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One fall and everything changes! - Carers UK Forum

One fall and everything changes!

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So I didn't realise I was a carer until I completed the survey on this forum!! I have a 90 year old FIL who I visit regularly and provide all his meals and help with financial stuff, health appointments and whatever else is needed. This is a bit of a strain but not too bad as he was fully mobile, extremely healthy and almost fully independent and living in sheltered housing ten mins away from us.

However a couple of weeks ago he had a fall in the street and was taken to hospital. I do think the NHS is excellent but He had a bang on the head and a broken shoulder and they tried to discharge him from a & e with a box of paracetamol and the wrong type of sling! Fortunately or unfortunately he passed out while leaving so they admitted him, put on morphine patches and oral morph equivalent to palliative care for 2 weeks until a reablement care package could be sorted.

Now home with carers 3 times a day and I stopped the morphine but they are hardly doing anything for him. He's too embarrassed to accept help with personal care. They are mostly not giving him his meals as he says he is not hungry so I discovered he had barely eaten anything in days but he eats everything if you give him the food. They put out medication in a pot but he leaves it until I come to ask me if he should take it!! His dependence on me has shot up tenfold - not really sure where we go from here.
Make it clear his choice is either accept carers or accept long term residential care. You CANNOT manage tis new level of care at your age of....
Hi Davina, speak to the care agency and explain that cvarers need to observe that medication is taken. There are different levels of medication for carers, some clients just need the pills placed by them, others need to be observed as memory comes and goes etc, so just have a word with them, same with meals if carers have time, try to give meals at start of visit so carers can prompt rather than leaving hime alone to finish it.
It may be worth asking for referral to SALT team in case there is any other reason't forget that morphine can be quite addictive and cause confusion so coming off it can also lead to withdrawal confusion.
Thanks both of you for taking the time to reply. All good points and suggestions that I will follow up.
Sadly, it's totally common for the very elderly and infirm to 'only want US' to look after them! (My MIL refused to let the carer I booked into her flat!). I think it's a mix of familiarity - WE are family, etc - and also an age old dislike in their generation of 'going on the social' ('shameful!) or whatever! It confirms to them they are 'helpless'..whereas if WE help them that' different', etc etc (they can 'pretend' to themselves they don't actually NEED any care)

Two thoughts - can YOU be there when the carers come. Not obviously permenanetly, but to be there with him WITH the carers, so he has you there too, and you 'set up' the carers for him. Then, gradually, you 'back away' so they can come and go without you there.

It's automatic with so many of the elderly to say they 'don't need' anything thank you! They're not hungry, they don't need the toilet, they are fine with dirty clothes, etc etc etc!! SO DAMN IRRITATING. Basicaly, they just want you to 'go away' (as, in the paid carers).

Do remember that the carers won't be able to GIVE your FIL his meds - they are not allowed to do that. They can only 'point them out', and 'place them beside him' etc. They can't actually administer them (only nurses/doctors can do that). Frustrating, but there it is. They will be highly overworked and rushed, and have no time to 'coax' or 'prod' the caree into taking them, or indeed, into eating, either. Your FIL is simply sending them away as quickly as he can get them out....

As BB says, sadly, he has to accept, like it or not, that it's not you or carers, it's carers or nothing! If you keep rushing over because he's hungry or whatever, then he'll be able to go on sending away the carers! You have to be 'firm' alas, and that will be hard.

Longer term, is it time to start looking ahead towards the possibility of residential care? He is not, sadly, going to be getting any stronger or fitter, is he??????????
PS - you say 'FIL' but you don't mention his son - I'm wondering whether therefore if you are in a position like me. I'm widowed, but I 'inherited' my MIL to care for some years ago, as her surviving son lives in the USA.

Grimly, being 'sole carer' is a WHOLE lot harder than being able to share the care, both emotionally and practically, with a spouse or someone else 'on the spot' who is also close family.

It's when it's JUST US that it gets SOOOOO wearing.

I had to put my MIL in a home in the end - she was simply 'taking over my life' (her dementia made it impossible for her to cope with being on her own, at all - her emotional need for me and her practical need meant EVERY DAY of my life was TOTALLY devoted to her. Sadly, she loved it - I used to call it Hotel Jenny, sigh - but it ATE MY LIFE. In the end, it was her life or mine - I chose mine. I didn't want to in the sense of feeling bad about it, and feeling guilty, but she is still alive four years on, and likely to keep going for several more yet if she doesn't sicken of something else - yet she is now doubly inconteinent, non-verbal, and in a wheelchair, she barely recogniseds me. She needs 24x7 care. Dreadful dreadful dreadful. I pray she is 'released' every night, but still she is condemned to her ghastly existence. So cruel.
Thank you so much for taking the time to pen such a detailed reply. Sorry for not replying sooner bit new at this and didn't see more replies or figure how to get back into forum! DUH

Yes you are quite right Jenny - we inherited FIL when my MIL died they married later in life. He had no children of his own, no friends and very little contact with his siblings etc But he was very caring to MIL in her last few difficult years and is the only Grandad my children had and is now Great Granpa so we honour him as a parent. It does make it a bit tougher though as we didn't really know him when my MIL was alive as he was quite odd and hardly spoke. However, I recently realised that he has Aspergers and knowing that makes all the difference.

Our situation has improved enormously and he no longer has or needs carers - they were part of the re-ablement team so only temporary. I solved the medication problem with a pill box that I fill up once a week. Coming of morphine patches brought him back to his old self and a couple more weeks in a sling and we will be back to where we were before the fall though he cant drive for another few weeks. It has been a wake up call though! He has been referred to a 'Bedser Hub' for some sort of wellbeing assessment which looks promising.

Thank you for sharing about your MIL. Please don't give yourself a hard time about this. I researched dementia a lot when MIL was at the end of her life and it seems pretty clear that everyone with Alzheimers will need/be better off with 24/7 residential care at the disease progresses. See 'Contented Dementia' by Oliver James. I agree its a brutal disease and agony to watch someone going through this sort of an end. I do pray it wont be much longer that you have to go through this.