Carers Group: 12/04/21

Sunshine and fine days have arrived.

Overcoming the habit of negative self-talk

Janet spoke about “A habit worth breaking”. This about becoming aware of our negative internal self-talk, which can damage our self esteem. “Even the smallest shift in our choice of words can make a big difference to how we feel.”

You can find a video on this here and below the video link is a link to a PDF which guides you through a paper exercise to help you break the habit. You might want to read more of the fascinating articles and watch the videos on the ‘Pick up Limes‘ website.

I’m ok – you’re ok

It’s good to know even if a group member can’t come to the meeting they can tell us they are making cakes and their husband is ok.

Sad news

Another absentee sent a sadder message.  Her mum had a fall and an unexpected seizure. She was moved to a nursing home. Sadly her mum died last night. She said the Carers group has been such a help and support to her. She hopes to attend next month.

Being “made comfortable”

A carer talked about his wife. He had been speaking with the doctor at Queen Elizabeth hospital. They have stopped her treatment as she is now too weak. She is now in a sleep state with oxygen. She doesn’t recognise him and is not eating or drinking. She is being made comfortable, allowing her to pass with dignity.

He’s trying to get on with life but it’s hard. There had been difficulties in getting information from the hospital. The hospital did apologise There was a lack of coordination and no involvement from different agencies in his wife’s complex case.

Tatiana said Social Services should have been involved and to complain.

We discussed a possible move to the Greenwich and Bexley hospice. Janet followed-up by contacting them about their criteria for admissions.

Greenwich and Bexley hospice

The hospice is faced with a lot of demand:

  • They take people in the last 2-3 weeks of their life
  • Referrals can come from a district nurse, doctor or hospital
  • Each morning they have a meeting and prioritise those looking to be admitted. For example: someone live at home alone, would be a higher priority than someone in hospital.

Feeling helpless

Another carer (who had just had a successful move) – said her person in a care home had deteriorated. She had a chat to the manager who seems to think she’s doing ok. She has had the 2nd jab. She is able to visit in the room, but it finds it upsetting. “If you love someone you feel helpless and hope they know that they have someone in their corner.” She wonders if could she could have done more. 

No sleep

A member, being cared for at home, is restless day and night. A few weeks ago her husband found her on the hall floor in a pool of blood. She had a seizure. They went to A&E in an ambulance. A cut eyebrow, black eye, swollen neck – she  is ok now. The medication had been reduced. He has to keep an eye on her all the time and is going to speak to the doctor again, as he is getting no sleep and it is dragging him down. The good news is their daughter had a baby – a boy – 5 weeks ago. Granddad and grandma went to visit. They hadn’t been in the car for a year. It was a challenge! She liked seeing the baby.

Filling gaps in your memory

Our carer looking after his sister, who lives separately, had tried to get her round to his house. She has it in her mind that next door have COVID – from a message on her phone. She fills in stuff and he spends hours talking her down. He gives in sometimes when he can’t get to the bottom of it. He feels frustrated and is waiting for the time when it gets worse. Janet said the gaps in the memory get made up. Go with the flow and try not to let it upset you too much. He is still feeling tired from having COVID. His wife got a penalty ticket for going in a COVID zone by accident – there wasn’t a sign.

A favourite cardigan

Our keen cyclist is trying to calm down and roll with the punches. Her mum is reluctant to change her clothes and is very fond of a blue cardigan so the daughter has to be a bit sneaky to get it from her to wash it. Mum is getting more forgetful and says she’s been to Bromley on the bus with her friend, when she hasn’t been for 15 years. Janet says it’s her version of the truth. Mum has lost interest in puzzles and painting – so they are planting seeds. The neighbours are kind and are aware of mum and will phone the daughter if they are worried, but she says a phone call won’t do – it has to be face to face. She has been cycling a bit more.

A need for action

Our member, who usually says her dad is ok, said her Dad didn’t wake up one morning! An ambulance was called. He woke in the ambulance He was unresponsive for three hours. He had tests and is fine. They don’t know why it happened. His sleep tablet has been cut untill they know why. He’s fine, back to his normal muddled self. He is waiting for an appointment at the Memory Clinic and the doctor tomorrow. His hallucinations are a lot more frequent and aggressive – He hits himself or the wall with pent up anger. He is seeing people but doesn’t name them – or someone is sitting in his chair – or the living room is full of people and you can’t go in there. Janet said – get in touch with the Memory clinic and Titiana said – keep phoning them and explain the urgency of the hallucinations and episodes 

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