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Care Options

(18 Posts)
OverFedStanley Wed 13-Feb-19 13:17:55

My Mother 85 has lived alone since widow for over 30 years.

She has no major health issues that the medics can find but is becoming very anxious and has some cognitive decline, she does get weak and very tired.

She needs support but seems too capable for care homes, she has carers who come to her home but they are not there for her "emergencies" which cause her distress eg light bulb going etc

I feel that moving to sheltered accommodation where she still has her own flat etc as not the best idea as it may be for a short time and also learning a new environment on her own would be very hard for her.

Is there any other option or way forward?

OverFedStanley Wed 13-Feb-19 13:21:38

Just to mention that Mum would be self funding so getting as assessment has proved difficult in our area. Priority to people who would need funding it seems

TheABC Wed 13-Feb-19 13:29:36

It sounds like what you want is a companion - someone who can be there to help ease her anxiety. I remember reading about a scheme in Germany, where they matched students and young people with older homeowners. The aim was give the young a cheaper rent and the older person some live-in companionship. It was done very carefully to ensure there was no personality clash and there were regular checks by the agency. The younger companion was next expected to do care tasks.

Alternatively, my grandfather is in supported flat (his own choice), that he picked for the convenience and social life. He runs the residents committee at 90! Don't discount it as it can be life changing.

anniehm Wed 13-Feb-19 13:34:47

A supported flat in a complex that has extra care is a possibility, or the residential section of a care home (rather than nursing) where she can still go out.

Go and see what's in your area, some are like amazing hotels and for residential the price is cheaper- we were quoted £485 which considering that's bed, full board, entertainment and laundry it's good value

OverFedStanley Wed 13-Feb-19 13:38:19

anniehm we looked at a residential home - very much like a hotel but it £1200.00 a week the cheapest we could find! I'll keep looking.

I am not sure her house would be suitable for a young person companion as she is pretty rural so away from universities or towns but certainly something to consider but I feel Mum may be too demanding smile

I will look again at sheltered accommodation thank you all for you helpful comments

Finfintytint Wed 13-Feb-19 19:17:27

Hello, look locally for self employed housekeepers/companions. I do this and currently attend to a lady and keep her company, do basic housekeeping duties, entertain her and provide emotional support.
She has an emergency contact pendant and the family are also on hand.

OverFedStanley Wed 13-Feb-19 22:06:27

Finfintytint thank you we need a Finfintytint! I will suggest this idea to her

FinallyHere Fri 22-Feb-19 11:12:29

We use an agency called country cousins who introduce carers. The carers are then paid directly plus an introduction fee to the agency.

They provide help for a range of different needs and have been very flexible in responding as my mothers needs have changed.

It's early days for us but seems promising and a good compromise between being safe and well cared for and a home, of assisted living situation where the care givers often seem spread very thinly indeed

FinallyHere Fri 22-Feb-19 11:12:49

MereDintofPandiculation Sat 23-Feb-19 08:50:00

What does that mean in terms of their employment status? Are they genuinely self employed? Or if they don't have other clients, do they become employed by you with all the complications like pension contributions, paid leave and seick leave, NI contributions?

FinallyHere Sat 23-Feb-19 20:03:55

Each placement is for fifteen days, so that there is some overlap on the last/first day with the next person. The companion/carer choses whether to have a break, or rotate onto another client.

They are therefore genuinely self employed, with more than one employer to confirm that status. We pay gross and leave all the tax/NI to them to sort out for themselves.

A housekeeping book is kept, to record routines, preferences etc and provide continuity of service. If anyone just doesn't 'jell' we would be introduced to another person. Once we have three or four people who 'work' they come in rotation. Absences and holidays are accommodated naturally.

Apple23 Sat 23-Feb-19 21:54:22

Can she have a lifeline button that she wears around her neck and presses in an emergency? This would potentially cover the light bulb scenario. I would set this up even if you go for the live-in carer scheme.

Your area may have a mobile warden schemes where the wardens phone the elderly person daily, visit regularly and run errands. This can be set up very quickly and may be a good stop-gap until you have a more long-term solution.

Some residential/ care homes have schemes where people can visit for the day and be involved in activities. If she were then to require the residential care it would be in a place she had become familiar with.

Mishappening Sat 23-Feb-19 22:03:48

Some of these sheltered complexes charge a very high monthly service fee (for which you often get very little indeed), so please do bear that in mind. When my Dad died we finished up paying this charge for the many many months it took to sell the place - and it was one of the things that deterred buyers.

Skinnyjeansandaloosetop Sat 23-Feb-19 22:11:36

I would ditto the PP above who mentioned extra care housing. Not the same as sheltered housing. You have your own flat but with a care agency on site and always someone available at night time if needed. In sheltered the scheme manager is often, these days, not present much. Extra care also has the social/ communal aspect (if your mum is into that). Regardless of funding status, your mum would most likely still need a social care assessment to identify the need for her to be in extra care housing (ie the SW would recommend her
for which she would then self fund).

Glitterbug76 Sat 23-Feb-19 22:13:44

Hiya Hun
I've been a social worker for 15 years and I've seen a lot of changes a few options
24 care in her home
Extra care housing - carers on site /
activities as and when / would have own flat
Assistive technology door sensors ect
Residential care cons lots of people in Their whose cognitive impairment for more advanced that could cause cause mums mental / emotional well being to deteriorate
Day centres
Carers to support mum to access community

shiningstar2 Sat 23-Feb-19 22:39:40

Depends how much support your mother needs. Would a shorter hours type of service something like finfintytint provides be useful? Lots of lovely people need part time work. I'm thinking of a maybe 9.30 until 2.30 arrangement where what the employee/carer/helper does depends on the needs of the day.

For example it might be cleaning one day with a bit of company for your mum over lunch as well, taking to appointments with food shopping on the way back another day. Maybe a cinema trip together on another day or a look around town with lunch as trusted companionship does help alleviate anxiety in the elderly. Things like replacing light bulbs, noticing any concerning changes which might need to be discussed with family or just keeping track of things in the house which need replenishing all part of the service.

A cheaper version of the type of full time companion which some elderly have.

I know someone with this kind of arrangement and it seems to work well for them. Sometimes the lady extends her hours a bit for a matinee at the theatre. She drives and also sometimes drops her elderly person off for lunch with friends and picks up the shopping on her own. Of course you would need the right person but lots of trustworthy people would rather do a job like this than being maybe stuck behind a till at tesco all day or doing the kind of full on carers' roles available in care homes. Might also appeal to someone currently working in the type of carer job where you go from home to home with only 15 or 30 minutes for each client. I think that's how the person I know found the lovely lady who now looks after her.

FinallyHere Sun 24-Feb-19 07:00:46

That sounds lovely, @shiningstar2

In my mother's case, daily visitors worked well for about a year. She became increasingly anxious and prone to pressing the personal alarm so that live in care became necessary. The agency who provides the carers made it very easy for us to find people prepared to do ever higher levels of care.

A private arrangement might not be quite so flexible.

OverFedStanley Sun 24-Feb-19 11:57:34

Thank you all for your helpful comments - it seems there are a lot of options. I think the sound of extra care housing is the way to go.

We now have daily carers coming into Mums house but I have had to back away for a few days as apparently according to Mum she does not need help and is never anxious and can do everything herself.........sigh so we are going with the slow approach to come to an amicable answer.

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