Advice about private care/nursing(4 Posts)
Sorry in advance for such a long post. Not parents, but my grandmother.
She has Type 2 diabetes, severe incontinence, limited mobility and probable dementia, although she has had the test and was not diagnosed as such. Generally, she has lost all sense of time - she'll say she went on holiday last year when it was actually 5 years ago; or she'll say she visited friends recently but she just thought about visiting them, and never actually made the trip.
She has medicine (antidepressants, diabetes tablets, etc) delivered in a dossett box from the pharmacy every week, in order to help her take what she needs to on the correct day. She has a big clock beside the medicine with an arrow showing what day it is. We suspect she only ever manages to take two/three days worth of medicine out of each weekly box. She spends 12 hours in bed each night and refuses to get up to go to the bathroom, so the bed/her clothes are generally covered in solid waste. She refuses to shower and will only strip wash. She will also only eat porridge unless food is made for her, and even then, it's a struggle making her eat it.
I highly suspect that she would benefit significantly if she just took her medication properly and got out of bed earlier. She lives in sheltered accommodation which has art classes and coffee mornings she could attend, but she always misses them because she's still in bed.
We're all too far away from her apartment to be there every day to make sure that she has gotten up, eaten breakfast and taken her medicine. I wondered if there was such a thing as a private nurse that we could hire? There's no space for a live-in carer in her apartment but we'd be willing to pay someone who could come at a set time every morning and make sure she takes her medicine and eats something for breakfast. Is this possible? And where would I find someone like that?
I would speak to her and ask if she would be happy for her gp, community nurse or social services to come and see her to carry out a care needs assessment, does she have anyone doing personal care or housework at the moment. She might be able to get some help from social services or carers, if you want a private carer you look up care agencies in her area and call them, they can assess her needs, it might be worth talking to the wardend if there is one, they may be able to recommend agencies. Do you know if she has ever had a formal capacity assessment to see if she understands about her care, you cant force someone with capacity to take meds, get out of bed, have carers in. Also do you have power of attorney, that's always a good thing to have in place.
there are certainly carers who will come in and ask her to take her meds, or make her something to eat
however, if she has capacity, then an agency will, rightly IMHO, say they can't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do.
may I ask how old she is?
You say you'd be willing to pay, but if she accepts the need (assuming she has capacity to make the decision) and doesn't have funds, this is something that she should be able to get through Social Services - ask for a needs assessment.
You may have to pay someone privately for the medicine taking - this is something that they may regard as "nursing" and not do, but in that case you can get a care agency to provide someone.
You should also apply for Attendance Allowance which is not means tested, and will help to pay for things like this.
As wiggly says, if you haven't already got power of Attorney in place for both finance and health & welfare, then do it while she still has capacity.
Also enquire whether her LA still has a meals on wheels service - only 40% of LAs do, but ours was very good, and provided another check on welfare as well as the hot meal delivery.
The difficulty we found was bedtime - LA carers didn't work after 10pm, and if someone turned up at 8.30 and suggested to my night-owl Dad that he should go to bed, it just wasn't going to happen!
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