My dad died last year and my mum has been living with me since then. She has pains in her legs and was told that she'd probably need a hip replacement in due course but otherwise she was OK. Then four weeks ago she had a stroke. She's currently in the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
She'd lost movement on her right side and also couldn't talk properly. She's been seeing a speech and language therapist daily and her speech is improving. She also has increased movement in her right arm and can now turn and raise it above her head.
The physio originally told me that she'd be going to St Marks' Hospital in Maidenhead for her rehab but now I've been told that she'll be going to Woking instead due to her postcode. This is over 40 miles away, which is much too far for me and too expensive - I only have pension credit and a carers allowance. I didn't know what I could do.
The hospital asked me to come to a case conference. Before that date though I called Grace Consulting and asked them for advice on what I should say. The Care Adviser was great. She listened to the situation and understood my concerns immediately.
The Care Adviser suggested I should argue in the case conference that it is in my mother's best interests that I should be able to visit her and I wouldn't be able to do so if she was 40 miles away. That was apparently the key phrase – best interests.
I attended the conference and argued my case. If I hadn't been briefed by the Care Adviser I wouldn't have said anything! It proved impossible for my mother to be moved to St Mark's as they didn't have the facilities. However, the panel ruled that it was not in my mother's best interests to move to Woking, as I would be unable to visit, and instead arranged for her to be discharged back home with care, which was the best possible outcome.
An occupational therapist came out, putting in place a hospital bed, commode and a hoist, and she arranged for 2 carers to visit 4 times a day. The Grace Care Adviser has also sent me really useful information on caring for someone at home, and also a number of options that might be useful to enable me to keep Mum at home when she's better, or as well as she can be. She's also sent me the rules on paying for care so that I can make sure Mum only pays for what she has to and receives all the benefits she's entitled to.
Mum's currently making a good recovery, which is great. I've arranged care for her for when the NHS care stops – the Grace Care Adviser told me how to do this – and also made sure Mum receives direct payments from Social Services to pay for most of this. The Grace Care Adviser has supported me throughout. Without their help and advice I don't know where we would have been.