• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Lots of questions!!

so unfair

Registered User
Mar 27, 2015
9
1. Does anyone know if Social Services would provide a wheelchair free of charge so that we can get my MIL out of the house a bit more?
2. Does anyone know about camera systems that you can install to check whether MIL is taking her medication as she lives on her own? I know it is an invasion of privacy but I would rather know if she is taking the correct tablets and if so when.
3. My MIL needs a knee replacement but the local hospital consultant has refused to do it as she is on three lots of medication for blood pressure, she has had a stroke about three years ago, they would not accept her consent signing the form as she has mixed dementia Alzheimer's and Vascular and she would probably forget to do the exercises afterwards as she lives on her own and would also not cope well with the after pain. The consultant also mentioned that the anaesthetic would also probably cause more memory loss.
I am assuming this is all true or is he just trying to fob us off!
 

Cath59

Registered User
Jan 23, 2015
46
No idea on 1 and 2, but my mum's just had a hip operation. She broke it, so there was no choice but she is very confused, in a lot of pain, and completely refuses to cooperate with the physios. I would really hesitate to do anything unless it's absolutely essential. I also remember my father (who didn't have dementia) having his knees done. While the first one went well, the second was a nightmare, and I don't think it really improved his quality of life. That was nearly 20 years ago, and techniques have probably improved, but if you're trying to balance the chance increased quality of life from the replacement with the risks of the anaesthetic and the need to do exercises to get the best out of it I'd probably say no. Other people on here may, of course, have more positive experiences.
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,942
North East England
Hi, can I ask if Mum has had a Social Services Care Needs Assessment? If not, then this should be your first port of call. They ought to be able to arrange for callers to come to supervise Mum's meds if she is not taking them properly....even if you have to self fund them. They also ought to put you in touch ( or her GP should) with an Occupational Therapist who can advise about wheelchairs, grab rails etc. They should advise you about claiming any benefits such as Attendance Allowance to help fund carers and Council Tax Discount etc. They may recommend Day Care etc.

As far as her surgery is concerned....no I don't think the surgeon was " fobbing you off" The hospitals have a duty to provide medical care, but there is no point in performing a physically demanding procedure on a patient without a full care package in place to provide aftercare. If the patient is unable to perform the aftercare necessary, unaided, in order to make a recovery possible then the risk to life becomes greater. Yes it is a fact that pain and anaesthetics can cause a temporary or permanent increase in the Dementia symtoms, and sadlly, this causes a huge leap in the financial cost of a procedure. I am not saying, for one moment that money ought to be a deciding factor, but unfortunately in this time of decreasing budgets and massive overspends this is the way that many Health Trusts look at balancing a need.

So...first a Needs assessment and tell the SS that Mum's recovery and ultimately her ability to remain at home (and costing the LA less:rolleyes:) depends entirely on their helping to put a proper care package in place.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
2,966
West Hertfordshire
1. Thy would if she as assessed as needing one, nothing stops you purchasing one/borrowing

privately if you so desire


2.
A camera /recorder/surveillance system, would never work for this application,
the camera would never be in the right place at the right time, not close enough to see what she does in terms of what out of which container.

If she needs supervision, she needs supervision!
 

Perdita

Registered User
Jun 22, 2009
219
Suffolk, Uk
The Red Cross will lend you a wheelchair for a limited period of time. Also there are probably some good 2nd hand ones on Gumtree. We got ours from a workmate of my husband and it was barely used.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
We borrowed a wheelchair from the Red Cross in return for a donation. Glad I tried this first, rather than buying, as mum refused to use it.

Re medication, our pharmacy dispenses all medication into a Dosset box ( so everything comes pre-counted) and then we have 15 minute care visits to monitor mum taking these, make her a cup of tea, etc. Not saying it's easy, it took about 6 months for mum to relax with these visits, but worth it in the end.

Good luck :) x
 

opaline

Registered User
Nov 13, 2014
182
We got a loan of a wheelchair via social services plus various other aids including a wet room and carers coming in for 15 minutes twice a day but an assessment is your first step, speak to her GP, x
 

so unfair

Registered User
Mar 27, 2015
9
Thank you all so much for your valued information. I will look into contacting the Red Cross for a hired wheelchair and contacting the chemist about a dosit box for MIL medication. I am now of the opinion that surgery is probably best left well alone as it could well make matters worse and at the moment it is not critical.