My dad has suffered with Parkinson’s for about 12 years. Is is now 77 and very frail. He lives alone with the help of a carer once a day and meals delivered.
He had just been admitted to hospital again for uti linked to constipation. His mobility has been increasingly difficult and I find I am constantly worried about his well being.
I work full time as a teacher and live 1 hour 30 minutes away but try to visit every weekend and ring him at least once every day.
He is very determined to live independently but is now finding this both very difficult and lonely. I think the latest hospital admission has fully demonstrated how much he needs more day to day support than I can provide but this leaves me feeling so very guilty.
What have others find us the best way to approach the future and options available to him.
Thank you so much for your time
First off, I would like to say that I can’t offer much in the way of advice, as I am in a similar situation and know how helpless you can feel, hence why I joined the forums yesterday, that said however, if I do come across any helpful information I will be sure to pass it on, though it may not always be transferable as I’m in Scotland. But know that you aren’t alone, I know how guilty it can make you feel that you probably can’t give as much time as you would like, you need to strike that balance between care and allowing your loved one to live as they see fit. Can I ask if you know what your Dad’s feelings are on this ? We have mentioned the possibility of assisted/sheltered housing to my mum but she is living in the flat she shared with my dad who passed 2 years ago and I think she is loathe to move because of the memories she has there, is there a similar motivation ?
We’re sorry to hear about the difficulties that your dad has been facing and we definitely empathise with the current predicament that you’re in. You sound like you’re incredibly committed to your dad’s wellbeing so please do not feel guilty, many people with Parkinson’s are fully capable of living independent lives but as the condition starts to progress, this can become more and more challenging.
However, there is help available to your dad and I would encourage you to ask your local authority to review his needs and see if there are any additional services they can provide. Speak to your local authority’s housing department to find out more about any options that are available, we have more information on this via the Parkinson’s UK website here: Home care and care homes | Parkinson's UK
For more information and support on the options available to your dad, I would strongly advise you to contact our helpline team on 0808 800 0303 - they’d be more than happy to help you.
I went to visit dad in hospital this afternoon. While he is feeling better, the latest infection has really scared him and he is in no hurry to leave hospital. He mentioned not wanting to go home and even mentioned a carer home but I know it is early days and this may change as he finds his feet again, then again maybe not. The hospital are going to discuss the situation with us and a Parkinson’s nurse as part of his assessment.
I said to him we can take it one day at a time but at the centre of everything will be his safety and happiness. It is so so uncertain but want to protect him as much as possible. I appreciate you getting in touch. How are you holding out at the moment? X