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Help needed - what can and can’t I do to help an elderly lady?

(9 Posts)
Youngatheart00 Sat 18-Apr-20 11:24:31

I’ve been helping a local lady out for a few weeks now, just picking up bits of shopping. She lives in sheltered housing (albeit no care provision) and is 99 years old. She usually has someone to help her with basic household tasks but she’s not able to visit anymore. And obviously, I can’t go in to her house under the rules.

I mentioned today that I was doing laundry this morning and she then said oh yes, I might need help with that. I do tend to notice she’s wearing the same thing each time I drop off her bits and pieces.

Am I ok to offer to take a bag of washing from her and deliver it back? I worry about things like bed sheets etc because she’s not going to be capable of doing that herself but of course I can’t go in to her house can I?

It’s got me thinking that surely she isn’t the only one in this position and there must be a huge care provision gap.

I’m fit and healthy (as far as I know!) but I do worry about indirect transmission. I’ve been wiping down all of her groceries and the bags they’re in but I’m starting to get paranoid that the more i do for her, the greater chance I’ll pass something on.

Is anyone else in this type of situation and have any advice?

OP’s posts: |
AnonymousWoman Sat 18-Apr-20 11:30:01

You can go into someone's house to deliver care or help to them. Just be more stringent regarding washing hands and cleaning things you've touched.

Of course you can collect a bag of washing and return it laundered.

I go to my brother's every week with his shopping and put it away for him. I order, collect and put his medication into dosette boxes and I change his bedlinen etc.

sadforthekoalas Sat 18-Apr-20 11:31:06

You are so kind to help out. There is guidance on the Gov uk website for "informal carers".
Age uk might be a good number to call for advice.

Scruffyoak Sat 18-Apr-20 11:32:16

I clean and care for an elderly person. I help keep house clean, do washing, change bed sheets. Help sort meals and just make sure all is in order.

NuffSaidSam Sat 18-Apr-20 11:32:45

You can go into someone's house to care for them. You can take and do laundry.

I think the best thing you could do for her though is contact the council/relevant authority and make sure she's on someone's radar/getting the help she needs.

Youngatheart00 Sat 18-Apr-20 11:37:09

Thanks so much for the advice.

She’s definitely in decent health (esp for nearly 100!) but she does get confused and I just worry about the gaps in her care provision for basic things like cleaning (and personal care). I don’t know why it is that her regular carer can’t come - maybe her own health reasons. And I don’t want to be too intrusive with my questions as whilst she’s very chatty I have only known her a few weeks and she complained a few weeks ago about the doctors surgery ringing and ‘asking too many questions’.

I’ll check out Age UK and the gov advice for carers. I may also speak to the warden at the housing association as presumably they have some degree of responsibility.

OP’s posts: |
MabelFurball Sat 18-Apr-20 11:41:56

@Youngatheart00 Thank you for helping this lady. What a lovely person you are xx

Youngatheart00 Sat 18-Apr-20 11:49:33

Ah - thank you - but I constantly feel guilty I could be doing more and confused by what I can and can’t do. The advice has been really helpful.

OP’s posts: |
sashh Sat 18-Apr-20 12:20:32

There will be a social worker at the council who can give advice and n normal times would visit her.

With washing my dad picked up a trick when my mum was in the hospice, and that's to use a supermarket shopping bag, collect the laundry in the bag and and put the bag in the washing machine.

The clothes will come out of the bag as they are washed.

As for bedding. When my carer is going away he puts several sheets on the bed, one on top of the other so I only need to take a sheet off and there is a new one ready for use.

I also have 3 duvets that he puts covers on so I can just swap the duvet.

You are lovely for looking after your neighbour.

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