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Newbie here - Carers UK Forum

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Hi
I am Jan, 55, and struggling with care for my father - he lives in his own home, about 5 minutes drive from me and my husband. Dad is 91 in April, has spinal compression and cannot walk more than a few paces (shuffle really) and he loses his balance a lot. I have been the sole family member caring for 9 years - my mum died from dementia then, which left him alone.
Mentally he is still quite sharp, but physically he is virtually immobile. Last weekend he fell and called my husband and me to come and help him up. By the time we got there he had shuffled down the stairs on his bottom and got himself into his armchair. He then fell again Monday teatime while I was there and I couldnt lift him or get him up so had to call for my husband. since then I have been going in 4 times a day - had to call in to my employer who has been very understanding and sympathetic. But I cannot cope going on like this, plus my job. My own health is suffering and my husband mostly works away from home in the week.

Dad has been having a carer from Age Uk on lunchtimes weekdays, to get him a meal, do bits of washing and cleaning etc. But they tell me they have not got the staff to do 4 time daily visits and would have to do another assessment first, and they couldnt tell me when that could be arranged.
I have rung adult social care at the Council. They want to do an occupational therapy assessment before they can put a full care package in place, but they havent been able to say when this could be arranged.
so we have arranged private respite care for him in a very nice local private care home for two weeks while I try to breathe and work out what to do next. Social services then told me they couldnt do anything about an assessment or care package unless he was in his home!
Which basically seems to mean that they expect me to carry on killing myself on my own for an un-numbered period until someone can assess him.
Dad is not safe to be left in his house, I cannot risk losing my job by taking more time off, and although he is relucant, he has agreed to the respite care.

Frankly Im at my wits end. It is not helped by the fact that he is very aggressive, difficult and selfish and we have never got on very well, although he has been generous with stuff in earlier years (1980s and 90s).

I just came here hoping for some listening ears, maybe advice or just knowing other people are going through this as well. Thank you.
My mum also had "spinal compression". After a series of falls and hospital admissions, the OT said it was simply too dangerous for her to try to stand, because her legs kept giving way. This was because the spine was pressing on the nerves to the legs and cutting off the nerves completely. From then on, she needed 2 nurses and a hoist for transfers, and a wheelchair.
You must write to the Director of Social Services, NOT the local office, sent the letter Special Delivery, and staple the proof of posting to the letter, and put it in a new file. Keep a diary from now on, noting who you speak to, date, time etc. Make it clear that from now on he is their responsibility, that you cannot care.
Ask for an urgent Needs Assessment for dad, and a Carers Assessment for you.
Tell the home manager what you are doing. She can be your greatest ally. Ask her to make sure her staff write down every single thing they have to do for dad.
Prepare for a tough few weeks. Social Services don't always apply the financial assessment rules properly, come back here if you need more info. I had a battle over mum's care, ending up with SSD refunding £8,000.
Hi Jan
What you really need is for Dad to be in a Home, but I know the difficulties with that. My Mum is 100 later this year and like you I'm 5 mins away and like you I'm run ragged. However I am retired so am more available so I don't have that problem.
Is the Home he is in now a Nursing Home, or at least a Residential with Nursing? You will need a place with that nursing aspect.
The best outcome would be that Dad loves it there and wants to stay. However that may be a dream.
There are a number of assessments to go through.
If Dad can be persuaded to live in a Home, then you need a CHC assessment which will probably not give you a full financial package for his care but will, hopefully, cover the 'nursing' aspect of Home Care, which is about £110.00 a week. The SW can do this. It is not paid in retrospect, so won't cover his present respite.
It's unlikely (but possible) that Dad will be able to remain in the Home at the end of his respite so when he comes home he needs an urgent Needs Assessment form SS and you need a Carer's Assessment to see what your needs are. I don't understand why they say he needs an OT assessment first, as my Mum's came after her Needs Assessment.
Anyway the OT assessment has to be in his home, with him there so that the OT can see for him/herself what difficulties he is having and what equipment and/or house alterations would enable him to continue living in his own home. A great deal of this comes 'free' but 'on loan' so needs to be returned one day. Some alterations, if any, etc will have to be paid for, or towards, by dad.
Somewhere along the line there will be mention of a means test. This is to see what dad can pay for himself and what the LC will pay for. The magic number is £23,250.00. If Dad has less than that then he will be supported. More then he must pay himself.
It will be quite likely that Dad will refuse to pay, or refuse a care package or refuse to go in a Home. (Those of us with elderly parents have been there many times). You are going to have to start putting your foot down. While he is in respite you must really consider what you are prepared to do for him. When/if you have the assessments do NOT volunteer for anything. Do NOT say that you will help Dad to bed, or get his breakfast or anything you now do. The approach is 'Dad needs help to-----and I am in full time work and cannot provide this help.'
I presume Dad has a personal alarm?
Have you got POA for him?
Does Dad receive Attendance Allowance?
Go onto your local council website and look up their policies on elderly care in the home. Start looking around for the local Care Companies and make some calls to find out costs and availability. There is no reason why Age Concern cannot continue with what they already do and another company do the extra.
Think ahead. My Mum was 90 when I took over her Care. Could be years and years of looking after dad.
Kind regards
Elaine