Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Snarky's Ghost, Mar 25, 2018.
Any observations, experiences...?
People have to do what's best for their own circumstances so I would never judge anyone for the decision they make regarding the care of a loved one. However, when my mother got to a stage when she was unable to live independently, I thought handing over her care to complete strangers in a nursing home would be a total abandonment of my responsibilities as a son.
I initially agreed with my employer to work from my mother's house 3 days a week so I could look after her while working but very soon it became clear that this arrangement wasn't practical as I wasn't able to give role the attention it deserved. I therefore had to chose between my work of my mum which was an easy choice so I chose to give up work to look after her full time for the last 7 years of her life.
I will always be grateful that I was in a position that was able to do care for her so I could give back something to her for everything that she had given me during her life. I will always look back on that period as some of the most difficult but also some of the happiest and most rewarding experiences of my life.
I work in a nursing home. Specifically on a floor that deals only with people with dementia. I have seen families come in with their relative and they are just destroyed. I'd say it's impossible for one person or even a few people to look after someone with dementia or other severe illness and still have a healthy life. Someone like that needs constant round the clock supervision and care. They need people who are trained in dealing with those kind of behaviours, who wont be frustrated or annoyed by often illogical and dangerous behaviour. They need medical staff who are aware of their needs and can cater to them properly.
Of course nursing homes are expensive, especially well run ones, even with help in the UK from the NHS there is often a hefty top up that families, or the resident themselves have to pay.
In saying all that when my grandfather became ill with prostate cancer and couldn't properly look after himself, his children had decided to place him in a home. My mother, who was his daughter in law asked him if that's what he wanted. He didn't, and he did not have dementia. So my mother took him to live with us, and that he did for almost 6 years until he died at 93.
I think he was much happier living at our house with family and the comings and goings of a busy house and being able to see his grandchildren than if he was placed in a nursing home. But different people and situations require different things.
I don't think I could look after a relative with dementia by myself even though that is my job. It would be too draining, physically and mentally.
On Saturday morning my last surviving aunt passed away in a care home after a long battle with dementia. The home she was in was very very good.
However, back in 2005 I had another aunt who died as a result of maltreatment in a (different) nursing home. She suffered from MS, and in July 2002 - without any understanding of how to physically handle her with care - they dropped her in the shower, she broke her femur, because of the MS and her frailty, they couldn't operate, the leg remained at right angle f the last three years of her life.
To add insult to injury, the nursing home closed ranks and nobody would reveal who dropped my aunt.
Shocking, shocking treatment.
But as I said earlier, it is very important to emphasise there are far more good care homes than bad ones. It pays to take a bit of time to do your research and find out other people's experiences.
Yes, to all of that. In the States, it's often about $90,000+ per year per person, most of which is out-of-pocket unless you start out broke, in which case Medicaid pays a lot of it. And who knows how dreadful those places are.
Ugh, we've got a shitty system here. Our tax dollars mostly don't come back to us, perhaps you've heard.
Agreed. Over here if you are earning less than £16,000 you qualify for free care, but over that you have to pay. I think the going rate at the moment is around £700/week.
Yes at the place I work I was very shocked to learn that depending on your room it can cost between £800 and £900 a week.
It's probably easier caring for dementia patients if you didn't know them personally nor have once lived with them. But it's unimaginably exasperating when you recognize their dementia-riddled behavior as being so close to what you may not have liked about them when they were young and physically healthy.
My grandmother was bedridden because of leg circulation and almost total blindness in the last 8 years of her life, so because her sons and their families lived in different floors of the same family-owned building, they decided to keep her home on the ground floor where she lived and share her care with a live-in caretaker. Due to dementia, her behavior changed from that of the tough, judgmental, immensely curious Austrian woman who loved to talk and comment on everything to a calm creature that was happy just to have meals and being taken care of, and reminisce of her childhood (while also remembering us less and less). She was actually easier to get along with compared to her usual tough-as-nails and full of outbursts self for those around her, but I could not recognize in that subdued old woman my grandmother.
Oh, absolutely. Some people are made mellow by it. I've had people in my family who became far easier to deal with. But the one who was already the most difficult by far, at least behind closed doors, eventually slipped into exactly the kind of dementia I would have expected were she to ever do so, going from undemented maniac to demented maniac.
The more things change, the more they really do stay the same. Dementia sometimes erases the previous personality, but sometimes just intertwines with the pre-existing personality disorder.
Oh, and zinc. Always make sure your dementia people get plenty of zinc. It helps declumpify those disastrous amyloid plaques in the brain. For some patients, the impact of zinc supplementation is notable and quick.
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