Knowing when full time care is the best option

Ann1923

Registered User
Apr 16, 2024
20
0
Hi. I care for my dad who is 82, lives alone and recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. He's nosedived since diagnosis and we've recently had to go out at night a few times to pick him up when he's got lost. Hes not really capable of making decisions, i look after hus finances, medication, food shopping etc. He can make a drink and heat up a ready meal in the microwave but is starting to need reminding to do so. At what point is someone considered to be at risk?
 

Dinny

Registered User
Apr 12, 2024
12
0
Hi. I care for my dad who is 82, lives alone and recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. He's nosedived since diagnosis and we've recently had to go out at night a few times to pick him up when he's got lost. Hes not really capable of making decisions, i look after hus finances, medication, food shopping etc. He can make a drink and heat up a ready meal in the microwave but is starting to need reminding to do so. At what point is someone considered to be at risk?
Maybe speak to social services - is he taking his medication on time and cleaning himself ? My mother stopped cleaning even though was very proud before diagnosis - also check for utis are common for them to go down hill or seam worse if got one or another infection
Hope this helps
 

Guineapig24

New member
Apr 17, 2024
1
0
I have the same dilemma and it's so difficult isn't it. my mum is also 82 and was coping with carers going in and prompting but I can see from the cameras that she's up multiple times in the night, putting underwear on the outside of her clothes or forgetting to put any on. In the last week she's tried to iron clothes with a full kettle of boiling water (thank god she didn't get burnt), broken the washing machine with cardboard by putting a full box of pods into the machine and went out on her own and got lost - the carer found her wandering in the village saying she was looking for lost WW2 soldiers. Some days she's okay and others she's so confused she doesn't recognise she's living in her own house and has been throwing away meals on wheels hot meals after a few mouthfuls or leaves them for hours on the floor until they're cold. She's become obsessed with sugary snacks so will throw away healthy food the carers leave and just eat through packets of biscuits. She'd be self funding for a few months due to savings but has small pension so wouldn't be long before we'd have to sell her house to fund care. Same thing happened with my Dad so its heartbreaking to be back here. I've also got young-ish children and feel between my Dad who became ill in 2017 and now my mum I'm exhausted dealing with this and always focusing on the sad/difficult side of life. I know it would mean losing her home and savings but if it gave her better quality of life and me peace of mind think it may be worth it. I just wonder at what point a professional helps/tells you what is for the best. The doctor came out to see her about her delusions and said it was social not a medical issue and she had capacity to make her own decisions so if she wants to stay at home (and now refuse all her medication including donepazil). Got me really confused about whether that means mum should/can stay at home if that's what she says she wants even if I feel it's unsafe/unhealthy. I have LPA but if doctor says she has capacity can I make a decision about putting her in a home. I'm looking into respite and persuading her to try that first like a holiday just so I can get some breathing space to figure out what to do.
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
4,934
0
Hi. I care for my dad who is 82, lives alone and recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. He's nosedived since diagnosis and we've recently had to go out at night a few times to pick him up when he's got lost. Hes not really capable of making decisions, i look after hus finances, medication, food shopping etc. He can make a drink and heat up a ready meal in the microwave but is starting to need reminding to do so. At what point is someone considered to be at risk?
Hello @Ann1923 and welcome but sorry to hear about the situation with your dad. In terms of the point that someone is considered to be at risk, as your dad is going out on his own at night and getting lost then that is placing him at risk of harm. The fact that he is now starting to need prompting to eat or drink is also a potential risk in terms of dehydration and malnutrition, so he does seem to have reached the point where he needs an increase in care to keep him safe. As already suggested, it might be a good idea to contact your dad's local authority adult care team to let them know what's happening, explaining that your dad is vulnerable and at risk, and request a care needs assessment. Do you have Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for your dad? If he is in a position to pay for his care himself, rather than reliant on local authority funding, then you could arrange care for him yourself. Details of the care needs assessment process are in the link below:


I have also included a link to a 'Herbert Protocol' Form, which is useful in terms of providing the local Police with your Dad's details in case he gets lost again. This is a Met Police version but other Police forces also use the Herbert Protocol so your dad's local Police station will be able to let you know of their specific Herbert Protocol processes:


Hope this helps. This is a friendly and supportive place and people are happy to help others when they can.
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
4,934
0
Hello @Guineapig24 and welcome to the Dementia Support forum. It sounds like a very difficult situation with your mum, and from what you have posted she is clearly at risk of harm. It does sound like a respite stay would be a good idea in terms of keeping your mum safe, and as you say, it would give you some breathing space too as you have a lot to cope with at the moment. The care home would also be able to provide professional advice about the level of care that your mum needs. The comment from your mum's GP isn't particularly helpful, and you may find the factsheet below useful as it covers the topic of when is the right time for a care home and who decides. I have also added a link to the Dementia Support Line as they have a lot of knowledge and are really helpful in terms of suggesting a way forward.

As your mum is going out on her own and getting lost the link to the Herbert Protocol form in my message above will hopefully be helpful too.


 

Ann1923

Registered User
Apr 16, 2024
20
0
Thank you so much for your replies. There's some helpful stuff in here that I'll take away.
 

Ann1923

Registered User
Apr 16, 2024
20
0
I have the same dilemma and it's so difficult isn't it. my mum is also 82 and was coping with carers going in and prompting but I can see from the cameras that she's up multiple times in the night, putting underwear on the outside of her clothes or forgetting to put any on. In the last week she's tried to iron clothes with a full kettle of boiling water (thank god she didn't get burnt), broken the washing machine with cardboard by putting a full box of pods into the machine and went out on her own and got lost - the carer found her wandering in the village saying she was looking for lost WW2 soldiers. Some days she's okay and others she's so confused she doesn't recognise she's living in her own house and has been throwing away meals on wheels hot meals after a few mouthfuls or leaves them for hours on the floor until they're cold. She's become obsessed with sugary snacks so will throw away healthy food the carers leave and just eat through packets of biscuits. She'd be self funding for a few months due to savings but has small pension so wouldn't be long before we'd have to sell her house to fund care. Same thing happened with my Dad so its heartbreaking to be back here. I've also got young-ish children and feel between my Dad who became ill in 2017 and now my mum I'm exhausted dealing with this and always focusing on the sad/difficult side of life. I know it would mean losing her home and savings but if it gave her better quality of life and me peace of mind think it may be worth it. I just wonder at what point a professional helps/tells you what is for the best. The doctor came out to see her about her delusions and said it was social not a medical issue and she had capacity to make her own decisions so if she wants to stay at home (and now refuse all her medication including donepazil). Got me really confused about whether that means mum should/can stay at home if that's what she says she wants even if I feel it's unsafe/unhealthy. I have LPA but if doctor says she has capacity can I make a decision about putting her in a home. I'm looking into respite and persuading her to try that first like a holiday just so I can get some breathing space to figure out what to do.
I'm so sorry to hear your story. It sounds very similar to mine though in some ways your mum is further ahead than my dad. It's so hard. I've been reading up on having capacity and having the ability to make their own decisions and it's such a grey area. I'm dealing with all dad's finances, bills, food shopping, washing, cleaning etc and that seems to point to him being unable to make decisions for himself but then that's out of kilter with a doctor not confirming they no longer have capacity. As one of the replies suggests perhaps Adult Services in your area can help? I've been referred to them to look into respite care for my dad. I really hope you get something in place as it us draining
 

JHA

Registered User
Aug 7, 2021
894
0
I am really sorry that you find yourself with this dilemma it is not an easy decision to make.

Red flag for me was when I received a 2am phone call from the police to say that my mom had been found standing on the corner of the street - I could no longer ensure her safety. Prior to this she lived alone and I wrongly believed she coped relatively well with me going over once or twice a day with meals etc - I was so wrong and the week that I spent on her sofa after the police returned her home was an eye opener. GP and Mental Health promised to come up some help but as it was two days before Christmas I was basically left to it and after 7 days of sleeping on her sofa then returning to my own home with her during the day I admitted defeat . POA was pending at the time but I did have access to her bank account so arranged for respite care which eventually went permanent - told her I needed a rest and she was going away for a while. I wish there had been another solution but taking her to live with me and my family would not have worked. I cannot say she is happy in a care home and I am not happy she is there either but she is safe.
 

Toopie28

Registered User
Jun 7, 2022
317
0
I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It all sounds so familiar.
In my case, caring from afar 22hrs a day monitoring on cameras.
I slowly took away everything from her since she couldn't do it. Her ability to cook. Use microwave. Toaster and the final one was the kettle. She started hating the carer I had come every day and thought she could walk on her own.

I also had a health situation happen. That for me was the catalyst to get her to a safe place. I still don't know if I'm going to make it but I had to get her sorted and safe before/if anything happened to me.

To mirror what @JHA has said - "I cannot say she is happy in a care home and I am not happy she is there either but she is safe."
And that's it in a nutshell. Safe.
 

Ann1923

Registered User
Apr 16, 2024
20
0
I am really sorry that you find yourself with this dilemma it is not an easy decision to make.

Red flag for me was when I received a 2am phone call from the police to say that my mom had been found standing on the corner of the street - I could no longer ensure her safety. Prior to this she lived alone and I wrongly believed she coped relatively well with me going over once or twice a day with meals etc - I was so wrong and the week that I spent on her sofa after the police returned her home was an eye opener. GP and Mental Health promised to come up some help but as it was two days before Christmas I was basically left to it and after 7 days of sleeping on her sofa then returning to my own home with her during the day I admitted defeat . POA was pending at the time but I did have access to her bank account so arranged for respite care which eventually went permanent - told her I needed a rest and she was going away for a while. I wish there had been another solution but taking her to live with me and my family would not have worked. I cannot say she is happy in a care home and I am not happy she is there either but she is safe.
Yep you have my sympathy and my best wishes. I don't think I'm far behind where you find yourself. And I hate that no matter what I do for my dad it will never be good enough in my own opinion. But safety is the most important thing
 

Ann1923

Registered User
Apr 16, 2024
20
0
I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It all sounds so familiar.
In my case, caring from afar 22hrs a day monitoring on cameras.
I slowly took away everything from her since she couldn't do it. Her ability to cook. Use microwave. Toaster and the final one was the kettle. She started hating the carer I had come every day and thought she could walk on her own.

I also had a health situation happen. That for me was the catalyst to get her to a safe place. I still don't know if I'm going to make it but I had to get her sorted and safe before/if anything happened to me.

To mirror what @JHA has said - "I cannot say she is happy in a care home and I am not happy she is there either but she is safe."
And that's it in a nutshell. Safe.
Thank you. I too am slowly taking away my dad's independence for all the right reasons but it's incredibly hard to come to terms with
 

JHA

Registered User
Aug 7, 2021
894
0
I still doubt my decision over 2 years later but I know deep down it was the right one to make both for her and for me and my family. My heart still at times thinks could I do something different but my sensible head stops me.