help and advice on elderly relative

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well after a lucky trip to my FIL home there was a message on his answerphone from Kings hospital, telling him he has an outpatients appointment tomorrow morning! Went to hospital he is in and they knew nothing about it, and said they had been chasing an appointment at the weekend with no luck, they have now booked an ambulance to take him and my husband to the appointment. So we shall see what they have to say, he has got worse while waiting and is now finding using his hands difficult, our daughter told us he will not qualify for continuing care as you need to have a medical need for intervention to get it. So you need to stop breathing or stuff like that. He has another infection as his infection markers are up again.
Read up on Continuing Healthcare Framework - especially the checklist, for yourself. Its a postcode lottery, depends where you live.
FIL saw consultant today, they said they cannot operate, the damage is done and what with his other health issues they cannot operate. :-(
He has
Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, his kidneys have low sodium, 28 and apparently at 20 your in dire trouble.
Spinal Stenosis, Spinal cord compression.
He is deaf, has also has been recently treated for maglignant melonoma on his back which was huge.
He cannot stand at all.
He is doubly incontinent.
Yet our daughter told us he will not qualify for CHC, although the hospital has now mentioned it.
Our daughter who has recently emigrated, told us he would have to have a condition that needed medical intervention to qualify.
His spine is in a mess from top to bottom, they gave my husband a copy of it.
Oh well here we go, got a fight on our hands.
Carol, look at the NHS Continuing Healthcare Framework, and the checklist. Your daughter is not quite right, it is all to do with frequency, predictability of needs, and the interaction between all the different health conditions. If the hospital mentioned it, then ask them to deal with the application for you.
Although it must be disappointing to him that they cannot operate, in a way it does make life 'simpler' in that you can now concentrate on what is effectively palliative care - ie, making him as comfortable as can be, given the multiplicity of his health problems. Sometimes, what they can do palliatively is 'more' than can be done 'therapeutically' ie with a view to improving the underlying conditions rather than mitigating the severity of their impact on his daily life.

I would say that another way of looking at it is that IF they had gone ahead with the op, the risks would have been severe - both of doing further damage (operating on the spine is ALWAYS risky in that respect), or, of course, him simply not surviving the operation (eg, dying under the anaesthetic).

Now it's a question of adapting as much as possible to his limitations, and making what really, can only be the relatively 'short' remainder of his life as comfortable and 'vital' as possible.

I can tell you, hand on heart, that in comparison with my MIL, who now has advanced dementia, there is an 'upside' (relatively speaking) to having physical ill health - it is when the mind goes that the person goes. My MIL, at 93, is pretty 'outwardly healthy' for her age, but the person she once was has completely gone. If I sent you the photo my son and I took of her when we visited at Christmas you would be appalled - vacant eyes, slack jaw, and simply 'not there' any more. Ghastly.

I hope your FIL can now be referred to a geriatric consultant who has experience of the wide range of problems he has, to come up with an 'optimum regime' to make his life as comfortable as can be now.
Hi Bowlingbun
thank you for your reply, we shall ask them to do it for him. Its all so worrying.
If you read the CHC checklist assessment form, you'll see it addresses a variety of aspects of care. Do your own "score" before attending a meeting - which should be called when all those involved, physio, OT, etc. have done their own reports. You should be given copies and invited to the assessment meeting. Don't let them do it without you being there!
i am printing it off, as its too difficult to read on my computer.
thank you so much
I printed it all off too, and went over it with a highlighter pen. It turned out that the hospital complaints department didn't have a paper copy, then were stunned when I told them which page and paragraph contained the relevant information!!
Thank you for your help, we have also written a letter requesting that they treat him for his depression, and that we want them to do a CHC assessment on him and we want notification of it so we can be present. I read some horror stories of them doing them when relatives were not there and they got them to sign it as well.