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Mum is becoming unsafe at home but refuses to go into a care home.

Sammal

Registered User
Aug 31, 2013
5
Letchworth Garden City
Dear all, I am at the end of my tether. My dad died on New Years Eve 2014 with Vascular Dementia and my mum who has Alzheimers and vascular dementia is very quickly getting much worse. She hallucinates all the time and puts herself at risk by going out walking at night in the freezing cold. She constantly thinks she is on holiday and no longer recognises her own home unless you point out the photos and other aspects. She has to knock on neighbours doors in the early hours of the morning to ask for help to get her through her own front door as she constantly goes out without her key which also has a Buddi tracker on it. We have tried everything to keep her safe but feel now is the time for her to go into a home for her own sanity and safety. She won't agree. Social Services and her GP say as long as she can wash and feed herself she should stay independent but in the last week my sister has noticed a smell about her and she is throwing away dinners that the carers make for her. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,199
South coast
Oh I remember this phase :( - mum was doing exactly the same -going out at night in the cold in just her nighty, getting lost and calling on neighbours to get her home. She didnt recognise her home either and thought she lived under a school. She couldnt cook or barely make a cup of coffee and had stopped washing, but she refused to go into a home and SS wouldnt do anything. I was tearing my hair out trying to get someone to take notice. I dont know what to suggest Im afraid.

Eventually mum had a TIA, got taken into hospital where her dementia problems were really evident and she went into a CH from hospital.

Im sorry this post is not much help, but I really feel for you.
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
Some TPers s have used recorded messages that say "don't go out now" when wanderers try to open the external doors .... Would something like that work for your Mum?
 

Sammal

Registered User
Aug 31, 2013
5
Letchworth Garden City
Oh I remember this phase :( - mum was doing exactly the same -going out at night in the cold in just her nighty, getting lost and calling on neighbours to get her home. She didnt recognise her home either and thought she lived under a school. She couldnt cook or barely make a cup of coffee and had stopped washing, but she refused to go into a home and SS wouldnt do anything. I was tearing my hair out trying to get someone to take notice. I dont know what to suggest Im afraid.

Eventually mum had a TIA, got taken into hospital where her dementia problems were really evident and she went into a CH from hospital.

Im sorry this post is not much help, but I really feel for you.
Thank you. I know it is very hard. We want her to stay independent for as long as possible but we also want her to be safe but she just can't see it bless her. I think another chat with the GP is in order.
 

Sammal

Registered User
Aug 31, 2013
5
Letchworth Garden City
Have you considered companionship?
No, not considered that yet. When my dad was alive and living with her they had a night carer a couple of times. Mum is very strong willed in mind and body and I would be concerned for the safety of the companion. Not that mum is aggressive at all but if she didn't recognise the person she would most definitely defend herself. It is worth looking into though. Do you know how I would go about this to find someone we could trust.
 

Sammal

Registered User
Aug 31, 2013
5
Letchworth Garden City
Some TPers s have used recorded messages that say "don't go out now" when wanderers try to open the external doors .... Would something like that work for your Mum?
Yes, we currently have a system in place but it is useless. It doesn't go off until the door is left open for 10 minutes and then the person on the end phones me to go out and look for her. Which is not a problem but there are times when I actually can't get to her. To be honest we have been working with OT's for the last year and have tried pretty much everything.
 

alwaysfretting

Registered User
Jan 1, 2015
41
Hi, I'm not an expert at all but I'm wondering if you have poa and if your mum still has capacity? If she hasn't been assessed maybe you could get an independent incapacity assessment done and enforce a move into a care home on the basis of her safety and well being
 

chrisdee

Registered User
Nov 23, 2014
171
Yorkshire
Agree with Alwaysfretting. I had to do this with Mum. ie enforced move to care home via POA and lost capacity assessment, in this case via psychiatrist. Its a safety issue. I think many would never go into a care home of their own volition. Its up to us responsible carers to make that decision for them. I'd say you have reached that point.
You'd need to be self-funding to push it through quickly through.
 

Angela T

Registered User
Jul 13, 2014
187
France
Yes I have to agree with Chrisdee and Alwaysfretting - no-one wants to go into a care home, especially someone who lacks insight because of their dementia.

My mother was resistant to having carers in her home, she was in denial etc... but when I received a mail from a neighbour who found her wandering in the street in the freezing cold with no coat and no keys, I knew she was no longer safe at home - and she was putting others at risk by her behaviour (running cross the road without looking).

We moved her into a care home one week later. We told her she was going in for a week or so to be properly fed and get some rest...

I think we all wait until the last possible minute before doing this - we want our mothers to stay at home, and be independent, for as long as possible.

Our mothers with dementia are never going to ask to go into a CH, it is up to us to make the decision.

Wishing you all the best, this is very difficult.
 
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DivingDavey

Registered User
Feb 18, 2015
32
Solihull
Hello, I'm so sorry to read you're having such a bad time with your mum. My mother went into a care home in October, like most people I had been dreading it for some time.

I am surprised that the way dementia patients are treated by SS is not a national scandal. Imagine a social worker saying a young child should stay at home alone if they're able to wash and feed themselves, my own mother had pretty much the same needs as a child and was just as vulnerable.

The lack of action from SS resulted in my mother spending a couple of weeks in hospital from where she moved into her care home. We have been very lucky and she is in a fantastic home. I think towards the end she too had stopped recognising her home (she didn't know where to go if I told her to go to bed etc). Since moving into the care home she has mentioned "going home" a couple of times but I really don't think she has any memory of her old house and she has accepted being in the home with hardly any problems (which has amazed me), hopefully when you've managed to get your mum into a home she too will not worry about home.

Angela T's idea sounds a good one, perhaps you could even say she is going to stay there while you are "away on holiday".
 

kenaidog

Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
164
I take it she has no money to be paying for herself in a home,because if she had, they would have taken her away even before this. SS are very keen to get those that have the money to pay in well before there time.
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
Keep telling them

Keep phoning social services. Has your Mum got a social worker? Get one assigned. Keep calling the doctor in due to safety. Ask neighbours to call social services and give them the number. Get carers to report on not eating.

Keep saying "she is not safe". To anyone who will listen. Ask for respite care so they can see for themselves how back she is.

We are all in the same boat. Im trying to get a care home place for my mother who thinks she copes fine at home. I will be thinking about you.

Also ask for your own GP to speak to you about caring and impact on YOU. Ask for carers assessement and describe mum at her worse not average.
 

kenaidog

Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
164
Ive heard people say that when the ss know there is no money to be had they just let them fend for themselves.
 

Pickles53

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
2,474
Radcliffe on Trent
I take it she has no money to be paying for herself in a home,because if she had, they would have taken her away even before this. SS are very keen to get those that have the money to pay in well before there time.
My experience is quite the opposite. Once SS knew my mum would be self-funding for several years they had zero interest in even advising or assessing her. They certainly showed no sign of wanting her to move into a home at all.
 

kenaidog

Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
164
Im surprised at that as after all the cost is very high and they must make a fortune from the fees as the staff dont get it,!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,199
South coast
Mum is self-funding too and as soon as SS discovered that I was on my own! I dont think any of the fees goes to Social Services - any profit will go to the owners of the Home
 

Pickles53

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
2,474
Radcliffe on Trent
Mum is self-funding too and as soon as SS discovered that I was on my own! I dont think any of the fees goes to Social Services - any profit will go to the owners of the Home
That's my understanding too, canary. Care home fees do seem eye-wateringly expensive, but good quality care can't be provided for nothing. I agree that staff wages should be higher, but there are a lot of other expenses involved in running a care home. The owners have to make a living too.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
That's my understanding too, canary. Care home fees do seem eye-wateringly expensive, but good quality care can't be provided for nothing. I agree that staff wages should be higher, but there are a lot of other expenses involved in running a care home. The owners have to make a living too.
The cost does often seem eye-watering, but when you work it out per day, and realise that it includes all meals and drinks, all laundry (often a lot), plus all the care, plus the heating - usually on very high - and then compare it to the cost of a reasonable hotel in your area, just for B and B, it usually does not seem excessive.
 

RedLou

Registered User
Jul 30, 2014
1,162
The very best care home (we think) in our area is a charity and the fees are still eye-wateringly expensive, but the level of interaction/stimulation etc is fantastic.