Posted by Debbie Harris
Last year, this man's life was turned upside down.
John Wells (84) was living a happy life at home with his wife Celia. With lots of shared interests and hobbies, they enjoyed their times together.
In 2015, everything changed.
Sadly, Celia had a massive heart attack and passed away. John struggled to recover from the loss, finding it harder and harder to cope alone. In the same year, he suffered a stroke.
Still living at home, John is receiving four visits a day from carers. The stroke has had a massive impact on his mobility, leaving him dangerously unsteady on his feet. Unfortunately, using a walker has little effect. There have been three ambulance call-outs in as many weeks.
Worried about the consequences of getting up, John is confined to his armchair between care visits. He is unable to wash and dress himself - or go to the toilet unaided.
Although forgetful, John knows the names of his family and carers. He’s still got a zest for life and never misses a drop of wine in the evening.
John’s children – Louise and Peter – do what they can to support him. However, it’s difficult to give him the care that he needs. They both work full-time and have teenage children living at home. To make things harder, they live thirty miles apart.
Peter is trying to organise ongoing care. He needs to act fast and report back to Louise, but there’s so much information… and none of it’s clear.
Does this sound familiar?
This is a life-changing upheaval for the entire family. Consequently, there’s an enormous amount of pressure to get it right. And, unfortunately, when you’re in this situation it’s easy to panic. Despite the best intentions, many people end up making the wrong decision.
This is why it is so important to think carefully before setting off on what could be the wrong path.
Here’s what Peter should think about when considering John’s care options:
Type of care
The type of residential care John needs now (and moving forward):
Bearing in mind John’s interests, it will be important to find somewhere that has good food and a nice garden. He would love an open environment with plenty of wildlife. Location is important, particularly if Louise and Peter want to continue seeing their dad on a weekly basis.
This is urgent – but it needs to be right. Any move, however much of a relief it is for John, will be an upheaval. We’re here to help.
For free support and guidance on how to find the right care home, call the Autumna advice line on 01892 300 530