Tool to discuss reality of care needs in case it's useful

I don’t know if this will be of use to anyone else who is struggling to find a way forward with increasing care demands, but I thought I’d share it in case it is.

I’d originally posted the personal context but I realise that probably isn’t necessary.

I had some training a few months ago on managing difficult conversations, which boils down to:

  • Choose time carefully and plan what you are going to say
    Open the conversation by stating the problem and the effect it is having.
    Support with evidence
    Listen and acknowledge
    Discuss what needs to happen

I prepared a list of:

  • everything I am doing at the moment
    everything his carers are doing at the moment
    what he is able to do for himself
    what I will be able to carry on doing
    what he will need carers to do for him
    with a blank column for what he wants to be able to do for himself in future

I then printed off the list, took it round with me and did the conversation. Every time we went back to the ‘I’ll cope’ line we went back to the list and looked at it again. I left the list with him to look at and then came back to it again. It was a bit traumatic but in the end he agreed he needs four care visits a day at times which mean I won’t be involved with the daily care needs. We’re going to have to come back to the list again, as we’ve not managed to answer all the questions yet. And of course this is just an emotional tool rather than a practical one, but it’s helped me deal with that side of things.

You (he) should have a night bag to avoid that problem, they will hold 2L, which is usually enough.

I think something like “Dad school starts on … so it’s vital that YOU sort something out before then”
Surely that is the reality of the situation?
Has he given any thought to the fact that he’s taken up all your holiday???
The more you do, the less Social Services will do, unfortunately.

Hi Ajay and Bowlingbun - thanks for your responses.

Ajay - Alas, he does have a night bag but it isn’t sufficient for between carers’ evening and morning visit. We’ve explored all avenues…but hopefully moving to better tailored private care will sort that.

Bowlingbun - Sadly, the reality of the situation is that if it weren’t for intervention I’d have found the body somewhere in his house after a week of no contact last year and I’d have lost two parents in the course of a year rather than one, which would have looked like carelessness. So if I fancy inheriting quickly, I could leave him to sort things out himself. He’s both immensely grateful and in denial. He’s in the fortunate position of being able to self-fund so I’ve gone for organising his care directly rather than through social services once the reablement period has ended.

Dad should have a falls alarm. My son has a thing called an Oysta, a tracker and phone. I just moved it at home, so sensitive that a few moments later the call handler was checking he was OK! Provided by the council. It will help you relax too.

My wife has a night bag and there’s no way I’m getting up in the middle of the night for anything.

Use two re-usable night bags and just link one to the other.