Paranoia or do LAs really try to push people into full time care to save costs?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by paulh, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. paulh

    paulh Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    Further developments

    Things have developed since the last time I posted.

    My mother's weight was increasing slowly but surely over previous weeks, although apparently not fast enough for the social worker, who declared in an email 2 weeks ago that she would arrange a "best interest meeting", where everyone concerned including "professionals like herself" would be invited to attend.

    An email was sent to me inviting me to attend the meeting, which was to take place in less than 2 weeks, place and time to be decided. However, due to the meeting being arranged at such short notice and in view of the fact that I live abroad, I replied, stating that I was unable to attend. However, I requested that I could certainly attend the meeting via Skype, telephone or any other method at the appointed time. I made it clear that I wished to give my input and opinions to the meeting before any decision was made.

    At around the same time I received notification about the meeting, our neighbours (who are 82 & 83 years of age) received a phone call (unbeknown to me) from the social worker asking them to "make themselves available to attend the meeting", as their views and opinions would be needed in reaching a decision, as they have known my mother for over 30 years. My neighbour commented afterwards that it felt as though they were being summoned to the meeting, like it was their duty.

    A week before the proposed meeting, I got a surprise call from the care agency that they had arranged to have my mother taken into hospital, due to her looking dehydrated and complaining of some discomfort. It turned out however that she had a mild urinary infection which cleared up in a few days in the hospital. I was informed by the hospital that my mother was now in good physical condition although could not dicharged, until a consultation was made with social services. Until then she would have to wait in the hospital.

    I still hadn't heard anything by this time about the possibility of my attending the meeting on Skype or by telephone, nor had the neighbour heard anything. I still didn't know where the meeting would even take place nor the time. Two days before this best interest meeting was due to take place, I received an email from the social worker that the meeting place would be at the hospital (surprise, surprise!) although the time was as yet still undecided. A tele-conference would in principle be possible with me, although she would have to look into it and get back to me. Our neighbour received no further information about the meeting time, venue or whether it would be even necessary for them to attend after all.

    The meeting was apparently held yesterday without me or our neighbours being given any opportunity to voice our opinions. I have no idea what was discussed in the meeting nor the recommendations for my mother's future health needs (although I can guess).

    As I suspected before, it seems that the social worker has her own agenda and has mangaged to manipulate things accordingly, without allowing anyone else the possibility to object or affect the intended outcome. Hence the name of this thread: "Paranoia or do LAs really try to push people into full time care to save costs?" I really do feel that my mother's "health care needs" were already decided the moment the social worker got involved and there would be just a few simple steps to go through to realise the desired result.

    The question is, what are our rights now under the law? How is it possible that this social worker can ride roughshod over the the correct procedures, blatently disregarding the opinions of those who most matter? Can I demand that this sham meeting, which took place yesterday, be disregarded and a new one arranged with the correct protocols being observed? What does my mother do in the meantime, since it's her best interests that we are all supposed to be working towards? I feel quite powerless now, since the social worker seems to have all the cards and has used them ruthlessly.

    Help and advice would be most welcome at this frustrating time...
  2. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    I am understanding your frustration but.....

    I guess yesterdays best interest meeting was based on the here and now- looking at the lady before them based on what they could see, hear and understand from her.

    I don't believe social workers have an unterior motive- the one allocated to us was pretty hopeless-

    I guess the real problem they have is that you are abroad, and don't see the day to day - I don't mean that unkindly either- Someone trying to organise from afar must have real difficulties in understand what is really going on.

    Why are yu so against her being looked after 24/7 in residential care? Wouldn't it give you peace of mind in the long run?
  3. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    British Isles
    Would it be possible for you to ask your employer for a few days leave so that you can visit your mother? If she has been poorly and in hospital it would be lovely for her to have the comfort of having you with her for reassurance, and would give you a chance to see for yourself how she is now and to have face to face meetings with those involved in the decision making process.

    You could also visit the home that is being recommended for the respite and get a feeling for whether your mother might enjoy a little "holiday" there. Even if she is now in good physical condition, unfortunately a UTI can greatly increase confusion and you want to be sure that your mother would be happy and safe in her own home again if you are successful in getting her discharged home. If you could stay for a few days while she settles back home that would be great too as you could reassure yourself that all is well before leaving her.

    Do hope you can manage a trip somehow, it must be so hard for both of you to be unable to get together as often as you would like.
  4. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    How can your opinions matter the most when you have no first hand knowledge of the situation?
    What matters is your mum getting the best care & help for her needs now.
    Long distanced caring is very hard & I do feel for you.
  5. MerryWive

    MerryWive Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    I'm sorry could we revisit the original post?

    Do you seriously think the social worker has a more intimate knowledge of his mother's day to day life than he does?

    Who is defending his mother's stated interests at this meeting, when the social worker can't even be bothered to press a button on the computer to enable Paul to be present?

    If she needs to put on weight then she needs someone to sit with her and encourage her to eat and drink, not someone analysing her nutritional profile. This proposed care home supposedly specialises in nutrition and so perhaps Paul would appreciate the opportunity to find out more about their strategies and ideally visit in person to see for himself whether he thinks his mother would benefit from staying there. Knowing what I have seen of NHS and care home food I would be shocked if they actually manage to provide anything palatable.

    I'm sorry Paul I have no advice re. the legality etc of this, but I suspect you have already spoken to the "professional" in question and may have more clarity now.

    My apologies, social workers make me very angry! :(
  6. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    But surely the easiest thing for this social worker to do would be to do nothing, as we often read on TP. I find it hard to believe this one is going to so much trouble without having genuine concerns, and yes, she might well have a better idea of the day to day situation - I had no real idea of what my mum got up to on a day to day basis and I lived two hours away, not abroad. If there is a crisis, rest assured she would be the one getting it in the neck for not acting in what she clearly feels is her client's best interest, so I think it is unfair to suggest she is overstepping the mark when we don't know her side of the story.

    I'm afraid I also have to take issue with your comment about care home food. Both the home my mother was in and the one my MIL is currently in provide well-cooked palatable home made meals and both ended up putting on weight. MIL is healthier now than she has been for years.
  7. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    likewise. the food in the nursing home my mum ended up in was better than anything I could have imagined, fresh , hot and well presented. And choices!

    Plentiful and frequent, tasty and tailored to need.

    couldn't fault it.
  8. MerryWive

    MerryWive Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    That is reassuring to hear. I'm glad there are at least some good places out there. I wish we all could find them! :)
  9. paulh

    paulh Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    Thanks for your support; it's much appreciated.

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