Hi - practical questions

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by mitzi, May 15, 2007.

  1. mitzi

    mitzi Registered User

    May 15, 2007

    Im the "responsible adult" for my grandmother. She lives alone and I live and work some distance away but vist often to do shopping and stuff. I have POA to manage all the finances and stuff.

    She is quite deaf and registerd blind but does have some sight. She also had pretty good mobility but can have some balance issues.

    2 years ago the had no obvious mental issues but following a fall resulting in a broken wrist has developed issues which are getting worse.
    Whilst luckily comapred so many of the cases on here it is not that advanced so she can self care to a degree it is also making it harder to get help. The have sent people out to do tests but she cant complete them because of the sight problems (which she uses to be obstructive as well). They have agreed there is some agre related dementia but unquantifed. On one occasion they insited on seeing her alone. This is a problems as sometime what she talks is reasonable but wrong, sometimes she forgets her 2nd husband or thinks by sister is pregnant (she was in past).
    Other times but not when being seen by a professional the converstions will be compeltly off the wall (why is there a horse in the front room, or do you think dick turpin shops at asda:confused: )
    Little lapse in memory were easily covered but its getting harder, for example she lost a sample bottle but insisted it had been stolen, or I was hiding it.
    She can be very nice to strangers but really nasty to family.

    She fell down the stairs but would not use her alarm thing as she was to far away from the base unit to talk to them but the would still have set someone out. She forgets how it works despite having had it for years.

    Its being a issue with food preperation in that she gave herself food poising last week as she left food out for a couple days but thinks it was only hours. I found out a friend had noticed she had not got up.

    My parents vist 1 or 2 times a week but arent great themselves and just cant deal with it.

    I have tried various sources to get advice but get nowhere, in part becuase I live in a different area it someone elses problem.

    She wants to stay independant but I feel more support is needed. I am looking at using one of the passive monitoring systems which will transmit her movements (no visual or audio) around the house to the web so I (or nominated persons) can tell she going about her daily business without intruding on what she is doing. I know she wont be keen but I think I will try to sell it on well its this or social services everyday (I know they wont as she refuses but..)

    I also want to try to make her use a pill box, as we know she does not take the medication right but has always refused up to now. Any suggestions about how to do this.

    You can also get talking lables for food where I can label food with cooking instructions/best before dates which will be read back if special wand (RFID reader) is passed over it. Would trying to add techology she needs to lean to use make thinks worse ?

    I see the only other choice as leaving her to it knowing she really does not understand the consquences of that, and that it will result more issues for her.

    I have also considered more advanced survalance but how far should you go down that route before forcing someone in to full time care ? (I know many of you can cope with full time at home care but dont have the patience, the skill set and I am providing financial support to her, my parents as well as me and my partner so that is not an option.)

    I am also looking for covers to stop things being unplugged or switched off at the plug anyone know of any?

    Also her house is quite old, I cant really do much preventative maintenance becasue she freaks at change but how could I get temporay care for her if say the roof blew off, or the heating bust (as I cant check her into a hotel)

    Sorry for the long post been lurking a while deciding how much to interfere when

  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Mitzi, welcome to TP.

    I can see how much you want to help your grandmother, but with the best will in the world, the technological devices and aids you are considering will probably add to her confusion rather than make things easier for her.

    If you ask for advice from SS in your grandmother`s area rather than your, you might get more satisfaction.

    It sounds to me that she would benefit from some home care, someone to check she takes her medication, [pill boxes do not ensure she remembers her tablets, or takes them at the correct time on the correct day]

    Someone else may have some better ideas.

    Please post an up date to let us know how you get on.
  3. mitzi

    mitzi Registered User

    May 15, 2007

    We tried with social services but she does not like them and they wont come if says says no . SS referred me to the admiral nurses but they sent social services to see her (see a cycle here ? )
    I appears they wont do anything until she is a danger to others or incapable of objecting. I was hoping to delay that time.

    The passive monitor is just sensors on the wall (www.justchecking.co.uk) and require no interaction from her but I do kind of agree about the label reader.

    But what can I do about the pills even when social services went in they would not supervise the medication they would only "prompt" her.

    So should I leave it as it is, where she has some plan to take them but they get lost forgotton or double dosed ?
    a genuine question about how much to intervene
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Hi Mitzi
    I would agree with Sylvia: any technological aids will probably be pointless. You say she can't remember how the monitor works, so she almost certainly won't be able to operate anything new. I'm not familiar with the monitor you mention: it might help but it's hardly a solution.

    As regards the medication, you can arrange to have the pharmacy package up the meds (all the am tablets together, all the pm and so on). However, most carers (whether from social services or privately employed) are not allowed to handle the meds - all they can do is present the package to her with a drink to wash them down. Having said that, they're not supposed to but a lot of them WILL give more help, at least to the extend of opening the packet and putting them in her hand.

    You do seem to have a lot on your plate with all this. I would, in your place, focus on trying to get one thing working, and personally, that would be the medication.

  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Mitzi

    I echo what the others have said.
    on a practical issue, it is not really possible to 'make' any dementia person do anything. They will either forget to do it, or not see the reason to do it - that's dementia for you.
    My Jan played piano for 40 years but there came a day when she would not go near it because she realised she didn't know what to do with it. She would refuse to put on a coat to go outside in the rain because she had forgotten how to do up buttons.
    unless you employed someone to use the wand for her, I can't see it would ever be used. Introducing someone with dementia at this stage to anything new is unlikely to work.

    Sorry to seem negative - I'm trying to be practical as there is no point in being otherwise, really.

    If medication is absolutely crucial, and she does not take it, then there are going to be problems
    the need increases over time until intervention is required every minute of the day, simply for them to do anything at all.

    Do try and see if the medication can be sorted, but also, try to think about what happens of not. You might try contacting her consultant....
  6. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    I found a dosette box made up by the pharmacist worked OK. but that was only if the carers were prepared to administer it and mostly they did.

    Socket Guards to stop fridges and freezers and heating from being switched of worked for us. I think I bought a few on ebay. Broad clear tape as in greenhouse tape worked on the heating thermostat.

    Anything else technical or new that Mum and Dad had to operate themselves was a waste of money, they just couldn't learn how to work new things and I would find the new cordless phones etc shoved away in a drawer.

    Take care
  7. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I am not sure if this can be of any help , but have you rang the
    District Nurses ? as I wonder if they would help in giving your grandmother her medication.

    when I went away for2 week long while back and my son look after my mother.

    A career came in the morning to wash mum give her breakfast and her medication, as long as I had done them for the weeks in the doset (sp) box.

    I know how hard it is for them to expect help, as in someone coming in. I had all those issue with mum when she lived alone, but still push SS to get a career in even if it’s to tidy house and give medication
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Thanks for that, Alfjess. Practical tips -- that really work -- are so useful for all of us.


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