Gransnet forums


How are people going to manage who look after their ill parents if we have to isolate

(37 Posts)
bikergran Sun 15-Mar-20 08:09:08

Recently I am having to spend more time looking after my parents, my mum has cancer my dad Parkinson's copd they are both 84 been reasonbly fit n healthy.

My mum had a fall last week so crisis care team in at the mo.but their time is limited.

What worries me is if we have to isolate ourselves, how are our poorly relatives going to manage without us, that rely on us for popping in, taking meals, cleaning cooking etc.

I know you can put meals in freezer but when they are ill and elderly they sometimes just cant be bothered and go down hill,

Has anyone got a plan in place?? some people don't have friends or family, and a lot of people help elderly neighbours.

GrannySomerset Sun 15-Mar-20 08:17:12

No answers for Bikergran but I am concerned too. I care for DH with Parkinson’s who is heavily reliant on me and would not be safe without support, so my staying OK is essential. No local relatives so can’t afford to be ill or injured. Plan for the worst, hope for the best I suppose, but this notion of house arrest by age is ludicrous.

Hetty58 Sun 15-Mar-20 08:17:40

A very good question, bikergran, and nobody has a good answer. The government seem to assume that family and good neighbours can somehow compensate for a crumbling NHS and social care system.

Perhaps, they think you'll move in with them for the time being? But that's not isolating yourself, is it?

The emergency measures for social care (which last two years) allow care visits to be halved. How will once a day, instead of twice, work? Are people expected to stay in bed for 24 hours - permanently?

bikergran Sun 15-Mar-20 08:25:26

It is worrying not for myself but for people that are ill to start with and rely on others.

I only didn't go to my mums on Friday and bye Saturday she had dropped back down, not sure if it was coincidence that I hadn't gone that day.

But I have to go to work (supermarket) where at least we are stood a few feet away from customers on the checkout.

I;m trying to get bit extra shopping in for them.

Grammaretto Sun 15-Mar-20 08:32:13

We are in a similar position Bikergran and our DD keeps telling us we are high risk and should be staying home. I think we carry on but take all the proper precautions of washing hands and surfaces (I'm sure you do anyway) being more diligent than usual.
There is going to be a balance between total isolation and some interaction.
If we get CV ourselves, and we probably will, I hope we can alert someone to help the very old relatives and vice versa.

Susan56 Sun 15-Mar-20 08:55:14

This is my biggest concern Bikergran.My mum is 87,lives 50 miles away and is reliant on us.My daughter has sorted out shopping for her,the pharmacy will deliver her medication but I worry about her being isolated and how that will affect her and if she gets ill it is going to be a huge problem caring for her due to my health issues.
At the moment she is being pretty amazing but we are only a few days in.Such a worry.

Humbertbear Sun 15-Mar-20 09:06:08

I’m in the same boat. My mother is 99 and relies on me for daily visits and also to take her to the hospital (we’ve already given up going out for lunch). I also do the school run on a Friday for the GC. I’ve dropped out of my art class and social groups already.
In any case, we can’t isolate ourselves as our daughter lives with us and is still going to work and she visits her grandmother too, who has carers going in three times a day.

Iam64 Sun 15-Mar-20 09:16:23

We no longer have elderly relatives to care for but I feel for those who do.
Our local Labour Party has emailed members to say they have a team on hand to support people who are in isolation. I know they won't confine that support to members only. It's a small thing but I felt reassured it's in place. We are both over 70 and have what is now called existing health problems. We're fortunate in having adult children living near enough to deliver shopping etc if that became necessary. Unnerving times aren't they.

grannypiper Sun 15-Mar-20 10:08:54

My Dad is in his eighties and is housebound, he has C.O.P.D and i have asthma but i am the only person available to care for him. I have filled his freezer and cupboards so at least i know he has enough for 3 weeks, after that i will just have to re-stock by leaving food parcels and anything else he needs on the doorstep.
His medicine is delivered by the chemist and i have tried my best to get him to cancel his newspaper delivery but he is having none of it.
We will just have to keep calm and carry on

Greymar Sun 15-Mar-20 10:23:43

My very old parent ( 3 hours away) has expensive care in every day. She refused the idea of moving. It's awful and it would be an awful way to end a relationship.

GracesGranMK3 Sun 15-Mar-20 10:29:15

I think it will be possible. You will have to ensure the older person is kept at a distance and take extra hygiene precautions such as disposable gloves but it should be possible. The most difficult will be the older person who cannot understand.

You would have to be careful about your own health when you travel too.

littleflo Sun 15-Mar-20 10:34:11

I have written to my MP asking for this to be advice rather than a directive. So many people will suffer if the fit and healthy over 70s can’t take up the massive gap left by SS.

We do such valuable work in the community, as volunteers, caring for the elderly and our grandchildren. Those of us with sons and daughters working for the NHS know that their shift work means that cannot get normal child care.

I wonder if the Government have any contingency plans for this .

glammanana Sun 15-Mar-20 10:49:51

Bikergran I am like you and have to manage on my own now I don't have parents to care for but I do look after my next door neighbour who is 86 and lost his wife 9mths ago,since then I have cooked for him on Sundays & Wednesdays making sure he is fed properly,I don't mind doing this as I at least make sure I do something nice for myself.
I'm feeling well so no problem there and my son who is night manager at Sainsbury's leaves any shopping I need at the front door on his way home at 6.30am.

Spidergran3 Sun 15-Mar-20 15:13:42

There are lots of community help groups being set up under the umbrella of the organisation above as well as independent groups. Facebook is a really good resource and support at the moment. See if there is a Facebook Group for your mum’s town or local community. You or your daughter can access it on your mum’s behalf. Best wishes.

callgirl1 Mon 16-Mar-20 00:26:35

I am nearly 77 and not very fit or agile, which is why we have carers twice daily for my daughter, aged 56, who is badly crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, I don`t know how we`ll cope without the carers.

Hithere Mon 16-Mar-20 00:37:49

If you find yourself in this situation, start thinking of alternative plans to cover the gap.
Start sorting out alternative care arrangements today.

bikergran Mon 16-Mar-20 06:10:12

I can see some plans can be put in place,but who is going to sit for hours with my mum and chat, or to try and comfort my dad who has Parkinsons, his wife of 65 yrs is slowly deteriorating, she shouts at him because he tries to make her drink those horrible sickly energy drinks (he thinks they are going to cure her)!

The carers who have no time to stay and chat, or make meals that they fancy, clean up, disinfect, wash,clean up, do washing drying etc etc .

Many many people will just slowly drift away and become depressed and down, they rely on seeing people, I cab some sad very sad stories coming out if this 4 month isolation takes place.

All of you who are helping others and are so kind,It could be one of my parents you are helping, so many kind and caring people about, trying to make the best of what this country has come to.Lets hope that this horrible virus is gone and away as soon as possible. Take care everyone.

Hithere Mon 16-Mar-20 12:31:44


If her husband is trying to make his wife drink those energy drinks because he thinks they are going to cure her, is he the best carer for his wife?
No, he is not. He is not doing what it is best for her. He is not qualified and not supported to be qualified to care for her.
What else is he doing that it is not good for her or she doesn't like?

Those drinks are really bad for your health. They are highly discouraged to be used by young people.
I doubt a carer would condone that (making her force drink the energy drink)

This coronavirus only highlights an existing case of inadequate care.

Carers will take care of the patients in an efficient way, not catering to them.

Sometimes, family members need professionals to take care of them, not family. THAT is the problem here.

Yes, depression is a real danger, before and after this Corona situation.

gillybob Mon 16-Mar-20 12:43:57

I am 58 so not in the at risk age group although I do suffer from underlying health issues . Like others I have quite a few responsibilities towards my elderly father, my poorly husband and my 4 grandchildren for whom I provide childcare . My dad totally relies on me for shopping , hospital visits etc. And I worry how he would manage if I became ill ?

Hithere Mon 16-Mar-20 12:44:04

Supposed, not supported

christinawadeley Mon 16-Mar-20 13:13:30

I totally understand the fear of getting this virus and then passing it, unknowingly, to a loved one whom it would be catastrophic to infect. I care for my terminally ill mother who lives with me. I look after her 24/7 and sleep with her to keep her safe at night. I also have underlying health issues which make me vulnerable to illness. My autistic, asthmatic children live at home and I worry for them too. At present I am self isolating us at home to try and prevent anyone catching this what appears to be a highly contagious virus. However, any cough, sneeze, tightness of chest from any of us is making me panic like mad. I am ordering meals in and disinfecting surfaces anytime I touch something. I know I have to stay well or my mother will suffer for it. It is a very distressing situation as I don't know what to do in the event I am incapacitated and cannot care for those I need to.

Grammaretto Mon 16-Mar-20 20:52:40

We had a lovely email today from a young acquaintance in our town who has offered to help us and others who need shopping etc. He left his phone number. How sweet is that!

Meanwhile we have arranged to take gt grandpa out tomorrow for a drive. Is that isolating enough?

Dillyduck Mon 16-Mar-20 21:50:55

Maybe join the Carers UK Forum?

bikergran Tue 17-Mar-20 07:57:28

Hithereyes I know what you mean about my dad, but he has always been bolchy. He is sick with worry that he is going to loose the love of his life. He doesn't physically force her to drink them but he tells her " she will die if she doesn't take them" my mum tells him to shut up! confused

Anyway I am going over today and the b........ y drinks are going in the bin! a waste yes but that will be the end of it. even the carer said they don't do for everyone.

MawB Tue 17-Mar-20 08:00:28

Hithere Mon 16-Mar-20 00:37:49
If you find yourself in this situation, start thinking of alternative plans to cover the gap
Start sorting out alternative care arrangements today

Perhaps easier said than done? .