Where to start with caring for a parent - help!

Ab1
Ab1 Member Posts: 9
edited 14. Jun 2012, 11:01 in Say Hello Archive
Hi,

I have just signed up to this forum.

I am looking for information on how to help care for my mum, who has severe ososteoarthritis - nearly wheel chair-bound. My dad is struggling with looking after my mum, who is house-bound with this illness - he has no outside help - we do not even know what we are entitled to - he works full time. Can anyone give me some ideas?

Many thanks,

A

Comments

  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 200
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    welcome to the forum

    your gp should be able to give advice on whats out there to help your mum out.
    the various things could include an assessment by social services to help adapt the house like hand rails on stairs and utensils > http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.direct.gov.uk/en/hl1/help/socialservices/index.htm

    even though the boundarys have changed lately with the change of dla its still worth a look > http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Disabledpeople/DG_10011925

    also a blue badge http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/disabledpeople/motoringandtransport/bluebadgescheme/dg_181208

    hope some of this helps
    jim
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and a warm welcome from me too. Your Mum is lucky to have a son/daughter who cares enough to do all the research they can on this. It must be very stressful for your Dad if he works full time in addition to looking after her and I don’t expect it’s much fun for your Mum either.

    Well, as Mr DJ has said, social services are an excellent starting point. They will probably assess your Mum’s needs and, certainly where I am, will provide grab rails, pick up stick, bathing aids etc free of charge up to £1,000. They will also be able to tell you what other help is available.

    If you look at the top of this page, you’ll see that Arthritis Care produce several booklets, some of which you might find helpful.

    I’m struggling with the concepts of ‘nearly wheel-chair bound’ and ‘housebound’. Your Mum does sound very dependent. Has she had any surgery? Are there any local groups for disabled people such that she could get out (car pick up or taxi?) and so feel a little more independent.

    It might help you to talk to our Helplines about this but you may not be able to get through until after the Bank Holiday.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,739
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    Lovely to meet you.

    Don't forget there is likely to be a local arthritis care branch she could join and meet other folks in a similar position. This can be a good starting point towards finding out what is going on locally.

    If your Mum is successful in getting DLA she could use some of it to pay for help for herself and keep her independence a bit.

    I agree with whoever mentioned medical help with her mobility. Maybe she does need to see someone about surgical options to get her more mobile???

    Love

    Toni xxx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • Ab1
    Ab1 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi thank you all for your replies -and messages of support - really appreciate it, and glad I have got the starting block I need! In answer to the earlier question - my mum has a comode in the lounge - that should give you an idea of her mobility at present - I know I need to take into account she has just had surgery - a hip replacement, which will take time to recover from. I have looked at 'Crossroads' as a support group, which is local to us - has anyone been to this group at all?

    Many thanks,

    A
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't know anything about Crossroads but, if you ask on the Living With Arthritis forum, more people look in there and you'll have a much better chance of finding someone with some knowledge of it.

    The commode in the lounge doesn't sound good. Admittedly I live in a bungalow but I've never needed that and, as a veteran of two hipe replacements, two knees and a knee revision, I would think the physios would regard it as a last resort insofar as they always have you walking to the loo and back - sometimes down a long ward - before discharging you. It's all part of the therapy. If your Mum is getting no exercise at all it's not good for the hip. Does she do her post-op exercises? If not, the hip will remain in greater danger of dislocation. If pain is a problem, it's best to time the exercises to just after the pain relief has started working.

    I hope you can get some help soon.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • Ab1
    Ab1 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi Thanks for that - to be honest no, she is not the greatest with her post-op excersises - my dad has to kind of cajoul her into to doing them - I know, not good. My mum has had arthritis since she was 40 - she has had numerous ops - knees, toes, fingers and hip - she is alomost bionic now :-).

    Have found a local branch of this support group in her area - which is brilliant!!

    Many thanks,

    A
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think a spot of tough love may be required but I'm sure everyone will benefit in the long run, most of all your Mum.

    I hope you find the support group helpful. I suggest you ring first to ensure all data is up to date. All the best.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • Ab1
    Ab1 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you - will keep you updated!

    A
  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 200
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    a raised toilet seat is a must after a hip replacement especially if you are taller than average.
    its the best op i ever had and after 17 years still going strong. i still have numbness around the scar after all this time but im told thats normal.
  • Colin1
    Colin1 Member Posts: 1,769
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi A nothing i can say thats not been said just wanted to tell you good luck
    Colin
    WHEN GOD GIVES YOU LEMONS MAKE LEMONADE
  • Ab1
    Ab1 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Colin.

    Well my mums GP has been in touch - going to start (very slowly) cutting down her meds - so she can stay awake whilst eating her dinner! Main stop block is my dad - who will not get outside help - so no progress on that. But like I said to my mum its a start - can only get better!!!

    A
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As you say, it's a start and hopefully things will progress.

    If your Dad is the independent kind, what about the local disability shop, if you have one? The good ones are very good and will advise you - my local one will even bring large items to your house for you to try out. Some very basic/very necessary things are not expensive eg raised loo seat, grabber stick, washing aids. All these little things can make enormous differences.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • Ab1
    Ab1 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We are ok for the aids thanks, it just the general keeping tabs on my mum whilst my dad is at work, as she forgets to take her meds, or sleeps through the time she is supposed to take them. My dad is just not keen on asking for someone to take over what he is doing at present, which he is really struggling with,as he has an extremely testing job as a Solicitor. Hoping we will get through his stubborness!!!

    A
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Could you ask a neighbour to pop in to ensure meds are taken?

    Or one of you ring in and get her to take them while on the phone?

    Also, I know there is at least one organisation (I don't know if they're nationwide) who would send someone (for pay) to do virtually whatever your mother required on a regular basis.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Would your dad object to social service carers calling in? Your mum may even welcome that company during the day even if it is only for 15 minutes to half an hour. They will dish out meds. You can have the meds put into a tray of separate little containers so that it makes it easier to know if the meds have been taken that day or not. Perhaps this is already in place. Surely a carer calling in 5 days a week for 15 minutes would not make your dad feel anyone was taking over, just a little reassurance all round really. A carer can also ensure your mum does some of the exercises :wink:

    Ready made frozen meals are available and also "meals on wheels". Sometimes it can be pleasant to see a friendly face around lunch time with a piping hot ready made meal!

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • Ab1
    Ab1 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi I am just sat here with my mum, to see if she has any questions - here you go:

    She has been given exercises after a hip replacement op, but are there any she can be doing for her knees for pain relief and to keep them mobile!

    Many thanks,

    A
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again and hello, and welcome, to Mum.

    If you go to the top of the page, you'll see a 'Publications and Resources' button. Among Arthritis Care's publications is a booklet on Exercise which deals with exercises for all sorts of joints. Little and often is the golden rule - and very gently at first - but regular exercise will keep the supporting muscles strong and so reduce pain. I do hope it helps. Or, your Mum's GP could send her for a course of physio, possibly at the surgery, possibly at the nearest hospital.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • Ab1
    Ab1 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you - having a look now :-)

    A
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Consider hydrotherapy if it is available near you (and once wounds are healed). You can get lots of mobility that way without too much pain because the water kind of takes the weight for you. Another pain relief you could try to help your Mum move is acupuncture. It doesn't hurt and can really help with soreness. Good luck to you :)
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter