Have just started caring for my father

Hi all,
Two months ago my father had a heart attack and was diagnosed with heart failure. Since then he has had another 2 admissions to hospital due to breathlessness and pneumonia. When he first came home after his heart attack we were not told he was incontinent or how frail he was. He was like a different person. My brother and me struggled to care for him with no equipment or support and he became unwell with pneumonia. We were unprepared and felt useless. He is now much improved but has spent 6 weeks in bed in hospital and wants to come home. We want him home but want him to have rehabilitation and have some mobility before he comes home. We have a hospital bed and I am arranging a care package for him as we both work full time. I will be reducing my hours when he comes home. I feel so scared about him returning as am worried he will be unsafe in terms of having a fall. We love our dad and want to make him comfortable and help him recover but are scared he will be sent home before he is well enough to cope.

Hello Helen and welcome to the forum

Be very careful when your father is discharged. My mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, was released after a very brief hospitalisation in May (only a few hours) and eventually I discovered that a cannula had been left in her arm.

I’d not been allowed to accompany her due to the virus and, because I hadn’t checked her over when she’d returned home and she’d been in bed recuperating, only discovered this 4 days after her discharge. Now I know it’s worth a good check. And I’ve found that some hospital staff, especially doctors, can be uncommunicative.

Best wishes to you all, David

Helen, Why are YOU arranging a care package.
Has anyone told you that the hospital and Social Services should be arranging this, FREE, for the first six weeks???
I smell a huge rat.
The hospital see a daughter, so they can dump dad on you, regardless of your wishes, or ability to care. Even if dad has a four visits a day care plan, that still leaves 20 hours a day with no one available to care for him, apart from you and your brother.

DO NOT reduce your hours!
Tell the hospital that you will not agree to have him home until there has been an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist done.
Search Google for more information.
It is unfair on all concerned for patients to be discharged, admitted, discharged, admitted.
All the hospital want is their bed back!
How old is your father?
Is he confused?

I am arranging it through adult social services and trying to get the hospital to be involved but when you cannot visit due to covid its really hard to speak to someone.

I have been trying to talk to the physios for 10 days now and even complained via PALS.

I know nothing about Continuing health care assessment, who do I ask about this. My dad is not confused but frail about being very poorly and bedridden for several weeks.

I agree, I must find a solution regarding his care. He wants to be at home and I think it can work but he must have a proper period of rehabilitation to see what can be improved

My dad is 80 and he was really independent 2 months ago before his heart attack.

Thanks for the advice

Search “NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Assessment”. Look at the CHC Framework.
It’s a postcode lottery, much easier to get in some areas than others, and apparently the rules may change because of the virus.
Even if dad doesn’t qualify, doing a checklist involves getting reports from the physio, doctor, OT etc. so it gives a very clear view of what care he currently needs.
Then if he goes to rehab, they do another assessment, they can see if there has been any improvement afterwards.

Hello Helen

This sounds like a really difficult situation for you. Have you thought about coming along to one of our care for a cuppa sessions to chat with other carers, we hold a session every Monday afternoon. Many carers have said how helpful they’ve found the sessions, you can share as much or as little information as you want, many carers find just taking an hour out for themselves that afternoon is really helpful and we share lots of tips and experience.

Please do come and join us if you would like to, as I said, there’s no pressure to talk, you can just come along and listen.

Here’s the joining link Helen



Hi Helen,
You should have been appointed an individual contact on the discharge team, who is supposed to work with you and liaise with Adult Social Services to get the CORRECT CARE PACKAGE in place before your father is returned home.
My own father (nearing 90 and repeated hospital admissions) has just been returned home to me, but only after OT (occupational theraphy) provided bed, commode, frames and anything we needed.
Also, Social Services came and did a home assessment (albeit on the day he was discharged) but they LIED TO ME… that he would have free care for six weeks, if you have over £23,000 it is 'up to ’ six weeks, then you are on your own. (We are entering week 4 of free care, but then we are on our own!)
You could REFUSE to have him home… although the poor bugger is being used as a pawn, and have him sent to an interim ward… In our area they have just opened such a place, where recovering, frail elderly go until a final care package can be put in place.
NB My father received NO physio on this discharge (and he was still on waiting list from his August admission!) but I shouted loud enough and have had two home visits… with more to follow until he is mobile again.
I am lucky??? that I am here 24x7 and my main job is as carer to my father… but if you and your family work, think about who will be there when you are not.
If your father has a ‘serious/terminal illness’ (other than fraility) then you might get Fast Track CHC…
Keep on at it and keep in touch with us here.
The system is S**T and you have to fight, sadly…
(PS I agreed to take my father back to his own house as I was here and I just needed to put X and Y in place, but this does not take away the fact we have MacMillan coming next week to talk about longer term Palliative care.)

Good luck. Wx