New member with a family problem


Registered User
Apr 26, 2008
Dear forum, please could you help.

Some time ago (approx 12 months) my aunty was diagnosed with dementia. My aunty is in her 70’s and has always been a proud lady and looked after herself and her appearance. However, over the last couple of months as her condition has worsened and my uncle has found it difficult to cope, her wellbeing and appearance has dropped significantly. As a result of this and the way in which my uncle was treating and speaking to my aunty, the family met with my aunties Social Worker and my uncle. From this meeting my uncle stated that he could not cope anymore therefore the family offered to care for my aunty 2 days a week and the Social Worker recommended home care at least 3 days a week. This would give my uncle time on his own to recharge his batteries. Since this time a number of issues has arisen that has cast doubt on my uncle’s intentions with regard to my auntie’s care and wellbeing. We have found out recently that the offer of care has been refused even though my uncle keeps telling everyone that he cannot cope. Also only the other day we found out that he has had my aunty sections for trying to get out of the car on a dual carriageway. However, my auntie does not know how to use the seat belt and my uncle’s car has lockable doors from the driver’s position. On assessment at the hospital a couple of days later the section was removed as my aunty posed no threat to anybody or herself. Following this we have received notification that my uncle has applied to the Court of Protection to be appointed to look after my auntie’s assets and finances but not her welfare. A lot of other things have happened that have cast doubt of my uncles intention. I and my family fully understand that my aunty will not get better but are extremely concerned regarding my aunties wellbeing.
After all of that, my question is what can we do to ensure that my auntie’s assets are used to provide the best care possible.

Kind regard - Janus


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hi Janus and welcome to Talking Point

I'm going to be brutally frank here: you seem to have cast your uncle in the role of bad guy. This may be absolutely accurate, but to be honest most people would be loath to give you advice about how to circumvent him for the following reason: no one, but no one, knows what it's like to live with someone with dementia unless they have done it, and even then, every single person with dementia is different. The examples you give (e.g. trying to exit the car on a dual carriageway) are ones that have been experienced by others. Take that example: yes there may be child-locks but have you ever been confronted by someone who you love but who is determined to escape from you no matter what? Verbal abuse, physical violence, attack with a weapon - any and all of those things are possible.

I'm sorry if I sound unsympathetic to the rest of the family - clearly you are all concerned for your aunt's well-being and that's wonderful, but when it comes down to it, your uncle is the person who has (and who should have) the last word unless he is actively harming her. If that is the case then social services and the police should be informed but if it's more a disagreement about management then by all means offer as much support as you can, but don't second guess him, or tell him how to act, otherwise you'll lose any influence you may have.

P.S. I'm moving your post to the main forum so that you get as many responses as possible.
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Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
I have to agree with Jenniferpa. Unless you have experience of caring 24/7 it is extremely hard to understand the enormous pressures. The offer of care in the home being rejected could be caused by a number of factors. I've had care in the home, and although grateful for the help I fount it to be intrusive, demanding and that my home didn't belong to me any more. Also if uncle has no previous experience of anyone else caring for aunty other than himself, then this is a hard thing to accept.

My husband tried to get out of the car on the motorway. Although he couldn't open a car door by himself, it was really terrifying! Can you imagine driving a car at 70mph, worrying about your route and physically restraining a heavy man at the same time?? This is apart from the verbal pressures of him constantly insisting that we are running out of petrol and going in the wrong direction!! I vowed never to go on a motorway with him again.

You do find yourself in a difficult position as you are concerned for the welfare of your aunt. In order to keep an eye on things you will have to work with your uncle as I presume that they are married or that he is her partner and as such he will probably have joint finances to attend to.

He will be considered by the medical team caring for your aunt as the main carer and would probably be invited to any reviews on your Aunt which take place at the hospital. Perhaps you could suggest that you could go along to one of these with him to support him. At least if you try to work with him you may be included in and be able to understand any major decisions taken to maintain your aunt's welfare.

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Registered User
Apr 26, 2008
Again difficult to make suggestions without being party to all the details. I've found my mum does this strangest things so best always to keep an open mind. Rejecting carers is something my mum also did. Unfortunately when money comes into the equation things can get unpleasant with families. Did your uncle explain why he had excluded the welfare aspect from his application? I'd be inclined to gently query that (in case its a genuine oversight or he has not received the right advice). I'd also phone the helpline as they may have more experience of what you can and can't do legally. Having experience of the Scottish system, I know that the Publican Guardians Office can always be contacted if for example someone obtains power of attorney and turns out to be abusing it. The public guardians office will investigate. I'm sure there must be some come back in the English equivalent. But before you go down that road I'd ask the question about the welfare aspect and then speak to the helpline. If you tell them all the details they will be better placed to advise.

Hope this helps