Progress update

Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
Co. Durham
Hi everyone,

I've been around, dipping in and out of posts in the last few weeks. Haven't been in the frame of mind to concentrate, as I had a tooth out a little over 2 weeks ago and wound up with an infection in my jaw bone which was immensely painful. Got it treated now, feeling much better, so here we go.

I posted in another thread and said that Gran had gone walkabout again recently. I've spent the day with mum today and been brought up to speed on what's gone on.


Mum had been to Gran's as usual Saturday and everything was all "fine and dandy", or as much as it ever is. Sunday afternoon, the company who send the carer's in to Gran rang to say that their carer had rung them, concerned that Gran wasn't looking very well at all and had been vomiting. A nurse was sent to look at her, and she declared that she couldn't find anything out of the ordinary, more than likely a bug. Carer rang Mam after that and said she was leaving, Gran had been attended to and seemed ok. Her job was done. 11.30 that evening, Mam had a call from the police, to say they had been called to collect Gran. She had gone walkabout, reaching the sea front, which is about 4-5 miles away from her house. She was wandering around with her slippers on, polyester trousers, a jumper and a cardigan. Someone observed her wandering around and thought she was an escapee from a Nursing Home in the vacinity and so took her there. Because she didn't belong there, the police were called, and they somehow managed to track down where she belonged. The officer dealing with her remembered her once they got her home, she was the same officer that had retrieved her on her first jaunt out. So, Mam (with my sister in tow) went up to Gran's. Mam led her by the hand to the bottom of the stairs and Gran decided she would need her coat on, if she was going to sleep at Mam's house. She was told she was going to her own bed, and on her way upstairs remarked "Oh, they've got the same carpet on the stairs as I've got!". Put to bed, then what to do? Leave keys in the house for her to use to escape again, or what? My sister decided it would be ok for one night just to take the keys away. That was done.


Social Services were called, Gran's social worker was off sick that day, a message would be passed to her on her return. They were told that the keys had been removed, and obviously they stated that this was not satisfactory and something must be done about that. Another call placed to the department that deals with the alarm system on Gran's door. It hadn't been triggered when she went on her jollies the night before, and we wanted to know why. An engineer was sent over, he did whatever he did, and reported the system as working. Whether it had been faulty and how we do not know, but it was working now. Gran's GP was rung, to say we would like her examined please, to rule out UTI etc, and we waited for an appointment which was made for the next day.


Mam and my aunt went to Gran's for their usual Tuesday trip, to take Gran to the hairdressers, and also for a dental appointment. Gran's social worker had been on the phone and organised a visit to Gran later in the morning. So, the hairdressers appointment was dealt with, and just prior to leaving for the dentist, the social worker arrived. She was given the information about the wandering on sunday night, and generally updated on things in recent weeks. She was told about the now double incontinence, the complete lack of dental hygiene, the dishevellment in her clothing etc,. and she declared she would look into things. The SW stated that she thought it may be worth admitting Gran to a "rehabilitation unit" to have her thoroughly checked over, and also arranged that the morning carer would now be told to bath her at least 3 days in the week, as the once or twice a week that mam was doing wasn't sufficient. Progress. The dental visit was done, and then Mam whizzed Gran back to the house ready for the Nurse coming to check her over. At this point, my aunt decided to regale mam of the interesting program that was Jeremey Kyle that afternoon, (!!) oblivious to the obvious stress Mam was under being the one who was doing all the running around here.
Anyway, the nurses arrived and gave Gran a thorough M.O.T. Her blood pressure was checked sitting and standing up, which established that her blood pressure was low in the standing position, which explains her giddiness when she gets up out of the seat and her swollen ankles. She was given an ECG which established an irregular heartbeat, which was described as a "regular irregularity" and was unlikely to need attention. She had her urine dipped, which ruled out a UTI although a specimen was taken and sent to the lab as a double check. Once that was over, Mam set Gran up with her tea, and then made to leave. On the way out, Gran's neighbour caught up with Mam and asked if all was well, they'd seen the police car the other night etc.... during this chat, Gran unlocked her door and was preparing to walk out. Mam caught her, asking where she was going, and she said she'd "left her handbag behind". It was in the house beside her chair. The alarm was triggered, as it arms itself at 4.30, and someone was shrieking down a microphone something totally incomprehensible, and Mam managed to let them know it was a false alarm.
Mam went home. 7.15 the phone rang. Rapid response team, the alarm had been triggered, Gran had got out. The warden was on his way to her house but could Mam please give them a description of Gran so that they knew who to look for!!!!! For heaven's sake, when the damned thing was installed they were given an up to date photo of her and they were asking what she looked like???? Half an hour later, they called again to say they had been unable to locate her and they were calling the police. My sister was put on standby again, to take Mam to Gran's (medication prevents her driving). Another half hour later, they rang to say they'd found her and were walking her back along the street now. Panic over.


Whilst I was sitting discussing all this with Mam, the phone rang. Social Worker, wanting to discuss the situation. She told Mam that she'd made enquiries for getting Gran into the "rehab" unit, and they had said that they wanted Gran checking over by her GP before they took her, because it could be a simple illness that had triggered the exacerbation of things. Mam told them of the full MOT the day before, that nothing of any significance was found etc, except the BP and heartbeat. The topic of Mam having taken the keys away on the sunday night was broached. By Mam's tone of voice, I could tell that it was being suggested that Mam had been completely wrong to take those keys, (we knew that but what else could we do) and they would relinquish all responsibilty for Gran if we did that again. At this point I took over the phone call because I was shouting so much in the background Mam got fed up with me!! I explained that Mam had been at the mercy of transport back home on sunday night, she was not able to drive under medication, and she had done what she had done in order that she knew Gran would be safe from harm in the house. Mam just simply didn't want her escaping again and putting herself at risk that way. She knew fine well it wasn't suitable, fire hazard and all of that, but she just didn't know what else to do. I told them that my mam was now at the point where she is shedding tears at the stress of it all, she is no longer emotionally stable enough to bear the brunt of the caring, she was being left with far too much responsibilty and I wanted something done. I've not seen my mum so distressed in years, since the death of my dad, which was enough to set me away seeing her so know how it works. Mention was made of TIA's which I understand are mini strokes, which left me wondering whether Gran has mixed dementia, as Mam has said that on occasion Gran can be just trance like and totally non-sensical. She'll mumble, drift off to sleep, feign alertness, and drift off to sleep....does this sound like a feasible happening to anyone?

Upshot: SS are going to refer Gran to this unit, which I'm presuming will be like the assessment units I've heard others refer to in posts, where Gran will be assessed for her capabilities (or not as the case may be..) and see where we go from there. The care given by the carer's was to be stepped up, so that the time Mam spends with Gran can be quality time, as opposed to having to be active and productive as regards hygiene, etc..

So, we've had an alarm system installed that proved useless in the initial stage. We've been scolded for taking keys away, like we were stupid children that didn't know what the hell we were doing, but I think we've stepped forward?

Can anyone inform me what this "rehab" unit may involve, what is likely to take place with Gran there, are we able to visit her etc..?

I've told Mam today that I read somewhere on here that a carer has the legal right to withdraw their care for the patient, but I've been unable to locate where I saw that. I told Mam this on the grounds that SS have NEVER offered Mam a carer's assessment, and strictly speaking she shouldn't be doing the caring as she's on the higher rate of mobility DLA and has arthritis in her wrists. She is not fit enough to be taking on all of the responsibilty that is being heaped on her by SS telling her that if there is family to do things, they must do it. Can anyone tell me if I read that post right, and possibly guide me to it so I can print it off for Mam?

Sorry that this is an awfully long post, and most of you are probably asleep by now, but we seem to go quiet for a while, then when things happen, they all happen at once.

Mam has now said she is ready for respite care, which is something she wouldn't even contemplate a few weeks ago. She has seen that she is struggling, that she isn't dealing with it all as well as she thought she was, and for that I am so glad. The poor thing is worn out, tired, emotional and generally suffering and it breaks my heart to see it.

Pray to god the wheels start to turn that little bit faster now.

Thank you for listening.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Gill it's an extrmely large document (101 pages) but you might want to download

carers rights from carers uk.

The section you want to look at (apart from Page 9 onwards which deals with who should have a carers assessment) is entitled Autonomy/Choice and starts on Page 27

I know you have other questions, but I have to go now: if someone doesn't answer them I'll pop back later.

Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
Co. Durham

Thank you for that, I'll take a look now.

I am at bursting point with this now, I know for a fact Mam has been fobbed off on more than one occassion. My sister has now joined the witch hunt and been on to social services today. She's laid the law down too.

Thanks again.



Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Dear Gill,

Please don't feel you have to apologise in any way for a long post! I'm sure others will agree with me that it is often helpful to the poster to set everything out in writing. Equally it is useful to others to know the whole picture.

I can see that your poor Mum is absolutely going through HELL. Please tell her that the amazing thing is that she has done so well!! Mam has now said she is ready for respite care, which is something she wouldn't even contemplate a few weeks ago. She has seen that she is struggling, that she isn't dealing with it all as well as she thought she was, and for that I am so glad. The poor thing is worn out, tired, emotional and generally suffering and it breaks my heart to see it.

I think it is great that you and your sister are both "on the case" with SS. You can be much more forceful about your MUM's rights than she can. Also you will show them that you as a family will not be "bulldozed" over your grandmother. Many on TP will tell you that it is only by being REALLY assertive that you get action in some cases. Sad, but true.

Wishing all of you every success in sorting out this problem to the best of everyone's ability as soon as possible.


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Gill

What an amazingly caring family you are. I agree with Nell, please don’t apologise for putting down all the details.

It seems you are totally on the case. The only thing I would suggest is that you check out this ‘rehab' place. Make sure it is suitable for your Gran, and does what it says on the tin.

I’m sure others will agree, we hear of so many cases where loved ones are admitted for assessment, when in actual fact not a lot happens, and more to the point, they are pretty grim when it comes to standard of care. I would find out where it is, make an appointment to talk to the doctor who will be looking after Gran, establish their ‘plan’ for Gran, and have a good look around. If at all possible talk to some visitors, ask their opinion.

Hope it all goes well, keep posting.


Cate xxxx

Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
Co. Durham
Thanks Cate and Nell,

I'll let Mam know what you've suggested. Mam seemed to agree when I suggested it may be more of an assessment unit than a rehab unit, one where they would assess exactly what her state of care need is etc.

And certainly, we will go and look at it first, because Mam was so upset when she was describing to me how Gran looked when she was having the ECG done. It seemed to me that Mam has now been hit with what is actually happening here, the penny has finally dropped and things could get a whole lot worse yet.

Thanks for the support, I've found TP to be invaluable as a minefield of information and help, and I know Mam is grateful for it.

I'll come back and let you know what gives when we have more news.


Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
Co. Durham
Hi folks,

Just a quick update.

My sister has been on the case with Social Services and the ball is now firmly in their court. They've been advised my mam is not coping anymore, and needs to know Gran is safe and cared for properly.

We've located the assessment unit, which is actually listed as an "intermediate care centre", it's near where I used to live, and not far from where Gran lives. I've determined that a referral is being made to them, so we now just wait to see when it will be. I've suggested to mam that she let the professionals break it to Gran what they plan to do, so that if anyone is made a scapegoat for her wrath it will be them, not mam. We're trying to get Gran to understand that she is not well and we need her to agree to being checked out, so that we can all sleep at night and not worry about her, because we love her so much we want her to be cared for.

Gran had to be prompted to recall my name at the weekend, she'd been told I was coming to see her, Mum asked me not to tell her my name, she wanted to see if she'd retained the information. She needed prompting of my siblings names, and she finally got mine. Her little eyes lit up when she was praised and hugged for remembering it! It was a sight to see, she was just like a small child. She forgot it again an hour or so later, when she was trying to address me in a conversation but never mind. She recognised her carer as her "home help" though, so I think if I was there every day she would remember me more readily.

I was blessed with a story that my grandad was at work at the moment, with how hard he worked, and how she felt sorry that she'd not visited her own mum in recent weeks. (Grandad died 11 years ago and her own mum died in 1963). She also asked if I knew if any of her siblings were alive or not, and I just had to say I didn't know. I know my aunt believes in telling her they're all dead, but I didn't want to be the bearer of bad tidings like that. She did know they're all dead, but obviously she's lost all that info now.

Anyway, fingers crossed that things happen for her now. We can only hope.



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
That's really good news, Gill. Lets hope the SS move quickly now.

You are doing such a good job with your Gran, she is so lucky to have you and your mum caring for her.


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