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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:
DahliaMacNamara · 16/03/2023 10:17

I feel for you. For the last few years we've been getting MIL ornamental things for her garden. Pretty craft items that she could see from her window, and didn't require any upkeep. Now, even if similar items were appropriate in the nursing home, her eyesight is pretty poor and she has zero fucks to give about much anyway. Can't read, can't concentrate on anything like TV or radio for long enough to follow it, much less enjoy it. Frequently can't hear it anyway, as she removes and 'puts away'/ hides her hearing aids. It's a hellish existence.

Mum5net · 16/03/2023 11:18

Oh @IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere . Sending hugs. Could you bring a simple bunch of freesia to your DM that she can smell and maybe the will force a smile if they hit the spot?
To be fair, you are going through a bereavement, even though you still have her. Be especially kind to yourself. My DM was v similar to yours. Once though when she sipped a Nakd Smoothie through a straw her face lit up. It’s so tough searching fir these ‘light up’ moments.

thesandwich · 16/03/2023 17:55

@IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere sending hugs. That must be so tough, and bring back so many memories. You did so much for so long to keep your dm at home, at such a cost. 🌺🌺

Hgak · 16/03/2023 21:04

@IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere my mum has mixed dementia but still in the early-moderate stage so my idea may be entirely unsuitable for your mum. Could you maybe buy a bottle of her favourite perfume when you and she were younger? She may still be able to enjoy the scent and when giving her a hug it may give you some comfort too evoking memories of happier times?

I hope you (and all of us!) get through the day.

KnittingNeedles · 16/03/2023 22:25

May I join you?

My Dad was diagnosed with dementia literally days before the pandemic hit, but to be fair we'd known something was up for 18 months or so before that. Both parents in their late 70s, living about 50 minutes from me and much further from my only sibling. Saw them very infrequently during the restrictions we're in Scotland, they live in a tiny village and Mum couldn't cope with the idea that everyone would know that her daughter from the manky city had visited.

Dad's decline has been much more rapid in the last six months. He's shouty and unpredictable, and although does recognise me and sibling, doesn't recognise our kids. Sibling and I were talking about getting social services in to do an assessment as it was at the stage where Mum simply couldn't leave him for 5 minutes.

Anyway. About a month ago I had a call from Mum saying dad had fallen, and it transpired he'd broken his hip. He had a replacement the following day, spent 10 days in the main hospital and has now been transferred to a rehabilitation/cottage hospital where he remains. He is not doing well. Uncooperative with physios. Forgets he's broken his hip, tries to get out of bed and falls again. Is forgetting how to do basic things like feed himself. Can be aggressive to the (lovely) staff members, sweary and nasty. Mum is finally having to admit that he might not be coming home at all, ever.

So we're in this weird limbo - social services can't assess dad's needs until the NHS says he's ready for discharge, NHS won't discharge dad because he's not engaging with physio and is progressing.

GordonBennett345 · 16/03/2023 22:46

@KnittingNeedles , my dad was in a similar position, minus the hip replacement. We fought to get him a SW while he was in hospital as we were afraid they were going to do an unsafe discharge. SW arranged for him to go to a "discharge to assess" bed in a care home. Has anyone mentioned this to you? Dad was moved to another D2A setting for further assessment and ended up staying there.

GordonBennett345 · 16/03/2023 22:47

Do they consider him to have capacity?

KnittingNeedles · 16/03/2023 22:50

Gosh no, definitely doesn't have capacity. Mum has power of attorney, financial and health.

Nobody has even mentioned discharge to be honest, he's a long way from that. I will admit to being absolutely clueless about how the whole system works in terms of care, social services, finance. We're in Scotland where the system is different and I don't know anyone who has been through this recently.

GordonBennett345 · 16/03/2023 23:14

Things will probably start to happen as he gets near to being ready for discharge. If you think mum won't cope with him at home, start making that known now. Also let them know you won't be able to undertake his care (unless you want to).

KnittingNeedles · 18/03/2023 22:15

Things have taken a turn since I last posted. All week mum has been saying she didn't think dad looked well, and last night around 6pm I had a panicked call saying she'd been summoned back into the hospital as dad was very unwell. He has been catheterised since he has been in hospital and this appears to have led to a kidney infection. Poor old sod has clearly been in a lot of pain and unable to tell anyone about it. So they started him on antibiotics and fluids, we stayed at the hospital until about midnight by which time his blood pressure, temperature and heart rate was better. The ward manager said they would call us back overnight if things deteriorated, which didn't happen.

Dad did however manage to pull his catheter out overnight which caused a bit of damage and he was in quite a bit of pain when we went back in. We spent most of the day sitting with him and holding his hands so he couldn't get anywhere near his re-inserted catheter. Seems to be still stable this evening, but it's a real worry.

MissMarplesNiece · 18/03/2023 23:12

@KnittingNeedles It's so worrying when you see an elderly P in pain or discomfort. Sending you & your family love.

countrygirl99 · 19/03/2023 16:21

@KnittingNeedles hope things are better today.
More care home visits yesterday and now we have 2 we think would suit mum. Still need to see the only one in her home town, that won't be until after Easter now but we don't need to rush.
DB2 called in before we went and was somewhat surprised to be told that "his name" had visited a few days ago which was lovely because she hasn't seen him in ages. He was there about 2 weeks ago and visits regularly so he had no idea who she thought he was or if someone else had visited. He said we were finding out info about homes as she had said she wanted to be somewhere with company where she was looked after and she was really positive.
I called in on my way home, told her we had seen a couple of places she might like to think about. Complete turn around. I don't need help, I manage fine (yeah, only with us fire fighting). I manage all my own finances - she doesn't realise she is paying for carer visits, finds putting bank statements in date order hard work and DB1 had to stop several missing cheques that she had no idea what she had done with a few weeks ago. Not to mention she has already lost 2 debit cards and a credit card since New Year. I'm so busy with friends I'm hardly at home - she often misses activities because she forgets and when someone comes to pick her up she isn't prepared so bales out. Nothing wrong with my memory - she can't remember my DC have left home years ago and one has been married 2.5 years and doesn't even live in the UK. Etc, etc.
Then she asked how much places cost, thought the weekly rate was monthly and was still horrified. That means she thinks you can get an en-suite room all in including activities for circa £40 a day.
I was hoping (with everything crossed) we could do a smooth transition but looks like we are going to have to wait for the inevitable crisis. The problem is it's "just" the alzheimer's. Physically she is incredibly fit for 85.

KnittingNeedles · 19/03/2023 18:20

Unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worse today and dad is now on palliative care in the hospital. He is calm, not in pain, and blissfully unaware of what is going on.

countrygirl99 · 19/03/2023 18:30

@KnittingNeedles so sorry. Hope things stay peaceful for you all.

Knotaknitter · 19/03/2023 18:51

@KnittingNeedles I am very sorry, the waiting is so hard for the family if not for the patient.

thesandwich · 19/03/2023 19:57

So very sorry @KnittingNeedles

KnittingNeedles · 19/03/2023 20:01

Thanks folks. It’s just a waiting game. We are here for mum, dad has no idea what’s going on.

notaflyingmonkey · 19/03/2023 20:18

Just checking in to say hello to the thread. My first mother's day since I lost my mum. I spent the day pottering in quiet contemplation. Didn't achieve much, but didn't expect to, either.

Cockroach all.

Newmum738 · 19/03/2023 21:33

Thinking of you @KnittingNeedles

thesandwich · 19/03/2023 22:08

Great to see you @notaflyingmonkey and @Knotaknitter

funnelfan · 19/03/2023 22:11

Wishing for peaceful time for you and your dad, @KnittingNeedles, and that he remains pain free.

DahliaMacNamara · 19/03/2023 23:28

It must feel as though everything's escalated really quickly, @KnittingNeedles . You know where we are if you need to offload.

KnittingNeedles · 20/03/2023 07:07

It has escalated quickly but we were warned that this was a possibility. Brought mum home to sleep, just heading back now. He’s in very good hands but the waiting… just awful.

MysterOfwomanY · 20/03/2023 17:20

Sorry to hear this @KnittingNeedles , it's a very strange time, waiting for someone's life to draw to a close. But we all go, and it sounds like you're doing what you can for him now. 💐

KnittingNeedles · 20/03/2023 17:31

Yes it’s awful. He is very dosed up on nice opiates and muscle relaxers and away with the fairies on a fluffy cloud of drugs. We have been with him all day but thinking of leaving soon, mum doesn’t want to witness the end, neither do i if I’m brutally honest, and a very pragmatic nurse has advised that seeing someone gasp for breath isn’t pretty. Dad completely unaware of anything.

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