I could really do with some advice. I’ve been caring for my mum with my dad for around 7 years. Dad is a lot younger than mum and is 80 whereas mum is 92. Back in March, mum was diagnosed with cancer. They think its probably bowel cancer but because she is frail they will not do any investigations, which we agree with. When we asked about how long she might have left, they suggested between 6 weeks and 6 months. Its spread to her liver.
Mum does not want to go into a home and many years ago we promised her this. I reduced my workload a couple of years ago so that I could spend more time at my parents helping, and dad gives me some money to compensate for my lost wages (it doesn’t even come close to compensating but is enough so I can pay my mortgage and bills).
Since her diagnoses of cancer, she has spells of vomiting. Around Easter we called out the locum gp and she was prescribed morphine, which we’ve given following the information from the doctor. Every dose given is written down. She’s now on slow release pills twice a day plus oral top ups if needed.
Around 3 weeks ago, mum woke up covered in horrible spots which remind me of chicken pox spots. The are in a diagnoal line from her left shoulder to her right ankle. I suspect shingles. We were given Fuciden Cream which I put on her twice a day in accordance with the instructions.
Mum has never had any sores or anything like that. She has a hospital bed now. I usually get her up late afternoon as before this she just wants to stay in bed and I don’t believe in forcing her. I wheel her into the living room on her commode.
Anyway, around 10 days ago, our usual nurse who visits once a week was on holiday. Mum took bad with sickness, so we rang the nurses and someone came round. They put a canula in her arm and gave her an anti-sickness drug. Unfortunately, after 12 hours she still had not stopped being sick (green bile) and so they gave a second shot. This did not help either so they administered a different one and finally mum stopped being sick. She was also given injections of morphine at this time as she could not keep anything down. She was very shaky and refused to eat for two days after the sickness stopped.
During the 2 - 3 days of sickness I did not attempt to get her into the living room. When sitting up she complained she fetl dizzy and sick. Food was offered and placed near her but she would not eat - she’s always been the same in this regard. It was shocking to see how much she deteriorated in this time, she also lost a lot of weight.
A young nurse who had visited us before but was not regular, came while mum was still getting over the sickness. We now know that she went back to the surgery and asked a matron to come and look at mum because she was worried about neglect as mum had gone downhill so quickly.
A matron who we had never met before came to see us on Sunday. Right from walking through the door she was critical. What were the spots on mum - we explained a doctor had seen her and prescribed cream. What was she still doing in bed at 12 noon - normal for my mum. Even when I was child she did not get up before lunchtime and I used to take myself to school from 7 years old as she stayed in bed. On finding out that we wheel mum into the living room we got told she should be using a zimmer frame. Mum had a failed knee operation years ago and can’t put weight on one leg. The criticisms continued - we should not be giving morphine as mum does not need it. She even said the Dr was wrong to prescribe it as its highly addictive.
Anyway, turns out she has put a safeguarding report in regarding my mum. Our usual nurse came and said that she has no concerns but this has to be dealt with. I’ve looked up adult safeguarding on the internet and cannot see how it fits with our situation at all. Everything is documented because as soon as there is a problem we get in touch with the medical staff.
What is likely to happen here? Mum has vascular dementia so does not have much short term memory but still knows who we all are. Will they remove mum from us, even though she has always been terrified of going into a carehome or hospital. We are worried sick.
Thank you if you’ve got this far. Any information or advice is appreciated. I’m trying to get my dad to get carers in once a day in the hope this will help smooth things out, but he is worried about being judged. And now this has happened he’s even more worried about this. What a mess. I think she only has a few weeks left and could do without this additional worry.