Respite for Mum in Law over Christmas

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by luckymalcolm, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. luckymalcolm

    luckymalcolm Registered User

    Mar 16, 2010
    8
    Grimsby
    Hello,
    I am a carer for my mum in law Joyce and have been for the past 8 years since she became a widow. She is in the middle stages of alzheimers and lives alone. She has carers going in 4 times a day for half hour each time. She lives in a little village and has no friends who live close, apart from one neighbour who is getting very stressed over Joyce who knocks on the door late at night, wanders about in the garden and has had over 14 falls in the last two years. She now gets very confused and not able to look after herself without help.

    Her eldest son lives in Spain and for the past 8 years has left everything to me and not been involved, hardly visiting. He suddenly started taking an interest when I had to pay out more for care and he is worried about the bank account diminishing. IEvery Christmas my mum in law has been with me and my husband but this year have to look after my own mum as she is having an operation on 12th December and possibly may have cancer. Mum gets lots of phone calls from Joyce sometimes upto 40 a day and wont be able to cope with her ringing at Christmas. Joyce relies on me a lot and I help her with shopping, cheering her up and with her health and well being. I feel she needs to go into respite this year as she will enjoy the festivities and the company. At home she would just be mostly on her own, with meals on wheels for her Christmas dinner which I feel would be very sad. Her eldest son does not want her to go into respite as it would cost too much but is not prepared to look after her over Christmas. I have third party authorithy so able to pay for things for her. She is a lovely lady but won't stop talking and the repetition and confusion always stresses the family. Should I go ahead with the respite against her sons wishes? She says she is lonely and often talks about going into care.##

    Please help
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,748
    Female
    London
    Has your MIL lost capacity?
    Has anyone got financial and health LPA?
    Has she ever had a needs assessment by Social Services? If they agreed she needed respite, I don't see how the son could refuse on cost grounds, especially if he's not the carer nor the one with attorney powers.
    You yourself have no duty of care. You could refuse at any time, which would lead to your MIL needing a care home sooner or later. Care homes cost money. Maybe let the son know this! Frankly, her bank account is not his business, unless he is attorney. And even then he would have to act in her best interests. I would say go ahead and arrange the respite.
     
  3. luckymalcolm

    luckymalcolm Registered User

    Mar 16, 2010
    8
    Grimsby
    Thank you so much for your reply. Her son tried to get LPA recently but neither she nor the neighbour would sign it as he is not very well liked. Her son stepped in and changed the carers as he said I was nearly making her bankrupt. I was just trying to get good carers and they were good but expensive. Now back to Soc. Services carers and care is not brilliant. Soc SErvices have done assessment but Son was there and agreed with them that carers going in is enough. Do you know if I can get LPA and not involve him?
     
  4. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    #4 Katrine, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
    Yes! It sounds as if she would really enjoy her holiday. I don't suppose she's had a holiday for a long time. She needs to relax and be pampered. Managing living alone is very stressful, even with people coming in to provide support. Explain this to her absent son as being for his mum's benefit, not yours. If you think she can afford it then it's just as much up to you to decide as it is him. I see that nobody has Power of Attorney. That is trickier, but currently your MIL seems to have capacity to make this respite choice herself.

    The two main issue seem to be:

    1) finding a suitable care home that has a definite vacancy for the time period you want. They will need to do an assessment before they accept her. If you can find such a respite place, get it confirmed in writing and pay them a refundable deposit to ensure they don't let her down at the last moment by offering the place to someone else, e.g. a new permanent resident.

    2) what will you do if she wants to stay, rather than go home after the respite? It would appear that she has the capacity to make that decision for herself, so her son cannot prevent her. What would the financial situation be longer term? If she will be self funding, with a house that can be sold to fund her care, then it's not a problem. If she is likely to require council funding then you would probably find that the LA would deem a 'premature' transfer to residential care as being unnecessary and a deprivation of assets. They would want her to continue living at home until she hit a major crisis.
     
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,748
    Female
    London
    #5 Beate, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
    If your MIL agrees, you can apply to be attorney. He could of course object but he would have to have pretty good reasons to.
    Actually, if she is still capable to agree to LPA, she should also still be capable to agree to respite. Her son can't decide things like that or carers etc over her head if she still has capacity. He sounds like a piece of work to me. Try to get both LPAs ASAP.
     
  6. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,587
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Such a shame when family, and more often that not the absentee ones put money over their family members, health & welfare and best interest. Your poor MIL even with dementia is saying she is lonely and talking about care.

    I'm not from the UK, but I would think an assesment would be best.
    Your BIL is not in the country, he does not have EPOA , so don't even inform him :)
    Respite over Christmas would need to be booked ASAP I imagine.

    Despite my mother still living with Dad, and they lived behind us, Mum was still bored and lonely. This was also with 3 days a week daycare. She had always been quite social, where Dad was the homebody.
    As a result her conversation and language skills were diminishing.
    Mum went into care in July, and the change in her is amazing :)
     
  7. luckymalcolm

    luckymalcolm Registered User

    Mar 16, 2010
    8
    Grimsby
    Hi thanks for your reply. The problem is Joyce only has a 5 to 10 min memory for short term things and the advisor from the memory service say she wouldn't be classed as having capacity. There is a new dementia village that has opened nearby and we have both been round and it is wonderful. They have been to assess her and have plenty of availability for Christmas as it has only been open for 2 months. She owns her own house so that would have to be sold if she wanted to stay, which is fine with me but her son thinks it is his inheritance!! She is still very talkative and with it for part of the day then gets confused moments.
     
  8. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,442
    Kent
    It is incredible how many posts crop up on TP where a child seems to think a parents money or asset is their inheritance while the parent is alive! My dads money from his house sale is his not mine for his use to take care of his needs and care, if it is all spent before he dies so be it I will know as his attorney I have spent well keeping him safe and looked after. Honestly who do these children think they are with such a misplaced and wrong sense of entitlement!
     
  9. luckymalcolm

    luckymalcolm Registered User

    Mar 16, 2010
    8
    Grimsby
    Hi thanks for your reply. The problem is Joyce only has a 5 to 10 min memory for short term things and the advisor from the memory service say she wouldn't be classed as having capacity. There is a new dementia village that has opened nearby and we have both been round and it is wonderful. They have been to assess her and have plenty of availability for Christmas as it has only been open for 2 months. She owns her own house so that would have to be sold if she wanted to stay, which is fine with me but her son thinks it is his inheritance!! She is still very talkative and with it for part of the day then gets confused moments.
     
  10. luckymalcolm

    luckymalcolm Registered User

    Mar 16, 2010
    8
    Grimsby
    I know. He makes me so mad. He is in the UK until January with his wife and instead of renting a place nearby has got one further away and visits about once a week now. He even tried to tell me not to buy her any food as she gets meals on wheels and a sandwich for tea and that is enough. Did not like it when I bought her fruit as said it goes off quickly and she doesnt eat it anyway. I said that doesn't matter she needs the option and I and the carers can give her fruit with her tea. Just can't believe him
     
  11. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,815
    UK
    I so agree and it is so wrong. I know of someone doing as little as possible for her own mother, but enough to keep her safe, clean and fed. Within earshot of many people this daughter as often said that she will not pay for a care home, that's not why her parents saved and saved for, it is her inheritance. and believes it is the responsibility of the government and local council to foot the care bills!
     
  12. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,748
    Female
    London
    Does your MIL understand what an LPA is and does she want you to be attorney? As long as she understands IN THE MOMENT, you should be ok. If not, you could apply for deputyship, though that's more costly and onerous, and the son will probably be a hindrance for both. However, I am not sure that you can sell a house for someone simply by having a third party mandate for their bank account. I think you really need LPA or deputyship for that so try your hardest to get it.
     
  13. Malalie

    Malalie Registered User

    Sep 1, 2016
    306
    Female
    Hi Lucky

    What a horrible situation to find yourself in when you are just trying to do your best for MIL.

    I would certainly go against your MILs eldest sons wishes, especially if MIL has expressed an interest in going into care in the future. You've spent so long looking after her and now your own Mother (who has also done more than can be expected to give phone support to MIL by the sound of it) needs your support.

    What is your OHs position on this?
     
  14. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    #14 Katrine, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
    Mental capacity is not a fixed thing. It can fluctuate, and can be present for some decisions and not others. It doesn't rely on someone retaining a memory. If MIL consistently expresses the same wish or opinion, this should be respected, provided that what she wants is in her best interests. She doesn't have to understand the financial implications of respite, or about moving long-term to the care village. She probably doesn't have capacity for that, which is why someone else needs POA for her. However, she seems to have a clear understanding of the benefits to her of residential care, and consistently and coherently states that she would like this.

    Her son is a little ****. He doesn't have her best interests in mind. I was going to write 'at heart', but he doesn't appear to have one. :mad: Book the Christmas respite. Don't tell him; he will sabotage it. If your OH books it for MIL, as her child, he can tell the CH that only he and you are the contacts. If anyone tries to cancel the booking, the CH should contact OH for clarification. Although CHs are wary of family squabbles, OH could spin it to them that his brother lives overseas, is having trouble understanding how his mum's support needs have changed, and doesn't realise that his mum is looking forward to her respite stay.

    Keep a record of all these interferences and restrictions by BIL so that if you have to object to him applying for POA or deputyship you would have evidence of his unsuitability. You need to get LPAs sorted asap. Without this, if MIL is deemed to lack capacity, you can't spend her money on permanent residential care and you can't make major welfare decisions. And you can't sell her house to fund her care, as has already been mentioned.
     
  15. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,814
    Female
    South coast
    I agree with Beate. So long as she understands about the POA and agrees at the time of signing, it doesnt matter whether she forget 5 mins later. Normally I would say that you can do it yourself by downloading the forms and getting a friend of hers to witness it, but if the son is likely to cause trouble then you might be better off using a solicitor.
    Dont leave as if she is at this stage it wont be long before she really does lose capacity and you will have to apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship.
     

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