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Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Yesterday mum my had an occupational therapy assessment. She has extreme curvature of the spine due to osteoporosis - the OT didn't even ask mum to stand and walk a few steps to make a quick assessment of the likely problems this would cause! Mum can't do anything for herself now, not even make a cup of tea or brush her hair herself, but told the OT that the need for a comfortable chair was the only problem! She can't even open her own front door because she needs a ramp. The OT was more concerned about the cost of any equipment she recommended that recommending the best equipment for mum. By the time she left I had persuaded her that first we needed to work out what mum needed, and then we would look at who was going to pay. The way she was suggesting various charities who might help was, I felt, entirely inappropriate (I'm a former social worker). I've made this post to highlight the way elderly people, keen to be perceived as independent when you know they are not, will let their own pride get in the way of obtaining the equipment they need. If you know your relative is having an assessment, then make sure you are there to explain how things really are.
Sadly even if you are there and put forward your point of view as a concerned carer it doesn't always help. As anyone who has read my recent posts will know my husband is in denial about all his health problems and if he says he doesn't want something, no matter what I say and the evidence of her own eyes says we don't get it.
Which leaves me wondering how I am supposed to heave 20 stone of weight around when he can't walk.
To be honest I am fed up of trying to get any help either from my doctor or the ots when dealing with someone who doesn't care at all what he puts me through as long as he gets his own way.
The OT asked if the house had any other doorways which might be better for mum to go in and out of the house, so I took her outside to show her, and used this opportunity to explain just how disabled mum really was - she's so permanently bent that she can't even have an MRI scan. Most of all I wanted a ramp at the front door and a truly comfortable chair for mum - because only then would the sore on her bottom have any chance of healing. At first, the OT said that she worked with a couple of local firms who could bring chairs for mum to try. Having spoken to me outside, and then spoken to mum again, she remember something which she described as a "Waterfall" chair - she'd been to a talk in Portsmouth about these, but none of her clients had one as yet. I also asked about a comfortable pillow for mum, because her neck is bent getting comfortable is very difficult. She then said that she would ask the Ankylosing Spondilitis Society for advice, apparently they are most helpful. In short, although I wasn't very happy at first, by the end of the consultation things seemed to be going in the right direction. Fingers firmly crossed!