Moved home, no housing for animals

GD91

Songster
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
504
38
118
UK
I need ideas guys.

Basically a week ago I had a phone call from the hospital announcing that my grandmother was being released home & needed someone to live in with her. "Just great" I thought "Ok, I don't mind staying with her temporarily."

Then I was told later on in the week it would have to be a permanent arrangement by the council workers because she was too old to live alone! Huh!?!

Long story short, me & my partner moved our animals very fast after 3 days because I just couldn't leave my nan to go & care for them at our home. My partner has been working very hard & was too busy & this move has knocked us heavily because we had little warning.

My grandmother is in her 80's, diabetic, nearly totally blind & losing her hearing with severe mobility issues. So far she has remained in bed & is in much pain from kidney stones & arthritis. She refuses to go in a home & being of sane mental health she cannot be forced to do anything. We also recently had the news that my grandfather has cancer & he is hooked up in hospital. They are now just waiting for him to pass away. All this has been in the past 10 days.


At my grandmothers there is only a garage, a conservatory & a tiny shed. The shed is where I've been keeping the 4 chickens, but they are very unhappy because the shed is tiny, only 2 x 1 ft of floor space. Its not at all suitable.

The large garage has white goods in there & no natural light can get in. Also, there are chemicals etc

The conservatory is not suitable but I've had to put a broody hen in there & a quail.


There is also the added issue that I am not allowed to change ANYTHING drastically. So I can't make anything suitable out of what we've got except the tiny shed.

I've also got 17 rabbits, 14 of which are kits, in just a double decker hutch.


All of my animals housing is back at our home & is too large to move
She has a big wild garden, but says she doesn't want it taken over by animals.

However, if she wishes to remain at home, I stated firmly, then the animals are here to stay to. I'm not giving up my life to someone else altogether. So far she has been extremely demanding & on top of it all she & my grandfather have been hoarding for the past 4 years.

Council workers are involved with reablement workers coming in & out 4 x a day, but she keeps being abusive towards them & says she only wants looking after by me. But I want them involved since they can take her out of the house to the community center etc once she's had her stones sorted out & is in less pain. She doesn't speak to people or do anything & she just wants to lie in bed in a dirty home & watch / listen to the tv & the radio.

She's also incontinent & has already suffered 2 infections since she has come home because of a stent she has in. She has loads of pads available, but insists on trying to dry out the old dirty ones on the bathroom radiator to reuse
I just chuck 'em.

Basically, she's very set in her ways & hard to deal with.

But.... back to the animals.

I've got a pen at home I'm going to try & move up here & I'm working on a 3 tier hutch for the rabbits I'm keeping, but again thats back at the flat. I had loads to do with the arrival of the new babies & its all just been thrown up in the air. I've got a big shed to convert to a smaller coop at the flat to, but I just can't get up there to do it & nobody is willing to sit with my grandmother while I try & sort things out.
I've got other things to sort out to besides the animals....
I've been working into the ground cleaning her house.

Why does nobody care about the impossible situation I've been put in!?! If someone would just give me some time I could do it all. I really sympathy with people in the same boat as me now because there are NO big breaks longer than an hour.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
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Oh honey....


What a huge thing tossed on you! Good for you for stepping up, but you also have to have boundaries with your Grandma. You can not be responsible for her 24/7, it's just impossible. I'm a Home Health nurse and have seen this over and over--trying to do that is a good recipe for a breakdown of some sort on your part, physical and/or emotional.

I'm not familiar with your home care set-up in the UK, so I'm going to advise you as if you were in the US, and you can translate best you can to what's available to you


Start with the social worker. Here she'd be called the MSW, or maybe case worker. She's the one responsible for making sure the caregivers are appropriate. She's where you'll go to to find respite care. I'm not sure if your coverage would include caregivers, or if you (or Grandma) would have to pay privately. Grandma's funds can be used to pay for caregivers, at least here in the US. She may say she doesn't have the money, or doesn't want them, but she has no choice. You can't do it 24/7 and need a break. This in non-negotiable. The social worker can give you a list of available caregivers. Don't worry about Grandma being abusive to them, trust me it's not the first time for them. They'll keep her safe, clean and fed while you take care of your own business.

This sounds bad, but in my mind, if you're living there, it's your home, too. From the sounds of things, she's not out strolling in the garden anyway. Put up the housing you need for your animals. How's she going to know? I'm thinking if she's good enough to go out inspecting the property, she's good enough to live on her own. If there are family members who would tattle on you, sounds like they're volunteering to live in for a while.

I'm not sure what your 'reneablement" folks are, is that like physical therapy? Ask them if you need to be there when they're there. Sometimes the family needs to be present to be taught how to do something, but often not. Families often use our visits to take a quick break. I'd encourage you to do the same.

Bottom line is, you need help. No one can do this all the time. She may be of sound mind, but she can't dictate every bit of her care. If you wind up having a meltdown, where's that going to leave her?
 

GD91

Songster
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
504
38
118
UK
Oh honey....


What a huge thing tossed on you! Good for you for stepping up, but you also have to have boundaries with your Grandma. You can not be responsible for her 24/7, it's just impossible. I'm a Home Health nurse and have seen this over and over--trying to do that is a good recipe for a breakdown of some sort on your part, physical and/or emotional.

I'm not familiar with your home care set-up in the UK, so I'm going to advise you as if you were in the US, and you can translate best you can to what's available to you


Start with the social worker. Here she'd be called the MSW, or maybe case worker. She's the one responsible for making sure the caregivers are appropriate. She's where you'll go to to find respite care. I'm not sure if your coverage would include caregivers, or if you (or Grandma) would have to pay privately. Grandma's funds can be used to pay for caregivers, at least here in the US. She may say she doesn't have the money, or doesn't want them, but she has no choice. You can't do it 24/7 and need a break. This in non-negotiable. The social worker can give you a list of available caregivers. Don't worry about Grandma being abusive to them, trust me it's not the first time for them. They'll keep her safe, clean and fed while you take care of your own business.

This sounds bad, but in my mind, if you're living there, it's your home, too. From the sounds of things, she's not out strolling in the garden anyway. Put up the housing you need for your animals. How's she going to know? I'm thinking if she's good enough to go out inspecting the property, she's good enough to live on her own. If there are family members who would tattle on you, sounds like they're volunteering to live in for a while.

I'm not sure what your 'reneablement" folks are, is that like physical therapy? Ask them if you need to be there when they're there. Sometimes the family needs to be present to be taught how to do something, but often not. Families often use our visits to take a quick break. I'd encourage you to do the same.

Bottom line is, you need help. No one can do this all the time. She may be of sound mind, but she can't dictate every bit of her care. If you wind up having a meltdown, where's that going to leave her?
The Re-ablement staff are a service provided by the NHS here to help her & stopped by 4 times a day, now only 2 times a day & they stay only for a minute because they have a zero tolerance towards abuse ( hence, all my nan has to do is mutter a swearword & they shoot out the door, very useful since she has got onto this fact
) . Yes, we also have a Social Worker who is involved. I was told by her & the head of the re-ablement team that nan would otherwise not be allowed to remain at home with nobody present.
Although I do not fully understand why the re - ablement team are involved since they are supposed to help people recover from strokes or injuries & get back to their old selves. My grandmother is neither of these things, she is simply going downhill from old age & Its end of life care she requires. She has a lot of money & being of sound mind, therefore can not be forced to do anything. She is in a lot of pain & on morphine, I think the pain fuels her frustration along with her lack of ability to make a change. She can not for instance, put the washing machine on or cook her own tea. Both grandparents have been in & out of hospital for the past 5 years because they simply wouldn't make any changes to their lives.

As for the chickens, I've put the shed on its back, wired one side & part of the top & turned it into a little coop, perch & all. They have 3 x 5 ft of space now & seem much happier. Its only for at night, they freerange the garden in the day. I've got a tarp to put on top to keep the rain out.

Now its just the rabbits
Separated the kits from their mums today since the does have been getting increasingly impatient with them. Got them in a cardboard box in the dining room, all 14 of them. Guess I just stick them in with their mums once a day or something. They are only 3 weeks old or so.

I'm going to have to get the run up here
it will hold all 14 kits easily even when fully grown.
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
It is so nice that she has you to look after her, but I agree with donrae that you need to make sure that you have time to attend to your life's business too!

She needs to stop being mean to the staff- tell her this!! Maybe she needs to hear it from you that you need the help in caring for her! It is really too much for one person to handle. It is not right that you cannot leave her to attend to business somewhere else sometimes.

And your animals should be allowed to stay in her garden.


She is your family, but you need to set this up so it can be sustainable for you- otherwise you will be trapped with no respite.
 

JadedPhoenix

Songster
7 Years
Oct 29, 2012
1,211
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Tyro-Lexington, NC
The Re-ablement staff are a service provided by the NHS here to help her & stopped by 4 times a day, now only 2 times a day & they stay only for a minute because they have a zero tolerance towards abuse ( hence, all my nan has to do is mutter a swearword & they shoot out the door, very useful since she has got onto this fact
) . Yes, we also have a Social Worker who is involved. I was told by her & the head of the re-ablement team that nan would otherwise not be allowed to remain at home with nobody present.
Although I do not fully understand why the re - ablement team are involved since they are supposed to help people recover from strokes or injuries & get back to their old selves. My grandmother is neither of these things, she is simply going downhill from old age & Its end of life care she requires. She has a lot of money & being of sound mind, therefore can not be forced to do anything. She is in a lot of pain & on morphine, I think the pain fuels her frustration along with her lack of ability to make a change. She can not for instance, put the washing machine on or cook her own tea. Both grandparents have been in & out of hospital for the past 5 years because they simply wouldn't make any changes to their lives.

As for the chickens, I've put the shed on its back, wired one side & part of the top & turned it into a little coop, perch & all. They have 3 x 5 ft of space now & seem much happier. Its only for at night, they freerange the garden in the day. I've got a tarp to put on top to keep the rain out.

Now its just the rabbits
Separated the kits from their mums today since the does have been getting increasingly impatient with them. Got them in a cardboard box in the dining room, all 14 of them. Guess I just stick them in with their mums once a day or something. They are only 3 weeks old or so.

I'm going to have to get the run up here
it will hold all 14 kits easily even when fully grown.
This may seem harsh but at this point, I'd go to her and say either she loosens the reins and lets you do what you need to do for your animals or you are out. You say she has plenty of money so let her hire someone to live there with her if she is in sound mind as you say and have the means. I truly believe that she needs to be responsible for her actions. If she can't live without someone there with her then she needs to make an effort to keep you there if she wants it to be you. Otherwise, she can pay both the consequences and for the caregivers.

I'm saying this as someone who has been my mother's caregiver since I was twelve so I've been there at that point where you have no time for yourself. I am now my husband's caregiver as well. It is NOT selfish to take care of yourself. As was stated above, if you don't take care of yourself, where will that leave your grandma?
Hugs and prayers for you.
 

mumofsix

Songster
5 Years
Feb 21, 2014
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I hope things get better for You. I'll pray for You and add You to the Prayer list at Church. No matter what DON'T get rid of Your Pets. I almost lost My mind when My Husband of 33 years passed away . . I couldn't even get dressed ,answer the phone or door or turn on the lights at night.But I was never alone ..God was with me.Then I got the Leghorns Hubby wanted Me to have . I had no choice but to get dressed and take care of Them .Now I know He ordered ( I didn't know) Them to take care of Me. By the way when Your Granny starts swearing tell Her God is hearing everything She says . I know it WORKED at the Veteran's Home where My grandpa stayed. Hey I would help You with Her If We lived close . Sometimes Family treats Strangers better then Their Kin. Also I"m so Sorry about Your Grandpa Cancer has taking So many of My Loved Ones . Please take care of YOURSELF FIRST.
when things start to get bad wrap Your ARMS AROUND YOURSELF AND YOU WILL BE GETTING A HUG FROM ME
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
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Jun 18, 2010
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Maybe I'll cross the pond and work for your NHS....we put up with all sorts of crap from patients and families
. Course, our companies are a private business in it for profit, that kinda puts a whole nother spin on things....

Sounds like Grandma needs to pony up some $$ for a paid caregiver. At this point, she's not going to get any better, correct? She may make a quick exit, or she may hang around in this condition another year. I don't see you lasting that long, from your post. She needs to start being responsible for her long term arrangements. I know it sucks from her point of view, I'm have a father who just went on hospice and is quite angry. But, circumstances don't always wait for us to be good and comfy with them before we need to deal with issues.
 

TheEggCollecter

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
520
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I am so sorry that this is all happening to you at once.
I would try making some space for the chickens out of anything you can find. See if you can convince your grandmother to let you use the garden. Tell her that you wont put a bunch of animals in there, you will only put a few in at a time and let them have at it for a little bit. Then you could take them out and put some others in. Basically, they would all have there share of exercising. Not sure what to do with your rabbits.
 

GD91

Songster
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
504
38
118
UK
Maybe I'll cross the pond and work for your NHS....we put up with all sorts of crap from patients and families
. Course, our companies are a private business in it for profit, that kinda puts a whole nother spin on things....

Sounds like Grandma needs to pony up some $$ for a paid caregiver. At this point, she's not going to get any better, correct? She may make a quick exit, or she may hang around in this condition another year. I don't see you lasting that long, from your post. She needs to start being responsible for her long term arrangements. I know it sucks from her point of view, I'm have a father who just went on hospice and is quite angry. But, circumstances don't always wait for us to be good and comfy with them before we need to deal with issues.
On the contrary, I cared for her for a year, 2 years ago while my grandfather was in a care home. I've stayed & looked after them both on & off for the past 4 years when one or the other was in hospital. Unfortunately my grandfather was too abusive to stay in the home with them both together. They both had this "Its us against the world" attitude & behaved like everything & everyone was against them, no matter what. Funnily enough, this attitude only appeared really when they were together. They used to egg each other on.

That is why family won't get involved.

With my grandmother, I've found its better to hand her the tools & stand back & only assist when needed than try & treat her like an infant, even if it does take an hour to get her dressed
She does give me money & praise, but she is also a very snappy & demanding person. Today she has been ok.... no issues. We found out She's got to go in hospital at 8am so I will get a break then because she is having a small operation done.

Your employers should change the rules a little. No need to put up with swearing etc. My nan only does that to the people coming in, not to me. I've already threatened to walk out only 2 days in & she was nice as pie after that. I think she realized how much she depends on me now. Now we are nearly 14 days in & she is just so needy in the way of you just can't leave her alone. She can't even work the phone if anything happened.
She also thinks bacteria doesn't really exist, its just a scare story.
 
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