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Can a PWD be left on their own for short periods

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Kennyboy, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Kennyboy

    Kennyboy Registered User

    Oct 31, 2019
    50
    we are new to all this, we are helping to care for my sons Nan, her husband died 2 months ago and for the last 5 weeks we have been staying with her and my son and his brother and their wives do 2 nights and 2 days, we do the rest. What I was wondering is if someone is at stage 4/5 Alzheimer’s can they be left alone for short periods of time or should she have someone with her 24/7, she can make a cup of tea she can use the toilet by herself, she can’t cook food. What are your thoughts on this ?
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,745
    Female
    London
    Everyone with dementia is different. If you know she would do unsafe things like wander or switch on the hob, then you can't.

    Have you had a needs assessment with social services yet? You as a family shouldn't have to take all the burden of care. She could be eligible for carers, daycare or respite.
     
  3. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,654
    @Kennyboy Dad is probably at this stage and I leave him on the odd occasion to pop to the supermarket, it doesn't take long. I always make sure dad is up and dressed (getting more difficult day by day) and that he has had his breakfast and a drink. He always goes straight to sleep in his chair then. He is not a wanderer but falls are a worry.

    I think you have to judge yourself if it is okay. I don't think dad moves from his chair when I pop out.

    I cancelled my monthly lunch with friends a week ago because I would have been gone a good couple of hours and I would have been uneasy about that. Usually my husband covers me for that but he wasn't available so I missed a month. I also had the thought that if something happened while I was popping to the shops then I wouldn't be a bad person but if something happened while I was out having a nice time then I would be to blame for leaving him.

    I would not leave him after dark because he is a bit more disorientated then.

    I don't think there are set rules, you just have to weigh it up yourself. My dad is easy to look after really but it is still a worry.
     
  4. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,654
    Also @Kennyboy you and your family have taken on a lot and I agree with @Beate you should be entitled to help because it is not sustainable to carry on this way.

    I look after dad 24/7 but he has a terminal diagnosis and it won't be forever, if he didn't have this diagnosis he would be in a home now.
     
  5. Kennyboy

    Kennyboy Registered User

    Oct 31, 2019
    50
    Thank you for you replies, we have not left her alone at all as I would worry so it’s not worth it is my opinion, she can be very difficult and aggressive so she won’t listen if you tell her not to do something (for her own safety) so that’s the main reason I don’t leave her alone. We have been thrown into this as her husband who passed away just buried his head in the sand with regard to her diagnosis and just dealt with it by keeping her in the house and would not access any services, we supposedly have a social worker coming Tuesday, but we have had not had any confirmation, I phoned her office 5 times last week to get confirmation and a time which we have not had but she was out every time and didn’t return one phone call, I’m really hoping she could go to a day centre or something but is there a waiting list? We have approached home instead a care firm to see if they can come some days too, we need help, I’m not well I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, fibromyalgia, Asthma, high blood pressure and other things, my husband is nearly 69 so this is too hard for us, am I right in thinking you get access to day centres through social services. We can pay for the carers she has the financial means for that. I appreciate your replies thank you
     
  6. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    227
    #6 annielou, Nov 16, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
    I have been looking at ageuk day care centre for my mum. (Not agreed to go yet) if you look on age uk website you can do postcode search to see if one local to you. Ours runs 9-2.30 weekdays , can go as many days as like. Think its around £38 a day, they can have lunch and also be picked up by community transport. You can pay yourself or Social services may pay if they offer it as part of care package. You can contact the centre yourself, you don't need SS to refer you if paying for it yourself. Sis rang ours and they said we can go for a couple of hours visit to see what like if we want, just ring up to arrange it.
    I hope you get your visit from SW and it goes well. Mine was very sympathetic but didnt offer much partly because mum didnt want help but also because mum would need LA funding so they cant offer much.
    I hope you get some help sorted soon. I've been staying at my mums for a similar time and it is exhausting x hugs to you and your family x
     
  7. Roseleigh

    Roseleigh Registered User

    Dec 26, 2016
    280
    Gi
    Given that this lady is a danger to herself and cannot be left alone safely you could push for the social worker to assess her as needing residential care since she basically lives alone. If this is agreed though then if she has savings or owns her own home she will be self funding.

    If the family wish to preserve the property then you will have to pick up the slack and manage with carers coming in several times a day, which she'll have to pay for out of savings but not have to sell the property.
    After the election whatever party is in power there are likely to be some changes to funding so not the best time maybe to dive into long term residential care.
     
  8. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    264
    I have no idea what stage my mother is at and I don't really care - she has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's and needs support and that's enough for us. She still lives alone so obviously spends time on her own. She cannot use the kitchen appliances other than the kettle and the toaster and we have had a gas safety valve fitted on the gas cooker so she cannot have any accidents - pre-empting problems really as although we knew she was not using the cooker, we had no evidence of mis use. She only eats cold food now but we make sure she has a hot meal with us every day so that is fine, she has toast or cereal, snacks foods such as pork pies, sausage rolls or little salad pots and a lot of biscuits and cakes when on her own.

    As we have security cameras in various positions around the outside of the house which link to our phones, we can monitor callers ( and talk to them) and we know that she does not wander - other than a daily visit to the local shops to buy a newspaper and yet more chocolate but she is home again within 20 minutes. No one can phone her unless I have input their number on a trusted list so she is safe from scammers and we can control her heating from our phones.

    So far, we are happy with this situation, yes, she has dementia and cannot cope without support but she does not need 24 hour support although we know she will one day. Only you and your family know how your PWD would cope when in the house alone, it does not matter what stage they are at, there is not hard and fast rule. If you are not happy and feel that she is unsafe when left alone, then if you can provide that level of support, carry on, but if not, then it might be time to look at a care home.
     
  9. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    111
    Hi Annielou,
    We are at the same stage as you with Mum. Mum's 84 and lives alone, she attends a daycare 2 days a week, which she pays herself using her AA, it doesn't cover it all as its 45 pound a day, Mum covers the rest from her own money. Transport is included, but someone needs to be there to get Mum up, breakfasted and tell her to get dressed and be ready. So that involves one of us having to do this before we go to work. We arranged this ourselves, and have not had a needs assessment or any involvement from SS, no one has mentioned a SW to us. I guess all this comes into play when we ask for a needs assessment. On the days Mum doesn't go to the centre a family member spends time with her until one of us pops in after work to give Mum hot meal and check on her. But she spends the night times on her own, which she doesn't like. At the moment things have been ok for day time care. Its the night times that we are going to need help with. None of us can stay at night as we have our own families to care for, and work full time. Anyone know how we arrange that? I'm guessing we have to have a needs assessment/financial assessment at that point? Is that when they give you a care package? Mums finances are below the 14,000 pounds limit, but we own her house, and we don't know how that would work.
     
  10. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    1,061
    Even if you have a needs assessment from social services, in our area, social services will not provide a care package that includes overnight care. It's just too expensive. My mother-in-law had carers in privately and the agency could provide ad hoc once in a while nightly care, but it was over £200 a night, that was about 2 years ago.
     
  11. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    111
    THank you
    Rosetta Stone,
    Thank you, oh my, that's expensive, we had no idea. So are families just expected to do it themselves? Mum wouldn't be able to afford that at all.
     
  12. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    1,061
    My situation was that my mother in law had been living on her own in her own property . She had carers in privately three times a day she was completely self-funding . The only time I had any involvement with social services in our area which was a London borough, was my seeking advice around respite. They told me that they would not provide any overnight care the maximum they would do as social services was four visits a day and if the person with dementia could not cope with that then it was a care home.

    My mother-in-law had started to hallucinate at night and become very anxious and upset we were receiving phone calls at all times of day and night. Plus she was a high falls risk and that along with her unable to do anything without prompting from carers during the day led my husband and I to decide that the care home was the best place for her. She had always refused to point-blank to go into a care home so we just waited for a crisis eventually she became ill in the heatwave last summer and went into hospital and we then arranged care home from there.

    There are forum members who as a family have done overnight care for all sorts of different reasons and under different circumstances . For us as a family it was never an option.
     
  13. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,890
    Female
    If your relative is self funding Social Services will be little help, and you don't need to involve them - you can go ahead and contact a care agency of your choice. The manager will come and assess your relative and you can decide how much care you want for her (my mother paid £22 per hour, £24 ph at weekends).

    In terms of 'can she be left alone', everyone is different. At that stage my mother had care for 5 or 6 hours a day, so she spent a lot of time alone. The care agency and OT ensured she had a safe environment (the care agency involved OT but I think you can also get an OT referral from the GP). It was when my mother started wandering that I realised she needed supervision 24/7 and it was time for a care home.
     
  14. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    227
    SW told us they do not offer overnight care. She basically said they cant afford that, and only offer day time visits and wouldn't put mum in care home while ever she managed, they had to wait for a crisis to happen before put mum in a care home. While ever I was there looking after mum that probably wouldn't happen. I was told I should go home and turn my phone off and that if I did a crisis probably wouldn't be long happening. Though she said she could understand why I felt I couldn't do that as she wouldn't be able to. When mum asked what a crisis was she said an emergency like if the police picked you up in middle of night wandering streets, you set house on fire, or your neighbours complained about you putting them or yourself at risk. Sister looked at a couple of private care agencys and they cost around £20 an hour and nights are booked in 8-10 hour blocks so no way mum could afford that even if willing to pay.
     
  15. Flavelle

    Flavelle Registered User

    Jun 20, 2017
    36
     
  16. Flavelle

    Flavelle Registered User

    Jun 20, 2017
    36
    #16 Flavelle, Nov 22, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2019
    You can get occasional night care (working night) from 10 pm to 7am from 150 quid search online...carers all vetted and you can choose from different profiles. Clearly the carer doesn’t get all the money so the alternative is to do the r/s yourself and then see whether personalities match and times suit and then see what £££ suits All the best
     
  17. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,654
    @annielou I can understand that. If I went home now 8.30 pm and left dad on his own until morning I have absolutely no doubt there would be a crisis. Dad would get lost in his own home, he would turn turn off all the lights and probably fall over and hurt himself. He can't even use his phone anymore.

    How could I do that, dad couldn't get by with carers popping in and out all day, what would happen in between. I can get out for no more than an hour to do the shopping and I have to make sure that dad is up and dressed, breakfasted and in his chair before I could even attempt that.

    It's all very well being told to go home and wait for a crisis but like you I couldn't do that.
     
  18. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    227
    Yep it feels like we'd be leaving them to have an accident and hoping they survive it doesn't it. Even if an emergency didn't happen mum would get really distressed being on her own.
    If SW had said that she thought mum could cope on own or with carers in day and I was being over cautious that would be one thing, sometimes I wonder if I am, but she didn't. She said she didn't think mum could cope either. On the phone the morning after assessment she was asking how I was coping as mum had been quite aggressive and she said I should go home for my sake. I said maybe I should and hope nothing happened when I wasn't there and SW said I'm pretty sure it will.
     
  19. maryjoan

    maryjoan Registered User

    Mar 25, 2017
    1,366
    Female
    South of the Border
    You may want to look after her, very much,but it may be too hard for you. If you are not living with her, you can leave her for a little time, and make a phone call to social services saying that she is a vulnerable adult alone in the house and you are not well enough to look after her........ it will at least alert them to your plight
     
  20. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    111
    Hi there Maryjoan,

    So there is no help for night time care at all, unless we pay? Oh no.
    In that case we will have no alternative but to put Mum in a care home, because we are not able to do the night time care and do a full days work. I have to be in work at 7:30am each day, and dont get home until after 6pm. if I don't get my 8hrs sleep I cant function, as I'm permanently tired and not in the best of health. There is no one else we can ask, and we cant give up our jobs either, we still have a mortgage to pay for another 8yrs. We assumed there would be night time carers. oh dear.
     

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