1. Londonjax

    Londonjax Registered User

    Jan 15, 2015
    My apologies for the length of this but I wanted to give a full picture.

    My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia about a year ago. She lives alone and is in her 80s. She has diabetes and had a heart attack two years ago.

    I usually do mum's weekly shop and cover all her appointments plus I do her weekly medication box (she is on tablets for her heart as well as issues relating to her diabetes). I have been doing this since her heart attack and the dementia has added more in the way of appointments and, of course, phonecalls checking and double checking little things with me. Other than that she manages very well at the moment thankfully.

    We want to get a holiday booked for the Easter school holidays to take our son, who is seven, away for a couple of weeks. We need a break - mum had a health issue before Christmas that meant seven appointments in five days and I now feel shattered. We plan to visit Disney world, Florida as our son is the perfect age now. The thought of it is keeping me going at the moment if I am honest as my husband works away from home two to three times a week so I have to split myself between mum and son very carefully at that time!

    Mum is very capable of looking after herself. Luckily she still manages to cook and clean (with a weekly clean of the bits she misses by me!). She lives in sheltered housing where she uses the communal lounge every day to have a cuppa and a chat with her neighbours for an hour or so (since she got her diagnosis she took on board what the memory clinic said about meeting people to keep the wheels going). She goes to the local day centre one day a week and has a daily visit from a district nurse as she is insulin dependent for her diabetes.

    When we go on holiday I can arrange for a grocery delivery each week, the day centre have said she can have an extra day a week if she wants it and I can do her medication boxes up front. I have a couple of cousins who are happy to phone every couple of days for a chat - they live over a hundred miles away so visiting isn't on but they call her regularly anyway so increasing that isn't a problem for the 16 days we are away.

    But, I am really worried about what happens if she has a fall or needs emergency help. She has a lifeline pendant but what happens if she goes to A&E and has no one to sit with her? The last two times she was taken to hospital (a year in between thankfully) it was eleven hours in the A&E department before they found a bed and one of those occasions was when she had a heart attack. Last time she was rushed in she needed the loo and it took me two attempts to find someone who knew where a wheelchair was so I could get her to the toilet. As she's deaf and partially sighted I dread to think how she would manage with no one at her side.

    Does anyone know what happens if an elderly person is rushed in but family aren't immediately available? I would, of course, get the next flight home if that happened but it would take me eleven hours plus just travelling even if I got an immediate flight. What happens to her in the meantime?

    Part of me says I am worrying over a million to one chance of an emergency but the other part says it is bound to happen when we are away!

    I am seeing my Admiral Nurse next week to discuss options with her and mum. I would prefer her not to go into a respite home as it seems a shame to take her away from familiar surroundings, her friends, routine and day centre on the off chance she may need an emergency trip to hospital but I want her to be safe.

    Anyone have any experiences - preferably not too scary! Or any thoughts that I can ponder?

    Thank you
  2. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Sorry haven't got any easy answers.... Wish I had

    My thoughts
    I'm guessing there is no one else in the family who could keep an eye on her? Then I think I would contact social services and let them know she will be "alone" whilst you are away.

    I'm not sure I would "drop everything" if anything happened whilst I was away. Not because I'm heartless, but because I would worry how it would affect my young child if I rushed away from them during our time together. My thoughts are that my young child would remember "being left" longer than your mum would. If she needed to be in hospital and was alone, she would possibly be taken care of better (watched more closely) than if a family member was with her so no need to as family member would look after them.

    I'm sure others when they can will be along with their thoughts

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    I agree with 2jays. What is going to happen will happen whether you are there or not. She seems to have a good network going on and I am sure that in an emergency they will be there for her. Give your little son your attention and return refreshed for more caring in the future.

    Good wishes.
  4. Londonjax

    Londonjax Registered User

    Jan 15, 2015
    Thank you! I needed a reality check. Isn't it awful, I actually hadn't thought what impact it would have on my boy if I rushed back for mum! I sometimes feel like a little caring robot wavijng its arms abiut and yelling 'must think of mum, must think of mum'.

    Rich, Disney world here we come. I will get the Admiral nurse to help me sort out any cover wee can get for mum then me, husband and son are going to hit Mickey (well, not literally or that would be,as our son says 'quite mean').

    Thanks again for putting some prespective in for me.
  5. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Go and enjoy your son and Micky oh and don't forget your husband too :D

    glad it was helpful. Was worried I could have been seen as a bit harsh x

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  6. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Just a thought on her tablets - have you tried seeing if her chemist will deliver them weekly prepacked.

    I didn't know they did this, but the carers my mum had got me to sort it out. It would save doing it in advance and maybe one less thing to worry about all the time.

    My mum had a month's worth in weekly boxes to start with but this confused her so we then went to weekly.

    It may reassure you, but my mum recently went to A & E and I couldn't get there for hours anyway, I live 10 mins from her and 10 mins from hospital but had gone out for the day and couldn't get back. She was well looked after in A & E and they put her in a bay in Majors right opposite the nurses station so they could see her all the time.

    I find it so hard to get the balance right between my mum and kids - think I worry about it more than the kids (9 and 13) do.
  7. rhubarbtree

    rhubarbtree Registered User

    Jan 7, 2015
    North West
    Hi Londonjax.

    Afraid I can't help with your worry about mum but others have given some very good advice.
    Coincidence is, I will be in Orlando for the Easter break with my children, grandchildren and OH who is an early onset stage. Decided to blow the budget and have a holiday they will be able to remember OH having fun. We will probably pass by each other in the crowds.

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