Carer Crisis and Care Less

an icy red heart on a grey background

Sometimes I use this site to simply share my thoughts about being elderly and the sheer hell of it at times.

I don’t want to get old.

Today was one of the days  I came to really appreciate the physical cost to the health of carers. Mr T as I shall call him found himself at the tender age of 88 the full time carer to his wife. Until the last couple of years they had enjoyed a happy and relatively healthy, stress free retirement, able to drive and enjoy meals out with friends and maintained their home to a high standard.

Mrs T then began to show signs of memory loss and one day parked the car in a local garden centre. She came out of the shop and forgot that she had parked the car and walked home. Her husband and son then realised there was something wrong and a diagnosis of dementia was confirmed by the Doctor.

This coupled with severe hip pain has left this once vibrant glowing socialite housebound and dependent on her very loving and happy to be carer. I am aware that he has recently been struggling and suggested respite for Mrs T and also helped to find another carer with spare time to help.

I arrived today to learn that he had been rushed to hospital with agonising abdominal pains however nothing had been found, blood tests showed it wasn’t appendicitis and so he is currently awaiting a C.T scan. I wondered if perhaps all the worry about his wife and the sheer amount of information he has processed at such a late stage in his life had simply taken its toll and caused what is known in the medical world as an abdominal migraine.

The following visit I made was to an elderly woman recently discharged following a week in hospital. The one daughter who does visit on the rare occasion ( of the 8 children she has!) left after lunch on the day of discharge having helped herself to items from the china cabinet. Mrs S said ” I am not even gone and they are deciding what they want of mine”. Obviously hurt and feeling alone and abandoned she proceeded to offer me a gift as I had been “so good “.

It was not a case of being “so good” merely a case of being kind and sensitive to a difficult situation.

Today was one of those days I thought “I don’t want to get really old”.

 

 

Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

2 Comments

  1. Hello Denise,
    I was sad to hear about the poor treatment your mum has had. Despite tighter guidelines following the Stafford case this is still happening. Keep a log on your visits and note names if you can. Leave honest Patient feedback on her discharge and if you feel you van make a formal complaint. Sadly it probably won’t get you anywhere as many are seeking justice for loved ones and no-one seems to listen! Check out this FB page Strength in numbers https://www.facebook.com/groups/joannaslater/?fref=ts you will at least have a platform to vent if nothing else.
    Please sign up for my email newsletter and stay in touch. Good luck!

  2. My mum was in the early-mod stage of dementia when she had a sudden bleed on the brain. She’s been in hospital for 10 days and I’ve visited every day. I do NOT want to get old. The disrespect some of the nurses and health assistants have, it breaks my heart. Don’t get me wrong, 90% of them are brilliant, but the others make a very upsetting situation even harder.

    On the second day I walked onto the ward and mum is naked on the bed with male visitors walking around. The same nurse was caught shouting at my mum because she kept pulling her lines out of her hand. Mum wasn’t even fully concious but I know she could hear. I could go on but basically they’re treating mum like an animal. Not like the beautiful, kind, timid and gentle woman that she is.

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