Interference with Stroke Recovery - advice

Hi there.
Hope you are all well.

I’ve posted previously about my mother who suffured a stroke end August and is now home (4 1/2 weeks now).
She is 83 and was my father’s carer (86) who has advanced Parkinsons. He also deteriorated and was admitted to hospital a week after my mother. We believe the mental and phsycial stress of caring for my father caused her high blood pressure which was a key factor in her stroke.

As I say my mother has been home 4 1/2 weeks and is getting great support from the Stroke Team. She did however suffer immense loneliness with carers just visiting 3-4 times a day.

My father was brought home week before last on a re-enablement package so he has OT’s coming in over 4 weeks assessing him and what his care needs might be.

Whilst on the one hand his presence home has helpd stave the loneliness, it’s created another set of problems (which both my sister and I foretold to the authorities to try and avoid), in that Mum isn’t able to focus on herself anymore and rest. And it’s interfering with her recovery.

For example, he can’t get his head how the microwave works - this is causing my mother stress even though she no longer has any care responsibilities. Added to that his movements at night are impacting her sleep.
For the first time today, she has admitted to stress, and I’ve seen her take in sharp intakes of breath.

So I’m concerned - and I’ve flagged this to Mum’s stroke team. I really don’t know what to do here. Dad isn’t a bad person, and is still of sufficient mental capacity to make his own decisions (including the decision to come home), but it is impacting my mother, and we are going back to the situation at hand before but worse so, as now my mother is incapacitated and in recovery and hence more vulnerable.

Any advice would be very helpful and appreciated.

Thanks, Ian

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@Juppy It’s such a difficult position to be in when both elderly parents need care. It’s ingrained in your mum to be your dad’s carer, if she looked after him before, she’ll almost be ‘conditioned’ to helping him, even to her own detriment.

The home care package is so limited, having carers visit a few times a day for 20 minutes isn’t always enough, but carers are thin on the ground and have to move on to the next person in rapid succession.

Something may have to change with regards to their living arrangements. I’m not too sure how incapacitated your mum is but she definitely needs to focus on her own recovery.

This is just a suggestion, perhaps a moving to sheltered accommodation could be the answer. They would have their own little flat/apartment with a warden on call in the building. There are usually social areas where they can mix with other residents, so she will be able to socialise more easily and have a break away from your dad now and again.

Separate beds/bedrooms may allow your mum a place for quiet respite and the ability to sleep, as I say just thoughts that may assist.

Hopefully you’ll find the answer, take care.

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@Juppy Hi Ian, i suspect your mum is trying to revert back to her previous carer role but given her stroke is unable to fulfil this role. I know the OTs are assessing your dad but could you ask them to assess your mum too? It really needs to be made clear that your mum can’t be his carer any more & needs help herself.

Separate beds / rooms at night might be the answer to the sleep issue & that might help your mums stress levels a bit.

@Mahoney suggestion re sheltered accommodation/ supported living may be worth exploring.

It is so difficult for you all & i hope you manage to get the support they needed sorted quickly.

Best wishes.

Ann

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I am so sorry to hear of your problems, I can only agree with the advice you have just received from the last two people. Seems like really good advice to me. Do hope you manage to get things sorted.
Thinking of you all.
Jane.

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Hi Mahoney
Thanks for the reply. We are thinking of suggesting sheltered accommodation.
And I have suggested different bedrooms if the sleep thing becomes a problem - Dad is open to it. Alot depends on Mum saying something.
Thank you.

Thank you Ann.
I’ll mention it to Dad’s OTs but I suspect they will say they are really only there to support him.
Mum does have her own OT through the Stroke Team and I’ve called the team and asked for the messaging to be cascaded to her - she is due to visit today and we are to catch up later.

Agreed re Mahoney’s suggestion.
Thanks for your wishes.

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Thanks Jane.
Your kind wishes mean a lot.

@Juppy hope all went well with the OT visit today

Thanks Mahoney. I think it went ok.
Dad has been sleeping in my room sometimes to help Mum sleep which is nice of him. Baby steps.

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