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Care & carers

91 yr old taken into hospital. Care package advice.

(15 Posts)
Molli Mon 30-Jan-17 23:22:47

My first time of posting so hope I get this right. We have a 93 yr old neighbour who has been taken into hospital with pneumonia. We had contacted the doctor several times during the preceding 10 days. The doctor wanted social services involved but she didn't want that but eventually agreed to 'may be talk about it'. The neighbour lives on her own has no means to cook a meal (cooker was condemned last yr and so every other day she has gone to a coffee shop for a meal. She is a widow, no children but has a relative who lives quite some distance away and she sees two / three times a yr. Over the recent years she has called upon us more and more for little things and concerns e.g. Help with a leaky roof / getting someone in to mend a fence / sorting out her TV when it went funny and more recently when she got confused over her medication and phoning in the night as she was confused as to the time. ( we think that was due to her being poorly though) She is a very private independent person so to ask for help has been a big step for her. When she asked for help as she was finding it difficult to breath she let us into her house a little further than just the lounge. The state of the kitchen indicated that she probably hasn't been looking after herself. We gave it a tidy and made sure that she had clean plates and cups etc. She is now in hospital and quite poorly. In circumstances like this will she be offered a care package when she is well enough to be released and who organises this? We know it's not our responsibility but we think she is quite vulnerable and could do with some help. We are going to visit her in hospital. We have no experience of a situation like this. Are there still things like 'meals on wheels'? Any advice appreciated. TIA

Cherrytree59 Mon 30-Jan-17 23:40:52

Ask for the hospital social worker to be involved.
Hospital Social worker is the link between all the services available and can make sure a care package and meals are sorted out before leaving hospital or if need be that your neighbour goes into respite care whilst they are sorted out ready for her to return home.

Hilltopgran Mon 30-Jan-17 23:47:50

Your neighbour does seem from your description to be vulnerable and poorly and lucky to have you as a good and concerned neighbour. She should be assessed whilst in hospital as to whether she will manage at home. Care packages are arranged by Social Workers, and OTs are usually involved to assess someones ability to manage daily living at home. Some areas have special teams of carers who go into assist someone for a short period of time to get them back home.

However in the current climate of overstretched services, you could make yourself known to her key nurse or the ward sister and let them know your concerns. Hopefully your neighbour will get some support, you could also call your local Age UK and ask what services are available in your area. There should also be information on the Adult Social Care Web page of your local authority.

On a note of caution, I have known older people you will tell services they are not needed because their neighbour will help, so do make sure whoever is organising her discharge is aware that she has not been coping.

Synonymous Tue 31-Jan-17 11:23:43

Adding to what Hilltopgran has posted regarding " my neighbours will help" it is very important to ensure that the social workers know just how much help you are prepared/able to offer or even whether you want to be involved at all. You really need to give this very serious thought and in any case sometimes just being an occasional visitor is as much as some of us can do.

Luckygirl Tue 31-Jan-17 12:10:44

Hospital SW is the way to go. I used to be one, and the ward staff should make a referral - or you can get in touch with them yourself and express your concerns. She needs a proper care plan before she is discharged, so you need to keep a bit of a low profile so that the care plan does not dump the responsibility for her safety on your shoulders.

Molli Tue 31-Jan-17 15:28:12

Thank you for your responses. UPdate. The relative has been in touch and has said she will be at the house when the old lady is released from hospital. We don't know if she will be staying. However her own mother has dimensia so I think it's a complex situation there too. We will go and visit our neighbour in hospital and will try and talk to the key nurse and just explain how we see things. We both work and I'm not sure we can take on the level of care that may be needed. ( I'm sorry if that sounds harsh). If everything goes well and she comes home we feel we would be best to be friendly caring neighbours sort of ontop of a care package. Perhaps this is for her relative to sort out now that she has been in touch. I feel it is just a very sad situation. However we know we did the right thing in calling the doctors because she is now inthe right place. Thank you again .

aggie Tue 31-Jan-17 16:11:20

Oh dear ! I do feel for the lady , but just a warning , make sure the Social Worker knows you can't provide care unlless as a back up to a proper package .It soinds like she needs full time care , perhaps in a care home

MissAdventure Thu 02-Feb-17 09:28:06

There is a six week re-enablement package which your neighbour should be given when she is discharged, but whether that will happen is anyone's guess
With my own mum, at one point, she was discharged with no help, and ended up back in A and E a week later.
The re-enablement support was then unable to be put in place as it hadn't been done before her discharge
Make clear in any dealings with the hospital that you are unable to care for your neighbour, otherwise it will fall to you.

Molli Thu 02-Feb-17 10:57:18

This advice has been really helpful thank you. We have visited her a few times now and talked to the Sister and have begun to voice concerns. We have also said that the relative may not know of the day to day situation that we and other neighbours see. The Sister completely understood. We discovered that Amazingly this little old lady has never been admitted to hospital before! I think it's all been a bit of a shock and she did say she felt a little 'sorry for myself' 😢 when we saw her last. Social services will be involved apparently when she is ready to leave but we will try and find out about this re-enablement support too or is that what the SS arrangement is called? But she's not there yet. Thank you again. It has really helped.

Luckygirl Thu 02-Feb-17 10:58:05

WE used to have a "reablement" team - we called them the Reebles!

MissAdventure Thu 02-Feb-17 22:16:21

There should leaflets at the hospital which set out how someone should be discharged from hospital, and it will have details of the reablement team, and what they do.
They give 6 weeks of support, after which an assessment is done to see if help needs to be continued. There is no break in the care whilst the assessment is done, so the person isn't without help
They also fetch the person home from hospital, call into a shop and buy milk, bread, etc, then settle them at home.

MissAdventure Thu 02-Feb-17 22:18:42

The leaflet I picked up is called 'planning your discharge from hospital'. (I assume its the same leaflet in all hospitals?)

Molli Wed 08-Feb-17 07:52:29

DH Managed talk to OT and expressed all concerns to her. Apparently our area is a little slow in organising care packages. the next day the relative left a message to say that the little old lady was being discharged and that she would be up to receive her and stay with her. It's great she is home and we do wonder how she will cope but at least the relative can support her now. When we last saw her she had said she was worried about going out and up and down stairs when she was back at home. I do feel that we did the right thing at the time but I'm not sure that voicing our concerns has as a nurse and OT said that the relative hadn't mentioned anything similar when they had spoken to her on the phone. So now we feel as if we just interfered. TBH we have found it rather stressful and perhaps lessons learnt as our parents aren't quite at that stage yet.

mansfield382 Thu 02-Mar-17 12:36:42

You certainly haven't interfered! And if you did - I wish more people would! You have had a valuable experience though and I would urge everyone to be aware that no-one parents are getting any younger and you just don't know when they might need care. None of us ever become experts, obviously, but its a good job to know where to get info before you are in a crisis. Age Concern has a good website on this, as do the Relatives and Residents Association. If fees are a worry The Care Co-operative has a stream on Gransnet too.

M0nica Thu 02-Mar-17 13:34:07

Speak to your local Age UK. They have a team of information workers and also Fact sheets that can advise you on who to speak to, what care your neighbour is entitles to etc etc.