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Three elderly parents

(83 Posts)
maddyone Sun 15-Aug-21 12:29:44

I don’t know what I expect from this thread, but maybe some people are going through similar (and probably worse) but the whole situation is stressing me enormously. My elderly mother, 93 and a half years old, has moved into a care home (it’s fantastic) following her third fall in six months, and third hospitalisation, having sustained two (small) brain injuries, a broken shoulder, and having contracted Covid during her first hospitalisation. She already had heart failure and multiple other conditions. As my sister lives 250 miles away, has mental health issues, and in any case isn’t willing to shoulder any of the responsibilities, it’s all down to me. I sort everything out, have shopped, washed, arranged carers for her, everything in fact. I visited daily, was the only nominated visitor when hospital visits were allowed. I’m feeling the strain. Although I love her, she’s not been the best of mothers through my childhood and indeed adulthood. She still wants me to bring this, fetch that, go and do the other, and I do as it’s part of caring for her and I try to be a good daughter despite everything. She has decided to stay in the care home, at the moment curtesy of the NHS, but soon fully self funded, until her money runs out.

My husband has two elderly parents, one 94, the other 93, both also with multiple health and age related issues. They still live at home. They are not fit to be at home, and keep being admitted to hospital with various illnesses/conditions. My husband’s brothers are all over 65 and do much the same things for their parents as I do for mine, including the two or three daily visits. We ring every day but with the Covid situation haven’t been able to visit for some time.

Sorry to moan fellow Gransnetters. My husband and I are in our late 60s and sometimes wonder how long we can go on. The situation stresses me a lot. Not so much my husband, except he feels great guilt about being so far away from his parents. I just think it’s the situation of having three very elderly parents, all with multiple health conditions, that stresses me out. I know you can’t do anything, but thank you for reading.

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 09:08:17

Problems with elderly parents never end do they? When visiting mum yesterday, the finance manager came to see me. The NHS will no longer fund mum as her shoulder has healed now, and despite her other medical problems, she must start to pay, as from Monday. We knew she’d have to start paying soon, but three days notice! Anyway it seems she can’t stay there as she only has sufficient funds for about a year and a half and the home requires evidence that there is sufficient funding for two full years. So now, panic! We’ve got to find a cheaper home as quickly as possible. Suddenly mum is not talking about going back to her flat, and is saying she can’t go back as she’s not well enough. Which I knew all along. It at least proves what I thought all along, in saying she wants to go home she yet again, after a lifetime of this, was attention seeking.

Jaxjacky Fri 08-Oct-21 09:36:55

Three days notice is really not on, can you appeal it? at least it will buy you time and get an assessment from adult social services, whilst letting them know, in no uncertain terms the toll on you.
Maybe it’s time to sell her flat, (I don’t recall if it’s owned or rented). Problem is this is more upheaval, responsibility and work for you. I’m sorry I can’t think of anything else other than disappearing for a week or two! They won’t chuck her out onto the street.

Shandy57 Fri 08-Oct-21 09:45:28

So sorry to read this Maddyone.

If you provided evidence that you are putting your Mum's flat on the market, would they allow her to stay where she is? Will it sell easily?

Kali2 Fri 08-Oct-21 09:51:23

I am so so sorry to hear Maddyone- and because I know so well how stressful it all is. We had to battle on 2 fronts, with my MIL and Alzheimers, having to change care home and selling her flat- and at the same time my parents abroad. I had to give up my job as I could not keep asking for time off to come and sort out my parents abroad. So after MIL died and we retired, we actually made the huge decision to move here- as sorting it all out from the UK was just so stressful.

My heart truly goes out to you.

Callistemon Fri 08-Oct-21 10:11:36

I agree with the last few posts.
Do you have POA?

Three days' notice is simply not on, it is not feasible to find anywhere suitable in that time, without the added stress to your mother at the upheaval and to you too.

If she owns her own flat then that is the only solution; you will be able to continue to pay for the care home where she is relatively settled.

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 10:11:47

Thank you for your answer Jaxjacky. The flat is owned under a legal trust so can’t be sold for care fees. Mum has never been assessed to my knowledge by Social Services, but the home and the physiotherapist have met and said she’s no longer eligible to be funded as her broken shoulder has now healed. Anyway I’ve just had a conversation with the home manager and it seems Mum can go on to a two week respite care contract, whereby she can pay every two weeks. That is a relief, as I’ve been really worrying overnight about this. Mum wasn’t the best mother in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m trying my best to do right by her in her old age.

Shandy57 Fri 08-Oct-21 10:17:59

I'm glad you have some breathing space Maddyone. My aunt is 84 and has very small savings, which I've told her to keep for paying future carers, prior to going into a home if she has to.

I had assumed if she needed to go into a home her savings would be used, whilst her flat was in the process of being sold. I have looked at homes on the IOW and the one she likes is £4K per month.

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 10:21:27

In answer to other posters, just thank you, you have no idea how much I appreciate your concern.
Mum has got sufficient money to fund her own care, but probably not for the full two years. As I said the flat is owned under a legal trust left by my father, and doesn’t come into the picture, as there are other beneficiaries named. As this is a legal document, we can’t do anything about that, but the positive is that there is sufficient funding available for at least one and a half years. The manager of her home has advised us to try to get SS to assess her, as they they may provide part of the fees and she could then top up. Otherwise the respite care will be the way forward I think until we find another home. It doesn’t help that Mum is so stubborn. The finance manager asked yesterday about POA and if it would be a good time to activate it for me. My God, she nearly bit the woman’s head off ‘NO!’

Callistemon Fri 08-Oct-21 10:22:14

X post but I hope your mother can continue to stay there for the meantime, maddyone

Anyway it seems she can’t stay there as she only has sufficient funds for about a year and a half and the home requires evidence that there is sufficient funding for two full years.

Is that a general rule? It seems rather cruel to give e days' notice on those grounds.
You can argue that you have that much time to make alternative arrangements without being rushed into a bad decision, they have no fear of lack of payment for some time yet and who knows what the future holds for any of us anyway.

Callistemon Fri 08-Oct-21 10:22:52

3 days not e days

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 10:24:26

Shandy the prices are ridiculous aren’t they? If your aunt likes a particular home give them a ring and see if they require sufficient funding for a minimum of two years. Although if she can sell her flat and access the money that way, it shouldn’t be a problem. Mum’s current home charges £1300 a week. We need to find a cheaper one for her.

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 10:26:19

Callistemon as you said, crossed posts. The urgency has now evaporated leaving us with breathing space, as she will now be on a two weekly respite care contract.

Callistemon Fri 08-Oct-21 10:28:51

I can appreciate that it is all so stressful, though, maddyone.

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 10:37:00

Kali I just want to thank you for the lovely supportive posts all through this difficult time. Until Covid arrived, Mum was reasonably independent. I used to take her shopping once a week, she did her own laundry. She had a cleaner, and we sorted out a lot of her business stuff, after going every time through that rigmarole of her agreeing that we speak for her on the phone. Covid arrived, she managed, we got her shopping and she managed. Later we formed a bubble with her. That’s how I got Covid as she was hospitalised after her first fall, came home with Covid and I got it from her. And then followed the other falls and hospitalisations, and that’s how we arrived here.
I expect people all over the country are dealing with similar problems.

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 10:38:56

It is stressful Callistemon, and I expect a lot of other families go through this every day. I could do without it though, but as my son would say, it is what it is.

Jaxjacky Fri 08-Oct-21 10:54:01

maddyone and breathe, good, a bit of time to collect your thoughts. I think, as advised, it’s time for a SS assessment, if nothing else it’s a benchmark on your mother going forward and hopefully some advice and help for you.
You’re not invincible, so any information and support available, with practical plans b, c etc in place may help. Take care of yourself, any time you need to come on and shout, ask for help, then do and feel free to pm me. X

Hetty58 Fri 08-Oct-21 11:00:20

I think people expect far too much of themselves, overdo it, trying to meet their unrealistic expectations - and often make themselves ill.

People are, in general, living so much longer now. We're already elderly ourselves when our parents need care. We just don't have the stamina to deal with it.

The load is usually uneven between siblings too. In my case, my sister (the favourite) went overboard and martyred herself - insisting on visiting daily, running errands and fussing over every little detail - despite Mum being in a care home.

I visited weekly (reluctantly) and dealt with the paperwork. My brother would turn up every few months, do little, and make a great big show of it!

For me and my brother, not being close to (or even fond of) Mum, it was just doing our duty. My sister, guilt ridden, suffered a lot, trying to get things right, or better, when everything was so inadequate. There was no alternative. She couldn't cope at home and would have been unbearable to live with.

Kali2 Fri 08-Oct-21 11:01:14

You are so welcome maddyone- so mayn of us have been through similar situations and know just how hard and stressful it is. As said, we felt we had no choice but to upsticks and move to be there for my parents, and sell the family home we so loved.

With those kind of fees though- it does make you wonder if it would not be easier to have a permanent live in help with one or two part-time on hour wage to give that person time off. I mean, over £50.000 per year!

Katyj Fri 08-Oct-21 12:29:37

So sorry to hear there’s more stress Maddy. Agree with everyone else 3 days notice is not fair. And now your poor mum has to get used to somewhere else.
Getting her assessed by ss is the way to go they are the key to all the other services you may need.
Thank you for updating, as you might have seen in my post I’m finding things very difficult at the moment too and this is all a big learning curve for me. The very best of luck flowers

Shandy57 Fri 08-Oct-21 13:28:21

Do keep posting maddyone, and take extra care of yourself.

maddyone Fri 08-Oct-21 17:00:24

I’ve just posted on your thread Katy and thank you Shandy and everyone. We have a breathing space at least for now, and we’ll press on with trying to get a SS assessment and finding a cheaper home. I really didn’t think I’d be dealing with all this at 68. It was obviously ridiculous of me, but my own grandparents had all died by 92. In fact my last surviving grandparent died a week after her ninety second birthday. My mother is now going to be 94 in two more weeks. I just never contemplated still being a carer at this stage in my life.

Shandy57 Fri 08-Oct-21 17:40:12

You are doing marvellously well maddyone. I'm not where I expected to be at 64 either, living alone in the north in a bungalow with a very elderly cat and dog. When I was younger I used to despise people like me! The callousness of youth.

I need to rethink my own future care needs, I haven't got enough savings for many years at the scary prices but hopefully my bungalow would sell quickly and easily.

Hope you can have a BIG glass of wine tonight.

Nanawind Fri 08-Oct-21 17:48:50

Mil pays £4052 per 4 weeks.
We have worked out she can live there for at least 4 more years.
Awful that it comes down to how long she can stay there.
If she is still alive when her money runs out she would need
to move out of the area as this is the cheapest nursing home.
She is 93 her mind is good but her body is falling apart.
It's so very sad.

maddyone Sat 09-Oct-21 12:31:19

So we’ve just heard that my husband’s 94 year old mother is back in hospital with breathing difficulties again. She’s been in and out of hospital for about a year now. She normally ends up on an antibiotic drip and stays about a week. Then discharge with a care package for six weeks. The care package hasn’t actually finished yet from the last hospital stay. At home she has a very frail 94 year old husband who needs care and meals providing etc. My husband’s brothers do all that but obviously my husband feels guilty that he’s so far away and we haven’t visited for a long time because of Covid. There is much more Covid in their area than our area. I feel sorry for my husband, he’s helping me with my mother and also has the worry of his own elderly and frail parents and the guilt of living so far away. I expect he’ll ring tonight to find our a bit more as we are doing childcare for our nine year old grandson at the moment as his parents have had to go out.

Shandy57 Sat 09-Oct-21 12:51:44

What a time you are both having Maddyone, just a hug from me. I hope you are having a nice time with your grandson smile