Dorothy had always wanted to remain at home, she had seen her husband move into residential care after 41 years of marriage and knew it was something that she didn’t want to do.
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When Dorothy was diagnosed with dementia her sons, James and Robert, understood her wish to stay at home, and wanted to honour her decision. They knew that their mother needed a companion, and not just someone to help with jobs and the daily routine.
Unfortunately, when Dorothy’s sons got in touch, they had reached crisis point and Dorothy was no longer safe living alone at home. We supported James and Robert in finding a suitable carer with relevant dementia experience and training, and who was available to start within a matter of days.
It soon became apparent that Dorothy’s dementia was far worse than anyone had first thought, our experienced carer reported she felt unable to leave Dorothy alone, even for five minutes.
We suggested to James and Robert that we source carers to come in for a couple of hours a day to allow the live in carer to have a break, they were happy for us to organise this for them, and they gave us advanced notice of any days that they could cover themselves, as they still wanted to enjoy spending time with their mum at home. This partnership of working closely with the family continued for many months.
As Dorothy’s dementia worsened, her family accepted that she could no longer recognise the family home and she now required more support than one carer alone could give.
James and Robert reluctantly decided that the time was right for her to move into a residential home. Unfortunately, due to her night waking, many residential homes turned her application down. This news came as a devastating blow to the family, who had thought that a residential home would welcome the opportunity to take on more business. As a temporary solution, we suggested having two live in carers staying with Dorothy until a suitable bed in a care home could be found. This meant that both carers could work together, and it made sure that they had sufficient rest periods so that they could perform their caring tasks safely.
Just a few weeks later, a care home decided to accept Dorothy’s application, though they were concerned that her night waking would disturb the other residents. We met with James and Robert and came up with a great solution to help Dorothy transition into her new life at the residential home as gently as possible, and with the least disruption to the other residents. We suggested that one of our carers stay in the residential home for the first few weeks, before eventually leaving once Dorothy was properly settled, and the care home staff had understood her likes, dislikes, routine and habits.
Although our service caring for Dorothy had come to an end, we feel we did the best for her. We enabled her to stay at home for the duration of time that she remembered it, and we gave James and Robert peace of mind that she was cared for in the place that she chose to remain, until it was no longer home for her.