I just need to get this out somewhere. To acknowledge what my new normal is so that I can find a way to accept it and deal with it without going into total meltdown.
I live with my parents. When they moved in with me 7 years ago, they were both able bodied (although both had issues) and we settled into the new dynamic of me being the main breadwinner and they contributed in their ways to keeping the family going.
In the last month I have had to call 999 4 times for my parents.
1 - my mother slipped and fell when her bad knee (the one that has been replaced but is worse now that before the op, which is a completely different story) gave way and she hit her head on the radiator valve and gave herself a nasty concussion. We needed the paramedics to help get her up but no admission that time. Possibly at another time there would have been but I was OK with her staying at home.
2 - two weeks later my mother suffered a TIA (mini-stroke) and was rushed to the nearest stroke unit. At that point we didn’t know the diagnosis and I have never been so scared in my life. A family member suffered a number of strokes when he was in his mid-20’s so I’ve seen what a stroke can do to someone who’s “fit and well” let alone my 69 year old mother who does not fall into the “fit and well” category at all!
3 - less than a week later my father, who has had 3 heart attacks, has a number of stents and an IDC (internal defibrillator) fitted, had a “funny turn” where his heart rate was consistently over 140 bpm and peaked at 154 bpm that I know of. He was blue lighted to the nearest A&E (rather than the specialist unit that has all his records) where, after a few hours it miraculously righted its-self and he was discharged at heading for mid-night.
4 - then last night, I was called by my father as my mother was having difficulty getting out of bed. She was so hot you’d have thought she was in a sauna and her heart rate was 142. (We have an oiximeter in the house - dad’s new toy.) But once I could get her to lie down and start cooling down, the hear rate came down with it. After an hour and a half she was back within “normal” ranges so I didn’t call in the middle of the night. Called the GP today and he said to call as she needs to be admitted. Probable infection, although we don’t know what, and abdo pain.
All this while trying to fit into a new job which I started at the beginning of a global pandemic. For context, I started on 16/03/20 the notice to close the offices was issued on 17/03/20 and the national lockdown started on 23/03/20.
This is my normal. And I just want it to go back to when my mom could cook a meal without assistance and my father could walk up the stairs without wanting to pass out. But it’s not going to. It’s got to get better than this but, somehow, I’ve got to find a way to come to terms with the fact that they’re never going to get “better”.
And I don’t know how to do that. I’m not ready to do that.
Hi & welcome
What a lot you have on your plate. Have your parents had a needs assessment and you a carers assessment. This situation is a lot for one person to manage. What help do you have?
Does your parents have a personal alarm.
It’s true you are going through a rough time. So you need to put things in place to take away some of the pressure. You do need outside help.
Has there been a visit from an O/T if not might be a good idea. Some extra aids around the home might help.
Welcome to the forum. It sounds as though you have been going through a lot and I commend you for your efforts. If you ever want to share what’s on your mind out loud, we host what’s called Care for a Cuppa every Mondays at 3pm. It’s our online meet-up for carers and many carers find talking with likeminded carers useful. You can book onto a future session by visiting www.carersuk.org/cuppa
You CANNOT keep doing this, or you will be robbed of your own life, your dreams and your health.
STOP being Superwoman and start yelling HELP very loudly to everyone.
Are both your parents receiving Attendance Allowance?
Do they have over £46,000 in savings? Yes/No
Do they own any property? Yes/No
I’m also new to this forum, however I try to be positive. I guess that you need help, you can’t be there for the rest of your happy years, I mean, you don’t need to just disappear from your parents’ life, but help would be very opportunely
Thanks for the input everyone.
We haven’t had any assessments at this stage. We were coping ok and then things just all went pear-shaped. My mom is on a visa that restricts her access to public funds so we have to be careful of that when accessing support. It isn’t a problem for my dad but he isn’t ready to acknowledge the reality yet. It’s a delicate balancing act.
I think I just need to approach this like eating an elephant - one bite at a time.
Step 1 - sign up to meet other people I can talk to
Step 2 - get mom home from the hospital
Step 3 - figure out Step 4
Hey Kittymommy I don’t have answers but want to say how helpful I have found it to just read this forum and know we are not alone. There’s many a night that I’ve lain in bed and the forum keeps me company while sleep eludes me. I know you will do what you need to do but don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your dad is eligible for help but not you mum, go down that route. But we know how stubborn some dads can be. I am still not sure if I should try for a vascular dementia official diagnosis for my hubby but many people have said it beneficial and opens up many avenues of help. Thinking of you.
Can you tell us exactly what, mum is or is not entitled to? Are you in the UK?
Usually people cannot be discharged from hospital unless it is a SAFE discharge, with 6 weeks free reablement care arranged through Social Services.
bowlingbun - My mom is restricted to “No Access to Public Funds” which, very basically, means she’s entitled to things like NHS care but not anything classed as a Benefit. So nothing like Carer’s Allowance or Social Care Support or anything along those lines. So while they might recommend something, I would have to fund it.
I strongly suspect that there is an element of Vascular Dementia in my father’s overall situation - however he is still with it enough to take offence at that.
Simply being able to have this discussion is proving very useful though - so thank you all for that.
That makes it much more difficult, but if dad is entitled to “public funds” then he should be claiming Attendance Allowance (assuming he’s over pension age?). How old is mum?
He should also be contributing most of his pension to the household finances. If he was in a care home he would be left with just about £25 for pocket money, the rest going to his “hotel” costs, food, heating, lighting etc.
Is this happening?
Is your house as streamlined as possible, dishwasher, tumble dryer?
Would it help to have some domestic help for you? This can be funded by the Attendance Allowance.
Do you have Power of Attorney for dad?
If not, and you think he is heading towards dementia, be sure to sort this out as soon as possible, time is fast running out.
Does dad have more than £46,000 in savings? This is the cut off point for Social Services care.
If you don’t know, now is a good time to bring together all the financial information.
If he has very modest savings, it may not be worth sorting out the POA, but applying to become his DWP Appointee, so you can manage his benefits for him.
Most of that has been done already. It’s only Attendance Allowance that Dad isn’t claiming at the moment. And sorting out LPA’s for both parents is on my To Do list. It’s just got delayed with all the hospital admissions over the last 5 weeks.
When I get some time to focus on these things I’ll look into that as well.