Families

Now the arguments have started.

Mum has to sell her house to pay for her care.  There is a way to avoid this – if I do her care 24 hours, but I need to work and, having been a carer most of my life I know only too well that it will be too much for me to take on full time.  We have chosen the cheapest option anyway by moving in with me and have already sacrificed the ground floor of our house and most of our privacy with all the carers, social worker and therapists coming in and out when they want using the keysafe!

She could rent her house, but it would need refurbishing and neither she or I can afford to do that.  We have already loaned her all of our savings to get a new boiler and replace the kitchen, but the upstairs still needs doing.  We now have the additional costs of food and laundry, electricity etc now she has moved in and anyway any rent will not be enough to cover her care costs, so that option is out.

In the meantime, we are hoping the Council will agree to defer payments for the full cost of her care (her house is now seen as an asset) until the house is sold as she is currently on a low income.

Meanwhile my brother has been sending emails offering investment advice. Clearly I misinterpreted his email as I read it that he was trying to release some of the money for the family, and now he has gone off on one and will no longer speak to mum, accusing her of being selfish (I put it more politely than he did).  My daughter and son also thought his proposals were good and I am stuck in the middle trying to resolve everything.

Mum doesnt want to think about investment and said no.  My thoughts are that she hasnt even got her house on the market yet – and understandably wants to hang on closely to her money and to be able to see it in the bank (she has an App on her phone and checks her balance every day, despite not being able to use the phone to make or answer calls!).  She may change her mind, who knows, but it is up to her what she does – she could give it all away to some stranger if she wanted (hopefully not! and I now have Lasting Power of Attorney so can at least try and protect her from any scams) but she has the right to say no.

She worked really hard to buy her home. We lost everything when my dad got Parkinsons Disease – his business and our home – and ended up in a council flat which then had rain leaking in in every bedroom and carbon monoxide fumes in their bedroom (fortunately they had moved into the loft because of the water so avoided potentially dying in their sleep).  She then took a GCE and got herself a full time job and also worked nights in a burger bar to save a deposit to buy her own house.  Since then, as the only breadwinner, struggled to maintain the house over the years.  Any money she may receive now should go towards making her life as comfortable as possible.  Yes it should be invested wisely, to meet her future care costs and hopefully leave some for the family, but she hasn’t got any yet!  Early days!

Broken promises

Well another day off work as I waited for mum to arrive.  The transport was booked for 11.00am, but instead she didn’t arrive home until just past 4.00pm!   By which time the driver couldn’t park and I had to collect her from down the road and push her in the wheelchair back to the house with her bag and a walking frame precariously balanced over the arms.  Not quite the welcome I had planned.

But just as well as the lunchtime carer didn’t turn up anyway.  In fact no carers turned up as they had all apparently been sent to the wrong door number!

In fact the whole week has been a disaster.  Despite ringing the Agency and making sure they had the correct details, we never once had the four visits a day which were promised.  At best we had two calls and mostly only one and no evening calls at all.  Thank goodness she didn’t go home on her own!

Eventually the Agency said they didn’t want to cover mum any more on the excuse that it was too for the carers to travel – yet my house was much closer to the transport links than my mum’s had been!  The carers said they were fine but blamed the management!  So the poor social worker was now left having to find a new Agency.  I did have to direct him away from one Agency in particular as they used to come, sign in, disappear to a private client or do their shopping and then return to sign out.

So it has been a nightmare having to do the caring myself alongside all the other stuff, like finding a new doctor, notifying everyone of change of address, arranging physio and OT appointments etc etc as well as being called out in the night and trying not to get the sack in the process. But I suppose at least she seems comfortable and is out of that care home.

Not enough time or space

I asked for time to get the room ready for mum but even I underestimated what was involved.  It has been a real panic trying to getting new non-slip flooring measured, ordered and laid in just one week (my carpet was moth ridden I am ashamed to say), furniture delivered and all the supplies ordered.  But the room is I hope more or less ready.

The hospital agreed to provide mum with an adjustable hospital bed.  I couldn’t believe it – this would be such a great help.  Strangely she was not entitled to one before, despite the fact that she was not able to turn over in bed or sit up.  I had tried a grab bar but it made no difference. Clearly having a stroke ticks the right boxes.  They even offered to provide a small over the bed table and a pressure cushion for the chair.  The only problem was they needed to deliver straight away.  I did manage to delay it but only until the day after I returned home from visiting my brother, so the flooring now became critical and the thoughts I had of redecorating had to go out of the window. Probably just as well as it was a bit ambitious.

I had to buy an arm chair which had to be a certain height and obviously need to get that in before mum came or she would have nothing to sit in, so that took lots of research and phone calls to get it delivered in time and also new single bedding and a baby monitor for the nights.   I acquired my son’s bathroom stand (from uni) for her pads and toiletries and splashed out on a video doorbell so she didn’t become anxious if anyone knocked as I could answer remotely.

I was unable to get a wardrobe and chest of drawers in time, so she still had to live out of a suitcase for a few days but now they are here but there is still nowhere to put everything!

I can’t believe she needs so much stuff and we haven’t even brought her personal things from home yet!  She needs towels, flannels, soap free toiletries, a bowl, telephone, waste bin, commode, frame, footstool, doorstop, extra bedding, waterproof things plus old towels, tissues, incontinence pads and sheets, toilet rolls, wipes, medication, pill cutter, creams. disinfectant, air freshener, television, non slip bed socks plus somewhere for visitors to sit.  The room is fairly big but I really need to be better organised as everything is all over the place!

 

Becoming invisible

To my great relief – they managed to find a temporary placement for mum to allow me to prepare for her to move in. She was given 2 weeks of intermediate care but I had to request an additional 2 days as one of those weeks I had to visit my brother abroad, who was suffering from cancer.  I looked at the website and it said the home invest in their staff and if their staff are happy so are the residents and their families.  It sounded great.

Well, the staff were happy, but I couldn’t say the same for the residents.

Continue reading “Becoming invisible”

A glimpse of the future

It occurred to me that we all know that we will go through various stages in our lives, but we never seem to be prepared for them!   At 7 years of age we feel grown up and by 14 years of age we clearly know it all.  But in a flash we are in our 20’s and we have to actually start being grown up.

Continue reading “A glimpse of the future”