Needs assessment -- advice needed

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Boldredrosie, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    242
    What do people think of a social worker asking for an advocate and private care provider being present at a needs assessment? Is this normal?

    See below for details (apologies, I do go on a bit)

    In a fit of pique with my mother's erstwhile social worker, who contacted me before Christmas to say she 'wanted me off her books' and that my carer's allowance was being withdrawn because I was using it to pay for my mother's carers, I wrote a snotty email to her saying: fine, withdraw the allowance, Ma will have to pay for the carers herself, but you, social services, need to assess both me as carer and Ma, as cared for person as is your obligation under the care act.

    She's now trying to arrange it but in a very back to front way. Last summer she told me my mother needed an advocate although she never told me why or what the advocate should do. My mum has met the advocate once and it was the advocate who contacted me this week to say that the social worker had asked her to attend an needs assessment with my mum.

    I have asked the social worker on three separate occasions why she feels the advocate needs to take part in the needs assessment and have received no answer. The social worker has emailed me this morning to say she also wants the care provider present too. The carers that visit my mum have been arranged by me because social services, over the years, have refused to arrange any care because my mother, like all people with dementia, thinks she has no needs whatsoever.

    No mention, however, of my needs assessment.
     
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,828
    Male
    Bristol
    I may have misread you rosie, but it is surely up to the DWP whether you qualify for a Carers Allowance and what you do with it. You and your mum are certainly entitled to a care review and a needs assessment, but again I would have thought it was up to your mum or you to decide who attends.
    Personal experience has been that the first needs assessment OH had, to review a care package in place for a couple of months at that stage, was conducted by a Social Worker who was a bit overbearing, but Social Services management was helpful in untangling the fallout. The second one, sparked by enquiries about supported housing, was much more helpful and positive. The carer's assessment first time was done by a Social Worker, the second one by filling in a long form at home.
    Not sure what to say about your mum's refusal to accept she has dementia. OH goes into denial in the face of officials too, but is fairly easy going and lets me answer most questions which I don't like to do too much. Ultimately it is her decision and her needs, but a little guidance and support to realise she needs some help has borne results so far. I hope you can do that with your mum.
    Sorry that a bit rambling, but hope some of it helps. Rob
     
  3. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    242
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read & reply. My carer's allowance has come from the council -- I had to set up a bank account specifically for it, have had to provide a reconciliation every quarter with details of what it's been spent on. So no, it's not up to us what we use it for.

    As for mum's refusal to accept she has dementia, this extends beyond refusal to accept her condition right through to refusal to accept she needs any help at all but she is not capable of doing anything any more. Years ago, the normal, helpful psychiatrist at the memory clinic told me to pay no attention to my mum's protestations against care and to have people come in. This I've done, upping it over time so that it's now at two visits a day every day.

    Social services have been very reluctant to engage with us and I have made repeated formal complaints about social workers. This one is ok, but simply won't answer my questions & I'd like to know why she feels the need for all these other people to be present at my mother's latest needs assessment.
     
  4. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,828
    Male
    Bristol
    Sorry to hear that rosie, not sure what I can advise. I just hope you find someone who knows more about it, maybe the Citizens Advice or care support centre of which we have a very good one in Bristol.
     
  5. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    Do you have power of attorney? If this happened to me I would email the social worker and say that I was my Mum's advocate so could they please advise in what capacity the additional advocate was going to attend and was this being forced up on us or is there a choice? I think it is odd too and I would want to know where I stood. Legally CAB may be able to advise.

    I don't understand any private care provider attending a meeting but I think my view on this would be that it can't do any harm but be prepared.

    Are you talking about a Direct Payment rather than a Carers Allowance?

    Yes definitely one for CAB I think if you have time to get there?

    Sorry not to be much help!
     
  6. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    242
    Yes thank you, direct payments, not carer's allowance. That's what's stopping. Frankly, at this point I don't give a rat's behind about the wretched money. My mother will have to pay for the care she has repeatedly refused and with which she only cooperates a bit of the time, but I shudder to think what the situation would be like without it. I'd probably get accused of neglect.

    I only have PoA for finances not health and well-being.

    Unfortunately, the social worker never answers my questions.
     
  7. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    Have you got a recent formal diagnosis from the memory clinic - might be worth updating if not.

    If the social worker doesn't reply then phone up and find out the name of the manager of the adult care social work team for older people or look up the director of adult care services. Copy the email which contains all the question to these people as well as to your social worker explaining in the first line that you need to do this because the SW has been unable or unwilling to answer your question - you will get a quick response in my experience
     
  8. rageineden

    rageineden Registered User

    Dec 14, 2015
    20
    Hi i would absolutely say you need to have a power of attorney in place if that is still possible.

    It does sound like you are getting a personal budget payment from the council to pay for an agreed amount of care. I get the same and have to dance through hoops every quarter to justify the amount spent to keep the bureucrats happy.

    I think what you are doing regarding formal compliants is right. It is the only method they seem to understand as complaints are marked negatively internally on their figures.

    At the end of the day if your mum is deemed to have capacity the social worker cannot 'force' a situation on her. If you have a power of attorney same thing.

    You don't have to agree to anything on the spot at the meeting. Ask for everything to be put in writing so you can view it later and of course you then have written proof. Take plenty of notes don't let them put you off. Take your time don't be rushed, remember they are being paid for being there so you might as well get your moneys worth!

    I never have conversations on the phone with any of them without confirming it in writing. If it is something important or complicated i always insist it is written down before i make any decision.

    Hope it goes well for you.
     
  9. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    242
    Ah, the memory clinic. That'd be the memory clinic that refuses to tell me anything, even when they visit my mum, because that would be a breach of her patient confidentiality. Also, the memory clinic refused to give any information to the social worker when she contacted them the other week.
     
  10. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    242
    I think the moment to get that for health and well-being has long since past. The memory clinic and social services continue with the farrago that my mother has capacity, but I think they're confusing opinions with capacity. Besides, I know for a fact that between different agencies they've said she doesn't have capacity and the previous consultant at the memory clinic in 2013 told me she didn't have capacity and so while I know capacity is dependent on situation, for everyday practicality I don't believe my mum has capacity.

    Anyway, the issue is less about my official complaints or even what the social worker is going to decide but more about by does she want the advocate and the care company to attend?

    I'm pretty sure that, as they have done over the years, the social worker will say my mother has capacity and as she refuses any care or to engage with any day centre or activities that while she may have needs there's nothing they can do.
     

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