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Coping with elderly parents – particularly Alzheimer’s Rant

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lindenlea, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You are right. I forgot about the Care Home element wich means that no Council Tax can be charged on the house. I have a relative who is in a sort of half-way house between home and a care home. There is a resident warden in the complex but residents look after themselves (and take care of their rooms and en-suites). They have all meals and bills included in their weekly fees. That situation does not exempt her property from Council Tax but they will allow a charge-free period for a limited time when her house is unfurnished.
    agathamorse, Lara mfl 05 and cissy3 like this.
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Double check about the cold weather payment. I assume that his house still has to be heated to avoid burst pipes.
    agathamorse, Lara mfl 05 and cissy3 like this.
  3. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Ah, Jubilee. I hadn't thought about that.

    Yes, we have kept the heating on a low setting. I was dreading another Beast from the East!
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    jubilee's has a point about having to keep the heating on, but my mother still received the cold weather payments and even on the letter awarding it, it mentioned being in a house of 'multiple occupancy' (I e a Nursing Home) so she was still entitled to it.
    cissy3 and agathamorse like this.
  5. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    Me too. Haven't been able to tell anyone IRL what happened. So this thread is brilliant. Love to you and your Dad x
    cissy3, Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I suppose that if the Care Home has higher energy bills because of cold weather, and because of catering for elderly people who tend to need higher temperatures indoors, it is the resident that ultimately pays for that ... further supporting the continuing eligibility for the heating allowances.
    cissy3 likes this.
  7. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    I'm holding onto this at the moment!

    Made a start yesterday, various emails etc

    But my head feel like spaghetti, or treacle! So much to organise.
    I'm going to keep this thread as a sort of 'to do' list, so thanks for everything again.
    Off soon to visit.

    I take Dad a cuppa every day, (travel mug) as one of his niggles is that his tea is never hot, strong, or sweet enough for his taste! So he can't be too bad then.....:)
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner Occasional commenter

    Keep your chin up @cissy3 . I found that once we had the POA sorted we could really get the ball rolling. As your dad sounds a lot better than my MIL you may well be able to make a start on things now with him being involved in discussions about finances etc. I have found this thread ( and others) a great help. I try not to talk too much about the situation to friends and family as I don't want to burden them. Posters on here have been a great source of help, information and empathy.
    Lara mfl 05, cissy3 and minnie me like this.
  9. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Whew! You are absolutely right!

    The council where his care home is located said that I should contact the council where his residence is located.

    So rang this second council who said that his case had been closed, because he would be self-funding.

    I kept asking questions, and I had the feeling that she just wanted me to say, ''ok'', and put the phone down. I was tempted to do this, but remembered the advice on here, and kept pressing, until she opened the case as a new referral. I think the turning point came when I told her that the online assessment form kept returning ''Error 404''! which she confirmed, and thanked me for alerting her to the prob.

    I feel angry, but also guilty for asking for help.
    This little rant has helped!
    emerald52 and lindenlea like this.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Well done cissy for 'sticking to your guns and actually by alerting them to the problem you will have helped countless others also frustrated by the system.:)

    Believe me, as the situation develops, one often finds the ability to vent/rant becomes increasingly important.:D
    agathamorse and cissy3 like this.
  11. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

  12. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Nothing to do with Alzheimer's, but I thought I'd share this in case someone might find it useful.

    Several of my residents have macular degeneration. One in particular was getting quite depressed recently, so we had a chat about it in which I learned how much worse it's recently become. She has a special hand magnifier that was recommended by adult social services, but the text in things like her TV guide is so small, she can barely read it.

    I remembered back to my days in business, when one of the products I was supplying to schools were digital presenters. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these, think of an overhead projector, then try to imagine something that serves a similar purpose, but in a much more versatile and superior manner.

    Essentially they are digital cameras that connect to a computer monitor, TV, interactive whiteboard or digital projector. Anything placed under the camera will appear on the screen. You can adjust the zoom level and so on.

    They were relatively new on the market when I was flogging them, but now I see there is a vast array of them on the market, ranging in price from anything between fifty quid to several grand.

    I spoke with the Macular Society to ask if anyone is using these things. They'd never heard of them, but suggested that what they call CCTV magnifiers help some people. I checked those out and found it's basically the same thing. They are also called visualisers and document scanners, depending on the market they are being sold to.

    So this morning, I was using my mobile phone and had a brainwave. Would it be possible to connect a smart phone to a smart TV? It turns out you can. In fact you can connect certain smart phones to non-smart TVs as well, but that's a little bit more involved.

    I did a test and found the image quality to be a lot better than I'd imagined it would be. It wasn't ideal for her, I think because she was sitting too far away from her TV. The CCTV magnifiers are desktop devices, so the next step is to see if I can connect a smartphone to a computer monitor. It would probably work with mine, because my computer monitor is in fact a TV.

    Anyway, food for thought and something to share with anyone else who has family members with eyesight issues who is keen on experimenting. I'm not suggesting this as anything other than a means to determine whether the technology might help, before accepting that nothing can be done. If it helps, it would be worth having a demonstration of the proper devices.
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Doesn't have to be about Dementia or Alzheimers DoY. Indeed if you look at the title, it starts
    'Coping with Elderly Parents' and after that came '-particularly Alzheimers Rant and Advice Spot' (which it read in the original).

    Indeed a really useful suggestion. Father-in-law suffered from Macular Degeneration and mother-in-law from Glaucoma, so I appreciate how much impaired eyesight impacts on one's life. I also remember how one sunny day m-I-l's floor-standing magnifier caught the sun and started a fire. :eek: Fortunately it 'shone' on an old horsehair sofa, which smouldered enough for us to notice before it became dangerous or toxic, as a modern sofa might have done. Thereafter we had to move her chair so we didn't have a repeat episode.

    I well remember 'visualisers' and a very useful piece of kit they were too.
    agathamorse and cissy3 like this.
  14. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    My MIL I think has been diagnosed ? with diabetic retinopathy. She sees a black area in her central vision when she stares for a length of time. She has never shared this problem with us so came as quite a surprise ? The hospital want to see her again in 4 months . My Mum has AMD and having a replacement lens ?@ the end of the month. She was treated for cataracts a few years ago. She uses a magnifier sometimes.
    cissy3 likes this.
  15. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Crikey! Thank goodness everything was ok in the end!

    The elderly don't seem to like being seen as any bother do they? What a shame, as the earlier things can be detected, the better the prognosis. Hope things pan out ok for your MIL, minnie.

    On gadgets, my Dad really likes his new clock, which also shows the date and time of day (morning, afternoon etc)

    (ps the likes are meant in sympathy)
  16. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Well I think that hospital may have started treatment if it felt a) necessary b ) likely to make a difference so ...... the more I read about diabetes the more scary I find it - seems to impact on a ton of heath related issues and .....not in a good way - eek !
    agathamorse, Lara mfl 05 and cissy3 like this.
  17. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Indeed diabetes has many other effects on health than just the 'diet' issues and it's on the rise. :(
    agathamorse and cissy3 like this.
  18. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    It was through an eyesight problem, diagnosed with a simple finger holding exercise, by the doc,ln A &E that my Mom's brain tumour first came to light. But Don't panic @minnie me it was a quite different symptom.
    If only she'd said something sooner....
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  19. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Just to add a bit more...

    I know a little about this type of digital imaging, since I had a friend who sad died a couple of weeks ago, who had a business that made microfilm readers. He was using what is basically the same technology in some of his more recent microfilm readers, although he knew quite a lot about optics and played around with modifying lenses to perfect the image as far as possible.

    The cameras he was using were no more sophisticated than what you get in a modern phone, but the lenses in his devices were, because they had a lot more to do in reading microfilm than it takes to read a book.

    Have a look at this video If I've not been able to explain well enough where I'm coming from.

    The model being demonstrated in one of many on the market. They'll set you back a few grand to buy new, but the won't help everyone with this miserable disease. All I'm suggesting is the possibility of using the technology we've already purchased to see if it can actually be put to better use than reading Trump's Twitter feeds and arguing the toss over Brexit.

    It's truly amazing how far technology has progressed in recent years. Three-year old kids probably know more about what a phone can do that we ever will, but if it's there to be used and we have it, why not check it out and see where you can take it?
    agathamorse and cissy3 like this.
  20. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    DoY that's a brilliant idea. It could have helped my dad except that for a few years now he's found it almost impossible to learn new things, one of the ways we realised he was getting dementia. My dad has macular degeneration and we looked at various ways of getting text items like letters up on his computer screen but they were all too clunky for him to manage. If he could have just moved a phone over them to make the text really big on his screen he might have managed that. Do you have any other brilliant ideas for things to occupy an old but very intelligent man with hardly any eyesight and dementia? We got him a digital assistant but he can't remember that it can play the radio and he speaks to it too quietly. And unplugs it. Or unplugs the WiFi. Or puts it in a drawer so it is 'lost'. And won't ask his carers for help!
    cissy3 likes this.

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