Challenging Social Service recommendations.

Jansey

Registered User
Dec 31, 2011
2
0
East Yorkshire
Mum is currently in an assessment centre following persistent infections caused by a kidney stone. This has now been sorted, but she is very confused with very poor short term memory, incontinent and prone to falling over. She has been assessed by the community psychiatrist but their report has not been seen yet.

We are currently planning for her future care and feel that she would be better placed in a residential home, which we will have to pay for as she has property.

There have been meetings at the centre and the social worker involved has informed us that their recommendations will be for discharge back home or to sheltered accommodation. This seems to be based on the fact that she is able to get up and use the toilet at night without problems and that her physical condition has improved, but they do not seem to be taking into account the confusion and memory loss.

The social worker seemed to imply that if we placed her in a residential home without their approval she would not be entitled to any funding if the need arose in the future.

I have also read that the first three months in care is free, so I assume that if we go against their recommendations this would be lost, although I assume we would still be able to claim Attendance Allowance for her to help with the fees.

We feel that returning to her home is not an option as the bathroom is upstairs. We looked around a sheltered flat but the warden, who was very friendly, had reservations about how she would cope alone in a strange environment, even with support workers coming in.

We have another meeting on Thursday so want to be able to have some background information ready to argue for her best interests and wondered if anyone else has experience of going against social services recommendations,

Thanks
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
0
The social worker seemed to imply that if we placed her in a residential home without their approval she would not be entitled to any funding if the need arose in the future.

Hello Jansey, I'm sorry to hear about your mum. I think the Social worker was trying to scare you, because they would have to step in when your mum's funds run out ( or descend to the statutory level circa £23,000, I believe.) providing your mum's needs are consistent with the type of care she is receiving.

However, if you place your mum in a home where the fees are higher than SS will countenance, they may try to move her to another home when her funds run out. Even this will be challengeable, but you might want to bear it in mind.

Although my mother's funds did not run out, the influence of SS still prevailed at various critical points in my mum's care, when for example one of her Care Homes decided themselves that they wanted her to leave, and SS agreed with them.

You will find a lot of information on the AS factsheets. This one is a good place to start..http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=112
 

sussexsue

Registered User
Jun 10, 2009
1,527
0
West Sussex
Hi

I personally would be driven by your belief that your mum would be better off in residential care and act independently of SWs, especially as you would be self-funding.

I think a first step would be to go and view some Care Homes and get an idea of where would suit your mum best. They vary hugely and offer very different things. We personally preferred purpose built simply because we didnt want mum's bedroom on a different floor from the day areas. As it is she spends her days in the various lounges, her room, the garden. They offer her a lot of freedom but within a safe environment.

I am not sure about the 3 free months as I havent heard of that. Could it be deferred payments until her house is sold.

I would be wary of the sheltered housing route, as people with dementia struggle to understand new surroundings and it could be very hard on your mum.

Hope you come up with a good solution.

Sue
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,442
0
This would be the 12 week property disregard. Does your mother have non-property assets greater than £23,250? I do not believe that the LA can refuse the 12 week disregard provided she is eligible in a financial sense.

If the 12 week disregard is applicable then AA will stop after the 28th day and will restart from the 13th week. To confuse matters, though, the hospital stay may count towards this 28 day period (there are some complex rules about readmission within a certain period of time)
 

Jancis

Registered User
Jun 30, 2010
2,567
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70
Hampshire
She has been assessed by the community psychiatrist but their report has not been seen yet.

The psychiatrist's report is pretty important I would have thought?

We have another meeting on Thursday so want to be able to have some background information ready to argue for her best interests and wondered if anyone else has experience of going against social services recommendations,
Thanks

I have had experience with arguing with SS but in my case I was also arguing with the NHS (psychiatrist) and so it was a huge battle. Your mother's views will also be taken into account at her best interest meeting particularly if she is able to make her views clearly known and appears to be mentally capable of making decisions. If she agrees with SS then you could have a problem but not necessarily insurmountable.

Hope you find this forum helpful - you will get lots of support here.
Best wishes,
Jancis
 

wazzer

Registered User
Jun 4, 2008
112
0
North west England.
Hi
I basically had the same problems with my mum a few years ago, where due to major issues we were at our wits end and found it almost impossible to look after her in her own home.
My wife and I decided to take up the offer of 'respite' from SS and mum went into a Care Home for three weeks to give us a break. We told mum she was going on holiday to a lovely hotel (I hated lying to mum but I had to). Although we did have to pay a small fee for the three weeks, which we paid from mums pension the remainder was made up by our LA.
We went back after three weeks to bring her back home to find her very upset because she did not want to go back home she loved it in the Care Home so much. That was when the 'fight' started with SS. The Care Home where willing to accept her permanently, I wanted her to stay permanently but SS had other ideas. They wanted to bring carers into mums house four times a day and they tried to hold out for this.
I had to point out all the 'negatives' about mum being at home on her own during the day while my wife and I where at work and the carers would not be there, especially as regards incontinence issues, wandering about her house in the early hours (which we know she did), falling etc, etc. and overnight issues. Basically I could not guarantee her safety. The Care Home backed me up on this in that in their opinion she would not be safe on her own.
Eventually SS relented and made mum permanent in the Home but sometimes I think you have 'to be cruel to be kind' in dealings with SS.

Kind regards
Ken.
 

Jansey

Registered User
Dec 31, 2011
2
0
East Yorkshire
Thanks to all who have written.

I intend to chase up the psychiatric report tomorrow, as I assume most places will be closed today. I also need to contact the social worker to discuss the next meeting, as last time she tried to whisper things to my brother in front of Mum and this got her very upset. Mum may be confused but her hearing is very sharp and does not like to think that her future is being decided by others.

I know when asked Mum will say she wants to go home, but she does not have any memory of falling and the police having to break the door down. We arranged meals on wheels but she refused these the first day. The carers were leaving her meals and she was hiding them, along with her notes.

I think we will have problems if the social worker and Mum both feel that she can manage at home, so will have to try and contact her before.