How do I persuade my sister to accept help with meals

JoannaH

New member
Feb 6, 2021
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My sister lives alone. I am her sole relative. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 3 years ago. She is very independent. I persuaded her to accept an agency calling in once a day whilst I was out of the country. She refused to let them her help with meal preparation. I am fairly sure she can't use the microwave, and probably not the oven. Even the hob is a problem. We are due a review with the agency and all she says is that she doesn't want to continue with them. On Sat the agency rang me to tell me that she thought I was collecting her to take for a meal for her birthday. This isn't for 3 weeks. She wouldn't let them make a meal. I went over. She told me she could sort a meal out but in the end she was struggling to work it out. She lost her driving licence in Dec which hit her hard and she now has unrealistic plans to go travelling in March. She can't use a mobile phone, read a timetable, use the internet. etc I want to support her independence for as long as it is feasible but can't get her to accept anything even carrying ID
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
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Others will be along soon with better advice but if you wait for a person with dementia to agree with you or see your point of view you will wait forever. The default answer will always be no. We had a similar problem with my mother in law . She had carers who were told that they were to prepare a microwave meal for her whether she liked it or not. They then sat with her whilst she ate to make it a social occasion. If she didn't eat it then they were to just dispose of it in the food waste. Nine times out of ten , she ate it.
 

backin

Registered User
Feb 6, 2024
176
0
Have you asked for a social service assessment? My mum refused everything but social services managed to persuade her to try help for two weeks. It continued for a year until she needed to go into a care home.
I had already switched off the circuit breaker to the cooker as she was having problems using it

She insisted she was still cooking. I did her food shopping, could see how little of it was going, and at one point thought it was me going potty when she kept insisting she was eating well.
 

JoannaH

New member
Feb 6, 2021
9
0
Others will be along soon with better advice but if you wait for a person with dementia to agree with you or see your point of view you will wait forever. The default answer will always be no. We had a similar problem with my mother in law . She had carers who were told that they were to prepare a microwave meal for her whether she liked it or not. They then sat with her whilst she ate to make it a social occasion. If she didn't eat it then they were to just dispose of it in the food waste. Nine times out of ten , she ate it.
thank you. I will see how it goes tomorrow and if the care agency will help. My sister has point blank refused to let them make a meal. They were coming earlier than she would like to eat and I have now managed to get them to come later starting next week. I will try to get her to accept three days a week but she is quite likely to go out just to foil them.
 

JoannaH

New member
Feb 6, 2021
9
0
Have you asked for a social service assessment? My mum refused everything but social services managed to persuade her to try help for two weeks. It continued for a year until she needed to go into a care home.
I had already switched off the circuit breaker to the cooker as she was having problems using it

She insisted she was still cooking. I did her food shopping, could see how little of it was going, and at one point thought it was me going potty when she kept insisting she was eating well.
Thank you I did contact the LA a month or so ago and they said they weren't doing assessments. Depending on how we get on tomorrow I will contact her GP to see if he/she can help.
 
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backin

Registered User
Feb 6, 2024
176
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Thank you I did contact the LA a month or so ago and they said they weren't doing assessments. Depending on how we get on tomorrow I will contact her GP to see if he/she can help.
Not doing assessments? Can they do that? They have a duty of care and it's their responsibility to care for vulnerable adults.

Gobsmacked!
 
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JoannaH

New member
Feb 6, 2021
9
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Not doing assessments? Can they do that? They have a duty of care and it's their responsibility to care for vulnerable adults.

Gobsmacked!
My gob was smacked too! They said as I was getting a care agency in that would count as an assessment. I am going to ring them again to push and I will see if the GP can help. I don't expect the NHS to pay for the care - we are self-funding but to produce a care plan.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,297
0
South coast
Im afraid that if you are self-funded SS frequently doesnt want to know.
SS is unlikely to go into as much detail for a care plan as a care agency would. When OH had a needs assessment they just said that they advised getting carers in and it was the care agency who went into details of exactly what he would need doing - getting them up? helping them wash and dress? giving medication? preparing meals?

I hope the care agency is helpful. You could try asking several agencies and then go with the one you like
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
3,811
0
Kent
My sister lives alone. I am her sole relative. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 3 years ago. She is very independent. I persuaded her to accept an agency calling in once a day whilst I was out of the country. She refused to let them her help with meal preparation. I am fairly sure she can't use the microwave, and probably not the oven. Even the hob is a problem. We are due a review with the agency and all she says is that she doesn't want to continue with them. On Sat the agency rang me to tell me that she thought I was collecting her to take for a meal for her birthday. This isn't for 3 weeks. She wouldn't let them make a meal. I went over. She told me she could sort a meal out but in the end she was struggling to work it out. She lost her driving licence in Dec which hit her hard and she now has unrealistic plans to go travelling in March. She can't use a mobile phone, read a timetable, use the internet. etc I want to support her independence for as long as it is feasible but can't get her to accept anything even carrying ID
Hi @JoannaH
The situation with your sister sounds to me as if your sister is in need of having care.
If she cannot do the things you have stated then (i) can she still handle money matters and/or (ii) do you think she still has mental capacity? If the answer to these questions is likely to be "no" then your sister, in my view, would not be able to live independently without getting in to all sorts of problems - like sorting out household bills, repairs, washing and cleaning, taking her medications (if she has any) and, of course, paying the care company.
I think you need to (i) write down all your concerns, including what she can't do and then (ii) either speak with or write to her GP setting out those concerns and asking / suggesting they get her into the surgery on the pretext of a check up / well woman clinic - at which time the GP can chat to her and make their own assessment of her mental capacity, and, if appropriate, a referral to the local memory clinic for formal diagnosis and (iii) have another go at the Local Authority Adult Social Services Dept to carry out a care assessment for your sister to set out what in their view she needs as care. As they have ultimate responsibility I don't think they can legally refuse. If they do refuse you will need to have ago at her ward councillor and set it all to him/her.
As you say your sister will be a self funder, once the LA ASS have done a care assessment they will then say your sister is "on her own" for arranging the care as she will be paying for it.
After having said all that, your biggest problem is persuading your sister that for her own safety she needs carers or to move into a care home. It is v common for people at the early stages of dementia to be in denial and they won't/can't admit there is anything wrong - which is when you get a crisis. Many years ago my OH's aunt was in that position - it only took a moment for her to forget or overlook to turn off the gas or the running tap .... and a disaster will also affect others.
Best wishes
 

JoannaH

New member
Feb 6, 2021
9
0
Hi @JoannaH
The situation with your sister sounds to me as if your sister is in need of having care.
If she cannot do the things you have stated then (i) can she still handle money matters and/or (ii) do you think she still has mental capacity? If the answer to these questions is likely to be "no" then your sister, in my view, would not be able to live independently without getting in to all sorts of problems - like sorting out household bills, repairs, washing and cleaning, taking her medications (if she has any) and, of course, paying the care company.
I think you need to (i) write down all your concerns, including what she can't do and then (ii) either speak with or write to her GP setting out those concerns and asking / suggesting they get her into the surgery on the pretext of a check up / well woman clinic - at which time the GP can chat to her and make their own assessment of her mental capacity, and, if appropriate, a referral to the local memory clinic for formal diagnosis and (iii) have another go at the Local Authority Adult Social Services Dept to carry out a care assessment for your sister to set out what in their view she needs as care. As they have ultimate responsibility I don't think they can legally refuse. If they do refuse you will need to have ago at her ward councillor and set it all to him/her.
As you say your sister will be a self funder, once the LA ASS have done a care assessment they will then say your sister is "on her own" for arranging the care as she will be paying for it.
After having said all that, your biggest problem is persuading your sister that for her own safety she needs carers or to move into a care home. It is v common for people at the early stages of dementia to be in denial and they won't/can't admit there is anything wrong - which is when you get a crisis. Many years ago my OH's aunt was in that position - it only took a moment for her to forget or overlook to turn off the gas or the running tap .... and a disaster will also affect others.
Best wishes
Many thanks for your reply. It is helpful to hear from others with similar experiences. Sometimes you need reassurance that you are doing the right thing and to see if there are avenues that you haven't yet checked out. My sister has had a formal diagnosis and is on meds. Most of the time she is taking them, I have POA for both health and financial and I am dealing with all the life administration. Following the meeting with the care agency we have agreed a compromise situation. They will still attend on a reduced basis and in theory she has agreed that they will help with meal prep. I think I am going to have a go at her GP to see if we can get an OT assessment to actually watch her prepare a meal. (or not!) But this lack of insight/denial I have discovered is quite common. Thank you again for taking the time to write.
 

JoannaH

New member
Feb 6, 2021
9
0
Im afraid that if you are self-funded SS frequently doesnt want to know.
SS is unlikely to go into as much detail for a care plan as a care agency would. When OH had a needs assessment they just said that they advised getting carers in and it was the care agency who went into details of exactly what he would need doing - getting them up? helping them wash and dress? giving medication? preparing meals?

I hope the care agency is helpful. You could try asking several agencies and then go with the one you like
Thank you for your reply. I think you are right about the SS and my concern is that if they just do it as an interview with my sister she will present ok. My thoughts now are to see her GP and see if I can get an OT to actually watch her prepare a meal. Then we might get somewhere. The agency is very good but if my sister refuses to let me make a meal they are in a difficult position.