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care for elderly parents. - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

care for elderly parents.

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Before anyone goes anywhere or does anything there should be a proper case conference with everyone involved, considering all the FACTS. Has a formal needs assessment been completed for them individually? What can/can't mum and dad do? What aids and adaptations need to be done to the property? What daily support will they need? Has a Lifeline alarm been fitted? Has a financial assessment been undertaken? Only when all the assessment, adaptations, and care package have been done should they go to the bungalow, IF this is considered appropriate at the conference. Then if they can't cope, something else will need to be considered - however if a "fall back" position is agreed in advance, this would make life a lot easier. It is really important that any care plans made do not include any substantial input from you, because there may be a time when you yourself are unable to care. Let them arrange the essential care, so you can put the icing on the cake, so to speak. Has anyone explained to you that if your parents bungalow is sold, then they will have to pay for their own care until their capital is reduced to about £23,000 (I think). The bill for their care in a home would be substantial. My own mum is rapidly approaching the time when she will either have to leave her house and move into residential care, or have sleep in care at home (another possibility to consider for you), and I am increasingly concerned about this next step myself. Try sitting down with a few bits of paper writing down the pros and cons of the various options available. I find this very helpful with decision making. Take care.
Thanks for your replys.That is very helpful bowlingball. We are waiting for them to assess the bungalow at present and I keep trying to explain to my parents that they can't go until the bungalow is assessed, alterations done (they would need ramps and a sit down shower) and a care package put in place, but even though my Mum was a nurse they can't seem to understand (I think the slight stroke may have affected my Mum's reasoing). I have asked for a case conferance but as we live in Wales we are under the assessment team and won't even be allocated a social worker until after the bungalow's been assessed. I can't have them to live with me as I don't have room and have a son with health issues who also needs a lot of help and support at the moment, and I know that I wouldn't be able to cope.
If mum has problems getting in and out of the bath, the solution is simple - a bath seat which goes up and down with compressed air. Mum has one (she's quite big) and it works brilliantly. So easy to use that she still has a bath every day, with the aid of carers. When I mentioned a live in carer I wasn't suggesting for one moment that you should be the one living in. I was actually thinking of a sleep in carer. This seems to be an option in my area, not funded by Social Services but it would be much cheaper than paying for a care home for two people. You might like to suggest to your parents that they have someone to sleep in for the first month whilst they are settling in, especially if money isn't too much of a concern. Something else to think about.
Thank you bowlingball. That's really helpful.I looked up the bath lifts on the internet. It does seem worth considering one. I'll discuss it with the occupational therapists when we get the appointment. They seem to be dragging their feet a bit. Also a sleep-in carer sounds a good idea.I hope my parents would agree to it as it would be a weight off my mind. I've got to take Mum for brain scan, a heart scan and a 48hour ECG next week so will see how those go too.
Mum's seat was provided by the local authority. Consider whether mum and dad would think a sleep in "nurse" would be more acceptable than a sleep in "carer". For the older generation, the word "nurse" portrays more authority and knowledge. The key thing is that they are safe and you are confident that there care is appropriate, what you call someone doesn't matter that much to you, but might to them. Take care.
Was showing this to my husband and he said "where would the carer sleep?" Stupidly I never thought of that as my Mum and Dad always insist on a bedroom each and it's only a small bungalow with two bedrooms. Will have to think again. Thanks for the replys.
It's only by thinking through each individual scenario that you can work out what can and cannot work for your mum and dad. When my mum was ill, she had a temporary overnight carer who was happy to sleep on the settee/day bed in her sleeping bag. A longer term solution might be needed - if mum and dad aren't short of money even a loft room might be possible, or converting the garage. You could even consider a caravan in the garden, with electronic warning devices for the parents.
All these options will take some time to arrange, and I think mum and dad need to be much more realistic about when they can go home SAFELY again - the doctor, home, district nurses etc. all need to agree on what they are going to say, playing for time - perhaps setting a date in June instead of April. More time will also mean that the results of tests will be back. These may show that going home is simply a Bridge Too Far. On the other hand, having been well looked after for a couple of months, their condition improves significantly.
For the sake of your future relationship with your parents, the decision as to whether then can, or cannot, go home should rest with the doctors looking after them, and it should be the doctors who give them the final verdict, not you. You don't want to be blamed for the rest of your life. Take care.
Both my own parents, and my husband's parents, tried the Ostrich approach. Told social services they were doing fine, when they weren't. We lived midway between them, less than 6 miles away. In the end we nicknamed ourselves the "Thunderbirds" ready to drop everything at a moment's notice to rescue them from whatever the crisis was. Such a shame, they could have had so much more help if their pride hadn't got in the way, and that's the problem of course. They see the need for help as some sort of failure. Do they have all the benefits they are entitled to, Attendance Allowance is probably available to both of them. If not, help them fill in the forms and then make sure they use it for an "Attendant". They should have a social services assessment, my mum has carers 3 times a day. Have they each got a Lifeline to summon help in an emergency? Sadly, there will come a time when your father may have to accept help (one of our relatives was similarly controlling, it makes things far worse, he was his own worst enemy). I hope this helps in some way, it really is a difficult situation. I'm down to one parent now, just mum left.
Sorry, bowlingbun, but people do not lose the right to control their own lives simply because they have become elderly and frail, every adult has the right to self-determination enshrined in law and there are very limited circumstances in which this right can be removed, the criteria under which choice and control can be removed can be found in the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act.

Individuals refuse help for many reasons, not just pride, and they are entitled to refuse help just as they are entitled to take risks, refuse treatment, etc. Whether we are willing to deal with the consequences of their decisions is up to us but it is important to remember that, just as we have the right to exercise choice and control over how we live our lives, other than in the circumstances defined in the above Acts and only after proper assessment, age, illness, disability, etc. are not grounds for the suspension or denial of that right.

I think that we have to accept that, difficult as it can be, having pointed out the risks, etc. we have to respect the decisions of the individual, neither we nor professionals can impose our will on an individual whose decision we believe is risky or unwise because we believe that a certain course of action is in his/her best interests, every individual is entitled to make what professionals call "unwise choices".
I know that only too well Parsifal. However, respecting that right, as I did, meant that the rest of my family suffered. We took our duties as children looking after our parents to the best of our ability very seriously, as do many others on this site. Juggling the needs of a son with severe learning difficulties; four parents, all entitled to highest rate DLA (although the stubborn one refused to claim of course) ; and doing all the admin for my husband's business; was to have truly terrible consequences for me. My health has been increasingly fragile since my son was born. One year I had 14 lots of antibiotics, another year I lost my voice for over a month. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and I'm very lucky to be here, thanks to the skill of a surgeon. There has been an article in the Telegraph about the effect of bereavement and stress on the ability to fight infection etc. which is relevant to everyone on this site. I respect everyone else's rights but when will anyone respect mine?