1. Chrissyan

    Chrissyan Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    570
    N E England
    My 82 year old widowed father has vascular dementia, he was diagnosed two months ago after a frustrating & upsetting year. He lives on his own & I work 30 hours a week & need to to pay my mortgage.

    At present I do my Dad's shopping, manage his money, appointments, change his bed, do his clothes washing & tidying up. He has got much worse lately and the time has come to get help in, initially for 1 hour day at lunchtime. This is mainly to hopefully cajole him into eating a hot meal at lunchtime, generally check he is okay & perhaps put some washing in/do a bit of ironing for him.

    Our social worker has taken 6 months sabbatical to finish her degree, no great loss there, I was not impressed & common sense didn't seem to be one of her strong points. My Dad will be self funding so I seem to be on my own with this.

    He will have forgotten by now that he agreed to have someone come in. I will have to tell him again & tell him he must pay for it.:( Attendance Allowance claim is being dealt with & I had a phone call on Monday to say that someone will set up an appointment with me about me being a trustee for his allowance, so looks like he will be getting it, although they wouldn't tell me anything. EPA is lodged with the solicitors but he has put a clause in to say when his GP decides he is not capable so it is not registered yet but he has added me to his current bank account.

    There are about 5 home care suppliers in our town. Two I have already been told are not very good, especially the one that Social Services themselves would have put in place if my Dad had been eligible for funding! Are there any reports on these care services, how do I monitor what has happened while I am at work & how on earth do I pick a good one? Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Chrissyan,

    The Commision for Social Care Inspection's (CSCI)website has the ability to review inspection reports for home care agenicies:

    http://www.csci.org.uk/

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  3. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    hello Chrissyan. I understand your concerns -you have alot on your plate-your dad is lucky to have you to care. Perhaps you could find time to visit these care homes yourself and get the feeling of them.Take someone with you if possible-and don't ring up to make an appointment-drop in unannounced and ask to see the manager for a chat and to look around. You should be able to access a guide for what to look out for from social services-if not am sure the Alzheimers Ass have some guidelines-I'm new to this site myself but know they will help! Good luck!
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I did this for my mother. Like you she was self-funded so apart from a list, there was no real help forthcoming. I'm not sure I have any real advice, except that of a negative nature. You really have to emphasize to them that time keeping is very important - it's not good enough to sometimes turn up at one time and sometimes another - consitency is key. I do understand WHY they get held up, but that's not my problem. If they don't build in enough time to get from A to B, or to deal with a client they should be the ones with the problem not our loved ones or us. I actually managed to more or less enforce that by having the evening carer place a call from my mother's home to me every night - it gave me the opportunity to talk to Mummy, and meant they had to be there. Timely record keeping is something else - there should be a book at the house that notes everything that happened on a specific visit. If at all possible, the same staff. Some people are much better than others, and it's too much to expect that you won't ocasionally get a visit from a dud, but too many duds and you might have to rethink the contract. The contract: how long will it run, and what are the terms of termination? Some people end up terminating these contracts and suddenly finding that they have to pay for a month of service, even though they're not using it. If I think of anything else I'll post again.
     
  5. Lizzie K

    Lizzie K Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    18
    East Midlands
    Hi Chrissyan, my heart goes out to you. Your situation seems very similar to ours. Dad in law was diagnosed with vascular dementia three years ago (he is now 80) and it was such a struggle to get him to accept outside assistance. You must try and get as much support from doctor/carers/social services as you can otherwise your health will begin to suffer. I speak from personal experience here. You cannot go on doing everything yourself, work virtually full time and have a life.

    Regarding power of attorney you are probably aware that you don't have to register it to sort out finances. Once the doctor has agreed it is necessary, you can just notify all relevant persons and let them have a certified copy (your solicitor will provide these). Don't let anyone take the original as it is irreplacable.

    My father in law ended up having to go into emergency respite care as he was continually falling and was totally unsafe to be on his own. We could no longer cope with the constant state of high alert we seemed to be on. We are presently sorting out full time care whilst he is in respite. As Sandy says, the CSCI website is excellent. It has up to date inspection reports on. For example, we went to see one home, thought it looked okay so downloaded their report. We then found that criminal prosecutions were pending against two former members of staff for abuse to patients!

    Take care and I hope it all goes well. Lizzie K
     
  6. Chrissyan

    Chrissyan Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    570
    N E England
    Sandy: That was exactly what I was looking for, many thanks.:)

    gigi: I was going to phone up these agencies but you are right I will just turn up at a couple of these home care agencies once I have pre-vetted them on Sandy's link, thanks.

    jenniferpa: Most useful advice, especially the book idea, ( assuming my Dad doesn't move it ;)) is that your idea or do some agencies provide them? Good point about the contract too, I hadn't thought about that, will check the length in case I want to dispense with their services quickly. Cheers.

    Lizzie K: No I wasn't aware I didn't have to register the PA to sort out his finances, will need to do some more reading to find out what registering it actually does. I guess the original must be the one my Dad was sent in the post which I filed in his blue compartmental file I bought him, which has now vanished.:eek:I am guessing he hasn't done anything silly with the file so must find it & 'borrow' the PA.

    get as much support from doctor/carers/social services---- I won't start or I will never stop, I have already briefly mentioned the social worker. As for the GP he thought my Dad would get the drugs,he seemed unaware that they are usually not given for VAD, he told my Dad to carry on driving & it was okay & NOT a legal requirement to report to DVLA and that all his other VAD patients have told him when they :eek: needed to stop driving. There is more, lots more...... :mad: I am not even going to attempt to change my Dad's GP, changing his dentists so it wasn't 8 miles away from his home was a total disaster but if I am making any appointments I will make with a different doctor in the same practice & tell Dad his own one was unavailable.

    You were a bit right about it affecting me I have had a down & depressed week, I work for a big organisation & my very nice boss, bless her, has arranged for me to see the Welfare Officer at work tomorrow. It's not just watching the actual deterioration of his mental capacities it's all the decision making on his behalf that I am doing on my own as well as playing the 'wicked witch' & telling him he shouldn't do things.

    Feel much better now about choosing a home care agency, it is a big decision I don't want to get it wrong even though it is only for one hour a day at present we all know it will probably need to be increased & increased.

    Thanks to you all for your invaluable help.:):):)
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    In our case the agency provided the book (or care log as I think it was called). I "think" it might be legal requirement - I vaguely remember a series of post from someone where the care log wasn't being kept in the home (i.e. the place where the care was being provided) and we determined that the log is supposed to be kept in the home.

    All I can say about your comments re the GP - at least you KNOW that doctor is useless.

    P.S. Regarding the EPA - it is possible for the EPA to be written in such a way that registration is required - most aren't, but it might be.
     
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    In the two days i had care before John was admitted to hospital, a log book was supplied, and kept in our hall. The carers signed in and out, with times, and added comments.

    I was very impressed with them, it was one of the carers who phoned an ambulance and insisted John was taken to hospital.

    They were arranged by our SW.
     
  9. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi

    I think all carers should have a log book which they sign every visit, re. meds given, food eaten etc. although in south lanarkshire it didn't happen. In Glasgow it did.

    If the log was completed for the visit, then I knew if I had to try to give meds or not, very helpful

    When I asked South Lanarkshire SS about this log they agreed that it should happen and would see to it, but no log ever appeared. I mentioned it to the LA carer, who was wonderful and she suggested if I wanted, buy a notebook and she would write in it. Obviously not the norm then, with South Lanarkshire care dept.

    On weekends, we had contract carers, who when I asked for a log, it did appear, but communication was lacking, the carers were not informed of where to find the log, or even that a log existed, so therefore, it was next to useless most of the time.

    Hope you have more success than me with the log book

    Take care
    Alfjess
     
  10. Chrissyan

    Chrissyan Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    570
    N E England
    Thanks for that, now I know for sure I want a book ;) My Dad manages his own meds at present, he has had two heart by pass operations in the past & the meds are the same as it's all vascular, he has been on them 10 years so it is a way of life for him. (Not that there has been any revision of his meds by his useless GP since diagnosis). The medication on a morning is such an ingrained habit with my Dad that I don't have to worry for now, I know I will do later as he gets worse. Only thing that needs monitoring is his actual supplies & I can do that.

    Now I really know what I need to look out for & what should be happening. Thanks guys you have been brilliant & I know my woes are nothing compared to what some of you are going through.

    Thought the hardest thing in my life was watching my Mum die of cancer with no care & no diagnosis & be labelled as a hypochondriac it was the worst thing I thought I would ever have to go through in my life. I trusted the doctors, I trusted the nurses even when what I understood & saw myself didn't agree. I have learnt & grown from that. I will check, I will question, I will trust my own judgement and nothing else. No way is any medical staff going to pull the wool over my eyes through incompetence or indifference & treat a parent of mine badly again. I only have one left & I want his remaining time to be best it can be under the circumstances.
     
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Yeah Chrissyann - we'll all be right behind you, cheering you on!!
     

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