Emergency care?

I am a full time carer for my wife. She cant get in or out of bed/chair etc without me. I have to help with toileting, feeding and pretty much everything else. I am the only carer and have no family to help. We live and own an upstairs flat which was fine 20 years ago but now my wife is in a wheelchair. Despite this, I have managed to care for her very well despite my own disabilities. Then suddenly I had my own medical emergency. After a catheter change, I developed an infection. I rang the doctor and described my condition and asked for a course of antibiotics. He refused saying he did not feel happy with doing that and he asked for a Paramedic ambulance to come to me to do some checks & he said if after this, they were happy then he would give me the antibiotics I asked for. When they came, they did their checks and said you have to go to hospital. Of course I refused because we have nobody else to care for my wife. The Paramedics said we need to take you to hospital right now and you will be going there under blue lights and we will bypass the A&E and take you straight into Resus. They said that if the only way they could get me into hospital was to take my wife as well, that they would do so. After spending several hours in Resus with my wife beside me and having been diagnosed with full Sepsis, they finally got me stable enough to go up onto a ward and they took my wife onto another ward where we spent several days. When they were happy with my condition and they said I could go home, but NOT my wife because they wanted me to have a rest for a day or so when I would be re assessed to see if I was well enough to resume my care role. They sent my wife home in an ambulance with 2 Paramedics and 2 ambulance crew (because it takes 4 people to get my wife upstairs even with our stairlift) then an OT came to watch me doing my caring role until she was satisfied I could cope. While I was in hospital, the consultant recommended we had carers to help me and said they would contact social services. However, once the OT saw I was coping well with caring for my wife and said so in her report, that idea was dropped. So my question is this. I am quite happy to continue caring for my wife by myself. In fact we both prefer it because my wife does not want strangers doing the kind of stuff I have to do for her. What would be helpful was an emergency care plan set up BEFORE I have another medical emergency if it should happen again so that social services know what to do in an emergency. Is there such a thing?
I cant thank the nurses & doctors of the NHS enough for taking care of my wife as a social patient who only needed to be there because I was not available to care for her. She took up a hospital bed for several days and needed nothing medical except the kind of caring I provide at home. Without that help we would have been in one heck of a mess. I think it proves that the NHS staff are worth every penny of what they are asking for and it also clearly shows how much us unpaid home carers are saving the government for the work we do for love. Is there such a thing as a pre planned emergency care plan/package?

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I strongly recommend calling the council tomorrow morning in order to request a care needs evaluation pronto. A good social worker can ease the entire process for you. Make some brief summary notes.
Good luck. At the care needs assessment describe her needs as best as you can possibly do so. The only other alternative option is to train as a carer. Your wife sounds as if she needs a full time live in carer.

We had a care needs evaluation two years ago and they allocated us to a social worker. The social worker called us by phone and said they would set up a care package where we would get paid carers in two times a day for 15 minutes. My wife said she did not want strangers doing the intimate things I have to do for her. I said OK we will give it a go but 2 visits a day for 15 minutes seemed pointless. Since I have to get my wife out of her chair and onto a commode 3 or 4 times each morning, the same every afternoon and the same at night before bed and then at least twice during the night. I have to cook all her meals and mince everything up in a food processor so she can swallow it. I have to give her a blanket bath every day. The social workers idea was help to get her out of bed & back in again and thats just about the easiest of the jobs I have to do. Lift her out of bed, into a wheelchair, push her into the lounge JOB DONE! I said we were happy for me to continue the care myself but asked her to set up an emergency care plan to kick in only if I became incapacitated for reasons of my own health. This has happened twice in a year and the rest of the time I am happy to do the caring myself. At this the social worker lost interest and said if you dont want carers, I cant do anything for you and we have not seen, heard or spoken to her since. All we wanted was emergency care if and when needed not 2 useless visits a day from carers which I have to pay for and would not be able to do anything worthwhile in a 15 minute visit anyway. So I suppose that technically, we do have an allocated social worker but we have not seen or heard from Mrs invisible since. The so called care assesment was a quick phone call. I suppose Covid might have been something to do with it but she never bothered to check up on us since & I cant even remember her name.

Ask for a new one then. Interview her or him carefully and make notes.

Hi Redbridge,

I’m very glad the paramedics and hospital acted responsibly and took you both into hospital and kept your wife in for a bit longer to give you a break. You need to look after you if you are to be able to support and care for your wife.

Regarding emergency care, in my local authority - we have a scheme called CERS - I think it stands for Carers emergency response service - carers can register with the scheme through the Carers Centre. Basically it covers emergency care for a loved one until alternative care can be arranged e.g. family/friends or paid carers or residential care.

That’s exactly the kind of help which would be very useful. Emergency care if needed and peace of mind for me if not. I have never heard of that before and nothing like that was offered. I will contact our council and see if they have anything similar. THANK YOU

Redbridge, there is a link here


to find your local Carers Centre, they often know more about what is available than social services! In our area CERS is funded by social care but provided by a charity. Our local Carers Centre have leaflets and application forms. I hope there is an equivalent service in your area.

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