1. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    Hi all. I am very new here. My dad is 85 and having some memory issues and has had a lot of upheaval over the past nine months. In fact we only really found out what was going on in the past few weeks, as he ran out of money and ran up debts, traffic violations, and social services were called in. His GP is working towards a dementia diagnosis but he has to have tests to rule out anything else which may be causing it before he can be referred to the memory team for assessment. He's no longer driving thank goodness.

    He has had a cashflow issue and his independent living place are evicting him this month. We are going to find him somewhere else to live. As he never switches his mobile on, I feel very out of touch but am trying to find out what is happening through local contacts.

    While he is still on notice of eviction, the independent living have stopped feeding him. He was getting a meal a day included and being billed for breakfast. Now, they are saying he's used up all his goodwill as he owes them money which they will be paid as soon as his money comes through, but can they really stop feeding him? He's not allowed in the dining area at all.

    I asked a care company to go to assess him and they called me, horrified that it was lunchtime and he'd not eaten as yet. She was outraged that they should stop feeding someone so obviously vulnerable. Social services were not concerned but recommended I get meals on wheels in. I have done this but I am still upset at the centre's reaction. They said they were concerned about him and so on, then they stop his catering. I don't really know what else to do but get him out of them as soon as possible. Any other ideas?

    It's early days on the dementia front but the independent living staff seem keen to armchair diagnose which I personally don't find that helpful. I get the impression they expect all old people to have china cats on doilies on their bedside tables, and if you deviate from that, there's something wrong with you!
     
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,897
    N Ireland
    Hello @imthedaughter, and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for information and support.

    That is a terrible situation and I think that the Local Authority have to be pushed for a care needs assessment, to which every vulnerable is entitled under their legal duty.

    Whilst you can learn lots from threads on the forums, there is a publications list that covers all issues related to dementia and you can find that with this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list the list is useful for many things like understanding the issues and sorting out things like Power of Attorney, care needs assessments etc.

    You can also do a post code check for support services in your area by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

    If you think a quick chat with the experts may help then the details are
    National Dementia Helpline
    0300 222 11 22
    Our helpline advisers are here for you.
    Helpline opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
    Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm

    Live on-line advice is available in the UK if you follow this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/national-dementia-helpline/live-online-advice

    Good luck with everything, dementia is tough enough without such stresses.

    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,242
    Female
    South coast
    That is appalling @imthedaughter . Contact Social Services immediately and push for an urgent assessment. Tell them that he is a "vulnerable adult" and remind them that "they have a duty of care". Even without a diagnosis they can find an emergency placement for him.
     
  4. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    I think he's had the emergency assessment a while back. They told me he does have access to food and I should try not to worry and maybe set up meals on wheels. Which I duly did. Thank for agreeing with me that this is terrible, I'm furious now I've stopped crying.
     
  5. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Just a quick word about him turning off his mobile phone - he probably is unable to use it anymore so my guess is that it is not a deliberate thing. My husband has not been able to use a mobile for years. He had trouble turning it on and then couldn't work out how to access the various functions.
     
  6. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    You're not wrong - he never made a the jump to a mobile from a landline. He has it in his mind that he needs to turn it off or the battery will run out really quickly and that if he takes it out with him it will run the battery down and it will stop working.
     
  7. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    Yesterday was drama filled as well. At this point I feel like I should move him to residential at least for a little while to give us some breathing space to sort out either a better place and just reset. I can sort out his belongings and finances, get the LPA sorted etc and know that he's looked after. I feel like this is not the best option but then, I don't know what the best option is.
     
  8. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    Thursday was dramatic because dad had to go to the GP and the podiatrist visited. I asked my brother who is local to go with him to the Dr. He did this and got Dad some breakfast and then Dad refused to walk home from the bus stop. Dad can't walk far and I'm not sure who had the idea to take the bus. When the podiatrist visited she became very worried about him as his foot had a bad infected ulcer. She rang me and his gp concerned he may have sepsis but all this explained why my brother found him so difficult. The GP prescribed antibiotics but was unable to get them to him so called my brother and he refused to help. In the end the gp found a community team to do that which was a godsend. Yesterday I called dad's mobile expecting he would have turned it off again but he answered it! He said he had taken his antibiotics and told me the dosage, he was resting his leg, and we were able to have a conversation about what he would like to do after he has to move out. He said he was very happy to go into the CH at least for a while and was happy to move and for me to sort his place out for him when I come down. I rang the CH and he's booked in. I arranged his movers (a bit of furniture will have to go into storage I think but he doesn't have much). I do feel more positive we have at least a temporary plan and we will see if he needs to stay in CH (expense may be an issue eventually but as the money is coming through shortly we'll be able to deal with it for a while).
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,352
    Kent
    IT sounds like the best outcome @imthedaughter. Your dad really does need 24/7 care and as you say it will give you some breathing space.

    I hope all goes well.
     
  10. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    Thanks. I do feel relieved that I was able to make the decision with dad so we know he's on board. In the moment he can make a decision but organisation and execution of the decision is not his thing anymore it seems. At least while he has tests and we get the diagnosis I think this is really the only option.
     
  11. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    Just called round trying to find someone to go with Dad to podiatrist tomorrow which he obviously really needs to go to after last week's infection - brother won't take him. Says he is busy and can't help. Haven't got anyone but did manage to talk to dad and he wrote it all down. I also went through his diary on the phone with him and he wrote down all the dates coming up and he told me what was on his calendar... now we just have to hope when he gets up tomorrow he remembers what day it is.

    The podiatrist will call him as well so hopefully we will get him there and back ok. Rang care home as well to ask if they will be able to take him to appointments going forward and I think they will which will be a relief or at least help me with the admin, it's so hard to organise from here.
     
  12. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    I think Dad got to the podiatrist ok yesterday. I and the care centre called him and they didn't call me to tell me he didn't show up so fingers crossed. Today is my birthday but I know Dad won't have remembered. I've given up on him marking christmas or birthdays anymore. He never was very good at that type of thing (and my brother doesn't bother either) but the first couple of Christmases without a call or card did hurt. Spoke to the solicitor about getting his money to him, and to the care home about when they need money, so hoping for some clarity soon.
     
  13. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,242
    Female
    South coast
    Happy Birthday @imthedaughter
    OH hasnt remembered my birthday for several years now. I was very upset the first time it happened (or rather - didnt!)
     
  14. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    I can only imagine. It seems you can get used to anything. My mum and nan managed to chivvy my brother into putting something into the birthday parcel so that was nice!
     
  15. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    As instructed by CH I bought two sets of bath sheets, hand towels and flannels for Dad. I got plain, coloured ones as I read that white towels on white bathrooms or too much pattern can be difficult to see with people with Alzeimer's. Obviously we don't know what it is yet but no point taking any risks. Here's hoping the whole bathroom isn't teal green...

    Also not sure who recommended them but thanks! I ordered name stickers from easy to name for belongings and clothes on the evening of 9 April and they arrived this morning. Amazing really. Towels are all stickered up so let's hope they stay that way. I'll do his clothes and items when I'm down next week.

    However, doing this is really symbolic of how our relationship has changed. I'm the daughter, yes, but I'm also now the dad, too.
     
  16. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,500
    Female
    The move to the care home sounds like absolutely the right thing to do and I'm glad your dad is on board with it. You'll know he's being taken good care of. My mother's care home has some routine healthcare visits undertaken in-house - visits from GP, district nurse, chiropodist etc. It's easier to get the healthcare professional to visit if possible.

    My mother's CH provides towels and bedding, but their bedding was the old fashioned "sheets, blankets and bedcover" type which my mother hadn't used for decades, so I bought her a duvet and two duvet sets from Dunelm.
     
  17. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    I looked at Dunelm for towels but it was actually very expensive (I recall it being cheap!) for the quality so I ended up at ASDA which I know sounds strange but the towels are lovely and washed really well. All plain too and bright colours. The CH has a normal duvet etc which dad is used to so that's not a worry at least.
     
  18. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    We went away for Easter which was planned ages ago, although I felt really anxious about it as it got closer realising how difficult everything was with Dad. We're back now and it was a lovely break and I didn't get a single panicky phone call from anyone - not social services, not the hospital, no one, not even the care home.

    This is how the move to the CH happened. I arranged some family friends who are local movers to move dad's stuff including his beloved piano. I drove down the day before and my brothers packed what dad classed as 'essentials' into my big brother's car. These essentials included an unpacked suitcase full of clothes he hasn't worn in a very long time (all warm, some coats, he had the same coat in three colours), plus his shaving kit and a dog-eared toothbrush. Dad is very particular about the shaving thing.

    My older brother took dad to an appointment and younger brother and I started sorting the paperwork. Or rather he started and I faffed around, horrified at what I had signed myself up for. It was overwhelming.

    Paper was covering almost the entire floor in both rooms. It was also in various bags and boxes. It included a copy of his will, all the letters from the past 15 years about his second divorce, and junk mail and catalogues he'd kept. We threw away everything that was out of date, and in the end were left with a box - a single paperwork box, not even full - of stuff he needed to keep. We could have chucked even more I suspect but we erred on the side of caution to be sure as he has no online footprint. We made another pile of photos (dad has always been an avid photographer) and for now we've put them in a trunk where he keeps all his old slides etc. (Slides! Didn't even know they existed!)

    Next was clothes. I wished, heartily, and repeatedly, for Marie Kondo to appear like a tiny fairy godmother at my side. I said to myself many many times: 'You will finish. You think that you won't, but you will'. I'm fairly sure I've butchered that KonMarie catchphrase but it got me through.

    I threw out everything which was holey or stained. This was harder than it sounds due to dad having bought some fine clothing he's been wearing for 30 years like lovely woolen sweaters which actually looked fine until I realised the moths had eaten half the sleeve. I remember him wearing them when I was growing up and he was healthy. One heavy coat was moved in the first box and is quite motheaten but we'll have to live with that.

    I found three long sleeved shirts, some t shirts, polo shirts and five button down shirts which had been bought but never worn, so I unpacked and labelled them and put them into a fold down holdall. This holdall Dad claimed wasn't his, but he had previously attached a luggage label to it with his name on it so he accepted that.

    In fact Dad claimed that much of the stuff in the apartment was already there when he moved or wasn't his, but somehow they all had his name labels on so he thought they must be his. They were his and I put the labels on. Either way he seemed to accept it.

    After his appointment Dad was supposed to go to the CH and start settling in but he insisted on coming back to the flat with my elder brother to help pack. I sat him down with some labels to pop on his clothes and he got bored and hungry after about three so I took him back to the CH and had a lovely cup of coffee with him and a welcome break from going through all his stuff.

    By this point my brother had gone to the tip three times with car loads of rubbish and I still had a lot to do. I left dad having his tea and he came to see me out of the door much to the care worker's anxiety.

    I went back to the apartment and finished packing up, labelling and sorting. I found the biggest spider I've ever seen behind the wooden trunk my brother has agreed to take and hoped he wouldn't eat the removal men in the morning.

    I found some interesting things including a tablet computer, unopened and unused, a cheque dad hadn't paid in, some letters dad had written or at least written notes on and then not sent, and most strangely, some children's clothes. New, a christmas outfit for a newborn and a lovely coat for a toddler. They were the only things put away in a drawer in the kitchen. I wondered if he'd secretly been waiting for me to have a baby but then I remembered my cousin did, probably around the autumn last year and dad had probably bought them as christmas presents for the infant. Dad loves babies, human or animal, so I can imagine he bought them and then forgot them after putting them away.

    I ended up with fifteen bin liners left over of rubbish I would need to dispose of myself. This was bound to be tricky as I don't live in the area and I knew they would question my ID.

    I should also say at this point we also realised we had lost our LPA. My younger brother gave me the wrong address (yes, he does not know where his own house is, apparently) and it disappeared into someone else's letterbox, never to be seen again. So we had to quickly make a new one and get it printed. I managed to do this and find someone to witness and sign it for us. I'm now awaiting it in the post as my elder brother had to leave before it was signed so I posted it to him. This LPA has been a nightmare for us given we are all over the country.

    I finished sorting the stuff at the apartment at about 8.30pm. I went to the supermarket to pick up underwear and a dressing gown for dad (I didn't find much underwear and I threw out his filthy dressing gowns) and some more bin liners as some were too heavy for their contents.

    The next morning I was on my own until the movers arrived to haul everything out - not that there was a lot left by this point. I found some precious family photos all loose falling out of a mouldy album so took them home to re-make into an album.

    They moved the piano first and dad took straight to it - he's not played in months and it brought tears to my eyes to see it. I spoke with the people there about dad's needs and likes etc, and left to clean the apartment.

    Now empty save the bin liners, I loaded them somehow into my tiny car. Worried about getting rid of the (unused) shower stool, I took it to another CH across the road and they gladly took it off my hands. I did a first vacuum and clean of the surfaces and poured bleach down the toilet.

    I headed to the tip with the final rubbish and took lots of dad's letters. They wanted me to bring him with me! I explained that really wasn't possible and they let me in. I felt that this was a real triumph, as I'm sure I would have sobbed if they hadn't agreed.

    Then it was time to go back and tackle the bathroom. I wish I'd taken a before and after photo of the loo as it was coated in, well, everything you can imagine, inside and out, and now the place looks like a hotel.

    It took hours and hours and I wasn't done until 6.30pm, having started at 9am. I went to drop a couple of extra things I'd found for dad and his clothes (all labelled) and to say goodbye to dad. He followed me out of the home asking when I'd be back, saying he'd wait for me there.

    I got into the car and my husband called. I answered the phone in tears. Dad wasn't unhappy, just a bit confused and I had and have full faith he's in better hands, but it had been a long couple of days and an emotionally draining time.

    I rang dad the next day and he was in good spirits. The home think he's settled in fine. I spoke to them again today and he's been to all the appointments he needed to go to and had some vital tests done which we needed to get sorted for him to be referred to the memory clinic. I don't think the finances are sorted out yet but dad has got out of the old place and is being well-cared for at present, so that's the most important thing. With the LPA on the way I hope it will be easier for us to help dad going forward.
     
  19. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    64
    I forgot that when I came back from fetching something from the car I caught dad leaning far out of the window... apparently he was thinking about throwing his potatoes from his lunch, which he'd decided he didn't want, into the garden below. Managed to avoid that one but I hope he hasn't been doing that regularly - it's a constant distraction battle sometimes. I think my new career of teaching has taught me to be a lot more patient and less distressed over these things as I don't expect the kids to make any sense and just enjoy the off-the-wall moments!
     
  20. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,929
    Yorkshire
    what can I say @imthedaughter except well done - what a mammoth day
    I'm glad your dad is settling .... and yes, his welfare is key and you have made sure he's well taken care of, all else you can and will get through dealing with over time
    I agree, teaching gave me some of the skills and outlook I needed to support my dad - I hope you enjoy your new career
     

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