How I became a carer for my mum. A daughter’s perspective

How many carers are there in the UK?

In 2019, there were there were approximately 6.5 million carers in the UK, with 3 million balancing work with caring responsibilities, according to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)

In a recent article by the The Leicester Mercury, this number has estimated to have increased by an additional 4.5 million people by due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd spoke to a daughter who experienced the transition to becoming a carer, after her mum was admitted to hospital in an emergency. She has shared her experiences and offers advice to others who may be in a similar position.

1. Who are you caring for?

I’m a carer for my mum, who is 85 years old.

2. Tell me a bit about the events that led you to becoming a caregiver?

Mum was rushed to hospital with her right dominant arm in a lot of pain caused by a blocked artery damaged by previous radiotherapy. Mum was prescribed with warfarin to keep her blood thin, to help the blood to reach down to Mum’s arm.

Mum’s arm still becomes painful when doing daily chores and two fingers remain numb. Mum stopped driving due to her arm disability. Mum moved in with me and my family as she needed help with everyday activities such as getting dressed and cooking meals.

3. What are your main feelings about being a carer?

I wanted to help my mum through her recuperation and help mum to become independent again but needed support and advice on how I was best to do that.

4. How did the Occupational Therapist from Home Independence Occupational Therapy help you?

The Occupational Therapist was easy to contact and offered advice and support. The Occupational Therapist was able to give us an idea of reablement timeframes and reablement interventions, such as the use of meaningful activities that mum enjoyed as part of her reablement program. 

Mum lived in a large three-storey house, we were not sure if mum would be safe to return home. The Occupational Therapist from Home Independence Occupational Therapy completed a home visit to check for suitability and gave us ideas on ways to alter mum’s home to reduce risks, such as additional stair rails and lights on the stairs for when mum needed to use the toilet in the night.

5. What advice would you give to carers who may be struggling?

Get in touch with an Occupational Therapist, such as Sophia from Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd and consider services from Age UK.

Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd gives thanks to the carer for her leading contribution towards writing this blog.

If you would like support to help you and your loved one to manage after returning home after leaving hospital, please contact 07341265564 or complete a contact form. It would be a privilege to be able to share my knowledge, skills and experience to help you and your loved one.

Copyright (2020) Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd. A Leicestershire based company