I am wondering if anyone can help with some advice/guidance or even just a steer in the right direction.
My mum passed away a couple of years ago, leaving my dad. He has always had long term chronic health issues but has remained living in the house he shared with mum. My two sisters who are in their 60s live local to him and and I live 3 hours away down in England. Dad lives in the South Lanarkshire area of Scotland. They have always promised him he will not go in a home.
So, Dad. Multiple heart attacks, diabetes, emphysema, on permanent oxygen, can’t walk so can only move around the house on his electric scooter, very frail, oral morphine, nebuliser, catheter, all sorts. Very poor quality of life now.
After mum died, dad’s health just got worse and the level of care being provided by my two sisters has just increased consistently over the last couple of years. To the point now where they cannot cope, are about to have a break down, and just seem to be banging their heads against a brick wall. They have linked in with the doctors and local district nurses who just keep saying there is nothing. They have a friend who is a former nurse who goes in 4 mornings a week to get dad out of bed, shower him and set him up for the day. and recently, they have got local authority carers to start going in on the other mornings to get him up, but also as a tuck in service at night. Dad goes to bed far too early, half five, so up and down all night. The nighttime catheter has been his biggest recent issue, he just can’t accept it.
So recently, neighbors have phoned my sister at 3am to say my dad is up and about on his scooter and outside the house. When they go over, he is very wandered and rambling. they constantly dip his urine watching for urine infections and yes his blood sugar was very high recently but they have got this back down again. Marie Curie have agreed for a sitter two nights of the week, but they can’t cope.
Local nurse came out the following morning checked his stats which were ok, and basically said he was fine.
Pure and simple, they can’t cope and I would say dad needs to go in for assessment and respite, but they won’t take him in.
Can anyone offer any advice please.
Thank you in advance
How old is dad? If your sisters are in their sixties, he must be well into his eighties, if not more?
The sad fact is that he is approaching the end of his life. He will never get better, but will get even worse until he dies.
NO ONE CAN BE FORCED TO CARE.
Your sisters need the right to retire themselves.
There are two options. Either
- He gets more help into the home, so all his needs are met without relying on your sisters, or
- He moves into residential care.
Does he get Attendance Allowance?
Own or rent his house?
Has the GP arranged an NHS Continuing Healthcare Assessment?
Suggest to both your sisters they also join the forum, so that they can see that many others have faced the same problem.
Hi there, my dad is actually only 77, and my two sisters are step-sisters, hence the narrow age gap (my mum married a toy boy! what can I say). But despite his own age I do fully realize these are his twlight years.
And yes, my sisters absolutely do deserve the right to retire themselves.
Dad owns his home. We’re trying to hold off for as long as we can him going into a care home.
I will check with them if they have had that assessment done, but thanks for the guidance, really appreciated.
If he owns his home, then if he goes into residential care he may have to sell it to fund the full cost of his care, unless we believe Boris is going to work miracles overnight of course!!
Does he have over £23,000 in savings?
Do you have Power of Attorney? If not, this should be top priority for you.
Would any more aids and adaptions help his care, things like a hospital bed which goes up and down and bends, to help him sit up, for example. If not, ask Social Services or the GP to arrange for an Occupational Therapy Assessment, and the aids should be provided free, without a financial assessment.
Does he have a dishwasher, and a tumble dryer or washer/dryer to help with laundry? Would a regular cleaner help so that your sisters didn’t have to do it? Perhaps sit down with them and work out what is most difficult/they hate most about what they do.
What could be avoided altogether , things like ironing.
What someone else could do - gardener, cleaner.
What they feel they really must do themselves.
It’s a huge mistake, making that ‘no Home’ promise. Always made with the best of intentions and a loving heart but the ball and chain it becomes down the road of increasing Care needs, is crippling.
Did you make that promise too, or just your sisters?
If you didn’t or can bear to go back on it how would Dad respond to some ‘blackmail’. Could you say to him that you are worried about your sisters, that they are getting older and you are afraid the responsibility of his care is making them ill? (No lies there). Would he consider residential care to ‘spare them’? Any mileage in Mum would have wanted you to?
How about asking him to help you convince the sisters that he should be looked after in a Home?
I am aware that Care in Scotland differs in some respects to England but don’t know exactly in what ways.
How would you feel about moving Dad to a Care Home near you? Time to start checking out the Homes wherever and researching all the financial and logistical complications in both areas.
You might have to be a bit ‘I know best’ with your sisters who will feel terrible about breaking that promise. (Shackled to it). However Dad in residential Care will be a great relief all round. A three hour trip is no joke when the inevitable crisis happens but if you knew Dad was being cared for and looked after 24/7 you wouldn’t have to kill yourself getting there. Another point to put to all?
You know what Dad needs, what your sisters need. Need trumps want.
Replace the “No Home” promise with “For as long as possible” and keep using that term with dad.
Thank you so much for all your replies folks, and totally appreciate your points, especially the bit about promising never to put in a home. My sisters and I are on the same hymn sheet and it was simply that we made both mum and dad the vow that we would try and keep both of them at home for as long as practicable.
Things have developed rapidly over the last couple of days with the doctor getting an ambulance to get dad into hospital yesterday. Not passing urine, sugars sky high, delirious. He’s on an emergency elderly care ward and they are apparently reviewing his situation thoroughly.
Thank you again for taking the time with some advice.
One more link which will be of immediate assistance :
Being discharged from hospital - NHS
The BIBLE on hospital discharges.
No better time to consider … even apply for … CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare.
Definitely the time to consider if it is PRACTICAL for dad to go back home now. Residential care is never what anyone WANTS but may be what he now NEEDS, a team of staff with a nurse always on duty.
Have you noticed that in the short time since you posted your original message, 8 people have replied but your post has been viewed 148 times?! This just shows how one post reaches many people.