If caring has become too much...

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by lawbore, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. lawbore

    lawbore Guest

    #1 lawbore, Mar 18, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2007
    Ignoring the moral perspective for a moment, the legal perspective might help some of you who really cannot cope any more as carers. I know of a very useful website which deals specifically with care and health law: www.careandhealthlaw.com managed by Belinda Schwehr - unfortunately, I cannot post links to it as it is a subscription site (cost to individuals around £41) so I will post an excerpt from it in italics (which I hope Belinda won't mind).

    The web site listed says "Copyright 2004 Care and Health Law. "

    Please seek permission then re-post.


    AS administrator and TP moderator
  2. lawbore

    lawbore Guest

    I have emailed Belinda Schwehr to see if she will agree to the posting of this excerpt from her excellent legal website. What proof would you like of her agreement Brucie, should this be forthcoming?

    In the meantime for those of you who may be eaten up by curiosity, the legal position is that carers do not have to go on caring for someone if they do not wish to or unable to for whatever reason (there are many reasons but they may include the fact that the carer is experiencing depression or is about to lose their job because of caring).

    Carers can legally give notice to the Local Authority that they intend to cease from wearing the mantle of care at any time providing sufficient notice is given (in my opinion a month is sufficient). The LA then has a statutory duty to take over the care of the person concerned. Notice should be in writing by the carer with a date for expiry of the carer's services and a copy kept and the carer should ensure that he or she receives a written response to it to protect his/her position.

    After the expiry date, the Local Authority will be liable if it has not provided proper care.

    This is a last resort for desperately unhappy carers, but it is there. Think about it, of what use is a depressed or suicidal carer to a dementia patient anyway?
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi lawbore,
    Good question!

    Please ask her to e-mail her agreement to web@alzheimers.org.uk with a subject line of Talking Point copyright

  4. lawbore

    lawbore Guest

    Thank you Brucie
  5. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #5 Margarita, Mar 18, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007

    Yes I do agree that they is a point that a career can get like that , but they is help out there , if your feeling like that , amazingly all it took me to get over a down stage when feeling depress not so much in what was happening to my mother , but getting the support for social services 3 weeks respite, and knowing that I am intiled to 12 weeks in a year was a relief

    A career should not get to the stage of feeling suicidal, before social service take any notice of cause if the career adornment that they do not want to continue with caring, they can go along those line in giving notice to SS its common Sense and to have to pay £41 to be told that, is just making money out of people misfortune in not knowing the law for careers , if be interesting to see if this lady will give this information to us for free
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I really don`t think clinical legal guidance, in any way, will encourage a carer to down tools, and `dump` someone they love on the Local Authority.

    I`m sure those of us who are carers, know the time will come when we need help. But we are talking about people we love here, not pieces of furniture.

    It may be legally possible to say to a Local Authority,
    `Here is my mother/father/husband/wife. I have had enough. He/she/it is your responsibility now.`
    It may be legally possible, but is it humanly possible.
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hi Lawbore, an interesting point you raise - although at the point someone feels the need to rescind their caring duties because they are so depressed and/or suicidal is the point at which I would hope more care would 'kick in' for them - (which they have clearly needed previously - but what legal statute provides for that?) .........for things to have got to the point there is only a 'legal remedy' is a tragic indictment of the care we afford 'carers' .....:confused: .

    BTW, I would class myself as a 'desperately unhappy carer' - who could be happy about the situation we find ourselves in?

    Karen, x
  8. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005

    Hi Grannie G,

    You are absolutely correct - it is highly unlikely anyone will take this as "permission" to dump the person they love!!

    However, knowing the legal position can be very useful when dealing with reluctant and / or recalcitrant social service departments!! For those people who feel (or know!) they are being short changed by such departments in the help they are receiving, it can be useful to know the legal position so they can use it if needed.

    It certainly seems some people have great difficulty accessing services to which they are entitled, and obviously some (altho' certainly not all) "professionals" are not above trying to make out that the carer should take all the responsibility. In other cases, the departments "drag the chain" for so long about providing services that they put carers through unnecessary suffering waiting for help.

    If someone knows this law, they can say they are about to use it (after al, full time care is much more expensaive and tiome consuming for social services!!) and thus HOPEFULLY hasten the slow or "slack" services into action.

    I may soud "tough" about services, but they always remind me of that old nursery rhyme -
    "when they are good, they are very, very good,
    and when they are bad, they are horrid!" Nell
  9. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    #9 DeborahBlythe, Mar 19, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
    I agree with you Nell. All information, if correct, is useful and thank you to lawbore for taking the trouble to bring this side of things to our attention. What carers decide to make of the information is entirely up to them, but at least they know the bottom line and if they don't want to invoke their rights, can at least use them as a sort of bargaining tool.

    I'd say, however, lawbore, that there are many countless numbers of carers who go through depression at some stage, and who still soldier on doing the best they can, so I can understand why people on TP are thinking that it borders on the offensive to assume that they might be less than useful. Carers are the unsung heros and heroines who fight awful battles, struggle to come to terms with a horrible condition, often put their own needs on hold to try and ensure their loved ones are properly looked after, through thick and thin. They deserve as much respect and thanks and support as a caring society can offer.

    Nevertheless, you have taken time to tell us something we may not have known, so thanks again to you.
  10. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Many thanks for chasing this one through.
  11. lawbore

    lawbore Guest

    My Hope

    That's ok Brucie. I hope that the carers who read this forum can use this information to obtain the help they need from those Social Services Departments in local authorities who are leaving them to flounder.
  12. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Gosh some very interesting information on there for me , lots to take in . as I also have a brother who come under care in the community , even thought he is in housing support his not getting the right help and its all under review , because they are closing down where he is staying and moving him in June , while I try get my head around the law in trying to fight that he gets the high level care he need . This has been so on going for the last year.

    So thank-you for taking the time out to email this lady to give you permission.
  13. lawbore

    lawbore Guest

    Here is the Correct Extract About Carers Rights

    I set out below (in italics) the extract about the right of carers to cease caring which was shown in my original post on this thread but deleted for reasons of copyright.

    Apologies to those of you like Margarita for inflicting the other one on you all which was the wrong extract about a completely different subject:eek:

    Mental Health Law

    A carer does not have to do anything s/he does not want to. Carers are volunteering, after all, to help.
    However, what carers are prepared or not prepared to do, may, in practice, have a big effect on the service user and even the setting in which that service user will be supported, through a care package.
    This is because authorities are allowed to elect from two or more adequate alternatives for meeting a need, the cheaper of the various options (Lancashire), and the costing of a care package at home will inevitably be affected by what a carer in a person's own home is prepared to do.
    Another legal rule which bites on what a carer is allowed to do, is that where an authority has got a duty to provide a service to someone, then if they agree to use the carer to provide some of the work involved, then they have to be sure that the carer is up to the job - after all, the client is relying on the authority not to withdraw from what would otherwise be its provision duty, unless satisfied that the overall proposal will meet the assessed needs.
    Where an authority opts to try to support someone at home with an informal carer through a package of services to meet the extra needs which the carer cannot or will not meet, it does so, in law, on the basis that it is sure that the environment - which includes the existence and the presence of the carer - is a suitable one for the client. If skilled tasks have to be done as part of the daily care of a person, and the carer is willing to do them, the authority can only be satisfied, in law, as to that person's ability and hence as to the client's needs, if it has trained the carer or asked for proof of competence in the task involved, if the task was outside the remit of community care services.
    For example, the District Nurse may guide a carer as to the administration of food, drugs or bowel evacuation, which would otherwise be done by a skilled care assistant or nurse. A local authority can rely on that guidance from the NHS professional, in concluding that the carer who is willing is also able to provide appropriate care. But in the absence of training by the NHS, or re-assurance from the District Nurse, or other proof of competence, (and certainly if the authority becomes aware that the carer is not doing what they have undertaken to do, or is habitually out, under the influence of alcohol or drugs at home, etc) the health or, in the grey area between health and social care in the community, the local authority's own intervention by way of substitute service provision within its statutory powers, would inevitably become 'necessary' or 'called for', under the relevant legislation.
    Failure to meet the shortfall in such circumstances could render the authority liable to the carer for physical or mental harm. But the authority could also decide that without the carer to count on, it was so much more expensive to meet that need, than it would be to provide for the service user in a residential facility, that it was not financially prudent or equitable to spend a disproportionate amount on supporting the service user at home. In this way, the carer's ability and appropriateness to care, at least to a reasonable level of sensitivity and competence can have an impact on the shape of the service user's package.
    When assessing users, authorities must never forget that carers are not obliged to go on caring for someone forever or until they drop from the exhaustion or mental breakdown. Carers are legally entitled to cease to care, whenever they want to, so long as they do not expose the person to risk of harm, in abandoning the person cared for, too suddenly. So long as it is done sensibly and on notice, it is perfectly lawful for carers to give up caring and to hand on responsibility to the local authority, which has statutory duties to care in certain circumstances.
  14. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #14 Margarita, Mar 20, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
    Now that sounds very interesting to be, because in reality its not true.

    I mean what been ****ing me of lately, is they the SS have been very good in supporting me in caring for my mother at home and have a lot of adaptation to our home to help my mother get around in bath shower etc , but then when my mother go to respite they put her in a care home that has no adaptation to help her out of bed or to go to the toilet .

    So I phone social worker saying I wanted my mother to go to a respite , but in a nursing home as my mother was in one when I needed emergency respite last year , that nursing home in Fulham is privet , but is part funded by local authority .

    I was told by social worker, that they did that for my mother put her there nursing home as a one of , as my mother would have to be in real late stages in AZ needing full time nursing care to go there again.

    So they will not fund that for her now, because my mother only has diabetic with medication not insulin

    So my mother does not qualify for nurseling care home, only residential care home that can have no adaptation to assist my mother to get around when in respite.

    Well social worker got my point and won’t be giving me again a residential care respite home with out adaptation as I told her yes I would like respite , but don’t rush until they a vacancy is one that I feel fit my mother needs

    If you want good quality care for someone who is not in the very last stages of AZ your not going to get it , may be then and only then , they be a decent nursing care home , but till that stage and I need respite , my mother would have to put up with 2nd best .

    and then they say this
    They don't care about the client my mother when in a care home that is not fit for her

    Hippocrates the whole system is with the law and SS is all I can say and you do get what you pay for.

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