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MIL with mobility problems, dementia and now terminal cancer

(6 Posts)
fadingfast Wed 07-Oct-15 18:25:35

She is currently a 'bed blocker' in hospital, having had a procedure to relieve symptoms of cancer. We have been told the only other treatment is palliative care.
The hospital social worker has assessed her as ready to be discharged to home (sheltered but unsupported LH housing) with her previous level of social care (x3 visits of 15 mins per day).

DH is not happy with this plan, and at least some of the Drs and nurses agree with him that she now needs a higher level of care, probably residential. She is being disruptive on the ward and has fallen over a couple of times due to mobility problems. DH applied for POA around 4 weeks ago but it hasn't yet been granted.

We just don't know how to take things forward from here. Getting information out of the hospital about the cancer prognosis has been impossible. There are never any Drs available when DH visits after work.

The whole situation is causing DH an enormous amount of stress and he has very little in the way of support from his siblings.

Sorry for the ramble but does anyone have any suggestions about how we can sort this out?
Thank you.

CMOTDibbler Wed 07-Oct-15 18:34:02

I'm sorry you are going through this. The first thing is that your dh needs to get in contact with his mums oncologist to find out what is likely to happen from here. I've had some success with leaving my number with the ward staff and asking for the consultant to call me to discuss. Or he could ask to meet them at a time convenient to them (I know its a PITA to take time off work for this), and can they just let him know when.

If MIL is falling on the ward, then that would seem to make discharging her home with 5 hours between visits (and 12 overnight) unsafe, and not sustainable anyway.

I hate to say it, but the point at which someone is in hospital is the strongest position you can be in for arranging residential care - once someone is at home its much harder to attract attention.

fadingfast Wed 07-Oct-15 18:40:19

Thank you for your swift response CMOT, much appreciated.
The frustrating thing is that DH has left messages, they have his mobile number and he has also offered to come in for a meeting if they will only give him a time. He works full time and just can be there all day.
We are taking the approach that we will not agree to the discharge on the basis the social worker has suggested, in the hope that they will reassess. It feels awful to have to be difficult to make things happen though!

CMOTDibbler Wed 07-Oct-15 19:15:03

Oh, that must be frustrating. Another approach is if you know the name of the consultant, you can usually get the switchboard to put you through to their secretary - they are often very good at making sure contact is made.

It does feel awful to have to refuse/challenge discharge (I've done it several times for my parents), but think of it as safeguarding MIL. Her welfare is your concern, not their logistics.

WhoAteMyToast Wed 07-Oct-15 19:17:06

There was a radio 4 programmed I listened to on this yesterday while I was driving. It may have some tips. flowers

Helenluvsrob Fri 23-Oct-15 23:33:00

As for a continuing health care assessment. As she's terminally ill she'll probably get it and if she doesn't now get it reassessed soon. This will give you funding ( nhs not social care funding) to buy her care in as needed.

Just a word of warning re power of attorney - does she really have capacity to give it? If she doesn't you need to look at court of protection stuff ASAP if she's not agreeing to you " helping" manage her money - if she has stuff set up so you can already do her banking with her permission thrn you just keep doing that I guess!

The other useful people for communication are the palliative care nurses for the consultant team.

Good luck ((()))

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