Mother 76 openheart surgery only child(15 Posts)
My mum 76 collaosed during week, hospital by ambulance and am now told that she needs valve replacement through open heart surgery. She lives alone as my father died 2 years ago, but we live only 5 mins away. I have 4 dc and have chronic health problems and to be quite honest am struggling at moment. I visit hospital ( usually 30 mins away but with traffic is over hour)every morning for 4 hours, then do school run etc but am so worried what is down the road. She is having surgery next week and has been told she will be in hospital over Christmas. She is in good form now but I know the surgery/recovery will be difficult ax she has got so frail since Dad died. Im next of kin and am ultimately responsible for her care, as am only child, but even now I am feeling overwhelmed and v emotional. How will she cope after surgery? With 4 dc we have v noisy house so I know she would not like to come here to rehabilitate. She has already said she won't go to a care home as she'll be fine on her own. I have chronic pain and already it has flared badly and I am hurting from head to toe. On the surface I look like I'm coping so well with doctors, nurses, mum's visits, her laundry , my own 4 children (husband works long hours), but inside I'm a wreck. I'm so nervous of what will lie ahead for my mum and how I'll cope with everything. I've had open heart surgery 8 yrs ago so I know how difficult recovery is. Sorry for long , rambling post. Don't know what I'm asking but I suppose I just need to vent.
I imagine some kind of hospice care for the recovery period will be offered to her since she lives on her own (is this in England?)
Ask if there is an intermediate care facility in your area. Mum was adamant that she wasn't going into "a home" but they did wonders for her. It's all about rehab and getting them back to independent life. You could maybe sell it on the free holiday aspect, someone else doing the cleaning and cooking for her.
I haven't got much to offer except a handhold and my thoughts. Hope it goes well.
My mother is a similar age and Dad died 18 months ago. She also needs a valve replacement (less acutely than your mum) but was turned down for surgery about a year ago, considered for a trial of an endovascular device but "not bad enough" (due to study protocol more than actual need sadly), and might be going for a second opinion on surgery. She's overseas though we are all planning towards her moving back to the UK.
Thanks so much for your replies. We are in Ireland and I think hospitals do offer a step down rehabilitation stay in a nursing home for few weeks. Don't know how she will take to that but one step at a time. Today she was in great form and she was saying that she is not a bit nervous about surgery. She seems v resigned to it and says 'what will be will be'. She was saying that she would not mind goinģ to be with my dad (he died 2 yrs ago) and she has a very strong Catholic faith. I'm so afraid that she doesn't have the "fight" to battle through recovery. I told her that I am not ready to let her go and she was saying that the last thing she wants is to be a burden.. My eldest daughter(17yrs) is v close to her and us really upset. It is such a difficult time.
Get the nursing staff to talk her into going to a convalescent home for the next step after hospital. They will have more sway with her than you. That's what my mum is like! They take more notice of medical professionals.
Regarding recovery, she might be better off being calm going into it than agitated. Just work on staying calm yourself and reassure her she's not a burden - also remind her from a Catholic perspective that God will decide when it's her time so that may not be yet!
What about your extended family and neighbours/friends, OP? Do you have cousins and uncles and aunts? Could anybody else talk to her about a care home while she recovers?
She has one sister but she is inclined to dictate to my mother, what she should do, which really gets her back up! I think maybe, when she realises her restricted mobility after surgery, she may reconsider. I haven't broached the subject with her as such, but she always say that she would never want to go to a nursing home. Maybe if she sees it as rehabilitation and a stepping stone to independence, she may think differently. At this stage I'm just hoping she will get through the surgery and be ok.
She should be seen by the cardiac rehab team when she is in hospital, you could discuss respite care with them. There will be things she cannot do, like lifting, hoovering and will need to rest. Would she accept home help for a few weeks.
To give you a positive story, my father had OHS - valve replacement and a bypass - at the age of 87. He has made a good recovery and is now better and less breathless that he was.
He didn't have the problem of having nobody at home, but a few years ago my uncle, aged 79 at the time, had surgery (not OHS though) and as he lives in a different city and lives alone, he went into a convalescent home for a few weeks before going home to his house. He is going strong (still at home on his own) at 88.
I think as long as you explain to your mother that she is in the home just for a period of convalescence, and that as soon as she can do xyz she will be able to go home, she should understand. If she doesn't want to be a burden, she surely won't expect you to be looking after her.
Thanks for the replies. My mother is having her surgery on Friday which means she will be in ICU for Christmas. I've 4 children so have to do Christmas even though I feel like cancelling it. I have decided that when she is discharged from hospital I'll look after her in my own house(5 mins from her own house). My daughter will bunk in with her brothers and I feel it will be easier to have her here than me running back and forth to her own house . Surgeon says that surgery will be complicated so I'm taking each day as it comes.
Speak to the social worker attached to the hospital and explain the circumstances. Arrangements will be made for her to be cared for in a local NHS rehab unit or in a nursing home for as long as necessary. Please note that if she is placed in a nursing home for MEDICAL reasons, it will be free under the NHS Continuing Care rules.
I would strongly recommend that you do not accept her home until she is well enough to be self-caring, so your only task would be providing meals. In other words that she is capable of bathing and dressing herself, and her mobility is normal.
People are often discharged from hospital far too soon and because you wish to do right by her (as do most relatives) it is tempting to receive someone home when they really need to be receiving professional care. You may need to stand your ground!
I do hope that the surgery goes well and that you are able to celebrate Christmas without too much worry.
Thank you mishappening for your reply. We live in Ireland so not sure what rehabilitation support is available. I know you are right about care at home....I have chronic pain issues which has flared and have chest infection/pleurisy at moment. She keeps saying that I need to take care of My self and that she is content at moment. She them adds that it is afterwards that she needs me! I will look into meeting up with hospital social worker and see what support is available. I know she has private health care which I think pays for week or 2 of rehabilitation care....Will check it out too. I know she won't go to the local nursing home as dad died there 2 years ago, and she visited him there for 6 mins....the memories would be too painful as she has not got over his death yet.
Just an update. My mum had her surgery on Friday and thankfully all went to plan. She left ICY today for cardiac floor and they are talking about discharging her on Thursday,! I was v surprised as she seems v frail and quite confused(which she never is usually). I asked to speak to social worker about convalesence care but they are all off until Wednesday. I explained she lives alone and facilities in my home are not suitable. Waiting to hear back. It's such a difficult time....on one hand I want to rush in and say I'll take care of her but I know that in long run that's not practical (my own chronic pain issues and 4 children ). My mother hasn't spoken about after care yet but I will have to broach subject soon. We live in Ireland and nurse said ax my mum's surgery was through a&e department initially and not elective, hospital are responsible to look after step down care. I'll wait and see what is offered.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with: