I don't post often but hope you won't mind me asking for advice on an urgent problem. My mum, who has Parkinson's, lives with me, and has carers 4 times a day while I'm at work. It has always been part of the arrangement that carers give her medication, which isn't only for her Parkinson's - at nearly 92, she has an assortment of other essential prescription meds too, but the Parkinson's meds are 5 times a day.
Last Thursday lunchtime, I received a call from the care agency manager saying they are no longer willing to do this because of the way the medication is provided (although nothing has changed since they did their assessment back in June, and they were aware of it then). So, without any notice, they withdrew this part of the service and I had to rush home from work to make sure she got her meds that day. Since then I've been doing a combination of employing a carer privately just to give medication, and/or taking unpaid emergency leave to sort it out.
As I understand it, there are two issues, one relating to how the meds are presented for carers, and one to do with how they have to be administered. First, the care agency is saying they can only give medication from a pharmacist blister pack. Fair enough, but since the pharmacist (and the gp, plus two other national pharmacies) have so far been unable to source a blister pack with 5 compartments (largest available has 4), some of it comes separately. The pharmacist decided that the safest way to do this was to give us the Sinemet separately, since this only involves me adding in a single tablet to each dose of the others.
So I prepare mum's meds for the carers, popping out the tablets straight into a little lidded pots, and add in one tablet of Sinemet to each. The pots are very clearly labelled with the dose times and all the carers know where to find them. Mum knows about this arrangement, and is happy with it. However the agency is concerned about legal and safety issues. We have to comply if mum is to get her meds, but so far no one has come up with a solution and we now have us, the care agency, social workers, mum's gp and the pharmacist, all involved - and all wanting different things!
The second problem is to do with how the medication is given to mum, who has left-sided stroke as well as Parkinson's: most days, her co-ordination isn't good enough to manage the tablets herself, so the carer (or me) gives them to her on a teaspoon, which is also no longer OK, even though she is able to give consent to having meds this way.
Has anyone come across either of these problems, particularly a five-compartment blister pack? This is a major issue for us at the moment - if we can't get it sorted I'm faced with either leaving work or paying someone else to come in just to give mum her medication.