Just HOW do they decide?


Registered User
Jul 6, 2005
Holt in Norfolk
I was hoping I may be able to draw on experiences from other members if possible please..........To cut a long story short my Grandmother's dementia is getting worse and she is still living in her rented flat on her own with three visits a day from domicillary social services care workers to feed her and give medication.She is under observation from the Community Mental Health Nurses and also the Social Worker.
We as a family obviously look after her too and are actively involved in her wellbeing....we have visited the limited number of EMI homes in our area and have a list of the ones we would consider.The problem is vacancies are few and far between and also respite beds are non existent!
What i cant gleen from social services is just how they decide who gets these beds when they are available.I know that vacancies have been coming up but we(or rather my Grandmother)have not been offered them!
I feel its case of letting sleeping dogs lie whilst there is no crisis but i feel they are waiting for something to happen to her before they will do anything!
I would appreciate any advice from anyone in the know or from personal experience.I obviously wont 'hold'anyone to what they say i would just welcome advice.Thank you.Neil


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex

You sound so fed up, poor thing.

We rang SS about an emergency placement for Mum when Dad had a sudden stroke last year and only had a few days to live. They were totally unhelpful and did not even return our calls until 5 weeks after Dad's death.

We are lucky that we managed to get an EMI place for Mum by ringing around and finding a vacancy at the right time. This also happened when she had to go to a secure place as she was going walkabout continually. It may have been luck, but both homes have been lovely for her.

I don't know if it is possible for you to find her a place yourselves and then inform them of her whereabouts. Mum is self-funding at the moment, so that may make a difference, but it might be worth a few phone calls to homes to see if she can be admitted.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but good luck to you.



Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi Neil,

I don't have too much to add to what Kathleen has already said.

I do believe that the situation is a bit different if you are "self-funding" initially. The difficulty can come in later if the patient's funds fall to the level where SS should start contributing and they challenge the placement - or feel that the weekly fees are above their normal limits - requiring a "top up".

Looking at the Norfolk County Council web site (I just assumed that your grandmother lives in the same county as you) there was one leaflet that explains the SS risk assessment rankings (pages 4-5 of the PDF):


The immediate/high level of care could be the level required to consider admission to residental care - needing continuous care or a primary carer who is at risk of collapse.

Would it be worth asking your grandmother's social worker whether or not it would be possible to put your grandmother's name down on the waiting lists of the EMI homes that you have seen? At least that way you could have more confidence when the time came that she would be going somewhere that you have seen and approved.

What are your grandmother's attitudes towards her care package? If she has voiced a strong desire to stay at home, that will be a major factor in SS plans.

Take care,



Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Forgot one thing . . .

If your grandmother is in Norfolk, you might also want to consider getting in touch with Age Concern Norfolk:


They seem to have a great deal of information about the local scene.

Take care,



Registered User
Sep 23, 2005
Who makes the decisions

Dear Neil, Andrew and I faced a similar situation about a year ago. We found Age Concern an enormous help and source of ideas and encouragement. The local Alzheimers Society if you have one nearby are brilliant. But at the end of the day we found we could not wait around for anything to happen to Mum (and there were a few pots boiling dry etc by then so hers and others safety was at risk) so we took the opportunity/plunge/risk of getting her into some respite care at albeit at a private nursing home and that was the best ( if you can see what we mean) decision but also the hardest one too. This was to be where she would stay - and now is nearly a year later. She is safe, well cared for and we can complement that by regular visits etc. Whilst we found SS helpful they at the end of the day did not have to carry the real responsibility of what happened to Mum. It is a hellish dilema you find yourself in as did we - suggest you see what care homes are available locally and see what space is available and go for it!! I realise that funding is an issue - we are having to sell Mum's house to enable her to be cared for as best as we are able. Hope this is of some help. We know you will find a solution. All the best. Hugh :confused:

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