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Care for mum whilst dad has dialysis

(9 Posts)
Marmitelover55 Sun 24-Jan-16 10:30:27

My dad is 87 and mum 90. Mum has Alzheimer's and dad has heart and kidney problems and was recently in hospital with a ruptured gastric ulcer which caused a heart attack. When he came out of hospital they spent 3 weeks in respite care (self-funded) but are currently doing well at home with a personal assistant carer coming for 2 hours 3 times a week. Unfortunately she isn't able to offer any more time. Although the care home was pretty nice my parents didn't like it and wanted to be back at home (understandably).

The issue is that my dad will soon need to start dialysis 3 times a week in a hospital 10 miles away. My mum can't be left alone. I have spoken to their GP who suggested the card home or 24 hour home care. I wondered about day centres but the GP felt that might not work if dialysis running late etc.

I live 180 miles away and try to get down there every two weeks but there is no way I can cover this. (I work full time and have 2 young children).

Does anyone have an experience of this? Are there any other options? Social services are going to do an assessment but in my experience they won't help as my parents are self funding. Thanks for any ideas.

Penfold007 Sun 24-Jan-16 10:34:09

Have you considered speaking to adult social services and asking for a joint assessment of their needs? SS should be able to advise on what options are available locally.

Marmitelover55 Sun 24-Jan-16 10:42:57

Thanks - I have asked for an assessment but not a joint one. I will try speaking to them again tomorrow.

Wolpertinger Sun 24-Jan-16 11:08:57

I don't think a Day Care centre is going to be the right solution - GP is right that dialysis and transport often run late and your DM may find going to day care just as disruptive.

It's hard as I suspect your parents are right on the edge of managing at home and probably only manage because one has the skills that the other one doesn't.

If they are self-funding this could be to their advantage as paying for a carer (or better 2 or 3 carers so there is a small group they trust which covers annual leave etc) means you get more control over what they do.

So you could have a carer there all day to supervise DM, make meals, do the cleaning etc. You may not need a 24 hour carer currently but a carer all day - or maybe more realistically in 2 shifts on the days Dad is at dialysis would work.

As they are self-funding, Social Services aren't going to be especially interested, especially as they really only fund personal care which doesn't seem your biggest issue.

This would hopefully stabilize the situation for a longer period of time until something else happens. If both of them were ill, being a 24 hour carer for 2 people would be an impossible job and an early move to the care home together might help your DM settle, especially as it sounds as if she is in better health than your Dad.

Marmitelover55 Sun 24-Jan-16 17:28:50

Thank you that's very helpful. I'm not sure how best to find some more carers/personal assistants. My dad found their current one so I can ask him, but where would be the best place to look?

CMOTDibbler Sun 24-Jan-16 20:02:33

My mum can't be left on her own either, and my dad has very frequent appointments for his assortment of problems. This gets covered between their carer and the cleaner (who their carer found, and takes mum out regularly in the wheelchair anyway).

Ask their current carer if she knows anyone who would be suitable to help your parents.

I guess your dad is going to have to take hospital transport for his dialysis? It will make it a long time that he's out - the dialysis lasts 3 hours or so, and then it would quite possibly be an hour each way with the multiple pick ups/drop offs.

Marmitelover55 Sun 24-Jan-16 20:38:29

Thank you all so much for your help. I texted their current p.a. Who has replied saying that we can all get our heads together and she has some Carer friends - she thinks that between the four of them they will be able to cover it in shifts. I think they might be able to take and collect my mum from a dementia daycare centre, so if my dad is running late they will hopefully be able to stay with mum. I feel so relieved - I know nothing is sorted yet but I feel skit more hopeful than before. Thanks again everyone. X

Wolpertinger Sun 24-Jan-16 20:51:18

If you can do it between her carer friends that's good. This way you know all involved and hopefully there are enough of them to cover holidays etc. The other way would be via a care agency. It would be good for you to find a care agency anyway as an total emergency backup plan.

One thing Social Services should be able to help with is a Carers Assessment - especially as your Dad is acting as a carer to your mum and vice versa. What this entails will vary but locally it would cover a few days of respite care if one of them had to go into hospital.

Marmitelover55 Sun 24-Jan-16 20:55:43

Thanks - will ask about this. They do have involvement with a care agency butthat is a bit weird. Basically a Carer from the agency comes 4 days a week (the days the PA doesn't come) at about 11am. My dad just sends them on their way, but at least someone is physically there checking they are ok. The agency aren't very happy though as the carers are at a loose end until their next appointment.

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