Hi I'm new - never "done" chat rooms before!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by JRB4040, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. JRB4040

    JRB4040 Registered User

    Feb 21, 2008
    Croxley Green, Herts
    I have joined because my mother has Alzheimer's (and has deteriorated a lot in the past few months) and my elderly father is her carer. My dad's health is not very good and, as they live 300 miles from me, after a lot of discussion we have agreed that it would be best all round if mum goes into a care home. He was visited today by their local CPN who asked mum if she wanted to go to a home. Mum got very upset and said no. The CPN then told my dad that unless mum agrees he cannot put her into a home without getting a report from her, social services and her GP. My dad is not asking for any financial assistance so we are totally amazed at this response. My mum lost her sense of logic and reasoning several years ago so is it really up to her as to how she is cared for? Has anyone else encountered this problem and if so do you have any suggestions??
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Hi and welcome to Talking Point.

    Strictly speaking the CPN is correct however there are a few things that are worth mentioning. 1) A CPN has no connection with whether or not financing is forthcoming - that would be a local authority (LA) matter. 2) Lots of people here have "managed" there loved ones into a care home. In other words - the question that is placed to your mother should not have been "do you want to go into a home?" (side note: how could the CPN have been so stupid?) but rather "would you like to be somewhere where you'd be well taken care of?".

    In other words, it's all down to presentation. However, all is not lost - the CPN in fact cannot control where your mother lives. What your father (and you) have to do is look around and find some care homes that you would feel comfortable with, and then a representative of each home will come and do an assessment of your mother. Then, essentially, assuming you can afford the fees and the home is suitable and there is space, it's down to your family where she lives.

    Edited to add: Incidentally: no one can force another person to be a carer (even a spouse). If it got sufficiently bad, theoretically your father could refuse to continue caring and then they (the CPN and the LA) would have no option but to place your mother in a care home.
  3. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Hi and welcome to TP.Jenifer is on the ball as usual and has given you good and sound advice on this one.It may be that if the G.P is involved,that they may do an assessment in "ability to make own decisions",even though i would have thought the cpn would have done that and advised you as to their findings.If inability to make decisions is concluded then that could be a gateway for you.it can be dodgy territory,and the decision to enter social care or not,could be taken away from mum if the necessary assessments of "ability to make own decisions" takes place.
    good luck hun and keep us posted
  4. JRB4040

    JRB4040 Registered User

    Feb 21, 2008
    Croxley Green, Herts

    Thanks for your quick responses - it is so much help to have people out there to "talk to"! I will pass on your comments to my dad and hopefully we can sort out the next step without too much red tape. Don't the authorities realise how hard it is to make these decisions without them making it worse? I will keep you posted. Thanks again, Julie x
  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Dear Julie,
    The short answer is 'no'. Take your time, if time is on your side, but try to assemble all the facts you make a decision.

    Life is hard enough with all the problems of dementia, without being railroaded into answers before you are ready.

    TP is always here, ready and willing to help. Welcome aboard.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    Hi Julie

    and welcome to your first chat room :) (You've certainly picked an amazing one too, as Im sure you'll notice fairly quickly.)

    You've already had great advice, but on further thought - it can be possible to get a few day/couple of weeks temporary placement in a local home (that you've vetted, obviously) as a way of providing temporary relief for your Dad (which also sidesteps the issue of 'why am I being put in a home'). Carefully managed, this might - as well as giving your Dad a needed break - also change your Mum's possible pre-conceptions of 'being in a home', and make her more amenable to the idea in the longer run (as this issue isn't ultimately going to go away).

    I'm sure others here can advise more fully from direct experience, and the CPN should also be able to offer more local advice.

    Good luck!

  7. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi Julie and welcome to TP,

    I can't advise you BUT do send sympathy too you and your dad. I'm not from the UK so not aware of the system. I can't help wondering how many takers the CPN would have of people putting their hand up to go into care. :rolleyes:

    Considering placement is stressful enough and I hope that things work out for you and dad. Take Care, Taffy.
  8. JRB4040

    JRB4040 Registered User

    Feb 21, 2008
    Croxley Green, Herts
    A bit more about me...

    Firstly thanks to everyone who has responded to my first message - it is so comforting know that "I am not alone" . Anyway now I am getting the hang of this "chat room" thing I thought I would fill you in a bit more about our situation. I live in Hertfordshire and my parents moved to Cornwall (about 300 miles away) 20 years ago. My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 5 years ago and was put on Aricept and up until recently her deterioration has been fairly slow although we noticed over the past year that she was starting to have problems with her balance and co-ordination. Last summer we finally convinced her to start using a walking stick (even though she would hold it out in front of her like a gun!) but by November she could barely walk at all and had many falls, the last one resulted in her fracturing the base of her spine and she ended up in hospital (mainly for her own safety and to give my dad a break). She came out of hospital on 22nd December and I went down to spend Christmas with them on 23rd December. It had been only been 2 months since I had last seen her and I was so shocked at her deterioration. She could only walk with the aid of a zimmer frame but had to be shown each time what to do with it. She was very tearful and on top of that had a bladder infection which meant she constantly needed to go to the toilet. She was totally unable to go to the toilet by herself and therefore needed help - I wasn't prepared for that and found it very hard to deal with. My mother has always been a very dignified and private person and all of a sudden she's like a helpless child, clinging to me and crying because she didn't know what to do. Unfortunately my father is not a patient man and is definitely not cut out to be a carer and I realised after being with them for 24 hours that there was no way he was going to be able to cope with mum on his own.

    I went to see their GP and we decided that it would be best if mum went back into hospital for a few weeks and that she would be taken off the Aricept as it was suspected that she had suffered a side effect of it which had affected her mobility. So on Christmas Eve mum was taken back into hospital by ambulance and remained there for 4 weeks. She was finally sent home because her mobility had apparently improved and it was felt that with the right care package in place she could go home. She now has a carer that comes in twice a day to help her shower, dress etc and has the necessary mobility aids fitted round the house. However dad has told me that mum is waking up up to 9 times a night to go to the toilet which she needs help with and then needs help to get back into bed as she has no idea how to do it. She is not eating and is crying a lot. He is not coping at all, is totally at the end of his tether and (as I said before is not a patient person at all) shouts at her a lot which really upsets me. I realise that he is also very angry with the situation and is trying to come to terms with mum's condition. They celebrated their golden wedding last July and it seems almost like she went down hill rapidly after that.

    I have not been down to see them for 8 weeks as I have just had a major operation myself and also work full time and have 2 young children. I am desperately trying to help my dad find the answers as their situation is really really worrying me. We have go to the stage where we are trying to decide if he gets a live in carer or if mum should go into a home. Hence my note yesterday about the CPN and it having to be mum's decision. Oh by the way, mum has absolutely no recollection of the CPN having even visited yesterday!

    So there you have it - look forward to chatting with you all!

    Love Julie x

  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Julie,
    Your father certainly has more than he can manage. I really feel for him, and you, having so much long distance worry.
    All I can suggest is to suggest your father`s health is being affected by such intensive care for your mother and this puts them both at risk.
    I would also say you don`t want things to reach crisis point before any action is taken. Actually, it sounds as if they are at crisis point now.
    If your mother is on full AA because she needs 24 hour care, and your father is no longer able to provide that care, it should be an argument for residential care for your mother.
    I don`t know what these people are thinking of.
    Love xx
  10. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #10 Margarita, Feb 27, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008

    I think that a good idea

    If your mother waking up so much during the night, no wonder your father not coping .

    The best way forward is getting you father some respite. you mother sound like she in the stage my mother in .

    I was taking to my mother Key worker to day at day center . She was asking how I was coping , like your father I am getting to a stage wondering if my mother should go into a care home .

    But I know and social services know that I can't force my mother into one . even thought she not thinking with a rational or logical mind, the pursuer/ stress she putting me under in caring for her at home .

    (So SS step in , giving me more
    support as in day center , 8 weeks a year respite

    Am sure you mother the same in not knowing the stress she putting your father under )

    So I told key worker , that my mother would fight all the way not to go into care home , she scream the place down in wanting to go home, she have to have an injection to cram her down . she would get use to it, I suppose . if it got to the point of me saying I could not cope any more , your father has every right in saying that also .

    The Key worker tell me I would have a clear conscious mind :rolleyes:in not bumping , forcing my mother in a care home , while she still at a stage in not wanting to go .

    So I would of thought at this stage your mother in . CPN would of come up with other options of taking the pursuer/ stress of your father so he could have breaks away from your mother . as in respite .

    My mother did not like going into care home respite and no one said to me from SS that I could not force her in to respite , but they did say I can not force her into a care home premarital if she did not want to go .

    have you thought about respite before , what support does your father receive to give him time out for himself ?

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