1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    Hi. This is probably going to be the first of many questions from me. The info I've gleaned from perusing this site has been very useful thus far and everyone's individual circumstances and the support you all offer is just amazing.

    In a tea cup - my 79yr old mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, deemed unable to remain living independently at home and, after a short spell in hospital, was moved into a dementia-specialising care home on Xmas eve. (Wasn't happy about that personally, especially as I wasn't informed prior, but it's done now).

    I live overseas and all info is coming to me via phone calls and emails from M's mental health nurse. I've been speaking by phone to my M and she is desperately unhappy in the care home. I am the only child and there is no other family to speak of. I'm flying to the UK next week to see my Mum and meet up with her mental health nurse and other people who have been involved - this is the first opportunity available since all the Xmas hols for everyone to be available to meet at the same time. Xmas for me has been one big horrible, worrisome couple of weeks, feeling powerless and ill-informed.

    I have just three days. I need to make sure she has the personal things she needs with her in the care home. I know that I have to set up POAs (Mum still capable and willing apparently). I have to "do something" with her house, sort utilities etc. I have no idea how the care home fees are being paid or will continue to be paid. Mum owns a v modest, run down house, has her state pension and probably has limited savings.

    I feel so unprepared and frightened, if I'm honest. Can anybody help me out with a list of the right questions I should be asking and the info I need to make sure I get?! A to-do list?! I've sourced some books that I will be ordering but they're not going to get here before I travel.

    My instinct is to get Mum out of the care home asap, because she's so unhappy there, and have her come live with me. Obviously, that's not as simple as putting her in a car and driving her back to my place as I don't live in the UK! I don't even know if she has any up-to-date form of photo ID to get her on a plane with! Nor, at present, is my house remotely suitable for her to come and live. On the "plus" side I'm presently unemployed (who'd have thought being unemployed was a positive thing?!), so it's not like I'd have to give up work to care for her. The downside to that is that money's very tight and there's no way I can afford to travel to the UK very frequently to visit if she remains in the home. Is it selfish of me to want to get her out?! Would I be doing it for me...or for her?! Am I even capable of becoming her carer? (That's rhetorical by the way - does anyone ever know the answer to that question?).

    Thanks for reading. I know you're all dealing with your own situations/problems and I'm just at the beginning of this journey.
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,717
    Female
    London
    I would think long and hard about taking your Mum out of a home to live in another country. For starters, changes are never tolerated well, which is why she seems unhappy in the care home. But you really need to give her time to get settled before you make any rash decisions. She is safe in a care home so see how it goes first. It might be the best place for her, especially if it's specialised in dementia care.

    Also, you would need to find out what the care situation is like where you live compared to the borough she currently lives in. What support would be available if she lived with you and how much would it cost? Which allowances could she claim there? Being unemployed does not mean you won't need any help caring, and money might be tight. And who would look after her if you found a job again?

    Also, whether you are unhappy with that decision or not, if someone is deemed incapable of living alone with no relatives close by, what should they have done? By all means, speak to the people who made the decision and also find out how she is funded, but I wouldn't have a go at anyone - they fulfilled their duty to keep your Mum away from risk.

    You can fill in both POAs online and print them out, then all you would need to do in those three days you are here is get the certificate provider, witnesses and your Mum together to sign the documents. Without them you'll face many more obstacles in overseeing your Mum's care.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,860
    Female
    Scotland
    My first reaction would be that until you've got everything worked out you should leave her where she is. While she's safe and being looked after you have time on your side to address major issues like what to do with her house and possessions. You need to find out what is available for people with dementia in the country in which you live.

    You need to see an estate agent about selling her house and you could probably arrange a meeting online before you arrive.

    You can already download the correct documents for POA and have these completed before you arrive ready for her to sign and you to send off for registration.

    You cannot do anything about the actual sale or access to her bank account until you have POA so slow down and give it some thought. She may be doing better in the home than you think.
     
  4. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    Thanks for your replies.

    I'm not in any way having a go at those involved. It was just that a move on Xmas Eve seemed not entirely wise. The care home she was moved to seemed to be (understandably) short staffed on that day (it took over an hour for my calls to be answered) and I can only imagine it was a more hectic place than normal at Xmas.

    My mother is still unhappy - she cries when on the phone to me and says she wants to kill herself. Meanwhile, those involved in her care are telling me that when THEY talk to her she says she's happy there! I'm thinking she's telling them what she thinks they want to hear.

    Anyway, off to the UK tomorrow to assess/deal with things first hand. Meetings arranged with all involved.

    Mum has to self-fund apparently. There seems to be a 12 week "grace" period on care home fees but I've been told that my mother's home plus its contents will then be sold at auction. I'm unable to find out how much the care home fees are from their website. Is this sort of info not made publicly available in the UK? Here, where I live, all care home fees are published on the internet under a Fair Deal scheme for transparency/comparative purposes.

    Thanks again.
     

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