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Warning signs - Carers UK Forum

Warning signs

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My mother is 89 and still living in her own home, I am an only child and my wife and I do the shopping, clothes washing and ironing. Mum has three carers each day to assist with her washing dressing and meals has someone to come in bi weekly to do her hair and look after the garden. ( different people I hasten to add!)

Whilst she is still in reasonably good health we have noticed that she is spending more time in bed and we are now getting calls from the carers to say she has refused care i.e she has not let them in Currently Mum has not agreed to give the carers a key but we obviously cannot allow this to continue as aside from it being unfair on the individual carer who has travelled to her and incurring unnecesary costs it means Mum is not eating drinking or being prompted with her medication.
We are finding her becoming more forgetful and confused.

My wife and I both work our children are grown up but both soon to be travelling at Uni abroad We also have two other elderly relations to support, although neither currently have the same needs as my mother.

We have asked the local authority for a further assessment of her needs ( although they are currently only paying for 2 visits per week out of the 21 ) and feel inclined to alo get her Doctor involved although they have never been particulaly helpful in the past in terms of coming out to see her.

Mum has agreed to me enacting her Power of Attorney

Any further thoughts as to what else can/should be done

Starting to get stressed
Thanks Audrey thats really helpful and your suggestion re UTI confirmed what my wife was thinking We will get onto the Doctors tomorrow
I will post an update as it may be useful
PR Image
While you are getting her checked out for a UTI and dehydration, you might also want to look into malnutrition.

I'm not saying that this may or may not be an issue with her as you haven't really mentioned how long this has been going on for but it can be a silent but deadly condition since it can affect people from all walks of life from the fat to the thin and muscular - often without detection until it's too late.

You might also want to ask the doctor to talk to her about the importance of living an healthy life as well e.g. taking her meds, eating and excising regularly. Hopefully that might help her to see that she needs to let the carer's in every time they come by.
Hello, Paul and welcome Image

I don't really have anything further to add as others, especially Audrey, have made very useful comments and suggestions. Certainly a key safe is worth serious consideration. And I would also urge a review with GP given the recent changes in behaviour. I would also echo previous comments re ensuring she takes sufficient fluids if she is withdrawing to bed etc.

As well as checking out things on the medical side, I assume there are no recent events or changes that might explain things, perhaps - Eg change of Carer, or worries ?? - Our behaviours are not always determined by medical stuff alone .....

All good wishes,

Thanks Beck and Robert
Was able to have along conversation with Carer who Mum gets on well with today and we are all agred that a reassessmeent is needed. mum definitely has some anxiety as regards a key safe but we will need to find a compromise

I will also get the doctor to cover the malnutrition aspect as although there is a variety of food available it sometimes comes down to how enthusiastic the carer is in tempting Mum to eat.

Also need to resolve medication as even with a dosset box Mum is becoming confused

thanks for taking the time to respond,having the forum is really useful

Thanks, Paul. Glad you have a plan. With Carers visiting three times a day I would have thought the meds were being taken okay, though I know Carers can only prompt rather than actually give. My Mum has one of these dossett boxes or whatever they are called. They are quite tricky for anyone with any problems. I would love to redesign them ! Glad you have a plan up your sleeve and keep us posted. My Mum did not really want a key safe but generally she has got used to the idea now I'm pleased to say !

Good to hear from you again.

Paul, malnutrition and starvation can both happen for a number of reasons, it doesn't necessarily mean that the cupboards are as bare as Old Mother Hubbard's Image . A simple lack of appetite as you describe can cause it if the lack of appetite is allowed to continue untreated for long enough.

Another possible area for concern is that it sounds like she's starting to restrict her diet somewhat - which is an eating disorder in it's own right, so there's a chance that she's missing out on vitamins and minerals. She may need supplements or energy drinks to make up for that. The earlier this is diagnosed and treated, the better for you both.
Hi Paul

I seem to be going through similar thing's with my mum too!

Mum is 80 yrs old she had a stroke 3 and a alf years ago. And has the onset of demetia, we lost my step dad end of May 2011 he died of MND, plus I care for my youngest daughter who has autism.

Going back to my mum even though I have brothers and a sister myself it is down to me the main brunt of mum's care. My sister work's 4 days a week but has Friday's off and come's to spend Friday's with mum my brother who lives in Suffolk usually calls in on a Saturday afternoon when he's passing through not much i know for about an hour. My other brother lives in Canada it's a bit difficult to pop over actually he was over just before Xmas for a few wk s which was lovley it was an early Xmas present for all of us.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is the main brunt of everything is put on myself and my hubby as we live the nearest.

Mum has a keysafe installed I think they cost around £27.00 - £33.00 that sort of price bracket and you can buy them from lock and key service shop where you get keys cut and I think Argos sell them too. I think Social Services may supply you may have to enquire I'm not sure if it's free or if there would be a charge. Mum has carer's going on from a Care Agency 4 time's a day every day that's the maxuim amount call's you can have. If you say needed a through the night carer or sitter, I think that would be extra same if you needed a carer to sit during the day again Social Services would know or the care agency themselves.

I do all mum's washing,shopping,cleaning,tidying up all that sort of thing, mum just stay's in bed all day the carer's get mum up washed dressed do her meals for gave her her meds from a dossett box.

My sister and brother in law have power of attorney and sort out all the financial stuff mum's still lives in her own home it is her own home a 2 bed bungalow. My sis and bro in law are still going through all the probate of my late stepdad as well even though we are all doing our bit. The more emotional side of thing's seem's to be on my shoulder's!! And sometimes in can get a bit much.

Anyway on Friday mum's got a Dr's app a review app and a blood test, to review her meds who's doing generally, and hopefully have a memory test. Mum's brother my uncle was diagnosed with Alzhemeir's just before Xmas I dare say they had a pretty grim Xmas and their mum my grandma had senile demetia, it all seem's a similar pattern, or is it just coincidence?

And I've got all my youngest daughter's needs and issues to deal with as well. So Stress,stressstress!!

Anyway I've banged on for long enough, I hope you manage to get everything sorted and a lot of your enquiries answered, please remember you are not alone in this situation.

Take care. Liz x
Hi Paul, and everyone, Welcome to the Forum Image . Just wanted to say that you are most certainly not alone with many of these issues. It struck a chord with me as I am the only child of a 84 year old, currently in hospital, with care package she is fighting against, and early signs of dementia.

Anyway, this is your post, not mine. The only thing I can add at the moment is the one thing I have managed to get done is the key safe. Audrey and Liz are quite right. My mum's was installed by Social Services at no cost (although she contributes towards the cost of her care). I told her that Social Services insist on having it - a legal requirement Image . This was a godsend on Monday when the carer got in to find mum on the floor so already it has been useful. The other thing that is useful is a Careline (worn around the neck) and arranged by Social Services but paid for by us. At least it would have been useful if my mum was wearing it at the time of the fall! You can take a horse to water but ....

Good luck. As for the dossett boxes, does anyone know of a good one to recommend?? Anne
Hi Paul

One other thing mum has got careline installed in her bungalow
social services supplied it and has a pendant she has ti wear round her neck that has been a help although we have been called out at stupid o clock when mums pressed it! In the summer the police had to kick the door in cause she pressed it and they couldn't get hold of us, lucklily the insurance paid for a new front door! But hey ho there you have it hope that helps.

Liz x