I have writtten on here many times about my 102 year old mother and the dreadful difficulties I have encountered so I won’t bore you again they are available to read if you search my threads
This particular comment is about hospitalisation, occupational therapists and social services. So many times my mother who lives alone with 5 care calls a day falls or just because she had dropped her fork or has a slight twinge presses her Lifeline button. Alone this week it has happened 6 times. Each time I am rung and my answer is now always the same - you try and stop her doing it because she won’t listen to anything I say. Each time this happens Life line organise a paramedic and mobilise an ambulance for her at a huge finance and resource cost to the ambulance service and NHS.
2 weeks ago she did unfortunately fall (she has been told on so many occasions by medical professionals, social service etc. that she is not to get up and try to walk around but to wait for a carer to call. Unfortunately this does mean that when she needs the bathroom she is unable to get there and has an accident - she wears special pants to cope with this but still refuses to heed any advice. She was told at the time she went back home that this would have to be one of the trade offs she would have to accept. When the medics arrived she told them she banged her head (which she always says even if untrue) and yet again they take her off to hospital. They scan her and because of the time of day keep her overnight and the next day I get the usual chirpy call from the OT saying oh your mother is transferring well and mobilising, she is able to walk with her zimmer, is fully aware of her surroundings so we are discharging her because this is really not the place for an 102 year old lady. As usual I liaise with hospital transport so that I am there to let her in etc. I have always tried to be as helpful as possible and assist even though my mother and I have a toxic relationship. She duly arrived back home, she was semi-comatose, could not even sit up let alone stand and as to walk well that was just a pure fabrication. Because of the layout of her large Victorian flat it is impossible to get a standard wheelchair into her kitchen where she spends all of her time and she refused to go to bed. So in the same old way as ever the chair she sits in is pushed to the kitchen door and even two strong ambulance personnel had major problems getting her out of the wheelchair and into the armchair - they both said they had real problems getting her into the ambulance. Their next comment was we really don’t like leaving her her here like this but there is nothing we can do and left. At which point I had to somehow push the chair and her (half in and half out) back to the place where it lives. In retrospect I should have refused to let her stay and insist it wa an unsafe discharge and they return her to hospital - hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I called her care agency (which are paid for by the local authority) who said we can’t get anyone there we have no staff (plus the fact she has been so nasty to most of them they refuse to do any of her calls now) so I was stuck there until her next regular call in 2 hours time. She was completely out of it, rambling, did not know where she was, reaching out to pick things up in midair and many other actions seen only too well by myself many times before.
I have been asking for a SS review for 2 years now as I keep saying things have changed massively. She did have yet a further very poor assessment in March 2021 as in what is your name, where were you born, date of birth, queen name, date WW2 ended - a very thorough assessment on which yet again, it was decided that she had capacity to make her own decision as to where she lived. For 6 months during lockdown she was in a nursing home as she had been discharged to assess and got caught up in lockdown. For those 6 month she looked well kempt, washed, clean and generally in a much better state but when SS finally decided it was safe for them to enter the nursing home she had this pathetic assessment and of course she said she wanted to go back home. She was told then that there would be limitations to the service she could receive and she said I agree with all of that but of course she does not and expects someone to be at her beck and call all the time.
The point to my ramblings are do not, under any circumstances, co-operate with SS, OTs etc. As soon as they realise that there is someone who is willing to take on responsibility (However small that may be) they tick their box and discharge. I have been doing this for 10 years now and despite official complaints (which have been upheld and the most useless of apologetic letters sent to me) absolutely nothing has changed. When will someone in authority finally have the guts to stand up and say there is a problem with this lady, she does not have any joined up capacity to make a decision on where she lives, she is unsafe at home and costing social care an absolutely fortune - with her constant lifeline call outs and 5 care calls a day it’s costing far more then to keep her in a nursing home. No they are absolutely scared to death that if they make that decision and apply to the Courts they will be prosecuted - by whom I don’t know as I am her only daughter and completely agree with this course of action. Please don’t get me wrong I am not trying to push her into a nursing home to get rid of a problem, I genuinely want what is best for her -I would fight tooth and nail if I felt she was the victim of discrimination or unfair practice etc. but I honestly do not feel this is the best way for her to live at her age (she is 103 inAugust). To argue constantly with carers, sit in her own excrement just because she is stubborn. She has recently succeeded in getting rid of another carer - her comment to the care agency manager - you see I always get my own way in the end now the agency are really struggling to get anyone to do her late afternoon/bedtime calls simply because they do not have as many carers who work at that time of day and those that do won’t go into the house.
Sadly this time because of the trauma and distress caused I ended up in hospital for a week even though I had made massive strides via therapy over the last 12 months. Also sadly whilst in hospital because of the meds I had been given I fell in the bathroom even after begging that someone help me there and back but that’s a whole other story.
So please if you value yourself, your family and anything you hold dear when “the authorities” ask if you can be there to let them in and settle her, or OT chirp merrily oh she is marvellous for a 102 and mobilising so well. Just say no, there is no one available to assist she is in your care you organise her rehabilitation and return home, you try to liaise with SS (if you can actually contact anyone, in our area we have to go through a contact centre and if you are lucky someone might contact you 2 weeks later). I know this sound very hard and harsh but I know that mentally I will never be the same again, my only daughter very rarely speaks to me now. My husband is wonderful but he is 91 and has a serious spine problem so is able to help to a limited degree. Please think about yourself first and don’t let this happen to you, you only get one go at life, make it your life first and help as much as you are able but don’t let the authorities use you as a solution to their shortcomings and underfunding.