Contacting Social Services for the first time...

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Auntiep, May 11, 2008.

  1. Auntiep

    Auntiep Registered User

    Apr 14, 2008
    Hi everyone

    I'm just about to contact SS for the first time, as I know I need help. Mum has VAD and currently lives alone in sheltered accommodation. I am her only carer, as she's widowed, and I am on my own (not married).

    She's still in the early stages, but she needs help with things like medication, paperwork/finances, medical appointments, encouragement to eat, etc. I'm doing most things at the moment, but I can't carry on, and I know things will get more demanding in the future. I have my own health issues as well, which could affect my ability to provide her wth care (depression/anxiety)

    I just wanted to ask for some advice before I make the call. Does anyone have any tips on what to say, planning for the visit, etc. I have experienced social workers before for my Dad when he was alive, but not for someone with dementia.

    I've started to make a list of the things I think she needs assistance with. She already receives attendance allowance, as she has other health problems.

    thank you

    Auntie P
  2. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Auntiep,

    Our contact with the SS came via the Mental Health team at the Memory Clinic. I'm not sure is this is how it works in all areas, but has your Mum had an assessment? If not you should insist on one. If she needs help with personal care and taking medication then SS should already be on the case.

    A referral via the consultant would probably be more effective than a 'cold call' to SS.
  3. Kelster

    Kelster Registered User

    May 11, 2008
    Hello auntie P


    I have recently dealt with social workers as my mum also has alzheimers and I have recently involved social services to get assistance. I would definately write down a detailed list of everything your mother needs help with, give them a copy and keep a copy yourself.

    Definately push for as much funding as you can, does your mother have DLA (disability Living allowance)??, do you get carers allowance??, ask about this definately. Also they can provide funding for carers to come in and care for your mum, respite care, daycare, these are all things you should ask about.

    The funding can be done in different ways, there is a direct payment route in which you get allocated funds and with that you choose the carers, daycare you want and pay for it with this money. This is what I have chosen to do, and I actually get paid for caring for mum and there is spare money that we can use so she can go into daycare. This cash has been agreed but I am still waiting for it though!!. Or alternatively you can get social services to arrange all the care and sevices for you.

    My mum has severe alzheimers as you mum's is quite mild you are definately doing the right thing by getting help early on especially if you have your own health issues too and you don't want to be getting ill yourself.

    If you need any more advice please feel free to contact me. Good luck.

    Best Wishes,

  4. Auntiep

    Auntiep Registered User

    Apr 14, 2008
    Thanks Kelly and Sue for replying. It helps to know at least someone is interested. It's so difficult to cope with Mum on my own. I feel so upset most of the time, and frustrated and guilty that I can't cope. It's hard not having anyone to talk to or share the burden.

    Becaue she in the early stages, people who don't see her as often as me don't recognise how much her bahaviour and personality have changed, and just how demanding she can be. I worry that when the Social Worker does come that will happen again :confused:.

    With regard to the assessment, she hasn't had one for the dementia. I found this on our local SS website, and wondered if anyone else had used anything similar:-

    I'm so scared of the future :(
  5. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    You may also find this fact sheet from Age Concern useful (assuming your Mum is over 60):

    I think that applies to most of us here, but I am finding that as the situation changes with my Dad, circumstances that I never thought I could face, I cope with, simply because I have to. The fear of what the future may bring is usually worse than the reality.
  6. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    As your mum's main carer, you are also entitled to an assessment of YOUR needs. Please ask for this as well. This assessment is to find out if you need some help to have 'time out' to persue an interest of your own. I had an assessment and got a carer for 3 hours each week whilst I went to a foreign language class. Good luck.

  7. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Antiep

    You are right to seek help now. You must not feel guilty, if you are doing your best there is nothing to feel guilty about. Other people have advised you on what to do, they are better experienced than me cos my mum is in a care home - and I feel guilty about that too.

    Do your best, it is all you can do,.

    Much love

  8. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Hi AuntiP

    I contacted the Nottingham branch of the Alzheimers Society and they sent someone round to me and she was absolutely marvellous. She was able to help me understand the system and she also made contacts for me when necessary. She was also nice to have around because she seemed to be the only person that actually wanted to help!!!!!!

    Love Helen p.s. She came quite quickly too not like some of the others where I had to wait ages for an appointment.

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