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First Posting - Carers UK Forum

First Posting

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi everyone

I'm a newbie to both this forum and to caring.

I'm trying to care for my mum who suffered a broken shoulder, hip and pelvis. I've just had to buy a stair lift because she didn't want to sleep downstairs (which I can't blame her) so I'm now having to work twice as hard to try and pay for that plus the other stuff I've had to buy just to get by Image

My problem is that I currently work 2 jobs to make ends meet, have disc problems in my back and suffer depression, taking tramadol and prozac. Now I am caring for my mum on top of this.

I don't know if and how I'm going to cope doing all this, I know it won't be easy but the hospital wasn't at all helpful and pretty much wanted rid before Christmas!

Hopefully this isn't the beginning of the end like some have told me, and it will be alright, but at the moment I can't see the wood for the trees.

D
Hello Dawn, and a very warm welcome to you. I'm not surprised by how you feel. Its a lot to take on board especially when you are far from well yourself.

If your mum is currently in hospital and they are wanting her discharged soon, the hospital needs to be sure that it will be a safe and proper discharge. Its not the hospital's job to care for folk back home, but you need to have a reasonable time to make arrangements. In complex situations like this, the ward staff should have asked Social Services to help you in thinking about what arrangements need to be in place, and in helping you to access support so that you are not expected to do all the careing yourself. Have ward staff made a referral to Social Services ?

Sooner or later the discharge will happen, but you need to feel that help is available to you and that you are not rushed into accepting sole responsibility. But even with others helping somehow, this will not be easy. But I know you are well aware of that.

I am really pleased you have found your way here, to Carers UK Forum. We are all doing our best here to care for those we love. And none of us is doing a perfect job. Certainly not me. I applaud you for what you are taking on board, but you do need help and support. None of us can function alone.

I wish you well Dawn. I know you will get support here. Take care.

Robert
Hi Dawn,
Warm welcome to the forum, nice to have you with us.
Take care
Minnie Image
Thank you.

The hospital discharged her this weekend just gone.

I had about a weeks notice to try and get a stairlift fitted so I could get her upstairs (fortunately the mobility shop pulled out all the stops to slot it in quick).

The only assessment that have been completed was an A4 sheet of paper asking me how tall the toilet seat was off the ground and how tall the chair and bed were. Image

I know mum wants to be independant and that given time she may get slightly better at moving around, unfortunately their words to mum were "how are you going to make yourself a drink and a sandwich". Everything else regarding her care seems to have been thrown out of the window, or they think that I'd do it all! I don't mind but I just don't want to end up in a position where I can't help her because I'm laid up with my back or end up a complete wreck. Does that make sense?
Hiya Dawn and welcome to forum from me
Kat
Hello Dawn. Thanks for clarifying about the discharge. I dont know exactly how well your mum was able to mobilise upon her discharge, but I am surprised that a more comprehensive assessment of her needs was not undertaken. It sounds more like an Occupational Therapy assessment was done. They consider things like hoists, raised toilet seats, bathing aids etc. If your mum has problems with mobilising and personal care ( washing, dressing ) then the ward ought to have referred you to Social Services for a more comprehensive assessment of your mum's needs. Advice and assistance on arranging care input would have been offered to you if your mum's needs for personal care were significant. All that is irrelevant now however.

You can still access Social Services if you think it might be useful. Would having someone visiting to help with the personal care help ? Depending upon your mum's financial circumstances a charge might apply. Social Services departments are part of your local council. Most councils these days have telephone contact centre that will put you through to the right department. Explain the fact that your mum has recently been discharged. if you are struggling, tell the person on the other end what the problem is and what help you need in caring for your mum ( if you know ). A good Social Worker should help you fathom out how you are going to manage, what help you need, and should also point you in the direction of other services and agencies that can help, eg local carers's groups, Age UK.

Hospitals do sometimes put pressure upon families and carers regarding a discharge. They are always wanting beds, which is understandable. It does sound like things were rushed from your perspective and the assessment undertaken by ward staff was probably not comprehensive. I suggest you ask Social Services to help. It cant do any harm. The person you care for is entitled to an Assessment of their needs and you are also entitled, as a Carer to your own Assessment.

Having said all that, even with other types of input and support, your job will not be an easy one especially if you have particular problems of your own. Arrangements need to be both satisfactory for you and for your mum. I sense it would be good to speak with someone from Social Services to ensure things are as good as they can be. And you will need your own support, and the people here are always happy to listen. Many of us are struggling in different ways.

Hope that helps a bit Dawn. Sorry being a carer IS tough ! But you are not alone. Do your best and try to take care of yourself too. Okay ? Let us know how things go.

Robert
Hi and welcome.Hope you find the Forum useful and fun.Takes a bit of time getting used to being a carer,but there are plenty of people here to ask advice of.Robert has already done this,i see.Hope that eases your mind a little. Image Image Image Image Image
Hi Dawn and welcome Image
As your Mum has already been discharged, you can also ask for a referral from her GP to the OT for an assessment of her physical needs (grab rails, toilet/chair/bed highered etc.) which should be then provided for you as well as an assessment from the ss for personal care.
Thank you all for the replies.

I'm going to book an appointment with the GP to get the ball rolling and I'm going to talk to mum about getting some extra help, all i have to do is find the right words for the latter.

On a plus point, the hospital have contacted us and said that she has an urgent physio appointment tomorrow so I can also try and get to see someone from OT too.

If I don't come on here before Sunday, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and I hope that it is good for you all

Dawn
Hello Dawn, and welcome and a Merry Christmas too Image , I know a bit what you are going through as my mum fractured her hip just over a year ago and has very limited mobility. Robert has already given you some excellent advice. I can only tell you what I got from Social Services (eventually) so that you know what might be possible to ask for.

I too had a mother discharged from hospital needing to sleep downstairs; no-one told me how to get the bed downstairs on my own Image . Anyway, your mum needs an Assessment from Social Services and also a visit from Occupational Therapy. Hope your SS is better than mine as mine took 3 months of me badgering them. OT provided us with grab rails at stairs and front and back doors, a frame which fits around the loo and a walking frame. We also had carers come in twice a day to help wash her. If your mum is anything like mine, she will not accept help easily. I had to bully, cajole, plead to get this. In fact, thinking about it, I still do. Only yesterday mum told me she didn't want carers any more. I said we would talk about it after Christmas ...

To this day, she has carers come in to see her (25 min visit). She will not allow them to help her wash or dress of course! Recently I hurt my back getting her out of the bath and now OT has provided a bath seat which goes up and down at the press of a button. They are very expensive to buy so if you don't ask, you won't get; it has taken me a year to get one. I also bought her a tray on wheels with handles from a disabled living company. She can put cups of tea and her dinner on this and wheel it in; it is also a walking aid.

Anyway, I have gone on enough. Sorry to hear you have been launched into caring. Frankly, I would not wish it on anyone but at least you have us to listen; this Forum has been a lifeline to me and many others. Look forward to getting to know you.