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Elderly Mother in need of care at home

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ MonkeyWrench


    I have an elderly mother in her 80's who has been managing okay at home for the last number of years. She has home help 3 days per week, who provide this service through the health board. The carer is very attentive and looks after the basic needs such as food delivery, washing up and cleaning. She is there to assist more than as a nurse/carer and although this has been working well up to now, we have noticed a decline in my mothers health over the last month. She has been very feeble over the last 3-5 years but she is noticeably frailer now and her appetite has been very poor over the last month.

    We are looking for a number of options from here in terms of care that can potentially be provided. Myself and all my Siblings live at least 2 hours away and have families to support and be responsible for so it is very difficult for us to provide our own care for her. She is very adamant that she wants to be in her own home when she passes and is very nervous about even seeing a doctor as in her mind this will potentially lead to a situation taken out of her hands and possibly ending up in a nursing home.

    Any advice on this would be appreciated from people who have had a similar experience with their elderly parents, its a very difficult situation for us as we do not want to go against her wishes, with her leaving her own home, however its getting to the point where a decision has to be made about her future now which taking into account her own wishes.


Comments

  • #2


    Does she want to be 'in her own home' as against a nursing home/residential care, or that specific house? Could she be persuaded into a small independent accommodation nearer to family? This would be a huge upheaval and would require a lot of dedicated effort from family to achieve.

    If she wants to stay in the house she is in then I would respect her wishes and not try to move her. More care will probably have to be employed so she has someone at least looking in every day. One or another of her children will probably have to make the effort to travel down to her every weekend or couple of weeks. Presumably she is in some sort of telephone contact and also has an emergency button?

    My personal opinion (as a woman in my 70s) is that it is more important for her to be content with her life for whatever time she has, and if that means staying in her own home, so be it. I would not agree with putting her in a situation she does not want for the sake of possibly extending her life by a year or two. But that's just me, others will argue to keep someone alive even if they are not happy. Both my mother and my husband insisted they wanted to be at home, and in the end it did not make any difference and they died peacefully, and attended, at home.


  • #2


    Could she move in with any of you?


  • #2


    Thank you for the replies looksee and Telly. She has said for many years that she wants to be at home, she is very adamant about that and reiterates it regularly. So the option of moving in with one of her family is not really an option, she also gets exhausted with young kids running around so that is another negative in that aspect, it would be against her wishes and possibly detrimental to her health with the stress kids making noise etc.

    My wifes grandmother was in a similar situation recently, had similar wishes to stay at home but her health deteriorated to the point where she had to go in for tests, she got one infection after another and is now in a nursing home. So that initial step out of the house led to her probably never getting back to her home again. I think its that step out of the house my mother fears, by going to the doctor she foresees that she will end up in a similar situation. So even getting a medical checkup is hard to convince her to do.

    Would you advise on how to seek out a paid service that is reputable for home care? I see some online options but its difficult to know who and who is not reputable from that alone.

    In the case of wanting to be at home, but going for tests and they are adamant that she has to go in to a nursing home because home care cannot be given, is it taken out of her and our hands at that point or is there still a choice in the matter?


  • #2


    My wife's granny was of a similar mindset 10 years ago. She was only just coping at home but had good help next-door, but didn't want to end up in a home.
    As time progressed she agreed to go to the local HSE home for two days a week as a day-resident (the social-scene and activities were her main interest). As time went on she herself decided to increase this duration to the point where she requested to be moved in as a full-time resident as she was bored at home (and felt that she was a drain on her carers). Perhaps this helps.


  • #2


    I can't help with carer services, but someone else may be able to help you.

    While I fully understand your desire to help her, I don't think you can plan too far ahead. Certainly get extra help for her, but then take it as it comes. If she does need medical intervention, deal with it as it arises. If she needs nursing at that stage she may have to go into a short term residential accommodation but there may be a way of getting her back home. Its difficult but I don't think you can do a lot of planning for the situation.


  • #2


    Contact her local health nurse. They'll be able to give you some names of care companies. Also contact the HSE as you may be able to get this service for free as we did for our Mam.


  • #2


    I’d also advise contact the public health nurse too as her existing care plan may need revising. Has an occupational therapist visited her home to assess whether specialist equipment is needed?
    Meals on wheels is very active in the rural area where I live too so that’s somebody checking up once a day.

    It’s completely possible for her to remain at home with the correct plans in place to do so.


  • #2


    10-10-20 wrote: »
    My wife's granny was of a similar mindset 10 years ago. She was only just coping at home but had good help next-door, but didn't want to end up in a home.
    As time progressed she agreed to go to the local HSE home for two days a week as a day-resident (the social-scene and activities were her main interest). As time went on she herself decided to increase this duration to the point where she requested to be moved in as a full-time resident as she was bored at home (and felt that she was a drain on her carers). Perhaps this helps.

    This is good to know. What county or area is your granny in law in? Would it be possible to find equivalent of the HSE facility for day residents elsewhere? I just love this idea even though it is too late for my parents. When I looked at a HSE care facility it wax residency only at 3000 per week!
    Still the local dentist managed to qualify for it...


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    Day services are on hold due to covid and from what I’ve heard they wont resume at all this year. They are usually held at the community hospital.


  • #2


    Solli wrote: »
    This is good to know. What county or area is your granny in law in? Would it be possible to find equivalent of the HSE facility for day residents elsewhere? I just love this idea even though it is too late for my parents. When I looked at a HSE care facility it wax residency only at 3000 per week!
    Still the local dentist managed to qualify for it...

    Birr/Offaly.


  • #2


    Day services are on hold due to covid and from what I’ve heard they wont resume at all this year. They are usually held at the community hospital.

    Some in north Dublin have opened back up again so worth ring around.


  • #2


    I’d recommend getting more help in. While she may be reluctant to having more help, she will know it will help her to remain living at home for as long as possible. Hopefully given her condition has deteriorated the HSE would allocate more (free) home help hours. However it can be a struggle to get more - I always feel that not enough is provided free of charge to those who need it.

    On top of that you could look at paying privately with one of the well known agencies or directly with carers local to you on Home Care Direct. With the latter you contact carers directly, so you have a bit more control. I would also suggest you don’t mention any private paid hours to the HSE as it may make them reluctant to offer you free hours.

    Good luck.


  • #2


    Would you advise on how to seek out a paid service that is reputable for home care? I see some online options but its difficult to know who and who is not reputable from that alone.
    Is her current home care service through an agency paid by the HSE? If so, maybe you could pay them directly for additional hours.


  • #2


    Contact your local Health Nurse as they are the ones responsible for requesting additional home help hours.



  • #2


    Local Health Nurse, Community Health Nurse, Public Health Nurse - which ever title they go under in your area



  • #2


    A very difficult and common situation. I would do you absolute utmost to get a referral to a Geriatrician at your local hospital and in particular access to the Day Hospital, which is a fantastic multidisciplinary service.

    A full medical, social, functional and cognitive assessment is required. A treatment plan put in place and most importantly this can be monitored by the team. There is a big difference between a geriatrician speaking to your mother about how she would benefit from a nursing home rather than her family.

    Beat of luck.



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