mobility aids for my mum

  • 6 replies
  • 14 subscribers
  • 730 views

hello I'm new to this site so a little background.... my 77 yr old mum has just been diagnosed last week with lung cancer and a secondary cancer in her lower spine, she is currently in hospital due to spinal compression from the lesion on her spine , she lives alone in a house so I'm trying to find the right direction to go in to get her the mobility aids she would need to make independent living as easy for her as possible, i:e stair lift ,electric bed, sit to rise electric chair,,commode etc,

would appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction

thank you

  • Hello Shocked and thank you for contacting the Online Community.

    I would encourage you to speak to your mum’s hospital team who should make these kind of arrangements as part of her discharge plan. You can find more information about equipment and changes to the home on page 34 of our booklet Looking After Someone With Cancer.

    I was sorry to hear about your mum’s diagnosis, how do you feel you’re coping with the news?

    We have a team of cancer specialist nurses here on the support line if you have any clinical questions you’d like to ask.

    We also have a Money and Work team who can perform a benefit check for her and give guidance and information about what kind of financial support might be available. They will need information about her income, outgoings and any savings/investments she might have.

    We’re also here for your emotional support Shocked. A loved one being diagnosed with cancer can bring up all sorts of feelings and it can be helpful to talk about these to try and process what’s happening.

    You can call in on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am – 8pm), web chat or email if you’d prefer.

    Take care.

    Alex, Information and Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.

  • Thank you for your advice we have now been given some aids to help mum 

    Things are difficult at the moment although there are 4 siblings working a weekly rota so someone is with mum 24 hrs a day it's hard given we all have life commitments too we had our meeting with her oncologist nurse yesterday for biopsy results she has adenocarcinoma lung spine and lymphnodes and been given the diagnosis of none curable with possibly only low months survival , although a possibility of chemo only to try to prolong life , but with her age and health issues and how weak she is they may not agree to it 

    Me personally am finding it difficult mum is struggling to communicate as she seems to be having alot of difficulties finding her words and often comes out as complete nonsense ( not even proper words) .so she's not speaking much do I sit and not talk to her feeling as I'm ignoring her or talk to her at the risk of her getting upset cause as much ad she tries she can't say what she wants to say do we get help in to help with her care knowing she wouldn't be to happy with that but we struggle to know are we doing things right ( we're not professionals)

    She's not eating well but to try get her to eat she's getting annoyed with us ,I'm sorting her meds out ( 16different sorts) which I'm second guessing all the time have I done it right 

    Now to try and discuss what she wants at this crucial stage,( possible treatment carers no treatment home hospice) when she can't communicate properly ...so hard 

  • Hello Shocked,

    Thank you for reaching out to the Online Community. Your post has been passed on to the nursing team; my name is Fiona and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists here on the Support Line. I’m sorry to hear about your Mum, this must be a difficult time for you and your family.

    There is such a lot for you to take in at the moment, so I’ll try to take one thing at a time.

    Supporting someone you love with advanced lung cancer can be very difficult so it’s good to hear that you have siblings helping. You may already be aware of this, but if your Mum is needing help with her personal care she will be eligible for support under the NHS Continuing Care plan due to her diagnosis. The NHS website explains how to apply for this and also has helpful information about care and support you can get in the home for free.

    It must be very difficult to try to communicate with your Mum if she is struggling to find her words. There are many conditions that can cause this, such as side effects from drugs, infections etc, but it can also be caused by secondaries from her cancer settling in her brain, particularly if you have lung cancer. Sometimes steroids can be given which will improve her symptoms. Another condition, called hypercalcaemia, can also cause confusion. It means that there is too much calcium in the blood and can be treated. If her GP or hospital team aren’t already aware of this then please do contact them to discuss it.

    It's ok to sit with someone and not have a conversation. The most important thing is that you are there with her and keeping her safe.

    It can be nerve wracking trying to manage multiple medications, especially if there are several different carers involved. A dosette pill box is a good idea and there are other good tips here.

    People with cancer can often struggle to eat and drink. The most important thing is to offer her small, frequent amounts of soft/sloppy foods and not to put her under any pressure. There is good information on the Marie Curie website with hints and tips.

    As you say, it’s difficult to know what Mum’s wishes are due to her difficulties in communicating with you. Her GP should be able to help discuss this with Mum and you and ensure that her electronic records are up to date. Some practices include an advanced care plan which will include information such as where Mum would like to be cared for as things change.

    Support in the community can also be provided by the local Palliative Care team. They sometimes work from the local Hospice but Mum’s GP will know who his local palliative care nurse is. The palliative care team ‘s role includes symptom control and a holistic approach to a person living with an incurable illness.

    There is such a lot going on for you all at the moment. You might find it more helpful to give one of our Specialist Nurses a call. We are always happy to help.

    Fiona

    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    Allan-Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist