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An old newbie ! - Carers UK Forum

An old newbie !

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello,
New here.....wife has Arthritis in leg amongst other things.
All hit us both quite suddenly. She is confused and frightened she will fall down.
Clings to me and everything wherever we go.........pulled a bookcase over in a
shop recently :)
About to apply for a blue card. She only uses a walking frame indoors and will
not hear of a wheelchair for her. She says that they are for old people (she is 90 !!)

Well, that's enough of my woes..........you all have your own to bear so good luck
and best wishes to all you fellow carers.
Albert
Hi Albert,
Welcome to the forum.

Your wife sounds young at heart. Is her knee giving way? If so, a knee support may help. It's not a good idea to wear them all the time, as the muscles can get weaker, but one would help on trips out. If she won't use a wheelchair, would she be safe to use a scooter? People of all ages who have mobility problems use them, or how about a jazzy walking stick (she should hold it in the opposite hand to her arthritic leg.) Ideally she would have a physio or OT assessment and they would recommend the best aid for her, far better than her falling and breaking a hip or pulling you over too! :shock:

I hope you enjoy the forum.

Melly1
Hi Albert and a welcome from me too.
Are you and your lady wife having any help around the house or with personal care? Having a bath or shower etc? Have you got a Social Worker on board? An assessment by an Occupational Therapist could produce all sorts of useful things for around the house and for walking about. These things are all on free 'loan'. There are grab rails, which they will fit in useful places, like the bathroom or near doors or in corridors, shower or bath seats, a rail around the loo to help keep her balance, all sorts of stuff. All of which you are entitled to 'borrow' for as long as you need them. If you haven't already looked into that, please do.
If your lady doesn't want to accept any equipment you could try saying that it would be an idea to have it in case it's needed one day or even say you'd like to have it for yourself. Be sneaky!
All the best
Elaine
PS Are you both receiving attendance allowance? You are entitled to that too.
Thanks for replies.
She is very confused now and would not be able to use a scooter........
..........she would knock everyone over ! :)
I have bought a small wheelchair which is com ing next week.
I shall hide it away until she may need a hospital visit. She may accept it
then.

I have already fitted grab rails and we have got into a daily routine now.

She also has a weeping leg which she has to keep up as much as possible.
Her Arthritis is in the hip, but affects her groin. Not in much pain so far
but has made her extremely frightened of falling over.........there's no pill
to cure that.
As we all age, falling over is an increasing fear for all of us.

Each morning I bandage a pad around her ankle to stop water discharge
getting into her slipper/shoe. To stop her paddling in her own water. :D

I am applying for a carers assessment and attendance allowance.
Thanks again for replies.
Albert.
Hello Albert, welcome to the forum.
It is very difficult to accept that you can't do what you used to - in my fifties I had a serious car accident and couldn't walk properly for five years, which was dreadful. (Happily, after two knee replacements, I can walk well again). I didn't want to use a walking stick, let alone a mobility scooter, but I didn't want to stay indoors either!! So I understand how your wife feels. However, if your health goes downhill, she would have no option but to stay in, or even worse, go into residential care, so try to turn things round so that she accepts things because you would benefit from them.
I would suggest that you ask for the District Nurse to come and dress her leg, rather than do it yourself. Then she can use special dressings and keep an eye on it's progress, and if necessary call in the GP - which might come better from the nurse rather than you! As the wound is very weepy, the GP might be able to suggest something to reduce this.
Thanks Bowlinbun,
She doesn't have any wound on her leg at all. It is a form of Edema where the vein valves in the leg do not work properly. This causes, in her case, a clear liquid to leak out of tiny fissures in the skin. I just strap an absorbing pad around the ankle to prevent her shoe/stockings/slipper getting damp. No wound dressing at all.

There is always a funny side to everything in life................ when this started a few weeks ago her socks and slippers were soaking wet every day. Very puzzled we were.
Checked in the bathroom for water leakage somewhere. All OK.
She then assured me that she wasn't urinating down her leg during the day. :)

Just by chance I found out where the watery substance was coming from.
Albert
Hi again Albert
I hope the GP and district nurses are keeping an eye on her weeping leg. Apart from what's coming out, what might get in - like an infection? You don't want that kind of problem. If you haven't had the GP to see it, please do.
If you are asking for a carer's assessment, very good move, has your lady already had a needs assessment and have you taken advantage of everything on offer? Plus you didn't need to buy a wheelchair. The Occupational Therapist would alert the wheelchair clinic who would assess your wife's exact needs and provide one on the NH. Please find out what you are entitled to before spending money on it.
Picking up your joke about your wife urinating down her leg, should continence really be, or become, a problem you can ask for a Continence nurse to visit, who would assess (all these assessments, but worth going through them) any needs and provide products, like pants and pads, on prescription. Again 'free' which is great because they are quite expensive to buy.
Please consider that you and your wife are truly entitled to whatever aids and help you can get out of the NHS. You've already paid through a lifetime of taxes. This isn't charity.
Elaine
Thanks for all the advice, Elaine.
Yes, we are going to get a carers assessment, attendance allowance and blue badge.

As we have no near relations or friends my biggest worry was if I died suddenly
or met with an accident making me unconscious whilst shopping and my wife still in the
car, she would be utterly helpless. She cannot remember how to use a mobile anyway.

But I am now applying for Leicestershire Telecare Service whilst at home and have found a
Social Services emergency line some one, at any car accident etc could call to rescue her.
These are both a great load of my mind.

One has to learn quickly at this carers lark. :)
I do all the cooking and housework now but haven't
yet bought myself an apron. :D
Albert
You deserve a medal! I know it's because you love your wife. However it can be tough and I think you are remakable. Wouldn't worry about an apron lol x
Hi Albert
Why not print out a notice, to keep in the car, which your wife could hold up to the car window in such an emergency. Unless you think she would use it willy-nilly of course. (You've been gone 5 mins and she is worried). Something like - I NEED HELP. PLEASE CALL POLICE. (Or paramedics or whatever you think best).
You could also keep a card in your pocket or wallet saying something like, 'My wife will need help. She is in blue Vauxhall reg number XXX YYY'. (Your car details of course). Take it with you just when you think the need may be possible.
You may think it's a daft idea but I thought it might help as a backup.
Also you dodged the question. Is the GP aware of your lady wife's weeping leg? I'm worrying about it!
Elaine