concern with sibling as next of kin

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Sal G, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Sal G

    Sal G New member

    Jun 14, 2019
    7
    I am new and I been advised my mum has advanced dementia stage. Mum was left under the care of my brother and had missed her dialysis sessions because she couldn't get up to open the door. I cannot access the property because my mum had signed the property over to my brother recently. He is the next of kin and there has been safeguarding and neglect issues raised with the hospital and social services, which I am handling, however, I feel I am at a dead end because everywhere I go I hear ' but he is the next of kin' I told the hospital she should not be discharged back to the same property, I showed them videos of living conditions and could not do much because ' he is the next of kin' yet again. They have put a safe box and got nurses in, however, what about the times when she does not go to dialysis and when she is at home when the nurses aren't there? I feel I am at a losing end....but don't wish to give up. She is a cardio, renal and dementia patient. She needs love, family and security like we all do. My brother left her to rot, he comes to sleep there but then goes back to his family 8 miles away during the day. That is not acceptable and there is no communication between us 3 siblings. This was the reason I was pushed out because I was keeping a close eye on things and disagreed with what they were doing which was not the best interest of my mum. Mum was stuck in between , so I backed off so she wouldn't have to choose, but I was always worried about her health, whether she was eating properly, bathed, mental wellbeing, all the normal things, but I kept saying to myself she is still with family.

    So, brother got what he wanted and left her to rot, it was only until the nurses came to the house 4 weeks ago as there was no show at the dialysis centre, they managed to get into the property finding mum sitting there, not bathed for days, weeks, looking like a 10 year old weight, horrible condition, stone cold food that must have been there for days, I was only informed a week later she was in hospital because medication was not taken and dialysis missed. Should my brother have a POA after this?

    I need help to help my mum get her basic human rights back and all that she worked for all her life, by the way she is only 63? She has been exploited by my unemployed father of 4 brother.

    Can someone help me please? This needs to be contested, I cannot stress enough how much it has taken over my life, I cannot give up on my mum. Parents give birth to us, feed us, gave us all we are today and then we leave them like a stray?!! Over what ?

    I need help. Sorry you had to read this sadness, I do not know who to go to.

    Thanks
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,663
    Female
    South coast
    Hello @Sally Gill and welcome to DTP

    What a very sad story.
    Have you been in contact with Social Services Safeguarding? I would contact them and explain your concerns - the "buzz words" to use is that they have a "duty of care" and that your mum is a "vulnerable adult who is at risk" because of her missed dialysis, lack of medication and living conditions. Dont try and clear everything up - wait for SS to see for themselves. Try and talk to the SW at the hospital - they may say that they cannot talk to you because you dont hold POA, but they can listen to your concerns.

    Finally, if your brother thinks that getting your mum to sign over her house to him will mean that he has got it now, he is in for a nasty shock. If/once your mum moves intto a care home the Local Authorities will consider it to be Deprivation of Assets. The LA will expect the house to be sold to fund her care home fees and he wont get anything.
     
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,564
    Yorkshire
    hello
    a warm welcome to DTP
    I am so saddened to read of your mum's situation

    Is your mum still in hospital ... if so I suggest you ask to speak with the hospital Social Worker/Discharge Manager and the Dementia Matron ... be blunt about her home conditions and ask that a 'best interests' meeting be arranged as you believe your mum's health and welfare are being put 'at risk' due to neglect and as she is a 'vulnerable adult' with a care plan in place, her Local Authority has the 'duty of care' to ensure that she receives the level of care and support she needs

    'next of kin' has no real status, any one of her children could be considered her next of kin ... medics should consult family but act in your mum's best interests

    if your mother has LPAs in place and your brother is her named Attorney, he again has the right to be consulted ... however, the LPA for Health & Welfare only comes into effect when the donor, your mum, no longer has capacity to make decicions for herself ... if your mum still has some capacity, her wishes are what counts (though often people want to stay in their own home long after others consider they are unsafe and at risk, and Social Services can act on this wish)
    if you are not sure whether your brother is her Attorney, you can check
    https://www.gov.uk/find-someones-attorney-or-deputy
    and on that page is the link to report a concern about how an Attorney is acting

    you may also want to contact her Local Authority Adult Services about the signing over of her property as this may be considered a deliberate deprivation of her assets, something the LA may look into

    if your brother isn't her Attorney, you can help your mum make arrangements if she still has capacity, or apply to become her Deputy if she no longer has capacity, but that Deputyship will only be for her financial affairs

    might you visit CAB or AgeUK to discuss the situation with them, they may be able to help

    as may Admiral Nurses, who are there to help the carer - if there is no local Nurse, do call their Helpline to chat with a Nurse

    https://www.dementiauk.org/get-support/admiral-nursing/

    personally, I would contact your mum's Local Authority Adult Services and tell them you consider this is a safeguarding issue as you believe your mum's life was put at risk since she missed her renal appointmentà

    now you've found us, keep posting with anything that's on your mind
     
  4. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    315
    Male
    North West
    Its not a good situation at all.

    Your mum has complex medical needs. The NOK is merely a way of contacting someone if something happens while she's having dialysis etc, it has no legal baring other than a point of contact. Of greater concern is that the nominated NOK is failing to communicate, which is essential if this situation is going to work for your mum. The other significant feature here is your mum being left alone in sub-optimal care with high risk medical problems.

    It shouts out safegaurding to me, even if your brother has and I qoute 'good intentions' clearly they are not shining through.

    Its very difficult when a brother plays up (my own experience), but its your mum you need to focus on as best you can by raising your concerns. POA's are not overriding rights afforded to people to do whatever they want. A POA must act in the best interests of the donor and not themselves. Your mums capacity does need to be assessed when she is being asked about what it is she wants, it isn't enough to just accept what she tells anyone -in other words she needs a review. As for the house if it was recently signed over he is unlikely to keep it if 24/7 social care (care home) is needed.

    Take care
     
  5. Sal G

    Sal G New member

    Jun 14, 2019
    7
    I have contacted social services and waiting to hear from them, only called them yesterday, after taking the name of my mum's social worker from the Sister in charge at mum's ward. I stopped her being discharged yesterday, as I am concerned about leaving her to her own devices when there is no one present.

    I am so confused and everything is so overwhelming that I am shocked at how mum was left. I feel like I am at a dead end and I wish I money to help her but with a family and mortgage to pay, I cannot.

    I am scared that right this minute they are discharging her to that rat infested house and I have asked for paperwork to be shown they have assessed the place, yet nothing has been given to me because I am not the NOK.

    You know when you are in a box and there is no doorway, that's how it feels. I have videos of the place taken two weeks ago, the hospital has seen it and yet sent back to my brother.

    It's scary to think this may happen to me one day.

    Sal
     
  6. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    315
    Male
    North West
    I empathise, why can't people behave themselves, pull together and do whats right for the person concerned.....keep on it, don't give up...your mums the important person here.
     
  7. la lucia

    la lucia Registered User

    Jul 3, 2011
    591
    Hi, what an awful situation for your poor mum.

    I think the priority is stopping the discharge and apart from keeping in touch with the hospital discharge team and social worker I think maybe contacting the hospital PALS department might be useful. They deal with complaints and concerns.

    @canary gave you the key words to use - the hospital and social services have a 'duty of care' to a 'vulnerable adult'. There's a high risk of abuse and neglect. My advice would be to call but also email the same concerns so that that way you have a paper trail. Stay calm, stay focused, it sounds like the minimum needed is domiciliary care to come in multiple times per day. If not more.

    You need to assess if Power of Attorney is in place for health and also for finances. If not is it too late? I'd be very surprised if your brother could actually succeed in changing the name on the deeds. It's not actually that easy.

    Ask to be kept in the loop. You may not get details but you should at least know if assessments etc are taking place. Insist that the minimum you'll accept is feedback on whether they've physically been to your mum's home. But without being emotional or noisy, make it clear that you are not going to go away until you are satisfied that your mother is safe and well cared for.

    Surely, the ambulance service must have filed a report on the conditions they found her in? Usually a safeguarding report is automatic.
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,624
    Male
    North Manchester
    You could become proactive and try to sort out the actual situation.

    You can go to
    https://www.gov.uk/find-someones-attorney-or-deputy and check if an attorney has been appointed.
    If one has and you have concerns you can inform the OPG by email
    opg.safeguardingunit@publicguardian.gov.uk
    If nobody has been appointed you can email saying you have serious concerns that x might appoint y as an attorney.
    In either case be prepared to submit evidence regarding your concerns.

    Has the title to the property actually been transferred?
    It's a legal process most likely involving a solicitor who, from what you have said, could well challenge your mum's capacity. All this would involve paying money which again from what you have said I find unlikely.

    My advice would be to check LPA status and take appropriate action, also severely rattle the cage of adult safeguarding at the Local Authority, do a Google search on adult safeguarding <name of Local Authority>. e.g. adult safeguarding Buxton and follow prompts to register your concerns.
     
  9. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    639
    Hi
    What a difficult situation. I agree with nitram's advice to be proactive and get the facts.
    Regarding the house: you can check who owns it for £3.00. Go to the gov.uk website (not commercial ones) and search for land registry. Enter the house number and postcode and it will confirm that there are records. (If there are none, it will be because the property hasn't changed hands for decades.) You then have the option to pay £3.00 for sight of the title register document. Before paying you can see an example of what the document will look like.
    What I don't know is how long it takes for the register to be updated - but there's a Land Registry phone number so you could ask.
     
  10. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    315
    Male
    North West

    Be mindful what you may find on the land registry details, there may be other matters you hadn't known about or thought of
     
  11. Sal G

    Sal G New member

    Jun 14, 2019
    7
    I appreciate all your help and advice on the matter!

    I hope to make some buddies on here as I go through this journey. I have discovered my mum’s maternal side decided not to help me because it is too much stress!

    Nobody wants to know when you are going through difficult times. Feel lost without Mum.
     
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,663
    Female
    South coast
    Im afraid that this is a very common reaction from families
    You will get lots of support on here
    xx
     
  13. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    315
    Male
    North West
    I know :(

    But you've come to a good place and look at how many people have replied to your dilemma. Sometimes when I'm having a bad day I just write on here -its a form of release. Sometimes I just read others posts without saying anything. I'm learning slowly that whatever happens I will have to let go of mum in the end -its tough and not helped by family who create unecessary problems

    Lots of people here with loads of experiences in different ways
     
  14. concerned4

    concerned4 Registered User

    Jun 3, 2012
    50
    Sorry to hear of your situation Sal G being in a similar situation to yourself it is hard to watch this happening, it took 5 years before anyone would listen to what we had to say, sadly the damage had been done, having been let down by SS, we also raised issues with CPN & Consultants (had photographic evidence also) but truth be told we received same answer they are next of kin & have POA it was joint but sibling managed to convince dad I was not acting in his best interests & I was subsequently removed in 2013, was difficult but this just strengthened our resolve to bring the individuals concerned to book, this is ongoing, some 7 years after highlighting,finally the OPG got involved but it was also too late,sibling asked to resign yet OPG didn't think it necessary to involve police, large sums removed from his account,dad is now being cared for in a care home, he is self funding 2017 his bill was £60k for the year to 2018.

    Sibling & children socially isolated dad as they "didn't trust anyone" it suited their agenda.

    Has your mother been assessed for capax & is she aware of what is going on without being manipulated?
    If not the authorities or where she is at present will know & should be informing the relevant authorities, we also sought advice from GP ask them to refer your mother to get her assessed for capacity, as soon as possible.
    The house being signed over has no significance at this point as if your mum has to go in to a care facility the house will be required if she doesn't have sufficient funds to pay for care.

    Really hope you get some sort of result but unfortunately some of those allegedly being given a position of trust, ultimately see this as an opportunity to benefit at the expense of others, sadly society today seems to be driven by greed.
     
  15. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    850
    Female
    Dorset
    I do not understand why you are just accepting officialdom’s comments that your brother is your mother’s “next of kin”, you also are “next of kin” and have equal right to state your case.
     
  16. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,624
    Male
    North Manchester
    It's worth noting that although 'next of kin 'commonly means 'nearest relative' in the situation you are in it means somebody chosen by the patient.

    3. Next of kin
    Although widely used, the phrase ‘next of kin’ has
    no legal definition or status. If a person is nominated
    by a patient as next of kin and given authority to
    discuss the patient’s condition, such a person may
    provide valuable information about the patient’s
    wishes to staff caring for the patient. However, the
    nominated person cannot give or withhold consent
    to the sharing of information about the patient and
    has no rights of access to the patient’s medical
    records. The patient may nominate anyone as next
    of kin – spouse, partner, family member or friend. In
    the absence of such a nomination, no-one can claim
    to be next of kin.

    https://www.bma.org.uk/-/media/files/pdfs/practical advice at work/ethics/confidentialitytoolkit_card7.pdf?la=en
     
  17. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    315
    Male
    North West
    Absolutely correct Nitram
     
  18. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    850
    Female
    Dorset
    Thank you for pointing out my mistake, hopefully useful for other readers!
     
  19. Sal G

    Sal G New member

    Jun 14, 2019
    7
    Thank you to all in here.

    I have a Best Interest meeting with the SS and other healthcare professionals this Thursday, including the brother.

    I have to get myself together and get all my points noted down.

    I am sorry to hear what everyone’s has gone through on here. It’s a shame how money has definitely become the root of all evil, using patents as bait. Money comes and goes, parents don’t.

    Well I will not rest there if they side with my brother, as this is the second safeguarding case against my brother. The one I know about was closed last year, I have no details about it.

    X
     
  20. Sal G

    Sal G New member

    Jun 14, 2019
    7
    Hi everyone

    Hope you all are holding up and staying strong.

    I have had major problems with social services and had raised my concerns about Mum was living with my brother.

    Recently, there was a Best Interest meeting held and in the room was me, Brother, Sister, doctor, SW and occupational therapist. My siblings have said everything that was music to the professionals ears And was decided Mum was to be moved to my brother’s new house.

    I contacted social services and asked for my brother to be investigated due to the conditions she was living and neglect and safeguarding issues. I spoke to many people, including safeguarding team and they were basically sweeping everything under the carpet and felt there was no need to open a case against my siblings because a care package is now in place and she is being discharged to my brothers house.

    I had also asked for the reason why the first safeguarding case was opened, what happened, what the outcome was and what was done about it and what assurances were given and any follow ups from assessing the first case. There was no answer given to me other than, 8 months down the line and after this second safeguarding/ neglect issues they turned round and said ‘ well there is a care package in place.’

    Brother exploited Mum financially and nothing has been done. Mum doesn’t know what is normal living conditions, hygiene, because she has been used to living like that for several years apparently. She still says she wants to live with my brother. It has been confirmed she does not have the mental capacity to make decisions.

    To conclude. I said to the social services, everything my brother has done has been ignored the second time and nothing has been done about it. I have asked them to put it in writing so I can challenge them.

    I have spent weeks now trying to fight this but it seems to me, all this vulnerable adult at risk means nothing.

    I am so sad that my mum is 63, but looks as if she is 90 and everyone had failed her and now I feel all lost about this.

    Pals service hasn’t done anything, emailed and no response, just ‘ will contact shortly a week ago.’ 2 emails I sent to them.

    OPG said cannot investigate as ‘ no appointed POA as a LPA or EPA.

    I need some help, sorry to have bored you all.

    Thanks

    Sally
     

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