Can Social Workers really give you no help?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by debby13, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. debby13

    debby13 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    Hi all

    My Dad has dementia (74) and is in respite (self funded), from reading all the good stuff on here I got in contact with the local social services. They duly rang Mum and told her because she has savings of more than the threshold that they only help they can give her is a list of potential nursing homes to put him that really it? Ok I am going into full rant mode now...after both paying into their social system for all their working lives is that really it? what are other peoples experience of SW?, what she needs is support in dealing with all of this and guidance etc?

  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    My experience was exactly the same as yours. However, I was not eligible as your mother should be for a carers assessment. Now I think that might be worthwhile persuing in your case if you haven't had one. I'm afraid that if you have savings in most (not all) but most areas you are left to get on with it. Mind you, it does seem down to the quality of your social worker. When I had to contract privately for in-home care, the care company was not used to dealing with people like me - the vast majority or their clients had care arranged by social services, even if the client was actually paying for it.

    The other options are to contact crossroads and/or the Princess trust. I wish I could tell you that no, that's not how it's supposed to work, but I can't.

    Edited to add: some areas also have an advocate system, which you might investigate.
  3. debby13

    debby13 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    Thanks for your help, I am going to call our 'helpful' social worker anyway to get the lowdown mum is not the most direct of people and wouldnt have even put up any fight etc at all....I shall not give up but will leave for another day I think. Sometimes you just need a break from thinking about all of this all the time.

    Thanks again for taking the time to help.

  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Debbie, I think from what people have said on TP that you have to keep pushing to get any action from SS. Calls are prioritised, so you have to stress how urgent it is, and how your mum is at breaking point.

    I know it shouldn't be like this, but it's definitely a case of the creaking gate!

    Having said that, I found that when I was in real crisis my SW was incredible supportive. An emergency care package was put in place immediately, he rang me every day, and when a care home became necessary, he gave me excellent advice about arranging it -- and I'm self-funding too. (They're not allowed to recommend, though).

    The only advice I can give is to scream and keep screaming!
  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Posted by debbie

    Posted by Hazel
    Sometimes we are just too tired, even in a crisis.
  6. Cliff

    Cliff Registered User

    Jun 29, 2007
    North Wales
    Hello Debbie,

    I have a pending crisis and have zero - repeat zero - response from my SW - case closed - very busy - can't advise or recommend one home from another or help - anyway I am self funding.

    Am watching your thread with interest - best wishes for your chasing the SW - sincerely hope you get a proper response

    Love and fingers crossed
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Cliff, they can't recommend, but they should give you a list, and support you as you go through the decision-making. It's b..... hard, and you need support -- at least, I did.

    Give them a ring, tell them you're cracking up, and if you don't get some support they'll have to cope with two of you!

    Don't try to be strong, give them the works.

  8. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    dear debby13,its a sad system.if you have more than 21000 grand you get no's a sad situation when our elders have worked all their lives ,to be treated like elainex
  9. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Dera Debbie

    As I see it, SS are a service company and as such should supply a service.

    Unfortunately, we have to badger and insist that they provide that service and only "he who shouts loudest!!"

    My personal opinion, it is all down to money and they will provide no services whatsoever, as long as you let them get away with it

    You need to insist on an assessment of your father's needs, as a client and your Mother has to have a carer's assessment.

    SS should do this, it is mandatory, self funding or not, but don't let them take too long in arranging it

    Once these assessments have been done then SS, have to provide the care that is needed, whether it be in the home enviroment, or care/nursing home

    If you are self funded, they still have to provide a service, even if they don't pay for it. easier said than done, but don't give up.

  10. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Debby, I so empathise with you .... when I rang social services some time back to make very tentative enquries about care homes (hoping we would never reach that point of course but in a moment of panic) I had a similar 'Well, your mum will be self-funding so she/you can just chose' - end of conversation!!!!!!! :eek: No help, no advice!!!!! (What happens when the money is all gone? I'd like to know!!!!)

    (In fact, rather than 'hijack' this thread you have raised two questions which have been outstanding for me for some time - so will post elsewhere ...... )

    Just so that you know you're not alone in 'ranting' - I find SS to be totally frustrating in terms of how they 'manage' their service - and indeed where the distinction between NHS and SS and other organisations comes in ......

    One dept of SS seem to be able to provide a 'Meal Delivery Service' or assessment for daycare - but asking about a wheelchair - I need another department ..... grab-rails - I need an OT ......On call services - I need a subsidiary of the local council ...... I have spent many hours on the phone over one simple issue (to me!) going round in circles and given up ...... deciding it's just easier to find some solution for myself - or just let the issues 'ride' ...... The whole system in terms of gaining help is so fragmented to suit the bureaucratic wheels :mad:

    I am sooooo with Connie's sentiments on this - on top of everything else, carers just need a 'one-stop' place to deal with an enquiry and let the professionals who don't have the emotional drain on their energies actually HELP instead of providing carers with more tasks to undertake ....

    Rant over .....:eek:

    Love, Karen, x
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006

    Hear hear Karen, hear hear.

  12. cariad

    cariad Registered User

    Sep 29, 2007
    You can apply for continuing care from the NHS. If you can prove needs are health related not social, funding is available that is NOT means tested. The continuing care laws are changing as of oct 07 in favour of dementia sufferers (they were heavily biased towards physical disability). My Mam's SW knows little about CC. Don't accept everything that SS tell you without checking it first.
  13. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    I actually can't get Social Services to contact us at all.

    I had to contact them as neither our consultant or GP could agree whose job it was and I've never heard from anyone since - all I get is "we'll take your details and when they know who you need to speak to they'll ring you back".

    It's been well over a month now - am I expecting too much?

    The confusion seems to be because mum is under 65.
  14. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    AFAIK everyone is entitled to the same service from Social Services whether they are self-funding or not.

    As I understand it, it is Social Services who have a legal "duty of care" to all citizens "at risk". Relatives are not obliged to provide care (except morally obliged of course!). Certainly a relative (except a spouse) cannot be obliged to provide financial contributions.

    It seems to me that Social Services will place a burden onto the family if they feel they can.

    I don't think that this is necessarily because they are unpleasant people with an agenda - just understaffed and short of money.

    If a self-funding person did not have any family, they certainly woldn;t just get a list of care homes!

    Sadly, then, it seems that the people most likely to get help are the ones who shout loudest and say they can't cope.

    If you give any hint of being able to manage, Social Services will let you do just that, and leave you until you can't. It's like being in a flood; they'll hand you some sandbags and assume you will call them when the water comes over the top!

    Several times we have been left by the NHS to get on with things, they have assumed we are "all right" - that is until we have hit crisis point and I have been shouting down the phone for help. Our GP is marvelous in this respect and could not believe we had simply been left without regular visits etc.
  15. debby13

    debby13 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    Thanks to you all of you for taking the time to reply and give me your experience and advice. I shall be taking some deep breaths and tackling a few phone calls tomorrow. I will keep you all posted on how I get on!!


    Debbie xxx
  16. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Hi Debbie

    We had exactly the same experience as you. Social Services just could not get their act together. At the home help stage they just gave us a telephone number of a private agency, and at the going into an EMI home stage they didn’t even get round to turning up. (It was about 10 weeks before they responded by which time we had chosen an EMI home and mum had moved in).

    As has been said before, you have to shout loud and long, and make sure they know you are keeping a record of the names of the people you have spoken to. (Always be polite, but find out the SS persons name before doing anything else, and keep addressing them by name!)

    But do remember that there is a positive side. If Social Services are not choosing the NH (or will it be an EMI residential home which is less expensive) you will be able to chose the one that you like best.

    Because SS never turned up we missed out on an assessment for “NHS Continuing Health Care and / or NHS Funded Nursing Care” when we moved mum into an EMI residential home, and have been playing catch-up ever since.

    Make sure you get the assessment. Unfortunately it is unlikely that your dad will manage to qualify for either NHS payment, however it is so important to your families finances it is worth arguing that your dad is so ill that he should qualify.

    And Debbie, when I get as frustrated as you are with the unfairness of the situation, I always ring my local MP’s surgery and book an appointment. Go and ASK for his / her help. You may not get any useful help from him but he will know that he is about to loose a vote or two at the next election and that is always a good incentive.

    You never know, you might just be the lucky person the MP wants to help, and he might be useful in the future!

    All the very best for tomorrow. Will be thinking about you.


  17. Cliff

    Cliff Registered User

    Jun 29, 2007
    North Wales

    Do hope Debbie doesn't mind me intruding into her thread but can someone please tell me:

    What is this SS assesment ?
    How does it help if you are self funding ?

    Many thanks
  18. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    Hi Debbie

    I am a little confused as you say that your mother has funds above the threshold and so your father does not qualify for free care. I have funds above the threshold but Mary is still entitled to free care as she does not have sufficient funds in her own name. Also I was told by the SW assessor that that only half of our joint assets would be taken into account.

    Having read so many negative accounts of treatment by SWs I must be very lucky as in this area, they are very considerate and helpful and that is how it should be for all of us.

    I hope all went well today.

  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Cliff

    The assessment is to see if the person needs nursing care, which is funded by NHS, so is not means tested. Unfortunately, AD on its own does not qualify, there have to be other problems that need the attention of a nurse.

    Well worth applying for if you can get it -- we don't!

  20. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    Got to agree with Dick G here - once we have got thro' the bureaucracy the SW team in our area have been magnificent ! (and I'm possibly breaking all the rules here by naming them - but its Redcar & Cleveland LA )

    hasn't mattered what time we've rung = there's always been someone at the end of the phone who has really given us sound advice and today we had a care assessment visit arranged and carried out within 24 hours. (and we'll be self funding for a while yet)


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.