Where to Start!

Hi my name is Alison I’m new to all this. I guess I’ve been a carer for a few years, when it’s family it creeps up on you. I’m a single parent but my family are grown up and I have my first granddaughter.
My mum is on her own and always been very independent, but I guess over time that has changed. Covid has really made a difference to her and she has gone from a woman who walked around the village every day for exercise talking to anyone she saw to sitting at home watching the birds in the garden. It’s quite pathetic. She could still walk maybe not as far, but her memory has suffered, apparently more ‘old age’ dementia than Alzheimer. She still lives alone, but I know it will change going forward, just don’t know when at this stage.

I do have a sister, but she lives down west, my daughter lives close and is a great support, but she has a young family and a husband, so has other priorities to consider.

I know my situation is no where close to some of the stories I’ve read on here already, but I’m pushing myself to be pro-active, if this is my direction I’d like to feel a little prepared for it. So I am on here to learn, and wonder where I start !

Look forward to getting to know you all a little better

It’s sad watching a fit and active mum decline, but you can’t stop the ageing process.
Start by looking at her home and surroundings. Is it suitable for her when she is very frail.
Easy garden to look after, dishwasher, tumble dryer, accessible bathroom?
The next step is to arrange for a cleaner/carer. Someone who keeps an eye on mum as well as cleans.
Is she driving?
How does she get to the shops.

At every step, think about what mum needs to keep independent, NOT rely on you and your daughter.

Hello Alison

Welcome to our forum, I’m not sure if you are aware but we are currently running a series of online weekly meet ups for carers to get together and chat informally. People say they’ve found it really helpful and supportive and it’s nice to be able to take a little bit of time for yourself. There’s no pressure to share any more than you’re comfortable with. Join up details are here:

We are also now running a weekly Share and Learn sessions, where we run a series of fun and relaxed online sessions where visiting speakers who share tips and skills on a range of topics - please have a look at the link and see if one grabs your attention.

We are also running some session solely for our Welsh members, they’re a mixture of practical and wellbeing sessions under the project title Me Time, and only available to our carers in Wales, here’s the link

Do join if you’d like to, we’ve had a lot of new carers join the sessions recently and it’s a great way to meet other carers.
And of course, you can always contact our Carers UK’s helpline should you need advice or support - Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (advice@carersuk.org)

with best wishes

So sorry to hear about your mothers decline, that’s awful to go through.
I care for my elderly mother who has after a few mini strokes and other conditions become very dependent. The role reversal issues can be emotional to go through until it becomes the norm.

As others have said, work to maintain her independence.

Do you have POA? Power of Attorney for health & welfare and for financial?
You need to get these set up so that you can act in your mums best interests if she loses the capacity to think for herself/make decisions or to do her banking etc if she becomes housebound.
You can do it yourself on the Gov website, the charges for it are on a sliding scale according to income/pension. There is section where you can advise others that this is being done, you don’t need to fill that in, it just makes it take longer to process.
Next of kin/daughter stands for nothing, it is a shock, a rude awakening.
POA makes you the lawful decision maker on behalf of your mother to act in her best interests, so the authorities must consult with you.
Power of Attorney - power of law is given to you to act for her.
A colleague told me about this after mothers first stroke and it was the best advice, he told m that care homes and social workers do not like you having it because they don’t have free reign over your loved one.
But you can only do it if the person has full capacity to appoint a POA and understand it.
You will need someone to witness the forms and to ask your mother if she understands it and wants it doing.

Can you take her out, encourage her out?
Are there any charity services around to do a weekly sitting service to have a cup of tea and a chat with her?

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Hi there

It’s such a worry when we see our loved ones declining, especially if we think it doesn’t have to be such a steep decline!

I think one prong of attack as prevention - stimulation (maybe time with her grandchildren & great grandchildren, social groups, walk & talk sessions if you have them locally or finding her a walking buddy so that she can’t just think ‘oh not today’)

The second prong is preparation - POA as others have mentioned, finding out what she might want long term, is her current property suitable for the very long term or might it be better to move while she has the choice (which could also fit with stimulation if she moved to a OP community). Financially she also might want to put things in place now (such as moving assets) which can’t be done easily further down the line, although there is the caveat of Wales having different rules to bear in mind.

If you have Power of Attorney, this means that you must be treated as if you were the person who granted that attorney.
If mum gave it to you, they must treat you in the same way as if you were mum herself.
With regard to the banks, once they have taken a copy of the POA, and your details, then you use your signature and your sign i details. I’ve had issues with HSBC when using mum’s POA in the past, and when they have admitted they were wrong, I’ve asked them for a written apology and a payment of either £50 or £100 as I haven’t had the service from them that I had a right to expect.
I go to Crete regularly. One year, a whole week’s holiday ws paid for by compensation payments from various places!

This is why finding trustworthy carers is hard. I recommend first of all having a proper care needs assessment which is done. Discuss all issues etc. Find out about local vetted care homes as well. Make some brief summary notes in order to make the entire process much more easier. Good luck.