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Getting help - where to start?

CatherineC

New member
Feb 25, 2020
2
I have two people with dementia who I am partly responsible for.

My mother-in-law lives right near us. She is definitely showing signs of dementia although at a memory clinic (a couple of years back) she was apparently given the all clear. For a long time she has been 'scatty' about times, dates and numbers - but she has got a lot worse recently. For the past 3 weeks she has barely got out of bed, often not getting dressed and not washing regularly. She wasn't taking her medication and forgot to eat - so we've been going in 3 times a day to make sure that she takes her pills and eats 3 meals a day, plus walk her dog and do any washing she has. We can't carry on providing this level of support due to (seasonal) work demands. She has a cleaner who comes in weekly. My husband has a LPA in place for her. She is very sociable but has never, in the 20+ years I've known her, made any effort to build friendships or have any regular kind of social life. She makes no effort to organise herself (and never has) so life is very chaotic.

My aunt lives 2 hours away. She never married or had children. Her neighbour called me to say that she is worried she isn't eating properly, is struggling to shop and she is very lonely. Physically she is in good shape, but thin. I have been going up every 6 weeks or so for the past 5 months and have helped sort out some of her practical problems, done her tax return, sorted out the LPA, talked with her. Her short term memory is terrible. but she tries very hard, making notes for herself, keeping things in regular places - when I last went up a month ago I felt she was coping adequately. She has been to a memory clinic last year and was diagnosed with dementia.

I think both probably could do with someone going in a couple of times a day to make sure that they are eating and provide some company. I just don't know where to begin to find help that will be reliable that we can trust? Both have a good level of funds ...I'm not sure if they are entitled to any financial help? Some people have said I need to speak to their doctors, some have said speak to the council, some have said speak to private care providers - where to go, where to start? I want the best for both of them but we have 2 children, a business to run, I have 3 jobs to try to make ends meet and it feels like we are not doing enough for either of them, but I need some me-time too.

Please can someone point me in right direction.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,691
Yorkshire
hello @CatherineC
a warm welcome to DTP

you've a lot on your plate, your MIL and aunt are fortunate you are able to look out for them ... and you cannot sustain even trying to provide the level of care they each need, so you are right to seek support for them
I do suggest you contact their Local Authority Adult Services and request an assessment of care needs for each of them ... this will at least flag them up as vulnerable adults in the locality, which is worth doing
the LA should carry out an assessment regardless of their financial status (fudge it if you are asked and say you will have to check .. the financial assessment should be after that for care needs) and suggest a care package

you can privately put care in place ... the Dementia Directory of local services may help
www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you#!/search

www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/legal-financial/who-pays-care

I think it also worth letting their GPs know that you are concerned about their current situations
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,130
Do you know how much money they each have? If they have over £23k, social services will not provide help (they will provide an assessment, but so will a private care agency, so it's up to you whether you involve SS).

If your relatives have over the £23k threshold, you can go ahead and find a private care agency in their area and talk over what you would like them to do. I got private agency carers for my mother, they came in every day and took her shopping, made her meals, did her laundry and housework, kept her company, took her to appointments.

By the way, however much money they do/don't have, they should both apply for Attendance Allowance - you can do it on their behalf as LPA. It isn't means tested, and they can spend it on whatever they like (useful for paying towards carers).

 

CatherineC

New member
Feb 25, 2020
2
Thank you all for your clear suggestions. There is so much information out there that it's hard to know where to start. Doctors of both are aware there are problems...but worth following up for my aunt (already in progress for my mother in law). Anyway, you have given me a valuable starting point. Thank you.
 

Ruth1974

Registered User
Dec 26, 2018
77
Thank you all for your clear suggestions. There is so much information out there that it's hard to know where to start. Doctors of both are aware there are problems...but worth following up for my aunt (already in progress for my mother in law). Anyway, you have given me a valuable starting point. Thank you.
Think on though, if you get a care assessment frim social work, health care is free so support to take medication is covered. If you are in scotland, personal care is also free. You can then just add social care to it.