Hello, looking for advice

Hello. Just joined forum as i feel i need the support & advice thats out there!
To briefly summarise. Mum is 80 with Parkinson’s. Dad is 85 with multiple co- morbidies. I am single and live nearby. I have been supporting them with household tasks, shopping etc. for some time. Last year i started flexible working plan with work (full time healthcare worker). This plan has enabled me to be free in the evening to help mum to bed.
Up till now although dad was getting slower he still managed to keep fairly active and supported me with caring for mum. This week Dad could suddenly not weight bear on his left leg. Spent a night in hospital for tests. They confirmed that he hasnt had a stroke and there is no bony injury to his knee. He has been discharged with a walking frame. I now have a dilemma. I now have two parents who are dependent on me. Dad in particular is quite emotionally draining. What is difficult is that we have not been given any diagnosis so i have no clue as to whether this is short term or a long term thing. The hospital just said that its a change in his mobility! I plan to speak with social care in the near future to discuss any adaptations etc. At present we dont want to go down the road of having external carers in.
I am 57 years old. I could retire from my healthcare job and undertake to care for them full time. However i do view my job as a kind of respite. I am also wondering whether to take a career break instead especially as dad may perhaps improve?
My siblings live at the other end of the country. They have families, although one may be able to help short term.
As you can tell lots going around my head at the moment. Anybody with any similar experience especially around the work leave/not leave situation?

Do NOT give up work.
Contact Social Services, and ask for an urgent needs assessment, explaining about dad’s sudden loss of mobility.
Do you have Power of Attorney for both of them?
Are they both getting Attendance Allowance?

Hi Abi,

I wouldn’t recommend giving up work either. I don’t think a career break would help either. Even though your Dad’s sudden mobility problem may improve, bearing in my mind their ages, their care needs are going to increase and you may find your career break turning into something longer. Caring for one elderly parent is hard, but caring for two?!

A diagnosis of a ‘change in mobility’ is really not good enough. I wonder if your Dad’s GP could find out more or refer your Dad to a consultant.


At age 57, it’s unlikely to be a “career break”

Was there a written “Discharge Summary” from the hospital ?

Thank you all very much for your comments & advice! :smiley:
Bless you Bowlingbun! That was really good advice. I do have Power of Attorney for both parents, Health& welfare & the financial one. Mum gets Attendance allowance at the highest rate. I hadn’t considered getting AA for Dad until I read your reply. I will definitely pursue this. We had to submit the form 3 times before we got it for Mum. In the end we had support from Parkinsons UK. Having been down that road, I now am wiser about how the ‘system’ works so will put some thought into the application.
Dear Melly1, thank you! Re: the GP. This had crossed my mind. However…I know I’m not the only one experiencing this but since Coronavirus the GP has become NON EXISTENT!! Earlier this year Dad had acute heart failure. He visited hospital and got some meds which improved his condition. When we tried to get a repeat prescription it was a NIGHTMARE! He nearly died! GP surgery was not responding to calls, emails, complaints or anything. At one point he was 19 in the queue on the telephone. As a result I have lost all faith in Primary care. My feeling is that they couldn’t care less, to their mind he is too old and a burden on the system :frowning:
Sorry for the rant but that’s how it seems.
Anyway, on a positive note Dad does seem to be getting more strength in his leg and seems to be mobilising better when he is not tired. I’m still going ahead with the attendance allowance though.
Dear Ayjay I’m afraid the discharge letter yields nothing. The summary is what I wrote in my introduction post. Reason for admission: Fall. (He didn’t actually fall, just couldn’t get up). People from “Falls Response Service” visited when I wasn’t there. They took some notes & left.
My sister visited this weekend and we had a long discussion between us. It is interesting that you advise me not to give up work. I am still reflecting on this. I need to pin down my manager and have a heart to heart with her so she understands what is going on for me at the moment. I also need to speak with HR and see what my options are.
Thanks again!

Abi, as a carer you are classed as being “disabled by association” and therefore your manager at work has a duty to make “reasonable adjustments” for you, just as if you were the disabled person.

Thanks, thats good to know. :slight_smile:

Make an appointment to see HR, rather than “pin down my manager”.
HR should know far more about your legal rights, and should then inform your manager.
Make it clear that you are currently “sorting out” your parents care, not intending to care for them yourself.
I know how hard it is to get parents to accept help. It took years to get my mum to accept carers.
Only when faced with the very real prospect of imminent residential care made her accept them.
This meant that she could live at home for a further nine years until she developed sepsis and lost all ability to walk or do anything for herself.
Mum was in residential care for the last year of her life.
Either you die young, like my husband who died suddenly at the age or 58, or you live longer with your abilities gradually diminishing. Once someone reaches the age of 80, their needs increase rapidly until they die, they pay a price for living longer.

I gave up far too much due to stubborn parents and stubborn in laws, my husband died before mum, so all our dreams were lost. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s OK to put your needs first at times.

Hello Abi, I agree with Bowlingbun- think of your needs, not just your parents needs.
I strongly recommend keeping your job. It’s easy to take for granted all the positive things that you get from paid employment such as working as part of a team, learning new skills, making new friends and having a structure to your life. As well as being paid a proper salary and having a working timetable.
All that goes when you become a full time carer for elderly parents. And remember whatever your parents health is like now - it sadly deteriorates as they get older.

Thanks again Bowlingbun.
I like the way you are very pragmatic.
Thats where we are at the moment “why would we pay someone to do wot you are doing?” :grimacing:
Work have bin great. My colleagues have supported me when ive had to take time off at short notice.
I’m working on another flexible working request which will help and dropping my hours slightly. This will be short term until a better solution is in place.
Attendance allowance application has been posted!

Why would they pay someone…?
Because the alternative is residential care!
He’s been having falls, had heart failure, mum is ill…yet still they don’t realise how serious their sutiation is!

I’m very well aware that this generation is “careful” with money, my father in law was, shall I say politely, stubborn!

Do they own or rent their home? This is very important.
As you have POA, it’s time to use it.
Given dad’s recent phone scam experience, it’s time you considered ensuring that he only had access to a limited amount of funds on his debit card, the rest being in an account he didn’t have immediate access to, for his own protection.

Mmm. Good advice as always Bowlingbun!

I’ve had a total of 10 carees over a 40 year old period.
Only one left now, but I hope by posting here I can help others avoid the pitfalls I fell headlong into!

My life should have been so much better.

Bless you! Thanks for sharing and giving time to support others on this forum!
Virtual hug! :hugs: