We were debating between Elder and a residential care home, as a family. But Peggy’s home is the most important thing in the world to her. She did go for a short stay in a care home, and it made her more confused, she seemed bewildered. She suffers from dementia so wasn’t able to say which clothes were hers, so she wasn’t always wearing her own clothes when I visited. She has never been very extroverted, so the social side of things just didn’t work for her either. I really just hated her being there.
The experience with Elder has all been fantastically good from the start. I called Elder and the lady I spoke to at first, she was just so lovely, so nice and reassuring. She took the time to talk everything through and explain it. Live-in care wasn’t something we had experience with, so it’s a big deal to do something new like that, and you really have to trust the company. So it was nice that I got that sense of reassurance and trust from the start. It got us started in the right way.
Of course at the moment during coronavirus, it’s even better to have her home – I wouldn’t be able to visit her in the care home, and I would be worried sick about her safety, but now I know she is safe and well looked after.
Jennifer – our carer – is lovely, she has really settled in well. She has got to know mum and what she likes and doesn’t like, and she just does that. She has started baking cakes, doing magic painting with Peggy, taking Peggy out and about. She just does it, you don’t need to ask her to do anything. In some ways, Jennifer knows her better than I do! Peggy is very happy with her – whenever Jennifer goes out of the room she says ‘she is really very good you know’ about her.
It has made my own life a lot easier, as I know Jennifer will just sort things out, I don’t have to worry. And Elder takes away a lot of the burden from my shoulders too – it’s a nice balance between being consulted about the important decisions, but not having to do it all yourself. It comes at a price, but it only works out about the same price as a care home all told, and it’s so much better to be able to stay at home.
You really want your mother to be happy, and now I feel that she is.