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Caring for FiL 97 with Alzheimer's and MiL who is almost blind.

Phil69

New member
May 22, 2020
3
We can't cope anymore, I'm 70 in a few months and my wife is 72, we have been caring for my Mil and FiL for the past 4 years. My FiL has Alzheimer's and my MiL is almost blind and now her short term memory is going and she is becoming confused and they are barely coping. They have refused to go into care and will not have care at home. They want to be very independent but are not coping well now. FiL has become abusive when I try to get him into clean clothes and also when I put the wheely bins out, he doesn't want them put out so when I have gone he fetches them back in before they are emptied. MiL from feeding the birds all kinds of food and seed has infested the house and their two neighbours houses with mice. I have had the environmental health officer onto me saying sort it or they will take action. I got pest control in and sorted it out, only to find rows of crumbled biscuits on four shelves in the lounge, I cleared this up read MiL the riot act again, only to find a few weeks later the washing machine door open (which they don't use) and crumbled biscuit crumbs inside. Because MiL can't see and FiL doesn't care the house is absolutely filthy but according to them its not so we are not allowed to clean anything. The latest problem is more serious they have and old gas cooker and recently have been setting fire to tea towels when removing saucepans from the cooker and we are concerned about them setting fire to the house and the attached two houses. When I approached SS 2 years ago and said they could self fund care they said well you organise it and did not want to know. FiL's DR has said get him into care at any cost how? If I didn't laugh at some of this I would cry, what can we do any suggestions? as its now causing us severe stress and making us ill we cannot cope much longer.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,044
69
Dundee
Good morning and welcome to the forum.

I’m so sorry to read about your situation. It sounds dreadful and you can’t go on like this. I would certainly phone social services again and explain how dangerous this situation is - emphasise the things like possibly setting the house on fire etc. It’s fine for the DR to say get him into care at all costs but is she doing anything to help the situation?

Please give the Dementia Connect support line a ring and talk the situation through with someone there -


Keep posting here too - I know you will get a lot of support and understanding here.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,115
Welcome to the forum @Phil69 I agree with Izzy, please ring the helpline & social services. There are clearly urgent safeguarding issues here - the house is filthy, infested with mice and they are setting tea towels on fire. If you look on your local authority website there will be details of the safeguarding team and how to contact them. Does anyone have power of attorney for your FIL & MIL?
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,363
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Phil69. I pretty much echo what @Louise7 said. At the moment councils should have extra plans in place for vulnerable people so it might be worth looking to see if there is any help in that direction.
However it sounds like your parents in law need to be in a care home, it is not what they want, but at this stage their needs trump their wants. If they will be self-funding it might be worth looking at Care Home UK where you can find information about local care homes. At the moment it might be tricky due to lockdown, but it does appear that some homes are taking new residents. If you haven't got Power of Attorney it might be tricky to organise, but others will have more experience of that. I moved my nearly blind ninety-one year old mother pretty much against her will last year as she was no longer safe at home. It is hard, but doable.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,265
I agree with other posters. I'm afraid from my own experience , social services will suggest as self funders that care homes/care agencies will be something you have to sort out yourself. Has anyone got POA? if not it makes things more difficult, but others will be along to give advice about how to get this ball rolling. Your in-laws will never agree to a home , the default answer is always going to be no. Their needs outweigh what they want to happen. My mother in law, refused point blank to go into care so we waited for a crisis. She wasn't coping at home and was a high falls risk. Eventually, she became ill during the heatwave of 2018 and went into hospital . At that point we started the arrangements for full time care. Admittedly, we had POA in place so it was easier to sort out financially.
 

Phil69

New member
May 22, 2020
3
Thank you all very much for your comments and support, things have moved. After reading the replies I contacted my GP and asked for some sleeping tablets because I am awake at 3 or 4 am and their situation is the first thing I think of.
I explained the position to my GP and he advised I contact SS that day, which I did. I spoke to a very helpful young lady who took down details and said she would pass it on to the Long Term Care Team and flag it up as urgent. I also sent them 3 pages of details and events so they had more information to go on than I was able to put across in the telephone conversation. I have a call from them this morning and they asked if the could speak to MiL and FiL I said they could try and they are going to call them pm on Thursday, I will be there just in case they won't speak to them, which is quite likely, they may just put the phone down. But SS do appear to appreciate the seriousness of the situation. This is really hard thing to do and I feel very uncomfortable doing it, but I just keep telling myself it is for their safety and that of their neighbours. I will post more with an update after Thursday. We do have P.O.A for them both.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,558
South coast
Be prepared for your in-laws to tell SS that everything is hunky dory and they are getting on just peachy, so they dont need any help or care at all.

SS phoned mum up and thats pretty much what she told them. They took her at face value and closed the case. I hope that doesnt happen on Thursday, but be prepared just in case it does.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,363
Good that you've got things moving @Phil69. As @canary says don't be surprised if your in-laws say they are fine and don't need help when SS ring. That was my mother's default position, even when SS phoned her up after she'd been referred to them by concerned paramedics. Mum had phoned the police as she was making accusations about the neighbours. They didn't come out but sent paramedics instead. I wouldn't have known about the call, but it was on mum's answer-machine. She was telling them that she hadn't phoned the police and everything was fine.
I guess the problem at the moment is that SS can't easily do home visits to see how things are for themselves. However if you get nowhere this time, keep badgering them, and if you are really worried about their safety consider calling 111.
Like @Rosettastone57 when things got to a stage where my mother was no longer safe at home, having refused all offers of help, I moved her into a care home. I didn't ask her permission, just did it. A slightly risky strategy if she was found to have capacity, but by then though she could appear to have, she really wasn't safe.
 

Phil69

New member
May 22, 2020
3
Things are moving apace, Indie from SS spoke to MiL and FiL and both said every thing was ok, and F.i.L said they were coping and did not want any interference from anybody. MiL blatantly lied about infesting the house and those of her neighbours with mice and the setting fire to tea towels was a one off event. SS new better from all the information I had provided. The following day I received a call from Sarah of the older Peoples Care Team, saying my MiL and FiL had been referred to them, so I went through all the details and emailed the information sent previously. She said they would refer them to the management team. Two days later I had a call from Rachel who told me she had been appointed their SS Case Worker. We had a very long conversation she was very helpful and supportive and said she would put things in motion, she would put a care package in place the following week. She asked that I contact their GP and ask for FiL to be referred to the Mental Health Team and for MiL to have a memory test and be referred to the Incontinence Team. She said SS would review the case in six weeks. I spoke to the GP she referred FiL and but would do nothing about MiL because of Covid. The following Monday I had a call from Debbie from the Mental Health Crisis Care Team saying they had been to see MiL and FiL the previous afternoon, I was surprised that they had let the in, but they had spent some time with them, and assessed them and told me a care package would fail, and that they would continue to work with them to see if eventually they would accept carers. They have visited them every day for the last week, and been in touch with the GP and had MiL referred to them as well. The SS Case Work has told us the MH Crisis Care Team have now taken over and will be dealing with the case. I believe they have assessed that MiL has the onset of dementia . The SS CW had also arranged with Technical services to come a fit a Life Line for Mil and Fil and two smoke alarms that would automatically call the help line in the event of fire. This happened yesterday.
The SSCW advised us that they had to go through the process of least intrusive intervention first, i.e. carers but if this did not work they could be put into to a care home for their own safety.
If you are in our position and you feel those you care for are not safe you must use the following phrase when seeking help: "They no longer have the mental capacity to keep themselves safe, they are at risk." this is terminology used by the professionals and they will recognise it. If you don't get a positive response from SS at first don't give up keep on pushing them until they do help.
Mil and FiL are becoming more difficult to support, and its is extremely difficult to because there are two of them, if you have one person your caring for, double that up and add some that is what we are trying to cope with. My wife has reached carer burnout and I am not far away, so we are expecting a decision as to the way forward very soon. I know this is a long rant but I hope some may find it helpful.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,558
South coast
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))) @Phil69

Thats not a rant - thats telling us what is happening.

Actually its probably more positive than you think. All the relavent parties are involved and everyone is aware that there are problems. Things are happening, even though it is slow. Im afraid that you do have to at least try carers and show that it wouldnt work before a care home is considered, especially if they refuse help (which they have) as you have to show that nothing else would work. The Mental Health Team are on the ball, though, and have warned you that carers would probably fail. When it does, get back in contact with the team again so that it can go to the next level.