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Difficult situation. Shall I allow a visit yet?

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
Hi. I haven't posted for a while but I'm still caring for my 90 year Mum with advanced stage Vascular Dementia, at home with me, 6 years down the line. I was told 3 years ago, she was at end of life but somehow she is still here, despite being extremely frail, and just weighing 6 stone. As difficult as it is, I will care for her until the end, but she sadly has very little quality of life now and it's totally heartbreaking.

Some of you may recall from my posts a few years back, Mum and I had a dreadful time when after my Mums partner died, she was removed from her home by my sibling (who hadnt been in contact with Mum for over a decade) who moved her into their home then financially and emotionally abused her. I had to get the police and social services involved, and it all went to court with 3 hearings in London. It was one of the worst times of my life but eventually the Judge saw through all the lies and poisoned statements, and eventually, I was given guardianship of Mum to live with me, a solicitor appointed as a Financial Deputy to look after what is left of Mums money, and despite Mum not wanting contact, fortnightly contact sessions of 2 hour duration were set up for my sibling in my home (I have to go out) overseen by a social worker. About 60% of contact meetings have happened, the rest of the time my sibling has cancelled for various reasons. They only stay an hour as Mum gets so distressed and tired.

Due to Covid, we obviously had to stop contact to keep myself and Mum safe. In 6 months there has only been 2 texts from my sibling to enquire how Mum is. No present on Mums 90th, no card or present on Mothers Day, no phone calls, no suggestion of setting up Facetime to keep in contact with Mum. Nothing.

However my sibling now wants to start up visits again and has sent a text suggesting sitting in the front garden with Mum. I am unsure what to do as I know they have been isolating but I do not know why (we do not speak). I do not know who they mix with or where they go and feel after all this time of my being so careful to protect Mum and I, this could be a risk. Also I doubt Mum will go out into the garden and sit out there especially if it's chilly and with the colder weather coming this is not something that could be continued. She hardly ever sits out with me anymore. I could purchase a gazebo and put that out there with a table and a couple of well spaced out chairs but Mum doesn't understand all this and I really don't know what is the best thing to do.

I would appreciate your comments.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,249
Yorkshire
Hi @tryingmybest
2 things stand out for me.... 4 out of 10 proposed visits didn't happen
and
"Also I doubt Mum will go out into the garden and sit out there especially if it's chilly and with the colder weather coming this is not something that could be continued. She hardly ever sits out with me anymore."

so you may well end up making all the necessary arrangements only to have a cancellation and/or a distressed mum... neither is acceptable

I wonder what the SW will have to say, or are these visits to be unsupervised (not imo a good idea)... that may give you a get out
 

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
18
It would be a resounding no from me I'm afraid, as much to do with their past behaviour as much as the practicalities.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
717
Hi. I haven't posted for a while but I'm still caring for my 90 year Mum with advanced stage Vascular Dementia, at home with me, 6 years down the line. I was told 3 years ago, she was at end of life but somehow she is still here, despite being extremely frail, and just weighing 6 stone. As difficult as it is, I will care for her until the end, but she sadly has very little quality of life now and it's totally heartbreaking.

Some of you may recall from my posts a few years back, Mum and I had a dreadful time when after my Mums partner died, she was removed from her home by my sibling (who hadnt been in contact with Mum for over a decade) who moved her into their home then financially and emotionally abused her. I had to get the police and social services involved, and it all went to court with 3 hearings in London. It was one of the worst times of my life but eventually the Judge saw through all the lies and poisoned statements, and eventually, I was given guardianship of Mum to live with me, a solicitor appointed as a Financial Deputy to look after what is left of Mums money, and despite Mum not wanting contact, fortnightly contact sessions of 2 hour duration were set up for my sibling in my home (I have to go out) overseen by a social worker. About 60% of contact meetings have happened, the rest of the time my sibling has cancelled for various reasons. They only stay an hour as Mum gets so distressed and tired.

Due to Covid, we obviously had to stop contact to keep myself and Mum safe. In 6 months there has only been 2 texts from my sibling to enquire how Mum is. No present on Mums 90th, no card or present on Mothers Day, no phone calls, no suggestion of setting up Facetime to keep in contact with Mum. Nothing.

However my sibling now wants to start up visits again and has sent a text suggesting sitting in the front garden with Mum. I am unsure what to do as I know they have been isolating but I do not know why (we do not speak). I do not know who they mix with or where they go and feel after all this time of my being so careful to protect Mum and I, this could be a risk. Also I doubt Mum will go out into the garden and sit out there especially if it's chilly and with the colder weather coming this is not something that could be continued. She hardly ever sits out with me anymore. I could purchase a gazebo and put that out there with a table and a couple of well spaced out chairs but Mum doesn't understand all this and I really don't know what is the best thing to do.

I would appreciate your comments.
@tryingmybest it would be a no from me anyone with any sense (lacking in some departments as we both well know) wouldn’t even make such a suggestion with the winter coming on, take care x
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
Thank you @Shedrech for your response. My feelings exactly. Sometime well before lockdown, the SW walked off our case and has not been replaced. Long story but my sibling had been causing trouble for Mum and I, via the SW, and kept trying to change the goalposts. However everything is set out in court orders to protect Mum, as it has been a very contentious case, yet the SW still thought it ok to side with my sibling who was very manipulative and convincing. A strongly worded letter to her Manager from me has since seen the SW disappear!! Visits are no longer supervised.

I just don't want to do the wrong thing in all of this, and for it to appear as though I'm using the current Covid sutuation to my advantage to not allow visits ,as much as I would like to, I don't want to go against the court orders and get into trouble, but I can't currently see a solution.
 
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tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
It would be a resounding no from me I'm afraid, as much to do with their past behaviour as much as the practicalities.
Unfortunately @Linsac everything is set out in court orders so I don't have a choice in the matter normally. I just don't want to get into trouble by refusing in the current climate. I don't know what to do.
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
@tryingmybest it would be a no from me anyone with any sense (lacking in some departments as we both well know) wouldn’t even make such a suggestion with the winter coming on, take care x
Hi Baker17. Thanks for replying. Trouble is I could be reported for breaking the court orders possibly by not allowing it. I just don't know!! I definitely won't have them in the house at the mo. I don't think in the current sutuation I could be forced to, could I? Who knows.
 
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Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
717
Hi Baker13. Thanks for replying. Trouble is I could be reported for breaking the court orders possibly by not allowing it. I just don't know!!
Hi trying my best between a rock and a hard place but you’re mums health is very important then again some people 🤦‍♀️. I wouldn’t like to sit outside now to meet anyone it’s freezing got a throw over my knees as I write. I don’t envy you having that decision to make, sorry I’ve not got any more advice for you x
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,092
Dorset
If the Court Order says the visit has to be under the supervision of a Social worker then you have to contact SS and put the ball in their court. Let them arrange a social worker, under current restrictions I imagine they aren’t going to be too enthusiastic to have one of their staff sitting with Mum and sibling indoors!
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
Hi trying my best between a rock and a hard place but you’re mums health is very important then again some people 🤦‍♀️. I wouldn’t like to sit outside now to meet anyone it’s freezing got a throw over my knees as I write. I don’t envy you having that decision to make, sorry I’ve not got any more advice for you x
Exactly. Story of my life stuck between a rock and a hard place lol. X
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
If the Court Order says the visit has to be under the supervision of a Social worker then you have to contact SS and put the ball in their court. Let them arrange a social worker, under current restrictions I imagine they aren’t going to be too enthusiastic to have one of their staff sitting with Mum and sibling indoors!
That's very true!!
 

Bikerbeth

Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
1,556
Bedford
On the basis that you have to permit visits. Mum’s Care home ‘allows’ window visits so she is inside warm with a blanket over her but I am outside- not much fun to be honest under a golf umbrella in the pouring rain. It fulfils the criteria but maybe would not be so encouraging
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
223
It sounds as if you are obligated by a court order to facilitate these visits and it would be best to make sure that you could not be accused of breaking that obligation. That would hand your sibling a stick with which to beat you. You will need to get in contact with social services of course but the gazebo sounds to me like the best idea, along with some warm clothes for mum. I would be inclined to try and stick to the letter of any court order whilst also trying to protect against coronavirus as best you can.
 

Whisperer

Registered User
Mar 27, 2017
190
Dear @tryingmybest

I have read through this Thread and much good advice has been given. Perhaps deep down practical advice is not what you really need right now more an emotional support. I think deep down your greatest concerns are your mum’s well being balanced against an anxiety of getting into trouble over the past court order. Take a deep breath and remember courts are there to protect the welfare of the Physically vulnerable like your mother. Anyone acting reasonably to protect her would I suggest have nothing to fear from a court. On that basis let’s revisit.

1) Without doubt the key here is social services. Meetings between your mum and your sibling were only to take place under the supervision of SS. Therefore they have a legal duty to help you facilitate any such meetings. They cannot just shuffle away from the situation. When you recontact them point this out politely and stress they have a role to play in assisting a vulnerable adult as set out in the court documents. You are your mum’s carer but they have a role to play as set out by the court. I would write to the manager as you appear to now have no social worker appointed to your mum’s case.
2) Please remember the defence of acting reasonably. You list the lack of contact previously by your sibling. Now the request is for garden meetings. I look out of my window at the pouring rain and look at the calendar. Is someone having a laugh? There are two points to consider here. A) you strike me as a Very genuine person more than going out of your way to facilitate a meeting for a sibling who seems to think They control the agenda. Under the court order they do not. B) Remember that court order. If you arranged an unsupervised meeting and god forbid something went wrong you would have broken the court order as you have explained it. That might put you in some trouble with the court. Going back to the SS puts the responsibility where the court placed it. They have a legal obligation here that they need to meet or explain to the court why not. Stress that point. With current tight budgets do they really want to waste time and resources on that or do as the court instructed them to do. You have enough on your plate caring for your mum. They have their role. As regards the sibling you seem to have perhaps forgotten why the court was involved and made its decision. He abused your mum’s trust when he was caring for her, very badly from what you say. If he does not like the outcome of there only being supervised meetings, perhaps he can reflect of his past behaviour towards your mum.

All of your explained actions seem reasonable. Shielding is an important consideration. Mum outdoors in the autumn seems bonkers at her age and fragility. All for a sibling with a mixed record at best of concern for his mother’s welfare.

Hope the above helps. Sometimes a third party summary can help another understand that they are doing the right thing. Based on what you have reported I would suggest the court would only see a daughter doing her very best to care for her mum in very difficult circumstances.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,249
Yorkshire
hi @tryingmybest
I think you are very mindful of wny the court made this order .... it seems that Social Services have not been so
can you contact the court to set out the current situation (just give facts, no opinion or emotion) and ask for their advice ... that way you have made them aware of exactly what has happened and what your sibling has requested .... and your sibling cannot then say you have done anything without/outside the court's guidance
your mum is fortunate to have you in her corner
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
Dear @tryingmybest

I have read through this Thread and much good advice has been given. Perhaps deep down practical advice is not what you really need right now more an emotional support. I think deep down your greatest concerns are your mum’s well being balanced against an anxiety of getting into trouble over the past court order. Take a deep breath and remember courts are there to protect the welfare of the Physically vulnerable like your mother. Anyone acting reasonably to protect her would I suggest have nothing to fear from a court. On that basis let’s revisit.

1) Without doubt the key here is social services. Meetings between your mum and your sibling were only to take place under the supervision of SS. Therefore they have a legal duty to help you facilitate any such meetings. They cannot just shuffle away from the situation. When you recontact them point this out politely and stress they have a role to play in assisting a vulnerable adult as set out in the court documents. You are your mum’s carer but they have a role to play as set out by the court. I would write to the manager as you appear to now have no social worker appointed to your mum’s case.
2) Please remember the defence of acting reasonably. You list the lack of contact previously by your sibling. Now the request is for garden meetings. I look out of my window at the pouring rain and look at the calendar. Is someone having a laugh? There are two points to consider here. A) you strike me as a Very genuine person more than going out of your way to facilitate a meeting for a sibling who seems to think They control the agenda. Under the court order they do not. B) Remember that court order. If you arranged an unsupervised meeting and god forbid something went wrong you would have broken the court order as you have explained it. That might put you in some trouble with the court. Going back to the SS puts the responsibility where the court placed it. They have a legal obligation here that they need to meet or explain to the court why not. Stress that point. With current tight budgets do they really want to waste time and resources on that or do as the court instructed them to do. You have enough on your plate caring for your mum. They have their role. As regards the sibling you seem to have perhaps forgotten why the court was involved and made its decision. He abused your mum’s trust when he was caring for her, very badly from what you say. If he does not like the outcome of there only being supervised meetings, perhaps he can reflect of his past behaviour towards your mum.

All of your explained actions seem reasonable. Shielding is an important consideration. Mum outdoors in the autumn seems bonkers at her age and fragility. All for a sibling with a mixed record at best of concern for his mother’s welfare.

Hope the above helps. Sometimes a third party summary can help another understand that they are doing the right thing. Based on what you have reported I would suggest the court would only see a daughter doing her very best to care for her mum in very difficult circumstances.
If the Court Order says the visit has to be under the supervision of a Social worker then you have to contact SS and put the ball in their court. Let them arrange a social worker, under current restrictions I imagine they aren’t going to be too enthusiastic to have one of their staff sitting with Mum and sibling indoors!
Thats very true! I dont think they would!

They have previously said there is no longer a need for visits to be supervised so they will no longer be involved.
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
Dear @tryingmybest

I have read through this Thread and much good advice has been given. Perhaps deep down practical advice is not what you really need right now more an emotional support. I think deep down your greatest concerns are your mum’s well being balanced against an anxiety of getting into trouble over the past court order. Take a deep breath and remember courts are there to protect the welfare of the Physically vulnerable like your mother. Anyone acting reasonably to protect her would I suggest have nothing to fear from a court. On that basis let’s revisit.

1) Without doubt the key here is social services. Meetings between your mum and your sibling were only to take place under the supervision of SS. Therefore they have a legal duty to help you facilitate any such meetings. They cannot just shuffle away from the situation. When you recontact them point this out politely and stress they have a role to play in assisting a vulnerable adult as set out in the court documents. You are your mum’s carer but they have a role to play as set out by the court. I would write to the manager as you appear to now have no social worker appointed to your mum’s case.
2) Please remember the defence of acting reasonably. You list the lack of contact previously by your sibling. Now the request is for garden meetings. I look out of my window at the pouring rain and look at the calendar. Is someone having a laugh? There are two points to consider here. A) you strike me as a Very genuine person more than going out of your way to facilitate a meeting for a sibling who seems to think They control the agenda. Under the court order they do not. B) Remember that court order. If you arranged an unsupervised meeting and god forbid something went wrong you would have broken the court order as you have explained it. That might put you in some trouble with the court. Going back to the SS puts the responsibility where the court placed it. They have a legal obligation here that they need to meet or explain to the court why not. Stress that point. With current tight budgets do they really want to waste time and resources on that or do as the court instructed them to do. You have enough on your plate caring for your mum. They have their role. As regards the sibling you seem to have perhaps forgotten why the court was involved and made its decision. He abused your mum’s trust when he was caring for her, very badly from what you say. If he does not like the outcome of there only being supervised meetings, perhaps he can reflect of his past behaviour towards your mum.

All of your explained actions seem reasonable. Shielding is an important consideration. Mum outdoors in the autumn seems bonkers at her age and fragility. All for a sibling with a mixed record at best of concern for his mother’s welfare.

Hope the above helps. Sometimes a third party summary can help another understand that they are doing the right thing. Based on what you have reported I would suggest the court would only see a daughter doing her very best to care for her mum in very difficult circumstances.
Thank you so much for your reply and apologies for not getting back before now but Mum hasn't been so good the past few days. Very good advice but for now I have just sent a text to say that as the weather is not so good, a garden visit may not be appropriate (I offered this 6 weeks ago but no response, incidentally), and in line with many care homes I can only suggest a window visit at this time, especially bearing in mind cases are rising again. Once again, 5 days later there has been no response. No surprises there!!
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
703
This may not be appropriate, but could a virtual meeting, using Zoom or Skype work? I understand that the PWD may not get much from this, but it is something that could be offered to relatives? Show you are making the effort (even if they don't). This gets round the issues of weather and travel, and means they could at least see her, though someone would have to set it up.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
475
They have previously said there is no longer a need for visits to be supervised so they will no longer be involved.
With all due respect, that's not up to them to decide, is it? It's up to the court to rule on that seeing as they ruled the visits had to be supervised? Can you write to the court to get it confirmed?

I agree with you offering a window visit as a compromise - I think you need to avoid looking like you are blocking access, even if it is for good reason.

But if social worker supervision is required, then it is required and that will have to be arranged. The SW and sibling can gather under their separate umbrellas outside.

May I just say that I've never before seen a custody case quite like this...