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Vulnerable elderly parents and lockdown

(31 Posts)
iwantmyownicecreamvan Sun 05-Apr-20 13:29:25

My parents are in their 90s. They live about half an hour's car journey away from me. My father has quite serious heart trouble. My mother also has health problems but not as severe. She is not well at the moment.

My father recently came out of hospital and said he didn't need any help. For the most part they can manage - they have supermarket delivery etc and my mother can usually do most household things. Of course their cleaner has had to stop coming which is a bit of a problem but has to happen.

I am not going into work at the moment - not for the last 2 weeks. I also have a supermarket delivery and haven't been out. I live with my son who also isn't at work but does occasionally go to the shop, say 2 or three times a week.

I presume that under the current measures I am not allowed to go and check on them or see they are all right for washing/cleaning.

They are such a worry and I feel I can't do right for doing wrong. What should/can I do?

OP’s posts: |
NewYearNewJob123 Sun 05-Apr-20 13:31:45

Yes you can, and should.

Helenshielding Sun 05-Apr-20 13:31:47

Uou are, its providing care but you would be wise not to go in or spend time with them.

C8H10N4O2 Sun 05-Apr-20 13:36:29

Caring responsibilities is a reason for travel.

You could take them shopping /check up on them but try to maintain distance and clean up after you. SiL takes disenfectant wipes to wipe handles etc after taking shopping over and doing anything heavy needed for her elderly father. They chat from a distance through the window for a while before she leaves.

Its a compromise trying to strike a balance between his safety, his need for provisions/essential heavier tasks and fending off his isolation as much as possible.

CalleighDoodle Sun 05-Apr-20 13:38:26

My dad has now had three letters saying he has to shield as he is receiving treatment from that many departments. He filled the government thing in with doesn't need help with shopping confused.

TynesideBlonde Sun 05-Apr-20 13:47:29

Can you move them in with you for the duration of lockdown ?

iwantmyownicecreamvan Sun 05-Apr-20 13:49:23

Thanks for replies - strangely my father hasn't had one of those letters although he is very vulnerable and can hardly walk from one room to the next. His condition is not one of those listed, although it is serious.

@Helenshielding - trouble is I can't help them in the way they need without going inside. Last week my father fell and couldn't get up - they phoned the gp who phoned for an ambulance. I went there but by the time I arrived he had managed to scramble up somehow with her help - although it hurt her hand doing it.

@C8H10N4O2 they don't need shopping doing - at least so far - they have managed with a supermarket delivery. I need to be inside to be of use to them.

@NewYearNewJob123 I know, I feel this too - but then I read stuff and see stuff on TV. I am mid 60s and asthmatic - not in the extra vulnerable shielding category though, I haven't had a letter - but still, getting the virus would be worrying - as I know it would for all of us.

Mum has a cough. sad

Thanks again all for replying - I feel so guilty and conflicted.

OP’s posts: |
iwantmyownicecreamvan Sun 05-Apr-20 13:50:51

@TynesideBlonde my house would not be suitable for their needs (they live in a bungalow) - and tbh they would just refuse anyway.

Old people can be so worrying.

OP’s posts: |
iwantmyownicecreamvan Sun 05-Apr-20 13:51:53

@CalleighDoodle - I know! Aren't they infuriating!

OP’s posts: |
TynesideBlonde Sun 05-Apr-20 13:54:16

I hear you. We have three very poorly and very worrying elderly folk between us.

Helenshielding Sun 05-Apr-20 13:55:27

sad you def need to visit then. I'm sorry things are so tough. I'm shielding and as a result my mum wont go into my grans house. It's a nightmare.

AnnaMagnani Sun 05-Apr-20 14:01:59

How big is their house? My elderly DM has decided to still have her cleaner come on the basis she can go upstairs while the cleaner is downstairs and vice versa. She's also vulnerable but not in the 'had a letter group'.

They then have a chat from >2m away which my DM needs because her mental health is not great.

She feels pragmatic about her decision, all the rest of her shopping is dropped off at the door and this is really the only help she needs and face to face contact she gets.

I'd rather she saw no-one but my DM has nearly died with sepsis 3 times. She knows what decisions she is making.

C8H10N4O2 Sun 05-Apr-20 14:02:20

I need to be inside to be of use to them

Then just keep the distance inside and take wipes or cloth with disenfectant to wipe handles, machines etc. If you haven't been out either the risk is very small and those small extra care details should provide enough cover.
Honestly its a nightmare trying to balance it - you can only do teh best you can and try not to worry too much about it.

Helenshielding Sun 05-Apr-20 14:32:22

My elderly DM has decided to still have her cleaner come on the basis she can go upstairs while the cleaner is downstairs and vice versa. She's also vulnerable but not in the 'had a letter group'.

That's really silly, and unnecessary. Especially if the cleaner is going round various houses.

iwantmyownicecreamvan Sun 05-Apr-20 14:53:00

Well they had no choice with the cleaner as she just said she couldn't come any more - she is employed by a company so I hope she has been furloughed and is getting some pay. I think they would have agreed to her continuing but I would have been worried because she also cleaned some offices and no doubt other places too. They could have stayed in a different room - there is one room they could sit in which she could have left.

OP’s posts: |
AnnaMagnani Sun 05-Apr-20 15:39:09

Helenshielding My DM lives alone and can't manage to clean AT ALL.

If she drops something on the floor, it's there forever. By the time the cleaner comes, her kitchen floor is covered in a week's worth of old food from where she has been cooking and it's spilled on the floor due to her tremor.

Before you comment, just think about the difficult circumstances elderly people who live on their own are in.

It's not ideal, but many people are having to make the best of a bad situation.

When she's on the floor, she can't get up by herself. Who would I rather get her up - her next door neighbour who lives with his large family, or a paramedic who has been seeing COVID patients all day. My DM's life is full of decisions like this.

Knotaknitter Sun 05-Apr-20 15:49:54

There's a difference between popping round for a cuppa and a biscuit and doing things that otherwise a paid carer would be doing. Don't go if you or anyone in your household is ill, wash your hands as soon as you enter and get them to treat you as if you are infectious because you might be.

Helenshielding Sun 05-Apr-20 16:14:14

Before you comment, just think about the difficult circumstances elderly people who live on their own are in.

I'm well aware of the circumstances many elderly people are in. However, having a cleaner in is really problematic for older people if these carers are going round lots of different houses. I work with older adults and we cant go into their houses at the moment for this exact reason. I'm not being unfeeling to point it out, there are a lot of people dont understand that it's a problem for some reason.

When she's on the floor, she can't get up by herself. Who would I rather get her up - her next door neighbour who lives with his large family, or a paramedic who has been seeing COVID patients all day.

This is a completely different circumstance from having a cleaner in. It isnt even remotely related to my post.

SarahInAccounts Sun 05-Apr-20 16:17:05

You are allowed visits to vulnerable people.

iwantmyownicecreamvan Thu 16-Apr-20 20:57:01

Well I went and tried to get them support, but there was none. I ended up moving in and trying to look after them - called ambulances several times. Eventually they were taken into hospital and tested positive for CV19. Mum died last night. Dad is still in on a drip. I have symptoms now of course and am self isolating at their house which feels weird without them. They have lived here for 60 years.

These are really scary shit times. I keep wondering if I'm going to be next.

OP’s posts: |
StrongTea Thu 16-Apr-20 21:02:16

Really sorry to read this.

Inkpaperstars Thu 16-Apr-20 21:13:54

I'm so sorry flowers

shinynewapple2020 Thu 16-Apr-20 21:17:56

Oh no I am so sorry to hear this. That is so sad. I really hope that your dad pulls through and you will be feeling better soon . thanks

Annarosez Thu 16-Apr-20 21:22:37

Oh I'm so sorry OP. That was lovely of you to go and stay with them. Thinking of you and your Dad.

Inkpaperstars Fri 17-Apr-20 12:52:02

Thinking of you today icecream, hoping your symptoms are not worse and your dad is alright.

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