Six week assessment in Scotland? Any ideas?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Lin09, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Lin09

    Lin09 Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    7
    West Midlands
    Hi there,

    A few years ago this forum was a lifeline when my great aunt had dementia. Sadly her sister has just been diagnosed as having a mix of Alzheimers/vascular dementia and as a family we are trying to do our best for her.
    She lives in Scotland (Fife area) and the council have sent in a team to assess her for 5 days a week for 6 weeks. I just wondered if anyone else had experienced this and if so, will they advise at the end of this what help can be offered or whether we need to think about a care home?
    My aunt lives on her own and her nearest relative (my mum) is a 3 hour journey away. My mum is run ragged trying to visit my aunt every week or so and the strain is beginning to show.
    I live in the West Midlands so trying to find out what information I can as my mum is finding it difficult to keep going.
    Any thoughts on what we should be asking/finding out would be much appreciated. We are coming round to the realisation that a care home may be the next step. Would the assessment from the council recommend that if they felt she wasn't coping?
    Many thanks
     
  2. Amber 5

    Amber 5 Registered User

    Jan 20, 2009
    890
    Berkshire
    Hi,
    I'm probably not at all the best person to send a reply - but I am amazed at the 5 days/week for 6 weeks assessment! We have seen a social worker about 4 times in the last 6 months for mum!! We did have meals on wheels for a week (until mum turned them away) and have had carers twice a day just to put out mum's tablets though. We didn't have any hint of an OT or Day Centre at all.

    I imagine that the team will either suggest a care package in the home to help, or if they think a care home necessary. Sounds like something needs to change to help her and the family. This sounds like a very thorough assessment process though. Hope it works out well for you. Let us know how it goes.
    Best Wishes, Gill x
     
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Goodness, I've never heard of that either!

    Usually you get OTs coming in for a couple of hours to see if the person can make a cup of tea, and check for accessibility and safety.

    I know Fife is in the forefront for dementia care in Scotland(with D&G), but that sounds OTT.

    I imagine it's to assess whether a care package will be adequate, ot if a care home will be necessary.

    I think you should try to talk to them, and tell them how much strain your mum is under. Has she had a carers assessment? If not, she should ask for one, just to make the point that she can't cope. If she's already had one, she could ask for a review.

    It must be very worrying for you, being so far away, and it does sound as if a care home would be the best solution. But you may have to exert some pressure.

    Please let us know how it goes. And any other info about the assessment wouldbe helpful for me.
     
  4. Lin09

    Lin09 Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    7
    West Midlands
    Thanks

    Yes, we were very surprised about the thoroughness of the assessment but the situation does seem to be changing daily.
    This morning my mum has had a call from my aunt's neighbour to say she is in a bad way so my mum is on her way now.
    Her doctor is due to visit later on today but has apparently told my mum if she was you or I she would be very seriously ill (we managed to get her for an x ray earlier this week because she is not eating much and the result showing a lot of scarring on her lungs).
    Usual frustrations though - the doctor can't get her into a local hospital even though by the sounds of it she really needs to be in one just to stablise her condition.
    Anyway, will keep you posted - my sister, my mum and I are all thinking care home to be honest but we know it's not what my aunt would want as she was (until 6 months ago) very independent.
    Many thanks for your help an thoughts.
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Let us know please, Lin. It does sound as if your great-aunt needs to be in hospital. It must be very worrying for you.

    Love,
     
  6. Lin09

    Lin09 Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    7
    West Midlands
    She is on her way into hospital now after the doctor came and said he wasn't happy with her condition so it's a bit of wait and see. However I think the one positive thing it has shown is that we can't go on like this and we will take on board what has been said about pushing for the care we feel she needs.

    I am so glad this forum is here - it really does help.

    Thanks
     
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Oh, I'm glad she's in hospital, Lin, that will be less worrying for you and your mum.

    Make sure they don't discharge her without doing a multi-disciplinary assessment -- and make sure your mum is there to give her point of view.

    Love,
     
  8. Lin09

    Lin09 Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    7
    West Midlands
    Update

    Have decided to go up to Scotland to be with my mum for the next few days and try to help in practical ways - just feels like the right thing to do.

    In the meantime my sister is going to try and get a proper chat with social services to make them aware of the situation and that regardless of the hospital test outcome we need the care situation at home sorted out asap.

    As my sister says, it's trying to at least be pro-active where we can rather than just sitting waiting for things to happen.

    Reading the messages on this board helps clarify things and gives strength to keep going.

    Take care everyone
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Good for you, Lin. You really do need to have face to face meetings if anyone is going to take you seriously. Otherwise they listen and ignore. They may listen and ignore anyway -- but you've more chance of being heard if you're there.

    If you can, try to get a multi-disciplinary meeting set up in the hospital. That way, you can get your views put across formally.

    All the best,
     
  10. Lin09

    Lin09 Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    7
    West Midlands
    Another update on my aunt

    My aunt is doing OK in hospital. She has an inflammation in her stomach and various other physical issues but all of them relatively minor. She was remarkably cheerful considering she asks all the time when she can get out.

    What has become apparent is that a care home is looking increasingly likely. In hospital an OT took her to the toilet and she tried to use an orange bucket in the corner of the room, rather than the loo. I realise hospital can make things more confusing but the OT said she realised my aunt can appear quite plausible until you dig a little deeper and realise there are a lot of issues. That made us realise we are only getting glimpses of what is going on and I feel more strongly than ever that it will be very difficult for her to stay in her own home for much longer.

    I took my mum to visit three care homes and we agreed to put my aunt's name on the waiting list for two of them. It was a difficult few days as my mum isn't quite in the place where she can accept a care home is inevitable. So many tears and feelings of guilt about betraying my aunt. I felt bad leaving my mum today as she is very upset but I did feel that at least we had a few days of being reasonably focused rather than generally ranting about the unfairness of it all.

    For those interested in the six week assessment process in Fife, I saw a leaflet and basically they do come in for six weeks to cover all the bases and generally assess skills. Then at the end they offer a meeting to discuss the way forward and a carer's assessment if required (I am encouraging my mum to request a carer's assessment).

    So far communication with the social work team has been good and they did call today to be updated on my aunt's condition. I think we just need to keep pushing and see how far we get.
     
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Well done, Lin, it sounds as if you have achieved a lot during your stay.

    I'm glad your aunt is not too seriously ill. Are you thinking of having her transferred directly to a care home when she is discharged? That is often the easiest way to do it, as it can be decriv=bed as 'convalescence', until she is a bit stronger.

    I'm very impressed with this. They certainly don't do that here!

    All the best,
     
  12. Lin09

    Lin09 Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    7
    West Midlands
    Ideally, we would like her moved to a home from the hospital which we not only liked but also had a room available but we are not sure if social services will agree. However we will just keep going and see if we can persuade them it would be better than months of trying things we are fairly certain won't work.
     
  13. AnnS

    AnnS Registered User

    Apr 26, 2008
    15
    South
    Insist on assessments

    Hi Lin,
    It sounds as though you are all having a bit of a tough time but making progress. I've battled through the Scottish system (Glasgow area - not in Fife) to get mum into a care home. My own experience was that the Community Mental Health Team (to whom mum was referred by the GP) assessed her in one off appointments to gauge the progression of her Alzheimers. They sent a CPN to visit her at home over a number of weeks to determine how she was managing (but not every day). The social worker basically did a risk assessment to determine how mum was coping at home. When mum had a fall and ended up in hospital I found out that she should not have been released until the social work dept had undertaken an assessment to determine if the individual is capable of looking after themselves. I would pursue this avenue as it forces the issue. The care homes normally come out and assess potential residents to determine if they can provide the care they require. Again I would pursue this because if you have all the assessments in place thats half the battle. I ended up listing all the risks that my mum was going to be subjected to if she stayed at home. I had a meeting with the social worker and the CPN and emphasised that they could not mitigate these risks and hence why a care home was the best solution. This eventually sorted things out. I too didn't want to put my mum into a home but I knew I lived too far away (400 miles) and she needed daily care. You are doing all the right things. I found it wasn't until I took the lead and insisted on things that I got mum into a fantastic home. Good Luck:)

    Ann
     

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