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Relatives and friends

Dora

Home support

Hi, m-i-l had bowel cancer surgery in November and it all went a bit pear shaped and she spent 10 days in ITU with breathing problems & infections. She's on a re-hab ward now but struggling to eat, struggling with stoma as she's virtually blind so can't see to empty it, wound & stoma are very close and walking is very hard. She's also very weepy and tired and a lot more down than she's letting on to staff. Yesterday she had a fall too which has really upset her more. Today we have a meeting with physio and social services about what support she will need when she goes home, they suggested mid-January initially but not sure atm. F-i-l had just finished radiotherapy for prostate cancer & has stents and reduced lung capacity after lung cancer too so he isn't in any state to be caring for her. Just wondered what kind of questions we need to ask about support for both of them moving forward, am worried that they will proudly try to muddle through when they actually need a significant amount of support.

Dora
Quote from @Polly 1:
Sounds like everything is going well planning-wise @Dora but in case anyone else is reading this looking for home support you can always try your local Age UK.

We had originally found it easier to get support for my mother in law as she was waiting for discharge from hospital (they want the beds after all) rather than my own parents still in their own home.

My sister read about and organised a visit from Age UK for our parents. They were brilliant and within days they had a step built outside their patio door, a wooden handrail along the outside of the garage wall to get to the car on the drive, a commode, any necessary handrails, raised toilet seat/rails etc (all at no charge).

Also they organised a fortnightly cleaner/helper at a charge of £25 per 2 hour visit. Age UK provide the cleaner so they are already checked and payment is made by direct debit to Age UK so my parents don't have to deal directly with payments themselves.

The lady from Age UK also assisted with attendance allowance forms (not means tested), told them all about lunch clubs and got them referred to the Falls/exercise clinic at our local hospital. She was brilliant.

Thanks so much for that, hadn't even thought about that. I know social services are contacting local carers support group to help them with the attendance allowance forms but the more avenues we can explore the better.

Sarah44

Brilliant @Dora - so pleased they ‘read between the lines’ - that is so important!! :x::x:

bettebette

Hello @Dora it sounds as though you have done a good job, well done to you :x::x:
Also @Polly 1, that’s very useful information re Age U.K. I had no idea :x::x:

Polly 1

Yes @bettebette we had no idea before either. At the moment my parents have just booked them for 2 hours a fortnight hoovering, cleaning kitchen & bathrooms etc as I do everything else - running errands, fetching prescriptions etc. The lady also sits and talks to them for a while and is trained to contact someone if anything concerns them.
Having the initial chat/assessment is the key as they can then organise everything else - ramps, rails, commodes etc as needed.

bettebette

That sounds ideal @Polly 1, allowing your parents to have some control while having the benefit of the help and support. £25 sounds very reasonable.

You seem to have your hands very full, I hope you have some time for yourself too.

Polly 1

Yes @bettebette between them and hubby with his fortnightly maintenance chemo I have my hands full. They are 91 & 88 and I do visit them most days as I can walk there in about 10 minutes. Online shopping ordering is also a godsend as it means I can sit with Mum and go through her shopping list, order with her online then forget about it as it gets delivered a few days later.
We recently organised a Phillips airfryer for them as well and now Dad (who never did any cooking at all before) is very happy to safely use that to cook many of their meals. Brilliant bit of kit.

bettebette

@Polly 1 you are very busy! Your parents are fortunate to have you so close.
It sounds as though you have a lot sorted with the online shopping and your dad now happy to do some of the cooking (I shall mention the air fryer to my friend whose parents are in a similar situation)
I have already past on the Age U.K. information 🙂

My parents both passed away a great many years ago (at 63 and 72), so I really have no responsibilities apart from my granny duties which are usually a pleasure! I am a fraud on the relatives and friends posts!

Best wishes to you and @Dora :x::x:

Dora

We have got shopping and household stuff to sort but they have a cleaner so that's one thing sorted. Thankfully f-i-l has also realised how vulnerable they are especially at night so he agreed to careline etc which I thought he'd be completely against. Nurses think m-i-l may be able to lose the wound pressure machine in a few weeks so that would also make a big difference to her mobility as she's all wires, tubes and zimmer frame which is very difficult.

bettebette

Good news that your f-i-l has agreed to Careline support @Dora. I hope things get easier for everyone soon 🙂

Polly 1

@bettebette the airfryer is great for heating up pies, pasties, fish portions, fishfingers, frozen chips etc etc quickly & easily just stick in set time and temps and ding its ready. Also brilliant homemade chips with a tiny amount of oil - just a splash really - and so safe.

Gypsy

Dear @Dora. I'm so sorry that both your parents-in-law face all of this. I truly hope that things can become manageable for them and improve and that they are able to receive good help and support at home. Love Gypsyxx

Dora

Thank you, that's so kind. It's only really hit home in the last few weeks how much they have been through.

Dora

Update to say that physio who has been working with m-i-l came and did an assessment of the house in terms of aids and equipment. They are planning a 3xdaily care package plus stoma nurse, plus district nurses as her wound still needs cleaning/dressing daily. Mobility firm rang late yesterday to bring and fit the aids next week and we are going over to move some furniture around to make things easier.

bettebette

That’s good to hear @Dora. I hope it is all achieved and makes things much easier :x:

sweetcheeks

Hi @Dora , sorry it’s so horrid for you all , I work for Steps in Cornwall , it’s a 6 weeks free package of re enablement usually to hospital discharges , might be worth asking if you have any services similar in tour area, I live in Cornwall, I know Devon do this as well, ask for a social worker to be assigned to mum , as hard as it is don’t be seen to offer too much practical support; I’m not saying don’t do it just don’t say you will) as it’s very easy for family to have to take on so much , and it’s far more important to be the loving DIL ( that you so obviously are)and son than a sudden unpaid carer ,
I wish you all the luck
Lots of love :x::x::x:

Dora

The care package is linked to that and to re-ablement as well, they're very keen that f-i-l doesn't end up doing the caring too as he is really tired after all his treatment. I've been really impressed by what they've offered so far and we all agree m-i-l will probably eat better & start recovering better in her own home now.

Gypsy

I'm so glad @Dora. I hope it really works out well for them both. Love Gypsyx

Polly 1

Glad it's all being planned @Dora sounds like you have a great team in place now

milo

What a journey you have all had . My thoughts and prayers are with you all I hope things go smoothly for everyone. :x::x: