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Slightly Disheartened - Page 3 -Carers UK Forum

Slightly Disheartened

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
You are right about sacrificing your own health, I wrenched my back picking my father up over six months ago and its only now starting to go right. Something I didn't feel comfortable going to the doctor with in case it had a knock on effect regarding my fathers care.

On the plus side it has led to me moving him in a different, less stressful way. I now try to make sure that where I am moving him from is higher than where I am moving him to; this means that I can slide him over rather than lift. There are still two stress points though, the first being when I get him out of the armchair and the second the car. The armchair I can solve by buying one of those rising armchairs, possible now given the price reduction. However transferring him to and from the front car seat will always be a stress point, thank goodness for my weight lifting belt.

Regarding continuing care, I might consider it if it came in the form of direct payments. I've always thought it possible to get a better service going direct than through a middle man.

Dave do check with your local Carers Centre or St John's Ambulance both sometimes offer mini-courses on the correct way to lift/move someone without hurting yourself.

I had to eventually change my car to one where the seats were higher so that Mum could get in and out more easily. (I bought a Nissan Note as it was also easier for me to lift her wheelchair in and out of than the car I had previously.) I was also given the tip of having a plastic bag on the passenger seat as it made it easier for the passenger to 'slide' in and out of the car - BUT remember to remove it before you drive off !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to the forum Dave. It sounds liek you are having to a lot physically for your dad - has he had a recent Occupational Therapy Assessment. they would be able to advise re easier ways of lifting/moving him with less physical stress to you. They may also be able to recommend adaptations to the property to make it more suitable for him, and easier for you. If you contact your local social services department they should be able to refer you on to Occupational Therapy x
The plastic bag is a good tip, basically a DIY sliding mat, I'll use that one. :D

Albert has had Occupational Therapists involved before, most notably on his last major hospital stay when one or his first UTI's turned into sepsis. Something he bounced back from very quickly once given antibiotics (btw I'm much hotter on the symptoms of a UTI now). Unfortunately, despite him being declared medically fit after 5 days the OT refused to allow him home until 'everything was in place'. Over the weeks to come this resulted in my father withdrawing into himself, culminating with him saying 'its not fair' before curling up into a ball.

Sadly the medically fit ward they moved him onto didn't encourage him to stand or move around. So when he was released 3 weeks later, he had pressure sores on both his heals which went practically down to the bone. These only went right after 18 months of District nurse visits, by which time he couldn't even weight bare for me.

I still have a hoist at home although neither I or the home where he goes for respite use one; because unfortunately they frighten him. I still keep it though as you never know when he'll have to go into hospital, and if I have 'everything in place' they'll not be able to delay his release again.

TBH after that experience I'd really rather avoid contact with Occupational Therapists if at all possible.

Despite my caree being my husband and still best friend I need female friends and they have mostly just drifted away. Next to hubby my best friend is my TV. I need female friends and I have just one that I can really count on.

At the moment because both sons still live at home (one is at university and has a lot of time at home and the other works in software developing and works from home 2 days a week) I can still work and financially need to as well. That gets me out of the house and talking to people but I work with mostly men and younger people and I'm aware that if I left I'd never see any of them again. I couldn't really call any of them friends.

It sounds selfish to say this but it does help knowing that I'm not alone in feeling lonely. :(
You don't realise how much you need friends until they're gone, right now all of mine are virtual. Its rather pathetic I know but its better than nothing.

Anyway I had to share this and I was unsure where to put it so I've tacked it on here. In short, my father had a wonderful day today, probably the best he's had this year. I took him for a harness to be fitted to his wheelchair but after a little discussion the lady concerned wheeled out a new chair. My father was positively beaming, alert and kept flashing her a great big toothless smile. When it came time to transfer him into the new chair he even tried to stand, weight baring for me, which he hasn't done in a long while. We were in there for an hour and a half but it was worth every second as he now has arm pads to rest his arms on and a comfortable chest harness to help him sit up. This worked wonders when I took him and my sister for a carvery afterwards, no more leaning off the side of the chair and constantly being propped up. He was so much more comfortable and it made feeding him far easier. Isn't it amazing how one good day can lift you so much?

Really pleased for you Dave!
That's great, Dave :D . If you want to just chat about your day and see what some of us are up to, come over to Roll Call in the Members Section and join in. A bit scary at first but we don't bite.

By the way, I read on your other post about the District Nurse's perception. I had the same issue with my mum who had vascular dementia and alzheimers. I put up lots of photos of her as a young girl, and through her life, and showed these to the Careworkers, to try to make her seem to them less like a "case" and more like a real person who once had hopes and dreams. I think it is important to treat everyone as an individual. Maybe this would help you?
Thank you, I'll think I'll do just that.

A few years back Albert was admitted to hospital because a UTI turned into Sepsis, the doctor took one look at him and started talking 'end of life'. We had to insist that Albert was normally happy and engaged with his environment, and reluctantly the doctor gave him fluids and some antibiotics.

The next day Albert was alert and smiling at the nurses at their station.

Since then I've taken videos of Albert enjoying himself at a carvery, so that if he had to see a strange doctor I could prove to them that he was still getting enjoyment from life.

I have one from just before his pressure sore, in it his eyes are following the conversation and especially the spoon my sister is feeding him with. Occasionally teasing her by opening his mouth for the spoon and then closing it when she tries to put it in, laughing at her reaction. He none the less wolfs down a large carvery and desert. This is my father, even though he's unable to hold a conversation, he can still take delight in the happiness of other people. It is not the man on bed rest, which presents a false image and which I worry he may be starting to accept as his new life.

I plan to show the district nurse these and ask her if I can take Albert for one carvery a week, so that I can stimulate his mind, prevent hopelessness and most importantly demonstrate that Albert still gets enjoyment from life.