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Subject Topic: Advice re: old parents please
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Message posted by superbbird on 05/1/2019 at 7:06pm
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Hi everyone,

I've read a lot of posts on this marvelous forum supporting folk looking after family members and was wondering if anyone had any ideas or information that might help me help my elderly parents.

My parents are getting on a bit (in their 70s) and my Mum has various health problems. Dad has ended up caring for her which is OK but complicated by the fact my sis and I live 180 miles away so can't pop in to help/support them and they didn't intergrate or make any close friends when they moved to their rural home 10 years ago.

Mums biggest problems for them both is her diminishing mobility due to back problems and low mood/depression. The local health service are good, pulling out all the stops to help her but it's all fallen apart. She was refered to a great lifestyle support lady who helped mum lose weight and went swimming with her, which helped alot and got her moving again. Anyway they've pulled the plug, telling Mum it was only meant to get her started and she should have swimming lessons from now on.

The thing is Dad does't swim and is terrified of swimming pools and can't help her into/out of the pool or with showering and she doesn't want weekly lessons.

Any ideas where I start looking for anything which might help? Pay someone to help her go swimming? Leisure centre haven' been helpful so far; think I need info so I know what to ask! Mum has little to no motivation won't go to exercise classes, go for a walk (prefers sitting!), gave up physio exercises as soon as she stopped going even though it helped and has told me she won't do anything that might hurt which is tricky as she has sciatica!

We're seing 'move it or lose it' come true before our eyes and it's taking its toll on my Dad.

Message posted by marg6 on 05/1/2019 at 7:27pm
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could you contact the local hospitals and ask if they know of or have sessions available for people with health concerns, perhaps ones that use a hoist? perhaps using the hospital ones if they allow that would make your mum feel a bit better? often the elderly see it as more of a prescribed thing and are more likely to use that?

the other place to contact would be social services.

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Message posted by Marshmallowqueen on 05/1/2019 at 8:23pm
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What area of the country do they live?

Perhaps look for a befriending service (Age UK might do one in their area) and a volunteer may be interested in accompanying your mum. Many areas now have services or organisations that will support people who need help to do activities. Also look for a CVS (community and voluntary sector) organisation or social prescribing team as they may know who can help.    Social prescribing teams are sometimes found in the local GP / medical centres.   

Message posted by superbbird on 05/1/2019 at 9:30pm
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Thanks for the replies, they live in Herefordshire. I knew someone would suggest something helpful, you're amazing!

Message posted by Bramston on 05/1/2019 at 10:17pm
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How do they do their shopping ?
I give my mum pre-printed standard shopping lists, she phones me on a Friday and goes through the list while I type, a week later a nice young man turns up from Waitrose with her shopping. Each time I do a reprint I edit the shopping list.


Find a swimming pool with a lagoon pool, these pools have easy beach entry, you can just walk in, no need for help. Easy shallow water to wade or swim in.




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Message posted by franbee on 05/1/2019 at 11:05pm
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Your Mum needs a 'buddy', someone to knock on the door and take her out. Or even meet her at the pool if she can get a lift there. Or a number of buddies for different activities. If she feels she's letting someone down by not going it will give her an incentive. The advice above is good, I hope you find suitable people.

Message posted by romany girl on 06/1/2019 at 12:15am
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You could also enquire at the local Leisure centre, some offer special sessions for Seniors and those with some disabilities, this sometimes includes the possibility of pampering sessions with the onsite Beautition and Hairdresser if needed, or simply having a post swim drink and a chat in the Cafe or onsite Bar. Your local physiotherapist may be able to make a refaral to the local hospital hydrotherapy pool if they have one, ask about this at your GP surgery.

Locally we have a similar facility open to the public, but built and run as part of a residential retirement village, all geared to the wellbeing of the over 50s residents who live there. The public have the choice of paying a monthly membership fee or paying per session, which works out slightly more expensive. Their restaurant is very nice indeed, and not overpriced.

I too have an elderly Dad who lives with my step Mum who is also in her 90s, they live 15miles away from me in a very remote area of the Peak district, so l do understand how difficult this can be, we find that a lot of the services assiciated with elderly care simply do not cover the area where they live, including the care agencies and the supermarket delivery services, leaving us to do most of the support work ourselves.

Julia

Post last edited on 06/01/2019 00:24:21

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Message posted by pnefan on 06/1/2019 at 12:49am
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You mention your Mum was referred to a life style buddy by the authorities which helped but has now stopped. Can your mum afford to pay for this to continue?

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Message posted by SGThomas on 06/1/2019 at 8:30am
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Is there a local radio help line?

A few years ago.BBC Radio Essex did a "buddy" programme on air where requests for sighted walkers for blind ramblers, readers of newspapers for blind, swimmer companions and so on

PS mid 70s is still the flush of youth

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Message posted by DeborahTurner on 06/1/2019 at 11:37am
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Age UK can be really helpful.
They have well trained volunteers who come round and answer a range of issues. They helped my parents identify that they were eligible for Atrendance Allowance, which pays for someone to help dress and shower my Mum in tne mornings.

They could also point you to the best place locally to find carers. We advertised in tne local community magazine and found a person who is qualified and experienced and takes my Mum out one afternoon a week. Whatever she fancies: coffee, shopping, a walk etc. We pay £17 an hour from the attendance allowance. Could you find someone similiar for your Mum?

Message posted by superbbird on 06/1/2019 at 1:38pm
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Thank you so much for the replies and suggestions.

Part of the problem is that they don't always realise they need help,soldiering on dealing with the stress etc. believing they wouldn't qualify/not asking or automatically say 'we're fine' if someone offers to help. eg. The fire brigade fitted smoke detectors recently (after 10 years of no detectors and an open fire!) and offered to help check if they were recieving everything they are entitled to (benifits, care etc.). My Dad wasn't offended but in his head he's still 21 years old and they're managinging so declined.
The problem is you don't find out about things if you don't ask the right questions in the right places. Googling doesn't always help either!!

I've now got some directions to explore

Message posted by Marshmallowqueen on 06/1/2019 at 1:58pm
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Thought these may help. Apologies if they are not suitable:

CVS
http://www.hertscvs.org.uk

County council directory
https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/adult-social-services/day-services-and-a........

Excercise Referral
https://www.sll.co.uk/exercise-referral/specialist-sessions/#main-content

Befriending
http://www.housingcare.org/service/list/s-22-companionship-befriending/l-444-hertf........

Social Prescribing
https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/article/36342/Social-Prescribing-Service

Hope you find something suitable.

Post last edited on 06/01/2019 14:10:54

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Message posted by superbbird on 06/1/2019 at 4:21pm
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Thanks 👍

Message posted by DeborahTurner on 06/1/2019 at 4:51pm
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I am familiar with the ‘we’ll manage’ line, whilst being in complete denial that they are managing with increasing levels of help and commitment from adult children who may themselves be caring for a child with special needs, live miles away, work long hours etc.

In the end my siblings and I sat down with them in a fairly direct but kind way and put some measures in place on a ‘try it and see’ basis.

Attendance Allowance is not means tested, I don’t think. But when she first hit the form my Mum ticked ‘Yes’ to a whole load of things that she should have ticked ‘No’ to. E.g Can you do your own shopping! (‘Yes, if my daughter picks me up, helps me into my coat, helps me into her car, writes the list, pushes the trolley, loads the car, lifts the shopping out and puts it away, of COURSE I can do my own shopping and choose which cake to buy. If my daughter has remembered my glasses ‘.

Message posted by maughanjen on 06/1/2019 at 6:36pm
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Social services have loads of advice. In our area a couple of care providers have a great selection of other services. Befriending or buddy service, chat cafes,and care homes have clubs. They arrange transport at a small cost,also in Durham we had a link 2 bus service, all to help get out and about.
I would give the local authority a call and ask for it they have details of services.
Keep them as independent as possible, but any assistance is good





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Message posted by superbbird on 06/1/2019 at 6:57pm
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Yes! DeborahTurner....😁
The saga of the blue badge in bullet points:-
Mum really struggling with mobility, I suggest looking into getting a blue badge (this goes on for months).
Told the doctor hasn't mentioned it so they won't be eligible (I'm the child they're parents; what do I know) .
I look up the forms & over the course of a couple of months persuade them to look at and finally fill the form in.
They get a blue badge & life becomes slightly easier, wished they'd applied before.... 🙄

Or Mums support stockings....
Mum doesn't have any problems getting her socks on; Dad does it and it's like a 30 minute full body workout and he's exhausted! He's struggling & gives up. Mum gets cellulitis, ends up in hospital. I suggest a stocking donner on prescription from the doctor. Mum decides it's useless before taking it out of packet:- after all she doesn't have a problem putting on her support socks! Then persuades Dad it's useless after 1 attempt at using it 😫



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