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Care & carers

Help with my 89 year old mother

(13 Posts)
Jimmum1978 Sat 14-May-22 14:56:35

Can anyone please advise?
I have a mother who is 89 and appears to be suffering from memory loss and is no longer able to perform simple tasks like making a cup of tea, washing and dressing or preparing food. Even though she has her own housing association flat she tends to stay with me in my house most of the week while perhaps going home about two nights a week. I don't want her to move in permanently with me. She had an assessment booked for last week but that was cancelled at the last minute because of staff shortages

BlueBelle Sat 14-May-22 15:30:45

Well if she is losing the ability to look after herself and you don’t want her or can’t manage her as a permanent visitor
I think you need to look for some help in her home each day
My dad stayed in his own home he had a main meal delivered each day and had carers…, to start with once a day then increasing as he needed more help and a cleaner once a week I went round whenever I could
Her GP will put her in touch with a social worker for a assessment, and if she’s on pension credit there will be a lot of help

Caleo Sat 14-May-22 18:15:07

If you offer good enough wages you will get carers .okay. You will need to vet them for experience and training. Get a good reference.

MissAdventure Sat 14-May-22 18:30:17

Is your mum happy to stay in her own home with carers coming in?

M0nica Sat 14-May-22 18:35:44

Would she be safe in her home, even with carers. is it now time to consider residential care?

Get a new assessment date as soon as you can and when you get that you will be better placed to make decisions.

Serendipity22 Sat 14-May-22 21:38:31

I can only echo what others are saying about getting carers in to help your mum.

It will be peace of mind for you.


Hithere Sat 14-May-22 21:54:33

I agree with handling carers in her own home

Hithere Sat 14-May-22 21:54:57

You could also look for nursing homes in her budget

Teacheranne Sat 14-May-22 22:55:05

My advice would be

Make a list of all the things you are concerned about to give to her doctor at the assessment as it will help get the full picture - check if she can still use technology ie tv control, cooker and manage her money.

If you don’t already have it, get Lasting Power of Attorney organised as soon as possible.

Don’t wait for a social worker to help, I was never able to get an assessment of mums needs until she went into hospital after a fall

If your mum has the funds, you can find your own carers through an agency if you think it would help. They could call in once a day initially to sort out any medication or help prepare a meal. If more help is needed in the future then your mum will be used to having carers call in.

Buy some ready meals if your mum is able to use a microwave, you could have them delivered but few areas offer meals on wheels nowadays so somebody will need to cook them.

Explore technology to help keep your mum safe - get the internet installed if your mum does not have it then you can use Ring cameras to deter cold callers or check up on mum, Hive heating controls in case she starts to mess with the boiler controls, a call blocker on the phone to prevent scam calls etc

Don’t panic though as people can live independently at home with support for many years before care homes need to be considered.

My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015 and lived at home on her own with family support until 2019 when we got carers in at weekends so we could have a break. She did go into a care home eventually in 2020 as it became unsafe for her to live alone and she lived there for two years before her death just two weeks ago.

I need to add though that she had no support, financial or otherwise from Social Services apart from claiming Attendance Allowance and a hospital social worker who helped with her discharge to a care home during the first Covid lockdown. Mum owned her own house and also had some savings so we were left to it!

SachaMac Sat 14-May-22 23:53:00

We are in a very similar situation with my mum who is in her late 80’s. We initially got an assessment & carers set up after she had been in hospital following a fall, three times daily to start with but thats now been reduced to twice. They help her to get up, washed and dressed & give her breakfast and meds then return and give her some tea and her afternoon medication. She has frozen ready meals delivered to the door so she has a hot meal each day, she is no longer capable of cooking and when she has tried has burnt things or left the pan on the stove etc. My sister & I do her day to day shopping, bread, milk, fruit etc. Her medication is now delivered in blister packs. It was quite difficult to get this sorted but it works well & she is now taking her tablets properly with the assistance of the carers. She also has a lovely cleaner who comes in once a week and we had a key safe fitted.

My mum has made it quite clear that she wants to stay in her own flat as long as possible. Some days, especially if she has been feeling ill, has not been eating properly, or is getting confused and anxious about bills etc we start to think we are losing the battle but then she has a few good days and we seem ok again. She has a pull cord alarm system and also wears an alarm wristband so if she falls (this has happened quite regularly) we can get her help quite quickly.

When Social Services came to assess my mum she put on quite an act and made out that she was coping much better than she really is because she was worried they would suggest a care home.

I would consider getting your mum back to her own home asap, she will start to rely too much on you. If you can get a decent care package set up and do some of the things mentioned by myself & other posters she may be ok in her own home for a while longer. It’s a very difficult situation but I think it would be good to at least give carers in her own home a try before considering the next move.

BlueBelle Sun 15-May-22 07:33:46

Teakherann I must just come back on your social worker comment maybe it’s the area but my mum and dad had wonderful help from Social services and they got them things for the house we hadn’t even thought of Mum did go into care in the end as she because very angry and unable to be kept clean and fed in her own home as she was so convinced she could still do it all herself and it became dangerous getting up and trying to cook dad a meal in the middle of the night he became worn out and depressed
Mum and dad did own their own home but didnt have savings so maybe that was the difference they had attendance allowance and pension credit I think

Witzend Sun 15-May-22 07:46:46

If she doesn’t already get it, you should be claiming Attendance Allowance for her. When filling in the forms you need to state how things are on the worst days/nights, don’t gloss over anything. Age U.K. are apparently very good at helping with this.

One thing I learned, having been through all this twice, is that when being assessed by anybody (GP or Social Services) someone with memory loss/dementia will often insist that they can still manage perfectly well their own shopping/cooking/finances, etc. - and SS are often all too willing to believe them.

(Though it’s entirely possible with memory loss that the person may believe it - my own mother still genuinely thought she was fine when she could no longer even make herself a cup of tea,).

So a good strategy (if you can) is to sit slightly behind them, so you can give an emphatic shake of the head at any ‘wrong’ answers.
Good luck - I know all too well what a worrying time it can be.

WharfedaleGran Sun 15-May-22 08:05:03

Some great suggestions here already. I would only add that it would be well worth contacting your local Age UK, and certainly your local carers organisation can provide all sorts of information, support and advice - you need support too! You can find support in your area, and masses of other information, here -

Also many surgeries will have a social prescriber who can connect your mum with resources in your community - there are some neighbourhood groups who provide lovely social activities, dementia cafes, etc, which might take some of the pressure off you during the week?

Local organisations vary in what they offer, some Age UK teams will provide support, including an initial assessment, and can refer on to adult social care if appropriate - a “professional” referral can be helpful in highlighting the eligible needs more directly. I would say that social services are hugely overwhelmed at the moment and priority is having to be given to crisis cases. Having said that, people are ending up in crisis because there hasn’t been enough support. Don’t even get me started on the political background for this, having been a social worker for older people in 2010 when the cuts began..