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POA cutting off contact

Gracet96

New member
Oct 26, 2020
5
Hi all,

My apologies in advance for the length of this post!

My grandmother is 82 years old and has dementia. In May 2020 (during the pandemic) she was put in a care home as her husband (my step-grandfather) could no longer care for her, this was arranged without any of her blood family’s knowledge.

To give you some context, we had to stop visiting my nan at her home in March when the coronavirus got worse and the country went into lockdown, however, my mum (her daughter) and us (me and my 3 siblings, her grandchildren) would call her weekly by telephone to see how she was.

During a routine weekly call in early May made by my mum, my step-grandad answered and told her she was no longer there and she couldn’t speak to her. We were so confused and called the police to do a welfare check as they live over an hour away and it being lockdown we could not go to their home. The police carried out the visit but said they couldn’t give us much information other than to have “strong words with social services”.

We continued to call to plead with him to tell us what had happened, was she in unwell in hospital? He finally told us she was in a care home but would not give any more information other than that.
He then started making crazy and false accusations that my mum had stolen my nans jewellery and locked her in the boot of a car years ago, to name a few. Prior to this situation there were never any issues/arguments with my step-grandad and my nan would be shocked by his behaviour if she had capacity.

We then contacted social services and her social worker advised she couldn’t tell us anything due to data protection without my nan’s consent, but eventually confirmed she was safe and well in a care home. The social worker told us she could not be granted consent to disclose any information to us as my nan lacked mental capacity. The OPG confirmed my step-grandad is my nan’s POA for welfare only.

I have since made numerous phone calls to try and plead with him to just tell me the name of the care home so I can speak with my nan. He still refuses and starts ranting about my mother. I believe he is not acting in my nans best interests by cutting contact with all of her only blood family.

It has now been nearly 6 months since we spoke to my nan and I am so scared she is going to die before we ever get to speak to or see her again. I am really struggling with the fact that she may think we have abandoned her and wonder why we haven’t been in contact with her.

My mum has contacted the OPG raising her concerns, however, they say they need more evidence for it to be looked into further. They wrote to him to remind him of his duties and that he should be acting in my nans best interests. It seems so hard to gather evidence other than to record him when we call up? Please if there is any advice you have for me, I would be most grateful.

I know my mum is seeking some advice from a solicitor about applying to the court of protection about being a deputy. But this will likely take months/years to get anywhere.

Thank you for your time in reading this. If anyone has been in a similar situation it would be great to talk!

Grace
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
As a matter of interest . In your opinion is your step grandfather paying for her care. Likely to be £1000 per week. Or you think it likely social services are contributing?
 

Gracet96

New member
Oct 26, 2020
5
As a matter of interest . In your opinion is your step grandfather paying for her care. Likely to be £1000 per week. Or you think it likely social services are contributing?
I have no idea as we have not been told anything.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,035
Hi @Gracet96, is there anyway whichever of you had the best relationship with your step grandad try to establish a relationship with him, asking him how he is etc before trying to persuade him to give you some information about your grandmother. It sounds like either she has had delusions about her daughter, the stealing of things is a very common delusion among people with dementia that her husband has believed, or he too is maybe starting down the dementia road. It would be good to find out if the move to a care home was his idea or if a crisis happened and social services moved her into care. It might not work, but at the moment you seem to be going nowhere.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
3,034
Essex
Dear Gracet96,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation but I'm wondering whether step-grandad is getting confused as well as it sounds like you used to get on quite well. Are you in touch with relatives on his side of the family as well?

MaNaAk
 

Gracet96

New member
Oct 26, 2020
5
Hi @Gracet96, is there anyway whichever of you had the best relationship with your step grandad try to establish a relationship with him, asking him how he is etc before trying to persuade him to give you some information about your grandmother. It sounds like either she has had delusions about her daughter, the stealing of things is a very common delusion among people with dementia that her husband has believed, or he too is maybe starting down the dementia road. It would be good to find out if the move to a care home was his idea or if a crisis happened and social services moved her into care. It might not work, but at the moment you seem to be going nowhere.
Thanks for your reply. Being the eldest sibling I have tried to help and have tried to have a general conversation with him before asking how my nan is. I even went and visited him when the lockdown eased in the summer, he is definitely not the same as before she went into the home and acting very defensively. Anything that I ask about why she went in he doesn’t say anything. Carers used to go in to help him during the day. I know my mum has questioned his capacity to be POA with regards to all the allegations and if they are coming from my nan that he is believing her, when he knows she has dementia. But it just seems to be brushed off by social services. I hope that makes sense, sorry there is so much to this story!
 

Gracet96

New member
Oct 26, 2020
5
Dear Gracet96,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation but I'm wondering whether step-grandad is getting confused as well as it sounds like you used to get on quite well. Are you in touch with relatives on his side of the family as well?

MaNaAk
Thanks for your reply. No we aren’t aware of any relatives on his side as he is not from the UK originally.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,010
High Peak
Your step-grandad is certainly acting strangely, particularly with the rants about odd things your mother supposedly did to your nan years ago. This is suspiciously dementia-like behaviour.

Then there is his refusal to let you see your nan or even know where she is. As her move to a care home seems to have come about rather suddenly, I'm wondering if your step-grandad was somehow involved. For social services to act and move her suggests 'something' may have happened, some kind of crisis, otherwise they would just have put carers in a few times a day. Is it possible there was something your step-grandad did or didn't do that brought about a crisis maybe? If so I am sure he feels very guilty/ashamed/angry and doesn't want the family to know about it. Hence his refusal to tell you where your nan is and his attempts to direct 'blame' at your mother.

I'm just speculating! It must be incredibly frustrating when Social Services won't tell you anything either. Maybe a little detective work on your part might produce results? Could you ring round the local homes and (innocently) ask how Mrs XX is today? If they say there is no Mrs XX here you could cross that one off your list and try the next... Good luck.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
Your step-grandad is certainly acting strangely, particularly with the rants about odd things your mother supposedly did to your nan years ago. This is suspiciously dementia-like behaviour.

Then there is his refusal to let you see your nan or even know where she is. As her move to a care home seems to have come about rather suddenly, I'm wondering if your step-grandad was somehow involved. For social services to act and move her suggests 'something' may have happened, some kind of crisis, otherwise they would just have put carers in a few times a day. Is it possible there was something your step-grandad did or didn't do that brought about a crisis maybe? If so I am sure he feels very guilty/ashamed/angry and doesn't want the family to know about it. Hence his refusal to tell you where your nan is and his attempts to direct 'blame' at your mother.

I'm just speculating! It must be incredibly frustrating when Social Services won't tell you anything either. Maybe a little detective work on your part might produce results? Could you ring round the local homes and (innocently) ask how Mrs XX is today? If they say there is no Mrs XX here you could cross that one off your list and try the next... Good luck.
We shared the same thoughts!
I would be defiantly be doing what you advise.
The reason I enquired about social,services or self funding was that you could have narrowed down the homes with that knowledge!
I would go on to
I would do homes in a ten mile radius of their home address, to start with and get calling !
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
Also when seriously upset with the performance of any large profesional organisation, I start my communication saying ‘this is a complaint’. I then communicate with them a lot.
They have a keep records of the number of complaints, I tend to find that if I affect their stats in a negative way. They seem eager to to rid of me?
I have received some good outcomes using this method.

I would be asking social services about her capacity testing. How did they test for capacity?
Capacity can fluctuate, would they like to share the method of testing, or perhaps test her again, the fact she doesn’t have capacity to take her medication, does not mean she cannot make the choice on whether to be estranged from her family !
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
Then if @Jaded'n'faded phoning around plan failed, and complaining to social services failed I would write and complain to everyone.
In particular CQC who are responsible for inspecting social services, and the local MP and I would copy social services into every communication.
 

Gracet96

New member
Oct 26, 2020
5
@Weasell & @Jaded'n'faded thank you both so much for your responses. They are exactly what we are thinking. I did try a few care homes back in the summer and they said she wasn’t resident there. But I will go back to that option and be more thorough. And again go back social services about the mental capacity etc. Appreciate your kind help!