might know of something or somewhere like some of these things I mentioned.
@jpso138 (7863)
• Philippines
20 Mar 08
This is really difficult since It would break her heart. But the fact is this is something for her benefit. So I think she will understand. The best thing would be is to have someone from the hospital back you up when you tell her about the situation. Probably the nurse at the hospital who have a complete idea about the situation.
@AndyJ1 (12)
20 Mar 08
not sure the nurses have a complete idea any more. I can understand they are busy, and deal with the elderly day in and day out, but they seem to label everyone over 80 years old as the same. Mum has a personality, is a proud person and has an opinion. Until christmas she was cooking, cleaning, shopping and gardening so this must be so frustrating for her. The nurses tend to talk over her as if she isn't capable of anything. They speak to me about her at her bedside as if she isn't there
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
19 Mar 08
This is so heartbreaking, and I don't want to sound insensitive to what you're experiencing; but the social worker doesn't have the right to make the final decision about this. She can say that's the recommendation, but she can't force it. Do you have other family that will help with her care? Does her insurance cover in-house nurses or nurse aides?
@AndyJ1 (12)
19 Mar 08
Unfortunately very few elderly people have private insurance, and rely on the good old NHS. It is now at the point that she is "medically fit" and so needs to be discharged from hospital. As she is too frail to get about by herself she can't come home so Social Services have no choice but to place her in a home so they can free up the hospital bed. We have no family locally - just me and my young daughter. Her other grandchildren live over 200 miles away and have families of their own to take care of.
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
19 Mar 08
Thats so sad. As hard as its going to be, you're going to just have to come right out and tell her. Either that or shell out money to have a nurse at your house 24/7. She isn't going to like the idea, but she has to understand that her health is the most important thing.
@AndyJ1 (12)
19 Mar 08
I know you are right - but it is difficult being hard when she is confused and tearful.When I told her she wasn't allowed out of hospital until she was up and about and able to walk to the toilet, she told me to leave her there to die!! Long sulks followed (like having a small child really). However a couple of days later she had no memory of the conversation.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
20 Mar 08
having recently gone through this with my father in law, you have my deepest sympathies. there are alternatives to nursing homes, such as home health care. call the elderly organizations in your area, and if you cant find any, call yer local town/city hall, they can point you into the right directions. most, not all unfortunately, home health care is covered by health insurance and medicare. i found with my father in law that the nursinghome people as well as hospital people will do their best to try to talk you out of and discourage you from having your loved one at home, but if it is what youd truly rather do, there are ways to do it. i, personally, decided not to as i have a small child and having her watch her grandfather that she loved so very much die.. wasnt an option. find as much informatin as you can regarding this, so you can make an informed choice, and dont just simply fall in line with what youve been told "needs" to be. thoughts to you, and best of luck.
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
20 Mar 08
Awwwwwwe you're mother is so lucky to have you in her life. I'm saying that from the bottem of my heart! I work in 3 nursing homes and it's all the same with elderly people. All I can say is keep doing what you're doing, visit her everyday and listen to her talk because she needs you. I'm not sure if you understand that she does appreciate you very much but I know she does. It's better for you to explain as well as you can where she's going to live and talk about the positive things about it. I can imagine that she's dreading it but I would simply explain that it's for her own safety. It's better she understands it now before she goes in and be a little comfortable and familiar with the experience rather then her going into the situation blind folded. It's a very difficult adjustment to get use to. I notice that in all three places I work. After about 1 month most residents are more familiar with their new home. I can tell who cares about their family member who resides in the nursing homes and who doesn't. You I can tell care for your mother because you make the effort everyday to see her and just that there makes her feel like she's not alone, and what do elders fear most? Being alone. This is sad but some residents' family members tell us just to call them when their aunt, mother, or siblings die. I can't become to understand this and for those poor individuals I tend to spend more time with. Although it is really nice when we see other family members come in and visit with their relatives quite frequently. If it makes you feel any better, why don't you go into a nursing home and check it out? If you know which place she's being panneled for, take a day and go tour it. I'm sure the staff would be happy to guide you through it. I hope this helps you AndyJ Good luck