Tuesday, 28 October 2014

UBC Day 29 - Long Term Plans, Tips for Carers

Thinking about the future – Long term plans

Every now and then, I think about what is going to happen to mum as the dementia worsens.  You can’t help think about it, and at some stage you have to address it.   I wonder how long she has with us, ashamed at the very thought and feeling guilty thinking about myself and how long I would be in this role.  I think about the other ailments that silent creep up and one day we find out that we have to make adjustments for them as well. 



Adaptations

I recently moved mum into a flat that has been adapted for someone who uses a wheelchair, we were struggling at her old home with the bathroom and getting in and out with her, and the new flat has a wet room with shower so it has eased the stress that we used to have in the morning.  Additionally with the wheelchair we were having carry it up and down the stairs every day, and with the new flat there is a lift.  I have been mindful to start to anticipate some of her needs that will arise.  Rather than wait for things to happen, I have tried to put things in place before they are needed, but also I have been trying to maintain mums health by giving her nutrient rich foods, she has been enjoying the smoothies that I have made from the nutri bullet.



That said, some hard questions will need to be answered even asked and there are things that we are going to have to face.  It helps if you can where possible put things in place that will benefit your loved one.  With mum, using a wheel chair doesn't mean that we don’t encourage her to walk, and we are trying to maintain her health as much as possible.  For some, as their loved ones get sicker they are faced with 

the question ‘do we put them into a home’  I have thought about it but knowing what I’ve seen from exposes of homes and what you have read in the paper, I don’t think that mum would survive longer than 6 months if that.  When mum went into a respite home while I was away on holiday she walked in when I took her in and had to have a wheel chair out, she could barely hold herself up and that was just after a 2 week stay.  I am sure not all homes have the same effect on its clients, but that is my experience.
 

Essentially you have to start to think about how their illness will progress and what will happen if you were no longer able to physically care for your loved one.  This is where the support network, family and friends come in.  What you do today will have an impact on the outcome of tomorrow.

For now take a moment to think about your current situation, and what additional things could be put in place to further support you in the long term before they happen.


You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts from the Journey of a Carer.
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