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Carers UK Forum • Feel a bit of a fraud on here....
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Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:46 pm
by maz's girl
Hi from a new girl! Don't know if I qualify as a true carer, as my elderly Mum receives care from a fantastic local company a couple of times a week, and is not chronically ill with any sort of degenerative disease.
Since she broke her hip in November, it's become clear to me that she does not cope well at home and, left to her own devices, would end up living in total squalor, which is what I found when she was taken into hospital.
I'm not a carer in the sense that the majority of folk posting here are, so am not complaining in the least, but would just like a bit of feedback on how I might approach many difficult subjects with Mum, who has always been very independently-minded (and not very good at accepting she might be doing something wrong), and who now cannot clearly recognise the decline in her capabilities.
Two of the most tricky subjects are
1. Driving- I can't see her ever being able to again, and
2. Her dog, who she can't care for much, apart from feeding the poor creature about three times more then she should, hence - massive animal.
I'm at a loss to know how to tackle these subjects kindly - and there are more- without devastating her. Any advice would be very welcome.

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:56 pm
by Scally
Hi and welcome. Sure you are a carer, anyone whose life is impacted by having a relative or friend with a disability and provides regular support of any kind is a carer.

How to break things to Mum: well gently but firmly. The dog is a priority, as a fat dog can get very expensive, so I'm afraid pooch will need to go on a diet, and the driving will have to stop: most of us let the GP pass on this sad news rather than tackle it ourselves. She needs to have the license withdrawn on medical grounds.

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:57 pm
by no1mum
Hi and welcome to the forum.
My personal opinion is to approach the problems directly. There are others on the forum who have had similar problems regarding the approach to carees and driving.

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:55 pm
by Myrtle
Hi, welcome and of course you are a carer Image
Does the dog get any exercise? If not, or not much, you could mention the fact that sedentary dogs need much less food or alternatively take a trip to the vet for a check up and they will happily weigh the dog and give you both advice in what and how much to feed. Mum would probably take a lot of notice if the vet said she was putting her dog's health at risk. Which, of course, she is.
Driving is a difficult one if she's actually doing it, or is she just thinking of doing it again when her hip permits?

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:34 am
by crocus
Hi maz and welcome
Caring involves all sorts of things like shopping, cooking and cleaning, not just personal care - which I suspect is what you are thinking about.
Where the dog is concerned: I have a neighbour with COPD who can no longer walk her dog and she pays a teenager to walk him for her. I have heard of other people who have this arrangement too. Is she perhaps forgetting that she has fed her dog and this is why she is giving him multiple feeds?
The driving is a different matter though. If she lives in squalor it only affects her, but if she can no longer drive properly then she could end up killing someone. Image Many elderly people dont stop driving until they have a big accident. I think you will have to be direct here - a sort of "Mum, Im getting worried about your driving. Im afraid that you will have an accident and injure yourself, I dont think you should be driving anymore". She may deep down know that she cant drive properly now but be ignoring it. You saying that may give herself permission to give up. If not, you may have to report this to DVLA. It sounds mean, but its too big a risk not to.

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:17 pm
by melanie masters
I mentioned my concerns to the doctor about Dad driving, and it was he that suggested to dad that maybe he didn't really need to drive any more. He also said things to him about the cost, i.e insurance, MOT, servicing, the cost of which would outweigh the benefit and it would be cheaper and easier for him to get a taxi anywhere he wanted to go that I couldnt take him ..... He now tells everyone he has a medical condition that prevents him driving ... which isn't exactly true as per DVLA rules, but he couldn't drive because he has absolutely no coordination or reaction and is a liability on his motorised scooter!

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:42 pm
by Scally
Don't start me on scooters. I used to be a member of my local community (aka) Parish) council and we had a hard core group of old biddies who were always going on about anti-social yoofs. One day I let rip and told them what I thought about their own narrow minded prejudiced attitudes towards young people: it was good fun and I would do it again.

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:47 am
by david c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygy7UDADXDg
hell's grannies from monty python Image
scally were they something like this?

Re: Feel a bit of a fraud on here....

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:24 pm
by Florence
Just an idea, but I settle my parents down with their lunch or a nice pot of tea and a cake, and then take the dog out for a walk. She loves it, my parents are happy because the dog is well, and it gives me a chance to get some exercise and fresh air. Winners all round.