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care tips for the elderly (and perhaps not so elderly)

(20 Posts)
cuppateaplease Fri 19-Jun-09 09:42:15

Hi there - quite new to this care malarky - mum has been diagnosed with osteoporosis after several vertebrae had collapsed during the last six months. Mum is now in alot of pain and has difficulties with moving and needs a walking frame. We have a carer morning and evening with bed/wash/breakfast/supper routine. I then go at lunchtime to cook lunch/leave food for tea, do shopping etc. It has been a steep learning curve and here are some of the things we have learnt:

*move the phone next to settee by buying a looong extension line - take this line up and over doors etc if needed (we tried to take this across the carpet with a mat over it but had problem with the walker)

*Have a table next to settee with everything in easy reach for the day - drinks, snacks etc.

*put all medicine into small plastic box on table - makes them easier to reach and find.

*leave a small pad and pen on table for writing things to remember - shopping etc

*morphine causes constipation - keep up with the laxative!

*constipation (and morphine) can cause nausea and vomiting - keep strategically placed buckets available!

*when nausea/vomiting occurred and mum couldn't eat anything other than a few bites of toast plus few sips of water each day - we discovered complan!

*have also discovered nutren build up soup as an alternative to complan

*when laxatives work too well, or just can't get to the loo in time due to poor mobility have ready prepared fresh knickers with tena lady already in for those minor accidents.

These may seem obvious to those that have cared for a while but they have taken us several attempts to find something that worked! So the question is - are there any other care tips that you have and can share for us newbies!

cheesesarnie Fri 19-Jun-09 19:11:30

well done you!soons like you are doing very well.when my mil was ill after a heart attack and stroke i found myself suddenly responsible with no help at first.and it was scary,so i think your list could help lots of others.

pill boxes(with days of week)helped me lots as mil was on soo much medication it could get confusing.we had one for morningsone for afternoons and one for also ment that should anyone else be with her,i didnt have to leave huge long list!

find out what help shes entitled too.someone came out to meet mil and assess her needs.she got a commode,a walking frame(one just frame,one with tray),pads,bed guard,tiolet frame ...umm im sure lots more.

i'll try to think of what other things made it easier.

violetqueen Thu 01-Jul-10 10:14:52

Gosh what a helpful list .
Sadly I'm too tired at present to contribute ,but maybe later .

violetqueen Thu 01-Jul-10 10:17:00

mums net ,maybe fatigue has made me dense ,but could you advertise /signpost that this is where to find talk about elderly relatives needing care ?

pippop1 Sun 01-Aug-10 17:58:34

We bought my MIL a radio controlled digital clock because it said the day of the week (in a word) on it. This was useful as, if you don't have a daily paper delivered, don't go to work and live on your own, it is surprisingly difficult to work out what the date is.

mousymouse Sun 01-Aug-10 18:04:51

- check out companies that do meals on wheels, cleaner etc. caring is such hard work, any help is welcome.
- make your problems known to neighbors, my nan was a "bolter" and would leave the house in a panic attack. the neighbours knew and alerted my mom

iwastooearlytobeayummymummy Tue 03-Aug-10 23:26:58

make sure you apply for attendance allowance,for your loved one, if over 65 and have had the problems for more than 6 months ( go to and maximise their need on the awfully long form

most CABs can help complete.
it is non means tested and is worth about £48 a week.

If you are not working or earning less than £100/week approx and give more than 35 hours care a week you may get carer's allowance too

consider getting a community alarm, rented from Age UK or your local authority.

most pharmacies will make up blister packs of medication and deliver if needed.

Find out about local carer support groups and contact the local authority and request a carers' assessment based on your own needs, independent of the person your look after,sadly there is often a long wait to be processed.

you may be able to get one off carer support payments towards a carer break.

NonnoMum Tue 03-Aug-10 23:28:31


samithesausage Sat 26-May-12 20:46:36

Those little food bin caddys (that you collect scraps in to put into the bugger food bin iyswim) make better sick buckets. The lid hides the smell, plus makes a handy travel sick bucket.

samithesausage Sat 26-May-12 20:47:31

Bugger = bigger. Typo!

Honu Wed 27-Jun-12 04:17:17

The dreaded commode:
For poo, line it with quilted (the most rigid you can find) loo paper - I find 3 sets of 3 sheets OK for ours. Then, with luck, you can tip most of it down the loo and there's not too much cleaning out. I'm still waiting to find someone who sells flushable liners.

Get men to pee into a bottle. No experience with ladies grin.

For men at night time use a bottle that drains into a bag. Ours is made by Bainbridge and it and the bags come on prescription via the incontinence service.


gingeroots Thu 09-Aug-12 09:15:17

Hono with the commode the carers who looked after my friends mum would always make sure that it had water in it ,so the poo could be tipped out with the water and not stick to the sides of the container .

And adding a little nice smelling cleaning product helped .

Would that work ?

PurplePidjin Thu 09-Aug-12 09:31:33

Honu, you can get girl-shaped bottles smile

Ask the carer to leave a flask of tea/coffee in the morning, this can be refreshed at lunch time. Ditto a jug of water. Those small boxes of juice are also good.

Push the Physio for a list of exercises, and don't feel awful about "strongly encouraging" your mum to do them. Too many falls are caused by simple muscle weakness from lack of exercise i had to get nasty on the scare stories with my gran, thank fuck for the adored grand daughter status, my parents would have been disinherited!

Get her out and about. Church has been amazing for my Gran, there's a rota of ladies who drive her and others each week.

Fingers crossed for good neighbours. By the time i finished work and rang to see if she needed anything in the snow last year, granny's neighbours had already dealt with it.

Get a key safe for outside so you always have access in an emergency. Combination ones are good, fingerprint better (not if you don't have regular carers)

Keep an eye on the carers. Not everyone who takes the job has does it for the love sad (i am a care worker (SN) and while most are incredible, a significant minority aren't)

PurplePidjin Thu 09-Aug-12 09:36:43

Also, use the relationship! My gran is 91 and I'm the only gc in the country. I'm also about to produce her first ggc.

I can say things to her that, if anyone else in the family even hinted at, she'd have the screaming abdabs. Not normally necessary (91 and fully independent) but a couple of times eg after her hip replacement a few years ago strong words have been required. Don't be scared to say them - dementia patients excepted - and don't be scared to get someone else to say them. As long as the message gets through!

Tianc Thu 09-Aug-12 09:41:06

Great idea for a thread.

There's another one here specifically about mobility adaptations: Welcome to the Wheelie-drome! (wheelchairs and all mobility stuff)

gingeroots Thu 09-Aug-12 09:45:54

And one for elderly parents

royguts Tue 25-Sep-12 15:24:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

dementedma Wed 31-Oct-12 21:48:26

Second clock which has day and date written on it.Small whiteboard stuck to wall has been great for dad writing down shopping that he needs while he remembers it.Also good for medical appointments. Pillboxes with day of the week on are good.
List on outside of fridge of contents in freezer so he can see at a glance what is inside. Telephone numbers stored on speed dial so he only has to press 1 for me,2 for doctor etc.

yomellamoHelly Wed 31-Oct-12 21:53:42

Diary / calendar for carers to write down when / what time they come in and for relaying of any messages (saves lots confusion / phonecalls).

ClareMarriott Thu 01-Nov-12 14:53:58

Grabrail might be necessary. Contact the British Healthcare Trade Association for companies registered with them to provide mobility equipment etc

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