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My father passed away; leaving diabetic mother home alone?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Brooke96, Oct 12, 2018 at 2:28 PM.

  1. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    Hi,

    My Dad died on 10/06, and now it's just my 63 y/o mother and I living together in a rural area. My mother has type 1 diabetes, and considering our finances are up in the air, I need to get a full-time job. My mother does a pretty good job taking care of her diabetes...however I'm afraid that when I am working, her blood sugar will go too low or she'll go into DKA, and won't be stable enough to call 911.

    I've thought of getting her life-alert. I know that senior-safety also goes to rural communities. Or maybe a symptom-detector? But that costs around $500...

    Does anyone have any advice, or suggestions?
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
  2. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brooke, so sorry to hear about your Dad. Was he looking after your Mum's diabetes then along with your Mum? I note your Mum is only 63 and you say she is doing a pretty good job of it, what makes you think she will go too low or into DKA? x
     
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  3. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum.
    I hope that you can find some way around the problem.
    My first thought was if you might find a job where you can work from home for at least some of the time - my daughter and son in law were in America for some years, but have returned to England and kept the same jobs as they can do the work and interact with colleagues using the internet.
    How capable is your mother?
    At one of the shops not far from me there is a son and mum team, she looks after the till and he does everything else around the shop. She needs a wheelchair to get about, but she seems to enjoy chatting with the customers.
    My daughter in law can't get about much but she is making things to sell - started trying out ideas on school friends of the offspring and is now building up a reputation and getting orders from far and wide. There are on line places to sell crafts if you have any talent in that direction.
    I just remembered a couple I knew decades ago - they worked at the same place and it closed down - they were in danger of loosing their home, but I taught them how to make simple knitted hats using a knitting machine. They made up their own designs and were willing to take orders for schools or sports teams in the proper colours, or make images - the local pony club had horses heads in the right colours to match the mounts of each individual. You can't get that sort of personalization very easily.
     
  4. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am very sorry to hear about your situations.

    I expect it must be very difficult to think about your mother's condition especially after losing your father so recently.
    Have you spoken to her about what she wants? She may appreciate your concern but she may not want to be the added burden of senior safety or symptom detectors.
    Every 63 year old is different and every person with diabetes is different so it is not easy to know how your mother will cope or what she likes.
    If your concern is that she will be alone for long periods of time whilst you are working, are there any groups your mother can join and spend time with. I am not suggesting they look after her diabetes but they can keep an eye on her and spot if she is behaving as if her BG is not under control.

    Another thought is whether it is possible to fund a CGM or Libre for your mother? I ask because many of these can be monitored remotely which would give you the chance to keep an eye on your mother BG whilst you are away and contact her if you are concerned by high or low readings.
     
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  5. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Expert

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    Your profile says you are 22 and your mum is 63.. now I'm 56 so a lot nearer your mum's age than yours. Is there any reason why she wouldn't be able to cope on her own at home? Sad news about your dad but how long has your mum been Type 1?
     
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  6. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum @Brooke96 and my condolences for the loss of your father. I'm Type 2 so I don't get DKAs, but I live alone, and I'm 67 so I'm aware that I need to be able to contact help if anything should happen to me.

    If your mother can use a mobile phone you should be able to set up an emergency contact to your mobile (assuming you both have one), where she only needs to press one number to phone you (or anyone else). It would mean that she needs to keep her phone within reach, which I don't usually.
     
  7. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That's useful advice Prem51 but I get the impression the problem may arise if his Mum (as a type 1 on insulin presumably) goes into a hypo and is unable to do anything about it? My Mum did this constantly and so the first anyone knew of it was when she didn't answer her phone and we would then rush round and find her on the floor. That's why we need to know more about Brooke's Mum and her exact circumstances. If she is very prone to hypo's, different tactics will be needed.
     
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  8. Fairygodmother

    Fairygodmother Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Brooke96, much sympathy winging its way to you following your father’s death, and hugs.
    I can understand, I think, how you’ve been brought face to face with mortality and it’s quite natural to be concerned about your mother.
    How long has she been T1?
    Does she manage the condition herself or did she rely on your father for help?
    Do her blood sugars fluctuate a lot?
    Is she under the care of a good group of medics?
    You could help by leaving a stash of jelly babies to hand in every room of the house and making sure she has some in her handbag so she’s got a hypo treatment with her when she goes out.
    If she has a mobile phone you could text her regularly; she could like the frequent contact anyway following her husband’s death.
    If you have neighbours you could, with your mother’s permission, ask them to pop in occasionally.
    Many of us have lived with T1 for decades and we’re still here.
     
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  9. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    Her blood sugar only goes low on occasion, not that often, and usually at night. My Dad would always wake up and be there for her when necessary. But she has gone through a tremendous amount of stress these past couple of years, and has been hospitalized twice for DKA where they also misdiagnosed her with congestive heart failure. But she hasn't had any recent episodes. It's just that she's since my Dad's passing it's been difficult to get her to eat, so I'm afraid she won't take as good of care of herself as she used to and go low or have something happen...she is adamant that she's going to take care of herself and that it will be absolutely fine, I just want someone to be there in case that happens. .. I can't lose two parents.
     
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  10. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    I've thought about working from home, it's just also very depressing for me to sit in the house my Dad died in...I feel like I need to be out in the world and meeting people, and making friends since I haven't any at this time. My mom has all her wits about her, I feel like she's certainly capable, I just don't know how much the stress of losing my Dad will affect that.
     
  11. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    Yeah, for now she doesn't want me to leave her and so she doesn't want me to get a job...but I feel like it's necessary for me and she knows that also. So she maintains that I shouldn't worry about her, and that leaving her alone to go to work is okay. I'd love for her to get into a support group. It's just living 45 min away from the city that makes things so difficult.
     
  12. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    Thank you, my Mom has been a type 1 since she was around 36.
     
  13. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    Yeah, I need to teach her how to use a cell phone! She doesn't know how to even turn on a computer. We've got a lot to learn together.
     
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  14. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    She doesn't go low too often, it's really just my anxiety about losing another parent. I can give any more info if needed.
     
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  15. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Does the house have a bit of land around it? As you are in a rural area could you put up polytunnels and grow vegetables for sale? - breed chickens so people can have kitchen scrap recyling egg laying pets? How about keeping angora rabbits as their fur is valuable and if properly cared for they are easy to look after. Years ago I knew a woman who kept the rabbits, hand spun the fur with silk, then knitted boleros with the yarn and they sold for hundreds of pounds.
    You would need to research the things you are allowed to do, of course, but consider any possible option. Don't sit around dwelling on sad thoughts and dismal possibilities, that is the worst option.
     
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  16. Brooke96

    Brooke96 · Member

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    Thank you everyone for your responses!!!
     
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