Updated: Mar 24, 2022
When your loved one has to be placed into a nursing home it is never an easy decision to make.
Throughout dads time living at home, my brother and i agreed that we would keep him at home as long as we could, then it changed to keep him at home as long as it was safe.
By this i mean he was safe in the house, and the carers plus Ryan and i were able to manage his needs.
Sadly in March 2018 (i think, i still haven't gotten used to the fact were in 2021), the decision was made for dad to be placed permanently in a nursing home.
For around a year before this, dad was spending a week or more here and there in different nursing homes, and after spending a few weeks in the one he now lives in he decided he wanted to stay.
Dad spent so much time in and out of nursing homes because we wanted to make sure and place him in one he liked and felt comfortable. There was also the issue that the area where he lived was having staffing issues with care assistants. He was getting the care he needed, and also getting to test the waters in different homes. It was a win win..
Once he decided to stay the social worker done everything to make that happen. Ryan and i received a form that needed to be completed, and i use the word form lightly, it was more like a bloody book! Luckily someone from the Benefits office was able to come out and meet with Ryan and i (remember we could meet people before covid-19) and sorted all his benefits etc out.
Before dad announced he wanted to stay in the nursing home, the social worker had been speaking with us, she thought he might be best suited in a nursing home due to how much his illness was affecting his everyday life. At this point, dads dog was spending a lot of time at a local boarding kennel. A family we have known for a very long time runs it, and we were more than happy Bruno (dads dog) was getting all he needed. I don't think Bruno was happy as he was put on a serious diet! The dog was obese as dad was feeding him a full human dinner and also left a full bowl of dog food on the floor at all times!
We contacted the dog's trust and explained our story, and they took the dog to England where the dog was given to a family that lived in the country. This was hard because dads dog was his best friend and we all loved the dog. We did ask around friends and family to see could anyone take the overweight and over loved 6-year-old pup but sadly no one could. Ryan and i weren't able to keep the dog, although we would have loved to keep him! So Bruno was gone and our latest bill with the boarding kennel was 600 pounds, not to mention we paid a weekly amount for dad to be in the nursing homes for respite. The lady that owned the boarding kennel has the sweetest heart and knew our story, she knew how much dad and all of us loved the dog, and she dropped the bill. It is kindness like this i will never forget!
At a difficult time, some people can really go so far out of their way to make it that little bit easier!
I feel very lucky with the process and experience we had, at the time dad had an amazing social worker who helped us every step of the way. His social worker has changed a lot over the years, but the social worker we had at this point, i probably shouldn't say is and was one of my favourites, i wish we still had her. We knew the nursing home and a lot of the staff as both my mum and i had worked there. We even knew the room he was going into before we saw it.
Before dad arrived at the nursing home, i went in with photos, and a new blanket to try to make it feel like home. Over time we added a tv, radio and snack box.
*Ask the nursing home permission on what you can do with the room, we luckily have no problem bringing in electricals and hanging photos. Even dads snack box was allowed until his swallow got worse*.
Everyone will have a different experience placing their loved one into supported accommodation or a nursing home. In each country, the process differs, and i hope this has helped anyone who might be going through the process. If you are going through this process and have questions or feel like you need support, i encourage you to reach out to your local HD community/ organisation. I received amazing support from the Huntingtons Disease Association Northern Ireland over the years! I had a support worker Angie, who got me through some of the toughest times!
Growing up, looking after dad and being responsible for his care, i didn't always do the things i was supposed to, i made mistakes and stumbled along the way.
The point of #Imnotdrunk - Lifestyle Blog is to let people know they are not alone, and maybe even help them prepare for what is to come.
If anyone has any questions or would like to chat more, i may not be a professional but i am happy to share my experience!
Drop me a message on Instagram @Imnotdrunklifestlyeblog or an email firstname.lastname@example.org
*I do apologise if anyone has been reaching out to me via Facebook private message. I am having issues with the fact that it is not notifying me when someone contact/ comments on Facebook and it also has been telling me i have an unread message for about 3 months now. So if that's you i am very sorry*