Hi all, I’m 40, married, no kids, work full time and I’m an unpaid carer for my 91 year old Grandad. I live about 10mins away from him, he lives independently in a privately rented house. Up until 3 years ago I also cared for my Grandma but she passed away with lung cancer so Grandad now lives alone.
I mainly provide domestic care as Grandad can wash, dress, feed himself etc so I visit a few times a week to deal with shopping, cleaning, bills, transport to appointments etc as well as providing emotional care as he gets very lonely and anxious. Health wise he has a bit of mild incontinence, prone to UTIs, issues with low blood pressure causing dizziness and he has increasingly regular falls (he has a fall alarm and his next door neighbour is a nurse which is an absolute god-send). There’s no formal support in place although he does get a weekly visit from a physio at the moment following a recent trip to hospital. The other issue is his memory is faltering more and he has temporary bouts of aphasia (which usually signals a UTI or low blood pressure)
My Dad (his son) lives 350 miles away and comes up every 5-6 weeks to give me a weekend off and he also covers for me when I go away but of course at the moment he’s having to stay away which means I’ve been juggling full time work and looking after him since March, and I’m shattered!
I guess my main concerns are not knowing what the future holds, whether he’ll be able to continue living independently and what that will mean for me, there’s no way I can do more than I do now without reducing my hours at work - I absolutely love my job so I often feel selfish for putting work over his needs!
It’s time for grandad to have a needs assessment from Social Services. He doesn’t need you to clean for him, he needs “someone” to clean for him.
Can I ask why he was in hospital recently?
Is he getting Attendance Allowance?
Does he have over £23,000 in savings (the limit for Social Services funded care).
Apologies for the delay.
He was in hospital as he collapsed when his blood pressure dropped through the floor and his neighbour found him slumped over outside. He was dehydrated (trying to get him to drink is a constant battle due to the incontinence) so they topped him up with fluids and sent him home.
He had a visit then from social services for all of 10mins and they were happy that all he needed was some physio - of course he told them he could cope quite well and didn’t want carers. When they told him they could help him get into bed but it may be as early as 8-9pm he was horrified!
We’ve broached the subject of him having a cleaner and he’s dead against having any strangers in the house - it was a battle just to get him to agree to let a podiatrist come and cut his nails.
He doesn’t get AA and his savings are under the threshold. I’ve been wanting to get Age UK to come in and do a benefits check for him but that will have to wait a while just now. I do have POA for him though which is a massive help when it comes to me sorting his finances over the phone.
If you have POA, then you can apply for AA on his behalf.
Ring up and ask for the form, as long as it’s returned within the given period, it will start from the day you ring up.
The only power he has over you is the power you let him have. It’s difficult with a parent, even more so with a grandparent, but you MUST take control of what you do for him. He will only agree to others doing things once you refuse to.
A phrase used on the forum at times is that of an “Elderly Toddler” and I’m afraid that is what grandad has become. He can’t see his own situation properly. You are gradually becoming his parent, the more you do the more he wants you to do.