I’m not a direct carer as such. However I have elderly parents. My mother cares for my father whose physical and health has really declined over the last couple of years. He had a UTI a couple of years ago which led to an admission and then a septic shock. We nearly lost him. He recovered came home but has had a bed downstairs ever since. He then fractured his hip in the summer and spent several months in hospital. He was discharged in November. Cognitively he’s not been right since. Something has gone. My mother has been sleeping in the recliner chair in the same room ever since because she is concerned he will try and get up and then fall. He can wet the bed. He is normally able to transfer just about from bed to chair which is good. They’re not in a good way. Their house is a tip, it’s falling down, the house and garden just aren’t manageable. As siblings we encouraged them to downsize but it’s too late now. As much as we’d like as siblings we can’t spare time together to help them. I have kids under 10 and that’s full on. If time were no issue I could spare a week but I have work and barely any leave to take. Weekends just wouldn’t touch the surface. It’s our mother we’re concerned about. She’s a retired nurse so very stubborn and will not admit she’s struggling.
Hello, Nick and welcome to the forum. It sounds as though your dad needs a social assessment, and possibly go into a care home, but your mum is likely to be an obstacle. How old is Mum? Does she have any specific health issues? Does Dad receive attendance allowance? Do they own the house?
One of the worst things about getting old is the fact that the energy you used to have gradually deserts you.
My birthday certificate would tell you I’m nearly 70, in my head I’m about 23.
I used to ride a powerful motorbike, which I loved to ride in tropical Australia where I lived at the time.
Lots of happy memories, I’d love to kick a bike into action and zoom off. Reality says that with 2 knee replacements, it’s completely and utterly a non starter!
Mum isn’t getting any proper sleep, and is probably so tired she can’t even think straight. It’s a horrible feeling. Sleep deprivation is horrible. I was in terrible pain for years after a car accident, I woke 13 times one night.
When did mum last sleep in her own bed?
Mum must know that she is struggling, knows help would make life easier.
It’s really important now that she understands that the more help she accepts, the longer she and dad can stay together at home, which is usually what everyone wants.
The barriers to accepting this are usually pride and a feel of being a failure, or financial worries.
Your answers to the following questions will help us give you a few things to consider.
How old are your parents?
Do they own their own house?
Have over £46,000 in savings?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Does dad receive Attendance Allowance?
After dad came home from hospital, did they arrange 6 weeks free Reablement Care for him?
Thanks for your replies. A care home would be a logical progression - my partner who looks on it very objectively would say get him in one; 3 square meals a day, social interaction etc but my mum being a retired health professional and myself and my siblings being qualified health care professionals know it’s not what it is cracked up to be.
My mum is going to have a carers assessment so that she can have some sort of respite but they have over the threshold so would have to pay. I work in social services and over the years have learnt you’re better off having no capital than lots because you’re likely to be better looked after. Her idea being that she can declutter the house if someone is there to sit with him. Her excuse is I won’t have the sitting service until the house is a bit more up together so I need time to be able to do that. But she is on a hiding to nothing because she just doesn’t get that time as she is looking after my dad.
Again I think my mum is applying for AA.
My mum will be 78 this year, she survived breast cancer, has managed COPD, issues with her gall bladder. Try telling her to let someone else do the caring she’ll have none of it.
It’s tough as one of my siblings lives a way away and can’t get a lot of time off to really tackle the issues in person with my parents. My other sibling is busy with family and business stuff but is closed by and usually on hand to help out when she can.
Nick, there is nothing stopping them getting the garden sorted out, apart from their own obstinacy, lots of people have a gardener, and if they can look out on a tidy garden, they would feel so much better. They just have to tell a gardener what to do.
If mum is an ex health professional, then she knows how important it is to have a clear floor space to prevent falls etc.
If one of them falls over and breaks something, then with the house so bad there is no alternative but residential care.
My own mum was a hoarder, she refused to let me throw anything away, and empty her huge from room and fit an en suite. She developed sepsis and ended up in residential care after a 5 month stay in hospital. I know how frustrating parents can be!