Should my mum be living alone

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My mum is 78 in end stage COPD after living with it for 19 years. We nearly lost her last week. She had a flare up, went into hospital as the only antibotic that works now is IV. She caught flu while in hospital and it nearly killed her.

She's still in the hospital and has been getting physio assessments. They're talking about care in the mornings and evenings to help her dress and wash but I was surprised to learn today that this care is short term, a couple of weeks. I thought they were assessing for continuous care.

I'm also concerned that since she came off the catheter a few days ago, she has been incontinent and I think she's trying to hide it from the nurses. Also, she has been getting very confused and has been dismissing it as nothing. I've raised it with the staff a few times and asked if she could get a dementia assessment. I discovered the other day that my concerns haven't even been put into her notes. I'm really worried. I feel like she's going to be dumped in her house without adequate care. Also, she's down to about 5 stone now.

My question is this, with the combination of 24/7 oxygen requirement, frailty, memory problems and incontinence, should she even be living alone at all or should she be requesting continuing care in a care home? 

The NHS is so massive and I never seem to be speaking to the right people.


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  • Posted

    Hi Layni

    So sorry to hear of your Mum's difficulties, my advise to you would be to contact the British Lung Foundation helpline who can advise you best course of action to take at this time.

    Your Mum does need more care for sure, I wonder if you contact Age UK helpline, they may also be able to help and put you in touch with those who can.

    You local council may be able to help you some also.  there will be help set up which I am sure both Age UK and your local council are aware of.  Care in the community spring to mind and also Adult care 'Your Care Your Support'.  Check out your local council's website for information on Adult Care.

    Sometimes its just knowing who to contact to get the help you need, so contact them all BLF, Age UK the Council and your Mothers GP.

    Your Mother's GP should be able to advise you about ongoing care for your mother,  referral to the OT Team, the Community Matron, Social Services etc.

    I hope you will soon access the care that is needed for your Mother at this time.  I would say your Mum's situation should be made priority so just say to those you make contact with what you have said here.

    Very best wishes to you and your Mum, do let us know how things go.

    Hugs V


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    • Posted

      Hi I presume you are in the UK?  

      We faced this with my own mother who also lived alone in her 80's.  She didn't have copd though but was very confused and old and found it very hard to walk.  The hospital tried to send her home without a care package in place we soon put a stop to that nonsense.  As she had fallen and was on the floor all night we decided for her safety that she had to go into a care home.  It was hard to do and involved meetings etc.  but we finally got her into one state funded.  If she was privately funded all this could have been avoided.  It's like trying to get blood out of a stone....

      If you want her to remain at home thern you need to tell the doctor that she needs a care package put in place and say that she is not leaving without one.  This might take time to organise and they are often inpatient to free a bed so they might try and move her to a cottage hospital instead for the time being.   They did this to my dad.  We learnt from that to tell them that our mum was not to be moved and if they wanted to they would need to tell us first.  They did try and we stopped it.  You have to be firm with them.

      However with your mums medical needs she would need to go into a care home and not a nursing home.  The difference is that the NHS would pick up the biils for a nursing home and not the care system.  This means that she would not need to pay towards her care ie by losing most of her pension,  or sell her property etc.  This is what happens in care homes. 

      Many people aren't aware of the difference so make sure it is a nursing home as your mother needs NHS nursing.  Ok?  x


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    • Posted

      Sorry meant to say she needs to go into a nursing home and NOT a care home.   Nursing homes provide NHS care which is free.  Care Homes would charge her for her care.  x


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