EMI home and Father in Law's rights

Tilly_Mint

Registered User
May 23, 2011
11
0
England
Hi
my father in law (87) has been in hospital since before Christmas and, a week ago, he was transferred into the EMI unit of a nursing home. We were of the opinion that this is a temporary measure until a new care package can be set up. He asks when we visit when he is going home and we don't have an answer for him. He has been unable to walk due to a water infection and we hoped he would be able to walk again and go home.
Today his daughter was told that he will be staying there and they will be starting court proceedings to take his house. Apart from the financial situation, he does not want to be there and we are keen that he gets home. He is very unhappy in this home and it is not good for his mental welfare. His son and daughter had considered applying for power of attorney but nerver got round to it as he was doing ok.
Can anybody advise us of any rights we may have and how to deal with this situation please? Surely he cannot be held prisoner at this place if he wants to go home?
Thanks
 

Tana

Registered User
Jan 2, 2012
53
0
I think that you need to talk to his doctors to find out if he has been sectioned, and to seek legal advice. Sorry I can't help more.
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,703
0
Wiltshire
Tilly,

Firstly, you need to find out what the medical diagnosis is for your father in law. It could be that he is considered to no longer have the capacity to make decisions for himself under the Mental Incapacity Act 2005 and if this is the case then they can apply to the courts to ensure that he remains in the home. It could be that he has not been put in a home under the Mental Incapacity Act and that the home have applied for a deprivation of liberty order (DoLs) which allows the home to prevent him leaving. So, until you ask for the information you won't know what his current status is.

Secondly, I would consider quickly applying for a deputyship order for you to take responsibility for managing his financial and property affairs. This would appear to be what the Home are intending to do. I don't know why you weren't asked to do this as part of him moving to a home as they normally prefer next of kin/family members to sort this out. It worries me when a home/local authorities are keen to apply for this power quite frankly as it costs money in order to get it which then calls into question what they intend to do with the powers once they get them! If they have been very quick to submit an application then you could object to it formally with the courts and if nothing else the courts might appoint an independent deputy. If it was me I would get early legal advice about doing the application - the costs of the application are borne by your father-in-law including the costs of the legal fees etc.

Thirdly, it would appear that you are at odds with the care home and this might not bode well for any legal matters that go before the court of protection. I would try to mend bridges there because they can put up lots of blockers including refusing to let you have access to your FiL if they deem it is disturbing him etc!!!!!

Fourthly, his asking to go home is more likely to be associated with dementia and that the home is not necessarily his current home that he seeks to go home to. The majority of people with dementia go through this and it is associated with Sundowning. You normally find that such requests also coincide with them speaking more and more about people who were around them during their childhood (it is mostly the childhood home that they are talking about when they say "home"). This is because that is where their memory has regressed to. They will ask about mum and dad and siblings and are really seeking the reassurance of the safety and security that they felt with these people around them at that time. Of course, we cannot give them what they ask for and that is the sad thing about dementia. The alternative is to tell some white lies such as "You don't have to worry. The doctor has said you can go home when you are able to walk again. (Blame the doctor and not yourselves for him being there - saves the aggitation being turned on you). Tell him he is just there to recuperate. That the staff are nice and are going to help him. Whatever is necessary to get him to calm down about it all.

Overall, do not be seen to be blocking what is happening with your FiL as this is a reason for the courts to make alternative arrangements with regards to deputyship. Tell them that you want your FiL to be in the best place possible for him and are really just trying to explore the various options with them. Maybe speak with his consultant about these things or better still his SW, rather than the nursing home. Go get some legal advice if you really think some intervention is necessary but maybe phone Alzheimers society or Age UK to ask for details of specialist lawyers that deal with such things. Ultimately speed will be of the essence here so don't hang around.

Hope this helps,

Fiona
 

Tilly_Mint

Registered User
May 23, 2011
11
0
England
FiL

Thanks Fiona
thankfully he is not yet at the stage where he is talking about his past or people from his past, he was just very weak because of his illness, if his care plan had been in place he could have gone straight home. We really feel that a decent care company will mean he can stay at home. The last company were awful and just did not turn up and we only had them for one week before he went into hospital. The previous company lost the contract with the local authority.

As yet, we have not mentioned anything to the home, we had already decided to 'go along' with things while we explore options. We just need the legal 'tools' to let them know that we know our/his rights. I just saw something about a CHC and I have no idea what this is! Is deputyship the same as an LPA? There is so much information that my head is spinning and it is so upsetting that people who do not know him, and have only seen him at his worst, can make decisions on his behalf :(
Thanks so much for your advice :)
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,703
0
Wiltshire
Tilly,

If your FiL still has mental capacity then he can sign a power of attorney in which case you fill out the forms and go get it registered toot sweet. If you think that he has this ability, then you could get a solicitor to visit him in the care home and put this in place.

If he is deemed not to have the capacity to make such decisions, then you will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order. The court then grants you (in the absence of him being able to do so directly) the authority to manage his financial and property affairs on his behalf.

Here is some information about Lasting Power of Attorney http://www.justice.gov.uk/global/forms/opg/lasting-power-of-attorney/index.htm

Here is some information about becoming a deputy. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Mentalcapacityandthelaw/Makingdecisionsforsomeoneelse/DG_195265

Which route you go, depends on how your FiL's mental capacity is judged to be. This is the reason I suggested you need to be finding out what the medical folks view is and why they thought EMI care was necessary and having done so why is it considered to be permanent rather than temporary.

Who told his daughter that they were now going after his house? This was the statement that raised alarm bells for me. If it was a SW then fine, speak to them to say that you are going to seek either LPA or Guardianship and will of course be selling the house to pay for his care (if it is decided he needs to be in a home permanently and you accept that decision). If it was the care home then I would be concerned and not wishing to alarm you, but there have been cases where care homes prefer people with property because they will be self funding etc and some have been known to abuse the deprivation of liberty provisions to argue that he cannot be removed from the home etc. It can be quite a mess to try and sort out too!

It does sound like there is a difference of opinion as to where your FiL should live and how he should be cared for. The local authorities also have a duty of care towards your father in law and if they think he is at risk at home even with carers will probably argue that he needs to be in a care home. I think you need to go back to square one and speak to the medical folks then speak with the SW and find out where their thoughts are and take it from there. In the meantime start the ball rolling quickly to get either LPA or Deputyship put in place so, if nothing else, you are in charge of his financial affairs.

Fiona
 

Tilly_Mint

Registered User
May 23, 2011
11
0
England
Dr

I have just discovered that the nursing home have changed my FiLs Drs? Can they do that? He doesn't actually have a consultant, he doesn't see anybody about his alzheimer's. He used to see the CPN but he has gone on long term sick leave. Now there isn't any medical professional who knows him and can stand up for him. This gets more scary by the minute!
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,703
0
Wiltshire
Yes they can change his GP, particularly if his existing GP was some distance away. You often find that a local GP practice looks after all the patients in a nearby care home. This is more to do with speed of access and how fast call-outs can be made, rather than anything sinister. Yet again, however, I'd be questioning who put him in there on a permanent basis - that's the answer you are not getting isn't it. Have you contacted the hospital social work department - they're the ones who would have dealt with this as part of his discharge. Were you as a family consulted about where he should move to? You should have been included in any Best Interests Meetings regarding his discharge and future care etc. Normally, what would happen, would be that you have a best interests meeting. If care is the consensus at that meeting, you are requested to go find a care home for him. If he is self funding (which he will be if he has a house) the SW don't normally get involved other than to say that you should find a suitable home asap. They might put him in a temporary place, pending you finding him a home of your choice, particularly if he is bed blocking in the hospital. This is where the whole "going after his house" becomes confusing, because the SW would not be interested if he is self funding. They would only become involved if his assets had deteriorated to the point that they would have to make a contribution towards his care.

You mentioned CHC previously - continuing health care - this is where the NHS, following an assessment, agree that there are substantial health issues and care needs that mean that he requires 24/7 high level of nursing care. If he is assessed as needing the level of care (the bar is set very high in order to quality) then the NHS assume the responsibility for paying all his care costs. If you think of this as being the NHS saying he should really be in a hospital but this care home can provide him with same level of care as we would give him in hospital so we, the NHS will pay for it as if he was a patient in a hospital. From your descriptions, he does seem to be near qualifying for CHC, so that can't be an issue I don't think.

I'm like you, I find the more you go delving the more this sounds strange! All the more reason to go shaking the tree and see what falls out ! I would start by contacting the hospital SW tomorrow and take it from there.

Fiona
 

Tilly_Mint

Registered User
May 23, 2011
11
0
England
Thanks

Thanks so much for your help, I feel a bit calmer now that I have a plan of action. I'm sure this won't be the last you hear fom me! ;)
 

Tilly_Mint

Registered User
May 23, 2011
11
0
England
Solicitor

Everything is now in the hands of a specialist solicitor who we were able to find thanks to advice from the Alzheimer's helpline. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted!

Thanks again for the advice X:)