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When to ask carers to come in?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Azay28, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. Azay28

    Azay28 Registered User

    Nov 21, 2015
    95
    How do you know its the right time to get a carer in to support you? I've been stressed with supporting Mum,working and having my own family to look after. Most days Mum is not getting up till lunch and cant get motivated to do anything. Showering/hair washing/getting dressed etc. Then at times she's up and off to shop or happy to go out with me. She does remember to take her tablets luckily. Today we had appt. for Vitamin injection at 12:50pm I got there after work at 12:30pm and she'd only just got up and wasn't feeling well which is a normal occurrence most days so postponed till tomoz afternnoon. She hadn't eaten so made her some bread and honey. I'm trying to organise a befriender to come along for some social contact but should I get a carer in once a week to help with getting hair washed/showered at least. Not sure how she'll accept any of this help though but feel I cant do it all.:confused:
     
  2. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    244
    It's tricky. My mum has consistently refused carers but it got to a point where the self neglect was so huge I just over rode her wishes and introduced them, upping them from three times a week to now twice a day, seven days a week.

    Things you need to think about is if your mum is still popping out will visits tie her to the house and make her resentful? If she's not getting up how will the carer's get in? How will she take to someone helping her with intimate care -- or do you see them more as prompting her and encouraging her?
     
  3. Azay28

    Azay28 Registered User

    Nov 21, 2015
    95
    Thanks,I don't think she'd feel it ties her to the flat as she already has a cleaner and if going out waits till shes finished.At the moment she's only popping out 2 times a week for an hour only, if that. I was thinking maybe the prompting/ encouraging from someone else although I guess if she refused,as she has for me an odd time, then it wouldn't be helpful I guess.
     
  4. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,623
    USA
    If you are feeling you can't do it all, then NOW is the time to get some help, for your sake and for your mother's.

    I'm not in the UK so don't have a working knowledge of your system, but others here can advise about who to contact for assessments, et cetera.

    Let me just point out that no one person can do it all, on their own, with no other help or support, 24/7, without eventually breaking down. And you have yourself and your family to look after as well. This doesn't make you a failure, it just means you are human.
     
  5. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    I was given some very good advice by a professional when I started looking after my Ma - the sooner you get help in, the easier it is for people to accept. Even if you only get in low level support now you can always up it as the need progresses

    I would have someone in for half an hour in the morning to get her up and start her day with her in a positive way. That way you can keep the body clock turning at the right time otherwise she is going to slip into odd day/night patterns.


    Are you claiming attendance allowance for her? that helps with the cost at the beginning -- it's non means tested but get some help filling in the forms Age UK are really good and will send someone out.

    i would advise you to have a carers assessment - social services duty desk adult care services and just request one - it should give you some 'free' hours of caring to help you out too.

    There are all sorts of things you can go to together if you want to like singing for the brain but the helplines will help you with this.

    It might be worth considering some day care/lunch club - it will be invaluable later on and you can sell it to her as a club - again the age uk helpline will help you source the local ones or the AS national dementia helpline are good too.

    One last thing - do join your local carers cafe - an invaluable source of local information and its drop in so you can dip in and out but it was my lifeline when I was looking after mum at home

    Good luck, keep posting and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF :)
     
  6. Azay28

    Azay28 Registered User

    Nov 21, 2015
    95
    Thanks for all your advice. I have already got the allowance for her and found out about cafes and singing. Not able to get her to the singing as bit further away and it was difficult persuading her to go. She won't go to any lunch clubs etc as she never did before and again it's proven difficult. I think the idea of low level support as a start is where I think I want to go to get her used to it for the future. I've found out about the cafes for support for me although it tends to be during my work hours and can only manage to get to one on two dates in future. Previous it's been closed when I've gone!! I did actually have a good chat with the Admiral nurse in my area and she gave me points to start. But was having a harder day today and wondered about caring support. So I'll look into assessment too. Thank you
     
  7. Livveywills

    Livveywills Registered User

    Jul 11, 2015
    57
    My mum objected massivley to carers coming into her house to do any personal care. We have half got around this by her having a bath and hair wash at the day centre each week. It seemed it was because it was in her own house that that level of intimacy felt wrong.

    We do have a carer in twice a day, we get her in under the guise of medication which isn't my fault as the doctor says she has to take the tablets and then the carer is there for up to an hour.

    It has taken so much pressure off of us. She will gently nudge when clothes are on strangely. She will offer to make food or at least check something has been eaten for lunch on non day care days if mum doesn't want to have something made.

    And most of all the carer gets mum out of the door to the day centre 3 days a week. It is the place that mum is happiest but when she gets in a negative frame of mind which happens more and more she would just refuse to open the door and go.

    We left it far to long to get any help, I would agree, help in any form takes off some of the pressure
     
  8. Azay28

    Azay28 Registered User

    Nov 21, 2015
    95
    Good to hear :) thanks
     
  9. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    I wholeheartedly agree with this.

    I am another who left it too late and suffered years of the consequences, I was on my knees at the end and all of my family were worn out too.

    I am going through the same thing again with my partners's parents, 92 and 89...it's a struggle to push through the barrier of resistance but I know I must.

    Stay strong, don't lose sight of your own health, life and future. It's too easy to just submit.
    Stay strong. x
     
  10. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    81
    East Yorkshire UK
    #10 AnneED, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
    With Mum our timetable was:

    Diagnosis - just had a cleaner, and I took over the finances and helped with major decisions (replace the boiler etc)

    A year or two in - started to have a carer to do shopping as Mum who was still driving would come back with a giant pot of cream and have no bread or milk.

    Moved on to 5 lunchtime care visits when Mum was eating cake and cheese sandwiches only, and added Wiltshire Farms Foods to her freezer.

    After about a year added evening visits - partly as the cat wasn't being cared for, and so carers could increase drinks. Carers provided meals (Mum thought they were all her cleaner so accepted them coming and they were all 'Emma'!) Added prompting with pills when we found she'd been taking paracetamol instead of Aricept for a couple of months without us noticing.

    Increased care visits to 7 days a week when we couldn't always get there at weekends. I was still going at least once a week to encourage a shower and to change Mum's clothes when she was in bed as she couldn't see that she'd been wearing them for a week. Carers were changing her bed, and towels, doing general washing and cleaning up a bit and caring for cat. Carers took over admin of pills and prescription.

    A few weeks ago - noticed (as we have the Just Checking monitoring system) that Mum got up at about 11 to 12 noon and was missing morning drinks and breakfast as well as not having a 'regular' day so started breakfast calls. Breakfast is now eaten, tea drunk, and at least once a week (some carers are more conscientious than others and some manage it better than others) she has a shower and a complete change of clothes as well as when I'm there. She has Sundays off as it's reasonable to sleep in sometimes!

    Mum pays for her own care but it is organised through social care but I organised the breakfast visits privately as I'm still waiting for the social care review when they decide this is necessary as they are short staffed and don't seem to have managed it yet.

    I found that the best way to encourage Mum to change and shower is to tell her we're going out somewhere and she is then happy to do this - we usually do go somewhere so it's not a complete lie but I'd still use that even if we weren't as it's such a comfortable way of managing things. Occasionally she goes to get changed and comes back only partly changed and sometimes I pursue it, sometimes I just leave it. The main thing is that she doesn't smell - that's my main criteria!
     
  11. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    81
    East Yorkshire UK
    Oh and a friend takes her to the hairdressers weekly which she enjoys and is used to.
     
  12. Azay28

    Azay28 Registered User

    Nov 21, 2015
    95
    Thanks AnneED.
    How did you actually get the carers to come in ? What did you do? I'm trying to increase Mum's cleaner from fortnightly to once a week but not sure how to do it. Will I just get her to arrive each week? Mum writes it down on her calendar for every fortnight so think she will question it if she appears more often. I really think if I can get all the low level support in that will work then I can build on it from there. The hardest thing is getting it accomplished. I'd like to get her to a hairdressers weekly but also not sure how to do this other than taking her myself on a set day.
     
  13. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    81
    East Yorkshire UK
    Hi,

    The carers just came. I organised it and they turned up, rang the door bell, mum answered and they just chatted to mum and did what they had to do - I briefed them with what to do and not to ask her about anything but just to get on with it and tell her that was what they were doing ie 'Hi Kath, what would you like for tea, chicken or fish?' It seemed fine.

    The only issue was when they'd come in and ask her if she wanted shopping doing when she'd say No, or ask her what she wanted for lunch and she'd say a cheese sandwich - her response to any query about what she'd like to eat - but the experienced carers soon grasped it.

    Mum writes things down in her diary but rarely queries anything. I still often feel that she's going to but really, she doesn't. The more the dementia has advanced the less she queries things in the way you or I would expect. She may look puzzled for a mo, but so long as whatever it is 'fits' with the general way of things, she runs with it. It's easy to explain away if you use 'love lies' anyhow - 'Oh, sorry, mum the day changed, I should have told you.'

    It may be that it doesn't work for you but for Mum they all merged into the one person - 'her cleaner' and she has also never said that she has care when people have asked - 'Oh no, I just have a cleaner' 'I do my own shopping', so to some extent I guess she has never quite realised what they do. She oftens denies that they have been - I call them her 'ladies' so as not to make things awkward.

    Mum always went to the hairdressers every so often for a shampoo, cut and blow dry, or perm, so it was easy to increase that and fortunately her friend goes weekly and takes her keeping an eye on her when she's there. It's probably best to work with whatever the person is used to - a home visit hairdresser would also work for mum, I think. If your mum hardly ever uses a hairdresser that may not be easy. If she goes for a trim every 6 weeks, that could probably be upped, maybe with a home visit?

    I also write in Mum's diary - more now than ever, and also tippex things out as she gets them wrong and also puts in things she's not going to be able to go to and occasionally sets off to go (usually worrying her neighbours when she turns up home some time later having forgotten why she went out - but that's rare) It maybe helps that my handwriting is similar but my sister also puts things in and mum accepts them fine.
     
  14. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    81
    East Yorkshire UK
    Hi,

    The carers just came. I organised it and they turned up, rang the door bell, mum answered and they just chatted to mum and did what they had to do - I briefed them with what to do and not to ask her about anything but just to get on with it and tell her that was what they were doing ie 'Hi Kath, what would you like for tea, chicken or fish?' It seemed fine.

    The only issue was when they'd come in and ask her if she wanted shopping doing when she'd say No, or ask her what she wanted for lunch and she'd say a cheese sandwich - her response to any query about what she'd like to eat - but the experienced carers soon grasped it.

    Mum writes things down in her diary but rarely queries anything. I still often feel that she's going to but really, she doesn't. The more the dementia has advanced the less she queries things in the way you or I would expect. She may look puzzled for a mo, but so long as whatever it is 'fits' with the general way of things, she runs with it. It's easy to explain away if you use 'love lies' anyhow - 'Oh, sorry, mum the day changed, I should have told you.'

    It may be that it doesn't work for you but for Mum they all merged into the one person - 'her cleaner' and she has also never said that she has care when people have asked - 'Oh no, I just have a cleaner' 'I do my own shopping', so to some extent I guess she has never quite realised what they do. She oftens denies that they have been - I call them her 'ladies' so as not to make things awkward.

    Mum always went to the hairdressers every so often for a shampoo, cut and blow dry, or perm, so it was easy to increase that and fortunately her friend goes weekly and takes her keeping an eye on her when she's there. It's probably best to work with whatever the person is used to - a home visit hairdresser would also work for mum, I think. If your mum hardly ever uses a hairdresser that may not be easy. If she goes for a trim every 6 weeks, that could probably be upped, maybe with a home visit?

    I also write in Mum's diary - more now than ever, and also tippex things out as she gets them wrong and also puts in things she's not going to be able to go to and occasionally sets off to go (usually worrying her neighbours when she turns up home some time later having forgotten why she went out - but that's rare) It maybe helps that my handwriting is similar but my sister also puts things in and mum accepts them fine.
     
  15. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    81
    East Yorkshire UK

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