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Anyone engaged an independent social worker?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Normaleila, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    Desperate for help.
    Briefly: my aunt, PWD, is much worse. Many distressed phone calls to many people including police. Police and GP visited Friday. GP says nothing he can do - has written to SS and psychiatrist.
    Saturday: aunt phoned me - thinks her husband still alive - just lost and about to be found - there will be newsflash. 999 and ambulance took her to hospital.
    Sunday: discharged - sent home in a taxi.
    Monday: carer couldn't get in - door locked from inside. Police attended and forced entry. Was in bed asleep.
    Last night: police called me at 9pm. Neighbour and a stranger she keeps phoning had reported concerns after distressing calls. (But she'd been ok when I spoke to her at 6.15 and when carer left at 7.45) No family local - I'm 100 miles away. Police said they'd visit but haven't yet. Think they're waiting for carer visit at 10.45.
    SW left at Xmas. Phoned SS this morning - hasn't been allocated a new SW yet and they won't allocate till Monday.!!!!
    At our wits' end! Would it help to pay for advice from an independent social worker?
    We're sure she needs to be safe and cared for in a dementia home but she refuses. Sure she lacks capacity. What can we do?
    We've been trying to get help for a year. She'd be self-funding.
  2. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    Well here I am answering my own question! I found an independent social worker by googling and finding the British Association of Social Workers handbook. I picked someone with experience of dementia and based in the local area.
    I appreciate that not everyone needs this help or can afford it, but it's already been very useful and reassuring for myself and my sister.
    If anyone is interested, I'll keep posting details here.
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Maybe on the one hand feeling they were being scrutinised from the outside might make social services more focused, on the other hand if the people inside the system can't do anything how would someone outside the system be able to do more?
    I can see how a "poacher turned gamekeeper" might achieve something and keep the local SS on the ball but you don't need to be an expert to spot how badly (due in part to the shortage of resources) some LA's are coping.
    As you say she'll be self funding and doesn't want to go into care then the only option might be to get her sectioned but how this can be done "privately" I don't know.
    My wife was/is sectioned and the team were 6 people at the sectioning meeting.
    What an independent social worker can do on their own I don't know, other than under section I don't see how you can make her go into care, a best interests meeting (which my wife had too) decided she had to go into care and from memory there were 8 people there all of whom had assessed her.
  4. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    We got nothing in writing from SS but they told us we must 'trick' her into a care home. Family and neighbours also want her in a care home. We felt if she stayed at home we could be accused of neglect but if we forced her into a care home at this stage it would be a breach of her human rights.
    The independent SW has completed a visit report and a risk assessment strategy and started an 'In Principle' decision-making balance sheet. He has written a report on her mental capacity and explained that although she lacks capacity it is currently more risky to move her than to leave her at home.
    We understand things much better now and feel reassured that we'll have his support as matters progress.
  5. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    So much has happened in the last 3 months! My aunt wouldn't cooperate with some things the independent SW recommended. She refused deliveries from Sainsbury's that I arranged and carers often found her with no food in the house. She decided my uncle was still alive and about to be found. She believed people were living in her loft.
    The SW decided that it was now too risky to have her live at home, and completed a best interests assessment.
    He recommended a particular home and arranged for the managers to visit and assess her. They agreed to take her and she agreed to go - for 2 weeks' respite. I'm not sure she would have gone as arranged but a week before she had a fall and spent 2 nights in hospital. The SW arranged to collect her from hospital and take her direct to the home, a few days earlier than planned. She was distressed and afraid at first so he stayed with her for several hours.
    My aunt is now safe, warm and fed. She gets upset occasionally but generally says that the home is 'so relaxing'. The home is lovely, in beautiful grounds, and the staff are fantastic. She no longer cries that she's 'so lonely'.
    In total, the independent social worker cost the equivalent of one week's care home fees. He found a wonderful home, wrote all the reports we needed to be sure we were doing the right thing, and arranged a seamless transfer from hospital to the home. He is a very professional person, cautious, and always putting my aunt's needs and rights first.
    Not everyone needs or can afford this help, but I would recommend it to anyone in a similar situation.
  6. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I am so glad that this was a good solution for you and that your aunt is now safe and well cared for.
  7. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    Thank you for your good wishes.

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