My older sister, who is 74 fell in her flat recently, she lives alone and is fiercely independent. She has no close friends or neighbours to call on.
Following her fall she called me, unable to get up and my husband drove us both to her flat about 100 miles away to help. We had to alert neighbours, at 12am, to get into her block of flats as there is an entry phone, and we didn’t have a key.
After ringing 999 two paramedics came and assisted her up. She is in a great deal of pain, has limited mobility due to lymphodema and walks with two sticks. The paramedics checked her over throughly and she was not admitted to hospital.
After a couple of days, with her agreement, she came to live with us. We all adjusted and probably experienced a honeymoon phase. The local GP surgery won’t take her as a temporary resident, because of COVID, and she won’t register as a permanent resident because she wants to remain with her home practice.
After being unable to manage her pain using her prescribed medication, of codiene paracetamol (for arthritis) and nurophen plus, which she has been advised not to take because of kidney problems. I rang the 111 service for advice, and she was prescribed oramorph which managed her pain
She takes half a teaspoon every four hours, which makes her very drowsy and last night began hallucinating. She is very frightened and upset but now won’t take any more.
We have talked about this, and it is her choice. I had hoped she would rest and recover with me. She wants to get better, but is very angry. She is rigid in her thinking, is frightened of being alone.
I am helping her wash, and dress but cannot continue I am physically exhausted. She insists she doesn’t need help. She was taken over our home, sits in our living room watching tv programmes that she enjoys, but sulks if we want to watch programmes we enjoy. We have a bedroom with a tv for her but she won’t use it, says she feels lonely on her own.
We had an argument last night. I had missed seeing my two year old grandaughter who I normally care for once a week, because she didn’t want to be on her own, and I don’t see how this will change.
My sister has alway been determined, and probably needed to be. I am resentful, I cannot become exhausted by her needs. I have cared for our Father and Mother, and younger brother, while she remained distant, saying she couldn’t manage, didn’t have my patience…only coming to my brothers funeral for a short time and going home by train the same day.
I found this forum, and it is helpful to know I am not alone, I retired from work in March at the beginning of COVID, I know I miss my colleagues, who would have laughed with me, and I could have worked through this. I know that things must change, but at the moment I am not able to see a way through.