1. NeilJR

    NeilJR Registered User

    Jul 6, 2005
    Holt in Norfolk
    Dear All

    I have just joined the forum and have found some very useful information on here from fellow members.
    I was wondering whether anyone could give me some impartial advice please...to cut a long story short my Mother and myself look after my Grandmother who has vascular Dementia and at present is still living on her own,the situation has been like this for two years now.We do get some help from Social Services who give us 3 visits a day-a 20 min slot to get breakfast and to give medication and another 20 mins at lunchtime and then a 5 min visit at around 6pm to give more medication.We also had some input from The Community Nurses.
    Although we are lucky to get this help I feel totally let down in one respect in as much as I'm finding SO many loopholes in the system and there is no one working in conjunction with one another ie SS pass the buck to The Community Nurses who then pass it back to SS and there we are in the middle.Are we just unlucky or is it like this for lots of us as carers for people with dementia.
    Basically what each of them are saying is unless my Grandmother says 'Yes' when she is asked whether she would like extra help ie a care home or respite care then they cant do anymore to help us.the dementia can be so bad at times that she can only say either YES or NO to anything we say to her! We feel helpless and it seems that no one out there in the SS or Community Care wants to really help.Are we just unlucky?
    Thank you all for listening!
    Best Wishes to you all
    Neil Randell
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Dear Neil, welcome to TP. Sorry to read of your situation. No answers, but does your grandmother have a Social worker or C.P.N. They can often help to bridge the gap. If not, maybe you could speak to her doctor about this.

    Do post whenever you can. I am sure you will get lots of good advice soon. Regards, Connie
  3. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Neil,

    Welcome to TP.

    If you haven't done so, then you need to speak to your grandmother's GP and ask for a referral to a Consultant Psychiatrist and the CPN in your area. They will be able to help you with care assessments and allowances from Social Services.

    Also check out your local branch of the Altzheimer's Society. Crossroads will be able to assist with extra care but may put you on a waiting list to begin with.

    AD sufferers are also exempt from Council Tax, so you need to ensure that grandmother isn't paying this any longer. You can apply for a refund from the date of diagnosis of AD from the GP.

    Dealing with AD is a veritable minefield of loopholes and passing the buck unfortunately. It sounds like you are doing pretty well, but do check out all the avenues and keep on ASKING until you are satisfied.

    Good luck.

  4. katieberesford

    katieberesford Registered User

    May 5, 2005
    south wales

    Strange you should mention about the exemption from Council Tax!!

    When hubby was diagnosed a few years ago I filled out a whole bookful of forms and sent them off to our local Council office. Of course they sent me a letter asking me to attend with our Passports and this and that, only to be sent yet another letter saying I earned too much!!! Who ever earns too much. Anyway I thought oh well I tried.

    Yesterday a Social Worker phoned me back as I had enquired about a rather good (heard on the grapevine) Day Centre which hopefully David will be able to attend/be put on waiting list for, and he filled me in with such a lot of info, (in only five minutes too) one thing being about exemption from Council Tax.

    Apparently, you get the form sent to you from your local council office and they send you a form called "Severe Mental Impairment" which you fill in and get signed by your GP.

    This in turn entitles you to a 25% reduction in your Council Tax, hopefully back dated! Obviously a good social worker is the answer to our prayers.

    Hope everyone doesn't mind me butting in!

  5. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Katie,

    Butt in all you like - that's what TP is about. The more information and 'wins' we have the better.

    Local Councils seem to be rather reticent about mentioning reductions or waivers on Council Tax. Our LC certainly didn't mention it at all and my parents paid 4 years of Council Tax before I realised that it wasn't necessary.

    Good luck with the Day Care arrangements.

    Best wishes,

  6. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    Can anyone tell me if Vascular dementia also qualifies for reduced council tax?

    I've been all round the houses trying to find out what my husband is entitled to, and who to nag. After a long time where different individuals asked, in amazement 'don't you get any help?' (this included my GP, and a friend who is a health professional), I finally established that the Community Psychiatric Nurse is the first port of call to ask what is available, and how to get it. We had endless carryings on before getting attendance allowance, and then suddenly found we were entitled to daily visits from a care agency if I am away, and not one but two 'befrienders' who now come and chat for an hour or so, which means he is getting some outside stimulation, and talking to someone other than ratty old me.

    There are also various carers' groups, which I investigated but as they seem to do things like going to the pantomime, and making their own Christmas cards, don't think they are quite the intellectual stimulation I would prefer.

    Seems you have to keep asking questions, without becoming so annoying that you put the backs up of the professionals.
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hello Rosalind

    I can't think of a reason why Council Tax exemption would differ with different types of dementia - perhaps you should call the Alzheimer's Society Help Line as I'm sure they will be able to advise you.
  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    P.S. don't worry about putting up the backs of the professionals. A goodly number don't seem to put their backs into their jobs, so perhaps we can exercise them a bit? ;)
  9. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    I'm not sure if this is true of all councils, but the following applies in my area:

    Council Tax Discount of 25% applies if only one adult occupies the property (certain people can be 'disregarded' if they are severely mentally impaired as Katie explained).

    Council Tax Benefit can be received if you are on income support, or low income (really low Katie ;) )

    Council Tax Exemption seems only to apply if the property is uninhabitable, only occupied by students or unoccupied and unfurnished.

    The Department for Work and Pensions web site says this (I think) in a longer-winded way.


    They're certainly not giving much away!
  10. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    Hello. We read on one of the fact sheets from the AS about Council Tax Exemptions, and made enquiries at the Council. They sent a form for the Consultant to sign, to certify Mum had severe mental impairment, which was duly signed, and Mum is now exempt from all Council Tax. Hope this helps.
  11. carol

    carol Registered User

    Jun 24, 2004
    council tax

    My mother in law has alzheimers, and my 85 yr. old father in law cares for her at home at the moment. They received a 25% discount on their council tax due to mum in laws alzheimers. We had to fill in forms and the consultant had to sign one.

    Best wishes, Carol
  12. Hope you don't mind me chipping in here Brucie, but I want to say that's a valid statement.

    (I'm a Student Nurse, by the way for those who don't know me)

    You may have read before when I've said "I want to make a difference" and I do - it's posts like this one than really highlight important issues - I'll certainly remember the info. re: council tax and will do what I can for clients/people with AD to let them know about this in the future.

    Sorry for interrupting - just wanted to give you the views of a 'future professional'


    P.S. Jude - may I ask did your parents get a rebate on the money they had paid in for the 4 years?
  13. suem

    suem Registered User

    Jul 1, 2005

    Rosalind. Check your local council web site for a caluclator on council tax.It does depend on your finances.If you have adapted the house for a disabled person you will certainly get it. Do you get carer's allowance?.Check out their site www.dwp.gov.uk.
    Also look into pension credit.If you are in receipt of a disability benefit you can earn and have savings of a reasonable amount and still qualify.The disability benefit and carer's allowance gives you extra "points" to qualify. Helpful calculator on www.angus.gov/pensioncalc. There are no doubt other council web sites with the calculator but I know this one works in our circumstances.

    I have sent you a private message
  14. sequoia

    sequoia Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    Council Tax exemption/Difficulties with services

    My mum had vascular dementia: services were mixed with the odd time a boot needed to be applied. Crossroads Care were excellent, providing good care and support with daytime respite. What is good is that social services are insisting your mum be asked. My aunt has just been diagnosed and her life is being taken over with no-one asking her what she wants; so asking is good but if the services fail, don't feel afraid to apply pressure where needed. It can all be exasperating, just what isn't needed.

    Council tax exemtipn is for the "severely impaired" (demetia) but only for the person concerned. If they live with someone else, perhaps there would only be a disregard, so 25% discount.

    Best wishes
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi Neil,

    Welcome to Talking Point.

    From what I've read, this can be a very grey area and you know that public officials are terrified of grey areas!

    I'm sure others have had more experience in this area, but the general idea is that if the person with dementia willingly goes into some type of care, such as respite, even if their relatives have to cajole and coax to get them there, then this is acceptable. The problems arise when the person with dementia then decides the next day that they would like to go home. How can it be that the person can enter care of their own accord, yet not discharge themselves? The person in this case would not be discharged and could be said to be "informally detained".

    The only way to have someone admitted to hospital for assessment against their will is to have them sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Most people have an instinctive reaction to that option, but when someone is really in a deperate situation and can not give consent, it can be a lifeline to get them to a place of safety where they can be properly assessed. The Alzheimer's Society has a fact sheet on this which is located here:


    I think that there has been new Mental Health legislation recently which may affect some of the finer points of current practice.

    Take care and keep posting,

  16. blacklabchav

    blacklabchav Registered User

    Jul 12, 2005
    Sudbury Suffolk

    Hi Neil,
    I am a new boy to the site and have not yet reached the stage where my wife may or may not need additional help/care.
    My suggestion to your problem would be to use "Power of Attorney" to TELL the SS or community care people what to do and don't take any more of their waffle or "buck passing".
    My own situation has involved the use of my PoA several times to deal with credit cards, bank and building society accounts held solely in my wife's name.
    Initially they were all reluctant to allow me to even speak to them, but on hearing I held PoA, they all hd no problem in dealing with me.
    My opinion is that your problem could be deemed to be "looking after your Gran's affairs" and as such should be covered by the PoA document.
    I hope I am not misleading you and would appreciate any comments others may have to make aout my suggestion.
    Regards Mark (blacklabchav)
  17. Sally

    Sally Registered User

    Mar 16, 2004
    powers the attorney has

    Hi Neil (and Mark),

    Unfortunately your experience, Neil, isn't so uncommon, however, there may be ways of addressing it. Using an enduring power of attorney will not really help because the attorney is only authorised to deal with money and finances, not health and welfare decisions.
    Ultimately, responsibility lies with the social workers to ensure that your grandmother's needs are met, so if some part of the care package is failing it needs to be addressed by them. You could either suggest that your grandmother needs a reassessment of her care needs at which you and your mother could air your views; or you could make a complaint to social services about the way your grandmother is being treated. By law, local authorities have a duty of care to vulnerable adults who live in their borough, if they are failing to provide care adequately you could argue that they are failing in that duty of care.

    Best wishes,

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