Caring for Husband


By way of introduction, I care for my husband. He has various health issues - ulcerative colitis, a seriously bad back (fractures in his spine after a fall years ago), double hip replacement. Too much drinking. His mobility is ok but not great. A week ago he fell and broke his heel and ankle in his left foot, so now my caring duties have skyrocketed. And I work full time, but luckily I can do that from home.

Bedpans. Anyone have to deal with this? He can’t put weight on his foot so he’s having to use pee bottles and bedpans. I’m not a trained nurse and let’s just say things got messy today. There were tears. How do nurses do it?? Anyway, that’s my rant. We’ll get by and hopefully he’ll be mobile in 6-8 weeks. We’ve only just started. It’s hard. Anyone in my shoes?

Hi Butterfly

Not been in your shoes and have no knowledge of bed pans.

Did they not do a rapid care team/home from hospital for 6 weeks of carers for him?
Chase up for it - not that this will align with his bed pan routines.

The fact he can’t manage to transfer to commode or bathroom and you cannot help him and don’t know how to do the commode is in my mind an unsafe discharge.

I hope someone has some answers for you soon.

Ring the hospital tomorrow, ask to speak to the CEO’s office and you will be put through to a PA. Explain that it’s an “Unsafe Discharge” (you must use these specific words) and INSIST that they either take him back into hospital or sort out IMMEDIATE help.

Have a look on YouTube there should be some videos to watch.

He had physio before he left hospital, they told me that he was able to get from the bed to the portable commode (wheelchair) so I was happy that he would be OK. They phoned to see what things we have in place, i.e. we have a stairlift, raised toilet seat, portable commode, and rail for the bed. She asked me to measure the height of the sofa and I did that - she didn’t say it was an issue but I assumed she’d need to see how that measured with the bed. I didn’t see it as a problem.

What I didn’t realise is that he was being helped up by one or two nurses. He’s a big guy and there is no way I can help him on my own. In fact, at the moment he can’t even stand! And this is why we’re using (and failing) with the bedpan. He hasn’t made it to bed and he’s stuck on the sofa. They said they would arrange physio at home. Will get in touch with them ASAP and explain the situation. They should never have released him. Had I known he wasn’t ready I wouldn’t have said it was OK for him to leave.

HI Butterfly,

what a horrid situation for you both, I agree with BB that support should be in place.

Were you supplied with a bedpan by an OT?!

It’s very difficult to o/b into a bedpan and in my experience of being in hospital the staff had everyone on a commode chair and positioned over the toilet as soon as possible (orthopaedic ward.) There isn’t always room in a family home to wheel someone into the bathroom on their commode but a lined commode makes it much easier to clean up the person and commode afterwards.

Your husband should be getting regular care visits, which would enable you to work with less disruptions (even more so if you had a temporary key safe) and an OT should have sorted out the equipment needed. Your husband should also be having physio to get him mobile again and even if he isn’t allowed to weight bear on the broken heel and ankle - to make safe transfers.


I’m shocked that they let him home when there is only you and it took staff there to help him.

Definitely get back onto them and others as suggested in other replies.
Good luck

He should definitely have had some reablement care and not been discharged until he could transfer from bed to chair etc. independently.
Surely it’s blindingly obvious that one woman cannot care for a man much larger than herself who is immobile. I’m taller than average and well built, but my eldest son is a “man mountain” with a 54" chest. No way could I help him if he couldn’t move himself.

This is a online directory of OTs. Have a look in order to find one who can help.

Edited by moderator to link to directory

This link is to private occupational therapists that you pay for and are independent to the NHS.

There will not be any follow up on unsafe discharge and/or possible readmission to hospital or attaining the 6 weeks post hospital care that should have been put in place.
Unsafe discharge will not be registered, reported or investigated going down this route.

Thank you all for your comments. I got urgent community care involved. There is now a hospital bed in our living room and he’ll be there for the next 6-8 weeks until his foot heals. They are giving me ongoing support.

Editing to say that at the prompting by the OTs, I’ve registered a complaint with the hospital. They’ve done it as well. The OTs are absolute heroes, their support has been amazing.


Has the 6 weeks FREE Reablement Care also been arranged?

Let us know how you both get on.

Well, home physio is being arranged, I guess that’s the same thing?

No, quite different.
Carers should have been arranged to help him with whatever he needed to help him get better. Dressing, meals, undressing, bathing etc.