Social Worker Assessment?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by sue38, May 28, 2007.

  1. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    I have thought long and hard before posting this as I have very mixed feelings. On Thursday my Dad had the long awaited visit from the Social Worker which my Mum arranged without reference to me or my one sister who is local (I have another sister who lives abroad). As a result neither I nor my sister could be present. I was not too concerned as I naively thought that the SW would be experienced in dealing with this type of situation and would be able to offer the appropriate guidance.

    My Mum then came to tell us the outcome of the meeting. The SW who was, in my Mum’s opinion, in his 50’s and impressed her by wearing a suit (my Mum is a solicitor and has 50+ years’ experience of people wearing suits), said he didn’t know why he was there!!! In his opinion there was nothing wrong with my Dad and he would close his file. My Mum was ecstatic with this news. She seemed to have conveniently forgotten that on Saturday (just 5 days earlier) she had rung my sister to ask her to take my Dad to the local hospital to be ’sedated’ and that on Monday she had rung me to come as she had had to lock my Dad in the house. Did she mention this to the SW? No.

    I’m sorry to say I lost it with her. (My sister thought I was actually going to use the ‘F’ word to my Mum, but I managed to paraphrase). My only excuse is that I have had a stressful week work-wise as well as AD-wise.

    Whilst I totally understand my Mum’s difficulty in accepting the whole situation, I cannot believe she is throwing away support when it is being offered to her. Nor can I quite believe that the SW was closing his file for an easy life. My Mum told him that we were totally managing the situation as a family. Again I understand her embarrassment at admitting the problem to outsiders. And yet I am still mad.

    I will ALWAYS be there for my Dad and my Mum, but I feel totally out of my depth with AD. I am particularly concerned that the door to support has been firmly closed, with no chance of it being opened up.

    What questions should we be asking of the SW? He said that day centres are inappropriate for my Dad as the people there are ‘ga-ga’. OK, maybe he isn’t ready for that yet, but what about support from a CPN? Can this be arranged by the GP?

    Last week I waited 3 hours at the Memory Clinic to speak to the manager after we turned up with my Dad to be told his appointment had been cancelled. He promised faithfully after I caused a bit of a stink, that my Dad would be contacted by SS this week. As good as his word they did turn up but to what purpose? I have his direct dial number, but what should I be asking him?

    What other support is there for him and my Mum? I have read here of the importance of a SS assessment, but fear that this assessment is ‘no support required’.

    I am trying to calm down and formulate my thoughts before I ring, and any advice would be much appreciated.

    Sue
     
  2. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Sue

    What a nightmare. I wouldn't worry too much about the SW saying he has closed the case, it can be re opened just a quick.

    Personally I would approach dad's GP. In the first instance I would ask for an appointment for yourself. Go along armed with as much information as you can, write it down, talk through it with the doctor, and leave him/her with a copy for dad's medical notes.

    Request a referral to a Consultant Geriatrician for a full mental assessment. Once this is done, the Consulant can if required refer to the CPN team, usually attached to the Consultant Geriatrician, in some areas also they have their own Social Work Team.

    Ask the GP for the name of the Consultant he will be referring dad to. Give it a week and phone the Consultant's secretary to see how long Waiting List is. I would also send in a copy of the notes you left with the GP. Keep phoning until you have an appointment for dad. If you think that it might be difficult for mum/dad to get to the appointment, ask if you can have a copy sent to you as well as your parents. Explain that mum may just call to cancel the appointment, ask them to contact you should this happen.

    I am sure once this appointment takes place, and things are explained to mum fully you may find she is more willing to accept outside help.

    Cate
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,648
    Kent
    Hi Sue,

    My husband is not yet ready to accept a Social Worker into the house as he feels we are managing very well thank you, so I understand your mother might just have done this either to protect your father, or because he was having a particularly good day, the day the SW called.

    I had a SW phone me at home, at my request. She said there is no way I can arrange a contingency plan with them, the facilities are not in place for that area of care. All she could do was give me an emergency number for the County Duty Service and the name of the Duty SW. So this is all I have in place.

    We did have a visit from a CPN, initially, but that was a disaster, as she was far too familiar too early, and my husband built his impenetrable brick wall.

    All you can do is phone SS yourself, explain the situation and tell them you would like a further visit when you can arrange to be present, if your mother agrees.

    Someone with more experience of SS, may have better and more helpful suggestions.
     
  4. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Thanks Cate,

    Perhaps I should have explained that we have seen the Consultant twice. He has diagnosed mixed dementia after an MMSE score of 14, brain scans and so forth, and he has pushed for this extra support.

    But perhaps I should speak to the Consultant first. Thankyou.

    Sue
     
  5. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Thanks Sylvia,

    I know we are approaching the same problem from different angles. Despite my feelings of frustration with my Mum, I understand that as the main carer she should call the shots and I don't want to undermine her position, but can't help feeling that she is throwing away help with both hands.

    Thank you for the suggestion of getting the details for the duty SW.

    Sue
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Sue

    I can understand your feeling mad. I can also to an extent understand your mum wanting to handle things on her own. I happily accept support from John's sons, but have never invited them to be present at an assessment. (Perhaps I should? I've never even considered it.)

    What I can't understand is the attitude of the SW. Are you sure that your mum is telling you the full story? (Sorry if that's offensive, but we can all be defensive!)

    It seems very strange that she should arrange an assessment and then tell the SW that nothing was wrong. Even stranger that the SW should accept it, given your dad's diagnosis. I also doubt that he would say all the people in day centres are ga ga!

    I'm afraid that at this stage your mum's best hope is a carer's assessment, but if she denies that she needs help, there's little you can do about that.

    I certainly think you should ring the SW in the morning and find out just what was said. Unfortunately, your mum is primary carer, and you will have to persuade her that she needs more support than you or your sister are able to give her, given your professional commitments.

    There is help out there, but your mum has to be prepared to accept it.

    Sorry, I'm not much help, am I? Does your mum perhaps regard accepting help from SS as a bit degrading? You have to convince her that it's not charity, any more than going to the doctor's is. She certainly won't be able to manage your dad on her own for long.

    (We mums can be so stubborn, can't we?)

    Much sympathy, and love,
     
  7. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Sue

    Yes in that case, I would have a chat to the Consultant, maybe he could then see mum on her own to put her mind at rest, that nobody is going to 'take over' dad, that its just extra back up for them both. It may also be useful if you could ask the Consultant to write to the SW and explain the situation.

    Also Sylvia is right, the phone number of the On Call Service for both you and your mum will be useful should a crisis happen out of hours, but lets hope you dont have to use it.

    I can see where you are coming from, been there, got the T shirt and all that, you are clearly doing your best, but all you can do for now is ensure that all who should know the situation is up to date, and hope when you need them the 'system' kicks into place.

    Best wishes

    Cate
     
  8. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Hazel,

    No, she seems to have developed a selective memory.

    If he did I consider this unprofessional and downright offensive.

    I think this may be at the root of the problem.

    I will speak to SS and to the Consultant about a carer's assessment, but think we may have to wait until my Mum feels ready to accept outside help. Her faith in me and my sisters is touching, but we can only do what we can. We are not professionals when it comes to dementia.

    Sue
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    We're none of us professionals, Sue, at best we muddle through!:eek:

    You're right about having to wait until your mum is ready, but it doesn't do any ahrm to let SW know that you're an interested party -- very interested!
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    Dear Sue

    Firstly I'm sorry that the social worker visit was such a bust from your point of view. The unfortunate reality is if the potential service users (i.e. your mother and father) refuse to avail themselves of any services there's not a lot that can be done. If your area is anything like my mothers, your mother should be getting in the mail an overview of everything that was discussed, which she will be asked to sign and return. You might want to try and have a look at that - it might give a better idea of what went on. Having said that, their refusal of help doesn't mean the door is closed for ever: it can be forced open at any time.

    However, again going by my own experience, I'm not sure what your LA would have to offer your parents. A CPN possibly, and anything that comes under health care (such as incontinence), but as self-funders (I assume) service in many areas consist of offering a list of private agencies who could provide domicilliary care for a fee, at which point you're left to arrange it yourself. I don't think it's supposed to work like this, but the 2 LA's I've had contact with let it work like this: self-funders are left to cope on their own.

    Because of the above, and the possible resistance of your mother to accepting help from social services (which as I said, might not have been forthcoming even if she had been totally open with social services) have you considered encouraging your mother to employ an aide for a few hours a week who could take some of the pressure off? She might feel more comfortable employing someone as opposed to accepting "help".

    Just an idea, anyway.

    Jennifer
     
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #11 Margarita, May 29, 2007
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
    Re: hello

    Yes it does seem that its your mother that's relaxant to except any help

    Maybe your mother has that mental attitude about people in AZ day-center, so does not want to send your father they , if you could convince your mother to just have a look around an AZ day-center , just maybe able to get out that mental imagine she has in her minds eyes of the olden days in how they use to be with mental illness.

    Don't think SW would of said that nothing wrong with your father .
    bless her your mother may just be in denial as she said that and your mother wants the file close .

    at the end of the day , it may make you feel frustrated , but its her choice

    They is not a lot they can offer beside respite for your father in care home , also respite as in day-center for your father to give your mother some time out any help your mother may need with your father phycail (sp) need as in bathing

    I know with my own parents , how I felt like with them them not excepting any help from outside ,( so frustrating ) when it came to my brother care . that why I suggested talking your mother along to day center to look around .

    Then its you doing the leg work trying to convince your mother other wise,
     

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