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Introducing myself - caring for elderly Mum - Carers UK Forum

Introducing myself - caring for elderly Mum

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi, I'm Florence. I was made redundant three years ago, and couldn't find a new job for a while. I started to visit my parents more, and realised that they were struggling. My mum had muscle weakness - she had suffered with arthritis for years prior to this - and heart problems. Dad was her carer, but he, like her, is in his eighties. I took over as Mum's carer, just helping out at first. As the years have passed Mum has deteriorated, and Dad has aged, so I now run their home as well as mine. Dad can still make cups of tea and cooks simple meals, so I can leave them alone some days. I am single with two teenage daughters who also help out with their grandparents' housework and shopping when they can.
So far I am coping OK, but I have never been a very patient or caring type of person so I am learning all the time. I try to make sure Mum and Dad have everything they need without patronising them.
Hi Florence, welcome to the forum. Never easy juggling a caring role as well as having your own family to look after. x x
Hi Florence, sounds like you're doing a great job Image
Thanks for the welcome. I stumbled upon this forum by accident. Mum had a sudden deterioration a couple of weeks ago, and I was searching for info about it. I didn't realise that a simple infection could have such a big effect on someone of Mum's age, and I found reassurance in a post on this site. Mum is getting stronger again, but she has very weak legs and arms, and it's a confidence issue as well. She hasn't fallen for months but is always afraid she is going to. She uses a walking frame in the house, but sometimes she doesn't look too stable even with that.
Florence, think how you feel with a 'simple' infection. My very fit and able neighbour, in her late 80's, complained to her gp that she still wasn't feeling 100% after a viral infection and he told her that she wouldn't for a couple of more months as what takes days or a couple of weeks for a person under 50, can translate to weeks and months for those older Image
You are right of course, Myrtle. Mum has always been so ridiculously healthy. I can't remember her ever having even a bad cold, and she and Dad never took time off work sick. She had triple heart bypass at the age of 76 and was sitting up in a chair the next day. It came as quite a surprise to me that an infection could have such a devastating effect. A couple of years ago, Dad and I thought she had suffered a stroke. She had been asleep, and we couldn't wake her properly, and her speech was slurred. It turned out to be a chest infection.
I know some of you are very experienced carers and I have a lot to learn. I am starting to recognise the signs now, and know when to call the doctor. Mum is inclined to pretend that she is OK and doesn't want to be a "nuisance" - her word not mine.
Ask anything you like Florence, someone will know Image
We had an interesting day yesterday. My daughters and I spent the day with my parents, did some housework, had lunch together, a fairly usual Saturday. I went to change Mum's compression stockings (she had leg ulcers a while ago) and found her left leg very badly swollen above and below the knee. Mum wanted to ignore it and talk to her GP on Monday, but I couldn't let her do that. I called 111 to ask for advice, and we were given an appointment at the walk in centre. They suspected DVT so sent us to the local A&E. They were really good and examined her thoroughly and did blood tests. They can't be sure without a scan, which they don't do at weekends, but it is probably DVT. They will contact us to arrange the scan, but in the meantime she has to have blood thinning injections. Having never handled a syringe in my life, I was taught how to administer the injections into Mum's stomach, and am just going over there to do the next one.
I am learning fast. Thanks for your support, Myrtle. When all this over I am going to write a book.
Luckily I never had to inject my oh, but I was taught how to inject the dog and I never found it anything but scary Image
Much admiration here Image
They suggested I did this to myself after an operation. Like John McEnroe, I said you cannot be serious. I'm always interested in medical stuff, as long as it's not on a DIY basis! As a result, I was one of the first patients at the hospital I was in to have the medication in pill form, not injection.