To involve Social Services or not - advice please

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Doe, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Doe

    Doe Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007
    55
    London
    Having cared for my husband on my own for 8 years now I have been advised by our Consultant that he is now entering the final stages of the illness. He is having difficulty in swallowing and therefore not eating and drinking a great amount. Although I am still managing on my own I am aware that the time is fast approaching when I will need help with his care (my intention is to keep him at home). My dilemma is that we do not have a social worker as I have avoided involvement with social services (we would be self funding in any case). Any advice on whether I should now be contacting Social Services or should just try to find carers privately. Any thoughts would be very welcome as I am not sure what a social worker would contribute to the situation. I feel a bit lost at the minute.
     
  2. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    I would contact social services - you might be very pleased or glad to have what may be offered but remember you're under no obligation to accept any of it.

    It's surely better to refuse things you are offered but don't, than to never ask in the first place and thus deny yourself what might turn out to be invaluable help and support

    It;s the old adage - if you don't ask, you don't get. You are entitled (in law) to a carers assessment which looks into your own needs and whatever support might help in the caring role

    End-of-life care is as much a matter of "social care" (I hate that phrase) as it is a medical one. The social worker would be able to advise on money matters, benefits, might suggest aids that you're not aware of, counselling, visiting carers, etc

    If nothing else, a social worker is someone who can listen without being emotionally involved, it can really help just to talk to someone who will not judge you - this is pretty much what therapists do
     
  3. Jancis

    Jancis Registered User

    Jun 30, 2010
    2,567
    Hampshire
    Hi Doe,
    The care and support system is there to help everyone who needs it. I think it would be a good idea to call your local authority and ask for social services adult care department and tell them about your husband and his diagnosis asap. I know how you feel about involving social services - they may not sound an appropriate source of help to you but they will be able to point you in the right direction. Whether you can afford to pay privately for extra home care or not, they will be knowledgeable about all the different agencies that operate in your local area and you might as well tap into their experience.

    You have done a marvellous job to have cared for so long without any help.

    Good luck with this. x
     
  4. PODGEO

    PODGEO Registered User

    Jan 18, 2012
    54
    TO involve social services or not

    I think you are heroic, managing on your own. I have always been very reluctant to involve SS , like you, but friend told me that SS would do a carers assesment, and would arrange for me to carry an alert, should I be suddenly taken ill or involved in car accident, so that people would know that my husband is alone.

    I had never considered that situation, and it is very important to me, because we have no other family or friends who would pitch in if I was ill.
     
  5. Doe

    Doe Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007
    55
    London
    Thank you for the advice and the kind words. I rang Social Services today and they asked if I was still managing now to which I replied yes. Their advicewas to wait until later and get in touch with them again then. They said that they would not do an assessment now of what he might need in the future. Doe
     
  6. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    Doe, in my opinion social services have told you here only to get in touch with them when you are not managing, which seems to me ridiculous. I think it would be a good idea to get some help on board so that the time when you feel you can't manage so well is delayed as long as possible. I mean having little breaks or a bit of help should enable you to keep going.

    I would disagree with the others here and say that in my experience Social Services has only helped when crisis point was reached, so go and get the assistance privately if money is no problem. My sister's insistence on my parents getting social services involved meant that my parents had no help for a year because despite being in touch with them and their agreement to provide some help nothing materialised.
     
  7. Jancis

    Jancis Registered User

    Jun 30, 2010
    2,567
    Hampshire
    You know you could well be right. My SIL cannot get SS to help her at present and although I am horrified and in disbelief because her situation is so dire, can only assume it's because they think she has not yet reached crisis point.
     
  8. Doe

    Doe Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007
    55
    London
    Sister Millicent and Jancis thanks for that. I have been talking to a number of agencies and individuals recently (won't name and shame) and there has been a lot of contradictory advice given and no help offered. Yes the feeling I have is that I need to reach crisis point. The end result is that having reached out for some help and nothing been really forthcoming I have decided to carry on as we are for the present. This caring lark is a lonely old world at times. Doe
     
  9. candymostdandy@

    candymostdandy@ Registered User

    May 12, 2006
    81
    west sussex
    Hi Doe

    I've cared for my mother at home since January 2006, my mother is now almost at the end of her journey if not hours but certainly days away. She has not eaten or had fluids for 2 weeks.

    Mum has always been self funding so I have never involved social services. But mum has received NHS continuing care for the past 3 1/2 years at home, this has given me 2 carers 3 times a day. The package also included respite.

    I would suggest you speak to your gp, district nurse. Social Workers don't get involved with this.
     
  10. Pacucho

    Pacucho Registered User

    Dec 20, 2009
    520
    Wembley, Middlesex
    Hi Doe

    I cared for my mother at home for many years on a self-funding basis. However, I got Social Services involved because they were able to organise a hospital bed, hoist, OT and physio involvement, etc. I would strongly advise you seek an assessment for both yourself and your husband.
    Please note if you wait until you are in a critical position they will not move quickly.
    Hope this helps,

    Paco
     
  11. Mother would be self-funding, but through Social Services (to my surprise, I must say!) we get vouchers for respite care (28 nights/year or 28 x 4 hours carers) and we got a commode (through the OT - I went to a shop to buy one and the helpful salesman advised me to contact OT first). But more importantly I feel its good that Mother is "on their radar" for if/when we have a crisis - even though our named social worker has now taken voluntary redundancy.

    I also have "Peaceofmind4carers", a scheme where if I fall under a bus they'll find a card which tells them I'm a carer and they can set in place emergency care as needed - sounds like the alert which someone else mentioned, the names vary from place to place.

    Are you in touch with your local Carers organisation: the list at http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/finding-help-where-you-live should help you find them, and they could advise on what's available locally.

    And the local branch of Alz Soc too: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200121

    Best wishes. Pam
     
  12. DanThe Man

    DanThe Man Registered User

    Nov 16, 2011
    46
    L
    We're self-funded too.
    If you ask SS to assist and they don't you've lost nothing in trying.
    If, as seems to be the case, you're in the very last chapter, I see no harm in getting some SS assistance or at least ask. YOu might well be surprised.
    We're not there ourselves yet and I wish you well.

    Dtm
     
  13. Doe

    Doe Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007
    55
    London
    Hi everyone. Thanks for the advice. I did ring social services but as I am still able to manage they have told me to ring back when I can no longer manage. Doe
     

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