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Elderly parents

dad went suddenly blind at 83: advice please on how to help him

244 replies

funnyperson · 17/10/2012 03:47

I would really like help on where to go for advice on how to support my dad who went blind yesterday. He has been admitted to hospital, very ill, for septicemia which is improving with iv antibiotics but he suddenly lost all sight in one eye and most of the sight in the other yesterday morning. We managed to get the eye specialists to see him urgently they say he has vitreous haemmorhages.
What do we do when he gets home? How best to cope? What will he need? Who do we ask? Help, we are lost here and very sad for him.

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WereTricksPotter · 17/10/2012 15:29

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gingeroots · 17/10/2012 19:38

funnyperson how dreadful ,I'm so sorry .

Where I am in South East London the local authority had a home visitor who came and suggested things ( aids and adaptations ) and supplied some aids free of charge . This was for my mother who is partially sighted .

We were referred by Social Services .

The RNIB are very helpful ,hopefully the social workers/OT's at the hospital will know more about what is available .

Keep strong . x

CMOTDibbler · 17/10/2012 19:43

Firstly, vitreous haemorrages do not need to mean your dad goes blind - they can remove the 'jelly' part of his eye with the blood in and replace it. But it does depend on why he has had the bleeds. The consultants will be able to tell you what they plan.

But if his sight is permanently affected, then the best place to start is with your local group for the visually impaired - I know my friends dad is very involved with a group in Merthyr that supports people and signposts them to all the help available

funnyperson · 18/10/2012 01:20

Thank you for your replies. We have had a very tiring day. They made dad wait for 4 hours in the eye clinic, on oxygen, with his drip and catheter in a wheelchair. The consultant this morning said its not haemmorhages, he has pus in both his eyes, and has an enophthalmitis. He said its very rare and he wasnt sure what to do but has a bad outcome( his words). They grew a bug from dads blood- beta haemolyic streptococcus. THey said they wanted to transfer him to a teaching hospital where he could get more expert treatment. Eventually dad was allowed back t the ward. After another 2 hours sitting he looked exhausted and was helped into bed and fell asleep and we went home. The minute we got home the phone rang and the hospital said come back, dad is refusing treatement. It turned ut the eye doctors decided at five oclock they wanted to take

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funnyperson · 18/10/2012 01:26

him back down to the eye clinic to take some fliud off his eyes and inject some antibiotics into them. He said I am too tired and can I go down on the beed. They said no. He said he was toot ired t have it done nd could it be done the following day and why didnt the do it in the morning when he was down there for 4 hours. He was very very upset. It took ages to cal him down . The consultant had left by the tim ewe arrived. He did want any food and eventually fell asleep .

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funnyperson · 18/10/2012 01:27

sorry about the long post and spelling.

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funnyperson · 18/10/2012 01:28

He got upset at lunchtime because he couldnt see the food and sometimes there wasnt any on his fork when he took the fork to his mouth and it kept falling off.

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gingeroots · 18/10/2012 08:49

Oh funnyperson I don't know what to say but didn't want to say nothing .

Complain now if you have the time and energy or keep notes and complain later .

Can he be transferred to a teaching hospital ?

Can you be with him today ? Can you make sure you drink lots of fluids ( hospitals are so dehydrating ) and try and eat ,you must be exhausted .

Thinking of you and him .

funnyperson · 18/10/2012 21:06

went in at 7.30 am today left at 8 pm. got old he ight die and asked about a living will. fed him trifle which he likes a lot

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WereTricksPotter · 18/10/2012 21:10

This reply has been deleted

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gingeroots · 19/10/2012 09:04

Hang on in there funnyperson , good about the trifle .

Thinking of you . x

megandraper · 19/10/2012 09:09

He is entitled to assessment and help from his local authority.

Does he have any hearing problems as well?

RNIB are a good place to start.

I am sympathetic. I am in my 40s and almost blind (due to a genetic condition). It is hard to get used to (and I imagine more so when you are elderly) but everything is still possible - just needs different work-arounds.

Housewifefromheaven · 19/10/2012 09:12

Hoping for a better day for you all today

funnyperson · 20/10/2012 22:08

Thank you, Dad is now on ITU ventilated, dialysed and with tubes up his nose and in his veins and arteries. Oddly enough he looks comfortable. he has multi organ failure. Heaven knows what he will be like if/when he wakes up. The nursing staff have been fantastic.

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funnyperson · 20/10/2012 22:09

We sang to him as we think he can hear even though he is ventilated.

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funnyperson · 20/10/2012 22:10

Its a streptocccus infection.

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funnyperson · 20/10/2012 22:11

I keep thinking of all the amazing times we have had and then I think, its Ok I can stick with you in an ITU too as well as on a lovely holiday.

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CMOTDibbler · 20/10/2012 22:12

I'm so sorry to hear that your dad is so ill. Talking and singing to him is great as people can still be aware of familiar voices when sedated.
Thinking of you and your family

harbingerofdoom · 20/10/2012 22:20

I am so sorry to hear this funnyperson.

My thoughts will be with you and your father.XXX

HappyTurquoise · 20/10/2012 22:25

Bless him! What an ordeal! am cross they put him through so much unnecessary uncomfortable waiting and disturbance.

My friend who was blind in hospital said listening to taped novels and personal stereo was good (an older gentleman might prefer the older technology to an ipod, etc) and pressed flower cards (The ones from John Lewis, iirc) as she could feel the texture, and picture them when the colours were described (she later learned how to make her own.)

I am guessing that if you were in Surrey, you would have been referred to SAVI already, but the people there are great. Deaf and blind people among trustees, employees etc. too. I thought of them when you said about his eating - I am sure they would help with any questions if you called them, but it can be hard to get through at busy times.

chixinthestix · 20/10/2012 22:38

Oh funnyperson, I'm so sorry for you and your poor Dad. I hope he has a better night tonight and you all manage to get some rest. xx

swooosh · 20/10/2012 22:40

So sorry :(

HappyTurquoise · 20/10/2012 23:11

Still catching up. thinking of you and your father, Funny. xx

funnyperson · 21/10/2012 05:20

It is so nice to have messages from you all. I am trying to keep the faith and hope that he will recover. Though I cannot help but feel that he is dying and that a lot of the medical treatment has simply come too late.Seeing him with all the tubes I can't help wondering if he is in pain and feel so much sorrow that he might have to die this way. Part of me just wants to bring him home so he can be in his own bed with my mum and his family around him. The other part thinks maybe just maybe all the machines will help his body tide over the infection.
He is sedated so I don't know if he can see. But I am reading to him.

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HappyTurquoise · 21/10/2012 07:23

Hoping you managed to catch some sleep last night, Funny. Make sure you look after yourself.
You can ask the nurses what the tubes are for, and whether he has pain relief. I should think they would be giving him some morphine, but ask them and put your fears to rest.
It's lovely that you read to him, I'm sure it is a comfort.

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