January 26, 2010

aged parent problems:(

It has been an extremely harrowing couple of days for us.
Yesterday morning we had a call from MIL's carers they were worried becuase she had scorched some clothing drying in front of the fire and various other stuff. Forgot they were there.
We went up to try and find out what was happening and to help her.
She was extremely confused to say the least. House was unlocked, it was pitch black in the house and MIL was asleep, also the back door was wide open.
Fires in both living rooms on full.
Saw the doctor and no beds in local hospital but would be today.
Got her comfortable and sorted out then went to stay at friends for the night. MIL's house and facilities not suitable for us with steep stairs etc to bathroom and bedrooms. Not wanting to use commode either;(
Went back this morning thinking we would have fight to get her in hospital but she was very tearful and said "I think I am going to have to go to hospital." She was seeing figures that weren't there and telling long rambling tales of things that weren't happening:(
She is now ensconced in hospital, very happy watching tv in her little room.
Hospital are going to do a mental assessment as well as medical check ups and we are going to make sure that this time they do not let her go back to a dangerous environment.
I must just tell you social workers comments yesterday when I rang her to explain about the scorching clothes, bear in mind here that MIL has fire alarms around the place and they are checked by fire service, social worker thought it would solve any problems if she arranged for more fire alarms.
I think she soon realised from my response that that wasn't the answer:)

Why is it that we have to fight so much to get help for our elderly? The doctor was very helpful but the social services have ALWAYS passed the buck back to us and don't want to know.
Poor Mr Mog has been really worried as you can imagine. I have but of course being that one step distant from MIL meant I had no problem with haranguing the appropriate bodies to get her help
Shame I had to though and that it wasn't forthcoming otherwise.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's such a distressing situation when parents age and their living conditions deteriorate so that they need long-term care. It's so important that they have an advocate, like you, to make sure that they get what they need from the health care system. I've dealt with a similar situation over the past couple of years with my Mom and I know it's not easy.

Sea said...

What gets me is...it always seems to be someone else's responsibility with social workers; never their's ...even if they have been put in place as carer. No wonder so many elderly people would rather cope alone.

CJ Kennedy said...

If it's any comfort, I'm going through this exact same scenario on the other side of the pond with both my parents. My mother especially needs constant watching. Same symptoms as your MIL. Only my ma refuses to go to a nursing home. Social Services told me even though there's dementia involved, my mom isn't so far gone she can't make her own decisions. Even bad ones! Deep sigh. Glad your MIL is in a comfortable place where she can be safe and happy.

Suemoon said...

Amber, have they tested her urine and checked her chest?

Urinary tract and/or chest infections are a very common cause of suddenly increased confusion in the elderly.

Best hugs,



Blue Witch said...

Sympathies Amber, I know only too well how hard this can be.

How do people without advocates cope? Or are they the ones in the statistics who die alone of hyperthermia and aren't found for weeks?

Hope things go on better.

Roobeedoo said...

Oh dear! Not easy at all. Especially if you don't live nearby. If it makes you feel any better, I frequently come home to find the FRONT door wide open - no wonder we have mice! Apparently the dog forgets to shut it behind himself when he comes in from a walk. Hmmm.

Angeluna said...

My heart goes out to you, Amber. Been there. We were able to have full time care-givers for my grandmother who lived to 95, but that would be an overwhelming financial burden these days. Recently, I had to put my father in a private room/apartment in an assisted living situation. It was reasonable and very pleasant. He lived to 90, just a few months ago. He adjusted quickly, made friends and did quite well. Good luck to you both.

Angeluna said...

Oh, and I wanted to agree with Blue Witch. How do people cope without advocates? I am the squeekiest wheel ever when taking care of someone. I can't imagine what it would be like if they have no one to fight for them.

Suzi Smith said...

Love to you & Mr Mog... yep, although some social workers are dedicated, there are huge shortcomings in how our "system" works, or rather doesn't work. It makes things more stressful for all concerned. At least she has you to shout for her. x

Earthenwitch said...

Sympathy, as BW says; what a horrible situation, and yes, clearly fire alarms are not the way forward. Keeping my fingers crossed for a solution to present itself; let's hope the universe sends some light your way soon.

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