1. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi all,

    Haven't been in much lately, had a busy time to say the least. My own immediate family, my two boys, have kept me busy, and been helping mum with my Gran as much as possible.

    As I've told before, mum and I have had the devil's own job getting any decent help for Gran from SS. They've been of the opinion that she wasn't a risk to herself, and that she had plenty of family who could do their job for them. Well now we've had the crunch time.

    Last night Mum went to bed feeling anxious due to the fact that the people who dish out DLA had decided that she was in need of a medical today to ascertain whether or not she could still get DLA, when they told her in 1992 that she qualified for life. So, with that on her mind, she was hoping she'd sleep.

    She was woken at 4am this morning with a phone call from the police. They had found Gran wandering the streets at 3am, and had taken an hour to be able to get her name and guess at where she lived. She was dressed in thin polyester trousers, with her tights underneath, (no knickers or incontinence pad), vest, thin jumper that she knitted about 19 o-blonk that you can just about spit through, and a pair of slippers.

    She obviously had no idea where she'd been or what she was doing, and seems to think she'd knocked on someone's door and asked for help.

    The police stayed with Gran til mum got there, they didn't dare leave her on her own in case she went on the wander again. The doctor was called, and arrived mid morning, and stated that this was cause for concern, checked her over to make sure she was well and left. Mum rang social services first thing, but got the answer phone. To this time, no one rang her back today.

    So, where do we go from here. Is this one instance of wandering enough, or are SS likely to say that one wandering does not constitute a risk to herself? We're presuming that she's not done it before, because we've not had the police on the phone, but who says she hasn't been able to retrace her steps and find home again when she's had moments of lucidity? And what caused her to realise that she shouldn't be out and knock on someone's door for help? Was the a rational bit of her kicking in?

    None of us dare take our medication tonight for fear that we will need to drive 25 miles to her again, if she goes walkabout again.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we might prevent another one happening, without putting her in the situation where she can't get out of the house should there be a fire? God forbid. Of course if SS agree that she now needs care 24/7, its gonna take time to organise. So in the meantime we have to try and prevent it happening.

    This comes on the back of a report in the news a few weeks ago stating that a 90 year old lady with AD had gone missing from her home, and she was found in a neighbours garden 9 days later, and had died from hypothermia.

    All sorts of things are going through my head now.

    Gill
     
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Gill,
    Don't know what to say - but just wanted to you to know that someone was thinking of you. Keep hassling social services - pester power does work.
    Love Helen
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Gill sweetheart, deep breaths, calm down. This is an almost impossible situation to have been left in, and frasnkly I don't know what to say.

    Obviously you need to speak to a Social Worker, call the duty one if need be.
    Your poor nan should not be put in this situation, and as for your poor mum, she is the one who is aware, and so is bearing the brunt of the situation.

    Sorry, but it really is the time to stop being "Mr Nice Guy" and start SHOUTING. You need to make a nuisance of yourselves. (I hate these situations, because we are not like this. Reasonable people diven to unreasonable extremes)

    Ans so I have waffled on. Please let us know how things progress. Thinking of you, love,
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,903
    Kent
    Dear Gill,

    I`m so sorry it had to come to this. In so many cases it seems to be par for the course, a disaster nearly has to happen before a solution can be found.

    Would it be possible for someone to take a couple of days to stay with your gran and concentrate on bombarding SS to get full time care for her.

    I`m sure there are emergency beds available for those at risk.

    I wish I could offer more, but it seems such a desperate situation.
     
  5. allylee

    allylee Registered User

    Feb 28, 2005
    180
    west mids
    Dear Gill,
    I can only re iterate what Connie has said, become a nuisance. THe more of a pain you are, the quicker SS will want to move you off their "problem pile".
    On a more practical note. my mum too wandered at night, twice into the street during the early hours.SS still didnt consider this urgent enough to warrant an immediate care placement, what they did however was to install assisted technology called "watch me".
    I was very suspicious of this at first, little sensors are placed in every room of the house , including on each exiting door which monitored mums movements. Not a visual image , but a graph of activity. You can access this at any time via your own PC at home to see how active your relative is,SS monitor it also and provide you with a print out each month.
    Our SW used this as evidence to demonstrate how anxious mum was , and how much she wandering from room to room at night.

    Hope you get some help soon
    Love Ally xx
     
  6. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Thanks guys and gals

    I'm calmer today than yesterday, but still obviously stressed to death with this.

    We had a feeling it would be imminent, as Gran has been ringing a lot stating she doesn't know where she is. I had done my best to ensure Mum was on the alert for wandering, as Gran's been saying she needs to get home "to those little boys, they'll be wondering where I am".

    To date, Mum hasn't had a call from Social Services, and I've sent her home today to ring them and see what they have to say. Gran's GP is also going to get on to them and see what we can do. Gran has said recently that she would like to be somewhere among people, so maybe, just maybe, we've taken a step in the positive direction from a negative one?

    Last night seems to have gone well. No calls in the wee small hours, and I've rung Gran to make sure she's ok.

    I will let mum know of the "Watch Me" system, I think that would be a useful device to have.

    In the meantime, my sons are going to their dad's for the weekend, and I think mine will be taken up with staying with Gran. Mum always goes Saturdays, but I think I'll go stay with her til the kids are due home on sunday.

    I have a funny feeling that SS are gonna say one wander doesn't constitute a crisis, but there is no way that I am prepared to live with the fact that Gran be allowed to wander like that. During the day could be catastrophic, when you consider that an elderly lady wandering among a crowd would probably go unnoticed. At least when it's at 4am, people would know that this isn't normal.

    I would like very much to be able to convey my gratitude to the lady who phoned the police for Gran, I intend to ring the police and ask them to pass on a message for me. The lady took care of Gran til the police arrived.

    I will keep you posted.

    Gill
    XX
     
  7. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    Hi. If it is a house is it possible to lock the back gate ? I use a padlock on the back gate, and deadlock the street door, and keep the key out-of-the-way. I lock the back door and leave the key in the door / lock. Not that I have to leave Susan in the house alone, but if I am washing or not "looking" she could get out. The key in the back door would allow your mum out, but only into the garden.
    cris
     
  8. panda

    panda Registered User

    Apr 16, 2006
    88
    Surrey
    That sounds so worring for you and your family, I had to get mum admitted into hospital yesterday. I had been trying to cope with her doing things that were dangerous to her and I was not getting one moment in the day where I was not worried sick.
    When I spoke to the doctor about what had been going on she shouted at me and said I had let my mum live at risk and if I had just rang social services they would of come round straight away and sorted things out. I was so shocked i could not even answer her!!! I wonder what world this doctor lives in
     
  9. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    My goodness!

    That GP is sure deluding him/herself. We've had Social Services involved from the beginning and they've been as much use as a chocolate fire guard!

    They have now got back to my mum and emitted a few 'tsk' and 'ooph' noises when mum explained what was happening. Gran's GP has said he will be ringing SS and telling them that this situation is no longer suitable and will insist that something is done for her.

    Thankfully SS listened when mum told them we would like her down here near us, so that we can all share the load more easily, Gran's currently 25 miles away from us. They said that they could do 'out-of-area' referrals and would look into it for us.

    I've informed mum about the 'watch me' system and she expressed interest in that and said she'd ask about it for in the meantime.

    I'll report back at every stage.

    Gill
    XX
     
  10. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,903
    Kent
    Thanks for the update Gill. It looks as if things are moving. I do hope you can get your Gran nearer the family, it will make things so much easier for you all.
    With love
     
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    pleased to read that things are moveing forward


    I was wondering as your grandmother is 86 , as I read your past thread are they SS looking at putting your grandmother in a care home near you and your family when you say

    Just what is an out-of-area referrals to ? are they still Considering still having your grandmother living alone but near you or in sheltered accommodation or nurseling care home or care home ?
     
  12. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi Margarita,

    Sorry for the delay in replying, tried several times yesterday but got side-tracked every time!

    The out-of-area referral can be done because Gran lives 25 miles away from us. We live in completely different cities, and as a result have different SS coverage. SS up at Gran's end now know that mum and I have looked at a residential home literally just round the corner from my home, and they will look into the homes available in our area, and move from there? By doing so I'm presuming that they will pass Gran's file over to Social Services in my area to deal with and things will go from there.

    Gran doesn't have any other ailments other than Alzheimers, which makes the whole thing so damned cruel, so I'm presuming they will place her in a Care Home. There would be no point whatsoever putting her in a sheltered housing place, in my opinion, but then we all know how SS think differently to us, eh?

    Gran is certainly a risk to herself and has been for some time, but its taken her wandering for them to come round to our way of thinking.

    We've noticed scorch marks in her microwave oven, so we know that she is now placing the delivered meals into the microwave in the foil containers they arrive in. She has only to forget what she's doing and the microwave would catch fire.

    We've come to the conclusion that Gran had managed to wander twice in the same night last week. She told us that she'd been out to a house that looked exactly like hers, the same carpets, chairs, etc. Then she said she knew she had to get home to them little ones of hers, so she left. Then presumably she went so far afield she couldn't get home again. She told us at first that she knocked on someone's door, and a lady and man answered. The man didn't talk, but the lady was nice and used the phone to ring someone. Then it changed to no, she didn't knock on a door, there were just 5 police cars suddenly came from nowhere. I'm currently waiting for the police to get back to me and tell me where they found her, and who if anyone contacted them. I want to know so that we can thank the kind person who helped her, if there was anyone. Mum was running on adrenalin when this was all happening so didn't have the presence of mind to ask the police any questions.

    Gill
    XX
     
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Thanks for getting back , gosh your going to have so much more peace of mind in knowing that your grandmother is going to be safer when in care home , hope they rush things forward quietly .

    May be you should take the fuse out of the plug for the microwave for your grandmother safety , just say it broke
     
  14. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi Margarita,

    We're in a no win situation with that one, I'm afraid.

    Gran has been going into what I can only describe as 'trances' just lately, where she goes into a little world of her own, & fails to notice anything going on around her? The man came with her meal the other day, he has to walk past her to put it in the kitchen for her, she didn't even know he'd been!

    As a result, it can mean that the meal has gone cold & requires warming up. On several occasions she has put the dinner into the gas oven & forgotten about it until a funny smell hit her nostrils & she saw smoke coming from the oven. She has done the same with the grill. We've contemplated turning the gas off to the oven, but then we'd have a job making meals for her when we are there. If we take the fuse from the microwave, we're taking away one of the less dangerous options of her heating her meal up. At least it switches off after the allotted time.

    We've asked for someone to go in at lunchtime to help her, but SS won't even think about it because the meal that's delivered is made by a private company & isn't something we've left in the fridge for her. We've thought about that method too, buying shedloads of meals & leaving them in the fridge & getting someone in when we can't be there, but previous attempts at that meant lots of food went to waste when she made food for her 'visitors' & it ended up in the bin. She goes rummaging & finds the thing we put in there for her for the next day etc, & tinkers about with it all.

    Catch 22 I think this situation is called. We can't win. And on days when Gran is feeling argumentative, like saturday gone, it causes problems all over the place. I had the devils own job to get her to have a bath on saturday, and being full of cold I couldn't be bothered to argue with her. I ended up talking to her like I would my youngest son and treated her like a baby. I felt awful, especially when she started ranting about 'that woman in there' who thinks she can't fend for herself and wants rid of her. That woman in there was my mum & that hurt. I kept my tears in til I got in the car afterwards & let the floodgates open.

    We are having to presume there have been no more wanderings, as we've had no phone calls. We've looked at the locking of gates possibilities & might be able to do something, but it would mean padlocking them permanently & causing more difficulties for the carer on a morning & evening.

    Frustrated doesn't cover how I feel at the moment, apart from poorly & washed out from a monster of a cold. I've been staying away from Gran this week so she doesn't catch my germs, but feel so awful that mum has to deal with this on her own. If I had a magic wand..........

    Gill
    XX
     
  15. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,903
    Kent
    Dear Gill, I`m so sorry there`s nothing I can say to help your situation. It sounds like the worst nightmare. I just hope SS will get it`s act together and complete the out of area referral ASAP.
    Your gran shouldn`t be free to wander and make mistakes, she needs caring for and helping. You are doing all you can, as a family, but do need the agencies to regard this case with urgency.
    I hope they hurry up. With love
     
  16. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Thank you Sylvia,

    I've never been a religious girl, but at the moment I'm going to bed each night offering up a prayer that things won't get any worse before they get better.

    At the moment I could use a great big bear hug & someone to tell me that everything will come right in the end.

    My mum does it now and again, but I know that she's saying it with the deepest optimism & prayers of her own. How heartbreaking to see her watching her mother whither away before her eyes.

    I would like to be able to say that things can't get any worse........

    Thanks to everyone, you all keep my spirits up in one form or another.

    Gill
    XX
     
  17. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Gill

    What an awful situation. I'm not surprised you're feeling rotten, and your poor mum must be at the end of her tether too.

    Don't be too worried about what your gran said about your mum. I'm sure you've read in other posts that this kind of abuse is fairly normal at some stages of AD. You just have to keep re-assuring your mum that it's not your gran saying those things, it's her illness.

    I do hope you get that care home sorted soon, then you and your mum can recover a bit.

    Hope you get rid of the cold. We'd all like that magic wand!

    Love,
     
  18. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hazel,

    If I had that magic wand, it would be waved to put right everyone else in the world's wrongs, not just my own. Sometimes I read what others are going through and feel guilty for moaning and whining, then something else slips further down hill for us and I'm off again.

    I know that there are people so much worse off than us, and I know I'll feel brighter soon, just struggling at the moment.

    Lots of love to everyone who's finding things hard at the moment.

    Gill
    XX
     
  19. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi all,

    Just to let you know that SS are booked to see Gran this afternoon, and reassess her situation. The SW spoke to mum at length the other day, and seemed of the opinion that Gran's wandering was 'probably just a one off' and that we shouldn't panic!! I just knew that that would be said somewhere along the line, what did I say last week?

    I couldn't be with mum today for the assessment, as I have a chest infection and don't want Gran picking anything up, but she wasn't very optimistic about what could be done. Gran also has an appointment with her consultant today, so it'll be interesting to hear what he has had to say.

    I've told mum that if we don't get satisfaction with SS today, I personally will be making a complaint to the SS department, and contacting the Care Commission. Gran has told the carer she has on a morning that she would like to be somewhere where there are people she could talk to, so fingers crossed she says this to social services today.

    Let you know what gives as soon as I hear.

    Gill
    XX
     
  20. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,903
    Kent
    Dear Gill
    Hope all goes well this afternoon. I`m glad you`re prepared to stand your ground.
    I remember when my grandmother told me she felt she needed `looking after`. It`s amazing how flashes of insight appear.
    It looks like your gran has the same feeling, wanting to be where she has someone to talk to.
    Good luck
     

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