How long should a care visit be for mealtimes??

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Cheadle Girl, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Cheadle Girl

    Cheadle Girl Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    4
    Hi,
    my mum lives on her own and early stages of alzheimers. She is 87 and lives 60 miles away from us (2 daughters and son) and her short term memory is deteriorating. We are encouraging her to move closer to us and for in the meantime we have arranged for carers to go in. They were going in every morning for 30 mins to check that Mum was up, help with having a shower and that she has taken her meds etc. Over the past few months Mum has been skipping meals - she will eat a good meal when she has company but cant be bothered/ or doesn't feel hungry and is not eating her lunch and rarely eats anything at tea-time.

    This has been going on for months and although we visit every weekend and buy her food for the week ahead she isn't eating it and throwing it away. We had a meeting with social services a few weeks ago and requested that a carer goes in at teatime to encourage mum to have something - even if just a snack. They would only agree to a 15 minute tea-time visit and have taken this time off the morning visits - so some days she is now only having 2 15 minute visits. This doesn't seem enough to us and I wondered what other people have in place - it doesn't help that mum keeps saying she has eaten (she hasn't) and that she doesn't need a tea-time visit.

    Any similar experiences and how you managed this would be very gratefully received - I've a meeting Friday with the social services team to review the visits and I think they need to be for longer - but know they will resist this.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    My mum had 3 care visits a day. The visits were not long enough to make the food and also watch her eat it. She stopped eating and drinking and ended up in full time care. Your only option is private care visits im afraid. The carers just dont have enough time.
     
  3. Cheadle Girl

    Cheadle Girl Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    4
    Thanks for that. That is the other option we are considering - think she just wants someone to sit and chat with her so we may need to look at paying for it privately.
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,499
    Female
    London
    Have you thought about a sitting service? They can't cook for people but I would imagine putting something in the microwave then sitting and chatting with them for a while should be possible. Try your local Age UK. They could also take her to a local cafe for coffee and cake etc.
     
  5. nov14

    nov14 Registered User

    May 27, 2014
    20
    Goostrey, Cheshire
    My Mum currently has two visits a day. 45 minutes in the morning to get her up, showered, dressed, breakfast and tablets then another 30 minutes at lunchtime to make her a sandwich and some drinks. We have a review next week with social services to see if this is enough or if the visits should be increased to 3 or 4.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  6. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    We had a carer go in for 30 minutes at lunch to heat a ready meal and also to make a sandwich which was covered with cling film and left in the fridge.
     
  7. Skyrim

    Skyrim Registered User

    Jun 19, 2015
    37
    15 minutes?!

    I thought 15 minute visits were being phased out, are considered poor practice and have led to claims of neglect! I have worked in domiciliary care and would not consider 30 minutes to be adequate for meals for some of my former clients, especially if I have had to cook and wash up in that time. And if the time is coming out of the earlier visit, what on earth is expected to be acheived at that point?

    This is awful commissioning on the part of the SSD and another pressure on home care staff, never mind trying to acheive a successful mealtime for your mother. I don't know if you have direct payments for her, which enables you to prioritise care needs and buy the services yourself, otherwise, as advised by others, look to getting in a private service.
     
  8. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    15 minutes was normal, 30 minutes was actually 20. The carers say they don't have time to cook, only to reheat food.
     
  9. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,499
    Female
    London
    Gosh, most of the Wiltshire Farm Food meals already take 15 minutes to heat up in the microwave! It really is a scandal how little time is given to the elderly. I was just thinking, would your Mum agree to Day Care? They usually collect and bring them back by minibus and give them breakfast, a two course hot lunch and biscuits and tea in the afternoon. That would only leave the need for a visit at dinner time.
    Or, as I said, if we are only taking about putting something in the microwave, a sitting service could probably do this. They can also take them shopping or out for fresh air.
     
  10. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,432
    Yes, day care, which you would probably have to pay for, can be like a nice 'outing' for some people, they meet others and get activities to do together, it can help prevent isolation.
     
  11. Louby65

    Louby65 Registered User

    Mar 26, 2014
    620
    Scotland
    Hello Cheadle Girl. I live with my mum so my circumstances are a bit different , but after a long hospital stay last year I arranged care . I work full time so I have paid for a carer who comes in before I go to work , gets my mum ready for her day centre and is waiting for her when she gets dropped off and stays with her until I come home . She is more of a personal assistant but she is most certainly my mum and I fairy godmother . I cannot express the gratitude I have for her giving me peace of mind and my mum absolutely adores her, so it is money well spent . Before her , my mum was very lonely and I felt so sorry for her waiting by the window for me to come home every day , now it's the other way around . Her carer is always taking her out to different places and my mum has never been happier . So please consider this option , social services may be able to assist with the costs through a direct payment which your mum will be assessed for . I am waiting to see if my application has been successful but in the meantime I use my savings
    to ensure my mum is well looked after , which is only what she deserves. Best wishes .


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  12. Cheadle Girl

    Cheadle Girl Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    4
    Dear all,
    thanks for your comments and feedback - I find it quite hard navigating through social services as its the first time we've had to deal with it - and they aren't very forthcoming.

    We have tried day care centre's but she doesn't feel like she wants to go. Mum used to be quite sociable and go out to the clubs - but a lot of friends have passed away - and I think she's a bit low and cant be bothered.

    Mum has a lady who visits 2 days a week as support - but this is a voluntary organisation and they don't have any more available time - they socialise with her and take her out - and sit with her to encourage her to eat. I basically think the 15 minute visit is a waste of time - apart from a quick check that she is OK. But maybe I'm expecting too much.

    We will look into paying for additional support privately - Mum lives in Wales where they have a cap on how much the individual pays for care £60 per week. So currently we are paying for pretty much all of it and the council pay £4.20 a month for her care package - which they are unwilling to increase - I think it comes down to budgets.

    Thanks
    CG
     

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