Advice urgently needed


Registered User
Jul 27, 2007
Hi, I have only posted on here once before and it was a lon time ago.
Well here goes (this is a long one so thanks if you manage to stay with me)
My nan is 85 and has lived alone in a upstairs flat since 1988.
3 years ago she had a fall and broke her hip, she had it operated on and returned home to her flat. We got carers in and they visit once per day, make a sandwhich and a cuppa then leave. In total they spend 15 mins. Occasioanlly she has a district nurse as she suffers from leg ulcers. Other than that the only person that visits in my dad who lives about a mile away but works long hours.
Since my nans fall she has deteriorated and has become confused, depressed and hardly eats. She currently weighs 5 stone 9lb. She has fortisips to help her and rarely eats food provided for her. She hates having carers and reckons she can cope without them and would rather pay my dad but this is not possible.
My nan has stopped washing, dressing, putting her false teeth in and just lays in bed smoking. If we visit her she is never out of bed.
My dad is on holiday at the moment and is back on Sat so my brother and I have taken over the care until then. I don't manage to visit very ofetn as I have a very young baby and as I said she smokes alot. However I have visited every day since my dad has been on holiday.
When I visited I was really shocked to see her, she was thin, emaciated, smoking in bed and using a bucket at the side of her bed to urinate in (although the toilet is next door to her bedroom.
She is unsteady on her feet and is unable to self medicate as she isn't capable.
When I saw her she had dried feacise (spelling?) on her hands and down her nails and her clothes were dirty with cigerette burns in them. Her house is also quite dirty. She says she is self caring but she doesn't even get dressed. GP notes and carers notes all mention she is self caring.
She refuses to get out of bed for the carers and repeats herself all the time and creats stories which are not true. For example she thought my dad was dead in the garage next door, she thought the neighbour had hung himself on the garden fence and now she thinks my dad lives in a sweet shop. She doesn't know what day it is or who has been to visit her. She does recognices faces and names though.

I'm extremly concerned for her wellbeing and worried that she may fall down the stairs, set the house on fire or just dies on her own in the flat.

I think she needs to go into care but my dad says he's made a promise to her that he will never put her in care and she's terrified that she will go to a care home too.

If it was up to me I would have called the social services a long time ago but I think my dad would go mad.

I think my dad also needs more help with her.

I don't know what to do or where to start with her and was just wanting some advice.
She does have a social worker but it's been a while since she last saw her. The GP came to visit the other day and my dad discussed some issues and the GP said what do you want me to do about it. I think the GP wanted my dad to say I want her in care but my dad took it the wrong way and thought the GP was being funny.

My dad can't possibly cope with her and I don't have enough time as I work and have a 7 month old son.

I'm tempted to call somebody and get it all sorted while he is away but I don't know how he would react.

I can't understand why nobody has picked up that she is so bad but it's only till you have spent about half hour with her and she has proper conversation that you can tell that there is something 'not right' but her general apperance is obvious.
I've posted on quite a few boards hoping for advice. Most people say I need to urgently call social services regardless to what my dad thinks and that my nans health and wellbeing is important.

I think she needs help quickly but I'm not sure how things work.
If I call social services what will happen?
How quickly will she be put into care if needed?
Do we pay for care?
Is it social services that I call?

I just have no exoerience of this at all.

many thanks if you got this far. Anna x:(

Linda Mc

Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
Nr Mold
Anna others with experience will reply I know but in the meantime have you Admiral Nurses in your area? You can talk things through with them or Princess Royal Trust for carers and of course use the Alzheimer's helpline.

You really do need to get help not just for your Gran but your Dad too. You never know he may be glad you took the decision from him.

Welcome to TP and good luck.

Linda x


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Anna, it's a big decision, to go behind your dad's back. I'd do as Linda suggests and ring your local AS and PRT and ask them to visit your nan with you.

It does sound as if she needs help urgently, but it would be better if the initiative comes from someone other than you, or you may sour your relationship with your dad.

Incidentally, as your dad does not live with your nan, she could have had direct payments and paid him to care for her. But it sounds as if it is too late for that now.

SS cannot force your nan to go into a home if she absolutely refuses, the only way is to section her, and that might be difficult. Please ring AS and PRT and see what they suggest.

All the best,

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Anna

I have moved your thread to the main support section. You will get a better response there.

I understand your predicament.

Are you the named person who could be called on as next of kin while your father is away? If so, and I was in your position I would seek advice from SS and your grandmother`s GP and anyone else who will listen.

I know that is going behind your father`s back but he might have been forsed into a corner by making a promise he is finding very hard to keep.

If you feel you can justify asking for help I`d say go ahead and ask. It must be dreadful for you to see your grandmother living in such a state.

Of course SS will be unable to do anything against her will but at least your anxieties will be recorded.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
We got carers in and they visit once per day, make a sandwhich and a cuppa then leave. In total they spend 15 mins. Occasioanlly she has a district nurse as she suffers from leg ulcers. Other than that the only person that visits in my dad who lives about a mile away but works long hours.
Just wondering who organized the carer to come around was it social services?

If it was up to me I would have called the social services a long time ago but I think my dad would go mad.
What would he go mad even if you ask for a review of the care plan, because you feel your grandmother needs are getting higher. could your father and yourself not come up with a compromise as he wants to keep his mother out of car home for as long possibility .

As in yourself & your father agreeing that your grandmother care need are getting higher she needs help with a carer to come into wash her also do the house work .

so get social worker in to do another assessment on her care needs.

Of course your granmother going to became very challanging in excepting help from carer , but if your father can get his mother to except more help to help her stay at home , it keep her out of a care home for as long as possible


Registered User
Aug 18, 2006

this sounds like very familiar territory. My husband has two aunts that live together and they have a very poor quality of life. One has been in hospital at least three times with hypothermia and other problems, the other just lies on the sofa doped up on oralmorph because she too has ulcers. The house is exceptionally cluttered and neither ever baths as the bath is full of all kinds of rubbish they have collected. They still have an open fire and one of them has burned herself several times tying to light it. They live off biscuits, sweets and soft drinks as neither of them can cook anymore (though they did have meals on wheels for a while). Care plans have been initiated but when carers arrive they won't open the door etc. They both clearly have mental health issues but as spinsters neither has a child to push issues for them and none of the nieces and nephews really want some of the skeletons coming out of the cupboards. Hubby tried to get them help alerting their GP and social services that's how meals on wheels were arranged, but since they keep refusing access he says he can do no more. Unfortunately unless the person in need is "sectioned" they must consent to help however bad the conditions are that they are living in. By all means seek advice but I really think you are going to find this a very difficult issue - good luck.


Registered User
Feb 13, 2008
I'm so sorry for you, and more than sorry, but I have no experience of this so am unable to help you out. It does sound as though things needs to be sorted out urgently. When does your dad get back from holiday? Is it possible to see the carers?
I know there will be others on here who can give you the much needed advice you require.
Thinking of you
Love AndreaX


Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
Hi Anna

Life really has decided to throw everything at you at once, hasn't it. Impossible to meet all the needs of your baby (who HAS TO BE your priority), your Nan and your Dad. I wonder how much support you might expect from your brother if he now has some idea of the true situation?

My thoughts are these:-

Until we are faced with dementia in our own family, very few of us have ANY IDEA what it entails (apart from those working in the 'caring professions').
We cannot conceive that Mum - or whoever - could possibly get into such a state of mind, or of personal deterioration and squalor.
Therefore when your Dad made his promise to Nan, probably many years ago (? 1988, when she first started living alone?) neither of them would have imagined in their worst dreams that she would ever get into the state which you describe.

Is it possible to employ a softly-softly approach with Dad, and express your concern about the dangers your Nan is in? He might be very relieved to have someone to discuss it with, so long as you don't wade straight in with "she needs to be in a home" (as I'm sure you wouldn't do.)
The weight of that promise must be very heavy for him, given that he has his own (working) life to keep up with.
Also a son doesn't often have the same intimate hands-on contact with his mother as would a female relative. Therefore his observations of her physical state are likely to be less acute or detailed than your own. He may be genuinely unaware of how bad things are or, if he knows, at a loss as to how to address them. [Please, male carers reading, I'm sure you understand this comment isn't meant to be sexist or derogatory in any way.]

BUT - I understand that it would help no-one if such an attempt at discussion just resulted in a big row & a family rift. He does sound very touchy (ie his reaction to the GP's remark). Many carer's trying to do their best for ageing parents are touchy & stressed out. :eek: I'm one of them!

My Plan B would be to write to Nan's GP telling him everything you have told us here (& more if there is more :eek:) with no holds barred & expressing your worries. Whilst 'confidentiality' might prevent him from discussing Nan with you - although you might be pleasantly surprised and get a positive response - it does not prevent him from considering relevant information about his patient from a concerned family member.

Do you think that Nan and your Dad "put on a show" and cleaned up for when the GP visited recently? Make sure you mention that she does not take her medication, that "self-caring" is no longer applicable, and that the District Nurse sees her periodically. And that her Social Worker is not aware of the state she's in.

It may still all come to nothing. But at least you would know that you've tried.

Best wishes
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Registered User
Jun 7, 2008
My heart goes out to you. Im very new on here, I found this site after my husband and I found ourselves in a similar position, but I have to be honest, we are not so far down the line. I feel that any promises that have been made need to be rethought as the situation changes. In my heart of hearts I tend to agree fully with the advice given. There is so much help out there, we turned to the gp first then got refered on, I have made it clear we want my aunt to stay in her home for as long as possable, and we have changed our lives to be with her, but not everyone can do this, and from what Ive read I think you are a very brave young lady, who is talking alot of sence. your nan needs help, and your Dad is probably too close to the situation emotionally, please dont get me wrong...I know you are too, but you arent the one who has made promises. If anything did happen to her, Im sure your Dad would look back on this and carry alot of guilt about it all. I think Id be inclinded to have a chat with the gp and see what they suggest. Her weight really worries me, its no wonder she doesn't get out of bed, she probably doesnt have the energy. Just one more thing, why not give this boards helpline a call, thats how I hooked up on here, sorry I dont have the number, but Im sure one of the admin will supply it. I spoke to a fantasic guy who really told me what was available in my area.
Thinking of you


Registered User
Aug 18, 2006
fresh idea...

Anna I was thinking about your circumstances last night and I suddenly thought - would your dad be willing to go and look at a few care homes without any other pressure than looking. Sometimes fear is the thing that makes us so reluctant to make a decision for care but if he has never been in a home he has no idea what they are like. You might choose to be a bit crafty and do some local research yourself first and then only suggest ones that seem quite nice. Or maybe explain to him about things like day centres that have a respite facility as well. maybe a few days once a month of your Nan being looked after properly, fed, bathed etc might be enough of a stabilising factor to enable her to regain some strength. I know locally there is one sheltered housing unit and one care home I wold NEVER allow my Mum to go in, but there are others that seem quite pleasant and I have heard good things of. They all vary so much. Just make sure you agree there's no pressure it's purely so you both have an idea what these places are really like and are not basing your experience on a few negative press articles - which is the only knowledge most of us have. Good luck

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