Worrying endlessly about my 83 year old mother

I’m fed up of worrying - I’m sure I’m not the only one. I finally told my Ghost Sister to take a running jump after she rang and frightened our poor mother to bits, screeching about the announcement they had ‘just’ made (this was yesterday) about people with respiratory conditions like asthma being in the high risk group and being forced to self isolate. I took the phone off Mum and tried to calm the stupid creature down but Mum was so upset this morning I told GS to stay away she was only going to make things worse. As usual it was all about GS. Mum has surely got to be in the highest risk category, not only does she have emphysema but she was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Xmas as well as ongoing problems with early stage alzheimer’s.

I’m panic stricken about how we’ll cope. I’m also in the high risk category as I have asthma too although it is very mild and tends to be brought on by stress and I end up coughing - you can imagine how well that’s going down these days.

Neither Mum or I have been anywhere for weeks. The last time we went out-out was to the local panto just after Xmas and other than going to work or the shops I have only been either at home or at Mum’s. Mum doesn’t leave the house at all now unless I take her for doctor’s appointments and such like which are rare.

I keep ending up in tears because I’m so worried about how we’ll manage if I also end up going under for the 12 weeks. Mum won’t remember her tablets although I’ve tried hard to coach her about which and when. She is a bit vague when it comes to eating and may not remember how to do a meal for herself or to change or wash her clothes. What on earth are we supposed to do? Mum just needs a little support here and there, she doesn’t require a full time carer and I’m sure social services have more urgent places to be than with us. And who is to say the risk of them coming in to see to her won’t be greater than me?

I know this horrible situation is hard on every last one of us but I just can’t see how I’m to manage it. If I could get my head around a contingency plan I’d be less anxious.


I have been in several dreadful life threatening situations and have had some really painful procedures.
I could easily be obsessed by simple things, but I stop myself.
I REFUSE to live life scared.

I fly regularly, just made it home from a 2 week in Cyprus in early March.
I’ve told my eldest son that I need my holidays and rest, that if anything happens to me, I was doing something that I love.

Mum is lucky to have you caring for her.
You are doing your best, and I’m absolutely sure that mum would rather have you than anyone else.
Sister is dreadful, keep her at a distance!
None of us know what the future holds, good or bad.
As long as you are doing your best, there is nothing more you can do.
Each time you start “fussing” tell yourself firmly to stop it. This really can work.

Every day try to do something calming. For me, that’s sewing, or having a lovely bath.
If you can feel too much nervous energy building up, grab a spade and dig the garden, do some spring pruning with your secateurs, but get rid of it. You must switch off for the sake of your own sanity.
All things pass, good and bad. Our parents survived a war that lasted five years. We CAN get through this.

I really feel for you Nikki.
My Mum (91) is coming home from Hospital tomorrow. Sister won’t be visiting, she lives 20 minutes walk away.
I’m fed up with being worried and having broken sleep too.
It helped reading BB’s reply, its true - we CAN only do our best under whatever circumstances.
Chin up.
You are not alone.

Pauline, have they arranged every piece of equipment mum needs and has it been delivered?
Has the hospital arranged a package of care for mum, involving you?

BB, thank you for your reply.
Yes, the Hospital Bed came this morning, its in situ, and I’ve made it up. The Returner came today with it too.
We also have a couple of bed pans, slide sheets delivered too.
We had already got a Commode in the bedroom and Mother has had a Catheter for some years.
We have 30 night bags, and in view of the difficulties facing everybody, I ordered more a couple of weeks back, that should arrive today (I seem to spend my life trying to plan ahead).
I’ve been quite tearful these last couple of days, but I guess its best to ‘get it out of my system’ before Mother comes home!!
I’m going to try to fit in a regular daily Meditation session (I used to go to an evening group, until things changed).
Just a question you may be able to answer… if I was really really desperate (say Carers didn’t turn up for reason or something) and I had to call on Sister to help for any reason, would she be classed as ‘helping a vulnerable person’ if I asked her to come round?

Yes, definitely.
Are you saying that mum hasn’t had her FREE 6 week care package arranged???

BB, When I asked about Reablement (if that’s what you mean?), I was told they didn’t do visits where 2 people had to come out.
(but Mother did have those for 6 weeks when she fractured her Pelvis back in September).
Hence we are back with a Care Agency Mother was using previously - she has to pay as she has savings ‘over the threshold’ - arranged through a Social Care Worker at the Hospital.

NHS Reablement Care ?

Care after illness or hospital discharge (reablement) - NHS

As BB posted , said care is free … for upto 6 weeks … means tested thereafter.

Has anyone mentioned CHC Continuing Healthcare ?

Might be a little more problematical given the Bill currently before the House : https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and-campaigns/campaigns-petitions/suspension-of-the-care-act-act-immediately-40083

It IS free, when I had my knee replacements done, under 60, private hospital, I still had it.
It’s in the Care Act. Google 2014 Care Act Statutory Guidance and look at the relevant section.

As to double up calls, if they are needed, they MUST be arranged, otherwise it counts as an UNSAFE DISCHARGE. Hospitals can be fined for these.

I’d ring the CEO of the hospital and ask why they are not following statutory guidance??? That might sound extreme, but you will be put through to his PA, who wears big boots and can kick people where it hurts, their promotion prospects!

Really worked for me!

The 2014 Care Act has now been suspended for up to two years.

Yes, but the council still have to justify decisions not to comply.

Thank you for your replies.
Maybe different areas do different things, maybe the fact I live with my Mother changes things.
The Care Agency have just rung and they are sending someone in to reassess Mother’s needs when she has arrived home this afternoon.
They will be sending 2 Carers in (previously we had 1), but I was definitely told by the OT that Reablement (in our area) don’t send 2 people in (its County Council run and we had 25 different people over the 6 weeks when she had it previously, which would be even more risky at present).
She has always had to pay for Carers due to the ‘threshold’.
We have looked into Continuing Health Care before and have been told Mother only qualifies for Personal Care, and not CHC.

I’m off to wipe down more surfaces now although Mother will be confined to her bedroom for a while (neither the Returner or a Wheelchair can fit across the landing into the Bathroom - there is a half step, its the way these old houses were built).
Assessments for Grab Rails has been suspended, alongwith I guess, Outreach Physio she was told she would have.
Keep well.
Best regards to you all.

We have looked into Continuing Health Care before and have been told Mother only qualifies for Personal Care, and not CHC.

Told … as opposed to applied for but refused ???

Told by whom … a qualified medical practitioner ?

CHC Continuing Healthcare considerations are part of the hospital discharge procedure.

Pauline, the 6 weeks FREE care is just that, FREE. There is no threshold (if there was I wouldn’t qualify!).