Hi, I’ve been trying to help my parents as best I can for the last 1.5 years. My mum has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has really poor mobility. My dad has memory problems which are being labelled as mild cognitive impairment for now as the memory team doctor would like to treat him for depression first (but says we are looking at dementia). They both have various other health problems. They have help in the form of Meals on Wheels, cleaners, physio, OT (in the past) and me (I have a brother but he works 6 days a week).
We had a welfare assessment today and I was hoping that we could organise a care assessment (and ultimately, carers) off the back of that. They had previously agreed to carers. During today’s assessment, the assessor said she felt they were managing as they are and my parents said they are managing. However, after the call my parents told me that the only way they manage to get mum out of the bath is by dad pulling her up by the wrists (which hurts). She sometimes falls back down, which also hurts, and she currently has bruises on her back where she caught the taps on one of the occasions. This is one of the things that I’m most concerned about, as well as them being able to safely operate the grill and oven and dad’s current mental health (and the repercussions of that).
I am torn between respecting my parents’ need for privacy (and their need to keep things from anyone who isn’t close family) and flagging up the bath problem to the assessor. Also, I really do feel that they need carers and I don’t feel that i can give any more than i already am. Helping them has been full on, especially in the last 8 months, and I feel I need to take better care of myself than I have been (I have a nearly 12 year old with autism too).
There is an ongoing referral in place for OT to look at the bathing situation. I’ve chased this up but it will be another 3 months before an OT can assess. When I phoned today the call handler said that my parents should not be having baths in the circumstances (only standup washes). They are incredibly unlikely to go along with this, as they have been with so many other things.
Any advice would be gratefully received. Sorry for the essay!
My mum had an Archimedes bath seat. Although very disabled, she could have her daily bath without issue. No alterations needed either.
It is the very fact that your parents have impairments that means they don’t always say what they can do now, as opposed to what they used to do.
Regardless of whether or not they have an assessment you are still entitled to an assessment.
Do you have idea what the O/T is going to recommend as you don’t want to purchase if it will be provided through the local Authority. If’s it going to be months waiting and keep parents safe it maybe the best short term solution.
I do agree one or both parents are going to end up injured. If they don’t change their current way of bathing.
Not recommending the above company just a google search to give you some idea.
Thanks bowlingbun. I will have a look at that bath seat. Do you know if they are difficult to fit, ie would I need to ask a handy person to fit it?
Re the assessment, do you mean I could have my own care assessment?
Thanks for mentioning power of attorney, attendance allowance and council tax. We have signed for PoA (for finances) very recently, as it took over a year for my parents to see the need for it. We did this through a solicitor because I had doubts about whether we were too late in regards to capacity. It’s going through the registration process now (about 20 weeks at the moment!). I helped them with the attendance allowance forms and sent them off recently. I haven’t done anything about the Council tax yet but will do when I haven’t got quite so much going on.
Thanks for your reply and for the links sunnydisposition. I will have a look at them.
Unfortunately I don’t know what the OT will recommend. When I rang them yesterday the first thing they talked about was a walk in shower, but there will be about a 3 month wait for an OT assessment and then waiting time for contractors. My mum’s mobility has deteriorated significantly over the last few months so i don’t think we could wait that long. Plus my parents have said they would like to stick with a bath.
I would prefer for an OT to assess before buying or renting a bath aid but unless my parents would be happy for me to seek the help of a private OT, I think we might just have to take a chance on one. The other solution i suppose is a bath panel with a door but i suspect a bath lift would work better for my parents.
Google the seat. No fitting required, just sits inside the bath, and the handset takes it up or down. I never saw mum using it, I have my own place, carers helped her. Even when she could only just walk, leaning heavily on a Zimmer frame, she could still bathe safely.
Glad to hear you have that POA
Also do POA for health and welfare if it is still possible to do regarding their capacities because otherwise you have no say at all, being next of kin has no sway, the authorities will have all the say and if they decide your parents should be in residential care you cannot stop it, have no say in where they are eg local or far away and when they are in the home you have no say whatsoever.
Health and Welfare POA is just as important and allows you to act in their best interests.
A friend didn’t have this for a parent and had no say in anything.
In a way I wish I had considered PoA for health before, at the same time as for finances. The doctor in memory clinic said there wasn’t a great deal of point going for the health one as doctors would involve us in the decision making process anyway. If I hadn’t been so busy dealing with more immediate things to do and juggling, I might have thought to do a bit of digging around re PoA for health.
We might be too late re capacity now. Whilst my mum understands what we are saying, she forgets what we’ve said pretty much instantly. Also getting the one for finances via a solicitor was rather expensive and other family members might take some convincing as to spending more on the health one too. However its worth considering and I’ll look into it when things aren’t quite so manic, so thanks for bringing it up.