–  Leah, daughter of a Greensleeves Care resident

“As a family we felt we started on the back foot with looking for care, as there were delays with mum’s dementia diagnosis. My dad was also keen to look after mum in their home as long as he could, so even considering care in the first place was highly emotional.

When you have children, everyone has advice and can share knowledge. With decisions about care homes and dementia, there’s less willingness to be open about it.

Trying to find people who had been in this situation and could advise was a big obstacle. I suppose no one wants to talk about it because it’s facing the big questions nobody wants to address.

As one of four siblings making care decisions alongside our dad, we had to make sure we were having open and honest conversations throughout. I’m lucky that my siblings and I all get on well. And my brother who lives nearby was heavily involved in the process, researching and coming to visit homes with me.

I had a friend who had done a lot of research into care homes when she was looking for care for her own mother last year. I was able to use that as a starting point which made the whole process easier.

You do have feelings about abandonment, but I am hugely reassured that my mum is getting significantly better care than she was getting from us. We love her dearly but couldn’t anticipate, and aren’t educated on, the needs people with dementia have.

There is an emotional burden that you don’t realise you’re carrying until the person moves into a care home. Suddenly you think “I don’t have to worry about this and that, I can go back to just being a daughter, instead of a daughter and a carer.”