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Care & carers

I'm a carer and need more help but what?

(15 Posts)
lmm6 Sat 02-Mar-19 17:42:27

Mum aged 94 moved in with us a week ago. She has a pleasant nature and is no trouble really. But she is, naturally, somewhat demanding. I'm constantly making tea, distributing pills, finding something, buying something, cooking something ... etc. Anyone who has done it will understand. I would like to find some more help for me. Am wondering whether to get somebody to do my ironing or possibly cleaning? My main gripe is the extra cooking... not something I enjoy at the best of times but there's no way round that really except for instant meals. Feeling trapped already and just wondering if anyone has any ideas how I can make my own life easier. DH is very good but is domestically-challenged. I believe AgeUK can provide help - assuming I'd have to pay but that's not a problem. Mum isn't particularly sociable so won't want volunteers who come just to chat. Need to find a way forward so we're all happy. Currently I'm worn out after 1 week. I was talked into this really but want to do my very best.

Jane10 Sat 02-Mar-19 18:09:15

I found M&S did a range of somewhat old fashioned small meals that really suited my MiL. They were microwavable but well balanced with all nutritious good quality ingredients. That could save you some time and also let you cook more of your sort of food. ie it seems that younger generations (us!) like curries and pastas and veggie things. Older people seem to like meat and two veg sort of thing. Forgive sweeping generalisations!
Get a cleaner if you can stand having someone in the house. Ironing services will come and take the ironing away and return it next day. Lovely.
Any chance of your AC coming in for a few hours to let you go out and have a break?
It's only been a week. I'm sure things will settle down in time.

Luckygirl Sat 02-Mar-19 18:23:55

Are you able to leave her on her own safely? This is the critical factor; and you need to build in ways of you being free to go out when you wish. Or you really will feel trapped, and that way lies resentment. My OH has a lifeline which is a neck pendant that he can press when I am out and get help - the person on the other end of the phone has the numbers of a selected group of people - you, your OH, a GC etc. LA provided this - we pay about £5 per month for it.

Food - get ready meals that will cook from frozen - some of them are excellent. She can have one a day - not a problem - nutritious and tasty. As someone has already said, the M&S meals are brilliant.

It is a good idea to not do things that she can do for herself, or it just becomes a habit for her to become more dependent. My OH wants me to put his tablets in his mouth in the evenings - I just take his arm out from under the bed covers and put it in his hand. There will soon be a day when I need to put them in his mouth - but NOT now!!

loopyloo Sat 02-Mar-19 18:51:34

I think you need to be gently firm and establish a routine. Like breakfast is at 8am then morning tea at 10.30 so that you are not making tea on demand. Or perhaps your mother could have a flask that she helps herself to. Hopefully not burning herself.
Another idea is a day centre. She might not like the idea but you need to have a day off and again you need to be firm. I looked after my mother for 10 years and I know how you feel.
Do not be too soft. Look after yourself.

aggie Sat 02-Mar-19 19:40:46

My cleaning lady came in for two hours and I went out , just for a walk or to see a friend for coffee , it meant OH had someone around just to keep an eye , but not obviously to "mind" him . It got so I had to have a carer come so I could go out to club or painting class , but I needed to get out of the house . You need space , look about sitters , one lady just sat and knitted , another was a student , she had he laptop and did her studying , just suggestions you can look into

lmm6 Sat 02-Mar-19 20:02:34

Thanks for some excellent ideas, everyone. Will definitely try the M&S meals. Also getting her to do things for herself that she is capable of. The flask idea is a good one too.
Am very interested in the "sitters" idea. How do I find them? What should I pay them?

Alygran Sat 02-Mar-19 21:03:37

Your local AgeUK or Carers Centre should be able to signpost a sitting service. Sitters will be paid at the standard rate and be DBS checked. Alternatively speak to Adult Social care at your local authority. Mum may be entitled to benefits and you should have a carer’s assessment. Good luck and take care of yourself.

Hronos Sun 10-Mar-19 11:19:56

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glammanana Sun 10-Mar-19 11:33:33

Age UK where so good helping my sister and I when we where looking after our mum,she was collected 2 x weekly and taken to one of their centres where she mixed with ladies of her own age and had things in common with.
Every other month we did an order from Wiltshire Farm foods so we always had a supply of meals at hand,they are the perfect size and there was never any wastage,all traditional meals.
My sister claimed an allowance for caring for mum and this was used to pay for all the extra activities she did.

glammanana Sun 10-Mar-19 11:37:13

Woops I forgot !! Age UK advisors helped my sister with all the benefits available for our mum to be cared for,most of them are not means tested by the way so claim them if your mum is entitled to them.

Luckygirl Sun 10-Mar-19 12:18:17

Another factor is that having carers in seems a simple solution to managing care needs but it really sin't. We have been told it would be a good idea for us to think about this, but I have decided that for now I should bash on, because of the absence of flexibility when you use carers.

If it is help to wash/dress/get to bed etc. then you are hidebound by the carers' schedules. Today OH is still not dressed and feels he does not have the energy even to be helped with that. At present we can be flexible about when he gets up or goes to bed, and I can respond to his needs during the day as they arise, rather than at set pre-determined times.

I guess the time will come when I will have to bite the bullet on carers coming in, but at the moment I think we should just bash on.

Hronos Tue 12-Mar-19 10:16:03

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Alexa Tue 12-Mar-19 10:29:15

Some helpful ideas from grans. You need to have some free time . I'd go carefully about the day centre idea. This old lady who is not particularly sociable may be selective about the company she is in and I would not blame her.

I do like the idea of sitters. Are they police checked?

Jomarie Tue 12-Mar-19 10:36:53

Alexa previous post by Alygran says they are DBS checked grin

Alexa Tue 12-Mar-19 11:35:45

For me a 'meal' might be a ready made sandwich or a fried egg with bread. Maybe your mother thinks a meal is not a meal unless potatoes and two veg. I recommend instant potato with plenty of butter mixed in. Ready cut and washed veg packs also save labour as do frozen peas and fish fingers.
Maybe make big batch of tea for the day and microwave as needed?