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First time carer - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

First time carer

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi Joyce, There is such a thing as an alarm mat which you place by the side of the bed and when Mum stands on it, it will alert you. This might mean that you are woken up too early but you might be able to get her to go back to bed for an hour.
Mum has got the idea of having to wash into her head, possibly because the GP told her as that generation can set great store on what the doctor says, but she's also got stuck on doing it herself.
You have a choice of approaches. Softly, softly, where you persuade her that the carer is there to help you, not her and gradually get the carer to help Mum, (your own carer's assessment might recommend help for you) or you have to rid yourself of the mother daughter response, where Mum is to be deferred to, and consider that you are a grown woman, Mum is a guest in your home and if you say she has to have help, then help she WILL have. The phrase 'eladerly toddler' is often used as an apt description of an elderly parent who is failing both mentally and physically. Role reversal I'm afraid.
Elaine
But if she is refusing my help, or anyone's help what am I supposed to do.
Hi Joyce
Oh dear. Is Mum a danger to herself or in danger of doing something like leaving the gas on? The thing is, she is only going to get worse because dementia is a horrible, destructive, heart-breaking illness and there's no getting better or going back.
In the end, there will only be one thing you can do as Mum deteriorates and will not accept any help from you or anyone and that is arrange for her to be in a safe place where her needs are catered for 24/7 by professionals who know how to handle her. If you haven't contacted Social Services as opposed to the GP only, then maybe you should start the process of getting Mum an assessment with the aim of finding her an appropriate Home in due course. Otherwise as has been mentioned and you have recognised yourself, there will be a crisis and Mum will end up in hospital and from there into Home Care anyway.
It's terribly hard to find the best path but it does have to be right for everyone so some compromise has to be reached. You and your husband need consideration too.
Elaine
Thank you Elaine for all your help, it's great to speak to someone who understands. My mum is very unsteady, and has fallen numerous times, she has a simmer to help her, but won't use it. She literally cannot do anything for herself, I administer all of her medication, and make her meals. She is very frail and hardly eats anything, porridge in the morning and toast at night. She hasn't been outside for about 6 years. She has literally been wearing nightdresses and dressing gown for that length of time also. I strongly think, as you said, she will either have a bad fall, or infection and end up in hospital and that will be the end of her. She has had assessments from her GP and social services, but I think while she is here and I'm looking after her there's not much to be done. When it gets too much and I can't cope anymore, then I wil have no alternative but to put her into care.
Hello Joyce
My husband is in a nursing home. He had strokes and has vascular dementia. Very sad and heartbreaking. However he is much safer and cared for, better sadly than I could do. The staff are with him 24/7. Maybe you could talk to her GP etc to find a nursing home for her now, before a fall takes place or a nasty infection. You wouldn't be 'putting' her in care, you would be safeguarding her and her needs will be met. Care isn't perfect, settling in for her will take time and you will need time to adjust. But, you will have time for yourself and your husband. Have some life for yourselves. You and your husband are important too.
I felt I was failing my DH. Still have guilty kicks that eat at me. Am bereft and grieve for the person he was,the relationship we had. Then, I'm reminded by the lovely people on the forum, that it really is for the best for us both. It's best for my daughter's and families too, as they hopefully don't have to worry so much about me coping. I visit most days and am reminded that he is much safer. It's what really matters.
Hope this will help you to see that a care home can be the better option for all concerned. It's not failing. It's nothing to do with how much you love a relative.
You take care
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Finally got the shower chair in, the grab bar has yet to be installed. The next day after the shower chair was installed I got mum into the shower. She had her hair washed after 4 months and a good wash. The most difficult thing was getting her clothes off and back on again, as she is so frail, I thought she might break. Plus she has COPD so she couldn't breath. Anyway the next day was better as she didn't need her hair washed, and it only took me 30 mins to get her washed. I think I felt better then mum as I had finally gotten her washed. So today was day 3, and I could hear her getting up on the baby monitor, so I went in, it was almost 10am. I said right mum, time for your shower, I'm not going down there she said, I got washed myself (which I knew she didn't), so all I got was, I'm not a child, I'll wash when I need to, just leave me alone, I don't need this every day etc. So I had no choice but to walk away. I am so angry, it has taken me 4 weeks to get this chair, and this morning I was up 7.30 to get organised. Why does it have to be a confrontation all the time.
Maybe mum is thinking back to when she was a girl. I expect then it was a bath in front of the fire once a week? Maybe do it twice a week to start with, until she becomes more accustomed to it? When I was ill after major surgery, it was almost more than I could cope with to have a shower, although I never ever go to bed without a shower or bath at home, when well.
I read on the alzimers web site it is easier to shower every day rather than two time a week.
Hi my mum has Alzheimer's and hates getting her hair washed in the shower. Because she can't put her head back the water goes all over her face and into her ears. Does anyone know of a Shower visor or protection to protect the water going over her face. It would make a big difference for her