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Elderly parents

Need advice from any Mumsnetters in Ireland

8 replies

turkeyboots · 23/08/2012 16:36

My DM is in hospital after a TIA. She's ok, but getting very worried about going home, as she lives alone. DBro and I live in the UK and are taking turns each weekend to go home, but neither of us can stay of any lenght of time due to work commitments. DSis is in the US, so she's no help. And parents are divorced, and DF lives abroad anyway.

The extended family is helping by staying with her, but they are in the NW and she's in the sunny south east. And they all have other commitments too.

Any suggestions on who I can talk to or what I can do or arrange to make her feel safer at home? It's horrible not to be there (its DBs turn) so trying to research what I can, but haven't lived in Ireland since I was a child, so no clue on where to even start looking.


OP posts:
turkeyboots · 23/08/2012 17:15


OP posts:
NapaCab · 23/08/2012 17:28

I'm not living in Ireland anymore but grew up there and didn't want to leave your post unanswered.

For elderly people who are living alone, there should be some support provided by the local Social Services and all pensioners are eligible for help, AFAIK. In my home town, there is a Meals-on-Wheels service that delivers hot food once a day to pensioners living alone. There might also be some support for provision of a carer part-time depending on your mother's financial situation. There are definitely plenty of private agencies providing carers in the home, although I don't have experience of this personally so can't recommend one.

You could also try the St Vincent de Paul, a charity that focuses on easing social distress through the local community. They often visit the elderly and support families in need. Most of their services are aimed at those in financial need of course but they would certainly point you in the right direction for local services even if they couldn't support your mother themselves through their volunteers.

turkeyboots · 23/08/2012 17:33

Thanks Napa, I'll start there. DM not a pensioner though, as they've just raised the pension age - which she is v cross about.

Also she has the "Irish Mammy" horror of the St V de P, people might think she needed help! So will have approach that one carefully.

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Onthebottomwithawomansweekly · 23/08/2012 17:41

Is there a local health centre, someone in there could direct you to sources of help? Even if they don't have an appointment there will be noticeboards and leaflets. Also the GP/surgery?

Is there an old folk's centre - there's one in my village and my mum volunteers there to do meals on wheels. Look up Active Retirement Associations in the area too.

The State pension age hasn't changed yet though - the changes kick in from 2014 - so your DM might still be entitled to claim.

Age for State pension

RedRoverRedRover · 23/08/2012 17:44

Sorry to hear about this Turkey. DBro and I also live in UK & parents are in Ireland, so a situation like this has always been in the back of my mind as something I might have to face.

AFAIK, State support is fairly limited. The threshold for services seems to be set very high and most things are means-tested. Regarding St. v de P - my DM is involved with that charity as a volunteer and says that most of their resources are taken up nowadays with families who were caught out after "The Boom" and now aren't able to meet mortgage payments, bills etc.

Is privately funding a career for your DM an option? Do you have any cousins that might be able to offer her support? Or any neighbours who could help out?You could possibly push the HSE to provide say a 2 week stay in a convalescent home which might bridge the gap between inpatient hospital and on-her-own at home.

Has the TIA left her with any residual problems? If so, get her GP to refer to Physio/Occupational Therapy/Speech & Language ASAP as there can be waits for all of these.

Onthebottomwithawomansweekly · 23/08/2012 17:45

Also you could try the ICA - Irish Countrywomen's Association - this is the Irish equivalent of the WI.

Don't know what the Irish version of jam and Jerusalem is - probably hairy bacon and Hail Marys!

This would be more along the lines of social life than help - but your mum might be more receptive to that?

turkeyboots · 23/08/2012 17:57

She was a ICA milking champion back in the day! So that might go down well and she ran an excerise class for the local Active retirement group so will prime DBro to go speak to her neighbour who's the local coordinator.

She doesn't need care as much as reassureance, so hopefully some short term regular visiting will do the trick.

Thanks all for the ideas and kind words.

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potoftea · 07/09/2012 06:54

I know this post is a few weeks old now turkeyboots and I hope things have been sorted out for you. But the public health nurse is often good for putting things in place, such as home help (housework, shopping) and home carer (personal care), and also will call a few times a week if necessary. Can be contacted at local Health Service office.
There are also several private care companies in the south east, Home Instead is one I know of, but obviously it is pricey, but lots of families use the health service carers and then hire private carers to supplement the care. They have carers who will offer companionship, or overnight care, as well as personal care.

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