Advice needed re organising emergency care from a distance

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Fielder, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    Hi.

    I'm new to the forum.

    I would be grateful for any advice.

    This is a summary of my circumstances:

    My 84 year old Mum has dementia (I don't know what type as she refuses to go to a memory clinic). My 88 year old Dad is her carer and has to administer her medications; she is an insulin dependent diabetic. They live in their own house which they own. I am their only child and am disabled myself with Fibromyalgia which often makes me bed-bound or housebound. Travelling is difficult for me. My parents live an hour and half away from me by car, but I can't drive - and to get there by public transport would be a nightmare for me. There are no other blood relatives left in our family and my parents have no friends that would help in an emergency.

    In a situation where, say, my Dad is suddenly taken ill and carted off to hospital (his own health isn't too good) and I can't physically get to my parents house to help my Mum, would social services have an obligation to step in and arrange immediate care for her at least temporarily? My Mum is frail, has had falls (she broke her hip and wrist a year ago) and she gets very confused and has mild incontinence. (My parents aren't rich but have savings in the bank which would make them ineligible for the Local Authority to pay for their care.) I don't have any money to pay for Mum's care in an emergency. There is a neighbour across the road to my parents who would call me in an emergency and probably sit with my Mum for a while until help arrived, but that would be all.

    I've suggested to my Dad that he gets Lasting Power of Attorneys for him with me being his attorney and we go to the Court of Protection to get deputyship for my Mum. He just says he'll think about it. Would my becoming an attorney and/or deputy though mean that social services wouldn't step in to help in and emergency - even though I am disabled myself and can't physically care for my Mum? (Even if I become my Dad's attorney and a deputy for my Mum, it wouldn't necessarily give me instant access to their savings in order to pay for emergency care.)

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me regarding my situation.

    Fielder
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,848
    Female
    Scotland
    Your Mum needs an emergency care plan. I have just spent this afternoon updating my husbands. Where we were three years ago when it was first made is not where we are now. Phone the elderly social care department of your local council and ask for a needs assessment ASAP.

    Good luck,
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,708
    Female
    London
    #3 Beate, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    Social services have a duty of care, so whether you have POA or not won't matter. But you ought to put them on the radar because they can't help if they don't know their circumstances, and having to explain everything when the crisis has already happened is very difficult. My LA gave me a card that says I'm a carer and a number to call with a reference number in case I fall ill or have an accident. They then have to organise urgent care for my OH. It's an carer emergency card scheme.

    Your dad should ask for a carers assessment for himself and a needs assessment for your mum. Social Services should put a care plan into place that gives your dad respite, for example through a day centre, sitters or respite in a home for your mum. He's 88 and should not have to cope on his own, especially if he is in poor health as well. Please impress onto him how important it is to get support and that it doesn't mean he has failed. If he doesn't want to, I would give the council a call myself and express concern for both of them, as they are both elderly and vulnerable, and no action might put both at risk.

    With regards to POA and deputyship, I suggest you download all the forms online and fill them in so all he would have to do is sign in the appropriate places. I guess some of the reluctance comes of not knowing how to go about it but if you present it to him all ready, he might be willing to sign.
     
  4. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    Thanks so much for your reply, Marionq.

    I see that you are located in Scotland - do you happen to know if you can get emergency care plans in England too?
     
  5. joggyb

    joggyb Registered User

    Dec 1, 2014
    119
    Along with the suggestions others have already made, it might be a good idea to do your own research into (private) care agencies in your parents' area who could step in on a temporary basis if an emergency arose.
     
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,848
    Female
    Scotland
    Beate is in London and she is giving you the same advice with additional information. I wouldn't hesitate if I were you.
     
  7. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    Hi Beate,

    Thanks very much for your reply.

    It's such a relief to know that social services have a duty of care, whether I have a POA or not.

    I shall try speaking to my Dad about going on an emergency carer card scheme. (It'll probably fall on deaf ears though as he and my Mum won't want people coming round and asking them a lot of questions...and yet he tells me his worried as to what will happen to Mum if he has to go into hospital and can no longer care for her. He'd like everything to magically fall into place with them not having to be disturbed/bothered by anyone in the slightest :( )

    A very good point/suggestion about getting the LPA forms prepared for my Dad just to sign. I will have to work out who can be a 'certificate provider' for him on the LPA forms though. Maybe his GP will oblige - but it will be difficult to arrange this from a distance, i.e. the certification and witnessing of signatures all in the right sequence etc., as I can't travel due to my own ill health. (It would be so much easier if I lived just around the corner and could oversee everything in stages.) I guess I might have to get a solicitor to organise it all, even though the forms are otherwise easy enough to complete and I know a solicitor will charge a bomb for their services.

    Thanks again,

    Fielder
     
  8. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    #8 Fielder, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    Yes, thanks, joggyb. That certainly is a good idea. I did start to do some research, but hadn't found one that would come out in an emergency (i.e. to include in the middle of the night or at the weekend) in their area (Hornchurch, Essex). I will continue to google some more and, hopefully, I will come up with something...Have now got the LA social services emergency number for vulnerable adults on my phone and on my fridge, so at least that's something, for in the meantime.
     
  9. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    #9 Fielder, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    Thanks, marionq,
    I didn't see Beate's posting at the time of asking you this; I must have been typing to you at the time. I shall phone my Dad tomorrow morning and then social services straight afterwards no matter what my Dad's reaction is. I can't live with the worry otherwise.

    What a wonderful forum this is! - Such quick and helpful and supportive replies! Am so grateful :)
     
  10. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    There are specialists who can help you with the whole POA process for a fee and they often charge less than a solicitor. I used one near me who was very helpful and did everything for us, including filling out all the forms, the home visits to get the signatures, submitting them and explaining everything to my mother and aunt, who are in a similar position to your parents.

    One reason I did it that way was that I knew my aunt (who has dementia) would trust a 'nice man in a suit' more than me and would be more likely to go through with the whole process than if it were me suggesting it to her.

    You could maybe find someone suitable through The Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP).

    What part of the country do you live in?
     
  11. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    Thanks, Sinkhole,

    It would be great to find someone professional like that to do this for me at a reasonable price.

    I've not heard of STEP - Will look them up.

    I'm in Slough, Berkshire and my parents are in Hornchurch, Essex.

    I had to smile when I read about your aunt trusting 'a nice man in a suit' more than you - as I get the impression that that might well be the case with my Mum and me!
     
  12. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    I'll PM you the guy I used as he's in Dartford, Kent which is not too far from Essex. He was very good and the fees were very reasonable, I felt.
     
  13. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    Thank you so much! :)
     
  14. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    #14 Fielder, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    Hi again, Sinkhole,

    The system won't let me send you a pm in reply to your pm. (It's telling me that that is because I'm a new member of the forum and I'm required to have posted 10 times on the forum before being allowed to pm other forum members).

    So, anyway, I'll post my reply to your pm here:

    Thank you for the recommendation - I intend to contact him about my Dad's LPAs. However, with my Mum, I doubt that anyone would be willing to be a 'certificate provider' as, although she knows her own mind about a lot of things, she's almost certainly lost 'mental capacity' legally-speaking...It would be a Court of Protection job with my Dad and me having to apply for 'Deputyship' - more costly and with the Office of the Public Guardian supervising virtually our every move, I understand :(

    Thanks also for the tip about the certified copies. (I've heard that dealing with banks and other institutions when you're someone's attorney can be an absolute nightmare.)

    Kind regards

    Fielder
     
  15. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    OK, understood. Have a chat with John about it anyway as he still may be able to assist with that.

    Whatever happens, the more work you put in now, the less stress and issues you will have to deal with further down the line.
     
  16. jasmineflower

    jasmineflower Registered User

    Aug 27, 2012
    335
    Hi
    It must be such a worry caring from a distance and having your own health problems. I would suggest having a look at your parent's local Alzheimer's Society website and they list all the support services in the local area. We have found them extremely helpful in the past. There are befriending services and care services in there - all the sorts of things you could investigate and get lined up before a crisis occurs.

    J x
     
  17. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    I'll certainly have a chat with him and see what he says.

    If only I could make my Dad see that it's worth the effort now...it's going to be an uphill slog, but I guess I can only try my best to make him in particular see what's got to be in their best interests.

    Thanks again, for your help.
     
  18. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    Will do, thanks very much, jasmineflower. I'll take a look :)
     
  19. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Well yes, it is more costly but from the number of people on the forum who have Deputyships, many of whom have applied without the help of a solicitor, it really isn't very intrusive. Yes you have to keep accurate records but you should do that as an attorney anyway. Now I haven't done it, so I'll leave people who have to weigh in, but don't believe everything you read in the papers. :)
     
  20. Fielder

    Fielder Registered User

    Jan 19, 2016
    82
    #20 Fielder, Jan 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
    Thanks, jenniferpa.

    I've got the feeling that I'll eventually be applying for Deputyship for my Mum (at the point of my Dad not being able to take care of her because I surmise that he won't agree to doing it now) and then later on for my Dad too (because I don't think he'll agree to getting LPAs for himself now and, as he's showing some signs of 'befuddlement', I think he'll probably eventually also need a Deputy).

    When the time comes, I will apply for Deputyships without the help of a solicitor, but I just thought that there'd be more chance of Dad agreeing to getting Deputyship for Mum and LPAs for himself now if a solicitor were to handle it all and explain to him about it. He never listens to me, no matter what approach I take with him and it's a nightmare explaining anything to him over the phone (he's deaf and won't wear his hearing aid) and he doesn't read anything that I send him in the post; it just gets put away 'for later'! :(

    Anyway, it's good to know that Deputyships aren't all that intrusive.
     

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