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I am phyically and mentally incable of being a carer but am still being expected to do so by social services

chappers37

New member
Oct 7, 2021
4
0
I am no longer physically (due to bad car crash) and mentally (my diagnosed severe depression of over 10 years) i have a letter from my GP explaining this and her concerns for my mental health worsening going forward, she states ' i am no longer capable of providing care for my mother' i am her only carer and she lives alone. Her condition altzheimers with vascular involvement has deteriorated greatly in the last 6 months.

Therefore i am trying to get her into a care/residential facility on a temp respite leading to permenent basis. however after her assessment a few days ago they have inexplicably found her to be capable of looking after herself and will be sending her home as soon as they can put a care package in place, any package would not cover after 8pm which is when she is at her worse so i would be forced both against my will and medical advice to continue as a primary care giver. how can this possibly be ? and how do i stop this from happening. she needs care thoughout the night and i'm not capable of providing it and the local authority refuses to assist, falsely believing my mum will be ok. she broke her foot 2 moths ago and has no clue how it happened and many more problems (hygeine, incontinence, hallucinations and virtually no memory at all. I have been caring for over 5 years now and i just can't do it anymore.

Please can somebody tell me how i can overturn this decision. how can social services just ignore the advice of a 40 year veteran GP ? it just boggles my mind. any help pointing me in the right direction would be very much appreciated. i don't know what else to do
 

Eogz

Registered User
Sep 9, 2021
54
0
Hi Chris,

Sorry to hear about your dilemma, the stress and worry it is causing you.
You have a couple of choices here:
1. You could try and contact a solicitor, who specialises in community care. They may be able to advise regarding any legal issues. They could, if deeming social services acted unlawfully, could write a letter of intent (intent to sue). You will get solid legal advice either way.
2. You could write, email or speak to the social worker expressing your concerns, if they don't listen ask who their manager is and do the same with them. Again if this falls on deaf ears you could raise a complaint.
3. If it helps, do you have evidence, especially if it comes from other people as well, of your mum having issues at night. If you can write as much down as you can and present this info to the social worker.
Whilst not perfect or quick the above options do offer you a chance to make social services accountable for their decisions.
I'm sorry I couldn't offer anything more immediate.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,748
0
South coast
Hello @chappers37 and welcome to Talking Point.
Im afraid that this scenario is very common. Social Services protocal says that if your mum wants to come home, they have to allow it, unless she can be shown to be "at risk". Unfortunately, all the while you are there plugging the gaps, however unwillingly, and preventing this risk, SS will just let you get on with it. Im sorry to say, that the only way that SS will overturn your mums wishes is if she is actually shown to be at risk and often, the only way you can do this is to step back and allow the care package to fail.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,174
0
Hi @chappers37 , as @canary says social services need to see that carers at home isn't an option before agreeing to a care home. I'd make it very clear to them that you are not able to provide any support for your mother, and then step back and let it fail. It is a tough thing to do so I think you need some support Contact the Support line on 0333 150 3456 or email dementia.connect@alzheimers.org.uk and talk thing through with them.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,451
0
I would start by writing a letter to the director of social services at the local authority, enclosing copies of any evidence you have that points to a need for 24 hour care. If the evidence you have is weak, i.e just your opinion, you might need to get a report from an independent social worker. Your GP letter will obviously be useful.

If that doesn't work, write to the Chief Executive of the council and copy in your councillor.

If the council won't budge a complaint can be made to the Local Government Ombudsman

I assume you have LPA, because if you don't then theoretically the whole issue is none of your business and the council can ignore you.

Getting a solicitor involved may be helpful but the trouble is that the council are responsible for the judgement about what care your mother needs and that's not a legal issue. You will need three things, evidence, evidence, and evidence. Keep records of incidents in a log, get written records from anyone independent who sees or hears anything at all, start building your portfolio of documentary evidence. As @canary says you might have to wait until the care at home package fails. Be sure that when it does you have excellent records of it all.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,415
0
High Peak
When you write/email social services, make the following points clear:
1) you can no longer offer ANY support to your mum as you have medical issues (mention GP's letter) and have reached Carer Breakdown.
2) Say that you completely disagree that your mother would be safe on her own at night and explain why. Point out that you know her issues/behaviour far better than they do and ask for their evidence that she CAN manage. (Your mum telling them she is fine is NOT good enough.)
3) Point out that SS have Duty of Care, not you.
4) Say that having told them very clearly it is unsafe for your mum to be alone, that as they disagree, you will hold them personally responsible if anything goes wrong.
 

chappers37

New member
Oct 7, 2021
4
0
Hi Chris,

Sorry to hear about your dilemma, the stress and worry it is causing you.
You have a couple of choices here:
1. You could try and contact a solicitor, who specialises in community care. They may be able to advise regarding any legal issues. They could, if deeming social services acted unlawfully, could write a letter of intent (intent to sue). You will get solid legal advice either way.
2. You could write, email or speak to the social worker expressing your concerns, if they don't listen ask who their manager is and do the same with them. Again if this falls on deaf ears you could raise a complaint.
3. If it helps, do you have evidence, especially if it comes from other people as well, of your mum having issues at night. If you can write as much down as you can and present this info to the social worker.
Whilst not perfect or quick the above options do offer you a chance to make social services accountable for their decisions.
I'm sorry I couldn't offer anything more immediate.
Thanks. I will certainly be consulting with a solicitor. i suspect that any hint of them losing money by being sued will definitely get their attention
 

chappers37

New member
Oct 7, 2021
4
0
When you write/email social services, make the following points clear:
1) you can no longer offer ANY support to your mum as you have medical issues (mention GP's letter) and have reached Carer Breakdown.
2) Say that you completely disagree that your mother would be safe on her own at night and explain why. Point out that you know her issues/behaviour far better than they do and ask for their evidence that she CAN manage. (Your mum telling them she is fine is NOT good enough.)
3) Point out that SS have Duty of Care, not you.
4) Say that having told them very clearly it is unsafe for your mum to be alone, that as they disagree, you will hold them personally responsible if anything goes wrong.
That's a good idea i hadn't considered, they demand reams of evidence to show a patient is vulnerable / unsafe but offer none to prove she isn't. I shall most certainly be involving that in my letters. Thank you very much for your considered reply x
 

Emmcee

Registered User
Dec 28, 2015
125
0
Unfortunately, although challenging and distressing, your situation is not unique.

a) On a purely practical level, one of the issues used to be dependent upon home ownership/tenancy. If either of them are in your Mum's name (as opposed to your own), then Social Work are duty-bound to return a person to that address.
b) The Social workers are also duty-bound to act upon the opinion of the health care professionals (Doctor/ OT/Physio & nursing staff etc) who should have assessed your Mum. They have to have placed on record their recommendations e.g. package of care and, as such, are stating that, in their opinion, your Mum can, safely and effectively, manage/be managed in the hours per day when carers are not in attendance.

However, in addition to the good advice given by others .....

a) What would happen if you were not there? (Yes, you could notify them that you were not prepared to, nor could you physically/mentally provide support your Mum) ..... or, you could make arrangements to be "elsewhere" at time of discharge.
b) You would also have to demonstrate that you were no longer in receipt of carers allowance or had made arrangements to cancel this because you no longer regarded yourself as your Mum's carer.
 

Emmcee

Registered User
Dec 28, 2015
125
0
Hello @chappers37 and welcome to Talking Point.
Im afraid that this scenario is very common. Social Services protocal says that if your mum wants to come home, they have to allow it, unless she can be shown to be "at risk". Unfortunately, all the while you are there plugging the gaps, however unwillingly, and preventing this risk, SS will just let you get on with it. Im sorry to say, that the only way that SS will overturn your mums wishes is if she is actually shown to be at risk and often, the only way you can do this is to step back and allow the care package to fail.
If she has been deemed to have capacity, they (social services) actually have very little choice. If she is deemed to lack capacity and there is no power of attorney in place, she cannot - legally - be moved anyway.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,748
0
South coast
If she is deemed to lack capacity and there is no power of attorney in place, she cannot - legally - be moved anyway.
What happens is a Best Interest Meeting
This is what happened to mum as she was assessed as having lost capacity and no-one held POA of any sort for her. She moved from hospital to a care home for six weeks reablement/ assessment and at the end of it there was a Best Interest Meeting. At this meeting it was decided that mum should remain in the care home
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
580
0
I’m afraid that I am deeply cynical about these capacity assessments carried out by SWs. It seems to me that too often a person will only be found to lack capacity if s/he does not go along with what the SW wants.

Carer visits only provide quite limited support and the person is left alone for12 hours overnight which is when they are likely to be at their most vulnerable. Many people with dementia do not sleep well / wander around at night and feel scared being alone when it is dark. My LA and, I assume, most LAs no longer provide overnight care in a person’s own home, which is what s/he needs. There is therefore nothing in between four care visits a day (the maximum most LAs allow) and a care home. As far as I can see, LAs are extremely reluctant to place a person in a care home and so the person remains at home even though things are unsatisfactory until there is a serious incident or the situation has become dangerous or grossly unsatisfactory. If there is family the care package is dependent on a lot of family input as without it everything will fall apart. The only thing that the family can do in this situation is walk away and wait for a crisis, which is very hard to do and so families keep plugging away trying to support their PWD as s/he continues to decline and his/her support needs become ever greater.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,451
0
I’m afraid that I am deeply cynical about these capacity assessments carried out by SWs. It seems to me that too often a person will only be found to lack capacity if s/he does not go along with what the SW wants.

Carer visits only provide quite limited support and the person is left alone for12 hours overnight which is when they are likely to be at their most vulnerable. Many people with dementia do not sleep well / wander around at night and feel scared being alone when it is dark. My LA and, I assume, most LAs no longer provide overnight care in a person’s own home, which is what s/he needs. There is therefore nothing in between four care visits a day (the maximum most LAs allow) and a care home. As far as I can see, LAs are extremely reluctant to place a person in a care home and so the person remains at home even though things are unsatisfactory until there is a serious incident or the situation has become dangerous or grossly unsatisfactory. If there is family the care package is dependent on a lot of family input as without it everything will fall apart. The only thing that the family can do in this situation is walk away and wait for a crisis, which is very hard to do and so families keep plugging away trying to support their PWD as s/he continues to decline and his/her support needs become ever greater.
There are things you can do, you don't have to just wait for a crisis, if you are able to gather evidence especially independent evidence. You can complain and if necessary complain to the local government ombudsman. I suppose in the end you could go for judicial review although that would cost a great deal. But evidence is key. Evidence could include witness statements from carers, neighbours, medical staff, etc. Documentation of the hazards faced by the PWD is critical.
 

Pots and Pans

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
156
0
Great ideas above especially about duty of care. Have you yourself also had a carer assessment... can bring in more help, though not likely overnight. Can also ask for help maybe with technology? Pendant scheme linked to a LA desk so they can answer if your mum confused at night ... she might call repeatedly ( if prompted!) More evidence to help? Would it also help if you phoned the emergency mental health team every night if she is at home with you? To report your own mental breakdown and problems with your mum. It should all get passed on to SS. Ditto if any safeguard fear - aggression? - you could try the police and get a police log number. I've seen it said elsewhere that 'the squeaky wheel gets the oil first' ie make a nuisance of yourself. Quite frankly your situation scares me as I can see similar battles ahead and can't see myself having the energy for legal letters etc if I am just knackered... Do hope you can resolve and others continue to come up with good ideas. As you say, how can they get away with this? Shocking.
 

chappers37

New member
Oct 7, 2021
4
0
Thanks for all your advice. Hopefully it might help get this injustice sorted out. I'll let you all know what happens. Thanks again
 

Pots and Pans

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
156
0
@chappers37 hi. Not seen any posts from you on this for some time and wondered if you were getting on ok or have resolved the problems. Or... just struggling on?
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
108
0
I am no longer physically (due to bad car crash) and mentally (my diagnosed severe depression of over 10 years) i have a letter from my GP explaining this and her concerns for my mental health worsening going forward, she states ' i am no longer capable of providing care for my mother' i am her only carer and she lives alone. Her condition altzheimers with vascular involvement has deteriorated greatly in the last 6 months.

Therefore i am trying to get her into a care/residential facility on a temp respite leading to permenent basis. however after her assessment a few days ago they have inexplicably found her to be capable of looking after herself and will be sending her home as soon as they can put a care package in place, any package would not cover after 8pm which is when she is at her worse so i would be forced both against my will and medical advice to continue as a primary care giver. how can this possibly be ? and how do i stop this from happening. she needs care thoughout the night and i'm not capable of providing it and the local authority refuses to assist, falsely believing my mum will be ok. she broke her foot 2 moths ago and has no clue how it happened and many more problems (hygeine, incontinence, hallucinations and virtually no memory at all. I have been caring for over 5 years now and i just can't do it anymore.

Please can somebody tell me how i can overturn this decision. how can social services just ignore the advice of a 40 year veteran GP ? it just boggles my mind. any help pointing me in the right direction would be very much appreciated. i don't know what else to do
You will have to stick to your guns and inform the local social services department thay you are unable to provide care for your partner and that you WILL NOT be doing so in the future. it seems awfully drastic to say this but you will have to be prepared for some sort of crisis to happen before social services will willingly do anything.

In 2003 my Mum, then in her 70's, had to go into hospital for a hysterectomy leaving my late stepdad (then in his early 80's) alone at home with the only care provision being 4 x carer visits during the daytime and none at night . Stepdad was 6 ft tall and my Mum only just over 5 ft; stepdad had recently broke his hip and should have used a zimmer frame or walking stick at the very least but was too proud to be seen with either so he was frequently falling over, resulting in many 999 calls to the local ambulance service for the parameedics to help get stepdad up onto his feet again. If this happened during the night when stepdad went to the toilet he would have been unable to call for help and would have had to wait till the morning carer arrived. after having her operation postponed a couple of times because of no care provision being available, a respite place was evventually found for stepdad while Mum was in hospital for her op.

Come the day Mum was due to come home from hospital, in the afternoon, Mum was horrified to be told that stepdad was duer to be discharged home on that same morning with no care provision having been made; he'd told the people a the rspite place that his wife was at home to care for him. Mum was furious and emphasised that she'd had major surgery so would be unable to lift even a kettle of water never mnd a 6 ft husband after he'd fallen over. Stepdad was eventually moved to a care home permanently as mum couldn't manage him at home; he died of heart failure after 18 mnths in the care home.

No form of dementia was involved, but i've told this tale to emphasise that if you really and truly can NOT care for your partner any longer you will have to inform social services that you are withdrawing ALL care provided by you to date, so that they will HAVE to find suotable alternative arrangements.
 

Female1952

Registered User
Apr 6, 2021
38
0
I am no longer physically (due to bad car crash) and mentally (my diagnosed severe depression of over 10 years) i have a letter from my GP explaining this and her concerns for my mental health worsening going forward, she states ' i am no longer capable of providing care for my mother' i am her only carer and she lives alone. Her condition altzheimers with vascular involvement has deteriorated greatly in the last 6 months.

Therefore i am trying to get her into a care/residential facility on a temp respite leading to permenent basis. however after her assessment a few days ago they have inexplicably found her to be capable of looking after herself and will be sending her home as soon as they can put a care package in place, any package would not cover after 8pm which is when she is at her worse so i would be forced both against my will and medical advice to continue as a primary care giver. how can this possibly be ?
Hi Chappers37,
I'm so sorry you're in this situation and I hope you've made some progress by now. If not, can I ask whether you have POA and whether your mother would be self-funding? If the answer to both is yes, then you can engage an independent social worker to assess your mother and advise. If not, then I agree with others who have advised you to withdraw all care and remind SS that they have the duty of care. Easier said than done - but we all understand and support you.
 

Frank24

Registered User
Feb 13, 2018
239
0
I reached a full Carer breakdown so know how you feel. I had a serious back injury and was totally fed up. When social services wanted to check if my mum was going into a care home for the right reasons I met with them and the social worker took one look at me. It was very clear I could no longer cope. Have you requested a meeting in person?
 

Rob_E

Registered User
Feb 1, 2015
209
0
I really don't know how anyone can go to work each day as a social worker and feel that they are doing a good job. Yes, they have to follow procedure and the law and there are some serious short commings with those procedures, but seriously, the misery that these procedures cause and the risk those procedures put people at, I couldn't live with myself being the person who implements it.