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Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

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newbie_38
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Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby newbie_38 » Sat May 12, 2018 11:13 pm

My dad had a severe stroke. After speaking with the occupational therapist, the options are either a nursing home or for my mum to take care of him in their home. She’s 77 and worried she might not be able to cope despite her wanting to do this. We should be able to get some help from the NHS as he can barely move or speak.
Has anyone been through this? Any suggestions or tips or things you would have liked to know before making that decision?
Finally would you recommend any nursing home in Wandsworth area?
Thanks for your help!
LoveShoes
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby LoveShoes » Sun May 13, 2018 1:42 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your fathers stroke. It must be devestating for all of you. The ripple effect of a severe stroke can be heart wrenching particularly as you face some really difficult decisions. Have you considered live in care? It would enable your parents to stay together, enable your mum to retain her independence and remove the worry and toll it would take on her (and you and the family). It is not a cheap option - around £800 per week. But good nursing homes are as expensive or more expensive. It could enable your parents to stay together in the comfort of their own home. I have used Country Cousins for many years to look after my mum in her own home. I have a couple of niggles about the agency but I can pm you about those if you like. BUT it is very reputable and a good place to start looking into care at home and I know that they offer care for elderly couples. It could also be that your father would benefit from some time in a nursing home convalescing and having some intense rehabilitation therapies. This could buy you some time to assess the level of support both your parents will need eg move bed down stairs or install a stairlift type thing. Good luck and please do pm me if you want to chat about this.
newbie_38
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby newbie_38 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:53 pm

Thank you Loveshoes for the tip on Countrycousins. I am going to contact them.
clarecarrierphoto
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby clarecarrierphoto » Mon May 21, 2018 7:26 am

Hi N, I am an occupational therapist so can try and offer some advice. As Loveshoes says, you could consider live in carers or carers who come in and out during the day but live-in care would provide the most flexibility. You need to consider the environment where your father is based:

Does he have access to washing facilities (and the appropriate equipment and adaptations to enable him to access these facilities with assistance) or is a wash in bed acceptable?
Does he have access to the community - i.e. to attend hospital appointments, visit friends or just get out and is this wheelchair accessible?
If he is being hoisted is there enough space in the room etc etc.

Drop me a message if you would like some more input.

Best wishes.

Regards.

Clare
eibskee
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Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:22 am
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby eibskee » Mon May 21, 2018 8:37 am

Hi, so sorry to hear about your father. We had a vaguely similar situation with my mother (82) in 2017. She had Alzheimers, had a few falls and ended up in hospital, then rehab. This was disorientating and confusing for her. The occupational therapists said her best chance was to get her home with my father (80) and familiar surroundings. Queen Mary’s Roehampton sent out an assessment team to see their flat, and to figure out what equipment and careers we would need in order to be able to get her home. This was all organised by the amazing Occupational Therapist at the rehab. They came out the next day, and then delivered hoists, hospital bed, commode, bath hoist etc. Etc the same day so we could get her home fast. They also coordinated with social services - who came out to undertake a Means Test (they didn’t qualify) but social services still help, and coordinate carers (we were just paying for them). For various reasons we ended up not liking the SS carers, but we were free to change so we found some fabulous carers who were amazing (Caremark Wandsworth - although there are lots and lots of good ones). However I was referred to these by a coordinator from the hospital. If the hospital needs to place someone in rehab, or a care facility, or find them a bed elsewhere/home care - there is an agency who finds these beds. We were referred to them and they helped us find the agency.

I will say it was a bewildering couple of weeks just trying to find the right carers, schedule and who to ring for what - but once we got the GP, Carers, District Nurses and everyone organised it worked amazingly well. But I pulled out a lot of hair getting there for a variety of reasons. Your father’s GP is a definite starting point, and they should be able to refer you to the right place and people. Wandsworth has a mandate to try and keep people out of hospital, by offering exceptional care to keep them at home if necessary. There is also a Wandsworth service which Trinity Hospice helps coordinate (you don’t need to be end of life) and they were also wonderful - I can’t remember the name but they work with other agencies to ensure continuation and coordination of care. They were phenomenal. Your GP should know this, or you could google Trinity Hospice (but I’ll keep looking for the info too).

My father found the carers wonderful, but it was a big upheaval, furniture had to be moved to accommodate my mother’s bed, my father’s computer desk area had to be taken over for the hoist and it was a big change for an 80 year old. The constant carers in and out took away a lot of his privacy, he wouldn’t have changed things because we all wanted my mother at home - but it’s something to think about. Bluebird Agency were amazing, and via the Alzheimers Association I think, offered 15 hours of respite care so that my father could go out and run errands. I’m sure the Stroke Assoiciation in your area may offer a similar thing. Depending on your father’s care requirements it can be very expensive. (We were running about $1,500 a week for a few weeks because we needed someone checking on my mother overnight, and we chose to get someone to sit up with my mother in the night, because my father needed his sleep, and is deaf - so wouldn’t have heard my mother if she needed anything). Caremark Wandsworth was phenomenal - and you could call and chat with them as an initial enquiry - they would have a much better idea of the scheduling and care that would be required than you at the moment.

I don’t have experience of Care Homes, because we didn’t go down that route. But the coordination through Trinity Hospice (I think your GP needs to offer a referral) would be able to talk you through options.

Regarding the finances, you have to fill in a means tested form, worth doing even if you know they don’t qualify, because then the paperwork has been completed incase finances get below the allowable limits for social services to start picking up the bill.

I’m sorry to mention it, but the other thing you should know, is that there is a fund that pays for all care if someone is deemed to be within the last six weeks of their life. This is not means tested, and your GP would make a referral but you should know about it, so you can ask if you feel that’s appropriate. We had a delightful lady come out, and she put in the application for this money, it was approved within 36 hours and we went from paying 1,500 a week for my mother’s care, to zero for the last 3 weeks of her life. They were amazing.

I have a comprehensive file at home with all the numbers in, but I’m away and won’t be there until 3rd June. I do have some notes and contact info for all the Wandsworth contacts if that’s helpful - but my mother had Alzheimer’s, not a stroke - so while there will be some overlap, you’ll need to go down some of the stroke routes too. Someone suggested rehab first, and I’d have thought they want to try that. I know my mother lost swallowing capability and we had to get thickener for her water - I suspect stroke may have the same requirement but your Occupational Therapist and GP should be leading the charge at the moment. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Best wishes.
eibskee
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby eibskee » Mon May 21, 2018 8:40 am

The other thing to note, is that although your father can barely move or speak, my understanding is that hearing is the last sense to go. So ensure that you always have carers/doctors speak to them directly, or acknowledge them in their conversations while they are there. I was amazed how many times this didn’t happen.

And we always took difficult conversations, or updates with carers - in to another room. Just thought I’d mention it. Although my mother was very unsresponsive at times, you could tell she heard our jokes, music she found very soothing and she smiled when people telephoned and we held the phone up so she could hear, and included her in the conversations even though she couldn’t respond.
clarecarrierphoto
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby clarecarrierphoto » Mon May 21, 2018 11:46 am

The fund eibskee refers to is known as Continuing Care.
newbie_38
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby newbie_38 » Mon May 21, 2018 4:07 pm

Thank you so much everyone for all the advice. This is very useful. The assessment to the flat will be done this week so we should be able to find out whether this is a viable option.
If I need more information, I'll definitely contact you directly. Thanks very much again for the offer and for all of you to provide such detailed information! I'm very grateful
newbie_38
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Re: Are you a home carer or have a parent in a nursing home?

Postby newbie_38 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:39 pm

Thank you again everyone for your inputs. Clare, I received your separate email so thanks also for this. Things have changed quite quickly. We are currently going through an assessment for continuing care. The first step is to go through the “task list” which is tomorrow. Apparently it is not unusual to have a lawyer at those meetings. Does anyone know a local lawyer specialising in this?
Many thanks for your help!