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Carers UK Forum • Newbie & we don't know what to do
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Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:19 pm
by Missy87
My name's Hannah & my husband is Andy.
His dad did a few months ago, leaving an 83 year dependant widowed. We've moved in & become her full time carers. Having lots of difficulties getting proper support from the rest of the family, as we're the only ones who see mum all the time & particularly, at her worst. She seems to be showing signs of alzheimers/dementia, but we 'can't get her diagnosed yet, because of problems with Dad's money/the will' - anyone got any ideas how we can get her the medical help she needs/how we can cope with the constant repetition?

Also, we're expecting our first baby together & I've got arthritis, so my husband is now not only MY carer, but also his mum's, has lost his job, because of having lots of time off after his Dad's death, & is basically in the middle of a breakdown Image how can I support him, while looking after myself & the baby, helping look after his mum & not losing my job?

Thanks x

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:53 pm
by bowlingbun
First of all, welcome. You know that your workload is impossible, but not sure what to do. Sit down with lots of paper, with your husband, (you can do this together, or individually) and work out
Your priorities, i.e.1) baby, 2)your own health 3) Your need for an income etc. etc.
Second: Work out the biggest problems
Thirdly: work out how these can be overcome i.e. carer for mum, residential care, help in your home.
These lists are for your eyes only, but will help clarify things, you can update them whenever you like.

All three of you need assessments from Social/Adult Services, because all three of you have needs; and you and husband are both carers too. None of this has anything to do with money. Do you have Power of Attorney for mum? Ask the solicitor acting for you about this, whether he thinks mum is mentally with it enough to sign.
You can't be forced to care for mum, depending on the will etc. mum may or may not have to contribute towards her "care package" but first you must establish what she needs with social services. The doctors should be supporting you, regardless of the will situation.

Carers UK have an excellent helpline, be sure to contact them for more advice about how to handle your situation. Did you know that mum might be entitled to Attendance Allowance? This is awarded to people with high care needs regardless of income. Again the helpline will be able to give you more information. Also talk to them about your husband's situation, I think that it is possible that his employers may have broken some laws which apply to carers. If he belongs to a union, have a word with them too. (I studied employment law about 20 years ago, but things have changed a bit since then).

Hope that helps, it's so important to get things sorted out before the baby arrives, I hope all goes well.

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:32 pm
by poppett
Hello and welcome from me too.xx

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:46 pm
by india77
Im quite new - but, hello and welcome!

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:44 am
by Missy87
Thanks everyone for your replies!! - You've all made me smile & feel a bit less stressed tonight Image

With the diversionary tactics/keeping mum's interest focussed on other things - any suggestions for how to do that?? lol

We're waiting for our assessments from social services. Mum's had at least one in the past & has a morning carer every day. - She's had this for t least 5years (I think) - she's had lots of health problems Image We took delivery of a new bed for her this week from (I think) SS, which raises up & down, meaning her evening care routine (which I mainly do) is going to be easier because I won't be straining my back so much Image

It's just so difficult to think straight at the moment & by the time I get home after about 12hour day (I'm a nursery nurse btw, so I have repetition all day at work from the children & then all night from mum lol), eat & relax, it's then time to sort mum out for bed so I can go to bed too & not be too tired.

She's going away for nearly 2 weeks next week though, to stay with one of her daughters, which will give me & Andy some time to talk at a decent hour of the day & do some sorting out & get things more in perspective.

I did wonder about us talking to the GP about her care, but wasn't 100% sure on if we would be "allowed" to because of confidentiality, but Andy spoke with one of them about something to do with mum the other day, so it must be OK lol. - The Drs have been great though, because they know both of us, as well as Mum & Dad, & have really pulled the stops out to help us out recently Image

I've just changed midwives, because of moving in with mum, but new one is aware of extra stresses & our money problems atm, & she's given me info about free milk/fruit & veg vouchers etc.

I think, because the 2 of us are so exhausted from Dad's COMPLETELY unexpected death, once mum goes away, we'll hopefully be able to grieve a bit more "properly" for him by ourselves, which will hopefully make things easier to think through & order.

Hopefully we'll also be able to unpack a bit more & start getting more of an idea of how we're going to have the nursery etc, which will help - as these 2 weeks could be the only time we have without mum around before baby comes.

And (for the nosy ones - which is cool) we don't know what we're having yet - am only 18 weeks, but we've also decided not to find out & have a surprise, but it's all going really well actually - I've only been sick once, but that was about 9pm at night & we think was more becuse we had a really fatty dinner, rather than pregnancy-related Image Lots of twinges to get used to, too - but started getting flutters a couple of weeks ago & felt the first few kicks on Monday night (at 12.30am, when we went to bed & had to be up at like 5.30am Tuesday morning... &, of COURSE it then wouldn't stop!!!) Image lol - It was like it was saying 'hee hee - I pocked mummy!! hee hee - I did it again!!' dunno how long it went on for: luckily I managed to fall asleep Image (& not be late for work the next day Image )

Thanks for all your suggestions & kind words! I know we're not on our own (I was a child carer for my Dad - from the ages of 10-15 ish) & my grandma lived with us for 2 years - & had alzheimers, so I know we're not on our own, & I regularly speak to my mum & dad for reassurance & advice on how to deal with various things. Luckily for my parents though, because they knew grandma had a disease & that's why she was repetitious & abusive towards them/us, they could let it go, because they knew it wasn't her (& they'd already "said goodbye" when she stopped 'being grandma') - because mum isn't diagnosed with any sort of 'mental disease' we can't 'let it go' so easily, because we don't know it is because of that. Also, when my parents were dealing with grandma, they we in their 50s - I'm 25 & my husband is 46. - Oh, & at the back of both our minds is the fact that my step son, who now lives in America, has been back to England twice since moving out there 3 years ago, & both times, someone has died Image - His mum's mum, of cancer, the first time, & now his dad's dad of DVT/PE.

We're both christians (me, active), so we do have lots of support from them, but everyone else has lots of other things they're thinking about & some people don't quite "get it" (I'm very lucky though, as one lady from church who I get on with really well, has been going through similar problems with her mum for years, so I'm able to get lots of advice off her - & we can both also unload a bit onto each other).
xx

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:04 am
by poppett
My mum had dementia and I always said with hindsight instead of training as a psychiatric nurse I should have been a nursery nurse to prepare me for looking after mum. As the years have gone on and I have made friends on this forum I realise that nothing prepares us for the senior moments of parents and parents -in -law.

Loved reading about your life, even if it is stressful, hope your GP can be a good listener. We have one who has been brilliant and only one of two doctors EVER in my life as a carer to ask me "how are you coping?"............usually when I am flying between one crisis and another on my broomstick!xx

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:40 am
by Myrtle
Hi and welcome, you sound so much less stressed Image Image

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:49 am
by india77
You seem a little better thank goodness! Image

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:01 pm
by Myrtle
ps sunday morning. There is a new topic called "Memory boxes - of course".

It might give you some ideas of your own. Image Image

Keeping her busy in useful ways like this can lessen the repetition. A bit!
it's here
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20215 Image

Re: Newbie & we don't know what to do

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:38 am
by Missy87
Hi again guys!
New problem - Andy's signed off sick by Dr still with depression & has been prescribed anti depressants - which he's been telling me he's taking & getting on OK with them... but I found the box this evening & he's not taken ANY of them... Do I confront him about this & why he's lying to me etc, or shall I just speak to the Dr about my concerns etc? (Our Dr is really great, and although there's obviously the whole confidentiality thing, she's being a bit flexible with information - given our situation) - The 2 of us have been having a few problems recently, for one reason or another, but to me, him not taking his anti Ds feels like he doesn't give a crap about getting 'better' so he can go back to work etc????


Cheers guys!
Hannah x