1. HELEN

    HELEN Registered User

    Jul 16, 2004
    36
    wales
    Dear All,

    sorry i haven't had time to post recently but have been so busy. I've had so much going on apart from looking after mum, but thats another story. Hope you won't mind me asking a few questions
    1. How often should my mum do the MMSE test. To my knowledge ( i'm her main carer) she has only done test once in November 2003 when she was being diagnosed . They didn't tell me her results but i did manage to find out later that she scored 11. I dread to think what she'd score now as she's much much worse.
    2. Mum is incontinent & will use pad's but i'm thinking of swapping to reusable one that fit inside underwear rather than disposable type . Does anyone have any pros & cons.
    3. I have to wash & change mum as although she attempts to wash herself she doesn't normally get further than washing her face, or the same limb over & over , then drying without washing soap off etc. As she is also physically disabled due to arthritus & heart problems etc she has difficult standing for me to wash her down & even greater difficulty getting in & out of bath.This means she ends up leaning on me & me trying to lift her . I'm finding this very difficult & hard on my back so planning to buy a bath lift. I've checked out one that is very quiet so i don't think it will frighten her (bathmaster xtra) but again would appreciate pros & cons .
    4. I now feel i'm going to need the help of outside carers soon as mum is reluctant to let anyone else wash or change her though my other sisters have tried . They are uncomfortable about doing this for her anyway & as mum refuses it means i have to be available which prevents me having respite. I'm just not sure if she'll be any better with carers than family though she might if she thinks of them as nurses.As mum has vascular dementia she is aware of what is happening to her & gets upset & embarassed & this is why my family think she might take better to 'nurses' helping her. Does anyone have any advice about introducing carers into the household as though i think she might be ok once she has got used to the idea she gets really uupset if strangers come into the house. As mum has a lot of trouble with her legs i thought about perhaps pretending they were there to check her legs, perhaps to administer magic cream (moisturiser) first few visits & then to attempt to try & help her with more personal care. What do you think? & do you think carers would go along with it?. I've got a meeting with her social worker next week regards this issue so any questions i should ask. ? Just don't know how to raise the issue of outside carers with mum as she keeps asking me not to tell anyone she's having incontinence trouble & i think she might feel i've betrayed her trust & not be as open with me.
    4. last question honest, mum's feet swell so badly that she can't get her shoes on despite raising legs , water tablets etc. I've tried several styles of shoes for swollen feet , velcro straps, elasticated etc but without success . Does anyone know of any goods site for ordering shoes . I'm desperate as mum can hardly walk somedays & won't go to day centre in her slippers so forces her feet into her shoes so that they bruise. This upsets me .She has a wheelchair but is very reluctant to use it.

    sorry to ask so many questions in one go but don't seem to get the time or privacy to post.

    any advice would be appreciated

    Take care all

    Helen
    l
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,581
    Female
    Dundee
    Hi Helen

    Sorry the only one I can answer from experince is the one about the test. My husband was diagnosed 3 years ago and since then he has been given the mmse test once every six months. It's following this that he gets the new prescription for Aricept.

    Take care
    Izzy
     
  3. HELEN

    HELEN Registered User

    Jul 16, 2004
    36
    wales
    Dear Izzy,

    Thanks for your quick reply. I thought that when mum was diagnosed they said she would be assessed every 6 months but i wasn't sure if i had heard them correctly. I wonder if they normally invite carer to attend or whether they have assessed mum at day centre without telling me. I'll have to try to find out.While the day centre staff are lovely with mum & so is the doctor in charge , they seem reluctant to disclose details regarding her dementia . So if your not sure what questions you should ask your not told anything.

    Thanks again

    Helen
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Helen, you need to speak to the professionals on this one as it's the social worker and your GP who have the most clout in getting you some help. They will also be able to explain a bit more about tests etc. As for you mum accepting the help, my mum was much the same, vascular dementia and not wanting anyone but me to help. I started her off with a bath on Saturday mornings with a carer and then progressed from there. She soon accepted it although she used to get tetchy with them just the same as she did with me at times. Love She. XX
     
  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Helen
    my wife is now in year seven on Aricept,she is assessed every 6 months by the consultant.
    Norman
     
  6. HELEN

    HELEN Registered User

    Jul 16, 2004
    36
    wales
    Dear Sheila & Norman

    thanks for your replies. Perhaps mum hasn't done the test again because it makes no difference because mums vascular dementia is too advanced for medication . I really must ask to be sure . I think i'd like to know to try to work out what stage she's at because her symptoms can vary so dramatically. Sometimes thinks the flowers in the garden are people waiting to break in , no longer really sure who we are etc , but when you think she's no longer aware will notice that you've changed the sheets on her bed as they were lemon this mornings & now their pink !so you have to be so careful what you say & do because she doesn't always forget . When she was bathed recently several days later she commented on it & said while she was grateful for the help it made her feel like a child, hence my concern about introducing carers.Fingers crossed , As you would say though Norman day by day, we can only do our best. .

    take care all

    Helen
     
  7. storm

    storm Registered User

    Aug 10, 2004
    269
    notts
    hi helen,Your mum sounds like my mum!I feel it is a very crual stage she is at she seems a lot happier when she is in the cannot remember mode than when she seems to bemore aware of things.I use the washable pants with the pads built in which i find very good.I can get 5 pairs ayear free from the clinic if i need more i can buy them for 35pounds for 5 pair.She uses large pads at night but is still wet in the morning.also have you got the kirby pads for the bed and chair? they are brill when accidents happen.About the bath lift we use one at the moment which social services provided on loan,but the only problem is when mum as made a mess i after wash her down first before she uses it because you cannot get to thier bottom when they are in the bath,also now she is very frightend useing it as she thinks she is going to slip off and drown.We are now waiting for social services to fit walk in shower with seat i cannotwait!hope you get some answers to help.storm
     
  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Helen,

    It really does sound like you could do with a lot of professional advice now that Mum is so poorly. Any changes that you introduce will have to be made very slowly and on the quiet so that she doesn't notice them too much, to ensure that she doesn't become agitated and upset.

    Good luck with the new shower and bathing arrangements, as and when it arrives.

    Best wishes,

    Jude
     
  9. eden

    eden Registered User

    Nov 23, 2003
    12
    Kent
    Carers and bathlifts

    Your description of yr mum's problems sounds so close to how it was with my mum as she could barely stand. We only had the carers in for one week before she finally went into hospital, and both dad and I thought she would completely freak and we would have to cancel them, but actually she seemed quite OK. I think it may have been easier for her to have someone that is not a close relative do intimate things for her, she still seemed to know this was a private and personal thing. She too used to 'sssh' me and beg me not to tell my dad if she had an incontinence accident.
    Also had the feet swelling problem. We got her some 'slipper socks'' with the gripper bits on the bottom (department stores).

    I hope this helps. I have also sent a 'private message' to you Helen re bathlifts.
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    243
    Roomy footwear

    Hello Helen the www.cosyfeet.com site may help you - specialise in shoes & slippers for swollen feet etc and if for a medical condition - you dont pay VAT ! some styles can b ebought on line - but I'd send for catalogue to see everything they do. (I'm not on cmmission but ahve seen catalogue - most 'Disability/mobility aid shops ' sell this brand too if a shop near you.


    From the site -

    Footwear

    Ladies EEEEE+ Fitting and Men's HH+ Fitting

    The widest, deepest and roomiest footwear you'll find on our web-site is the unique Cosyfeet range. This range is ideal if shop shoes simply won't fit because your feet are swollen, bandaged or exceptionally wide. They are made on special lasts using the most comfortable soft leather or fabrics we can find.

    There are lace-up, easy fasten Velcro and slip-on options in a range of colours and materials. Some styles feature super-light soles which are ideal if you require exceptionally lightweight footwear. Others have a polyurethane sole which is slightly heavier but offers enhanced durability, flexibility and greater shock absorption. Slippers and casual footwear styles have indoor/outdoor soles which are suitable for everyday wear.

    Cosyfeet footwear is available for purchase with VAT Relief for customers needing our shoes because of a medical condition. See our Vat Relief Guide for more information.
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    243
    Dementia Home Carers

    Special Home Care Service for people with dementia.

    Some Social Services eg Bristol and North Somerset have now contracted out Home Care and have gone on to request a specialised service for clients who have dementia. This is working very well - the home carers are using a person centred approach and are given more time & flexiblity for their work.

    I would ask if a Dementia Home Care Worker is available - even if there isnt - its good to let service providers know what we are expecting from them - even if they cant deliver it .... yet !!
     
  12. HELEN

    HELEN Registered User

    Jul 16, 2004
    36
    wales
    Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to reply to my post. I will try to reply properly later. At the moment it's bathtime which takes at least an hour .

    Take care all

    Helen
     
  13. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you so much for sending all that very informative info about footwear. Could you post the website info on to our Resources Thread? This info will be very useful to keep for future reference.

    Best wishes,

    Jude
     
  14. HELEN

    HELEN Registered User

    Jul 16, 2004
    36
    wales
    Hi all ,

    Thanks for all your help & advice. I've ordered a pair of shoes Chris, so fingers crossed.I'll speak to mums social worker at our appointment about the pants Storm as i didn't realise they could be obtained foc, worth checking .I've already got a pad for the chair, not sure if its a Kirby but its absorbent & in a floral design so it coordinates with her chair & can be washed at 60degrees . It really does save the furniture.Mums been on a waiting list for over 18months for a walk in bath so will have to chase that up. Your so right about everything having to be done quietly Jude . Mum suffers from very high blood pressure & any stress at all can seem to bring on a 'funny turn' or tia. Even something like having the gas man service the fire or a window cleaner calling .This is really what i'm frightened off. I so hope my mums like yours Eden & takes to the carers.

    thanks everyone for taking the time to reply

    Take care all

    Helen
     
  15. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Helen,

    Sorry I haven't been able to contribute more to your questions, but I haven't any experience in these things, although I have been following your posts.

    I do hope that all the new 'aids' help your Mum to be much more comfortable.

    Very best wishes,

    Jude
     

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