Hi, this is my first visit to the forum. I would like to share some of my experiences of accessing care services for my mother via our local social services department. My mom, Marion, was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 1998 after several years of declining memory. Mom was a district nurse for 20 years so was well aware of her symptoms. Because she wasso scared of being 'put in a home' she resisted going to see her GP. Only with the introduction of new Anti-dementia drugs did I eventually persuaded her to get a diognosis. I promised mom we would enable her to remain at home and between us(me, dad, my 3 brothers, their wives and other friends and family) we have managed to do this. However, since Christmas mom has deteriorated so rapidly we needed the help of social care services. What a night-mare. Even though I am a social worker, working with Early onset sufferers, I found it extremely difficult to get allocated a social worker let alone appropriate supportive services. At best I was told 'some one would ring me back' (usually 2-3 days later), at worst I was given incorrect, unhelpful information. It was only because I am aware of what someone is entitled to that I stood my ground. What do people do who are not sure of what the can ask for? This really concerns me What experiences have other people had? Unfortunately a few weeks ago my dads health had deteriorated so much we have now placed mom in a nursing home. This was one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever had. We live in Wolverhampton but were unable to find a suitable nursing home in our area. I was so distressed after viewing some of the registered homes that I had a breakdown and am off sick from work. Luckily a friend recommended a Nursing home about 12 miles away. They had a vacancy and mom went in straight from respite. Mom is in the last stage of her illness. She needs assistance with ALL personal, psychological and daily living tasks. Although she is mobile she has no perception of space and walks into things,ie walls, chairs, doors, she sits down unpredictably and before going into care had several falls a week. In order to avoid falls mom is in a reclining chair with a stool under it to stop her trying to get up. She also has frequent TIA's (little strokes). This is just a snap shot of her needs, I could go on for hours. However, out local health authority feel that mom does not meet Continuing health care criteria. As mom and dad sold their house to move into supported accommodation they have over £20000 each and mom has to pay all of her care costs. We as a family are in the process of appealing and would like to hear from others who have done this, and also from anyone who may have advice or information. As both a carer and a professional working in this area I am discusted at the way dementia sufferers and their carers are treated. Yes there are some excellent services out there, but they are out weighed by the inadequate services offered by social care agencies. One last thing, I down-loaded an excellent book published by the Alzheimers society called 'When does the NHS pay for care' which takes you through the whole process 0f appealing.