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Mum update and meal advice please

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
Can I just ask if your Mum was showing signs of dementia for some time before she went in? My dad had been for some years without a diagnosis. He then had an episode of Delirium after my Mum died due to him not eating or drinking properly. He was in hospital for 9 weeks where he was diagnosed with dementia. He was terrible when he was in hospital , thought he was back at work, confused, not sleeping, wandering off, seeing things, and we were seriously thinking he would need to go straight into a Care Home. He was sent home with a Care package similar to yours but this was stopped after 7 days because once he was home he could microwave a meal , make tea etc. He actually greatly improved once home. I think the hospital environment is not good to make a judgement about the care needed. A year later my Dad is still managing alone with visits from myself and my sister and is only just starting to worry us, think this is due to less contact during lockdown. My advice would be to see how she copes once home as she may not need as much care as you initially think. Just make sure everywhere is as safe as it can be. My dad doesn't use the cooker , just the microwave.
Hi there! Yes of course you can ask :) This has all come on rather suddenly, since early March. So no, its not been that long really. However, what you say is absolutely true - we won't know how she is until she's home, and we can monitor things. I guess we're thinking 'worse case scenarios' to ensure we have all the right things in place. But with any luck she'll actually not be too bad. It's very reassuring to hear how your dad is now... I'd be a bit concerned if they stopped the package after only 7 days, but as long we they gave us clear reasons I guess we could accept that. The challenge is that I'm so far away, and my brother's job means he really can't 'be on hand'. So she really is on her own to all intents and purposes. So I hope they wouldn't stop the visits completely! Thanks so much for your reassuring words :)
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
Some care homes and restaurants do meals on wheels. They deliver it hot and she would have a choice of menu. @Age U.K. might be able to help as well
Ooh I didn't know that! I'll look into it... thank you! :)
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
My mother in law had three carer visits a day though self funding. Personally, I would have thought that the care plan should include the carer preparing a meal , in my mother in laws case, they reheated a meal at lunchtime in the microwave for her. We tried the hot meals delivery, but my mother in law simply forgot to eat it and left it to one side. We found that the only way for my mother in law to eat was for the carer to sit with her whilst she ate and made it a social occasion. After a while, she wouldn't take any notice of notes , she simply forgot to look at them. As others have already said, it's the nighttime that is the problem and the length of time that the person with dementia is alone, even with carers.
Thanks @Rosettastone57 - yes we've had confirmation re carers preparing meals, so that's a weight off our minds. And yes, thanks for flagging re nighttime being the most concerning time. You're right - it's far from ideal. But I'll do what I can to prepare for a 'plan B' should it quickly be clear that she's not coping well. We owe it to her to at least try though, and she's so desperate to go home and see her cat!!!
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
306
When Dad was banned from the canteen (!) at the independent living centre where he was taking all his meals (not supposed to be doing that but hey ho) the social worker told me about the meals on wheels. I got dad a two course hot meal for lunch - I don't know how they do it, but it always arrived around lunchtime, and they also gave him a bag with a sandwich and a cake and a snack. The lunch was under a fiver and the sandwich meal for tea time was a couple of pounds, so it was only around £7 a day. I know this adds up but it was an absolute godsend being able to pick his meals and make sure he had a variety. Dad loved the meals as well. He knew I had sent them and I made sure they were balanced, so if he had a curry with naan just a fruit salad for afters but if it was say a warm slice of quiche and salad, a spotted dick and custard type pudding. In fact the portions were quite good and Dad often had leftover snacks for breakfast. They had good choices for veggies and other dietary restrictions. So if you have the need or end up on a smaller care package investigate the council options as they were a lot cheaper than I imagined! Where I live you can easily spend £7 on a light lunch so it felt like a bargain...
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,216
You say your mother has been 'wandering'. Can you tell us a bit more about what was happening? My mother lived on her own, with carers in for several hours each day, but when the carers left my mother wandered, it was the main reason I moved her to a care home.

If you do want to start looking for care homes, the link below is useful, I found my mother's care home here by looking at the reviews and CQC reports. I'm not sure if you have said if she will be self funding?


Have you thought if you want your mother to be in a care home in her own locality, or near you/your brother? My mother lived a fair distance away, and I moved her to a care home near me so I could visit easily.

(My mother had a beloved cat too, rehoming the cat was nearly as stressful as moving my mother!)
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
When Dad was banned from the canteen (!) at the independent living centre where he was taking all his meals (not supposed to be doing that but hey ho) the social worker told me about the meals on wheels. I got dad a two course hot meal for lunch - I don't know how they do it, but it always arrived around lunchtime, and they also gave him a bag with a sandwich and a cake and a snack. The lunch was under a fiver and the sandwich meal for tea time was a couple of pounds, so it was only around £7 a day. I know this adds up but it was an absolute godsend being able to pick his meals and make sure he had a variety. Dad loved the meals as well. He knew I had sent them and I made sure they were balanced, so if he had a curry with naan just a fruit salad for afters but if it was say a warm slice of quiche and salad, a spotted dick and custard type pudding. In fact the portions were quite good and Dad often had leftover snacks for breakfast. They had good choices for veggies and other dietary restrictions. So if you have the need or end up on a smaller care package investigate the council options as they were a lot cheaper than I imagined! Where I live you can easily spend £7 on a light lunch so it felt like a bargain...
Gosh I'm hungry just reading that, @imthedaughter ! Thanks for the tip - I'll definitely look into council options.
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
You say your mother has been 'wandering'. Can you tell us a bit more about what was happening? My mother lived on her own, with carers in for several hours each day, but when the carers left my mother wandered, it was the main reason I moved her to a care home.

If you do want to start looking for care homes, the link below is useful, I found my mother's care home here by looking at the reviews and CQC reports. I'm not sure if you have said if she will be self funding?


Have you thought if you want your mother to be in a care home in her own locality, or near you/your brother? My mother lived a fair distance away, and I moved her to a care home near me so I could visit easily.

(My mother had a beloved cat too, rehoming the cat was nearly as stressful as moving my mother!)
Hi @Sirena - we only know of a couple of 'wandering' episodes... both times she was out in bare feet, in the dark, fairly late at night - knocking on her neighbours doors looking for her cat! (the cat always comes home by itself so not sure why she was so desperate to find it). The hospital have also warned us that she could be a 'wander risk' due to the fact that she's actually really quite physically able.

Thanks re the link - I have actually had a look at that site before, but I'll pay it closer attention now. They all sound pretty good, my concern is how to avoid the bad ones! But I'd hope that nowadays the controls mean that there aren't really any awful Homes any more? Or am I being naive?? I think we'd look for somewhere near my brother up in Glasgow - it's where her friends live, who I hope would visit... and there's the added benefit that they seem to be cheaper there than down here in Bristol! But I imagine I'll be vision Glasgow a lot more often going forward (once I can, of course!). Yes she'd be self funding.

And yes... gosh it would break her heart and mine if/when we had to re-home the cat!
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,216
My mother used to wander off to look for the cat (who was often indoors asleep). She would go out in the rain, no coat, get soaked, had to be rescued by neighbours. Your mother sounds similar.

I selected a few care homes in the right area (and the right price!) and read all the reviews to see what they did - and didn't - say. One important thing for me was that they retained staff, which indicated it was a nice place to work. And that tends to mean it's a nice place to live. My mother's care home isn't at all posh, it's homely, but the care is outstanding. Think of it from your mother's point of view - she needs a comfortable home with kind capable people.

The cat was the reason it took me many weeks to arrange the move. I didn't discuss it with my mother as it would have distressed her massively. I told her that she was going on a weekend break and a nice lady (her favourite carer) was meanwhile taking care of the cat. In reality I managed to rehome him, via a rescue centre, with another elderly lady; and two years later, my mother is still on her weekend break.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
306
With the care home thing, I looked at all the ratings but didn't do a lot of visiting as I am far away, but I did visit dad's home and speak to them on the phone. It's a small home and has a rating of good. I was a bit concerned that good meant 'keeps people going but is generally miserable' but it was like a big house and didn't smell at all, and residents there seemed to be alert and there were staff visible. So I went with it and luckily it's been great. My nan went into convalescence for a week after she had her hysterectomy and she was in a bigger home where one of her friends worked. It was a bit cheaper and bigger only had a slightly lower rating in one area but it smelled horrible. No staff to be seen. Residents aimless or sleeping in the lounge, bent double. There was such a difference. I would say no need to hold out for an excellent rating and if you can afford somewhere small, do that. Dad's home have the same staff now as when he went in so that is a good sign I think.
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
My mother used to wander off to look for the cat (who was often indoors asleep). She would go out in the rain, no coat, get soaked, had to be rescued by neighbours. Your mother sounds similar.
Yes she does... keep an eye out for a post/question I'm about to list - I wonder if that will resonate too?!

Thanks for the advice re care homes :) Sorry for delayed reply...I needed some 'empty brain space' for much of today! I must stick to these known coping mechanisms or I fear this could unravel me!
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
With the care home thing, I looked at all the ratings but didn't do a lot of visiting as I am far away, but I did visit dad's home and speak to them on the phone. It's a small home and has a rating of good. I was a bit concerned that good meant 'keeps people going but is generally miserable' but it was like a big house and didn't smell at all, and residents there seemed to be alert and there were staff visible. So I went with it and luckily it's been great. My nan went into convalescence for a week after she had her hysterectomy and she was in a bigger home where one of her friends worked. It was a bit cheaper and bigger only had a slightly lower rating in one area but it smelled horrible. No staff to be seen. Residents aimless or sleeping in the lounge, bent double. There was such a difference. I would say no need to hold out for an excellent rating and if you can afford somewhere small, do that. Dad's home have the same staff now as when he went in so that is a good sign I think.
Thank you - really useful. I hope that, if and when the time comes, I'll be able to get up there and help with the recce. But unfortunately I might have to leave it to my brother. Still, he'll be the one on hand to visit more often, so I guess it's fair he should have the biggest say out of the two of us! Smell is very important isn't it? I can absolutely see why you rejected the other one on that basis!
 

Lemondrizzle

Registered User
Aug 26, 2018
62
When my MIL was due to be released from hospital we were contacted by the borough's reablement team to arrange for them to come to the house to discuss mum's needs and formulate the care plan. This was free fo six weeks for four visits a day. This was quickly reduced to two as she was often in bed when they arrived to assist with this. By the end of the free period we were able to see what help she needed going forward and this gave us the time to organise private carers.
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
When my MIL was due to be released from hospital we were contacted by the borough's reablement team to arrange for them to come to the house to discuss mum's needs and formulate the care plan. This was free fo six weeks for four visits a day. This was quickly reduced to two as she was often in bed when they arrived to assist with this. By the end of the free period we were able to see what help she needed going forward and this gave us the time to organise private carers.
It appears that Personal Care in Scotland is free, thank goodness. It means we can focus on building mum’s savings, should she need to move to a care home.
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
For the gas cooker consider getting a GasSafe person to install a lockable cοck, she will be unable to use the cooker and a care worker could use it to heat meals.


The fitter will have their own source of supply.
Just a follow-up to let you know that your advice was extremely useful. I found a very helpful registered gas engineer who lives in the same village as mum and he popped round on Sunday to have a look. He’s going back today to fit the lock to the gas supply, so all should be sorted by the time mum comes home. One thing less to worry about!! Thanks so much for your advice :)
 

LHS

Registered User
Oct 5, 2018
67
I would recommend Parsleybox - these are ready meals which are cooked in the microwave and which have an extremely long expiry date. Dont take as long for the carers to prepare so gives them time to actually ensure your relative eats the food! I would also ask the carers to get your mum as involved as possible in helping to prepare meals, rather than just saying you cant do it.
 

Metalpetal

Registered User
May 10, 2020
113
I would recommend Parsleybox - these are ready meals which are cooked in the microwave and which have an extremely long expiry date. Dont take as long for the carers to prepare so gives them time to actually ensure your relative eats the food! I would also ask the carers to get your mum as involved as possible in helping to prepare meals, rather than just saying you cant do it.
Thanks! I’ll definitely check out Parsleybox - and yes good idea to ask them to get her involved.