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Should I move Mum?

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Driver99, Oct 12, 2017 at 3:10 AM.

  1. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Hi everyone
    I'm hoping some forum members might have some wisdom to share.

    (sorry, this has worked out longer than I meant - but I didn't know what to leave in or out).

    My Mum (83) lives 270 miles away. I have been driving up to see her every two weeks since February - she was admitted to hospital with arterial fibrillation following on from a rotten bout of norovirus.

    She hasn't been 'herself' for about a year - I first noticed when she couldn't use the remote for her TV. It was more distinct by Christmas, but since hospital, she's more and more like a little girl. Her sight has also deteriorated since she had a cataracts op a couple of years ago (though she has a little peripheral vision in one eye, no sight in the other). She also had a heart attack a couple of years ago.

    She's had carers in three times a day since she came out of hospital - first the rehab team and now LA care. The 'new' carers aren't as 'caring' as the rehab team - she's supposed to have three half-hour slots, but they're in and out. Her care is compressed into visits at 11am, 1.30 and then 4pm. I know they're under pressure, but still, she's my Mum. I can tell by the amount of laundry that she's not changing her clothes often and she's not showering. The care manager said she didn't have to have a shower if she didn't want one, but I think it's because she's not being offered one.

    Her short term memory has gone - I ring her twice a day, lunchtime and evening, and she can rarely tell me what she's eaten (not eating properly is one of the reasons she has carers, that and her medication). I don't press her on it, just try to keep it chatty - but she can rarely hold a conversation with me for longer than 5 - 6 minutes. She struggles for words and her default is 'so, what's new?' when she's not following what's been said. This year, she forgot my birthday - I mention that only as an indicator of where her memory's at (I didn't remind her, because I thought she'd be upset if she realised). I recently bought her a new sweater and when I got it out for her to put on, she asked where it had come from. though she was with me when I bought it. Sorry - that sounds very weak when I read what other people are going through - I maybe just don't have all the examples. I have to talk her through putting her electric blanket on every night - she has no concept of how it works, or that she's done it before.

    The GP saw her not long after she came out of hospital - at my request - and he thought there was something underlying, but didn't do the test, as she was quite bright on that day. But he thought she was trying very hard to be normal. In some ways, I'm not bothered about a diagnosis, I know there's something going on, I just want to keep her from being frightened. She's back to being about 8 years old - loves going out for a drive in the car, thrilled at a packet of crisps.

    She's pretty isolated - her very good friend died suddenly about three years ago and another friend has dropped out of contact since she came home from hospital. Mum's also got a bit of 'thing' about the friend - she'll tell me that this woman doesn't want her to go to the church club, for example. I tell her not to bother about it & just enjoy other company, but there's something niggling. They pick her up and drop her off - but she can't tell me who she's spoken to; she'll remember things like 'we sang a song'. I've tried to interest her in different clubs, but she refuses. She's not able to tell me why she doesn't want to go. She has talking books, but can't really follow the plots - I think she just likes the noise on in the background. Same with TV - she couldn't tell me what the programme is. She spends a lot of time lying on her bed listening - she doesn't go outside. I fret about her physical activity levels, but feel pretty helpless.

    So, all of that is a long way around of asking - should I move her to be closer to me? She loves her little house and knows her way around it. Where she is, the medical & care support 'know' her - and I wonder if moving her would accelerate her decline. She's in Scotland, with less than 10k in assets and I know I can't afford to top her fees here in England. I have power of attorney. My partner and I are almost finished self-building our own home - bathroom up a flight of stairs, and not disabled-friendly. Plus, I don't think my partner would welcome having her around - he cared for his own parents until they died and building the house was a bit of reward for four years hard slog.

    It breaks my heart that I can't 'drop in' more frequently, but I just don't know what to do for the best for her. I also know that my two weekends away each month are straining my finances - and probably my relationship, though other half been fully supportive so far.

    It just goes around in my head all the time and I just don't know what to do.

    Grateful for any ideas/experiences others might have.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    8,251
    Merseyside
    Welcome to TP

    Why don’t you have a little look around your area & see what sheltered accommodation & residential homes are available?
    It sounds as though your mum needs more help so I don’t see the difference between a move near her or a move to near you.
     
  3. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    786
    Kent
    I agree with Cat...although she would be moving away from her church friends...in my experience you could contact a church near you, if she wants that...and , tbh, the 'care' she is receiving doesn't sound at all caring. Poor lady.
     
  4. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Thank you Cat27 - that reflect my instincts, though I wasn't really sure. I worried she'd be scared in an unfamiliar place.

    Does anyone know if I should begin by contacting the Local Authority here - to see if they'll fund her - or start with a home and see if they'd take her? And should I get Mum's GP involved - to see if he would be supportive?
     
  5. Melles Belles

    Melles Belles Registered User

    Jul 4, 2017
    23
    London
    Hi
    I would check the social care situation in Scotland before you move your Mum. I know there are financial advantages for elderly people in Scotland who need care compared with England and Wales.
    Wishing you all the best
     
  6. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Thanks Amethyst - appreciate the reply. Yes, it's really remarkable the difference in attitude between the two teams. Her 'care plan' (which only appeared two weeks ago, though dated August) doesn't commit to specific times or any routine things like showering. For my contact details - they have my first name, mobile number and the broad geographic area, no address or landline/work contacts. They've never actually spoken to me - unless a carer shows up while I'm there - and seem to never answer the phone. The little notes are laughable -'Margaret well, all OK.' - and the social work care manager was dismissive when I called her about showering/fresh clothes. It might be 'free', but it ain't personal. I do her Tesco order by telepathy - Mum's not much help (and I really resent adding £10 to her food bill for packing and delivery - we just don't need £40's worth most orders).

    So yes, I think it's time to look at a move. I expect it will take some time - and I probably won't tell Mum until it looks more 'likely'. Not to deprive her of choice, just to reduce her agitation.

    Thanks again for replying
     
  7. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Thanks Melles - yes, that's been a big consideration. She does receive 'free personal care' - but I'm beginning to think she needs a little more. She has a Telecare alarm & meals on wheels, which she pays for, but the carers' visits are private providers funded by the local authority. As far as I can see the asset limits between England & Scotland are broadly similar - but she doesn't have much. She was a cook in a children's home, so didn't really have a big financial cushion. I've just downloaded the Age UK guide to care - I'll see what I can learn.
    Just about to make the lunchtime call. I'll see if I can make her laugh.
     
  8. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    79
    Does your Mum own her house? If not, and you say she has less than £10k assets, then it will be down to the LA to fund her care. They will usually only consider a care home placement when the care that someone needs exceeds the maximum 4 visits a day they can provide though (might be different in Scotland). You could contact them to discuss a placement in a home for your Mum but you might find that they will want to increase the care visits first, although it might help if your GP would support a move into a home. Perhaps your first action should be to request an increased care package on the grounds that the current 3 visits are not meeting your Mum's needs?
     
  9. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    1,718
    Staffs
    You probably will have to contact your local LA eventually but first you must speak to them in Scotland as they will be the ones responsible for paying even in the event of a move.

    Scotland have set limits for those that are state funded at £667.09 per resident per week for nursing care and £574.42 per week for residential care. If you can find a Home in your area for that kind of money then excellent but only they will be able to tell you if they will up their rate if you cannot.

    Good luck

    :)
     
  10. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Hi Louise, thanks for this. No, she doesn't own her house, so it would be down to the LA. I hadn't thought of increasing the visits, so I will think that over. I know that the rehab team were really supportive in their recommendation for her current care - she takes seven medications in the morning & couldn't see them, even if she remembered to take them. She has one tablet in the evening/late afternoon, which might not be 'enough' for them to consider upping the visits. But I think I will speak the GP and see what his view is. He was really supportive when she was discharged with twelve tablets and three in the evening and no reliable way of taking them. Our local chemist 'won't' do blister packs - no resources for it, apparently, but she's past that now, I think.
     
  11. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Thanks Pete - that's my fear, that we simply can't afford to move her. I hadn't realised that the funding travelled with her - I thought we'd have to 're-register' with a new local authority. We sank our collective savings into the build - at a time when Mum was fit, good social group, art class and walking group. That was only four years ago. I've looked up some different local places tonight - I'll explore what their fee levels are.
     
  12. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful advice. I'm beginning to see some options, whereas before I was just fretting. My main aim is to get Mum into the next phase of her life safely and while she still knows/trusts me.

    If I learn anything that's helpful to others, I'll make sure to share it. It's true, there's strength in numbers.

    Thoughts go out tonight to those families affected by Bield's decision to withdraw from 12 care homes in Scotland.
     
  13. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    1,718
    Staffs
    As I said you really need to check with LA in Scotland. If the move was between English LA's and the new one had more expensive Homes then the original LA should:rolleyes: consider upping their payments.(they refused in my Mom's case). I do not know if that occurs with country transfers.

    :)
     
  14. Driver99

    Driver99 New member

    Thursday
    8
    Hi Pete - what a nightmare. I hope you got it satisfactorily resolved for your Mum's sake?
     
  15. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    1,718
    Staffs
    It was resolved by paying a larger Top Up.:mad:
     

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