Social services refuse to admit senile relative to a home, family driven to despair.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Steve660, May 19, 2015.

  1. Steve660

    Steve660 Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    5
    Here are the basic facts. My uncle (91), aunt (72) and widowed mother (85) live together in one house in which they all own a share. The house is their only asset of note, they have few savings. Uncle is senile – can remember what he did in the war, but not 20 minutes ago. Is doubly incontinent but refuses to wear appropriate underwear, “Women’s pants” he calls it, and gets stroppy, even threatening, if attempts are made to make him wear it. He occasionally wanders at night, and twice this year emergency services had to be called because of incidents at home involving him (he got stuck in the bath, another time he fell). A carer comes in every morning to wash and dress him. He has no memory of this. Day care was arranged for one day a week, but persuading him to go proved too difficult and stressful for all concerned, so it stopped. He did not remember it upon his return, and the rigmarole of trying to persuade him to go repeated each time. Mother’s health is suffering, and aunt has eyesight and mobility problems. Mother is being driven to despair, aunt to the bottle. GP, the daily carers, and a paramedic (who had specialised in geriatric care) who attended the last call out, all agree uncle should be in a home. There are spaces available but the social services stubbornly refuse to even consider it. They say he does not meet the criteria and their answer to everything is just to send in more carers. Aside from the fact that mother and aunt don’t want an army of strangers trooping through the house, it is not the answer. In their desperation they have even considered moving to Scotland in the hope of availing themselves of free care there (I don’t know if this would work). Now they are thinking of re-mortgaging the house to pay for uncle going into a home. But this would only compromise their own future should they need the funds. Both have been battling social services for months, and are at their wits’ end. I live too far away to be much use. Advice please!
     
  2. jan.s

    jan.s Registered User

    Sep 20, 2011
    7,346
    If it were me, I would contact SS and talk to them about the case, and find out the reason they are acting in this way. I don't know whether aunt and mum help with the care, if so, ask for a carers assessment for them.

    If uncle refuses to wear the appropriate pads, it could easily be a hygiene issue for the two ladies, and at their age it's not fair for them to live in this way.

    It may also be worth talking to the GP and asking for a recommendation to Social Services.
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,489
    Female
    London
    They might need an advocate to speak for them who has knowledge of the system - I would contact the Carers Centre and/or Alzheimer's Society.
     
  4. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    806
    North East
    I'm with Beate. They need someone who is experienced in this sort of thing to help them get what they need and deserve. Please encourage them to get as much help like this as possible.
     
  5. Steve660

    Steve660 Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    5
    Thanks, but they've tried all this. Social services simply ignore the GP's recommendation, insisting my uncle does not meet the criteria. A legal advisor said they would have little chance in the courts, the most they could expect is a reappraisal which would probably just come back to the same conclusion. They have had repeated meetings with social services only to be fobbed off with the same answer each time - he does not meet the criteria, he will not get into a home. Their answer to everything is just to send in more helpers. Recently they came to the house and spoke to my uncle, whilst locking his sisters out. My aunt overheard them ask if he wanted to go into a home, and he said, "No". They have now concluded that he is capable of making his own decisions (he is not - GP agrees) and that a home is not in his best interest. So now mum & aunt are being met with two excuses. "Does not met the criteria" and now "Not in his interest". The GP is sending a psychiatrist (the second) for another opinion which, we expect, will confirm that uncle cannot make his own decisions. But, if social services are true to form they will just ignore this anyway. They are hell-bent on keeping him out of a home even if it destroys the health of his sisters.
     
  6. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    806
    North East
    Have you gone to your local MP? They often can pressure people and if this doesn't work try the papers both local and national
     
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,489
    Female
    London
    Looks like only drastic measures might help now, like leaving uncle in an A&E department without his house keys. I've heard people threaten to do this - not sure they had to follow it through but fact of the matter is that no person can be forced to look after another - the state is the one with duty of care. They just bank on the fact that most relatives aren't as callous as social services and can be emotionally blackmailed.
    For their own sanity, they have to fight this.
     
  8. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,556
    Female
    Scotland
    It all sounds awful and very stressful for the two ladies. I can tell you that the proposed move to Scotland would achieve nothing as funds for care homes are just as scarce here. I think in England you imagine a profligacy up here which doesn't exist. I do believe that people here are caring and do their best but believe me much of the issues involving finance are the same here.
     
  9. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,161
    Is there any way the house could be divided up so he's in an annexe and they shut their doors and refuse to have anything to do with his care, including crises? It will only take one and SS will have to act.
     
  10. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    #10 Jessbow, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
    if they are only having one care visit a day I honestly think they need to try more.

    Its all very well to say they don't want people trooping through the house, but if that's what will improve things, it might have to be.

    Seeminly they would have the additional help in if it was free if they moved to Scotland...is that the issue..paying for it?
     
  11. Pegsdaughter

    Pegsdaughter Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    129
    London
    Is it possible for the two ladies to go away for a few days, inform social worker and see what happens to his care while they are away?


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  12. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    901
    Northern Ireland
    I was in a not totally similar suitation a few years ago with my mother. Social Services were inisiting she was ok to live on her own. I pointed out the only reason this was possible because of the my intenstive imput. We went round and round in circles. Eventually with my own health failing I was forced to tell Social Services I was leaving mum to her own devices. Within a couple of days she was in an EMI unit. There is a much bigger story but in essence the only way to get Social Services to act is to call their bluff. Its not nice but it does work. I would advise that your mum and aunt take themselves off on holiday for 2 weeks. Inform Social Services in writing (register the letter) telling your uncle will be on his own for this time. I imagine your uncle will be admitted initially to a hospital while his needs are assessed and then if the sisters refuse to take him home a placement is the only option.
     
  13. Moonflower

    Moonflower Registered User

    Mar 28, 2012
    775
    I totally agree with what Isabella has said. Social Services will not provide care unless they have to - these two ladies are doing it at no cost to SS at the moment

    Put in writing that this gentleman's sisters can no longer provide any care as their own health is suffering. Email and post a registered letter. Make it very clear that responsibility for his wellbeing rests with SS.
    Then take the ladies away for a couple of weeks and see what happens.
     
  14. Steve660

    Steve660 Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    5
    Thanks for the various suggestions. I have long thought my mum and aunt need to make more of a fuss, but they won’t. They are two old ladies intimidated by authority, and will not pick a fight. I have been trying to persuade them to approach their local counsellor or MP, but they just say, “He won’t be able to do anything”. They are also afraid to annoy social services in case it makes them worse (as if they are not bad enough already). Mum is of the opinion that social services can “Take over” and dictate terms to her, and she and her sister will then have no say whatsoever in their brother’s care. As for going away for a holiday, they did this last summer and respite care was swiftly arranged. But uncle was returned to them as soon as they got back home. Whilst in respite care he did not even know he was in care, but thought they’d moved house. They want to go away again for a much needed break, but it only means temporary respite care, not a permanent move into a home, which is what is needed.
     
  15. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    901
    Northern Ireland
    Steve. If your uncle is placed into respite care I am presuming your aunt and mum need to bring him there and pick him up. If they were to leave him there and then not return to pick him up then Social Services would have to step in and make alternative arrangments. This proved to be the case with a gentleman who is a resident in mum's care home. The family were at the end of their tether and no one would listen to them. Family after all are free care to the local authority. The family left this man in on the premise of 2 weeks respite. When the time came to collect him the family made themselves unavailable. The Social worker went to the house and asked why they were not picking the man up. She was told "we are no longer able to care for him". That was all it took and the gentleman is now a permanent resident in the care home and his family do visit all the time. Its sad the measures we have to take to ensure appropriate care is found for out loved ones. Sometimes the beligerant stubborn approach does pay dividends.
     
  16. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,489
    Female
    London
    I agree. As long as he doesn't have his house keys on him and you make it clear you're not going to open the door, there's nothing they can do. They know full well that duty of care lies with them but they try to emotionally blackmail people into caring when they can't. I would however not spring it on them on the last day. Make it clear from day one of respite that he is not allowed back. Ad I said, I've also heard of people taking the A&E route.
     
  17. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    I agree that respite + refusing to have him back is probably the way to go. BUT if they are the sort of people who are likely to be easily persuaded/bullied/intimidated, or are nervous of disobeying anyone in authority, then they will need someone tougher to speak for them and act as a 'barrier'.
    Taking them to stay somewhere else for a while might be necessary, in case anyone should try just bringing him home.
     
  18. Steve660

    Steve660 Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    5
    Thanks again. I've had others suggest the blunt approach of simply not opening the door when he returns from respite (previously social services took him away and brought him back by taxi). But I just can't see mum having the gall to do it. Will suggest it anyway.
     
  19. Karjo

    Karjo Registered User

    Jan 11, 2012
    481
    it takes a bit of reading at 500 and more pages ( guidance to care act, there are links on here somewhere) but I thought one of the reasons for the new care act 2015 was to stop all this stress on carers or what was the point? They really need a carers assessment so if you can take a look at those sections. Maybe they could be taken to the day centres and have a bit of respite care funded by SS or your uncle while he fends for himself at home. Maybe uncle or SS can fund for a cleaner to come to the house to clear up the mess made by him? Or maybe they could sell their house, give uncle his share and just the two of them move into something smaller. Then uncle can self fund himself in a home with the proceeds.
    You also need to be very careful or you will find yourself trying to care for all three of them, particularly your aunt if she is hitting the bottle to cope, as the elderly cannot take alcohol like they maybe used to.
    I suppose your poor Mum and aunt have become paralysed by fear, and fear of what the authorities will do if they push too hard. Its such a shame that so many of our elderly are suffering this way.
     
  20. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    806
    North East
    Could they put him into respite for 1 week yet go away for 2 leaving you to sort out him not coming home? Would that work or would social services just pop back a week later and try again to persuade them.
     

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