Parents health starting to deteriorate, advice needed!

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So, over the past couple months i have witnessed my parents health slowly deteriorate in health, first it was my father who has been in and out of hospital and my mum was always fine, supportive and strong but the last couple weeks its like she has given up with the will to live. I am having to spend an increasing amount of time with them and think that I have to start thinking about full time care.

I hate to be the one suggesting they have to move in to full time care and so I am not sure how best to approach the subject with them. On the one hand I feel like it is their decision but on the other I am committing so many hours to having to help them I am left exhausted, any advice please? Don't want to be made out to be the bad guy here

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  • Posted

    Sorry to read this.   Presume you are the only member of family close to them.  My family are all 'scattered' over 3 + hours away.  Only my sister is v. local to my Mother.    Rest of family are actually looking into various nursing homes.  My Mother won't be entitled to financial help, so it will mean having to sell her house! 

    It's my sister, like you, is utterly exhausted, both emotionally & physically & getting little time to herself. 

    I've 'fought' a little to get my brother 'on board' which he now is!  My daughter age 32 is also pretty 'forceful', very realistic, tactful, & is going at Easter to try talk to my sis.  plus see more for herself my Mother's recent, v. rapid, decline!

    Have you contacted your local Age UK?!   They should be good at sign-posting you in right direction; some have handyman services etc. plus advice about Social Services.     I used to work 'in this field' - with 2 Age Concerns in West UK, but things have changed immensely.    

    You really need a Social Services Assessment - a 'full one', unlike the case when I requested a re-assessment & then all they did was send OTs to 'look at my mother's bath & seat'!! 

    You should be able to find your local Soc. Services website, TRY calling them (took me ages to get through!)   Did write a concise - ideally not too long - but listing all the what we used to call the 'presenting issues' under a heading: what he & she in your case CAN'T do; how they are feeling.  

    We are not ready ourselves to actually suggest to our Mother that she go into a home - needs a Nursing Home, as opposed to a Care Home.         

    If you're more comfortable this way, suggest to speak to your local Age UK first.  There is some help 'out there', depending on where you live.  You could also find it useful to attend (when you can) or get advice/support from any local Carers' Support groups. 

    Again, if this all quicker for you, get hold of your local Age UK.    (they are all autonomous from each other - under Age UK England & some offer/have more funding  than others; yet they are excellent as 'first port of call'!)

      In my past work, I was v. dedicated but obviously more 'detached' from it, but acknowledge it is more difficult when dealing with 'one of your own'!  Why not try Age UK first & they can hopefully help you 'see the wood from the trees', so to speak?.   It may be that in your area there is more help available ... within their own home.... yet the 'time could have come'.... so difficult!    

    Our difficulty is firstly suggesting to my SISTER doing all the caring as almost 'martyring' herself which no-one should do!     Then ... next.. my Mother... who is in fact deteriorating so v. quickly (they haven't even got her into the 'Memory Clinic' till mid April!) and she does now, even in her own home, get confused as to where she is!      In our situation, she wld. be devastated to be without her gentle little dog; hence we are additionally searching for 'pet friendly' homes - in addition to the quality of care they cld./do provide.   That's another 'minefield' I'm afraid - so much research needing to be done.   Here again your local Age UK can either help online - or you call them about 'how to find suitable Care Home for parents'; 'what to look for, what questions to ask'!  Wish you the best of luck & empathise with what you are going through! Pls. don't hesitate to get some 'HELP'!  It IS there!   Kind regards,

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    • Posted

      Claire, thank you so much, means a lot reading what i just have from you. Very comforting to know that i am not the only one dealing with the dilemma and yes your right. I am the only one, so i feel like i dont have anyone to bounce ideas off.
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    • Posted

      Hi Mike - sorry it was actually a little 'long-winded'!  Also I meant to put, after speaking to local Social Services, I additionally sent an EMAIL outlining the 'present issues' as we called it once when I also worked at a local Carers' Support charity some years ago.   So MANY of us dealing with this, or trying to, and all the more difficult if you're alone.  In case I'm 'bombarded' you somewhat with info., honestly your 'first port of call' who can access Soc. Services kind of 'hands on' care, they may even have their own support group (Age UK) and/or there is highly likely - if you live nr. a town - to be a carers' support group in your area, where you can, indeed, share your experiences.  Sadly, all this is so very, very, common.   If you are still working, all the more 'challenging' but sure you cld. manage a phone call to your Age UK (usually 'office hrs' or some finish at 4 p.m.) in the first instance.  Good luck!
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    • Posted

      sorry - not 'spell checking'biggrin  We used to use: Presenting Issues for heading with 'to the point' list of what parents can & (mostly CAN'T) do.  Your mother is highly likely utterly exhausted herself & I believe the ones being 'cared for' can also also go to any groups which may be around. Some may even have evening sessions, if you are working, but there seem to be more daytime sessions running generally.  My sister got offered a 'course' of attending almost a WHOLE day every month re: dementia; not so practical & my Mother cld. never manage that herself (then, ironically, the carer - my sister - would be out most of that day when needing to see my  Mother) - all can be 'up for discussion' I'm sure!  They've 'heard it all before'.
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    • Posted

      Hi Clarie, no need to apologise. the feedback you are providing is not only veyr valuable but also making me feel slightly more relaxed, knowing others are dealing with it so strongly shows that i can as well. Nice to turn here and speak to others as like i mentioned before, always being the one making the decisions is mentally draining.
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  • Posted

    Hello Mike,  Sorry to hear about your dilemna.  Yes, it is a difficult issue.  I too live with my nearly 90-year-old mother and although mostly she is still manageable, there are days when I just feel so frustrated as I am the only one looking after her.  She too loses her way in the house at times and forgets where light switches are, and even thinks I'm her sister.  When she's in a bad way I've had all sorts of verbal abuse hurled at me, which I've found very difficult to take.  I feel that my life is being drained out of me, but there is no thought from her side to go into a home.  And perhaps she really isn't ready for it yet.  Also, our two dogs give her much pleasure.  So, for me it is just a matter of plodding on and trying to make some quality time for myself.  I hope you can come to a mutually acceptable decision!

     

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    • Posted

      hi Stefania, thank you for your message and your support. and i am sorry to hear your mum is in a similar position. I admire your strength and like you suggest, this is family and we can't just abandon them without exhausting everyother avenue

      Abandon isnt the right word, but it would certainly feel like it to me.

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  • Posted

    Hi guys, Just to give you all an update - i had the awkward and frankly tough discussion about what i thought my parents should do next with their health diminishing over the weeked.

    It was met with, well sure many wouldn't be suprised by strong push back, but im just happy ive had the 1st discussion and given them something to think about. I mentioned to them the strain it was putting on me and i think they weren't aware before hand. Will keep you updated on how it goes.

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