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I am not sure whether I can still officially call myself a carer as my elderly mum who I have been caring for the last five years took a tumble in the bathroom on Monday and is now in hospital with a broken thigh bone. After the shock of both the fall and the op she had to have yesterday I have never felt so redundant. Obviously I am visiting her everyday but still, when I get home it is taking me along time to adapt to the new routine or lack of it.

It feels like I am in suspended animation, waiting to find put whether she will be well enough to come home again or not.

As I said I have been. Arming for my mum who is now 91 full time for nearly five years now. She has been having problems initially with dizziness which stopped her in her tracks after being very active all her life. From dizziness and lack of movement arthritis then kicked in in her hip and finally dementia was diagnosed last year, although mainly short term memory and a little confusion.

When I first started I wondered what I had got myself into but over the years caring for her has become a part of life which I guess is why I feel so lost.

However, I hope I can be accepted on this forum as an honorary carer at least for the present. :D
Maureen,welcome.
Make sure you look after yourself,too.

!

Welcome to the forum. You are most definitely a carer. I've been caring for mum for years, although we lived apart. I often refer to myself as an "invisible carer". No one ever really realised how much I did. Recently, after a prolonged hospital stay, mum has moved into a nursing home permanently, I'm currently selling her house to fund the nursing home. Even when an elderly person is in hospital there are visits to make, meetings to attend, nighties to wash, plus finding something for our carees to do/read/look at whilst they are in hospital. My mum has been in and out of hospital repeatedly, she would write down a list of jobs for me to do when she got bored! A prolonged stay means decisions about what to do with the contents of the fridge, keeping an eye on the house, dealing with phone calls, letters, etc. etc. Even having a good spring clean while mum isn't there. So yes, most definitely still a carer whilst mum's in hospital! Soon, you will find a lot of pressure to get mum home again. Be sure to ask for a "Continuing Care Assessment" so that mum's needs are properly recognised. Not just her hip but all her other problems too. Don't believe them if they say it can be done after discharge. Don't let them send mum anywhere until you are absolutely certain that you are happy with the arrangements, whatever they might be. Some forum members will be annoyed that I'm being to assertive in the way I've written this. I have had some VERY difficult problems around hospital admissions and discharges in the last couple of years, and I wouldn't like anyone else to go through the experiences I've had. Apologies if it sounds too bossy.
Hello Maureen and welcome. I hope your mum is feeling a bit better soon. I do know what you mean about not knowing what to do with yourself. My son was out for one evening last week and even that felt odd, it was only four hours but it was very weird being at home without him so I can only imagine what it must feel like to not really know what your situation will be long term.

I hope things settle down a bit soon and you start to feel a bit more comfortable.
Thank you all for your replies. I think it is the not know what will happen next that is the worse part. Bowlingbun I absolutely understand what you are saying. Ten years ago when mum was much more herself she broke her ankle and was in hospital and then recuperation care for a total of 3 months even though she was totally okay to return home with support. It took a lot of pressure from our family to convince the authorities that she would recover much better at home. We were right.

At this moment she is a poorly soul and needs the medical attention in hospital but you know what hospitals have become like, soon they will be wanting to shift her somewhere else because they need the bed, she is in trauma orthopaedics so probably the beds are in high demand.

I think Support from this forum is going to be a real help to me during this whole process I thank you all for your welcomes.
Welcome, Maureen. Yes, the not knowing is almost the worst part. You are most definitely a carer, regardless of your mother's location PLUS her Ambassador at the hospital.

I too care for my mum with dementia and other physical ailments although she is a spring chicken compared to yours (87 next week). When she was in hospital recently, I too found it quite unsettling; for one thing I had more free time on my hands than I was used to. Take this opportunity to do something for yourself too.

I suspect you will have the usual fights on your hands when they wish to discharge your mum. If she is to return home, and does not have paid careworkers currently, remember that in most areas you are entitled to six weeks free reenablement package. Called different things in different areas.

Good luck, and hope that mum recovers well. Come back and talk to us whenever you want, there is normally someone around, Anne x
Hi,
Was in hospital situation 1.5 years ago. Use it to catch up on sleep and see friends if you can as once they are discharged that stops. You are still a carer as there is all the washing, visiting, keeping their pecker up and seeing to their welfare eg ensuring some imbecile who is supposedly 'medically qualified' can put hearing aids in or whatever. Without aids the deaf are lost-it is not upholding dignity. All the best.
Thanks to all of you for your kind welcome. Now my mum is partly coming round from her ordeal I am finding that being a carer doesn't switch off. I am trying to,work with the medical staff without implying I don't trust them but my god it is hard to let go isn't it.

I will take your advice though and use my free time more for myself, it is beginning to dawn on me that At present I do not have to get back before the sitter leaves or plan my days based on when sitters are due. Although I do also have an elderly dog who looks at me sorrowfully when I leave her to visit mum but in this weather all she wants to do is sleep anyway and I make it up to her when I get back.
Hi and welcome.
My mum is 90 and has just come home after a cataract op, my dad is 94: they care for each other in their own home with support from paid agency staff whom they love. As we are six siblings we all do our own bit to help out where required, mainly just keeping in contact and checking they are OK, but as my son has Downs Syndrome and we live 350 miles away I am excused all the hard graft. But it sure doesn't get any easier. Hope your mum is better soon.
Hi Maureen, you are most definitely a carer still. Welcome to the forum. Try and fit in a bit of "me" time whilst you can. I know you are out of practice, but what did you do in your free hours 5 plus years ago?! Sleep, walk, read, go out for a coffee, browse in the library, buy clothes, cinema ...

Melly1