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Mum tried to take her own life

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Angela57, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    #1 Angela57, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
    I've lived with and cared for mum full time since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 5 years ago. A few months ago she told she intended to take her own life because she becoming incontinent. I tried to reassure her and immediately locked her medication away. I also rang her gp to see if there were any other precautions I could take, they added it to her records that she was threatening to take her own life. Since then she's never mentioned it again.

    She sleeps a lot during the day, and some nights eech week, barely sleeps at all. I often don't hear her moving around, so I don't wake up. I got up Wednesday morning to find her semi conscious downstairs and then found an empty pack of 20 nytol sleeping tablets in the kitchen (which she purchased when out alone), and 2 empty pens of insulin. She must have taken the insulin before I locked it away.

    She is still in hospital and medically fit, awaiting a mental health assessment. I keep asking if I can speak to the mental health team because her safety is now a real issue to me, and I honestly don't want to carry that responsibility alone.

    My problem is although I keep asking if mental health will speak to me, no one seems to know.

    Would I be within my rights to refuse to allow her home if they want to send her home without addressing my safety issue?

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I just don't know where to turn.
     
  2. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    #2 Angela57, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
    Thank you in anticipation.
     
  3. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Firstly, sorry to hear what an awful time you are having. I'm not experienced in this aspect of care, upto now that is. You are within your rights to refuse to have her home whilst her safety can't be guaranteed. You must stick to your guns as if they can discharge her they may well try to.

    Having said that can you not visit the building she is in and insist on speaking to the team dealing with her, maybe better on a week day as skeleton staff maybe weekend. They may just be observing her at the moment before deciding her capabilities, her moods etc and more importantly what medication she may need . They may decide she's not capable of going home and send her to a care home. Has she got a social worker, maybe they could tell you more about what to expect or what happens now.

    Good luck and keep posting.
     
  4. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    Tank you for your reply and advise Mr Busy.

    I have spent more time at the hospital than at home since she was admitted. Nurses have spoken to the hospital mental health twice for me now, but mental health won't say if they intend to speak with me.

    Mum doesn't have a social worker, if they want to send her home without addressing my problem, perhaps I should refuse to have her home to delay things while I contact social services.
     
  5. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    I am so very sorry. Your mum must be so sad and unhappy and very aware of her situation and the progress of this awful disease - it was clearly a very well thought out plan and not a cry for help.
     
  6. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    1,955
    Female
    London
    If she feels her time here is intolerable to her.. then not sure that anything other than support and understanding her feelings is going to help... her choice
     
  7. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    #7 Angela57, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
    Thank you meme. Mum changes her mind about anything and everything all the time, to the point where I often don't know if I'm coming or going. Only last week she told me several times how happy she was.
     
  8. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    Given that all mental health teams are under much pressure, I would demand that your mother sees a MH consultant (preferably specialising in elderly mental health issues) before staff even think of discharging her from hospital. I would demand that you be able to see a social worker as you cannot allow your mother to come home and reside with you without help being given.

    You may have to shout loud and long for the help you so desperately need but keep on fighting. There is no way you can face this without professional help and most certainly you are within your rights to demand some professional mental health input.

    My very best wishes to you

    xxTinaT
     
  9. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    How awful for you and your Mum Angela57.:( I would put something in writing of your concerns and need for planned help and support before they consider sending your Mum home.

    I would also try and speak to a continence advisor, I know it may sound stupid but if this is a real worry for your Mum, but she seems happy at other times, and she has no mental means to know or work out how to deal with this problem her solution has been to attempt to take her own life:(. - yes to a 'non dementia' mind that seems an extreme response but not to a mind challenged by dementia. Someone able to help her find a solution to the problem may help a lot. I would question that someone is 'medically fit' if they are experiencing incontinence, it is not a 'mental issue' but a physical one.

    I really hope you both get the support and help you need.
    Best wishes
    Sue:)
     
  10. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    Hi and thank you Tina for the advise. I will definitely ask that a MH consultant sees her before she is discharged because things have moved on a little now. While Mum has been in hospital she has told professionals that she overdosed because she doesn't want to be in pain any more, she has a hernia that is being investigated and has an appointment for 29th this month for a surgical consultation. When they have asked her so far if she will overdose again, she has told all professionals that she will not, however, she has been telling me daily that she will when I visit her.

    She told nurses today that I have cancelled her 29th appointment, which I have not, so I went to see the staff nurse allocated to her to let her know that if Mum is still in hospital, it still stands. The staff nurse took the details from me, and then told me that when she was with another patient on Mum's bay today, that out of the blue Mum started talking to her, she admitted that she overdosed intentionally, and then went on to say that she keeps telling 'them in here' (I'm presuming she means staff), that she won't do it again, but she went on to tell the nurse that she will do it again. I can only assume that Mum thought she was visiting the lady the nurse was attending to.

    Anyway, it has been documented. So if the mental health team decide she is okay to come home, I will have a stronger case to refuse surely? I'm hoping so anyway, I'm just grateful that someone else has heard what I hear what she attempts to keep from anyone else. Maybe I will be believed now.

    I feel like a failure admitting that Mum has become too much for me to cope with, but her behaviour has been affecting my health for some time, I thought I would appear disloyal and weak if I admitted it. But following the overdose, I want to start considering myself more. Today she asked me if was okay, when I said I was upset that she had taken the overdose, she just rolled her eyes and told me 'don't start', which in her language means 'shut up'.
     
  11. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    Hi Sue and again, thank you for the advise.

    I have written a letter regarding my concerns, and will send it if I'm told Mum is fit to come home following her assessment. I will still do as I've been advised and refuse to have her home and contact social services too.
     
  12. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    Thank you!!!

    I just want to send a heartfelt thank you everyone who has posted and given advise and support to me. It means the world, I have felt so alone, but I don't any longer.

    I cannot thank you all enough!!!

    I will post to let you all know how things are progressing, or not, as the case may be.

    Take care

    Ang
     
  13. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    #13 Sue J, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
    You're never alone on TP Angela57.

    You are not a failure because it feels too much, it feels that way because it has been too much.

    The way she is speaking to some and not others indicates her paranoia and also inability to identify who people are so they can't take what she is saying at face value, not that I mean that it shouldn't be taken seriously but that it is secondary to the paranoia which by the very nature of it she cannot explain.

    They surely must listen and act, I really hope so, stick to your guns.

    Best wishes
    Sue:)
     
  14. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    Hi Sue and everyone. I'm still trying to work out how to use this thread correctly.

    Following a phone call, I rushed to the hospital this morning because Mental Health had arrived to assess Mum. They spoke to me before they spoke to Mum, and were very kind and supportive. I just broke down in floods of tears, but did express my concerns about Mum's safety. Following speaking to Mum, they agreed with me that Mum needs 24/7 care, and that I can't possibly be expected to cope with her alone. But, as usual, I was told she has 'capacity', so she has to agree to go into a home, and she won't.

    I am waiting to hear if Mum will agree to go into respite for 2 weeks. If she will, they intend to get district nurses to attempt to sow the seed that I cannot possibly cope looking after her alone, in the hope that they can talk her into staying in a home permanently. Not that for one second, I expect that to work. They also intend to send a psychiatrist to see her.

    They did promise me that they would keep Mum safe no matter what though.
     
  15. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    Not sure if anyone is still interested, but here goes.

    Following too many phone calls to recall today, I was told that I have to arrange Mum's respite, which I have done, but I think I may have put a spanner in the works because I called social services to ask that Mum now has a social worker. Which was referred back to the hospital social worker.

    That was just after lunch and since then I've been waiting for calls from that social worker, the home, and the hospital to let me know that Mum has moved to the home, nothing yet at 19.10. I also had to let social services know that I was taking respite for Mum from today for 2 weeks. So if she hasn't gone to the home by midnight, I'll let them know when it begins when I'm informed. Last time she was discharged from hospital it was 11pm, so I suppose there is time yet, and either way, Mum is safe where she is.
     
  16. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    Lets hope the hospital have made sure she has someone with her, access to a loo and some food. my husband was in hospital waiting to move one Christmas Eve and noone informed me, i was at work and he had had nothing since breakfast. As soon as I realised I threw everything in the air and rushed to get him but that was 6[pm they don't look after people in hospital
     
  17. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    Hi Angela

    It sounds like some progress has been made but sorry the ball has been put in your court. I hope from what you have written that they keep your Mum unitl tomorrow now, its not fair to move someone, let alone an elderly person with dementia, late at night. I hope they can reassure you soon of what is happening.

    Best wishes
    Sue:)
     
  18. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Hi Angela, just a thought in case you need it, evidently in hospitals there is a person known as a carers liaison officer. I never knew anyone like this existed but maybe useful for you and others to be aware of this.
     
  19. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    My computer is going crazy and scrambles what I'm writing so here goes again.

    Respite of course is only a temporary measure. What has the mental health team offered you in the form of help and assistance when she comes home? You have such worry and need reassurance that you will not be coping alone.

    Sorry to be blunt but do you own/rent the house in your own name or is your mother the owner/tenant? This matters because if you do own the home and refuse to have her back then social services will be forced to find alternative accommodation for mum. Sounds horrid I know but it seems to me that the hospital seem more concerned with bed blocking and getting her out of the ward than in offering you the long term help which you need to keep mum safe.

    You are not forgotten here on TP. I do hope it all works out for you and mum#

    xxTinaT
     
  20. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    Hello All, and thank you for your replies.

    Mum was finally moved to the home yesterday around 18.00.

    The home has activated a DOL on Mum so that she cannot go out alone and purchase more sleeping tablets. Something I don't think I am able to do if she comes home? In any case, she would make my life a living hell if I wanted to go everywhere with her, she likes to get her own way when it comes me to me. At least she is not coming home for 2 weeks.

    Hospital mental health called me yesterday to tell me she is being referred to community mental health urgently. When I asked what happens if she insists on coming home after the 2 weeks I was told they didn't know.

    As dramatic as this sounds, I am beside myself with worry, struggling to eat because I feel permanently sick, and struggling to sleep because I cannot stop thinking she will be back and I'll have the responsibility for her safety, and it's impossible for me to keep her safe, my mind just won't switch off from all this.

    Tina, this has been Mum's house for many years, but she gifted it to me approx 4 years ago, so at the moment it's in my name. Mum has a lifetime tenancy, but I am within my rights to refuse to have her back. I would be reluctant to do that, even though I know she needs more care than I can give her, because I'd feel guilty for preventing her living in her own home as she wants to do. I have never considered it my house, she only wanted to put it in my name to prevent it being sold in the event of her going into a home permanently. I'm so sorry to hear that your computer is playing up, it must be terrible for you, hope you get things sorted soon, if you're anything like me, you'll be lost without it.

    Many thanks to everyone for your support!!
     

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