Dad's violence continues, carer in hopsital, can the local authority turn it over to me?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by KMH, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Hello again, I have been too defeated to post on here for some time but consistently you as a group have more wisdom about dementia than I have found anywhere else, including specialists and professionals.

    I cannot believe I have been posting on here on and off since 2012. I have two parents with dementia, determined to live together in their own home, 4x a day care package for both of them. There is a long history of violence and aggression from my dad (now 85) which has seen him before magistrates for violence twice in the past 3-4 years, and separated by the courts from mum for 2 years. Seven court appearances, costs over £10,000. Mum (83) has very poor mobility, constant pain and is blind in one eye, as well as Addenbrooke's score of 13/29 at last assessment.

    In October last year they moved back in together as the courts were not prepared to deprive him of his home for any longer and mum was not prepared to move out. I was despairing at this decision but powerless. She said she was lonely without him. In January she was in A&E with two black eyes, a bruised nose and cut lips, bruising to the backs of her hands and shins. She insists she fell. When I heard in February that he was trying to pull the stair lift off the wall I called the duty desk and we arranged an emergency week's placement in a local care home. I took her, they tried to persuade her (very hard sell). In a funny way I was kind of impressed at her strength of will. She insisted she was not going - showed off her wedding ring and said younger people don't know what this means. She was very angry with me.

    In the latest incident, just yesterday, dad is reported to have pushed a carer over, she hit her head, went to hospital and will be off work for some time. I suspect this may be related to the clocks going forward and her being an 'hour early'. The carer, who I know well and is a sweet and gentle person who would not have provoked anything, is making a statement to Police. Mum told me about the incident herself, seeming angry with me, 'you were right, weren't you' as if that should make me happy. Then the care agency told me the full story. He kicked her before he pushed her, and when she fell she blacked out. Neither of them thought to call an ambulance for her.

    If Police charge him, this will be our fifth consecutive summer in court.

    Back in 2012, I wasn't sure it was dementia. Now at least I know the name of the illness for sure. Both of my parents both have a diagnosis now, although my dad is very fluctuant and will angrily insist he has 'been cleared by the highest psychiatrists in the land' (he hasn't, but because his Addenbrookes went up over a 6 month period they signed him off). He is consistently violent and abusive, to my mum and to the carers. Not so much to me lately although he was last week. Safeguarding inquiries are into double figures but this is still where we are.

    So my question to you is, does anybody know whether the local authority have a legal obligation to keep brokering their care? I have already told them I will not employ PAs for three reasons.

    One, it would take at least four PAs to cover 4 calls a day, 52 weeks a year, and I could not arrange cover every time someone goes sick. I am fifty miles away and still work full time running a counselling centre plus doing 15-20 appointments a week.

    Two, I do not think this could be achieved within the approx. £2000 a month they spend on care (they are still fully funding and it takes all of their pensions and attendance allowance plus some savings).

    Three, my father would be just as violent and aggressive with PAs as he is with everybody else. Care agencies are better placed to deal with this.

    I have given up asking whether anybody has been in a similar situation - this seems to be a special area of dementia hell made just for me, although I know your own special areas are just as hard - But I am just wondering, if the local authority just withdraw support, do I have anywhere else to go?

    For the first time in over ten years, I will not be calling them today.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Someone isn't playing fair @KMH. This responsibility should not be on your shoulders.

    Whatever his opinion your parents are vulnerable adults and both at risk.

    I've no idea how you can address this and can only suggest you phone the Helpline for advice. If anyone can help I'm sure the Helpline can.

    0300 222 11 22

    Helpline opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
    Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hello @KMH
    what a truly horrible situation for all of you
    I wish I had some advice
    it sounds to me as though your mum is caught up in 'battered wife syndrome' (that may not be the current terminology) ie she is so used to her life being this way that for her it is 'normal', yet to others looking in her situation is untenable - so I wonder whether this helpline may be able to suggest something helpful
    and possibly this
    I assume that your parents are both considered to still have capacity, so have the 'right' to make even bad decisions for themselves - if either is no longer deemed to have capacity, that may change things
    I'd say it may be helpful if the carer pressed charges (which should happen) , and you yourself, but from what you write you've been down that road
    as to LA support - I worry that they have to offer support but it can be refused and finding a care agency which will provide staff under these circumstances may be difficult as staff have a right to their own safety in their workplace - that doesn't mean it should all be left to you as the 'duty of care' lies with the LA
    but I'm waffling and not being helpful
    I hope the Helpline can offer you more than just the sympathy I'm sending your way
  4. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012

    Hi Shedrech

    I agree the carer should press charges, although with dad the CPS now have a habit of throwing it out because of his age and physical condition.

    I think the current terminology is 'Stockholm Syndrome' and yes, I agree, mum does show that. Yes, we've done court, safeguarding, every possible thing. She has a Refuge worker but won't see her because she is happy where she is.

    It seems a person with dementia who has capacity is empowered within the law to do whatever they like to the people who are trying to care for them, including their families.

    I have called the Helpline but all operators are busy at the moment. And to be honest I can't face the thought of going through it all again from the beginning. I have explained it all to more than a hundred different workers easily through the past five or six years and we are still in the same place.

    If the care agency actually withdraw care, I might give it another try.

  5. Pasture01

    Pasture01 New member

    Mar 26, 2018
    Hi KMH. Wow. Does your dad still have capacity? Why aren't his multi-disciplinary team (Social Workers/Consultant) sitting down and supporting you in the best way forward? Really shouldn't be down to you solely to make these decisions. I can't imagine how hard you find your situation. I'm staggered at the lack of support from the local authority and hats off to you for keeping up the fight.
  6. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Hi there, local authority have been pretty supportive actually, but this situation seems to have no end and no solution. There is no multi disciplinary team and the only consultant psychiatrist he has ever seen, has signed him off. Not too sure how much fight I have left, neither mum or dad seem to want to help themselves now. I think one or both will have to go to residential care but it is definitely not what they want.
  7. fortune

    fortune Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    Is there any possibility of getting your dad sectioned? It might make it easier to make the necessary changes. Re: social workers, I wonder if you are perhaps seen as managing the situation, in which case they will head for the hills. I've had endless difficulties with my malicious drug abusing sister and SWs always sympathetic but did nothing...until I wrote a very strong letter saying in my opinion mum was at serious risk during sister's visits and informing them I would not be on the premises when she was. We are now fast-tracked onto a best interests meeting. Hoping now there will be some action, fingers crossed. Best of luck, what an awful situation for all of you.
  8. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    HI KMH,

    I am so sorry for such a horrific situation which makes no sense in terms of the support you have been given.

    I would agree with the previous respondent about sectioning - that, if you have any energy left at all, to see an urgent re-referral to the domiciliary psychiatrist, keep all your records to hand, including photos of mum's injuries and dad's abusive language and behaviour etc. I would expect the psychiatric team to put dad into an EMI (Elderly mentally ill) facility which is desgined for this type of situation.

    Has your dad been put on any psychiatric medication for his dementia? How long has your dad been abusive - has it got worse since the dementia?

    As your mum won't agree to action, it is unfortunately all down to you it seems to harrass those bodies who should be looking after your parents' best interests. I am frankly gobsmacked that this situation has been allowed to carry on.

    Quite honestly, it's so ludicrous that I wonder about approaching a local newspaper to highlight the inadequacies of the services around you.

    And as for finding someone who has a similar experience, though you may not find anyone here, would it be worth contacting, if you haven't already, a domestic violence charity, especially if you are unable to get through to the Alzheimer's helpline. You may be able to get an advocate who can fight on your behalf.

    Massive good luck and keep us posted.
  9. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you fortune and lambchop. All good questions lambchop - and I suppose five years ago I expected the same, and was puzzled that it never happened that way. But because my dad's dementia is fluctuant, and there is a history of abusive and violent behaviour going back decades, the last psychiatrist attributed the aggression to depression and a possible personality problem, not to dementia. He takes Fluoxetine for his mood and depression but nothing for dementia. I have never pursued that because I am not sure how much dementia medications help anyway?

    I begged the GP to start the process of getting him sectioned the second time he was arrested in 2015, the duty GP I spoke to (one of the practice leaders, not his own GP who is very good) was very dismissive and sais I would have to take him to A&E and ask to see a psychiatrist. He was in a police cell at the time. She in fact said 'you're the one who sounds agitated, not him'. I had to explain to her that maybe most people would be agitated if their eighty three year old father kept getting arrested for violence against their disabled mother. The mental health route seems closed, although I did call the GP yesterday and left a message that that their has been another violent incident and could he please be referred for review.

    The criminal and civil justice systems do not have a solution either. That day, the CPS would not allow police to charge him due to his age and condition, and he was returned home (they called me at midnight to pick him up - I was sixty miles away), the abuse of my mum that followed was horrible and started the process of getting a Domestic Violence Protection Order, followed up by Non Molestation and Occupation orders lasting two years. But after two years in and out of court, including him developing a heart condition and being hospitalised a couple of times, mum decided she wanted him back. For that court process I documented everything, incidents, photographs and produced all of the evidence myself even though solicitors were paid thousands. I didn't photograph mum's injuries last time (January this year) because she was adamant she fell and I believed her.

    Domestic violence specialist charities are not willing/ able to help because mum does not want it. In the end their solutions are all about the civil courts - separation, divorce, which she will not do, and sale of their house which mum will not contemplate. Her whole energy seems focused on staying in her house.

    Perhaps the papers might be interested but I can't face that invasion as well, and also it would attract denial and rebuttal by the agencies who would possibly start blaming me. I don't believe it would achieve anything for mum or dad in the end. I am feeling quite hopeless. The most positive thing is that the care agency have not withdrawn service yet, although as someone said they are quite within their rights as the carers are entitled to a safe workplace.
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Your mums response of refusing any outside help, desperately wanting to stay at home and resisting any sort of change is typical of dementia. Im guessing, though, that she still is considered to have capacity, so in SS eyes she is "free to make unwise choices" (sigh)

    I dont know what the answer is. All I cant do acknowledge your despair and send ((((((hugs)))))
  11. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you Canary - yes in the end it is all down to 'unwise choices' but I think it is getting borderline on capacity.

    I was intrigued by fortune's mention of a 'Best Interests' meeting - does anybody know what that is?
  12. Georgina63

    Georgina63 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2014
    Hi @KMH,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation and it does seem incredibly unfair to say the least (understatement) to put the responsibility of this on your shoulders. Although my circumstances are different there are many similarities as both my folks have dementia and were at home together, with several care visits a day. The fact that they were both diagnosed put them firmly on the SS/memory clinic radar. At one stage Mum was the subject of a POVA because of Dad's behaviour. It turned out to be a positive thing in some respects as we had a very joined up team in place to help support them (social worker, occupational therapist, etc). It would perhaps not be a bad idea if the carer reports the incident to the police (your Mum is a vulnerable adult) and maybe this could be a prompt to insist SS help coordinate a best interest meeting (to determine what would be best for your parents, as it seems certain they are unable to act in their own best interests now).
    I now look back on our situation, at a time where my folks are settled in a care home, and wonder how we managed it as it was very stressful as you describe. I think you do need better support from SS. Also, so you have a local Alzheimer's Society? I found them invaluable to talk things through, particularly in times of crisis. Sorry if I've waffled on and stated the obvious, such a difficult time, sorry! Georgina x
  13. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    My mum had a Best Interest meeting, but the situation was rather different.

    She had been living at her home and had refused all outside help. Eventually she had a TIA and was taken to hospital where she was found to be severely dehydrated and malnourished. She had 6 weeks reablement in a care home and at the end of this period there was a Best Interest meeting to decide where the best place for her to live would be. Everyone was in agreement that it would be in mums best interest for her to stay there, and mum herself thought it was her actual home. I rather think, though, that if either mum or I had said that we wanted mum to go home, then SS would have over-ruled common sense.
  14. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    I think you are in a difficult situation because if you know that a carer is at risk of violence from your dad, can you in good conscience employ them to go into your parents home? At the least visits should be by two persons, not one person on their own.

    I think you need to go to the care agency and find out their position - and if they refuse to send carers out (which would be perfectly reasonable), get that in writing to show to the social worker. Do your mum & dad have separate social workers - because what is in their interests is very different for each of them, so I can't see that one person can take that role. And that goes for you too, if you have power of attorney, its not fair to expect you to split yourself in two.

    Are you looking after their finances? If they are living in the family home, then I guess their income is pension & savings. Have you split their income between them, so that you can say how much they have each? If you do that, are both of them separately self-funding?

    I think the starting point now has to be to split - somehow - their money & welfare away from each other, so that there is someone looking after your mum's best interests and someone else looking after your dad.
  15. KMH

    KMH Registered User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you, arielsmelody. I have no siblings and have POA for both mum and dad, both kinds. Their finances were split when they separated, but the house is still jointly owned. I don't employ the carers as things stand. It seems the care agency is prepared to continue providing a service - for the time being. They had different social workers for a long time, but now have the same one. I have been piggy in the middle from birth, it sometimes seems to me. There is no one else obvious to take responsibility for one or the other of them. Sometimes I wish I had siblings to share this, other times not. In fact mum and dad both seem to see their interests as the same at the moment - they want to stay together. The people this is really unfair on, are the carers.

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