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Can I be forced to be a carer for my mum??

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
16
0
Hi everyone, I'm new here so please accept my apologies if I'm repeating questions that have already been asked!

We relocated to the Scottish Borders from the southeast nearly 6 months ago. We brought my mum with us as I knew she was having memory problems and I also knew that no one else would step in and help her as whatever my mum has needed over the years, it's always fallen to me. Mum currently lives with us (husband, 2 kids and me) and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia just before Christmas. Her GP, mental health nurse and Borders Carers Group have been really supportive BUT I had a conversation today with a lady from Social Services who basically said that if my mum says that she wants to continue living with us and doesn't want to move into suitable accommodation, then I have to accept it. Surely that can't be right?! I've got a family, work, a house and hopefully a lot of years left in me and although I love my mum and want what's best for her, I do also have a life to live. I've never been free of the responsibility for looking out for my mum despite having a brother. The strain of having mum here can be intolerable at times and is causing not only me stress and tears but also my 15 year old daughter. I have explained this until I'm blue in the face but social services in particular seem totally jaded and really couldn't have cared less! Has anyone else been through this and come out the other side?!
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,961
0
N Ireland
Hello and welcome to the forum @Lucy Young.

My understanding is that it's Social Services who have the legal duty of care towards a vulnerable adult. I don't think anyone can be forced to be a carer.

Social Services will always try to keep a person in their home and the fact that your mum lives with you may complicate things there.

May I suggest that a chat with the experts on the help line may point you in the right direction. Just follow the link below to see details of that
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
9,112
0
leicester
Hi @Lucy Young and welcome to DTP
No one can be forced to be a carer but I suspect that having Mum living with you will complicate things somewhat.
I would request a needs assessment for Mum and a carers assessment for yourself.
I hope now you have found the forum you will continue to post for support.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
589
0
Being rather hard , if the house is yours, then surely you could ask her to leave? It’s only if her name is on the deeds/tenancy agreement that she had the right to live there?
I know you are not going to evict her but also know how hard it is having her there.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,918
0
South coast
Unfortunately caring is like the proverbial lobster pot, easy in but not so easy out. Although it is true that no-one is forced to care for another person, this is complicated by the fact that your mum is already living with you - if your mum refuses to move to sheltered accommodation or care home SS will not insist because it is enshrined in the Mental Health Act that the vulnerable persons wishes must be respected. The only time that this seems to be set aside is if that person is not safe where they want to be. All the while you are looking after her and she is being kept safe, SS will just let you get on with it. It is not fair, but many other people have found the same.

What sort of accommodation are you thinking about? Im not sure exactly how it works in Scotland, but if she has the finances to move somewhere without financial help, then I think you can just go ahead and move her. Otherwise, the only way out of this is if she agrees to move into other accommodation, you are unable to keep her safe, you evict her, or when she is admitted to hospital you refuse to have her back. None of these are ideal.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
720
0
If the house in which you are both living belongs exclusively to you then you can ask your mother to leave. That won't be nice at all but you are not obliged to welcome an adult into your home to live with you. You can show her the door if you're hard hearted enough. Obviously you won't want to see her sleeping rough, but you could give notice to her and tell social services that she will be homeless and vulnerable from a future date. @canary is right about respect for her wishes but that doesn't give her any right to live in someone else's home any more than I could turn up at your door and announce that I had come to live with you.. If you took a hard line social services would have to take responsibility. Hopefully you can negotiate to do this in a kind way but you do have to think of the young as well as the old here.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
64,216
0
69
Dundee
I’m sorry you are in a difficult position @Lucy Young. I notice that it was suggested you phone the Dementia Connect Support Line. As you live in the Scottish Borders it might be better to phone the Alzheimer Scotland Helpline -


It’s open 24/7 - 0808 808 3000

I hope you can find a suitable solution to the situation.
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
16
0
Being rather hard , if the house is yours, then surely you could ask her to leave? It’s only if her name is on the deeds/tenancy agreement that she had the right to live there?
I know you are not going to evict her but also know how hard it is having her there.
Hi, the house is ours - our name on the Deeds etc. Mum's MH nurse came round yesterday and she was lovely and suggested - as you have - that we suggest mum moves into sheltered accommodation. We're going to have a chat with mum this weekend but I still feel, despite everything I told the MH nurse, that I'm expected to be the carer despite my life already being 100mph! If I can't meet mum's needs then surely that needs to be addressed and taken into consideration?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,918
0
South coast
I still feel, despite everything I told the MH nurse, that I'm expected to be the carer despite my life already being 100mph!
Yes, Im afraid that you are probably correct in your impression. All too often (especially if the person with dementia is living with you) the assumption is that you will become the carer. That is why you need to decide now what you can do and (more importantly) what you cannot do - and stick to it.
If you can get your mum to move that would be ideal
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
16
0
Yes, Im afraid that you are probably correct in your impression. All too often (especially if the person with dementia is living with you) the assumption is that you will become the carer. That is why you need to decide now what you can do and (more importantly) what you cannot do - and stick to it.
If you can get your mum to move that would be ideal
I'm engaging with the local carers group and they have told me that SS will try and force me to be the carer but that we must be adamant and tell them that we simply cannot meet mum's needs. It's not just about us, it's got to be what's best for my mum too. She has no social interaction with anyone (even before lockdown) and I just want her to have a decent life before her dementia progresses.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,918
0
South coast
it's not just about us, it's got to be what's best for my mum too.
Im afraid that SS will only be looking at your mums needs, not yours. So when you are trying to persuade them you will have to talk about how mums needs are not being met.
In reality, your needs count too - but not to SS
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,579
0
South of the Border
I'm engaging with the local carers group and they have told me that SS will try and force me to be the carer but that we must be adamant and tell them that we simply cannot meet mum's needs. It's not just about us, it's got to be what's best for my mum too. She has no social interaction with anyone (even before lockdown) and I just want her to have a decent life before her dementia progresses.
I have been a reluctant carer for 5 years now @Lucy Young. I have given up everything for this man and I have tried so hard to get out of the caring role - it is really really almost impossible especially with the Covid situation.

I managed to get my partner into sheltered living in a lovely place that me and his family thought he would enjoy - only for him to threaten to kill himself after 2 nights!

Love is the thing- I do not love this awful shell of the person I did love. It is easier for the authorities if you carry on, no matter how much it wears you and your family out, the social services will let you do it.

I wish you luck in your quest - please stay on here - you will get so much love and support from us all. Do keep us updated.

PS

A friend of mine waited till her Mum was in hospital then told social services that if they sent Mum back to her house to live with her, she would kill her! Drastic and awful - but it worked. Mum was sent elsewhere.
 

DaveCr1968

Registered User
Jul 5, 2020
69
0
Hi everyone, I'm new here so please accept my apologies if I'm repeating questions that have already been asked!

We relocated to the Scottish Borders from the southeast nearly 6 months ago. We brought my mum with us as I knew she was having memory problems and I also knew that no one else would step in and help her as whatever my mum has needed over the years, it's always fallen to me. Mum currently lives with us (husband, 2 kids and me) and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia just before Christmas. Her GP, mental health nurse and Borders Carers Group have been really supportive BUT I had a conversation today with a lady from Social Services who basically said that if my mum says that she wants to continue living with us and doesn't want to move into suitable accommodation, then I have to accept it. Surely that can't be right?! I've got a family, work, a house and hopefully a lot of years left in me and although I love my mum and want what's best for her, I do also have a life to live. I've never been free of the responsibility for looking out for my mum despite having a brother. The strain of having mum here can be intolerable at times and is causing not only me stress and tears but also my 15 year old daughter. I have explained this until I'm blue in the face but social services in particular seem totally jaded and really couldn't have cared less! Has anyone else been through this and come out the other side?!
Hi Lucy

I was temporarily looking after dad (with dementia) when mum went into hospital. Sadly, she passed away and that is when SS became a problem. They very clearly expected me to stay with dad indefinitely, even though I have a job, house, life, etc 180 miles away. Looking after someone with severe dementia and trying to work remotely, plus getting over mum's death, nearly finished me off. It was very obvious (including to SS) he couldn't look after himself and it was obvious to me that I could not do it indefinitely.

The advice from the GP was to tell SS a date when I was leaving the house (I would have never left him alone) and to remind them of their duty of care of a vulnerable adult. Very harsh, but according to the GP, those steps are often necessary when dealing with SS. After some discussion, they then started to act and found him a place quickly (which seemed to be a really good place but wasn't that good). I have to point out that SS weren't in any way interested in my well being and they even tried to persuade a cousin who lived locally to look after him!!!

I'm not sure whether you are allowed to do this and it is horrible to even suggest it, but have you thought about respite care and then refuse to take her back. If it is your mum's house, you may be on a sticky wicket but if it is your house, then the duty of care is with SS to find her a place. Like I said, horrible.

Regards

Dave
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,712
0
Dorset
You say you moved and brought your Mum with you, what was your original intention for her, to live with you permanently or for her to live independently somewhere near you?
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
720
0
PS

A friend of mine waited till her Mum was in hospital then told social services that if they sent Mum back to her house to live with her, she would kill her! Drastic and awful - but it worked. Mum was sent elsewhere.
Not a recommended strategy unless you relish the idea of being prosecuted for making threats to kill.
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,579
0
South of the Border
Not a recommended strategy unless you relish the idea of being prosecuted for making threats to kill.
I know, but there are two sides to every story. My OH threatened to kill himself on more than one occasion - seems that is not a crime, and no one took me seriously when I said I needed help to resolve the problem as it was too big for me to handle
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
589
0
Threats to kill are more than just saying the words, they have to be accompanied by some sort of action, surely? My mum frequently says she will kill B**** as she can’t go out, does she mean it, no !!
 

LeahDarm

Registered User
Mar 2, 2021
12
0
I would act on this as soon as, you need to be more persistent and act like something could go incredibly wrong for them to act.
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
16
0
Hi Lucy

I was temporarily looking after dad (with dementia) when mum went into hospital. Sadly, she passed away and that is when SS became a problem. They very clearly expected me to stay with dad indefinitely, even though I have a job, house, life, etc 180 miles away. Looking after someone with severe dementia and trying to work remotely, plus getting over mum's death, nearly finished me off. It was very obvious (including to SS) he couldn't look after himself and it was obvious to me that I could not do it indefinitely.

The advice from the GP was to tell SS a date when I was leaving the house (I would have never left him alone) and to remind them of their duty of care of a vulnerable adult. Very harsh, but according to the GP, those steps are often necessary when dealing with SS. After some discussion, they then started to act and found him a place quickly (which seemed to be a really good place but wasn't that good). I have to point out that SS weren't in any way interested in my well being and they even tried to persuade a cousin who lived locally to look after him!!!

I'm not sure whether you are allowed to do this and it is horrible to even suggest it, but have you thought about respite care and then refuse to take her back. If it is your mum's house, you may be on a sticky wicket but if it is your house, then the duty of care is with SS to find her a place. Like I said, horrible.

Regards

Dave
Hi Dave

Thank you so much for your reply. I'm so sorry you went through that and I'm sorry for your loss, bless you.

I've been warned that SS are a difficulty bunch and will do everything they can to try and force me to be my mum's carer. It's not that I don't care, the exact opposite. Like you, I have a very busy life with my family and simply cannot cater to my mum's needs. My mum needs people around her especially people her own age who she can engage with. I called my GP in tears on Monday and she was lovely but I still feel I'm being forced into this which is not good for my family or my mum.
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
16
0
You say you moved and brought your Mum with you, what was your original intention for her, to live with you permanently or for her to live independently somewhere near you?
Hi, the idea was that we moved here and then arranged a place for mum to live (it was never the plan that she lived with us). However, it's clear that she can't live alone hence needing the right support to find her suitable accommodation. I don't want her living alone and being stressed out and frightened all the time and then I still end up having to do all the cooking. cleaning etc for her.
 

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