1. panda

    panda Registered User

    Apr 16, 2006
    88
    Surrey
    I found out on the weekend that since she got the new oven mum has not eaten. I arrived last night with a cart load of food she can pick at from the fridge, plus many microwave meals' only to find Mum DRUNK I think (I found a big glass of brandy)..... she was shuffling , not walking ...she could not speak' only murmer words.I had my disabled daughter with me who cried all the way home because she thought nanny was dying...I made mum coffee and cooked her a meal today she can not remember me being there. Then got home at 8 to start cooking for my own children..... Rang SW today in a panic she said get the carer who at the moment only gives the pills to make sure mum eats as we pay for 2 half hour visits & she only stays for 5 min's. Also to ring the doctor to get the district nurse to check mums blood because the shuffling sounds like her diabetes could be affected with the not eating. The carer has not rang me back and doctors receptionist was very rude she said the nurses would not come out for something like that....then said the doctor would ring me back and put the phone down (without taking my number):eek: I did not sleep last night kept thinking my mum will starve to death or lots of other horrible things. What do I do i am thinking about somewhere for Mum to live where other people are around so she will not resort to Brandy for company where she will have her own front door but still be able to see people. What are these places called do they exist and where do I start looking if they do... also is there a place like that for me I can't cope much more.:(
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    They are called extra-care, close care or very sheltered housing. My mother lives in one.

    Does she normally drink? I ask because, while not trying to worry you more than you already are, strokes can look like "being under the influence". When my mother had her first serious stroke and the police had to break in their first assumption was that she'd had one too many. It was only the fact that her podiatrist was there (and who had called the police) and who was insistent (and indignant) that she did not drink (not entirely accurately) that they actually took her to hospital. The fact that the hospital gave her paracetamol and sent her home, where the ambulance men refused to leave her alone, and where she had another stroke 10 hours later is irrelevant (sorry - got off track there).

    I'm not entirely sure that she's using brandy for company, but I do think that if you can't rememeber stuff, you might think it's an appropriate time to have one, and then forget you've had one and have another and so on. I'm sure it's not doing her diabetes any good, though.

    Jennifer
     
  3. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    #3 Cate, Dec 13, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2006
    Hi Panda

    Difficult one this, and I can relate to it. Even though mum had meals on wheels, a fridge full of food, (which she would move to the window sill because she thought it was colder than the fridge, even at the height of summer, but that's another story) my brother calling in throughout the day, and me talking to her dozens of times a day/night on the phone (I lived 45 minutes drive away), she still 'forgot' to eat, or would tell us she was going to "have it later" and again forgot. The carers used to 'promt' her to take her meds and eat, and as you said, out the door in 5 minutes. Useless.

    On the drink front, my mum was always a 'sherry at Christmas' lady, however, she started to drink, not daily, but when she was still able to go out shopping, she would buy a bottle of wine, and drink the lot. She would tell me she had had a 'little' drink, and giggle like crazy, then be totally miserable, it was a nightmare.
    We were always totally amazed with her arthritus she could get the cork out the bottle, but somehow she managed it.

    More than a few times she was most certainly drunk, weaving all over the place, and of course if she hadn't had food, the effects were worse. When we had a family bash, we REALLY had to watch what she was drinking. I can only describe it as child like, in as much as she didn't want to leave any in case someone else finished it off. Totally out of character. I didn't think for one minute that mum was resorting to drink for company, more that she was doing something, in her view, naughty. It became easier when she couldn't get out under her own steam, so she couldn't buy any. At family do's we used to 'lace' her drinks with plenty of lemonade.

    I can only suggest that you clear out any alcohol, or just leave a small amount in a bottle, and top it up when you visit. Its a hard one, I was always loathed to take away another bit of mum 'making her own decision', even if it was just to have a glass of wine. Of course, like us when we first discovered mum drunk, you and your daughter were upset if this was out of character.

    On the accommodation front. Some time ago, mum nearly bought a flat in a warden controlled block, then she pulled out at the last minute. On reflection it would have been a bad idea, of course they are all different, but basically they are there as support in times of emergency, and not much else.

    Thankfully mum is now in a NH, well looked after, eating REALLY well and still having the occasional 'glass' of wine, but the staff watch what she is drinking so that she doesn't go over the top and do herself any harm. Lets be fair, a hangover is no fun AD or not and thats without the worry that she could fall and hurt herself.

    Panda may be the time is getting closer for your mum to move to a NH, but only you and your mum can judge when the time is right. I can only speak from my own experience, my mum is really well looked after and safe, and the rest of the family, well, we sleep better at night.

    Sorry to have gone on a bit, but I hope this helps you a litte.
    Love
    Cate
     
  4. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hiya Panda

    I would agree with Jennifer and Cate.............firstly i would contact your mums gp and ask him to check her over incase you are mistaken and it is a stroke, it can be easily mistaken.

    Secondly it would be my opinion that if your mum is not eating, then its time to take a step forward and look for somewhere where you can ensure your mums safety.

    When Ray was in the Stroke Rehab Unit, it was a little like a NH and it was a fab place............they came around at 8pm everynight and gave all the residents sherry, brandy, whatever nightcap they wanted!...........(i was a bit horrified at that because i don't drink and neither did Ray......although my decision was by choice, his was for medical reasons, but when i informed the ward sister she said that Ray must have forgotten he didn't drink as he quite looked forward to it!.... not sure how she worked that one out as he could not talk!) Point being is that they will let your mum have a drink but its controlled.

    I'm not sure if i would opt for Sheltered Accommodation if i was you, because as Cate says, they tend to just be there for emergencies.......for example....people with mobility problems, getting stuck in the bathroom etc, and to be honest Panda it sounds to me as though you need the break too, so i would act swiftly if i was you, i think you will feel better once the pressure is off and you'll be able to sleep at nights knowing your mum is safe.

    Good luck with your decision.
    Love Alex x
     
  5. panda

    panda Registered User

    Apr 16, 2006
    88
    Surrey
    Thats a big help thank you xx
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Just to clarify - the type of accomodation I was talking about (extra-care etc) is MUCH more than sheltered housing (or should be). As the others have mentioned, sheltered housing normally means a warden somewhere - nowadays they may not be on the premises and may rely on the phone to make contact. My mother's close care unit consists of 1 bedroom flats attached to a nursing home, who provide all the meals, cleaning, laundry etc, and have domicilliary carers and nursing staff on tap 24/7.

    Jennifer
     
  7. panda

    panda Registered User

    Apr 16, 2006
    88
    Surrey
    close care unit sounds good, the type of thing I was thinking about. Are they allowed out when they want. My mum is only 66 do people of her age go there and how do I begin to look for them. Thanks all for your advice and knowledge I appreciate it:)
     
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    #8 jenniferpa, Dec 15, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2006
    Hmm. From my recollection the place my mother is in didn't come up on any of the "looking for care" accomodation searches. I seem to remember I found it by googling "extra care" or "close care". Yes, they're allowed out when they want, although I guess that could be a problem for some - fortunately (or unfortunately) my mother is mostly wheelchair bound so it's not an issue (much). Although most of the people are older, the minimum age is (I think) at her place is 55 (I have occasionally thought - only another 5 years!) I know one woman who has moved in is in her late 60's and is herself a working doctor - she's there becase her mother is in the nursing home.

    My mother's place is privately owned. However, I did find some that were owned by housing associations. I must warn you - this is not a cheap option. Every month I pay my mother's bill I have a shiver of horror, and she owns her flat (leasehold) so it's not as if I'm paying rent per se. Fortunately, mummy had a fair amount of savings plus an occupational pension so although it sometimes feels like money flowing through my fingers like water, it is doable. Having said that, if she hadn't had any savings, and had been in LA housing, she could have moved into the LA's close care housing facility, which was a similar set up.

    Jennifer

    O.K. I lied (sort of) The Elderly accomodation council search allows you to check for extra care housing http://www.housingcare.org/
     
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london


    They are nurses in doctors and then they are the district nurses, who can come out to check your mother blood sugar levels.

    Phone social worker and tell her you want a referral to the district nurse, that how I got the district nurse to come out to help me with my mother diabetic , I live in Hammersmith / fulham , so am not sure if its like that all over England with the district nurse .

    However, it is worth asking social worker about it.
     
  10. panda

    panda Registered User

    Apr 16, 2006
    88
    Surrey
    thanks Margarita I will try that on Monday x
     

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