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Elderly parents

The Cockroach Cafe 🪳 Spring 2023

971 replies

MereDintofPandiculation · 02/03/2023 09:21

Welcome! I’ve done a really good clean of the place overnight, and brought in daffodils from the garden to remind us all that spring is around the corner and better times on the way.

Come in when you want to share good news, or to rant, or to ask a small question that doesn't warrant its own thread. Or just to hang out with others who understand what you're going through.

For newbies: why cockroach? Previous long term resident of "Elderly Parents" Yolo's DM attended a 'small animal event' in a nursing home, and was presented with a "small animal with a hard back" the name of which species she couldn't remember. Her ever helpful DB suggested cockroach, and it has become a toast on here. So 🪳 mes amis/amies, and may you all live to fight another day.

OP posts:
BestIsWest · 05/03/2023 12:26

Thankfully DM gave up her licence just before Covid as her arthritis was too bad so we haven’t had that issue.

Chevyimpala67 · 05/03/2023 19:16

Taking mum to drs and nurse tomorrow morning
First f2f in months even after 2 emergency admissions

countrygirl99 · 06/03/2023 15:37

Trying to book appointments to view care homes. What a nightmare. Spoken to 6 of 8 so far. 1 appointment booked, 2 coming back to confirm times, 2 struck off the list and 1 currently not allowing visits due to flu (wasn't top of my list anyway). The big problem is we want to go at the weekend as DB2 and I both work.

Mum5net · 06/03/2023 20:59

@countrygirl99 My DM's care homes while v good always had issues with staffing at weekends. If you visit a care home at the weekend and its well organised and well staffed then put it to the top of the pile. On a weekend, immediately after lunch, when the staff catch up on their own lunches and available staff are taking patients to the toilet, I found this by far the most stressful time. Don't discard those that have turned you down but hats off to the ones that are seeing you. I think your winner might be in that list, although a manager might want to meet you themselves and can't do that at weekends.

countrygirl99 · 06/03/2023 21:26

@Mum5net it's been quite illuminating just making the calls. One was just "no you can't visit we're full" I explained we are not necessarily looking for a place immediately and would be happy to go on a wait list and again just "we're full" so they are crossed off. Shame because it's close to sheltered housing that some of mum's close friends live in so good for non family visits.
We have 2 visits booked now but not the same Saturday and got a good vibe from them. Both owned by the same not for profit organisation and both quite happy to have a long chat on the phone. And if we think they might be suitable encourage a trial visit staying a few hours to join an activity and have lunch. They are happy for us to come at the weekend to get a feel for the place and have a follow up chat by phone afterwards.
Typically I went to mum's this evening and she was on the best form for weeks! Although she didn't remember DS2 visiting just over a week ago when we spent 2 hous deep cleaning her kitchen cupboards (mice) and claimed she never needs to put the heating on - it was at a Death Valley like temperature, I was melting in a t shirt. But she did get a locksmith out by herself when she broke a key in the lock - she uses a 2017 yellow pages so at least it wasn't a fly by night business.

HerkyBaby · 06/03/2023 21:40

Such a comfort to see that the cafe is still open. I’m pressing my nose against the window, peering in and drawing strength and comfort from the stories of others .

seanbeanmarryme · 06/03/2023 22:27

Had an email from the care home today advising that we may be able to claim the £400 cost of living payment if relative is fully self funding.
The link given to apply is
Mum has only been in the home since Dec 22 so not sure if she's eligible to apply, will have to see if her name was on the utility bills with Dad.
Does anyone else have any info regarding this?

Words · 07/03/2023 07:54

Place marking

MereDintofPandiculation · 07/03/2023 09:24

it's been quite illuminating just making the calls. One was just "no you can't visit we're full" I explained we are not necessarily looking for a place immediately and would be happy to go on a wait list and again just "we're full" so they are crossed off. I can see their side. It’s the residents’ home, so they don’t want extra uninvited visitors, and it’s staff effort to spend half an hour looking after you on a visit.

@HerkyBaby Don’t be daft! Don’t stand outside. Door’s open, come on in to the warm. (If you’re feeling shy, you could lurk in the Good Daughters’ room - it’s very quiet in there)

OP posts:
SheilaFentiman · 07/03/2023 09:34

One home we visited (though they did let us visit) simply don’t keep a waiting list. Essentially, the admin to go through the list one by one as and when a resident died or moved to the nursing wing was too much, especially as no one takes themselves off waiting lists once they find a place elsewhere. They just take the next suitable candidate when they have a space.

thesandwich · 07/03/2023 12:33

@HerkyBaby come on in! Everyone welcome.

Badger1970 · 07/03/2023 12:44

I'm 5 weeks since losing Dad, and still struggling to shake off the horror of his death (liver cancer). My sister is still driving me crazy and I'm now counting the days until we hand his flat back to the landlord so there's no real reason for communication. Still trying to arrange ashes interral, some hold up now between the Vicar and undertaker about the sort of plaque that can be used.

To boot, Mum (75) is now having issues - her BP is through the roof, she doesn't take her tablets regularly as they make her pee and she's only got an upstairs toilet. Her hip needed replacing 20 years ago, and she walks like a crab but apparently that's all in our heads and she's "fine". Bloody GP is a waste of space and because Mum expressed worry anbout getting older, she's now on anti depressants that have turned her into a zombie instead of dealing with the real issues like her hip...... I am not feeling up to dealing with this right now, which then makes me feel really guilty but there's a huge deal of poor decision making going on and I'm not really sure that I'm the one who has to live with the consequences when my sister is the golden child... cockroach all.

funnelfan · 07/03/2023 17:36

Flowers, Cake, or Gin to you Badger, in whatever amounts as needed.

Tupperwarelid · 07/03/2023 17:51

Hi can I just perch on the corner of the sofa, have a bit of a rant and ask if anyone else has a martyr for a mother? You know the one who could have a limb hanging off but wouldn't want to waste the hospital's time and would take a couple of paracetamol instead. Her friends ask her to go out but she doesn't really want to go and didn't enjoy it while she was there but didn't want to say no.

Dad has been in a home since start of November and I know it must be so hard for both of them to be living apart after so many years together, Despite everyone from family, friends, medical staff etc told us it was the right thing to do and it was, she would have ended up in hospital herself with the 24 hour care he needed, mentally and physically. But this is just another stick to beat herself with.

I know I'm being unfair and harsh to her but she forgets how bad things were when he was at home and the phone calls she used to make in floods of tears about how she couldn't cope and didn't know what to do and was a prisoner in her own home.

I guess she is grieving for the husband she has lost even though he hasn't fully gone yet if that makes sense? I feel bad for getting short tempered with her now so off to have some cake that I really don't need.

EmotionalBlackmail · 07/03/2023 19:12

@Tupperwarelid yes, mine is a full on martyr too. Solidarity! She's very difficult. She hates 'putting people out' so does some really stupid things instead of just asking for help from friends. And there's a lot of overthinking about 'what people must think'!

She was widowed years ago but doesn't seem to have grasped that, whilst she moans about living on her own and being lonely (she sees more people than I do) a lot of her friends have partners with dementia and who have had to deal with full on caring for years, which she never had to do.

Partly the grass is always greener - she's never going to be happy!

Tupperwarelid · 07/03/2023 20:26

@EmotionalBlackmail you have my sympathies!

EmotionalBlackmail · 07/03/2023 21:47

There's a lot of us in the same boat but I've had some great advice on here and it's helped me put in boundaries

Mum5net · 08/03/2023 10:18

@Badger1970 not surprised you feel so empty and abandoned and unable to give much more. Try to do something each day for yourself. Even if it is just a long soak in the bath. Your own health will have taken a battering. Even a little bit of emotional time away from worrying will help. THEY CAN WAIT. Candy Crush is ideal for such occasions I find.

Newmum738 · 08/03/2023 16:36

I've had challenges with solicitors today! My mum was advised to update her Will and we haven't managed to get it sorted and now she has her dementia diagnosis. Part of the reason it isn't already sorted is that the estates company they use have sent documents that are ridiculously complicated and refer to a trust she doesn't have (there is one for the property but it isn't that). I've spoke to 2 solicitors so far and one was helpful but the other point blank refused, making an assumption about her dementia which seems like blatant discrimination to me. Does anyone have views or experience? Alzheimers UK site says it is possible as long as she understands what she is doing.

Lightuptheroom · 10/03/2023 11:59

Well.. financial assessment for mum's care package... Mum told social.worker that she lets me do all that sort of thing... Social worker sent me the link, all done, asked mum for 3 months bank statements, all good, she was so happy I could help her etc, thrilled to bits my sister helped by taking photos of the statements etc...
We very carefully explained what we were doing and why, literally 10 times (her memory currently lasts about 3 minutes but GP doesn't want to know and SW reckons she has full capacity)
Phone call the following morning ...
My sister and I were useless b's and what were we effing doing effing well trying to steal her bank details. She then put the phone down on all of my 5 siblings after ringing them each in turn to tell them (including previous helpful sister) that we were both thieving b's and nobody ever tells her anything.
Sigh .. neither mum or dad will do power of attorney. Dad decides that any paperwork can be done by me, but of course no one will take that as authority to do so, even trying to sort out his RAC renewal because he's deaf and can't hear on the phone and can't answer their questions has now taken over 2 weeks and still isn't sorted as the call centre staff have now given me the wrong email address 3 times.
There's now a permanent care package of 2 visits a day based on my mum's behaviour towards my dad (she managed to tell SW that she wanted to put a bag over his head) but no diagnosis and GP wants to call it a social care need, SW reckons my dad has no care needs (broken back, catheter, fibrotic lung disease, in heart failure and capable of winding my mum up simply by being alive)
We're definitely on the bad daughter bench
Dad had a hospital admission last week and my mum tried to change the emergency contact to my 2 older brothers who love at least 8 hours away on the basis of the jobs they do mean they 'know what to do' Not sure how come they do nothing when the 10 phone calls come at 2am that she can't remember who to phone and has told my dad to stop going on about his chest pain and take a paracetamol!!!

Knotaknitter · 10/03/2023 13:06

MIL refused to talk to the SW about her finances, swore at her, called her a scammer and told her to leave. She was charmed out of a considerable sum a few years ago which the bank refunded her but it made her beyond vigilant and into paranoid. She would have been paying full cost anyway because of the house so it didn't impact the assessment at all but it was an unsettling event for her, she was convinced that the scammers were targeting her again.

@Lightuptheroom when the finance PoA came back mum had no memory of having done it at all and saw it as me trying to steal her house. It was a really awful afternoon, she was so upset and so was I. I filed the paperwork somewhere safe and the next morning it had never happened, not for her anyway.

funnelfan · 10/03/2023 13:21

On a lighter note, mums house insurance is due for renewal and I rang them to check they had no clauses about having a key safe. (Paranoid about insurance ever since DH had a car policy terminated years ago over something out of his control, which meant they didn’t pay out on a claim and his car was a right off)

They refused to deal with me as I’m not my my mum, even though it was me that took out the insurance on her behalf in the first place. Computer says no. Although the agent did say key safes were fine, I can now move the insurance back from the “all sorted” pile to “potentially difficult in the future” pile.

GordonBennett345 · 10/03/2023 17:05

Tough times for so many. Mental note to get sibling to check parents' wills for anything potentially problematic. Memory clinic appt has finally come through for mum. Not sure what difference a diagnosis will make but better to have it. Will reapply for AA for starters. Half prepared for them to say she's fine (she really isn't). Raising my early Friday wine to all in the café.

MMAMPWGHAP · 10/03/2023 18:20

A tip that might help, especially for @Lightuptheroom My parents moved house a year or so before dementia really set in for my Dad. When I did the change of address letters for them I wrote an additional line in all the letters saying that they gave me permission to act on their behalf.
That didn’t give me full powers but certainly helped a lot with things like insurance. Esp when dad was v v deaf.

Lightuptheroom · 10/03/2023 18:23

@MMAMPWGHAP unfortunately no change of address or change of anything other than complete inability to manage to pay for something over the phone. No dementia on dad's part, he just won't give permission for anything and then panics when the renewal letters arrive and he can't do it. Mum now hates him so much she stands there refusing to do it and now she probably couldn't anyway

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