How do you tell when it’s time to give up and put Ma into care? I wonder sometimes whether she would be better off in care where somebody is (hopefully) with her all day. I’m torn in different directions. To take more time off, to work part time, nobody can give me an answer. I know she deteriorates when there is nobody interacting with her during the day. She starts to get more confused and the hallucinations worsen.
On the other hand, the first and last time she was in respite care for only five days was a disaster:
- She didn’t get her correct pain medications;
- They didn’t dry her properly so she was red raw in her creases around her torso;
- They took her to all her meals in a wheelchair so she found it extremely difficult to walk when she came home;
- Her ulcer became infected and she ended up in the hospital because they scrubbed it in the shower. This is because you can’t access two types of care at the one time ie. the community nurse wouldn’t visit because she was already receiving care. Needless to say she went from a two times a week nurse visit to every day once she was released from hospital. Yep, that saved the government money.
Medical professionals have told me to avoid it if I can because Ma will go into depression and the staff to patient ratio isn’t sufficient for patient care.
So where does that leave me? Trying to do the best I can with not much support. Ma said to me this afternoon that she’d like to go and stay in care. I asked her why and she said that she thought it would give me a break. She still wanted to come home at the end of it.
So back to the government and their desire for our aging population to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Ma is high level care and after waiting a month I found that there were no vacancies. After contacting the Australian Government I was told there was no vacancies for six (6) months in our area. They ‘bypassed’ the system and managed to access care for Ma through a different channel. I talked to one of the care providers who advised me that they were only allocated 10 high care packages for the Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Penrith area and 70 low care packages. We were advised there were no low or high packages available.
Not good enough. Looks like we are going to lucky, but that doesn’t help the others still waiting. I will be doing my best to spread the word.