D is still in the care home. He is not well enough to come home as yet, and no care package has been worked out as yet. His eating is rather erratic - some days he eats quite well - for him - others he refuses to eat at all. The psychiatrist has him on mirtazapine - an antidepressant which encourages appetite - but my son had a telephone appointment with one of the GPs in our practice, who suggested that the stomach ulcer had probably contributed to D’s loss of appetite. There was also a lot of other medical information that I had not been informed about, so I’ll be asking our GP practice to keep me informed.
The staff thought D would eat for me, so asked me to come in at meal times if possible to encourage him to eat and feed him if necessary. This was just as it was becoming possible for me to visit indoors, two members of staff tested positive for COVID and the home had to go into lockdown. In order to enable me to come indoors to visit and to help D, they decided to make me a care partner and also asked me to take a PCR test once a week. It means I can visit without having to make an appointment to do so. I have arranged to go 3 times a week, but if I want to go any other time, I can.
Speaking of COVID, that lockdown wasn’t fully over, just coming up to Christmas, when three residents went out to relatives and one came back with COVID - back to square one again. Now the staff and care partners have been told to do a lateral flow test daily. All this testing and visiting is very time consuming and I have other things to do for and on behalf of D, so it’s quite a challenge.
Hi Gill. Remembering my own experiences some years ago when my Gill was in hospital with her spinal cord injury, the thing that still sticks in my mind is the fact that everything else had to continue and the visiting was extra. Most nights by the time I got home I collapsed in a heap in bed, absolutely shattered.
I get the feeling you’ve been at that stage for a while and all the testing, etc., is adding to it. I’ve no doubt that if your husband eats better because of this that you’ll keep it up, but if he doesn’t, remember your own health. I’d tell you to do that whatever, but knowing most carers would ignore that if they were getting somewhere with the feeding…well, it would be a waste of breath!
What I would suggest is that your husband needs to be weighed to see if his weight is dropping - and if so by how much. He may need dietary supplements such as Fortisip to help keep his weight up.
Sorry I haven’t replied for so long- life has been very busy.
My husband is now in the care home permanently as he is doubly incontinent and can’t do very much for himself. He actually needs two people to help him do anything and the social worker says it would be dangerous for one person (me) to do the same on their own. In addition, I have other care-ees with their own issues.
D had a week in hospital with a UTI and had to be in isolation due to testing positive for COVID, so I couldn’t visit him in hospital. When he returned from the hospital, he had to have 2 negative tests before I would be allowed to visit him. I was then told I would have to get a PCR test done at the care home last Thursday and if that was negative I would be allowed to visit on Saturday and - of course - it was positive! Yesterday and today were days 5 and 6 for me and thankfully I tested negative on both days. My two care-ees who love with me and the one who lives close by had to test as contacts and all were positive. Day 5 for them was today and the two who live here were negative, but the other one was still positive.