Difficulty getting a Care Needs Assessment

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Kerringtonjg, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Kerringtonjg

    Kerringtonjg Registered User

    Jan 24, 2017
    I've tried getting a care needs assessment organised for my mother, who has vascular dementia, but they keep telling me that she doesnt meet the criteria!!?***

    I put the following into my last email to Care Direct Plus:

    She needs reminding to take her medication

    She needs support to attend medical appointments (even though her GP is just down the road, she gets lost and ends wandering round in a confused state)

    She needs help with her finances, such as paying her 6 monthly service charge (which she claims she's never needed to pay before)

    She has to have someone do her washing for her, and some housework

    She needs support attending religious meetings and keeping in touch with family

    She is unable to use the telephone to make any calls other than to family and friends

    She doesn't cook - but eats sandwiches, quiche and ice creams

    She is in a constant state of confusion, being distressed and anxious

    She has telephoned us 3 times in the last week, in a state of panic, asking if she lives in her flat, because she thinks she is just on holiday, or here temporarily. This is of great concern because she spends most of her waking hours walking off her agitation/anxiety. How long before she gets lost? We tried using a tracker but she kept removing it from her keyring!

    She needs help with all her post as she cannot understand written communication

    And the list goes on...

    She lives alone. My husband and I are almost her sole carers - I have severe CFS and depression. We are worried about her safety when we are on holiday in May, but she refused to consider respite when I suggested it.

    They seem to take the view that unless she needs help with washing and dressing etc she's not eligible for an assessment. What am I doing wrong?
  2. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    I think, from what others have said, the key words in any communication are that your mother is a vulnerable adult and that they have a duty of care towards her. I think they should carry out an assessment if asked regardless of what they think the outcome might be and take it from there. I'm sure others with more knowledge will be along soon to add more.
    My mother, who has a tentative diagnosis of vascular dementia sounds at a very similar stage to your mother. Six years ago when I first had concerns, though at the time they were mainly about her limited eyesight, I contacted her local social services. They made it clear they weren't interested and gave me the numbers of private companies who would do cleaning etc. In the last year social services have been contacted several times by the police due to mum's behaviour. The first time they phoned me as well as mum, the second time I only knew that they'd phoned mum as the answer phone had kicked in and I heard the conversation when I was at her place sorting out her phone. In both cases mum told them she was fine, and they were happy to take that at face value. I think if I'd insisted she wasn't they would have done an assessment, but at present I can't see the point as mum would just send people away. I'm afraid I'm just waiting for the major crisis, while at the same time trying to sell mum's flat and move her somewhere more suitable nearer family.
  3. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    It may be best to focus the care needs request on things that social services would provide care for, as your list is quite wide ranging. Things like assistance with finances, help with attending medical appointments, washing/housework, using the phone and attending religious meetings wouldn't be something that my Mum's social services would provide help with. The carers did prompt Mum regarding her medication though.

    Consider getting power of attorney in place so that someone can deal with finances. Could someone from the religious meetings help your Mum to attend?

    Social services have a duty of care in certain circumstances. There's a post at the top of the 'financial' forum explaining what 'duty of care' means. Hopefully someone can post a link, and also to the really helpful 'carer's guide' in the 'I care for someone with dementia' forum. (I'm on my mobile so can't post links at the moment)
  4. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    I have no experience with SS as my mother-in-law was self funding . But even with a private agency, they wouldn't deal with post or help with telephone calls or my mother-in-law's finances . If she wanted to go anywhere, a carer could be used, but obviously there's a cost involved . The agency did laundry and ironing and some light housework as well. I doubt SS will fund all the things you want to happen under the current financial climate
  5. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I think you will have to adjust your expectations about what Social Services will do. There are a lot of things on that list which SS will never give help with. They will assist with prompting medication, and personal care such as dressing and washing. They will prepare food but it will be the type of thing she's already preparing for herself. All the other things on your list are issues they will not take responsibility for.

    You will need to get a Lasting Power of Attorney so that you can assist your mother with her finances (with her agreement). If she is over the funding threshold of £24k and can self-fund her care, you can then access her money to employ a care company who will do all the things on your list. My mother self-funded her care and had carers in for 4-6 hours a day and would do whatever was requested - £22 an hour.
  6. Kerringtonjg

    Kerringtonjg Registered User

    Jan 24, 2017
    Thank you. That helps explain things. Bless you for taking the time to respond.
  7. Kerringtonjg

    Kerringtonjg Registered User

    Jan 24, 2017
    Thankfully we've got POA and have decided to register it with mum's bank when we get back from holiday in May.

    You've helped explain things for me. Bless you for taking the time to respond.

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