5 Jul 2016
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“When Mihaela came on the scene it completely changed my life,” says Annie King, whose parents have been cared for by Trinity live-in carers for the past two years. Annie and her husband Andy live just five minutes down the road from her parents, 88-year-old Sheila and 89-year-old Reg Moore. As a close family, Annie was always popping in to see them and for many of their elderly years, Reg and Sheila lived completely self-sufficient lives, pottering in the garden, feeding the birds, cooking and enjoying each other’s company. And then Annie began to notice the changes.
“Mum began falling over and began spending a lot more time in bed. She wasn’t really cooking for Dad and they weren’t getting the nutrition they needed. I could see things weren’t really working but they wanted to remain independent and they couldn’t see how bad the situation had become. They thought they were coping.”
“It was such a difficult time. I wanted to help mum and dad but they didn’t want to let me, so I was trying to help in subtle ways, which wasn’t enough really. In reality, I was running their house as well as our own. It was very difficult.”
Sheila had a fall breaking her hip which took a while to recover from. The following year she fell and broke her other hip. Unfortunately while in the hospital she caught C Difficile the superbug which took nearly a year to recover from. Sheila then fell again breaking her shoulder and this time the hospital wouldn’t discharge her unless the Moore’s had care at home. Annie was relieved that she could now find help for Sheila and Reg and spent much time researching the different options.
“I really didn’t want to see them in a rest home. I wanted Mum to have one-on-one care at home and to be in charge of their own day and she was never going to get that in a rest home.”
“I also wanted them to be in charge of their day. In a home you have to fit in with the routine and it just can’t be as supportive as one-on-one attention.” Live-in care looked to be the most likely option and Annie spent much time shopping around for different care providers. “The hospital gave me quite a lot of different companies but when I talked to Trinity, I just knew they were for me – and they have been brilliant,” she says.
When Sheila came home, she was struggling and it seemed as if dementia was a likely cause. “Mum was just fading away. She didn’t want anyone to come near her and screamed whenever she was washed. Every time I told her she was a lovely mum, though, a big smile would appear all over her face – but I told her the same thing every day. It was like ground hog day. I would tell her every day again and again that she had been married to dad for 65 years. It was heartbreaking.” Her dementia meant she had lost the ability to walk and control bodily functions. “She was spending most of her time in bed. It was really distressing,” explains Annie. “The situation had completely taken over my life. It was exhausting.”
And then the Trinity team matched the carer, Mihaela Enea, with the Moore’s and the situation completely changed.
“All our lives changed when Mihaela arrived. It had been such a horrible situation and within weeks she totally turned it around.”
The house was spick and span and Sheila was up and out of bed in a wheelchair, “looking clean, beautiful and happy,” says Annie. “The house became a spa – Mihaela did her nails, and brushed her hair. Mum was totally pampered. It was wonderful.”
It also allowed Annie to find her own life again.
“I felt so supported when Mihaela arrived. Knowing that she was there for mum and dad was just such a relief. It meant I could get some of my own life back.”
As their needs are changing, The Moores are now looking to get two 24 hour carers and also replace another company that turned up to give the Trinity carers a break “but they have been so unreliable that we are going to give all the work to Trinity. For dementia, having an established routine is very important and Trinity are very aware of that – they have been brilliant in supporting me.”
Mihaela too supported Annie in many different ways. “We had a lot of conversations and she kept telling me that I had to look after myself. She had so many kind words for me. On my birthday she even recorded mum talking about me and I was just so touched. She’s just a very uplifting and wonderful person to be around.”
“Mihaela put her whole life and soul into my mum and dad. It was a miracle really. She has become part of the family, 100%.” says Annie.