Mum - major trauma - a foresight into care after fracture

Hello gang, my name is Polly, married mum of 2 kids, 2 dogs, a husband and have a beautiful, kind, completely ‘with-it’ mum of 83 who has just had a major trauma today.

I’m reaching out to you for advice … typing on my phone just needing clarity and a bit of comfort from you all.

Mum is chair-bound, crumbling disks, can transfer to commode from electric chair and has wheelchair to bed. She has a lady jug at night. She has a carer 3 x a day in her sheltered housing. I see her 3 x a week, do her hair and support her with her finances/extra bits. We all adore her.

Today she went to transfer and ended up having a fall and ended up with an open fracture of her ankle … mum is also very obese. She has always been a large lady (opera singer in her hey-day) but also suffers terribly with oedema and 1 kidney and osteoporosis. According to the ambulance driver she has a Major major major major trauma to her ankle and the only place Is Kings College Hospital which is where she is at right now.

I had no one to turn to as no one was picking up my calls and husband is away- I live 10 mins away from mum and had to take my kids to her home so I could give her a kiss before the ambulance left for London. Typically she told me not to worry … bless her beautiful heart :disappointed: Her living room looks like a murder scene :frowning:

Mum has a DNR which I completely respect. But she is a lion and will fight tooth and nail to survive. I back her implicitly. But I am also realistic. I do worry that the medics will decide her fate rather than see the whole picture …

My fear is her healing and recovering and where will she go from there … we can’t go private - we have no savings and she is care of KCC.

Has anyone been through this before? Seeking advice/clarity/a shoulder.

Thank you for listening. This is so incredibly hard xxx

Oh dear, Polly, that is a nightmare for you both. I am sorry. When others read your post there will be people who have experience of parents in hospital and what might happen next. My own caring experience is different, but I can suggest that once the immediate treatment has been done, one possibility is that your mum might be given a bed in a rehabilitation ward. While there she could be helped to recover as much independence as possible and assessed to see what care and accommodation she needs in the future. If that’s not appropriate and she needs nursing or more care than currently, she should be assessed before she leaves hospital. Others here can explain about how she should also be assessed for funding for whatever she needs if you haven’t had to do that before.

I don’t know if Kings is operating on mum’s ankle and if she has had an anaesthetic before, but please don’t be surprised if she takes a long time to recover from it: it seems elderly people can struggle with that.

I am sorry for the worry and uncertainty you are going through. I hope it won’t be too long before you hear how everything is going.

Hi Polly.

Two links which will be of immediate assistance :


Being discharged from hospital - NHS

In short , by the book or … NO DISCHARGE !

REENABLEMENT CARE … 6 weeks free care courtesy of the NHS :

Care after illness or hospital discharge (reablement) - NHS

To be consider in line with the discharge.

( CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare … a factor here ? )

Hi Polly,

I could have written an almost identical post about 10 years ago, my mum nearly had her leg amputated, but it was saved thanks to the skill of a surgeon, but her life was never the same again. Feel free to ask me anything.
Do you have Power of Attorney? If not get this sorted asap. It can be done in hospital, mum’s was.
Remove all valuables from the house, empty the fridge, and tell the neighbours what has happened, if they are trustworthy. Your mum won’t be going anywhere for a while, given her existing health issues.
Tell mum’s insurance company.
Gather up all her nighties, and label them (I used Able Label). Ideally she needs short nighties for ease of toiletting with a longer housecoat to protect her modesty when sitting out of bed.
You might need to buy extra nighties too, I couldn’t believe how many mum got through. Invest in some Dettol Antibacterial liquid to use in the washing machine alongside the usual powder.
Buy some small cartons or bottles of drinks and juice for mum to have in her locker, hospitals are very dry (and I’m a very thirsty person).
Get a big ring binder, some Mylar dividers, and some plastic sleeves. Graduallyl gather up all mum’s financial information and file it in the ring binder. One section for gas, electric, insurance, etc. All kept in date order, most recent first, one polythene sleeve per year.
Write down every single phone call you make. Number you rang, date, time, who you spoke to, outcome of the conversation. You need to know who said what, where and when because you will get some very conflicting views.

Long term, mum may be too frail to return home, especially after a longish stay in hospital. You need to research nursing homes as soon as possible, as the best ones have long waiting lists. Visit them one at a time, and write down your views afterwards. Start by looking at the Care ~Quality Commission website, find the nearest to you and work outwards.
Who pays the fees? You need to make sure that before there is ANY discussion about discharge mum has an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checlist Assessment. IF she qualifies, all her care will be paid for by the NHS, either in her own home or a nursing home. Otherwise you are looking at fees between £1,000 and £1500 per week!

DON’T VISIT EVERY DAY. Either sort out the house, or visit mum. How far away from London are you? Make sure you have a day off each week for your family.


You need to make sure that before there is ANY discussion about discharge mum has an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Assessment

Bugle call ( Again ) for that MAIN thread :


It’s a horrible situation, we cannot change the fact that our parents are getting increasingly old and infirm, we cannot give them their youth health and strength.
On a day by day basis, concentrate on what mum NEEDS most that day, in the short term, and the long term.
No one WANTS to be ill, no one WANTS to move into a nursing home long term. However, if mum NEEDS 24/7 care, someone always around to help her to the toilet, then a nursing home may be the only realistic alternative.
Don’t make any promises to mum that you may not be able to keep about not doing this or that.