Good morning. I am new to the community Care dilemma

Good morning everyone,

I have been caring for my 95 year year old Mum in North Somerset since retiring from teaching in 2015.
It was only in February this year that I brought in some some support for us through the excellent Home Instead team from Weston-super-Mare. We are now in receipt of daily morning and evening visits from a tightly knit team of excellent care ladies.

I assist the carers when transitioning Mum from bed to commode to riser/recliner both morning and evening and it is this personal active role in the care that causes my current dilemma.

Thankfully, I have risen up the waiting list for a much needed cataract operation and the clinic are ready to operate as soon as I signal preparedness in terms of Mum’s care. I had been in receipt of encouraging noses from Mum’s care provider that “double up” visits might be possible for the 10 day / 2 week period during which I would be embargoed from lifting. When I asked the question of the care provider I was informed that it would not be possible.

Having worked so hard to keep Mum at home I am reluctant to resort to residential respite care, particularly given the assistance Mum needs to eat/drink. Even in the most professional and caring of environments I could conceive that Mum would not be given the degree of help she is accustomed to.

I wonder if anyone had advice as to how to source/contact potential care support for a short period to assist the existing providers when I am unable to do so. I am not well versed in social media as a medium for “reaching out” for the type of assistance for which we would happily pay the “going rate” plus mileage to our property.

Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks for reading.

Hi Murray,

welcome to the forum.

Does your Mum have a needs assessment and are social care aware of her needs? If so, I think you should be contacting them and explaining that you will be unable to give care over that period and see what they suggest.

You could also contact your local Carers Centre. Many have an organisation that offer emergency cover for short periods and although you need carers to help for two weeks, they might be able to come up with some suggestions.

Local church notice boards etc might be a good place to advertise.

Worse case scenario - respite care and the lovely ladies who know your Mum could visit her at meal times to assist?

Hoping others have more suggestions for you.

You could also raise the issue with your GP.


Hi Melly

Thank you for taking the trouble to read and respond with such helpful suggestions.

My GP has already been informed and has expedited a referral to OT in case they can make an additional hardware related suggestion to assist the carers. I have a phone number from our council website as far as a short term intervention is concerned as well as a need assessment and will follow up on Monday.

I’ll also act on your advice but putting something on the church notice board and looking in the parish magazine to look at possible avenues of contact.

As for respite that is a also a cracking suggestion so thanks.

Best wishes


Sadly, there comes a time when very elderly people become so frail that residential care becomes the only option.

That doesn’t mean abandoning mum, but mum having access to a TEAM of carers who are always available to help mum day and night. My mum was in this situation, she lived alone, but after another prolonged period in hospital the senior nurse on the ward told me that even with live in care, she was so frail that it wouldn’t work.

Mum finally moved to a residential care home a mile away, I could pop in on the way to the shops, and get anything she needed, I would buy fresh flowers, and we would enjoy chatting about them as I arranged them, as we had done before I was married. It was a huge weight off my shoulders.

If mum already needs so much care, and you are now going to have surgery, when looking at respite care, consider whether or not it could or should be a permanent placement.

Inevitably, finances need to be considered. If mum has under £23,000, the council will contribute towards the fees, but she must have a Needs Assessment to arrange this. When looking at care homes, bear this in mind. Ask if they take Social Services funded patients? Don’t arrange somewhere too expensive for a permanent move.

Also be aware of the fact that the home needs to be a NURSING home, ie with a nurse on duty at all times, that should be able to care for mum until she dies, not a care home without nursing staff which would expect mum to move out when she is very frail. That’s not fair to her, you, or the home.

So think about respite in a home, with a view to becoming permanent at some time in the future.

It will allow you to recuperate fully and have a much needed break.

Be sure to explain to your surgeon your caring responsibilities.
He may say, as mine did, you must never care for anyone ever again.

Dear Murray_2210
Hi i am Kristie an online community host for Carers UK. I am sure you will get the help that you need from fellow carers but Carers UK have a helpline which i will give to you below where you could ring up and the advisers could maybe help you in your difficult situation. I am sure you will get the help you need.
So welcome to the Forum! You are not alone in your caring role and i am sure that many on here will understand exactly how you feel and will offer you the support that you need. Caring can be very lonely and the pandemic has made caring responsibilities challenging as many carers have been socially restricted and unable to attend social groups etc.
Carers UK are running two online weekly meet ups for carers and you can find the information on how to register at Care For A Cuppa:-Online meetups | Carers UK. The second online weekly meet up is called Share and Learn:- Share and Learn | Carers UK.
Carers UK telephone number is:- 0808 808 7777 and the line is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am-6pm and the email address is (
They provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers:-

  • Benefits And Financial Support
    -Your Rights As A Carer In The Workplace
    -Carers Assessments And How To Get Support In Your Caring Role
    -Services Available To Carers And The People You Care For
    -How To Complain Effectively And Challenge Decisions.
    Best Wishes

If it helps, you have now cared for mum for 8 years. It’s not only mum that is getting older, it’s you too.

For me, one of the most frustrating aspects of getting older is that I can’t do what I used to. My eldest son has just had a load of logs delivered, and he’s been splitting them and putting them away in the ultra large woodshed, to dry for several years before using. I wished I could help, he knows I would if I could, but I can’t due to arthritis everywhere.

You can’t help getting older!