Can't Manage Anymore, Chances of Care Home?

Sorry, this is probably going to be a bit disjointed and rambling.

It’s generally been a crap six months, but the last two weeks are really pushing me. Having to handle my mum’s physical and emotional needs along with my siblings’ meltdowns are using up all my energy. I’m tired all the time and sick with worrying about managing everything.

Mum (81) lives with me and my husband. Two weeks ago she fell down our stairs at home while we were out and cut her head (since has had a LOT of bruises come up as well). It wasn’t a bad cut but because she takes warfarin the paramedics insisted she go in for a scan, which apparently showed nothing to be concerned about. They then turfed her out at 2:30am, no follow ups, nothing at all.

She’s been in bed more or less since. She gets up to use the toilet, but then straight back to bed. She’s been forgetting words for a while but it seems worse now. She has a sore bottom from sitting on it all day, and cries about that. She frequently feels sick and giddy, and cries about that. She has a HUGE bump on her head, which stings, and she cries about it. 111 say because she doesn’t have symptoms of head trauma (vomiting, headache, slurred speech, etc) that it’s pretty much nothing to worry about and she’ll get better over time. Except it’s causing her misery and I can’t make it better.

Then, yesterday morning when I go into see her, she’s bawling her eyes out because my selfish half brother called her at 3am(!!) to say that he and the other selfish half brother had been in a fight and smashed up their living room (they live together to supposedly take care of their father).

I’m so done. I can’t cope with mum’s needs anymore, let alone sorting out my adult siblings’ issues (they’re 53 and 60 for crying out loud). Mum seems to think that because I can cope with things more easily, that I should look up resources to help them too.

Mum has zero assets, no home, and about £400 in the bank. We would not be able to find the money to fund mum’s placement in a care home. I don’t want someone coming in a couple of times a day to make her a cup of tea, if it only took that I could manage it. I’m scared to leave her alone.

If I called SS and told them I was not going to do this anymore, could they still force me to care for her? Would they make me take the offer of a couple of home visits a day?

I hate sounding so heartless, I do love my mum, but the stress is killing me.


Hallo Nykti
You sound very stressed and I can see why! I have been caring for my mum for 11 yrs but I am only bumbling along I would not say Im knowledgeable at all but I do know you can not be forced to care, if your Mother has care needs the LA is obliged to provide them. As she has no home they can not force you to allow her to stay with you therefore they will either have to find her accommodation where she can have a care package put in place or they will have to find her a care home. You will probably find they will do a needs assessment on her and declare she should have a care package in your home as this is often the cheaper option, however if this is not what you want make it very clear to them she can not stay in your home. In my experience having carers come in is stressful in its self, never knowing when they are coming, rushing, leaving you to clear up etc and you will be left wondering how this is in anyway supposed to help!
Someone with more knowledge than me will come along and give you better advice but don`t think you have to accept caring for you mum in your own home because you dont, you need to look after yourself otherwise you will be ill!

I am no expert but I agree with T. Why dont you give the Carers Helpline a call? Or see if you have a local Support for Carers. They may well be able to provide emotional support with regard to how to deal with Social Services. You do sound at risk of ‘burn out’ and no one can force you to care. I also agree with regard to how stressful it is to have Carers and medical staff coming into your home as you will not always know when they are coming. You may well be pressured to have a KeySafe but it is YOUR home so you do not have to agree.

I am concerned with regard to your mother as my husband had an acute on chronic brain heamatoma back in 2013. A chronic heamatoma can take weeks even months to show and could cause behavioural changes. I would phone her GP and at least get on file that you sought advice.

Your mum has absolutely NO RIGHT to live in your home. I suggest your ring Social Services, say you are at the end of your tether, and she needs EMERGENCY RESPITE, then assessment and a new placement. As mum has no money this will be fully funded by Social Services. Like Helena, I’m really concerned about the head issues, has mum seen a GP or nurse?

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Please call up the council tomorrow morning in order to request a needs assessment. A social worker will come out to conduct the evaluation with you. This is your best and only opportunity to discuss everything with no holds barred. Make some brief summary notes during the meeting. Be totally honest. Make the call.
Ask your family doctor to refer you to a occupational therapist and so on. Insist on another follow up scan. Best of luck. A occupational therapist will hopefully be able to give you more tailored advice on fall prevention and a neurologist may offer some more answers.

Assessments, OT visits etc. can be done in emergency respite care or n hospital.
Talk to the GP tomorrow about how you are feeling, that your caring days are over. You have done enough. I would also make a formal complaint to the hospital about turning mum out at 2.30am. That’s disgraceful, and I’m sure against the rules. Someone else here may know them better than me?

Thank you everyone for your comments, just knowing that I won’t be made to carry on with this indefinitely is a load off my mind.

Helena and Bowlingbun, no mum hasn’t seen anyone at all since leaving hospital. I did call 111 again when the wound on her head was stinging badly and upsetting her. They wanted to dispatch an ambulance, but mum violently refused it, saying she wouldn’t risk being travel sick again and it felt better within an hour anyway. She’s been crying with the same stinging pain again today, so I’m going to call the local health centre on Monday and see if someone can come out to look at it.

I’ve had the “If I can’t carry on” conversation with mum, and while she’s in good spirits she’s willing to go to a home. Though when she’s upset she becomes weepy and clingy. I keep mentally going between “I can manage this” to “I’ve had enough” depending on the situation.

Thanks again all.

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Any update or not original poster.

Mum’s still with us for now.

I took her to the local MUI last Monday where the nurse was concerned about mum’s general sleepiness, and so she sent us to A&E. A doctor drained some of the blood from the bump on her head, said it wasn’t infected and should clear up over time. She was pretty well during the journey, and has been better all week, though called me at 5am this morning because she was feeling sick and scared.

She still hasn’t been out of bed except to use the loo, and sleeps a lot of the time. Said she might get up this week, but after this morning I’m thinking it probably won’t be today.

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Heya. Hugs. Please do update us. Tell us all about this week original poster. My advice when it comes to finding a decent care home to be fully alert here. Make some brief summary notes on the care homes that are located in the area in question. This is in order to make a informed decision. Be honest and tread carefully. Never rush into a decision. Visit all the care homes. Interview families. Speak to several people.
Best wishes. If you can do feel free to visit the actual care home as well. Take a good look at the care home website to see what they do and have been up to. Speak to the current owner or manager of the care home and also talk to staff and residents. Read beyond the reviews and reports to discover everything about the care home. Ask to see a copy of the home records, policies and any other relevant information. Have a written checklist if it helps. And it will. Use your brief summary notes as a additional source of fodder. Glance at all areas of the care home.

Update on mum.

She was doing much better, feeling much more like her usual self, and got to see her grandson on Sunday.

However yesterday afternoon I noticed a strong ‘funky’ odour in her room and discovered it was coming from the wound on her head. Six hours in A&E and they admitted her back into hospital. I got home at around 1:30am.

Basically where the scab had formed on her head the dead skin had become infected. It’s probably going to have to be surgically removed, though when I called this morning she hadn’t seen the surgeon yet and now the department isn’t answering the phone so not sure when that’s happening.

HUGS are in order this morning for you. If only they’d taken notice of your concerns about her head to start with.

Thanks Bowlingbun, apologies for the late reply again, been back and forth to the local health centre with mum rather a lot this past week.

I do think there were a couple of screw ups. Discharging mum at 2:30am and being perfectly willing for her to find her own way home if they couldn’t get hold of me being the first. The other being zero follow up after the A&E doctor drained mum’s hematoma. He didn’t clean it up, put a dressing on or offer her antibiotics (which I believe is normal after the procedure).

Anyway, mum came home on Friday the 24th and we’ve been having her dressing changed every other day. The hospital promised her a visit from the district nurse, but then said if she can get in a car she can go to the health centre instead. She can’t manage with a taxi, so that means I have to take her. I don’t mind taking her, it’s just the assumption that I’ll do it that annoys me.

If the hospital said she can have a District Nurse, did they actually arrange this?

I had many battles with hospitals and doctors over what I was expected to do, but couldn’t.
They always assumed I was fit and able -
I was under instruction never to care for anyone ever again.
I had a son with learning difficulties.
I was trying to run a business to earn a living.
I too was disabled after a car crash!!

You have to stick up for yourself, the more you do the more you are expected to do.

When my husband was alive, and I’d just had major cancer surgery, he was so fed up with all the expectations that I would care for mum that he booked a 5 week holiday for us in Australia - where we used to live, saying “They won’t get hold of you there!”.

The first doctor she saw in the AAU said they could arrange a home visit from the district nurse, but once mum was on the ward she was told by another doctor that unless she’s actually housebound she’d have to go to the health centre and could I take her which, without thinking, I agreed to.

Yes, I appreciate that health and social services are underfunded and overworked, but I have noticed how they want family to step up and do as much as possible. I had a phone call from someone wanting to arrange an assessment on the house so they could make suggestions of how we could make it better for mum. I declined as we rent privately and can’t start knocking the place about.

Hi, I get sick of this too.
I see lots of campaigns about supporting carers that focus on benefits and support for specific issues, but it all pales into insignificance because of the deep seated assumptions and lack of respect for family carers in particular.
We care for a nearly 96 year old MIL who demands appointments for any ailment and we are the ones running around and then it is assumed we will administer any treatments at whatever time of day sometimes up to four times a day.
Much of this is put in place without consultation ( patient confidentiality!!) and is clearly expected.
As per usual, I have done everyone else’s washing, prepared home cooked meals for the week and ordered medicines ready to be prepared for the week.
Guess whose medication I forgot to collect?!?!
My own of course, but I seem to be at the bottom of everyone’s list…
That sounds self pitying- but I’ve got an awful migraine and that’s how I feel today.
Thank you for listening….

My surgery sends electronic emails to the chemist, who can then make up the prescription and deliver it. I can even order repeat prescriptions online now.
Does your surgery have a system like this? It would save a lot of stress.

Nykti, I’d accept - lots of people live in privately rented houses and the OT can offer some solutions that don’t make permanent changes to the house e.g. equipment that can be delivered - even little things that can make a difference. If they suggest anything like an extra rail on the stairs etc then you could ask the landlord how they feel about it. The worst they’d say is no.

Jane - sending you some cyber support.

BB - I wish our surgery did this. Between our surgery and the pharmacy - its like dealing with Fawlty Towers.

Thank you Melly1.
Similar here in terms of the chemist- nothing is ever ready and the wait is a nightmare.
I can order repeat prescriptions on line and the doctor surgery forwards them to the chemist, that’s it apart from a postal delivery service.
I think the point I’m trying to make is that nothing is ever made easy, people expect so much and nothing is ever enough……