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Looking after mum and dad - Carers UK Forum

Looking after mum and dad

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Hi, I live in Australia but am planning to move back to the UK in a couple of months to look after my Mum (she has had a substantial stroke, pureed diet, walks with assistance of 1 and in pads)and my Dad (severe dementia, bed bound). I have been a qualified nurse for over 10 years and am returning with my very supportive husband and 3 great kids so I have great backup Image .

My main concern at this points is practical and finacial. My husband will have to try and find work but obviosly I will be unable to (a change in our house as I am the bread winner at the moment). Mum and Dad have a mortgage free house that will easily accomodate us all but obviously it will need modifying (toilet/bathroom put in downstairs, ramps, wide door etc). Also we will need hospital type beds and decent armchairs etc. How much help can I get with this, anyone know?

Also, despite having a great family helping me I will want respe at times, e.g. an hour to pick up school kids or a weeks holiday.

As I am in Australia I am totally in the dark as to what help to expect when I get back. Can anyone cast any light for me?

Caroline Johnson
Hi there Caroline , welcome to the forum.

Do your parents have a social worker? Perhaps you could speak to them before you come over ..they can ensure you have a carers assessment etc when you are here. It may be worth giving the carers uk helpline a ring too as they seem to be the font of all knowledge!

It's going to obviously be a huge change for you all and I hope you are able to get everything sorted ... So much to do let alone deal with the emotional side of caring for your parents too. I'm sure many others will come along later and share their experience with you.

Take care
Hello Caroline and welcome. Great to hear of your plans. Wow, some changes in your life this year then. Hope it all goes well. Yep, as Bell says, speak with Social Services ( part of the local council )where you will be living in the UK. Their advice will be really useful I am certain, covering stuff from day to day care support, respite options, and advice re what help is available for adaptations to the home. I assume there is support going in already. You should be entitled to a week's break now and then and maybe some day care. Though day care for extremely dependant folk is not always easy to find. Most services will be subject to a financial assessment of the recipient's circumstances.

Of course, nobody can help prepare you for the change in climate Image

All good wishes,

Hi Caroline

Welcome to the forum. Where in Australia are you? I spent quite a bit of time in Australia in my younger days; Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide mainly. Adelaide was my favourite.
Structural adaptations can be obtained through social services but they are subject to means testing and therefore depending on income/savings, you may have to contribute to costs or you may even find that you have to pay for it all yourself. You need to talk with social services/occupational therapy as soon as possible regarding adaptations required and equipment needed.

Equipment such as frames around toilets, raised toilet seats, bath lift, hospital style profiling beds are normally provided free by equipment services (social services). I know my father when he had a hip replacement had a straight backed armchair (pretty basic) provided by social services but I don't know about decent comfy armchairs. My wife was provided with a riser recliner chair from the MND Association, which would lead me to believe that social services may not provide similar things - not sure for certain.
Hi Caroline and welcome................bring jumpers and coats! Image Image
Hi and welcome.Advice seems to have been covered above so i`ll just wish you luck and hope you find the Forum as useful as i do. Image Image Image
Hi and welcome,

no more advice to add.

You are lucky to have a supportive family behind you, you are all taking on a big life change. Become a fulltime carer is a big step, let alone moving country! Were you bought up in your parent's current home? Do you still have links with people you knew before you moved abroad?

Hi Caroline

My late stepdad who died last May of MND had a rise and fall chair on loan from the MND association but we had to return it when Ed passed away. Also any other aids that he had and aids my mum has to use was from Millbrook Healthcare and any equipment you need is on loan.

Another thought I've just had maybe to contact Age UK formerly Age Concern they might be able to point you in the right direction, or any other charitable organisations maybe Demetia UK?

Good luck with everything.

Liz x
Hi everyone, I am overwhelmed by such so many lovely replies, it is really comforting, thanks. We have decided against moving back to the UK as we are unable to get all our children into local schools. The Councils anwer was to put my 4 year in a daily taxi to the nearest school where ever that might be. I am not moaning about the coucil as they were very nice and have an impossible task but I cannot even comtemplate that idea for 2 of my 3 children.

The hospital also had big concerns about my taking on the task so as pig-headed as I am I have to listen to their concerns. I am pretty gutted I admit but I have to do the right thing by my kids first I feel.

Thanks for all your input and fond wishes.