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Advice please re caring for my mum - Carers UK Forum

Advice please re caring for my mum

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi all, I care full time for my mum, both day and night. She has been living with me for just over 2 years. I am looking for some advice concerning respite as I feel like I need a break, but only for a short time (2 weeks), to try and make sure I do not burn out.

I am also looking for a support groups for Carers locally to enable me to chat with others who care full time for a parent or relative. I live in North Wales...

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks Caroline
Hi Roberts, welcome to the forum. Caring for someone 24/7 is really tough, and you probably need more help than a week a year respite!!! I'm assuming she is elderly and very disabled and probably in bed most of the time?
Start the ball rolling by asking Social Services for a Needs Assessment for mum, and a Carers Assessment for yourself.
Then think about whether any practical aids or adaptations would make life easier? Anything from handrails to a hospital bed? You can ask for an Occupational Therapist's visit to arrange these.
Services are means tested, if mum has over about £23,000 then she will have to pay the full cost of services.
If mum is mentally OK, has she written a Power of Attorney? Before providing services, you be asked to produce evidence of her financial situation, so this is a good time to bring everything together. Bank statements, details of pensions etc. These assessments are generally very simple, nothing to fear. My son's took well under 30 minutes recently.
Have you streamlined the house and garden as much as possible? We built a bigger patio, did away with all the borders. My pots on the patio are very pretty and it makes mowing the lawn so much easier!
Finally, but by no means least, do you have any life of your own at all? You should have some weekly "me" time to do whatever you like. Hope that helps a bit. Have a look round the forum and read some of the threads, and you will see that many of us are currently caring for an elderly parent. All 4 of our parents, all living locally, were disabled at the same time before they died. It was hugely difficult!
Hi Roberts

I too live in north wales.
My mother lives with me too.

I can offer advice re respite as my mother went to respite for the first time last November.
The social worker advised I had respite for mum every 6 weeks.
I shall do another reply later when I am back home on the computer.

The social worker can give you a list of care homes in north wales.
Visit any near to you without phoning them up first.
You get a feel of how friendly the staff are as soon as you are shown around.
Also look up the last CCSIW report, which shows the last inspection report done by the care commission in Wales.

If you look up Carers Trust in Wales, they provide the carer's centres phone numbers.
For example, my nearest carers centre is in Rhyl, but I could attend any where really in North Wales.

Do you have any care workers coming in at the moment? I couldn't do without them myself, so I can go out and look after my grandchildren, work 2 days and have time to myself also.
Please do keep in touch.
What conditions does your mother suffer from?

I so sympathise with your problems. I care for my Mum who is 92, very physically able but has Alzheimer's. She has lived with me for 2 years, social services immediately closed her file as she has some savings.

I don't want anything paid for, just access to to what is available! Because she is physically able I'm unable to have a blue disability disc even though she is very likely to quickly get out of the car and be walking off totally regardless of traffic etc.

I'm 64, receive a state pension so not eligible for a carers allowance.
It makes me smile talking about respite, I have to organise everything - carers, day care, visits, my husband is wonderful but the stress and strain is absolutely enormous!
Meryl - just as a 'precaution' have you checked out care homes that cope with dementia, in your area, in case a crisis (hers or yours!) precipitates your mum into needing residential care? Best to be prepared, even if you are determined to 'see her out' at home.

Second, if you are caring for her full time, think about what is happening to her own money. For a start, do you have any siblings, or anyone who will inherit from her, when the time comes. If you do, then it's essential that you start using your mum's money to pay for her care with you - ie, her share of utility bills, etc etc. Plus, really, for your own time! (By the way, as she has dementia, there should be a reduction in council tax if she lives with you!).

There is absolutely no point at all in you doing all her care, and then, when the time comes, your siblings (if you have any!), putting out their hands to get 'their share' of her savings, when they haven't looked after her and you have! (I'll bet your husband agrees with me, even if you don't!)

Even if you have no siblings, again, keep paying yourself for her keep, because, if she DOES need to go into residential care, that will swiftly eat down her savings to below the £23k mark. By 'not paying yourself' all you are doing is saving the council money! Anything you spend on her you are entitled to do so from her own purse, not yours.

Would you not consider residential respite to allow you and your husband a proper holiday? Surely you deserve one!

Finally, isn't Attendance Allowance not means tested? Others here will definitely know!