At my wits end...

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Nigel62, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    The load you're carrying is impossible.

    Is there anyone you could trust to do just a little bit of what you're trying to do single-handedly at the moment plse? I'm thinking ... perhaps there's a usually useless relative who could be trusted with a small practical job ... a friend of Mum who could invite her to lunch (and make sure she attends) on one of the days ... whatever. These are "bottom of the barrel" ideas but maybe they'll spark at least one useful idea.
  2. Spiro

    Spiro Registered User

    Mar 11, 2012
    Contact the Mental Health Team and find out the name of the consultant whose care she is/was under. You have her name, date of birth, address and the name of her GP, so they should give you that information.

    Then phone the consultant's secretary and ask if, and when, any correspondence was sent to the GP. NHS letters do get lost, especially around Christmas time. Bear in mind, that the letter may not have been typed until the New Year.

    You could also ask if there is a Community Psychiatric Nurse or Community Liaison Adviser you could talk to, and get their contact details.

    Having got that information, you can then contact the GP - by letter (sent recorded delivery) and if possible, by phone - outlining your concerns. It's important to keep records.

    As you're out of the country for two weeks from 19 September, can your sister visit your Mum while you're away? I take it your Mum's phone is still out of action.

    The Care Act which came into force in April, means a lot of changes have been introduced. From my experience, SS have yet to get to grips with it.

    You're dealing with your Mum's health and financial issues. Dealing with government bureaucracy means taking small steps.

    Please don't despair, progress can be achieved in the next fortnight.
  3. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    I went through a similar situation with my aged parent last year. Re POWER of ATTORNEY.
    Get at least 8 full copies made so you have spares & put them in a file.Set up a filing system too so you can find letters & statements easily. If you send emails print them out as a hard copy.

    Sit down & make a list of everyone who should have a copy of the POW. eg Inland Revenue,DWP,Utility Companies,bank,Landlord etc.Send out a standard letter to each of them asking them to note their records of the POW & to send all statements to you.

    Do not be surprised if there an 8 week delay..esp. with the Tax people.
    Hopefully then you will know what is going on & what other liabilities may be lurking.
    If your Mum goes into a care home you are going to have to provide alot of financial records such as bank statement,P60's etc so get the information channels working in advance.

    Take advantage of online access to accounts.

    I coped with the stress & never ending requests for information & "firefighting" by dealing with 3 items a day. Once I had done my three that was it for the day & I could concentrate then on work more easily.

    As I had fallen behind with work I also applied the three a day rule to that too.Its weird but does work as you no longer feel so trapped & feeling like there is no end in sight. You have a plan!!

    Pick your battles. You do not want to add to the stress you are already under.
    Re water bills. Doubtless you have seen this advice about a variation of a CCJ.

    Be prepared as others have said for things getting lost in the glorious world of the Powers that Be. "We have no record of that" is a well used phrase. I have been reduced to sending stuff by registered letter so it can be tracked.

    Be aware that typing errors occur often which can result in letters going to the wrong address. The people who input data do not always read what they have typed or check that they have entered it correctly.

    As far as getting care for your Mum...try as a resort, her MP. Many organisations prioritise MP's complaints & any actions taken have to be signed off by a manager. I worked in government and an MP's letter had much the same effect as kicking over an ant hill.

    As others have said,use TP.You are not alone here & there is a wealth of experience.
  4. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    Excellent point, Canary. In fact, when this was done for me and I subsequently made an enquiry, I was immediately asked if I was my husband's Appointee. If you're asked that and say no, then whilst still on the phone, and before you do anything else, make a request to apply for Appointeeship. You might get asked why, and then, you can tell your reasons. That goes for everyone who may read this.
  5. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    That's very helpful Chugalug, thank you.

    Nigel62, I am also new here and am stunned at the amount of useful stuff I have picked up already, not to mention the emotional support. Someone upthread suggest the British Legion if your mother was ever associated with the forces. I must say that SSAFA have been very good to my Mum who was in the WRENs for about 3 years at the end of WW2.
  6. Nigel62

    Nigel62 Registered User

    Aug 28, 2015
    St Albans
    Thanks again for the really useful information which has all come from that most valuable of places, experience.

    The whole situation pretty much almost broke me this weekend but some slow progress is being made. Today I got my LPA registered with the Post Office and found out my mum hasn't collected her pension...for months. This new info I've sent in a letter to the mental health team who recently assessed her saying she was fine to cope alone.

    Since I went to the top of the food chain at Anglian Water and threatened them with action unless they apologised for asking me to pay, they've been much more understanding and have suggested things they could do to help.

    I've a meeting scheduled with CAB this week to draw up a repayment schedule for her debts.

    I've sent very strong long letters (all dated and signed and with copies on my computer) to all parties such as the GP and left them in no uncertain terms as to what they need to do. Adult Social Care have already been in touch but they can do little while her mental health assessment is as it is. My mum was 100% adamant that she was going to the post office and collecting her pension, even when we were sat there today. Seeing her face when she realised what her brain was telling her and what the evidence was, was heartbreaking. How on earth she can be deemed ok to live on her own is beyond me, I suspect she smiles and gives the right answers to the questions, she'd nearly fooled me re her pension. I've since got the DWP to pay her pension straight into her bank account. The PIN while useful for techno savvy people is a disaster for the elderly.

    I'm not relaying this information to say I'm any more a special case than anyone of the tens of thousands already dealing with this illness, but if anything here can help others then that's fantastic. Certainly pressure needs to be applied to services that do not talk to each other, I love the NHS but bureaucracy has left too many layers and too little communication between them.

    There's a long way to go and I felt my nerves were absolutely shredded this weekend BUT the support and info here has been so invaluable. I thought I'd been through a lot in life having been abducted in Bolivia and almost dying on a mountain in the Andes...but only now do I see the true meaning of the internet community and the help it can give.

    I'll keep posting info as it happens in case any of it helps others or, indeed, as might happen, when I need further help!

    I love writing letters packed with legalese and that has helped for sure!

    To be fair I should say that thus far South Kesteven District Council have been very understanding. Anglian Water seemed to have passed me to one of their better departments. The DWP and Post Office were also very understanding and easy to deal with and the woman at my mum's local PO has clearly helped my mum a lot.
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Well done Nigel, you have got a lot done.
    When you first posted I could hear the desperation and panic in your posts, but youve got a plan worked out now. I hope all goes well with CAB.
  8. Nigel62

    Nigel62 Registered User

    Aug 28, 2015
    St Albans
    I'm not expecting anyone to read back all the details in this thread but I just wanted to give an update that might be helpful to some.

    I really was at my wit's end, mum's financial situation was dire to say the least. I was getting little support from various creditors and the local authority and mental health services were largely absent. At one point there appeared to be no written record of my mum's condition and I was getting no response from her GP. In short I felt I was in the middle of a storm that would never end.

    Since then things have improved in terms of her structure. She has care going in every day, just a short visit but one she appreciates. Her huge water bill and legal costs were wiped out thanks to Anglian Water's Assistance Fund. Her GP eventually signed forms confirming mum's condition and her notes were 'found', as a result mum is exempt from Council Tax. Her finances now are more ordered than mine! Of course this doesn't help her condition but I'm sure you would all agree that when worrying and stressing over the mental health of a loved family member the last thing you need are nagging letters from creditors.

    If I had any advice from this point looking back it would be obviously to get LPA as soon as you perceive there is a problem (which I did). Write letters. I wrote all the time and kept records and wherever I could I went to the top, it certainly escalated the issue with Anglian Water. There are procedures if you want to complain about mental health services or similar and I made sure people were aware I was going to follow those if needs be.

    I found some companies extremely difficult to work with but once you get through their systems and barriers they do appear to have dementia awareness. It's the initial communication that is the problem, so go to the top! Digging around online you'll find an address to write to, send the certified copy of the LPA forms and register yourself with them as the attorney. I still had issue lately of post being sent to mum but you just have to keep on at them. I must say, South Kesteven District Council, where mum lives, were extremely helpful and understanding. I guess they encounter it more than most companies would on a daily basis.

    I'm sure the odd storm will blow through and there will be tough days ahead but for now the sky is a lot clearer and I know that whatever happens I will be able to handle it. The advice and support on here really was invaluable, I can't stress enough the importance of knowing you are not alone and that whatever issues has arisen you will not be the first. So don't despair, even the worst storms pass.
  9. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    Surrey, UK
    Nigel, that is brilliant news! I'm so pleased you have got your mum's financial situation sorted. You have reassured me, too, by saying even the worst storms pass. Like you say, we're not alone and it's good to have the advice and support from this forum.

    Did you get attendance allowance for your mum in the end? I'd love to know how you got this particular issue sorted! :)

    Take care. x
  10. Nigel62

    Nigel62 Registered User

    Aug 28, 2015
    St Albans

    Well that's still waiting (the DWP sent two lots of forms that both vanished in the post somewhere!). In the end I filled it in with mum's social worker and we're awaiting the response.

    All in all, on a purely financial level, compared to the mess that I had infront of me in April it's an amazing result. Of course, that's just once facet of the whole illness. It did help having suffered depression in the 90s knowing that sometimes we just cannot see the bigger picture and the future isn't necessarily going to be a repeat of the past, if that makes sense? There will always be a crisis but it's not an enduring nightmare now...well...sadly it is more so for mum but even there, she is aware she has help now and doesn't have to worry about money anymore.

    thanks again.
  11. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Thank you so much for coming back to update us. I am very glad that things seem more manageable now, for both of you.
  12. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    Surrey, UK
    That's great news, Nigel. So pleased the social worker helped you with the form. It will help when you get the allowance through. x

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