Support & care at home v nursing home

Our dad has spent the last week in hospital, we thought early aspiration/chest infection problems. They put him on an antibiotic drip for a couple of days, then moved to oral antibiotics and sent him home. The Hospital at Home team visited for 2 days and are now about to discharge him back to GP care.

He looks so ill, and in the last few weeks we have seen a really rapid decline - speech has practically gone, sleep/eyes shut much more, crackly chest and phlegm, choking even on porridge. They say he is fine - on paper he is healthy - heart, lungs, pulse, bloods etc all good. Last time he was like this he recovered really well although it took a few months (in a cottage hospital) - this time just not sure how it's going to go and they say he is fine to stay at home.

Sister and me just not sure where to turn next. He lives alone too which is a worry. At what point do we need 24 hour care? He's on maximum care package now which is 2 carers x 4 slots/day. We have a Parkinson's nurse we have contacted, this seems to be the best option in our area (central Scotland) for advice and services.

Just wondering if anyone else at this stage?

11 Replies

  • Hi Fiona

    I hate to say this but if your dad lives alone it may be time to consider a good nursing home?! He surely can't manage alone, bless him! Hugs to you x

  • Hi - that was fast! Thanks. I suspect we will have to start looking, but we are also hoping that we'll see an improvement and I guess put it off for a bit. He wants to stay home, and I feel we'll be letting him down. But I also know we have to put his quality of care first. Tough times.

    F x

  • Aww Fiona, I'm so sorry but my view is things don't improve with Psp so personally if I were you I'd start looking now! I'm so sorry if this sounds like a harsh reply, it isn't meant to be just airing on the side of realistic x

  • Hi Fiona, now is the time I hate to say. If he is choking on porridge he can choke on anything including phlegm so even if he is only eating when the carers are there, he could choke when he is alone.

    I hope he understands this and it's not too stressful for you and your sister.


  • Thanks Nanna B for your advice too. Taking it all on. I have the weekend away with my kids, so we will start the process when I get back. fx

  • Hi, I am shocked that the hospital even allowed him home to be alone. As NannaB has said, if he is choking on Porridge, then he will choke on anything, which is very dangerous. Sorry, I don't want to frighten you.

    What's his movement like, how does he manage to go to the toilet when alone?

    I really think the time has come for your Dad to move into a nursing home. I know it might not be what he wants but there comes a time in everyone's life, that what is best for you, is not necessarily what you want. His safety and well being has to be the most important thing.

    Sending big hug and much love at this stressful time for you and your family.

    Lots of love


  • Hi Heady. He has continence care x 4 daily when the carers are in. Has been incontinent about a year now I guess. The carers get him out of bed with a hoist, wash & dress him, feed him and leave him in his chair until the next carers come in. Carers are brilliant I have to say - he has his regular ones and they call us whenever he seems a bit poorly, as they are used to his condition. But I know this can't go on for ever. Until a few weeks ago he could still chat, watch TV, drink by himself - now all of that is gone. So sad.

    Thanks for your time and care.

    F x

  • Hey Fiona,

    I have to agree with Satt it may be time to look into a good nursing home. And I am sorry to say any improvement is not enough and infact I doubt you will ever see an improvement that leaves you feeling comfortable with his situation...If he does not need care immediatly he will in 3 to 6 maybe you have some time to find a good nursing home or family member who can take good care of him...

    Good luck


  • Definitely time to identify a good nursing home, ideally one near you or your sister so you can visit easily and regularly. If you find the right one, there will probably be a waiting list so I would get on it as soon as possible.


  • Thanks everyone. This is a forum I have dipped in and out of without getting really involved. Thanks for taking the time.

  • Hi Fiona,

    Definitely the time to start looking for a nursing home. You have all done extremely well to keep going this long, but for safety`s sake, I would say now is the time for more care. Your Dad may even enjoy the company as there will be people around all the time.

    Best wishes to you all.


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