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Just to say hello - Carers UK Forum

Just to say hello

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi, just wanted to introduce myself as a newbie. I currently have both parents living with me. Mum is 80 and had a stroke 20 years ago which she only partially recovered from so she is very immobile. She now has arthritis very severely, diabetes, thyroid trouble and also has problems with side effects and withdrawal from the painkillers and various other pills and potions which have been prescribed for her. My Dad has been doing a lot of the personal care for her whilst I do the rest, he's 79, and he has breathing problems and now also has developed tachycardia so I really don't like him doing too much. I gave up work 3 years ago when I turned 50 to be at home to take care of things. So far it has been ok, but the last couple of months Mum has deteriorated badly and Dad has had 3 bad tachy episodes. I have to say I'm dreading Christmas when support from medical services is less easy to access. Also, I am single and an only child, all family by way of aunts and uncles and cousins are over 200 miles away so I rely on my friends for support. I am reluctant to burden them, but one friend has been very supportive to me and will come over and sit with Mum if Dad has to be taken for treatment. Thing is, she is going away for Christmas and I have to say it scares me to feel rather isolated, which is why I sought out this forum. So anyway, sorry for rambling and looking forward to "meeting" you all online.
Hi Jane, welcome to the forum. Have Social Services done a Needs Assessment for both your parents, and a Carers Assessment for you. Be sure to ask for this asap, so you have some support. Have they both claimed Attendance Allowance?
Hi Jane
We may not be able to help by sitting with Mum , sorry ;) Have you looked into the sitting services run, I think, by various charities?
but there's usually someone around to chat too and take the edge off the isolation.
Have you found the thread where we are having a virtual and very silly Christmas party together?
https://www.carersuk.org/forum/social-a ... 2016-27954

Feel free to join in anywhere. We don't bite.
Kind regards
MrsA
Hi, thanks for the welcome. No we've had no contact with social services at all, everything we've had so far has been through the GP. I doubt we'd be eligible for much help since both parents have savings so we'd probably we expected to sort anything out ourselves. Also, neither my Mum or Dad are at all happy to talk to anyone who so much as hints at being a social worker (very old fashioned that way, even when the doctor is due Mum insists on getting up early to see him dressed in the sitting room - she won't see him in bed and she always tells him that I make out she is worse than she feels). I'll look in on the Christmas party, thank you.
Hi and welcome.....I just lost the post I had written for you, went into outer space it seems. :roll: was going to mention Age Uk Befriending and/or sitting Services....but have seen your second post so won't bore you further lol.
Sorry last couple of months have proved troublesome I hope things even out.
And of course don't forget 999 service open over the bank holidays.

Good you going to the forum party! Feel free to have a good look round everywhere on forum, feel free to add comments..and do dip into the main website too, as and when. Oops, Mrs A was ahead of me.

I certainly don't bite....but have been known to roll my eyes out loud ;)

Twenty years ago, I was about your age, and I too gave up work to care full time. Missed the people-contact but not much else frankly!
Hi Jane
The Needs and Carers assessments are as much about pointing you in the direction to what might help rather than actually providing it. The finance decision is the last step.
Have you found and contacted a local carers group? Again they may have info and links to other organisations.
Although you are managing now, you do need to have info and plans in place for emergencies and for the eventual deterioration over time. No one person can look after 2 elderlies 24/7. it becomes physically impossible. You will make yourself ill without respite and support.

Kind regards
MrsA
Hi Jane and welcome
The very first thing you must accept is that it is going to get worse. Probably much worse and possibly in rapid, sharp declines.
The second thing is that you have to take control. Never mind that Mum doesn't want Social Services involved. She NEEDS them. You have to stop being the 'supportive and caring daughter' and start being the 'supportive and caring BOSS'. Otherwise it's all going to go pear shaped and you will be trying to cope with crisis after crisis and your own health will really suffer.
If their savings have to be spent on help, well what rainy day did they save for if not this one?
So, get those assessments done by SS. Do your research on this site, (red help button at the top of the page and follow all links to see what applies to you and them), on your LA web site and also Age Uk etc.
Get everything possible in place to help you and them. People and equipment, benefits and forward planning.
You cannot do this without massive amounts of support. Even then it is going to get harder than you can imagine, although you might be getting an inkling now.
KR
E.
Thanks again to all of you. I guess I do know what I have to do really, but making that jump to involving "officialdom" isn't easy. As a first step our GP referred Mum to a care coordination service on Monday, so it may be that will be a good route in to start the whole support process off. She likes the GP so if he has suggested it, it might go down better!
Jane, if it wasn't for you, mum would probably be in residential care by now, so YOUR health and wellbeing is now the most important of all. The very elderly can be very self focussed and just don't see how much others are doing for them.
However, your right to a life of your own is every bit as important as theirs. Long term caring for one person is tough, for two is worse, and living with them both is more difficult still. You need time off, so they need to accept some outside care so that you can leave them safely.
Are they both claiming Attendance Allowance? This is a NON-MEANS TESTED benefit, which they are very likely to qualify for. It's to pay for things that will make their lives easier, someone to help them, i.e. you; and for a tumble dryer, dishwasher, etc. etc.
Please, please ring the Carers UK helpline and discuss their financial position in confidence, so you know exactly what the facts are about savings etc. As residential care for mum would cost £1,000 or more, then they should be giving you some sort of wage for helping them. A live in carer for someone like mum would also cost £1,000 a week in my area.
Thanks for the advice.I don't think Dad would qualify for attendance allowance, he is mostly fine and can help with caring for Mum except when she gets really bad, he gets stressed and then we get the tachycardia. Anyway, he has a consultant appointment next Friday so hopefully some pills will sort him out. I think Mum would qualify for attendance allowance though...I'll look into that one, thanks for the tip.