Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:47 am
Im caring for my elderly mum. Things have been extremely difficult lately- a long story of cuts in her care (without assessment from OT). Since care reduced my mum has had a TIA and a fall. She is unable to walk or get onto her commode as she did from her bed. She has been issued with a medical bed and hoist, due to get carers back in place next week, but only twice a day instead of four times a day. I need advice as for the pasr 4 weeks im house bound because of my mums toiletting. THANKFULLY She is using her pad at night, but during the day she sits in her armchair and i have to be on call to lift her onto her commode chair. She gets very agitated if im not here. Im exhausted abd and my husband is totally fed up as he has health issues and we are having no free time. Friends have long since had enough of our situation and i have no other family to help. Anyone have practical advice please?
Re: Advice please!
Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:32 am
Dee. your mum now needs a team of care workers to look after her, in residential care. I know this isn't what either of you want, but I'm afraid it's what she now needs.
How old is she? Claiming Attendance Allowance? Ask the GP to arrange an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Assessment for her (ask Google for info). Social Services must do an urgent reassessment and urgent reinstatement of carers, or arrange respite care or residential care as you CANNOT cope like this. Look online at the LA page and search for "Adult Social Care Complaints" and you can probably do it online, then it goes to Social Services HQ, not the local area, who are clearly dragging their heels.
Re: Advice please!
Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:19 am
Sadly, it does sound like she's slipped across the boundary from' 'manageable' to 'unmanageable' in terms of coping. (Have you heard of the term 'acopic'? It's an odd one, but real, and it simply means they 'can't cope' any more on their own at all. It sounds like your mum has reache this stage.'
The 'decline' in ability to cope on their own is usually gradual, but can accelerate at any time, or go through these 'boundaries'.
Even without the cut in care visits from four to two, if your mum needs someone with her all day, because she fears she will need the loo, but can't get to it, then she does need someone 'all the time', and that is quite different from routine visits. Immobility is a key, key issue in being able to cope, and if she is 'trapped' in her chair, or bed, then she has become dependent on 'someone else' being there ALL the time.
Do you think she is fretful if you are absent only because she fears she will wet herself (SUCH a reasonable fear - both because it's 'horrid' and also because it indicates to them how frail and 'past it' they have become, and none of us like to think that!), or because she's become EMOTIONALLY dependent on you being there (or both!)
In a way, the emotional dependence is the MOST difficult aspect, because it develops a complete 'chain' between you and her. I went through this with my MIL, who although pretty 'fit' for her age was developing dementia, and so had become 'emotionally dependent' one me. She simply didn't know what to do if I wasn't there! It was as if she were a 'toddler' and needed 'Mummy' there ALL the time (unless she was asleep!). It was, I'm afraid, like a ball and chain - I could NEVER have a day without her, or even more than an hour or two to myself at most! Absolutely crippling for me.
But even if, for your mum, that (hopefully!) there is no sign of dementia, it's still understandable if she has become frightened of being left on her own - a fall is very frightening, as is a TIA - and so, yes, the time may well have come where she simply has to 'live with others'. The question is, 'which others'.
Some folk DO take on the 'live in care' of their elderly parents, but it is a BIG BIG BIG decision and should NEVER be taken lightly. If you are considering it, be VERY careful, and we here can talk you through it from our own collective (and sometimes highly scarred!) (though not always) experiences.
But it could be that the time has, indeed come, as BB indicates, when residential care is the only option, both for her, and for you. Again, a big decision, and not taken lightly.
What are your feelings on this? (I expect your mum will not want it, who would, but it may have to happen, and do be assured that for many very elderly people, they ENJOY being what we could regard as 'in care' but for them is more like a 'hotel for OAPs' - my MIL was in a LOVELY one before her dementia got as bad as it is now, and it really was like a hotel, and 'being on holiday'....)
Collectively, there's a huge amount of experience of all the options here on the forum, plus the team of experts at Carers UK itself, so you won't be short of information - or advice/experience/warnings/recommendations.
Being a bit 'brutal', the first thing to consider is: How old is your mum, and what is her reasonable life expectancy? That is the first factor to consider in any decisions to take about her future (and yours)