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Parents ill and 100s of miles away

(20 Posts)
UnquietDad Mon 24-May-10 22:23:14

Sorry if people have been doing this for ages and know all about it. I am totally clueless. Parents are almost 200 miles away, a 3-hour car journey at least. Other siblings are further away and are totally fucking useless. Will not get involved and will not offer any advice or help - keep batting everything back to me.

My father's in a home, needs full-time care. My mother's just recovering from a heart-attack and is coming home from hospital very soon. I've been to see her. The hospital say she needs someone at home for 2 weeks. We (DW and I) will do the first few days. Nobody else in the family has offered to do anything else.

So... given that there must be THOUSANDS of people in this situation...

What the hell do people DO in these situations??

Obviously we have DD and DS (primary school age) and our home and jobs and life here and cannot just uproot our lives. Things have to go on. I have to do various pieces of work which will not get done if I don't do them and the mortgage won't get paid if I don't get paid for doing them.

I'm in touch with Age UK and will be in touch with her GP (as they advised).

I'm going to start tomorrow by giving the hospital my brother and sister's mobile numbers which they have expressly asked me not to give out to anyone. And I do not give a shit for the consequences.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 24-May-10 22:28:21

sad How stressful for you.

My mother was in hospital recently and they arranged for a carer to go into her home to see her. The hospital have a social worker who you should be able to get advice and help from. Could your mum stay with you? Any other family (her brother/sister)?

cathcat Mon 24-May-10 22:32:48

So sorry UQD, hope you find a solution.

Elasticwoman Mon 24-May-10 22:34:21

Why not have your Mum come to your house to recover?

Yes it would be fairer if your siblings helped out but you can't force them.

I am not in the same position as you at all -aged in-laws are half an hour away and can cope on their own barring emergencies. My mother is a disgustingly healthy 87, but when she had her hip done 5 years ago when my dc were much younger, I went down and stayed with her for a week and left dc to their dad's tender mercies. I wasn't earning very much then so there wasn't a significant loss of income.

I know you are self employed but can your dw take some paid leave?

A lot to ask I know, but it would give you the moral high ground over your siblings and wouldn't there be a lovely view from there?

pinkgrapefruitjuice Mon 24-May-10 22:45:18

You need to get as much support in place for your mum as possible. Speak to her hospital, her GP, get social services involved and also look into private carer agencies and hourly rates. She will be entitled to attendance allowance which would pay for a cleaner. Get her shopping delivered. Work out how frequently you could visit and what practical things you could do whilst there to support her.

Try and get your siblings involved.

I live 400 miles from my mum who has chronic ill health, my sibling lives 250 miles away, we have had to get everything in place to support her and stagger our visits.

UnquietDad Mon 24-May-10 22:53:48

Thanks, everyone. I'm already working on the extra support.

I've been trying to get her to do Internet shopping for years. I've been on to Age UK to see if someone can come and talk her through using the computer. (She can do an online order when I am there to hold her hand, but is a bit scared of the computer on her own.)

Having my mum here is not feasible, there is just no room and it would be stressful all round. And it would totally let my siblings off the hook for good...

DW works in a school so paid leave is pretty hard to come by. And it is a difficult time.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 24-May-10 22:58:48

You can do the online shopping for her, you just arrange for the food to be delivered to her house, the carers should put them away or help her do this. You need to speak to social services as they can put meaures in place.

seimum Mon 24-May-10 23:00:29

If your siblings cannot provide practical help, would they provide a contribution to help fund a private carer?

zandy Mon 24-May-10 23:14:03

Feel for you x.

My dad is in hospital 4 hours away. Fortunately my sisters/brothers live close by him. No idea yet what will happen once he gets out. Trying times.

UnquietDad Mon 24-May-10 23:32:39

belle - Yes, I had considered doing the online shopping for her but on the "teach a man to fish" principle I'd rather she learns to do it herself...

Good point seimum - if I can get any sense out of them I will ask!!

Someone elsewhere has said we need to get a care plan in place for her via the hospital social worker and not let her home until this is in place. 3 quick questions:

- Do I contact the hospital social worker direct or do I have to get a GP referral?

- How long does this all generally take?


- Can I do it all on the phone?...

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 24-May-10 23:35:37

You can do it all over the phone, just call the hospital switchboard and ask them to put you through or you can ask the nurses on the ward to ask for them. It doesn't take too long, normally the same day. I don't know how long it takes for them to put measures in place though but it needs to be done before your mum is discharged. You should be able to do it all over the phone, all they need to do is an assessment of what she needs, you shouldn't need to be ther for this.

UnquietDad Mon 24-May-10 23:37:46

Thanks - will give it a go.

UnquietDad Mon 24-May-10 23:39:05

tbh I get the feeling she is not going to be terribly incapacitated - she has bounced back really well and had perked up a lot even by the time I got there - but she will need a bit of extra help for a few weeks.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 24-May-10 23:46:47

That's really good.

My mum had someone going in for an hour in the morning and someone in the evening so they could help her get up and go to bed. She also had a cord that she could pull incase she needed urgent help and couldn't get to the phone.

If you did some online shopping for her for a little while this would help, there's companies that do meals on wheels type things aswell so you could have a think about this. Age concern do have day centres (in some places), this would help her get out the house.

I really do hope she's well soon, it must be a real weight for you and really stressful.

UnquietDad Tue 25-May-10 22:46:11

Thanks again everyone for all the help and advice.

Have moved things on a bit today and clarified a little more about what happens when she comes out.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Wed 26-May-10 16:10:53

I hope you get it sorted. Was the hospital social worker any help?

UnquietDad Wed 26-May-10 16:17:36

Hospital ward sister said they would "sort all that out" apparently. hmm But I will ask again.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Wed 26-May-10 16:53:00

Do ask. It will help you to know what's going on as it's really stressful for families.

violetqueen Thu 01-Jul-10 10:09:13

How did it go ,how is it going ?

royguts Tue 25-Sep-12 15:32:41

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