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In denial

Lyn11

New member
Jun 27, 2020
5
Hello
My Aunty who is 87 has been having problems for a few years., memory, repeating etc. She has gradually gone downhill. She stopped getting dressed last November after going out with a friend and not being able walk around the supermarket due to bad feet (arthritis and hammer toe.). A neighbour used to help her with household tasks, gardening etc. The lady came to me one day and said she couldn’t do it any more as it was too much for her. We had a meeting with myself and my brother. We are my Auntys only relatives and mentioned about what her neighbour had said. She flew into a rage and went outside shouting at her. The lady wont have anything to do with her now.
I got in touch with adult help as I was worried about her. A social worker visited her and she promised that she would accept help etc. She had a memory assessment in March but the follow up was cancelled due to Covid. She is a very stubborn lady even before dementia. She does not wash, hardly eats, drinks 3 bottles of country cream weekly., so bad I know but I just think oh well at least it’s got milk/ cream in.
She says she is fine and likes sitting in her dressing gown as it’s warmer. . I have tried to help with getting her carers on two separate occasions which she just turns away, meals on wheels turned away. She won’t accept anything I have helped her with. I get shopping for her weekly, she tells everyone else it comes in a big box To the house. I visited her yesterday and she has lost the keys to her patio door, I spent the whole time searching for the keys. I am so worried about her and know that we are basically waiting for a disaster to happen. She has plenty of money to afford help etc. She will say don’t you go putting me in a home I will kill myself. Myself and my brother do have power of atttorney. Please can anyone advise me or help. Thank you.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,420
South coast
Im afraid that your Auntie has (like so many others with dementia) lost the self awareness of her own situation. In her own mind she knows that she washes, eats regularly, cooks her own meals and does all her own housework, and if she occasionally decides to stay in her dressing gown all day, well theres a good reason for it! So, how dare you suggest that she has got to be put in a home!!!!

Actual reality, though, is quite different and, unfortunately, you will never be able to bring her back into actual reality, so she is never going to agree to any help. She may say the words to the SW, but I suspects thats just to keep SS off her back and within a few minutes will be forgotten anyway.

Keep a log of what your auntie is doing and keep pushing SS. If you do nothing they will assume that everything is fine.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
895
High Peak
I'd also suggest you phone or write to her GP and detail all these things. They won't be able to discuss your aunt with you unless she has given permission (I imagine not!) but they do have to listen to your concerns.

Also as canary says, keep contacting social services and telling them how your aunt is. Use the phrase 'vulnerable adult at risk' and remind them that they have 'duty of care'.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
580
I love how practical you are about the Country Cream. This is the point where we have to drop our standards on just about everything. I used to buy mum "finger food" she could nibble on like mini pork pies, sausage rolls, mini apple pies and pots of custard but much of it went uneaten. I moved on to making lunch every day and eating with her, frantically cleaning the kitchen and bathroom when she wasn't looking or was having a doze! Of course, this meant that everybody thought she was managing just fine. I imagine that, before Social Service was invented, there were thousands of elderly people living like your aunt! Apart from the advice already given, you could try and sneak in help surreptitiously by disguising it as "someone local who really needs a job", somebody your aunt could "help train to clean and cook" ;).
 

Lyn11

New member
Jun 27, 2020
5
Im afraid that your Auntie has (like so many others with dementia) lost the self awareness of her own situation. In her own mind she knows that she washes, eats regularly, cooks her own meals and does all her own housework, and if she occasionally decides to stay in her dressing gown all day, well theres a good reason for it! So, how dare you suggest that she has got to be put in a home!!!!

Actual reality, though, is quite different and, unfortunately, you will never be able to bring her back into actual reality, so she is never going to agree to any help. She may say the words to the SW, but I suspects thats just to keep SS off her back and within a few minutes will be forgotten anyway.

Keep a log of what your auntie is doing and keep pushing SS. If you do nothing they will assume that everything is fine.
Hi thanks for your reply. I actually just found a letter from SS yesterday whilst on the key hunt, stating that the social worker would not be visiting again as she had accepted help ie carers and help from family.
 

Lyn11

New member
Jun 27, 2020
5
I love how practical you are about the Country Cream. This is the point where we have to drop our standards on just about everything. I used to buy mum "finger food" she could nibble on like mini pork pies, sausage rolls, mini apple pies and pots of custard but much of it went uneaten. I moved on to making lunch every day and eating with her, frantically cleaning the kitchen and bathroom when she wasn't looking or was having a doze! Of course, this meant that everybody thought she was managing just fine. I imagine that, before Social Service was invented, there were thousands of elderly people living like your aunt! Apart from the advice already given, you could try and sneak in help surreptitiously by disguising it as "someone local who really needs a job", somebody your aunt could "help train to clean and cook" ;).
Thanks for the reply, one of the problems was that it seemed to be a different carer each time and my aunty said one of them ’stank’ and sat on her phone, just talking. Also I forgot to mention that the bill for the carers mistakenly went to her and not me which did play a huge part of her turning them away.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,420
South coast
one of the problems was that it seemed to be a different carer each time and my aunty said one of them ’stank’ and sat on her phone, just talking.
If that happens again its best to get in contact with the care agency to see if its possible to keep the to the same carers. I get sent a rota of which carers are coming and at what time, every week. Did you get that? It makes it much easier to keep tabs on what is going on. Mind you, I wouldnt automatically believe everything that your aunt says. I have discovered to my cost that people with dementia, even though they truly believe what they report, are not always accurate. I always try and double check things for myself first :rolleyes:
 

Lyn11

New member
Jun 27, 2020
5
If that happens again its best to get in contact with the care agency to see if its possible to keep the to the same carers. I get sent a rota of which carers are coming and at what time, every week. Did you get that? It makes it much easier to keep tabs on what is going on. Mind you, I wouldnt automatically believe everything that your aunt says. I have discovered to my cost that people with dementia, even though they truly believe what they report, are not always accurate. I always try and double check things for myself first :rolleyes:
Hi no I didn’t get a rota, but it was only for an hour once a day Mon-Fri. No I don’t believe a lot of what she says, such as her neighbour across the road has moved house is one of the things she keeps saying.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,420
South coast
If you dont get a rota @Lyn11 you can ask for one. OH has carers once a day Mon-Fri too. He gets a rota sent to him, but I also get a rota sent to me by email - which is useful in case he "puts it somewhere safe"! If I manage to get hold of it before then I pin it to the fridge with a fridge magnet so that when he asks about them I can direct him to the fridge. But Ive also got it in an email, so Ive got a record of it
 

Lyn11

New member
Jun 27, 2020
5
If you dont get a rota @Lyn11 you can ask for one. OH has carers once a day Mon-Fri too. He gets a rota sent to him, but I also get a rota sent to me by email - which is useful in case he "puts it somewhere safe"! If I manage to get hold of it before then I pin it to the fridge with a fridge magnet so that when he asks about them I can direct him to the fridge. But Ive also got it in an email, so Ive got a record of it
Ok thanks, carers not going at the moment, she turns them away after them mistakenly sending the bill to her instead of me.