Hi everyone!
I’ve been looking after my 87 year old mother (and her 4 cats!) for over a year since she had a mild stroke. She recovered well from the stroke but needs care calls - more so now since a recent hospital stay with a urinary infection. Her osteoarthritis has since flared up and she is currently bed-bound - she did walk once since she came out of hospital but needed extra support along with her walking frame. There are now two carers visiting, plus visits from the physios, but we can’t encourage her to walk - she’d rather stay in bed. Fingers crossed she will walk again and the current increased care needs won’t be long term. I felt the need to join this supportive community, so here I am :slight_smile:

Hi Carolyn, welcome to the forum.
Do you live with mum, or have a home of her own?
What are you going to do if she doesn’t improve?

Thank you Bowlingbun,
I have my own place, which I only managed to sleep in once in a whole year whilst she went into hospital. I moved into my mum’s place and went home for a few hours one or two days a week. She needed so much help in her place, as well as with the cats. I happened to be made redundant around the same time she started to need care, so I took the time out. It’s more demanding now and I don’t think I’ll be able to manage. I also want my own life back. It’s difficult as I’m not sure what to do.

It’s good that you have your own place, even if you haven’t seen much of it just lately.

Sadly, the longer mum doesn’t walk, the more difficult it is going to be to get her going again.

My own mum has arthritis and other ailments, she could manage leaning heavily on her Zimmer frame for about 7 years, but then developed sepsis, and never walked again. Her last 18 months were spent first in hospital, then a nursing home, she died at the age of 87.

It may be that your mum just doesn’t have enough strength any more. About 2 years before my mum died, when she was very poorly, I googled “Signs of Dying”, with tears rolling down my cheeks. I found some really useful articles written by people from the hospice movement, which explained how the body slowly shuts down, not quickly, but very slowly over the last few years. I just wish I’d read these articles years earlier when my lovely mum in law was very ill.

I would recommend you read these articles. If mum wants to stay in bed, and doesn’t have the strength and energy to do what is asked of her, then hard though that is, perhaps you should accept this? However, it also means that mum is going to need a lot of good nursing care, and that might be best in a nursing home, with a team of staff available 24/7?
Even is mum does manage to walk for a while, it may well be short lived progress.

You should not be expected to sacrifice your own life. No one can be forced to care.

This then takes me to how the nursing home can be funded, so answers to the following questions would be helpful.

Do you have Power of Attorney? If not, sort it out as soon as possible.
Does mum own or rent her home? Do you hope to move to her home one day?
Does she have over £23,000 in savings - the limit for Social Services financial assistance.
Do you have any brothers and sisters?

I know how much you don’t want to do anything. The best way to deal with what follows is to concentrate on what mum NEEDS. No one wants to move into residential care, no one wants to see their parent decline.
Nevertheless, sometimes a person NEEDS residential care, a team of carers available 24/7.

This is all helpful information Bowlingbun, I’ll look into all of this.
I have two older brothers who live quite far, unfortunately they have left it all to me. My mum lives in a housing association garden flat and hardly has any savings - nowhere near 23k.
I didn’t think things would come to this stage so suddenly…and yes, I can’t help thinking about residential care now and how it could be for the best. But it would be very hard, and also I know she would put up a fight as she loves her home and her cats. I got a decorator in for her last year too, to make it all nicer for her.
She has another OT assessment tomorrow so I’ll see how that goes.

p.s. I’m sorry to hear about your mum, you’ve certainly been through it.

Yes, I’ve been through so much, and learned everything the hard way, so now I try and pass on some of my experiences in the hope it will help others.

Caring for an elderly person is a bit like waiting for a volcano to “blow”. They muddle along happily for years and then something happens, a “life changing moment”, although you might not recognise it as that at the time. From then on, nothing is ever quite the same again. Sadly, you can’t change the ageing process, all you can do is to make the person concerned as comfortable as possible.

After I had major surgery, I couldn’t do anything practical for mum, so I became her “care supervisor” making sure that those who cared for her were doing what she needed.

I had two brothers, both too busy with their own lives to do anything for mum. So annoying.

Feel free to ask anything, so many of us here have been through supporting an elderly parent.

Thanks so much for your advice Bowlingbun. And I’m grateful to you for being so generous in passing on all your experience, it’s helped alot. So glad I joined.