My Gran has Alzheimer's

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Bunnii, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Bunnii

    Bunnii Registered User

    Jan 12, 2015
    3
    Hi everyone.

    I'm a new member here and I need some advice. I'm 29 and one of 3 siblings (I'm the eldest). We've had a pretty tough year and just when we think things are getting better they tend to nose dive instead.

    Last Christmas our Dad suddenly passed away aged 59. My Gran (his Mum) has Alzheimer's and is nearly 91. I don't know what stage of Alzheimer's my Gran is at, all I know is that she doesn't recognise me or my sister and thinks my brother is our Dad from when he was in his 20's. She still reads her mail but doesn't go out to pay her bills (I don’t think she cares about her bills these days) and she seems to understand what's going on around her but hasn't left her house in over a year or so. She spends most of her time in bed and eats very little. Some days it can be very difficult to get her to even go downstairs to the living room to watch some TV. This began to more noticeable 2 years prior to my Dad passing away when her sister passed away in a care home. Ever since then she's been talking about how she no longer wants to be here anymore and how she has no one (which is heart-breaking when she had her son and still has us). I’ve spoken to one of the Carers about frame of mind etc and she said that my Gran seems fine, content to just stay in bed most days.

    Our Dad handled pretty much all of my Gran's affairs and communication with the Carers who visit her after she had been in hospital. Unfortunately for us he was very quiet about these things and didn't keep us in the loop, so it left us in a predicament when he passed away. As you can imagine being 28 at the time, sorting out his funeral and estate/will paperwork for the first time ever was hard and stressful enough along with trying to help take care of our Gran.

    Now the first Care team we had made sure my Gran took her medication and helped out by making her simple meals which we’d bought. Their Council contract got taken over by a new Care team who do the same job but they also began washing clothes and changing bedding. The original Care bill wasn't very much but it was affordable for the alarm and medication supervision. Now it’s shot up and we weren't informed that they were going to go beyond what the previous team used to do.

    To add another problem into the mix, my Dad used to get my Gran’s pension for her and pay her bills and for the care. However it's taken this long to get it signed over to my brother as the post office have been contradictory on their advice, given us the wrong forms on various occasions and from what I can gather, most staff aren't trained properly to deal with this stuff. It's been very frustrating! We don’t have access to her bank either, no power of attorney/deputyship etc…it’s all a bit too late for that now I think? (Plus she’s forgotten that Dad has passed away and we really don’t want to open that can of worms because we’re still dealing with the loss of our Dad.) So everything that needs paying has been coming out of our own funds, which has been hard as we’re all on tight budgets. Whilst we appreciated the Carer’s extra help, my Gran's pension doesn't even cover the weekly cost of their service now so we're having to cancel it and ask them to go back to basics and just focus on the medication at a much reduced cost.

    I'm already feeling stressed as I work full time on random shift patterns and can’t afford to give up my job to look after her full time. My brother works evenings and weekends and will try his best to help (we've discussed at least 1 day a week we can meet up and get a good chunk of jobs done for my Gran) but he’s also helping look after a friend who has medical issues. As for my sister, she doesn't have a job at the moment and she can be very difficult (families eh?). I feel that whilst she agrees with what needs doing from now on, she may suddenly refuse to help out as much as she could (I told you she can be difficult) especially from the few occasions I've asked her to do a task for our Gran as I've been at work and that’s gone down like a lead balloon. *Sigh* I had discussed and looked into her becoming a full time Carer for our Gran as she lives closest but because my Gran isn't on any type of benefit my sister can’t claim any type of Carer benefit. We just need to make sure she’s eating and taking her medication 3 times a day but we can’t afford for it to cost the Earth.

    I'm not sure what to do, we need the help but can’t afford it. How does everyone deal with matters when family members aren't as helpful as they could be? I don’t know if her Alzheimer's is going to get worse.

    Thanks for the help.

    ~Bunnii
     
  2. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    182
    So sorry to hear of your predicament and the loss of your dad. Can't offer much advice I'm afraid, assuming she has been assessed by Social Services, but I'm sure someone will be along soon that can, x
     
  3. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    317
    West Sussex
    I sounds likely that your Gran would qualify for Attendance Allowance. (see Attendance Allowance helpline: 0345 605 6055 https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance/overview)

    If you phone them up for the application form, the payments start from the date you first contact them, and I think you have 6 weeks to fill get the form back to them. I did this for my Dad, but I think there are people from Age UK who will help you fill in the form.

    If she qualifies for AA, this can be a gateway to other benefits like Carer's Allowance and exemption from Council Tax.
     
  4. Homerose

    Homerose Registered User

    Dec 8, 2014
    13
    Has your gran had a financial assessment from social services for her care? If she has no other income but her pension she may not have to pay the full cost and may also qualify for pension credit guarantee.
    It maybe that power of attorney is too late but not necessarily if she stillhas capacity to understand the concept. I've recently done it (all online and very simple on office of public guardian website) for my mum. Although there are some things she struggles with her GP signed the certificate to say she understood it after chatting it through with her in quite simple terms. Court of protection is the alternative once someone has lost capacity but I believe the process is more complicated.
    You could check with your local council whether they offer 'supporting people' services. Where I live Rethink offer support workers for people with dementia. It's housing related support and can assist people to manage their correspondence, bills and benefits. Age Uk can usually help to complete Attendance Allowance, which your gran would almost certainly qualify for and isn't means tested. I hope you find some support with this.



    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  5. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,322
    Female
    East Kent
    #5 lin1, Jan 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
    Hello Bunnii . Welcome to TP
    I am sorry to hear about your Dad .

    Do get on to SS social services about the fees going up. you should have received an explanation at the very least.

    I don't know if you have already done this, apologies if you have
    It is possible to be made an Appointee for state pension and benefits.
    you need to contact the DWP, department of work and pensions

    https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits

    Regarding LPA's, again apologies if you already know this.
    Providing your Gran is able to understand the power she is granting at the time it is explained to her by the certificate provider and is agreeable , Then it is not too late for an LPA to be set up, it doesn't matter if the donor your Gran forgets 1 minute later.
    Certificate providers can be professionals or someone who has known the donor for I think two years, who is not a family member.

    You can apply and register yourself if you feel able.
    https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/overview


    I hope this helps
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,509
    Female
    South coast
    Hi Bunni. Im sorry that you have found yourself in this situation

    It sounds as though your Gran has got the care that she needs, but you need to sort out her finances - you should not have to pay for this yourself.

    I contacted Age UK to put in motion about applying for Attendance Allowance for mum. DWP sent someone out on a home visit to assess my mum and made me the appointee for all her benefits and state pensions. He was very nice and explained lots of things to me. You get a sort of certificate and then you can apply for things on her behalf. Apply for Attendance Allowance - its not means tested and can be back-dated to the date that you originally applied. You can also apply for exemption from council tax.
    She may also be eligible for other means tested benefits - but Age UK is very helpful about this.

    Get PoA if you possibly can so that you can get access to her bank account and sort out her bills. If you cant get PoA then you will need to go for Court of Protection. I had to do this recently as mum flatly refused to do PoA. It has taken 8 months from start to finish and a lot of form filling for all the different stages. Its also more expensive than PoA, even though I have done most of the donkey-work myself, there were few problems and no-one objected, so I didnt have to attend the court hearing.

    Thirdly, contact Social Services and ask for a needs assessment for your Gran. They will also assess her financial situation and, depending on her saving, may pay for some, or all of the carers bill.

    Theres a lot to take on board when something like this happens and its a steep learning curve.
     
  7. Bunnii

    Bunnii Registered User

    Jan 12, 2015
    3
    Hello again,

    Sorry for the late reply. Had a very busy week. My brother and I managed to have a meeting with the social worker who is deals with my Gran's casework. We managed to find out more information on what we can do the help my Gran's financial matters and we were told that the Council pay for my Gran's case and my Gran/we then pay the Council. However if she may be exempt or partially exempt from having to pay it and even if she is and the bill become to much to pay, it can be paid in smaller amounts which is a relief. We're going to get the social work to arrange for a financial assessment as well.

    The social worker also said that my Gran should be receiving Assistance Allowance anyway, which was news to us but okay! My Gran is having a medication review next week and another mental health review of sorts later.

    My brother, who is dealing with this matter, is still waiting for the post office pension card to arrive in the post even though the pin has arrived. I went to the post office today to find out more only to be told yet more conflicting information regarding the card. Frankly the post office really annoys me and has given us the most headache so far. So fingers crossed it'll show up soon.

    We also saw one of the carers today and I asked her about my Gran's general well-being. She said everything is fine but seemed annoyed at the fact that my Gran doesn't get out of bed unless she needs to use the bathroom. She commented that my Gran needed simulation and routine. This bugs me because it's not through lack of trying, but my Gran just doesn't want to do anything but sleep these days or just stay in bed and have her meals. She used to be a lot more active and I don't know if it's because she has (un)diagnosed depression (surely a professional would've picked up on this and informed us) or, as she's pretty much said, she's given up on life and probably more-so even since our Dad passed away last Christmas. Prior to this change she still stayed at home most of the time and just watched TV. Now she won't even head downstairs to the living room. I'm frustrated with what the carer said because I know she needs these things but I can't force her to do something she doesn't want to do. My brother mentioned that maybe it's because it's still Winter and when Spring comes around she'll be more active?

    However the social work said my Gran has mild-moderate cognitive impairment (I have no idea what this means but I think it must be good?) but that's thanks to the medication she takes. Having seen how my Granddad was when he had Alzheimer's, I think she's doing pretty good for someone who is nearly 91 years old. She seems content in just staying in bed. When we went around the other day to change her bedding she didn't protest or complain, she just sat down on a chair and watched and commented on how sparkly my earrings were (which was nice).

    As for applying for deputyship/power of attorney, this might be something we will have to look into. How long does this usually take to do and how much can it cost?

    Thanks again for your help!

    ~Bunnii
     
  8. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,708
    Female
    London
    There are two power of attorneys, one financial, the othe health. They cost £110 to register each half that if your gran earns less than £12,000 a year or nothing if she is on certain benefits. Do not pay a solicitor hundreds of pounds to fill it in for you, you can easily do it yourself! If you're struggling, Age Uk etc can help you fill it in. They can also help with the Attendance Allowance form. She will also qualify for council tax exemption which means paying nothing if she lives alone and a 25% reduction if she lives with other people.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.