Best Interests of whom?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by justiceformum, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. justiceformum

    justiceformum Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015
    9
    My Mom has mixed Vascular @ Alzheimer's Dementia.Resident in a Nursing Home.
    I am Deputy for Mum through the Court of Protection for Finance & Property. Awaiting info from Solicitor as I applied for Health & Welfare also at same time.
    Problem is my Mom married 7 years ago and my step-father is challenging my request to move Mom to live in village near the rest of her family who can visit several times daily.
    The crux of the matter is my Mom is self- funding and I have asked the Social Worker what jurisdiction they have to keep her in a distant home when I ,in my authority as Deputy pay her care fees and Mom asks her visitors daily to take her back home and always mentions the place where she was born and lived till she retired.
    My step-father is residing in the home that I purchased with my mother when she retired
    Any help would be most welcome as I am worried about using the solicitor and creating a huge bill.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,206
    Merseyside
    I'm sorry I've no advice but just wanted to say welcome to TP & i'm sure someone will be able to help.
     
  3. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,737
    North East Lincs
    I am sure other more experienced than me will be along soon. I don't think a Best Interest meeting would cost you anything. But others will know rather than think! Good Luck.:)
     
  4. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    #4 Saffie, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
    I'm surprised that the solicitor is encouraging you to apply for a health and welfare Deputyship as this is only rarely granted, the Court preferring to consider any issue regarding this on a case by case basis.
    As there is already an issue concerning your mother's care I would think that the disagreement with her husband about your mother's residence could cause a problem. He will of course have to be made aware of your application.
    I wonder in what form his challenge is being made - legally?
    If so, I think it might have to involve the CoP or certainly a solicitor.

    Regarding having Deputyship for legal and financial matters and how this helps you with this problem, I'd be inclined to ring the OPG as they the are the people who could give you the best advice about how far your authority can take you. I always found them to be very helpful.
    How did the social workers react?
     
  5. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    1,955
    Female
    London
    Can you not talk to him and sort something out? Is his home at risk if you mother moves further away?
     
  6. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Does he currently visit her regularly? If so, how will that work if he is the one living at a distance?

    Don't be misled by the wanting to go 'home'. This is very common and isn't often the place you think. It can mean 'I want things to go back to the way they used to be' before the onset of dementia....more a cry for help.
     
  7. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    I would imagine that as your mother's husband, he would have every right to challenge where your mother lives. I can well understand your feelings about how much time, effort and responsibility you have invested in the care of your mum but I think the law would be rather reluctant to ignore her husband's rights.

    Is there any way that you could arrange a suitable place for your stepdad to live near you and your mum by selling the house and by buying/renting a flat or something similar? As you said she was self funding, this shouldn't be a problem
     
  8. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,603
    West Midlands
    Mum lived one hour north away from me. Sister suggested I moved mum closer to the rest of the family - mum was a widow - which at the time, was one hour south of me, 40 mins max for the rest of the family

    I'm still the only one who regularly visits mum. So it's not necessarily a good idea to move someone for the rest of the families convenience.

    I'm sorry to maybe sound harsh, but how would you like it if your husbands family member decided to move him closer to their family, possibly miles away from you?

    Married 7 years, 17 years, doesn't matter. They chose to marry each other. They are a married couple


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  9. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    And that's the reality, isn't it?

    I'm sure the rest of the family are looking at a move with the best of intentions but are they really going to " visit several times daily"?
     
  10. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    One more thought? If you are thinking of moving her from one care home to another, she will still be wanting to go 'home' so you won't be really solving her problem and while it may be a solution for you, I don't think you can really claim it as justice for your mum.

    It sounds as if you don't particularly like your step-dad but your mum chose him and must have had good reasons to do so.
     
  11. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    #11 Saffie, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
    I would think this is of paramount importance and will be viewed favourably by the court if it comes to them having to make a decision.
    Also, moving someone who may be settled in one home, to another can have a detrimental effect of a dementia sufferer.

    It seems from the above that your mother is receiving visitors where she is now, so would people really want to visit several times daily? It does seem a lot of visits and could prove difficult to keep up.

    As I said previously, I think that this could become quite contentious if both you and your stepfather are inflexible. I doubt the SW would want to get involved in a family dispute and I wonder who decided on this home in the first place. I do think that the involvement of the NOK is important in making these decisions and their viewpoint will be taken seriously.

    There seem to be a number of issues involved here and as we have so little information, it is difficult to advise.
    If you are successful in obtaining Deputyship for H&W then your position will obviously be stronger but I am doubtful of this being granted in view of the existing dispute.
     
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    From what you say, you have a contentious relationship with your step-father, and it maybe one of those situations where a H & W deputyship may be appropriate (although they really are normally for situations where there is a need for rapid decisions when there are changing health needs). Having said that, be prepared for the court, if they grant one, to appoint a professional deputy not you. When two family members can not agree in such situations generally the court will say that neither of you should have the right to make the decision and appoint someone else as an impartial 3rd party. Has not your solicitor discussed this whole thing with you?

    I'm afraid that I doubt you will get the H & W deputyship, and if one is granted, it's unlikely to be either of you.
     
  13. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012
    661
    #13 Wirralson, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
    There is, as has been stated, no realistic possibility of a Health and Welfare Deputyship being granted in the situation you describe. The Court of Protection normally takes the view that the existing legislation covers the needs of individuals in such cases, and that such Deputyships are therefore normally unnnecessary. (Bear in mind that in any case the decision to move your mother could have to be defended against a legal challenge if there was such a Deputyship in place.)

    The only basis I can see for challenge is a judicial review of the decision. The LA will be involved from the perspective of their statutory duties to provide for the care of vulnerable adults in their area, and this is quite independent of who is funding the care. Judicial review is expensive and even if successful only normally results in the public authority being told to revisit the decision. It is entirely possible for them then to come up with the same decision but with "better" reasoning. The Courts are likely to view the issue of easier visiting as pretty much irrelevant - if it means the visitors making a longer journey, that's their problem.

    The LA will not have become involved lightly, and it is possible that the clinicians responsible for your mother (GP) or the care home have informed them and are concerned about any potential negative effects of such a move. The LA will be aware of the need to defend such a decision, and may view it as a SOVA (Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults) issue. Your status as Deputy for Property & Finance doesn't really help you, and your stepfather, as the spouse also has, as noted above, legal rights in this position and these are very strong. Bear in mind also that if you are challenging the decision, and using your mother's assets to pay the legal bills, you will have to defend that as Deputy, and that you could, in theory, find yorself liable for the costs of the other side in the event of you losing such a case. These are very serious matters, and you should be very cautious.

    W
     
  14. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    I think what's basically being said is that having Deputyship for someone does not give you legal right to do what you want with that person, indeed it's beholden on you, as Deputy, to act ONLY in the best interest of the person.

    Convenience for family members versus moving away from a spouse who has objections?

    It's a no brainer.
     
  15. justiceformum

    justiceformum Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015
    9
    Thank you for your post.
    Update is I have contacted Social Services and informed them of my concerns about Mr's visits to my Mother are causing distress.
    I did inform the S W involved with Mom about suspected abuse & actual abuse before she was lifted by the Crisis Team in a very poorly condition.
    Medical, emotional, physical & lack of food & drink.
    Now I have requested safeguarding as he has been visiting and leaving painkillers in room and physically harmed her.
    I feel it may take something serious to happen to Mother before anyone listens to my concerns.
    Anything helpful please contact .
     
  16. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Surely this is something the care home should be sorting out? They have a duty of care towards your mother and there should be no opportunity of further physical abuse on their premises. I can't imagine the manager at my MILs CH allowing something like that to go on.

    What do they have to say on this matter?
     
  17. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,206
    Merseyside
    What action have the care home taken over the physical harm?
    What measures have they put in place to stop it happening again?
     
  18. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,603
    West Midlands
    I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this situation. I can now understand why you want to move her away from him and from the care home who are not looking after her best interests.

    I'm sorry that I don't know how to help. I was "easily" able to move mum from her care home, as she was totally self funding and everyone was in agreement in my family.

    I wish for you the strength to deal with everything going on, and I am hoping you get the help and support you need from social service and whom ever should be helping you xxx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  19. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Actually I don't agree.
    If this comes before the CoP, then having legal Deputyship will surely give JforM more standing. It will be up to her mother's husband to try to show that she is not acting in her mother's best interest.
    However, it will also probably mean, as Jennifer has said, that neither party will be given Deputyship.That will not necessarily work against the wishes of JforM if it is apparant that her mother is being abused.

    Have the staff seen this? If so, it is indefensible that nothing has been done to prevent your stepfather being alone with your mother when visiting.
    I do think that the manager of the home should be active here and the social workers too. At the very least, his visits should be carefully monitored.

    Best of luck with this and I hope someone will listen and things will get better for both you and your mother.
     
  20. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    There wasn't any mention of abuse in the original post.
     

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