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Hello - Carers UK Forum

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Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi. I've been reading the posts for a while now and finally joined the forum today. I've been caring for my husband for the last year. He wasn't too bad to begin with but since coming home from a six week stay in hospital last Monday I'm finding him really hard work. He's now on ambulatory oxygen, he uses a wheeled zimmer frame with an O2 cylinder attached to walk the 20 paces to the bathroom.

The hospital sent him home on Monday last week. No one asked if we needed help and no one suggested we might want help. He wouldn't wash or take a shower and just sat in his bedroom in his pyjamas all day (a week later and he is still in his bedroom and still in pyjamas). I phoned around for help on how to deal with him and on Wednesday an Emergency intervention team arrived. They gave him a shower on Thurs and Friday. He told them he didn't want a shower on Saturday so the carer just helped him wash. On Sunday and today he said he didn't want to wash so the carer just washed his face and hands.

Soap and water have never really been his thing. He was in Harefield hospital for 7 weeks last year after spending a week in our local hospital, Harefield washed him until he was deemed able to do it himself but I doubt if he bothered. Every time they mentioned giving him a shower he said he felt dizzy and was wheeled back to his bed.

He was in the local hospital for six weeks over Christmas and the New Year and again every time someone mentioned a shower he told them he was dizzy and was wheeled back to his bed. The result was that he only took 4 showers in the whole of last year! I warned the carers about dizzy spells when a shower was mentioned so they were prepared for his excuses. He's now telling them he feels sick so he isn't even being washed every day Image

He's 73 with multiple ailments.

Birdymom.
Hi Birdymom, welcome to the forum, there's a wealth of information to be found on here. You're not alone in your caree not wanting to shower. Others will be along soon to welcome you.

Karen
Hello and welcome Image
Hi and welcome to the forum. Lots of chat and advice so join in.
No 1 Mum, Audrey, Myrtle and Deborah thank you for the warm welcome to the forum. I've found out how lonely caring can be and how the caree just takes over your life for their own means without even asking if you mind or are willing to become their carer. I am very resentful and angry that my husband and other people tell me that as I am my/his wife that it is my job to care for him. What happened to my rights and my life? It's not my fault he's ill Image
Welcome to the forum.

You should have a carers assessment done, and have a clear plan how much you are willing to do for your OH as regards his personal care.

My dad would happily stay in his pjs for days at a time, until social services told him a weekly shower is all he will be getting and suddenly he is a water baby!

Do you have "Crossroads" caring for carers scheme in your area? They would provide someone to be at home with your OH for a couple of hours a week to give you time to do what you want...........even if is only to find a quiet place to scream.

You will meet some fine folks here.

Take care
Meg
Thank you for the info Meg.

How do I find out about what local support there is for carees and carers? I have read that some of you have a Social Worker. Do I just phone them and ask for one?

The hospital just sent him home with a Zimmer frame and on oxygen, no one mentioned having help or how to get it. The first I knew about getting help was when I phoned my GP's surgery for an appointment because I couldn't cope on my own. The receptionist asked what care package the hospital had set up and was shocked that they had done nothing for us.

When I phoned the hospital they said that as he was no longer in the hospital it was not their responsibility. He left on the Monday and I phoned them on Wednesday They did eventually accept that they should have sorted something out before they sent him home and gave me a phone number for something called emergency intervention. I think the emergency intervention team are doing a two week assessment which ends next Wednesday.

birdymom
Hi Birdymom

It's a disgrace that the hospital did not arrange a care plan before your husband came out of hospital. A Social Worker and an Occupational Therapist should have been involved to work out what help he/you needed before he came home.

I suggest that you get hold of the Adult Services Team at your local council and explain the situation. They can arrange for an assessment for your husband and a Carers Assessment for yourself. Also either they or your GP can involve your local Occupational Therapy Team to supply any 'aids' that you/he need to make life easier.

If you check on your local council website and look under either Social or Adult Services you should find details of your local Carers associations - usually The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (PRTC); also checkout www.crossroads.org for your local branch. Either will be able to give yo more information on what help and support is available in your area and how to access it. Age UK is another good source of information.

Hope you can get some support sorted soon.
Hi there Birdymom. You have already been given some excellent advice that I can only urge you to take up. It really is disgusting that you have been left in the lurch like this. Hopefully you will get the support you need soon (including obviously any Carers Allowance etc).

As for the showering...well I have had two very different experiences with this! My Mum who had COPD and was on oxygen 24/7, osteoperosis and a multitude of other conditions was adament that she would wash every day and we had chairs or stools every couple of steps between the bedroom and the bathroom. I remember one night she was determined to have a shower and needed this meant getting in the bath itself. I managed to get her sat on a stool in the small bathroom and then realised I couldn't get past her to get to the bath. Ended up with me shouting out "spread 'um mother" as I squeezed through the legs of the stool with a now naked 71 year old woman squatting on top of it! A sight to behold but still makes me laugh when I think of Mum and how we laughed!

On the other hand, there was my dear Miss Daisey. When she was poorly in the UK once a few years ago I remember saying to her that if perhaps she didn't feel up to getting in the bath why not use baby wipes for a day or so. Let's just say, I don't think the tap was ever turned on inside the bath again! Wet wipes were used day and night in all the important little places! God bless her soul...I so loved that lady.

Anyway, perhaps the wet wipes would help your hubby as a compromise in the interim? Just a thought.

Right, well I will stop rambling on now and just welcome you once again to the forum!

Bell
Thank you once again for all the helpful hints and tips. Brindleboy your post was amusing and made me laugh (I needed that) Susieq I finally took your advice today and called to ask if I could have a Carers Assessment. I'm waiting for someone to book a time and day for me. As Frank coughs a lot of the night and continually wakes me I haven't managed to get much sleep since he came home and am very tired, I imagine you are all familiar with that feeling Image
Audrey re the wet wipes he has a big tub of those but actually getting him to use them is not easy and I get told, don't tell me what to do.

birdymom.