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I am a Newbie! - Carers UK Forum

I am a Newbie!

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello there fellow carers. I care for my Mum who is 75 and has various conditions including Type 2 Diabetes, chronic Oesteoathritis everywhere, COPD, borderline Chronic Lymphacytic Leukaemia, and Kidney function is deteriorating rapidly. I also have some health conditions myself but we seem to muddle along happily - most of the time!

Look forward to getting advice and support from you all! What a great site this looks too! Thanks to whoever started this - much appreciated! :)
Hi Paula, welcome to the forum. When caring for a family member, it's easy to do more, and more and more, until there is no time for yourself any more. Are you getting any outside help at all, so you can have some regular time off?
Hello paula and welcome. X
Hi BowlingBun,

Thanks for the welcome. Actually some of these conditions have only arisen fairly recently so not getting any help at the moment. Who would provide outside help and how would I access it?

Paula
The first thing to do is to contact Social Services and ask them to do a Needs Assessment for mum, and a Carers Assessment for yourself. If mum's condition is deteriorating, then at some stage she may be eligible for "NHS Continuing Care". This care is free, provided by the NHS. In my area it's almost impossible to get it, elsewhere it's easier. Ask your GP to arrange for a checklist to be completed. Even if she doesn't qualify immediately, the first checklist will indicate how they think she is at the moment. Think about what help you would like, and when. So if getting mum up is particularly difficult, make sure you ask for help then. There are all sorts of aids etc. available. My very disabled mum had a wonderful rise and fall bath seat, so she could have her customary bath every morning. Also think about time off. Would you like a whole day, half days, evening cover so you could have an early night. Sadly, I can't promise any of these will definitely be offered, so think what would be most beneficial to you. If you think the time is fast approaching when mum's needs will be too great for her to live at home any more, make that clear to Social Services. Sadly, my own mum needed 24/7 nursing care for the last year of her life. Not what either of us wanted, but what mum needed. This would also be a good time to think about talking to mum about Power of Attorney - it now takes about 3 months for this to be activated after signing, so don't delay!! If mum is to receive help from Social Services she will need to have a means test. If she has over about £16,000 she will be expected to pay the full cost. That's enough for now, but if you need any clarification, there are lots of people here who have been in similar situations to you. For money issues, Carers UK have a wonderful helpline (which made me £50 a week better off!) so you can either ring or email them with questions.