Posts Tagged ‘Social work’

I’ve said it before, but I make no apology for saying it again…dementia is a cruel illness.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following by blog posts for a wee while, my Dad suffers from vascular dementia and has been cared for at home by my Mum 24/7. However a few weeks ago we initiated the process with Social Work to get Dad into a nursing home full-time (you can read more about this in Time To Help…Please!).

Mum’s really been struggling to cope with caring for Dad full-time as he is now totally reliant on Mum to do everything for him…including the simple things we all do without thinking because they’re just straightforward basic tasks. For someone who has dementia, simple everyday tasks which we all normally do without thinking, become strange and alien to them. e.g. washing themself, dressing, feeding themself.

This last week my Dad would not eat or drink anything more than just a couple of mouthfuls of food or liquid, so on Wednesday Mum called in our GP, and he got Dad admitted to hospital as he was suffering from dehydration. While I’m sad my Dad’s ended up in hospital, it is the best place for him and for Mum, as it takes the pressure off Mum caring for him but also means he’s getting professional care. Having now had discussions with the doctor at the hospital and then with Dad’s social worker, it looks like Dad will now remain in hospital until there is free space for him at a local nursing home. That means Dad will now go straight into a nursing home from hospital…he will never be home again…

I’m fine about Dad going into a nursing home as he really needs the level of help they can offer him there, although when I think about the fact that Dad will probably never be home again I find that very upsetting. I try to remind myself though that while Dad is still alive, his body is still here, but the person who was my Dad really left a long time ago…

As far as Mum is concerned, she seems a bit more relaxed now as if a burden has been lifted from her. I know she still feels guilty about Dad going into care, however as hubby and me, Dad’s social worker and various others have said to her, it’s not that she’s failed Dad in any way, it’s simply that she’s done her best up to now caring for him, but he now needs more care than Mum is able to provide for him. When Dad was admitted to hospital on Wednesday Mum was fine about it as she realised it was what was best for Dad, and continued to be ok about it all until we went to visit Dad last night…

When we went into the ward to see Dad, he was lying on his bed slouched down with his head off his pillow, sleeping…he looked small and frail…and I think that was when it all hit Mum…she got quiet upset seeing Dad like that. Although he was actually a bit better last night than he’d been since he went into hospital as he actually answered us a few times when we spoke to him…not necessarily with comprehensible answers, but at least he answered us! Dad might have spoken to us tonight, but he didn’t know who Mum or I were, and no matter how long that has happened for I still find that sad and upsetting…though I can’t imagine how Mum must feel having been married to him for over 55 years!

Dementia is a cruel illness which robs the sufferer of their personality and leaves them almost like an empty body. I don’t think people really understand how dementia affects the sufferer and their family/friends until you’ve actually experienced it yourself…I hope you never will!

In conclusion, can I ask you to help me raise money for Alzheimer’s Scotland as they do a great job supporting and helping Alzheimer/dementia sufferers in Scotland.JustGiving - Sponsor me now!Thank you

Last Saturday in Respite Care Request I spoke about how this week my Dad, who suffers from vascular dementia, was going into a local care home (David Walker Gardens) for a week’s respite care, to give my Mum, who cares for Dad at home, a rest.

I had taken Monday off so that I could help Mum get Dad ready to go to the care home, and then obviously take him there. I didn’t sleep terribly well on Sunday night as I kept thinking about how sad it was that Dad’s condition had deteriorated so much that he now relies completely on others to do just about everything for him now.

I was at the doctors early on Monday morning and when I got home, I got a phone call from Mum – she was getting a bit stressed as Dad was refusing to get out of bed and didn’t want to go to the care home. I tried to reassure Mum that as Dad was likely to forget within a few minutes, the conversation he’d just had with her, he’d probably get up in a wee while and be ok about going to the care home. I agreed to have my lunch and then head over to help get Dad ready.

When I got over to Mum and Dad’s, Dad was up and dressed, although Mum intercepted me at the front door to tell me Dad was still refusing to go to the care home. Mum had packed a small case for Dad, so I took that out to the car before Dad even knew I had got there. We managed to convince Dad to come out with us, by telling him we were going to see my Aunt – my Aunt lives at the same care home my Dad was going into for the week.

When we got to the care home, I think Dad had completely forgotten our earlier discussions, as he was fine when we went to his room, with his suitcase and then left him in the hands of the care worker. That was the tough bit, leaving Dad, and I know it was even harder for Mum.

As with the last time in November when Dad went into the same place for a week, Mum and I agreed we should not go and visit Dad during the week – in some ways this sounds harsh as I know Dad will be totally confused about where he is and why he;s there, however how is Mum going to get a break and relax if we keep going to visit Dad each day?

I was working on Tuesday and Wednesday, but after work both days I spent some time with Mum after I finished at work – going for coffee, shopping or dinner on both nights.

On Thursday Mum had one of her friends round for coffee and a blether in the morning, and in the afternoon Mum and me dealt with some of my Aunts business and then we headed to Silverburn shopping centre, for a wander round the shops and some dinner. Now here’s the surprise, between us we only bought one thing at the shops! – Mum bought herself a jumper. By the time I got home I was feeling really sore and very tired, so just spent the rest of the evening relaxing, despite all the housework needing done.

On Friday, Mum wasn’t feeling 100% so rather than go for a run in the car somewhere as we’d previously planned (which fitted in fine as both hubby and me weren’t feeling 100% either), we just went out for a sandwich for our lunch and then I picked up a few bits of shopping. Mum said she was quite happy to just spend the rest of the day herself relaxing.

Today, I was at the hairdressers in the morning, and when I was finished there, Mum and me headed out to the shops for a wee while. We’d planned to go through to Stirling with my hubby but he still wasn’t feeling too good.

The week’s been a mixture of ups and downs – between Dad going into the care home, some issues I had to get resolved at work, being in a lot of pain quite a few days this week, and feeling (and being) very emotional quite a lot, which if you know me at all will know I find it very difficult letting others see my emotions, so it’s been a all round tough week.

Part of me is glad this week is over, but part of me wishes it wouldn’t end, as although I hate the thought of Dad being in a care home, I know it’s what is needed to give Mum a well-earned rest from caring for Dad at home 24/7. Personally I don;t think Mum’s going to be able to care for Dad at home all that much longer as she’s finding it more and more difficult as Dad’s condition deteriorates, and his needs become more demanding on her.

We go to collect Dad from the care home and take him home on Monday, so I’d appreciate your prayers for Mum and Dad on Monday, as it’s likely to be difficult, as Dad will be very confused about what’s going on and where he is. The social worker assigned to my Mum and Dad is due to visit my Mum again in the next week or two to “discuss the future”, so I’d ask that you pray for Mum, Dad and the social worker,that the right decisions might be made for both Mum and Dad so that they can both live a comfortable life – I know there’s going to come a time soon when Dad needs to go into a care home full-time. When that time comes, it’s going to be tough, but ultimately I know looking after Dad 24/7 is definitely having a detrimental impact on Mum’s quality of life and her health.

Thank you all for your continued support during these difficult times for my family.

Do you believe in God? Do you believe in the power of prayer?

If you answered yes to those questions, I’d like to ask for you support in prayer in this coming week…

My Dad suffers from vascular dementia and over the last year or two his condition has deteriorated very quickly. So much so that he is barely able to di anything for himself now. He is still living at home (at present), where my Mum cares for him 24/7.

Mum has been finding it more and more difficult to cope with Dad over the last little while and has been talking about it maybe going to be time for Dad to go into care permanently, soon.

In November last year Dad went for a weeks respite care to the same care home my aunt (my Mum’s sister) lives in full-time. Although my Dad remembered nothing of his time there, the break did do my Mum the world of good, especially as the staff at the care home were able to reassure Mum that Dad had settled in ok.

Within a few weeks of Dad’s week in respite care, the social worker had got Mum to agree to putting Dad’s name down again for another week’s respite…there’s about an 8 week waiting list!

That’s the background to my prayer request today. So here’s why I’m asking for your prayers…on Monday, Dad is going back to the same care home for another week’s respite care so Mum can get a well earned break again.

Although Mum needs the break and is looking forward to having time for her rather than caring for Dad 24/7, I know she will really miss him, and she’s not the only one, as I’ll miss him too. The social worker who is dealing with Dad told us it was better not to visit Dad while he was in the care home, just so Mum could get a complete break – Mum did of course phone then nearly every day to check that Dad was ok.

Personally, I never ever wanted Mum or Dad to have to go into a care home, however I know how much Mum is struggling to cope with looking after Dad these days, so in that sense I’m glad Dad is going for respite care on Monday. That said, even although we’ve done this before, it’s still going to be a tough day taking Dad to the care home and leaving him there for a whole week.

While Dad in respite care next week, Mum will get a good chance to relax plus do exactly what she wants to do with no time constraints. I’ve taken a few days off too, so will spend those days with Mum and maybe go for a run in the car somewhere different, just for a change.

In closing, I would therefore like to ask you to pray for Mum and Dad next week as Dad goes in for a week’s respite care – I know Mum would appreciate it too if you would pray for them.

Thank you, and God bless.  .x

We’re in His Hands,
We’re in His hands,
Whatever the future holds,
We’re in His hands.

Today I would simply like to ask you, if you are a praying kind of person, to pray for my Mum and Dad, particularly tomorrow and during the week ahead.

Why?

As I’ve mentioned before my Dad has vascular dementia and over the couple of years as very rapidly declined, so much so that he now has to be cared for 24/7. My Mum has always said she’d look after Dad at home for as long as possible, and to date that’s exactly what she has been doing.

However over the last few months, my Mum’s struggled more and more to care for my Dad and despite originally being adamant that she didn’t want Dad to go in anyways, even for a few days, she finally agreed to this in August.

Mum having agreed to respite care for Dad I thought and hoped something would be sorted quickly, however social work were unable to offer a place for Dad until w/b 31st October, i.e. tomorrow.

Personally, I never ever wanted Mum or Dad to have to go into a care home, however I know how much Mum is struggling to cope with looking after Dad these days, so in that sense I’m glad Dad is going for respite care tomorrow. That said, tomorrow is going to be a tough day taking Dad to the care home and leaving him there for a whole week.

What’s going to make tomorrow even tougher is that Dad hasn’t been too well the last couple of days, so we’ve been spending a lot of time just sitting with him, so the thought of leaving him…

Also in the last few months, Dad’s been prone to bursting into tears for no apparent reason, and that’s heartwrenching…and I suspect we will probably experience this tomorrow when we take him to the care home, as he’ll not understand where he is or what’s going on…I’m really not looking forward to it at all.

On the plus side, Mum will get a chance to do what she wants, when she wants for a whole week! I’ve taken the week off work so I can spend the time with Mum so she’s not on her own. I know Mum’s looking forward to some time of her own however I know she’ll miss Dad, despite how much work he gives her these days.

I would therefore appreciate it if you could pray for Mum and Dad this week – I know Mum would appreciate your prayers too.

Thank you and God bless.  .x

We’re in His Hands,
We’re in His hands,
Whatever the future holds,
We’re in His hands.

As some of you will be aware, I have an aunt who’s been in hospital for eight weeks, during which time I’ve been visiting her every day or every second day with my Mum. Today my aunt was being discharged from hospital into respite care for a few weeks.

My aunt, my Mum and all that side of my family were brought up in the Salvation Army. As such, my Mum and aunt have always shown me that they are more than willing to help others whenever they could. Even now despite having Alzheimer’s and being in hospital, my aunt has apparently still been trying to do all she can to help others. The lady in the bed beside my aunt told us last night that my aunt is always trying to help everyone else, and asking if she can do anything to help them.

So even now, when she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, my aunt’s instincts are still to help others even though she’s often confused and unsure of things herself!

To me that speaks volumes about my aunt and her deep founded beliefs – God is still at the centre of her life despite all she’s going through these day.

I pray that no matter where I find myself and whatever I may be doing, it is still apparent to others that God is at the centre of my life too. I pray the sane can be said of you too.