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help at home - Carers UK Forum

help at home

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi,
We're exploring various possibilities for future care now that parent is getting older (92), not eating enough and getting frail.
We've had care at home for last 3 years but it's been minimal, put in place by local authority (Manchester) but paid for by us. (Minimal because parent doesn't like "people fussing around all the time"). Now we need more care time, for changing bedding, showering, encouraging to eat, and so on, and parent is accepting of this. So far we have only been allocated 1.1/4 hours a day over three visits. This just isn't long enough for parent to receive meaningful care. Also, the care package only covers things like preparing frozen meals, and a limited amount of personal care. When I ask of the social worker "who's supposed to do all the laundry?" (7 lots of bedding a week) she just says, we don't provide for that. Ditto, the housework and shopping. Because of this, I've take on these duties and seem to have got bogged down and left holding the baby, having to give up full time work and live off my own savings. (I live an hour and a half away by three buses).
Can you guys help me with these questions:
1. Is the local authority supposed to provide services such as laundry and housework? If not, how on earth does the council expect it to get done if the unpaid carer has to return to full time working to pay her own bills?
2. Is the local authority supposed to offer a fuller package of care at home, if the parent does not want to move to a care home? (This has been a life-long plea from parent, beginning in younger years in just - What ever happens, please don't put me in a home). By fuller package, I mean personal care and laundry, and so on.
3. Parent is now incontinent and GP has suddenly got involved and says rather airily that parent should be in residential care. Do parent and I have a choice about this?
I know that conventional wisdom says, "Discuss it with the social worker". Unfortunately our social worker is not forthcoming about the ins and outs of various options. I think she's getting a bonus for every word she doesn't say and every penny she keeps in the council's coffers.

Many thanks.
Your local authority should have some written documents about the services which they offer, familiarise yourself with these first, then go back to Social Services and ask why you are not getting whatever it says they are offering, but you are not getting. Ask for a new "Needs Assessment" for mum, as she is now incontinent, so her old assessment needs updating. Ask for a Carers Assessment for you - both documents should be sent, in writing, and then you can challenge them. If your mum is incontinent now, have you been told about an Incontinence Nurse at your practice. She should be able to give practical advice, and details of any products or services available. I understand that in some places a laundry service is offered, but this doesn't apply in my carees situation. Have you applied for Attendance Allowance for mum? This extra money could be used to pay for a cleaner. A washer/dryer will help hugely in saving time and effort. You say that you are paying for mum's care. Mums should have had a financial assessment before any charges were made, mum is financially responsible, not you.
Hi wornoutbattling,

I like your name - could aply to a lot of us!

Check with the Carers UK Line that your parent is getting all the benefits they should. If your local authority is anything like mine (a London borough), they will only pay for personal care. Mum pays (from her disability allowance) for a cleaner, I pay for a gardener and I do shopping/laundry/paperwork. And yes, I am tired too!

Not sure what parents do if they have no-one ...

Good luck,
Anne
This too is my problem that the person I care for is getting minimum help, I and another person take turns to take them shopping, but who would do the shopping if I and the other person did not exist?
And how about all the other things in life , if an elderly person cannot cook and clean, who is supposed to? what if there is no family near by.

Who thinks up these crazy rules, that an elderly disabled person cannot look after themselves, so they get a wash and a dress and thats it.

It is alright if there is a shop around the corner, but where I used to live the nearest shop was a mile away and they didn't sell everything just the basics.

Why doesn't the government think of these things, it is only because of unpaid carers like us that these elderly people survive.
I was told by a social worker that it's all supposed to be paid for by Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance. It's a problem I too battle with. Mum employs a cleaner/shopper and a gardener too, but that still leaves a myriad of jobs for me and my son. What really bugs me is that when I go into the lounge, she immediately reaches for her notebook in which she writes down all the jobs I must do when I'm there. I no longer feel a daughter, I'm just another member of staff. Someone to wash/dress/feed may be fine for someone with a temporary illness; but for people virtually unable to walk due to a very serious disability, and the frailty of very old age, far more is needed. I'm really worried about mum coming home from hospital bed bound, living alone.