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At a crossroads

andyst13

Registered User
Jan 31, 2020
11
Morning all,
Feel that I am at a crossroads with regards to Mum's care. I apologise in advance for the waffle.

A bit of background, Mum was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in April 2019, but symptoms have been present for a number of years. Physically she is very well. She then went to live with my brother in Australia for nine months, but returned as my brother found her difficult to cope with. She has since been living independently in her own home with care visits 3, now 4 times a day to help with meals. I live 250 miles away from her, so I care from afar I guess and visit when I can. My brother & I have joint LPA over finances & health (we can act seperately).

The appearance of COVID and the restrictions have hit her hard and her symptoms have become worse, especially since August, when she started to take herself for little walks down the road. Slightly concerning, but think she was searching for company/someone to talk to. She has very good neighbours who keep an eye on her, but I am increasingly receiving phone calls from them regarding my Mum becoming upset at night.

The cross roads happened yesterday when I receive a message from Mum's social worker. She had received report via the care agency that Mum was becoming aggressive towards the carers (previously she has always spoke fondly of them and welcomed their help & company), refusing to wash & dress and the neighbours have said that Mum is up most of the night shouting & banging on the walls. This on top of Mum being found outside on the road by a neighbour with her suitcase about to walk to her brother's (he lives about an hour a way by car). I spoke to my Mum and she was very shocked that she had done it and explained that she blacked out. Is this common?
We are going to check for UTI just incase, but I think this is a deterioration in Mum's condition. I spoke to her again the following day and she was very angry about one of the carers putting her clothes in the washing machine. I have not heard my Mum talk like this before and it is so unlike her.
The social worker thinks that it is time that Mum love into a residential home. About a month ago, when we had a care review due to changes in her behaviour, she assessed that Mum was fine to stay at home and just needed an extra home visit at tea time. I am assuming that the wandering has changed her opinion.

I am not sure what the right thing to do is. To be honest the head says that Mum should go into residential care, as she will eb safe, well looked after and will have company, which she desperately craves. I know that my brother will not agree to Mum going into a care home. He thinks we should look after her. He is angling that she could live with me. Obviously he tried, but couldn't cope, so I am not sure why he thinks I can cope with her, especially as her condition has deteriorated.

Mum will be self funded as she owns her own home. How do I go about arranging a place for her? Do I need to request a financial assessment first, so that I can arrange a deferment payment regarding the house with the council? Sorry not sure what this is called.
In this instance, do I find a care home for her or do the council need to suggest one? Mum's social worker has asked me to come up with a list of 3 places, so a bit confused. Also how to I choose a home for my Mum if I cannot visit? Any advice appreciated.

Initially I think Mum should be placed in a residential home where she lives, so that it gives me some time to find a suitable place nearer me so that I can visit more frequently than I do at the moment (if we are allowed to, given everything going on). Is this easy to arrange? Anyone have any advice for this move?

Thanks for reading and sorry again for the rather long post.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,943
Nottinghamshire
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @andyst13

From what you’ve written I agree that your mum would be best going into a carehome. You need to find an EMI home and, when you speak to the manager, be honest about what sort of behaviour your mum is showing so you won’t have to move her again when they find they can’t cope with her. This way the only other move she should have to make would be to a home nearer to you.

Ignore your brother. He couldn’t cope so shouldn’t expect you to.

You have the right to ask Social Services for a financial assessment which should allow for a 12 week property disregard and, if your mum doesn’t have more than about 24k savings her care will be funded for 12 weeks.

I’m not up to date with current funding rules as it’s over 2 yrs since my dad went into care but other will son be along with more up to date info.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,117
North West
Wandering is always a cause for concern, even though the neighbours keep an eye they can't watch your mum constantly. My mum managed to evade the neighbours twice, though the second time was the last as she had walked five miles and became lost -saved only by a good citizen driving past her and was concerned that she seemd lost and unusually walking where no one walks. This was the end result of trying to honour mums wishes to remain at home as a lone carer. How your brother thinks that you will cope I am not sure. Wandering is only one of the numerous issues that begin to arise as dementia advances. I think your decision to move mum to EMI /care home is about right (give or take) though its not an easy decision as I know only too well.

As per @Bunpoots post -If you need to apply for deferred payment then yes you will need to involve the LA and apply for that. each authority has slightly different terms on how they deal with this e.g. treating it as a loan intially and a fee for the privelage -so you need to check out what will be required for deferred payment in your area. Speak with your mums social worker and they should put you in touch with the financial assessment team or they will contact you if you have got the ball rolling already.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
853
Hello @andyst13 . You are right to check for UTI or other physical cause for this rather sudden change in behaviour. It is always best to rule out physical causes first before assuming the dementia itself is to blame.

Siblings are often very reluctant to admit that their parent needs residential care. I expect your brother is feeling guilty that he couldn't manage having your mum living with him and is subconsciously looking to blame somebody else. It's nobody's fault!

I never involved social services in my mum's care, as she had savings and I sold her flat later on to pay for her care-home fees but found https://www.carehome.co.uk/ very useful when looking for somewhere suitable. Obviously going to look round care homes is a problem at the moment but you can see reviews on the site and call the home to discuss requirements. This advice from AgeUK about what to consider and what questions to ask might be useful:


This link might also be useful


A lot of links to look at but hopefully all good sources of information for you.

It's a very difficult time when considering residential care, so keep posting for advice and support.
 

andyst13

Registered User
Jan 31, 2020
11
Thank you for all your advice. I shall have a look at the links and try and work out a plan.