Benefits of a care home
You may remember that at the beginning of March my mum had a fall which resulted in a four week stay in hospital(s) then a three week stay in a residential home before moving to a (hopefully) permanent care home. She had always made me promise not to 'put' her in a care home but has really battled with herself over the past few years. After my step dad died three and a half years ago mum has struggled with living on her own. She hated the silent house and despaired of her own company. Then she began to fall, in the sitting room hitting her head on the window sill as she went, in the kitchen headbutting the tiled floor on her way down, coming out of the local cafe making contact with the pavement and, finally, going headfirst onto the road which necessitated the trip in an ambulance and the four weeks in hospital. She had at least ten falls in twelve months. Weekly visits to a lovely care home not far from her village helped the feelings of isolation, lunch at the local cafe three or four times a week were a highlight and sitting out in the garden with a friend for a couple of hours several afternoons a week all helped but deep down she was lonely, miserable and getting increasingly confused. Mum has now been in this care home for approximately five weeks and each week I've seen a marked improvement. There have been phone calls asking me to book her into 'that other place' or to tell me she's bored or to see if she can go home but they have become less and less frequent and today when I went to see her she was smiling, switched on, knew where she was and why and was obviously happy. This was a completely different person to the one I left in the same building five weeks ago. That person was confused, unable to hold a conversation, unsmiling and uncaring about life in general. Three proper meals a day, constant companionship and regular medication have made all the difference but so has the feeling that she has nothing to worry about. So this is a lesson on the fact that care homes aren't always a bad thing and certainly not something to feel guilty about. They can be the best solution and this experience has certainly allayed my concerns. The trick is to find the right one which isn't always easy but, on this showing, it's not an impossible ask and certainly not an option to be dismissed outright. So have faith, know when the time is right and go for it would be my suggestions.
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