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Mum needs help and my hands are tied.

Wilmina Mae

New member
Nov 22, 2021
4
0
Hello there

i have had some excellent advice from this forum over the years - since 2015.

I visited my 96 year old Mum a couple of weeks ago. She lives alone with no care - which she refuses. I live about an hour away and my brother 2 hours. He looks after her finances and, since I moved (I used to live next door) my brother has assumed the role of de decision maker in mum’s affairs.

it’s getting worse to be honest. Mum is reluctant to ask for her son’s help for some reason and just seems grateful for anything he’s prepared to do.

mum was smelly, unkempt and the place untidy. She’s okay - if a little sad and low. I messaged my brother to say that I was going to arrange some home help for Mum - with Mum’s agreement. With 24 hours he had driven from his home - 100 miles away - to visit her and then told me she doesn’t want help. I contacted Social Care who rang Mum and told that she said she doesn’t want help. They contacted my brother who told them that he was going to arrange home help. Nothing has been arranged and Mum is all alone

I had an email from my brother saying that, whilst he understood how I felt , our Mum doesn’t want help and things would stay the same - Mum doesnt want help and that we should draw up a rota and share Mum;s housework between us.

Mum has a bad sore on her face and her GP has arranged an appointment and I’m taking Mum this Wednesday for a hospital appointment. Mum can’t walk very far and, with some reluctance Mum has agreed for me to get a wheel chair so I can wheel her from the car park. the cost of a wheel chair is £189.00. I emailed my brother who wasn’t supportive and thought a wheel chair unnecessary.

mum has poor memory and cant Remember anything.

i had hoped to take mum to the seaside - she’s not been out of her house for 3 years but- without a wheelchair - I can’t do it.

I saw Mum on Sunday and she was hoovering but had to stop as she was too tired. I took over but the hoover was broken. It’s been like that since May. my brother visits every 6 weeks (he calls it -being on site) and does the bare minimum.

is there anything I can do? I just feel so helpless and Mum is letting her son run her life completely.
Hi, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this with your mother but your brother needs to be put in his place. Your mom can’t do anything so someone needs to step in and help contact social worker or services
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,051
0
Nottinghamshire
@Alora, good luck with the GPS visit today. Don’t tidy the place up to much, and do explain that you don’t live with your mum and she has no help coming in.
Don’t worry about explaining the financial problems that can be sorted out with social services later, getting support for your mum is the important thing at the moment.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
901
0
Don't prepare your mother or the house for the visit at all. The GP needs to see your mother as she is and as the house is. Explain that no family lives locally, that nobody pops in to check up on her and that there are no carer visits at all. Tell the GP that she has fallen and was only discovered by chance and that she does not wear a pendant alarm.

Unless your mother puts on a very good show of being competent I can't believe that any GP would think that this set-up is satisfactory. Yes, some 96 year olds can live alone completely independently but they are the minority.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
390
0
Hi everyone

Thank you for the advice Violet.

i drove to be at Mum’s for 12 noon. Dr rang at 1 pm - no. Visit - I answered phone she asked who I was and then I passed her to Mum who spoke to dr and said - as usual she didn’t need help thst her daughter was with her. That was it.

I rang OPG who said that I could make a safeguarding referral/phone my brother/or check every building society and bank for details or do a credit search. I personally checked two with my poa no accounts listed.

Nothing around mum’s home and she was very defensive with me and said if she needed help she’d let me know.

Have a call from dr and now in a long call queue after driving an hour.

I was advised to call my brother directly - still not heard from him.

im a bit p….d off!

I guess this is a lost cause,
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,051
0
Nottinghamshire
Sorry that was such a wash out with the GP @Alora. Not quite sure what to suggest next. Maybe a letter to your mum's GP acknowledging that they can't talk to you but that your mum is far from OK and could do with a home visit. Write a bullet pointed list of all the problems. I'd also chase up social services regarding a needs assessment.
I know it is important to sort out your mother's finances, as if she has enough money you could then buy in help for her, but it seems you need GP/SS to acknowledge that she does need that help first.
The other thing you can do is totally step back and wait for the inevitable crisis.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,439
0
High Peak
It's not a lost cause though I can understand why you feel downhearted. Seems everyone around you is operating a policy of non-co-operation :(

But you have achieved a lot. You now know what you can rightly do with your PoA, confirming your brother is wrong and most importantly you have the diagnosis of 'lost capacity' from the consultant.

I wouldn't phone your brother yet, in fact I'd be reluctant to speak over the phone till a better arrangement is established. But what I would do is send him a text/email (i.e. something in writing) to say, 'The Office of the Public Guardian have told me to ask you again about mum's financial information. If I don't hear from you I will have to put it in their hands.'
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
390
0
Thank you.

I think I’m going to step back I feel I’m fighting to many obstacles.

Alora
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
390
0
Thanks j & f that’s a great idea.

The silence from my brother does concern me.

Thxnk you

All I want to do is get a couple of hours help for mum - why is this so difgicult?

😫 xx
 

Scarlet Lady

Registered User
Apr 6, 2021
228
0
@Alora, sorry to be brutal, but you have caved in to your mother yet again. It’s not clear from your post why the doctor is reluctant to visit, but you should have handled the conversation by insisting that as you have POA and it’s been agreed that your mum no longer has capacity, the surgery needs to deal with you, not her. Sometimes, it is really difficult to get the medical profession on board and I totally understand how frustrating it is when there’s no joined-up thinking going on. But the last thing in the world you should be doing is handing the phone to your mother because she will simply revert to her default position of ‘no, she needs no help.’ And they will continue to believe her, because frankly, it’s less work for them.
You need to toughen up, lovely girl and take charge. Whatever happens with your brother and your mother’s financial situation, at this point in time you are able and best placed to get your mum the care she needs, which you’ve been clear is your top priority throughout. Please, please, don’t give in now, however discouraged you feel. Tomorrow is another day and we all live to fight on!
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
390
0
You are so right scarlet lady I did cave in and I’ll be stronger next time. I’m just sending another message to the surgery and am waiting for the duty doctor to call me. Thsnk you. I’m annoyed with myself.
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
1,068
0
So sorry all your efforts so far have been thwarted. You are at a crossroads really, to carry on or not. It would be a plus if you can find out about the finances. It will be necessary to have that information in order to pay for care package.
Whatever you decide to do no-one can blame you, it's not for the want of trying.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
801
0
I'm not actually sure that you can force the issue with GP ( I stand to be corrected on this) , as you don't have Health & Welfare POA. The GP can ask your mum for consent, but if she doesn't agree, I don't know where you stand - even with loss of capacity.
Before my mum had dementia I spoke to her GP, who would only discuss her with me once Mum had given a verbal consent.
Even if they refuse to discuss the situation with you, you can at least explain that your Mum's default setting is that she is fine, and perhaps they can word their questions better e.g "Mrs X, we need to pop in to check your wound after the hospital visit" rather than "How are doing after your operation".

I can quite understand why you want to throw in the towel, and I don't think anyone would blame you.

All I would say is, if you do, call SS and spell out very clearly (perhaps back up with an email confirming your call) that your mother is completely unable to care for herself, and a medical professional has confirmed lack of capacity; that you are no longer prepared to attempt to intervene; that your brother is not communicating with you and you have no idea what, if any, care he is prepared to provide; and that she is their responsibility.

And see what happens.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
2,663
0
cornwall
You are so right scarlet lady I did cave in and I’ll be stronger next time. I’m just sending another message to the surgery and am waiting for the duty doctor to call me. Thsnk you. I’m annoyed with myself.
Hi! What I have done with my dad when I’m concerned about dad is to take some photos. Maybe you could of the house inside etc. I usually email them.
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
390
0
thsnk you everyone.

Mum’s house is tidy right now because my brother had a blitz but I might wait a couple of weeks and take some Pictures.

its more mum‘s vulnerability, isolation, and high risk of falling that’s the worry for me.

I think the general view is that she;‘s not bleeding, passed out or having an ‘event’ so she’s okay.

My brother’s view is she’s okay now and if she falls over and dies so be it.

Bit like an old car slowly running out of petrol and then crashing into a wall!

Cie Le Vie x
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
901
0
I agree with Scarlet Lady. There is some dynamic that is preventing you from being more assertive with your mother / on your mother's behalf.

You need to be much tougher with the GP. Write a letter stating (a) that a consultant found that she did not have capacity on a recent visit, (b) that she is at risk because of her age, frailty, dementia and risk of falling, (c) that she has no family nearby, nobody to pop in and no carer visits and (d) that her son is resisting all attempts to get care for your mother.

Write a similar letter to SS and inform them that if anything happens to your mother you will hold them responsible and complain to the highest authorities.

You cannot force the GP or SS to visit but you can put them on notice that they have responsibilities towards a vulnerable 96 year old.

Frankly, I can't understand the attitude of the GP and SS in your mother's area.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,904
0
South coast
I would guess that your mums GP has not yet received the letter from the consultant and is unaware that the consultant has said that your mum now lacks capacity. Consequently he is still treating your mum as having capacity to make "unwise choices" and refuse care. This is something that is enshrined in the mental capacity act.

It can take two or three weeks for letters to get to GPs surgery from hospitals, so I think your idea of leaving it 2 or 3 weeks and then trying the GP again is a good one. I would then take some photos of the house (as advised upthread) and send an email with the photos attached.

Youve had a bit of a set=back, but it is seriously not the end of the world
xxx
 

Alora

Registered User
Oct 16, 2021
390
0
Thank you Canary and everyone

Good News!

I had a quick chat with the duty GP tonight a paramedic -a referral has been to the mental health team (or similar) as well as safeguardimg by the GP who spoke to Mum today. It’s going to take a while but I don’t care.

I have to do my bit though which I’m more thsn pleased to do.

I’ve got to get mum eating as she’s too frail so she might accept meals being delivered one day. So im bringing a couple of ready made meals (one’s i know she likes) and leave them by the micro and If she eats them then progress. The other is getting some washing done for her so I’m pretending my machines broken and can I use hers and then shove some clothes for her.

its babysteps towards her accepting help.

i’m over the moon.

Lesson Learnt be gentle with my mum and tough with doctors.

xx
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,904
0
South coast
Oh that is good news 😀

The other is getting some washing done for her so I’m pretending my machines broken and can I use hers and then shove some clothes for her.
Excellent therapeutic untruths - you are getting the hang of this, arnt you?

Watch out for the ready meal, though. She might have forgotten how to use the microwave.