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Feeling defeated at the first hurdle

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Tubbsy, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey
    My mum was diagnosed 5 years ago, lives on her own with her beloved dog and gets a lot of visits from my brother and I.....more from my brother as he is single and lives very close to her. He takes her shopping and keeps her company but doesn't deal well with the reality of the situation, which is this: she simply can't look after herself or er dog anymore. She hasn't eaten properly for a long time (just sweet things and prawn sandwiches), her house is a total mess, she has no persoanl hygiene and has lost all but one of her top teeth, she gets lost walking the dog and has had falls etc etc etc. I took her her to her GP today as an emergency as I was so horrified by how bad she was (I last saw her 2 weeks ago) who was very nice but really didn't seem to see the gravity of the situation. She gave me a form to fill in and send to social services but said if my mum says she doesn't want/need help, they will just accept that. I can't believe that's true?! Unfortunately, my mum is a tricky character to deal with (even before the dementia) so I know she will say 'I'm fine, I don't need an help'. What should I do? I feel defeated, desperate, depressed.........
     
  2. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,164
    #2 Bod, Aug 28, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
    Getting care to be accepted will be tricky.
    Would she accept help for the dog? Walking it, feeding it?
    The idea is to find a small help that will be accepted, the thin end of the wedge...
    But there comes a time, when you have to do what you got to do...
    Contents of the fridge....clean and shiny, or blue and furry? (don't put it in her bin, take and put in yours, that way you only bin it once. Been there played that game.)
    Pick only the battles that have to be won, the rest aren't worth the hassle, nobody died because of wearing odd socks.

    Good luck

    Bod
     
  3. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey
    Thanks Bod :) Done the bringing mouldy food home and throwing it away many times :) The hose is sooooo dirty, I clean up as best I can when I visit but my brother is not domesticated (!). There is dry dog food everywhere, in bowls, vases, on the floor, in her bed...just everywhere and that's not all. Physically, she's pretty good, can walk the dog and does, about 10 times a day but she's not feeding him properly and it shows. She was dehydrated today as I think she's forgotten that having a dry mouth means thirst. Her mouth s black and rotten, her hair is filthy and hasn't been brushed for weeks. It sounds like she's neglected but she isn't, she's just impossile to help.
     
  4. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    Could your brother feed the dog daily when he visits and feed mum ?
     
  5. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey
    He makes sure he has water but I don't think he wants to accept she's not feedmf him properly and just assumes he's eating the food that's everywhere, which he isn't. As of today, he's on a different tinned food form the vet (he has tummy issues) and I've told m brother to give it to him. I'm worried though that my mum might think is for her. Today she offered the dog food to my daughter.
     
  6. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    298
    I think you might need to phone your local adult services or safeguarding team and say the magic words vulnerable adult, self neglect, needs assessment and loss of capacity.

    They should send somebody out to see her, they should ask you and your brother what help she needs and if she is judged not to have capacity then it won't matter if she says she's fine if it's perfectly clear to anybody with eyes that she's not.
     
  7. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    If brother can't help then, like others have said SS vulnerable adult may be required route.
    Good luck .
    Could another member of family take the dog in ? I appreciate may upset mum though ?
     
  8. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Can you not speak to her GP and make them aware of the situation. They must be able to sort something out for her surely. The GP could 'just be passing and hadn't seen her for a while etc' or thought they'd pop in to check her medication.

    This way no one is blamed and the GP should have more of an idea what action is necessary etc. if it's hard to see the doctor then either phone them and ask for a telephone appointment, he can then ring you to discuss. Or maybe write a letter to him, hand in at reception and insist it's urgent. Use the words mentioned in the letter that they need like vulnerable and unhealthy environment and dangerous situation. If after a few days no response phone doctors to chase it up as I know some gps who never get on top of their paperwork. Good luck.
     
  9. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey
    I have contacted SS who said they would instigate an assessment but also said the same as the GP ie that if she said she doesn't want or need help, there's nothing they can do. We also have the issue of not yet having PoA, though we are working on this and my mum would be self funding so even if we were to get her to agree to help, we can't access her money to pay for it.
     
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,546
    Female
    South coast
    I had exactly the same problem tubbsy. Mum was living at home "independently", but was not washing, changing her clothes, doing laundry, housework, shopping, cooking or anything really. She was also going walkabout and getting lost and getting into arguments with her neighbours.
    She was referred to SS by her GP, but SS phoned her up to talk about getting help and, of course, she was doing everything herself - all her own cooking, shopping and cleaning etc and didnt need any help at all. So they crossed her off their books!
    I was absolutely tearing my hair out by this stage. She also point blank refused POA (though fortunately she had allowed me third party signatory on her bank account) and I eventually had to go for Court of Protection.
    The situation was resolved by mum having a TIA and ending up in hospital, malnourished and severely dehydrated. From there she went into a CH and has stayed there permanantly.
    I think this is such a worrying stage, when they need the extra help, but do not have enough understanding to realise that they do.
     
  11. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    This was pretty much how it was us with MIL last year. It came to a head when she was hospitalised twice after falls. Only then would she sign the LPA forms - fortunately the hospital doctor was prepared to sign the forms too. I would say persuading your mum to sign the LPA was your priority right now, because it'll be far harder to take immediate action without it.

    You too may need to wait for 'the crisis', but in the interim, do your homework re. visiting suitable care homes so you have a plan if/when it happens.

    Btw, MIL, 15 months on in the CH has filled out and blossomed. Still no teeth though!
     
  12. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey

    You could be describing my mum Canary! Other than falling out with her neighbours. She has always refused to give my brother and I PoA but next weekend we are going with her friend of 70 years who will act as the Certificate Provider to try to get her to sign. Forgive my ignorance, but what's a TIA? I'm sure she will end of in hospital as the reason I took her to the GP yesterday was that I could tell she was dehydrated. The GP asked her if she was drinking enough and she replied 'oh yes, of course', so that's ok then eh?!!! :(
     
  13. AndreaP

    AndreaP Registered User

    I was emailing my mum's doctor regularly with my concerns which I knew mum wasn't addressing. I never got an acknowledgement from the doctor. Eventually I sent another email saying I felt I was being ignored and unsupported as there was never any response. I said a response "your concerns have been noted" would have been nice. The doctor's nurse rang me immediately so my cry for help was not unheeded.

    I understand how hard it is to get help when they say they don't need it. I wanted mum to be assessed for a nursing home but she kept refusing. Eventually I lied to her that the doctor said she needed to be assessed to see if she was safe in her home. She agreed (the doctor is worshipped by her) and I was on the phone immediately organising it. They rang mum back within the hour to check if she consented and fortunately she said she had. This is what is wrong with the system. The dementia sufferer is often in no position to judge whether they need to be assessed. I don't see why the government assessor can't just come out at the behest of the family. If the person is fine and the family is over-reacting then no harm is done.

    It's like asking a 2 year old if they want to go to bed - of course they invariably say no - that's why parents determine what's best for the child. But an adult with dementia gets to call the shots. It's crazy.

    I don't know how it works in the UK but can't people with dementia be sectioned under the Mental Health Act if they refuse to seek help?
     
  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,546
    Female
    South coast
    Sorry, tubbsy - a TIA is a Transient Ischemic Attack - ie a mini stroke
     
  15. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    298
    Ask for a capacity test lovely. A social worker will visit and try to determine if she still has the capacity to make her own decisions and act in her own best interests. If they think she does still have capacity then you're still stuck, but if not then they can start getting her some help.
     
  16. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey
    Thanks Jaygun, but even if they say she lacks capacity and needs care, as she will be self funding and we don't yet have PoA, we won't be able to arrange it....will we? She definitely does need care but also still has some mental capacity as she refuses to take advice (she never would) or accept help and gets really annoyed that my brother and I know about her finances, from statements, letters etc as she always kept that sort of information from us. My brother is going away soon and I can't visit her most days like he does, in fact I can't go any day I'm working and I work 4 days a week so god knows what will happen.
     
  17. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,973
    Suffolk
    I would say that refusing to take advice could be an indication of no mental capacity!
    The point is they cannot see the consequences of any action/inaction.
     
  18. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey
    But in my mum's case, it's the opposite as she has never taken advice from anyone in her life! :)
     
  19. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,546
    Female
    South coast
    I thought that you had said in another thread that your mum lacked capacity? If she hasnt had a capacity test then I think it would be a good idea to have one.

    You seem to be getting nowhere with obtaining POA and Im thinking that maybe its time to bite the bullet and start applying for Court of Protection - but you have to send to the court a form filled in by a doctor, SW or similar to state that she has lost capacity.

    You cant go on like you are - I can hear the desperation in your posts - and you need to gain control of the situation.
     
  20. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    108
    Surrey
    Yes, I did say before that she lacked capacity but that was before I found out that re PoA, as long as she knows what she's signing at the point of signing it, it's ok, even if she doesn't then remember. And she would definitely know what she's signing! If we can't get her to agree next weekend when the 3 other required people will be there (other than her), I will go down the Court of Protection route. Unfortunately, my brother, aged 52, is still scared of my mum and has his own issues, which is why the delay but also because her illness, until now, has progressed very slowly and we didn't know what we would suddenly be dealing with. There is a lot more to our situation that i dontI have time to write here.
     

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