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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:
countrygirl99 · 22/07/2023 10:34

The brain is a wierd organ. Since her stroke MIL can't talk, read or write. She can't read numbers so a digital clock means nothing but an analogue clock is fine.

countrygirl99 · 22/07/2023 14:33

Phone call from MILs care home - GP out for the 3rd time in just over a week and she's off to hospital with severe breathing difficulties and fluid retention so DH has gone off to be with her in a&e as she can't speak. Half expecting a come now call. Then a few minutes ago I get a message from DB1 (who is hours away) to say mum's optician has called him (knows him personally) to say mum is behaving oddly on the High Street. Hoping DB2 picks it up and goes but we are both an hour away and MIL hospital is an hour the other way.

funnelfan · 22/07/2023 14:56

What a day @countrygirl99, the phrase about never raining but pouring comes to mind. Fingers crossed for both mums.

countrygirl99 · 22/07/2023 15:18

@funnelfan the number of times we had dad and one of the ILs taken into hospital the same day you'd think they were co-ordinating deliberately.
Naturally BIL and family are due to go on holiday tomorrow so scoring high on stress factors all round.

Nodancingshoes · 22/07/2023 15:44

@countrygirl99 oh no - what a nightmare for you. I am lucky, in some respects not others, that my nan is my only dependent relation. I lost both my parents as a teenager and my Dh only has his dad (+ 4 other siblings to help). Hope you get everything sorted today xx

Nodancingshoes · 22/07/2023 15:46

My sister has just phoned to say she had to help nan clear up an 'accident'. She struggles to get to the bathroom on time which results in falls, like happened this week, when she tries to hurry. She has been flat out refusing a commode so far but she really, really needs one. We have seen one that looks like a wicker chair not a commode - will try to push this again later...

countrygirl99 · 22/07/2023 15:48

DH just messaged she's responding well on a nebuliser so sounding better than earlier. We've been lucky since our dad's died last year we had 12 months without this sort of panic.

SunshineGlamourIfOnly · 22/07/2023 16:49

Thinking of you all! Tough times (((hugs)))

EmotionalBlackmail · 22/07/2023 19:24

How long is POA taking to register with banks etc at the moment once it's activated? I have a back up one for very elderly person which will only be activated if the primary POA loses capacity. It predates the electronic code thing.

What I'm worried about is the primary POA has squirrelled bits of money all over the place to get more interest and is then transferring it manually to pay monthly care home fees. I have suggested simplifying it and/or automating transfers but no!

I haven't the foggiest what I do if/when I have to take over to make sure the fees continue to be paid!

EmotionalBlackmail · 22/07/2023 19:30

And to add, I don't go into bank branches as haven't needed to for years but recently needed to make an appointment to open an account as their app wasn't enabled for it - the earliest appointment they had was a seven week wait!

That's partly what got me worried if it's that long just to take the form in with ID! That's potentially nearly two missed care home payments already...

Juneday · 22/07/2023 22:14

@countrygirl sorry to hear such a stressful
time and hope breathing continues to improve with MiL. @Nodancingshoes feel
for you and your sister, I found soiled bedding hard enough. I am sure you have looked into this but non means tested help is available for aids in the home (up to £1000 I think, via OT or social services). MiL had coMmode delivered that OT chose, it is on wheels and looked easy to use…. I also bought wet toilet tissues and biodegradable cleaning wipes etc. @EmotionalBlackmail your PoA situation sounds difficult / mine is with DH, but took about 8 weeks for appointment and I found bank staff initially really unsympathetic …(imho they need to be told that we only take this on when the relative is struggling so much that they can’t cope and that watching relatives decline is hard enough without the bank being slow and quite rude) luckily I got passed over to a much kinder person and about a week later letters arrived etc. However, we can’t get online banking to work and no one can explain why / so all banking questions are on the phone which works but isn’t ideal, so I have arranged weekly statements to our address. The bank were so apologetic they sent a hamper - the lovely staff member on the phone used to work in a care home and her mother is the senior nurse in a dementia home - we chatted about the issues and how banks need to make changes to allow for 1 in 15 with dementia. I would advise acting now, and maybe chase for a cancellation?

EmotionalBlackmail · 22/07/2023 22:47

Thanks @Juneday I can't use it now as the primary POA is still functioning, it's if/when something happens to that person that I'll suddenly need to take action as I'm the secondary.

It would help if the elderly person concerned hadn't decided on someone only ten years younger to be the primary POA! He never seemed to have considered that other people get older and develop health problems as well as himself! Confused

Juneday · 22/07/2023 23:00

I mean DH & I only PoA for MiL, so less complicated in some ways.

Juneday · 23/07/2023 12:11

That is such a good point about age,
happened with aunt with her sisters having PoA and being executors but no mobile phones, fears of computers and a determination to ignore or question the legal advice. I felt sorry for the probate lawyer! My sister has just removed my brother and I and replaced us with her children for PoA - she is in her 50s but a very organised person. 👍.

EmotionalBlackmail · 23/07/2023 12:55

I think that's the way to do it. We've got each other down as POA but once our child is an adult will update it. Same with being an executor.

MotherOfCatBoy · 23/07/2023 17:07

@EmotionalBlackmail I think experiences with banks probably vary a lot by bank and by branch. I helped DM & DF through the forms last year and got the LPOA registrations through earlier this year. They chose the form of POA that only allows me to take over if they lose capacity (which is fine for now as although awkward they do make sensible financial decisions, plus I have registered health POA with their GP). I used example of What if you are in hospital or something? (They don’t do online banking).

Then after reading here about best to get things prepared I made appt at Barclays to register it with them, explaining that I don’t need to actively use it but want the bank to know I have it. Took in all the papers and my own ID as well etc. The lady was really helpful, did it all for my DF straight away and letters came in about a week (more on that later).

But for my Mum she said they needed to re-ID her account - which has led to a long and difficult saga. So - they have a joint current account, and separate savings accounts. All bills are in Dad’s name. Mum hasn’t been very active with her account - she’s 87, savings have just sat there and the current account does all the heavy lifting. Besides registering POA Mum has also wanted to shift some savings into a building soc now for better interest rate. But they have a rule that a dormant account needs to be re-checked…

OK so off I go with Mum to local ish branch (their high street one just closed which is a problem for them as they used to go in branch, next one is next town over, Dad has given up driving, so I take her..). Turns out she has hardly any ID they consider valid - never driven, passport expired about a decade ago, utility bills all in Dad’s name, she’s not registered disabled so no blue badge, not in receipt of any benefits except pension. And they won’t accept a bank statement because (wait for it) it’s their own, so… we get stuck! I kind of understand, I used to work in financial services, I understand money laundering and such, but ffs, whoever designed that process didn’t think about 87 year old little old ladies who effectively don’t « exist » in our modern digital world. It’s really sexist when you think about it, she and Dad took different financial roles but nonetheless she has banked with bloody Barclays for 40 years or more and now they don’t recognise her! 🤬

Anyway, went home and rang up the utilities to get her name put on bills (prob good idea in the long run in case something happens to Dad) and to dig out her DWP pension letter.
Didn’t mean to go on for so long but the point is - I thought once POA was registered it would be really simple to do the next stage with the bank but this was completely unpredictable and has taken ages! Have to complete this bit before I can register POA for Mum as well as Dad. She did manage to do stuff in branch to transfer money to her chosen building soc but it was a pain in the arse.

Also now am persuading Dad to let me use online banking as have realised that otherwise I have to take half a day to drive them to the bank, or be on the phone to the call centre for over an hour. No need to do anything for them yet but I want to set it all up as I’m in the « they could have a nasty fall any day now » limbo. So when they sent me the letters, it had all the permissions on it and I could go ahead and set up online banking and use it straight away - seems contradictory given how obstructive they have been for Mum, and I haven’t done it yet as firstly I wanted to respect his wishes not to go online, but after the palaver with Mum he’s agreed it’ll be easier. I’m away atm but will pick it all up again when I get back..

I guess it just shows sometimes the sun ole things aren’t simple at all.

EmmaEmerald · 23/07/2023 18:15

Re the bank sagas

I do understand why someone wouldn't want POA actually activated but these stories do make me wonder about approaching this with mum.

We have POA and have used it for one thing so far and they insisted on seeing her to check it was legit. In internet days, I don't know what they'd do but mum won't let any accounts be online so far.

What I do have is third party access to mum's current account and that helped pay her bills after her stroke. I have a card which allows me to operate as her, to a large extent. It was quite quick to set up so I wonder if posters might prefer that as an interim option? The account owner can put limits on what you spend and the card etc goes to their address. So I can put mum's shopping on that and she will see it on her bank statement.

MotherOfCatBoy · 23/07/2023 20:29

That makes sense @EmmaEmerald . Barclays told me if I activated it then post would come to me - I don’t want that, I want Dad to still get his statements as normal. It seems a bit all or nothing so I might ask about the third party access. I need to reinstate Mum’s ID first and go from there!

EmmaEmerald · 23/07/2023 20:47

MotherOfCatBoy · 23/07/2023 20:29

That makes sense @EmmaEmerald . Barclays told me if I activated it then post would come to me - I don’t want that, I want Dad to still get his statements as normal. It seems a bit all or nothing so I might ask about the third party access. I need to reinstate Mum’s ID first and go from there!

Yes, I think POA is all or nothing. Third party is pretty good but we only have it for her current account. I thought if we needed to sort a long term care home I'd have time to get the finance in place but maybe I was hopelessly optimistic?

WhatHaveIFound · 23/07/2023 20:59

After 10 days in hospital dad was discharged yesterday. Unfortunately he'd only been home 30 mins when he fell so the falls team and then an ambulance was called. Within 2 hours he was back in hospital.

Am seriously thinking of complaining about his unsafe discharge. The physio had claimed he could walk well enough but that's not been the case for over 2 years now. On top of which he was discharged with medication for high blood pressure when he suffers from low blood pressure. They couldn't have got it more wrong.

But he's now on ward with a super efficient nurse who I think might actually get things done. She asked if he'd been referred for a long term catheter and was genuinely appalled when I said he'd been waiting 20 weeks already.

I now have a massive list of things to do tomorrow!

MereDintofPandiculation · 24/07/2023 08:51

MotherOfCatBoy · 23/07/2023 20:29

That makes sense @EmmaEmerald . Barclays told me if I activated it then post would come to me - I don’t want that, I want Dad to still get his statements as normal. It seems a bit all or nothing so I might ask about the third party access. I need to reinstate Mum’s ID first and go from there!

With a building society I had enormous difficulty getting them to send correspondence to me rather than my dad. There’s no consistency!

OP posts:
MereDintofPandiculation · 24/07/2023 08:55

Yes, I think POA is all or nothing. It shouldn’t be, and as I said above, different institutions operate in different ways. Though our solicitor advised that only one of us should deal with each institution “as banks get easily confused”.

OP posts:
MereDintofPandiculation · 24/07/2023 08:56

@WhatHaveIFound That’s appalling!

OP posts:
Juneday · 24/07/2023 09:08

Sorry to hear @WhatHaveIFound , my experience of discharge for MiL was similar albeit first fall 3 days after discharge we managed to help her as the carer rang us - second fall I rang GP as I was already chasing for the prescription they said they had sent to pharmacy - it wasn’t there - GP reception advised 999. So back to hospital and different hospital - short version a week after being in a corridor was put in specialist dementia ward because of confusion and hallucinations - whole ward got Covid and she was assessed as having capacity during the ward closure; and able to go home without reference and we later were told with Covid. We Very much felt that they wanted the bed. She hasn’t had capacity for 7 months, when she talks about going home and dressing herself etc she is talking about her 60 year old self with second husband and her old house Not her 90 year old self, widow for 15 years and not able to walk, use a phone or read a book in a flat. Finally SW visit completely agreed she needed far more help and didn’t have capacity - not before another 999 call, her screaming out and waking neighbours and hot tea being spilt after the Carers had left. Family really should be involved in discharge process. How can a stranger know that the story MiL was telling was 30 years old if she doesn’t know her!

I hope things improve for your dad and you get all the help lined up, OT assessment, physio etc and are involved in discharge process. 🤞🤞

countrygirl99 · 24/07/2023 09:08

DH is disgusted by his middle sibling. They have a WhatsApp group to update re parent issues. Saturday when MIL was taken to hospital he and his other brother/SIL where posting that she was really ill, in resus, severe breathing difficulties and chest pains etc and not a single comment from other brother though they can see he's read them. Sadly this is typical. So Saturday they set up a new group excluding him and are communicating via that to see how long it takes for him to ask for an update. Nothing yet. Last comment on original group was she is improving but still in resus Saturday evening.
This is the brother who has visited his mum once in the 13 months since she went into the care home, she'd been in 2 months and lost her husband of 63 years 4 weeks in and still it was too much bother. He regularly visits his DC who live less than 15 minutes from the care home.
If she had £££ he'd be all over her but she hasn't.
Didn't stop him making a hoo-ha about the date of FILs funeral meaning it was 4 1/2 weeks after he died. Next time his views on the date won't carry much weight.

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