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And breathe......elderly mother

(9 Posts)
apieceofcake Wed 05-Oct-16 20:56:17

So. Dm is in her eighties. Overweight. History of falls. Has limited mobility. Found out when the paramedics were round lifting her ( I physically can pick her up) that she had ms diagnosed some years ago. She had not told me. Doesn't drink enough so history of Utis.

Hopsitalised recently following a fall. Ulcer on leg that is in her words "just a scratch"

Now home but in bed with care 4x per day. Has had problems with catheter so not in place at the moment. Often wet when carers arrive. Getting bed sores which are in her notes but she denies.

Sufficient money to go to a v good care home but wants to be "independent". How is being stuck in one room. Wholly dependant on carers and living off ready meals that they can heat in less than 5 mins any level of independence/living.

I visit every week / shop/clean/sort out paperwork. but am over an hour away. Work full time and have 2 dcs still at home - not a 2 min walk away as she was for her mum - so yes feeling guilty.

She has physio to try and get her more mobile. But she can either do so doesn't know why she should practice or can't do it so doesn't know why they are asking her to try.

Won't buy an electric wheelchair in case they buy one for her.

No idea what I am really asking. Any practical suggestions welcome. I know she wants to pass on her ££££s but brother and I would much rather she was comfortable

georgethecat Wed 05-Oct-16 21:04:55

Oooo very difficult but if she is of sound mind & has capacity to make the decision - you can't make her do anything.
You can only keep persuading her to get help.

cheesecadet Wed 05-Oct-16 21:17:06

If this is what your mother wants, then she is in the best place. Try and be respectful of this and carry on encouraging her to use the help.

I'm a carer myself in the community and often you see people go downhill when they go into a home, especially if they are forced.

Put yourself in her shoes. Would you want to stay in your own home?

The carers will look after her. She sounds like she'll be more comfortable at home. I wouldn't push the issue. If she has the money, could you suggest she gets a cleaner?

garlicandsapphire Wed 05-Oct-16 22:38:49

I understand how difficult this is for you - as others have said it is up to her where she lives. Could you however, research the good care hones in your area and see what the options are - maybe take her to visit if she will?

You can find good homes through reading the CQC ratings and via the EAC - the Elderly Accommodation Council. If you need advice on paying for care ring or call Independent Age. Otherwise you could check out supported housing via either a housing association or private companies which provide a degree of independence with the comfort of wardens and a social community element too. But moving is stressful as well and needs care and support.

In the end of course, the choice is up to your Mum.

Badhairday1001 Wed 05-Oct-16 22:59:54

It is really difficult. My dad was similar in that he was having very frequent falls, it was referred to social services because he was falling multiple times every day, often getting injured and unable to get up and unwilling to use his care line buzzer because he didn't want help. He had four calls a day from caters who would pick him up off the floor, it was horrible. It had to eventually get to rock bottom for him before he agreed to go in to a care home. He has been there for years now and would have been dead otherwise and he is safe and Comfortable which is the main thing. I've really got no advise but you have my full sympathy, it's an awful situation to be in for everybody involved.

Joysmum Wed 05-Oct-16 23:05:36

I feel for you. I cared for my FIL and wanted him to go in a home 2 months before he did but DH and SIL didn't have to care for him and wanted to think the best of his condition.

Ultimately, it was his decision until he no longer had the mental capacity and physically able to remain at home.

As others said before, it's a balancing act because so often going in a home sends them in to decline so I think it's best to avoid for as long as this can safely be deferred.

AnnaUD Thu 06-Oct-16 09:14:33

Hi there,

First of all, please don't worry. It sounds like you are having quite a difficult time to juggle everything and I really feel for you. The situation with your mother is unfortunately far from unusual, but it can be resolved. Your mother, like most elderly people, wants to stay independent and she probably also would prefer to stay in her own home - her failure to notify you of her deterioration is a clear indication of this. By the sounds of it, there is no financial barrier? Care homes are often punishingly expensive and although you get the benefits of a certain amount of socialising, she will not be receiving one-on-one attention. The best option is to research a high end, top quality home care provider who supplies the following: personal care (where they can come in however many hours you and your mother want them to, and look after her personal hygiene, help her with medication, lift her in and out of bed etc), double-up calls (two carers come in at the same time, if need be), live in care (where you get 2 carers taking in turns living in with your mother and giving her their full attention), sleep in night and wake in nights (much what it sounds like - they either sleep in the house at night or they stay awake to watch her during the night, and help her into a different sleeping position so that she doesn't get sores), end of life care (again, highly trained and experienced staff who will look after her at the end of her life if she prefers to be at home rather than in a hospital) and also hospital-to-home service (so say if she goes into hospital and then gets sent home at some ungodly hour, the company can send someone out to the hospital to get her safely from the ward and into her own bed at home).

It is not a fact most of us want to consider, but you get what you pay for, in health care as with anything else. The cost for some of the services above might be slightly more than what a care home would cost, but the benefits to your mother and to your peace of mind are incalculable. I say might, as many care homes charge not just for the board, but for everything else on top, which you wouldn't get with a home care company.

I'm not sure what area your mother lives in but the two top quality providers of home care in the UK are Right at Home and Home Instead. You can go to their website to find out if they have an office in your mother's area and then go an visit them when you next see her - I would strongly advise a personal visit as you will get a good feel for the company and they will also be able to talk you through options and answer any questions you might have. They will NOT go into the hard sell - they are dedicated to provide help and person centred care first and foremost, and they will be happy to spend a lot of time with you even if you end up going with someone else. If you don't get a good vibe off the people, listen to your instincts, and also look at their office and see what clues you get - do they seem happy, smiling, are they welcoming? Also, all care providers (care homes, home care, hospitals, GPs etc) HAVE to be registered with the CQC (the Care Quality Commission) - you can search for any provider there. Look at their latest report and don't go with anyone who has a lesser rating than "Good" in all key areas (you will see what I mean when you go on their website!). Also, try the website of - all providers who put pride in their services are on that site, with ratings from - and this is very important - actual service users. Read through their testimonials - what are they saying about the local office?

Anyway, I hope this helps - as you can tell, I could go on for ages about this so feel free to ask any questions you like. Also, one thing: you say your mum has suffered from UTIs - it's worth noting that a UTI can sometimes present with similar symptoms to dementia, so if your mother gets forgetful or confused, ask to have her tested and treated for a UTI!

Again, don't worry. Deep breaths - then do your research. There are lots of dedicated, professional, brilliant people out there who can turn this situation around for you and treat your mother with the dignity and respect she deserves, in her own home. Her quality of life will be much better and you can go back to being the daughter who visits and brings that extra ray of sunshine to her! Good luck!

DadWasHere Thu 06-Oct-16 09:29:37

You know your mother best OP but, from my personal point of view, I have no doubt when my father in law dies it will be from breaking his neck falling out of a tree he was trying to prune or dropping dead while carrying a loaded bucket. If he was to be made 'comfortable' I believe he would be dead sooner.

CMOTDibbler Thu 06-Oct-16 09:35:31

My dad is a pita for not wanting to spend the money they have on care. I completely respect the wish not to be in residential care, but that means spending on people to clean, garden and care.
My parents have an independant carer who is with them for an hour a day - so she cleans out the fridge, gives dad a shopping list (he goes out on his mobility scooter), gives mum a proper bath, sorts their clothes, helps deal with any issues, makes the bed and so on. Once a week mum gets taken out for an hour in the wheelchair, and the cleaner comes another. The handyman and gardener come weekly or as needed, and dad uses the volunteer car service to go to the hospital.

Of course, dad (mum is unaware of it all due to dementia) would rather I did all these things and they didn't pay, but I can't make that work. And sometimes that means having very firm conversations about the alternatives!

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