I found your website through an internet search and hope you may be able to help me.
My Mum has dementia and is looked after at home by private carers. My Dad has mobility issues and while he was at home everything was working fine. Unfortunately Dad had a fall at the beginning of the month and has been in hospital and now a care home since, he is refusing to eat or engage with the staff who are trying to help him. I am not sure which board to post on to get some help and advice.
Welcome to the forum.
So many times a couple can “muddle along” after a fashion, but when one becomes ill or dies, it changes everything.
What explanation is dad given for his steadfast refusal to have what he needs to get better and go home again?
Is it the prospect of going home to caring again, was he finding mum difficult to live with or…?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Who was managing their money?
Do they own or rent their house?
Do they have over £46,000 between them? (the rough limit for subsidised care).
Sorry about all the questions, but where to go from here depends on the answers you give.
Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately Dad is refusing to speak to anyone, including us, so we have no idea why he is refusing to eat. He has always had a good appetite in the past.
We are thinking that the thought of going home and caring for Mum again might be behind the problem.
I have financial power of attorney and pay bills etc for them.
They do own their home and do have over £46,000 in savings so I am expecting to pay for any additional care that is needed, at least until we are below that limit.
Any help would be appreciated.
That’s very difficult.
How serious is mum’s dementia? Does she recognise everyone, able to wash and dress herself, or bed bound or …?
If she is very badly affected, has she ever had an NHS Continuing Healthcare Assessment?
Thank you for getting back so quickly. Mum is in the early stages of dementia, she is able to wash and dress herself. She has a carer at lunchtime to cook her main meal as due to her memory issues it is not safe for her to cook. She has short term memory issues but does recognise everyone. She often asks questions about things that happened years ago as if they happened recently. She has been seen by the memory clinic and we have been allocated a dementia advisor. Things with Mum seem to be quite well settled at the moment, having my Shih Tzu during the day helps her too.
At the moment my main concern is Dad. Before the fall he was completely switched on. He was the one who remembered pill time, appointments etc, he did jigsaw puzzles, looked after the garden and was interested in everything. Following the fall he had a five hour wait for an ambulance and seemed to go downhill in front of our eyes, becoming more and more confused. During his stay in hospital he was very confused and didn’t want to eat or engage with anyone, it was thought this was due to the hospital environment but has continued since he was transferred to the care home on Friday. We visited on Saturday and Dad is like a different person he didn’t speak to us or Coco, my dog, who he adores.
I have no idea what to do to help him.
I was wondering if mum was bed bound and couldn’t do anything for herself, but from what you say, she’s still very much herself, but forgetful.
If dad is a changed man since his fall, did the hospital investigate why he’d fallen, to rule out a stroke or similar?
In your position, I think I’d be pushing for him to go back to hospital quickly to find out if something else is going on.
He needs food and fluids!!
You must be desperately worried.
Thank you again!
Dad is a completely different person since the fall. The hospital said all his obs were good, they did bloods three times, an ECG and chest x-ray. They said medically there is nothing more they could do for him so the idea behind the care home was it would be a more homely environment and that would encourage him to eat as well as him having more physio to get him mobile again.
I talk to the home each day so will push for a return to hospital for more tests.
Hi Amanda Jane, welcome aboard!
I’m with Bowlingbun on this one: the change in your father appears to have been triggered by the fall, whether psychologically or physically - for examples, depression or stroke. Something is definitely way off. The fact that he isn’t responding to your dog, and isn’t talking, suggests it’s more likely physical to me, but I’m not a doctor.
What bothers me is that the hospital seems to have not been particularly concerned about such a major change?