Case Studies and Feedback
Bill cares for his wife Rose who has dementia and has very limited mobility. Bill has some support from his two adult children, who both work and live some distance away. Bill’s own health is compromised by his diabetes and eye problems. Bill had become anxious and overwhelmed with his circumstances. He was getting very little respite from his caring role as he devotes most of his time ensuring that Rose gets what she needs and is as comfortable as she can possibly be without considering his own needs. At the initial home visit Bill was unaware of where to go to get information and support for either himself or Rose.
Issues and support provided
Following a carer’s assessment, the following issues were identified and support put in place;
- Issue 1 – Bill has diabetes that has impacted on his sight and he requires regular treatment from a hospital in another town. Rose can’t be left on her own when Bill goes to his appointments and he has no one to come and sit in with Rose.
Support – A referral was made to the sitting-in service so that there was someone to sit with Rose whilst Bill attended his medical appointments
- Issue 2 – Rose had been unable to have a bath or shower due to being unable to get in and out of either the bath or shower. Bill had been assisting Rose with this however this situation was becoming near impossible as Bill was struggling to physically support Rose.
Support – A referral into Occupational Therapy resulted in appropriate adaptations in the bathroom to enable Rose to bathe/shower as independently as possible
- Issue 3 – Bill was receiving virtually no respite from his caring role and was isolated in the community as his caring role was 24/7.
Support – Rose started to attend a daycentre 1 day a week which allowed Bill to meet up with a friend and go walking in the local countryside, looking after both his physical and emotional health
- Issue 4 – Bill was concerned about what would happen to Rose in an emergency situation. He worried about what would happen if he became ill.
Support – We assisted Bill to put together an emergency plan that he shared and agreed with his family so that they would all know what to do if something occurred, the plan was written up with key contacts and phone numbers
- Issue 5 – Bill was becoming less able to take Rose to health appointments due to Rose being less mobile.
Support – With direction Bill self-referred to the community matron service who could provide Rose’s health appointments at the home address.
On subsequent update visits Bill indicated that he felt a lot calmer and better able to cope, he felt he was enjoying life a lot more and getting out of the house a few times a week meant there was always something to look forward to.
Rosie, a full time Carer for her husband John was referred to the GP Liaison Worker by her GP surgery. Her husband John suffers with peripheral artery disease, prostate cancer, chronic pain, poor mobility and has had two heart attacks and a stroke.
Upon meeting Rosie, it became apparent that she had been caring for John for the last 10 years with little support and this has impacted on her own health and wellbeing. Rosie has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, feels isolated, has suffered with panic attacks and doesn’t sleep very well as she constantly checks her husband’s breathing throughout the night.
Through worry for her husband, Rosie was dropping into her GP surgery to see the practice nurse on a regular basis (without an appointment) and was constantly calling either the GP out of hours service or calling an ambulance and taking him to A&E. John reported that she had taken him to A&E approximately 20 times over the last three months. On one occasion he was admitted overnight but every other time he was discharged following an assessment as no medical intervention was required. Rosie reported that she feels more at ease when John has been seen by a nurse or a doctor as this puts her mind at rest. With the average cost of an ambulance being £119 and an A&E attendance being £124 this cost the health service approximately £4860 not including the cost of the contact with the practice nurse and use of the GP out of hours service.
The Carers Health Link Worker:
- Arranged for Rosie to attend some 1-2-1 support sessions and group work to address her anxiety issues
- Connected Rosie with other Carers so she could receive and give some peer support
- Provided Rosie with some condition specific information so she could better understand her husbands’ condition/symptoms
- Referred Rosie to a ‘looking after me’ course for some self-help techniques
- Talked with Rosie about using the 111 service when she is concerned about her husband being in pain as an alternative to presenting at A&E
- Referred Rosie and John to the local Citizens Advice Bureau as they were being harassed by a debt company over their daughter’s debt. They had handed over £300 when a bailiff attended and demanded money leaving them with no money for the rest of the month
- Authorised a food bank voucher as they had no food remaining or means of buying any until they were next paid
- Referred Rosie and John for a benefit check to ensure they were claiming all they were entitled to.
Since the support has been put in place, Rosie has not called an ambulance nor taken John to A&E. Rosie stated that she now feels it is unlikely that her caring role would break down whereas she felt at breaking point before meeting the GP Liaison Worker.
“Tablets for my anxiety are OK but they don’t fix my issues. It’s the little things that you have helped me with that has taken huge pressure off me. Now that I have the Carers Hub to talk to, I feel so much better.”