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what happens when there is no carer?

3rd generation

Registered User
Jul 7, 2010
8
Germany
Am not sure where to start here but does anyone have any experience of how the system works practically and legally when there is no next of kin left for a dementia sufferer? Someone who I have a great fondness for and who had an enormous influence on my life is living on her own in her own home with diagnosed Alzheimers. Her husband died about a year ago but she maintains he is in hospital. Her sister in law was keeping an eye on her but she too has recently died of cancer though my friend says she is on holiday. As she has no next of kin left various people have been popping in but the situation is totally uncoordinated. She isn't feeding herself (or her cat) but often there is no food in the house that she can eat. There is a freezer full of food but she has lost the ability to know how to cook it. One of the people who visits took a solicitor with them and got her to sign over power of attorney but is being very secretive about this which makes me suspicious. Is there any system to check that everything is kosher? I live abroad and can only visit every couple of months but am in contact with someone who visits weekly. He was there yesterday but she had no bread and no milk and she can barely walk due to an infected sore on her foot. The whole situation is a bit of a mess. Like many older people she maintains she is fine and doesn't need any help. But she really does. Or do we all just have to wait for a disaster to occur? She has no emergency buzzer so if she fell she could lay there undiscovered for a week or so. I wish only the best for her but I feel very helpless. Is there anything I can do?
 

Pickles53

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
2,474
Radcliffe on Trent
You can report your concerns to Adult Social Services in the relevant local authority area. Say she is a vulnerable adult at risk. If you know her GP practice you could also report to them.

Regarding the Power of Attorney, if you think it was improperly obtained you can notify the Office of the Public Guardian. It would be a big risk for a solicitor though to set up a POA for someone who didn't have capacity to make the decision as they could be struck off.
 

missmarple

Registered User
Jan 14, 2013
204
In practice what often happens if there is no carer, no next of kin and no power of attorney in place, is that eventually social services will get involved, maybe because concerned neighbours can no longer cope. SS will then do a needs and a means assessment, and quite likely eventually arrange for residential care.
Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh but I think eventually she will be identified as a vulnerable adult and SS will need to step in.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
In practice what often happens if there is no carer, no next of kin and no power of attorney in place, is that eventually social services will get involved, maybe because concerned neighbours can no longer cope. SS will then do a needs and a means assessment, and quite likely eventually arrange for residential care.
Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh but I think eventually she will be identified as a vulnerable adult and SS will need to step in.
I can endorse that. It's what social workers with adults spend a lot of their time doing x
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,727
I agree that the way forward is through Adult Services and definitely through the OPG. If someone has POA and she is still in that state it does sound as though there isn't much care behind this decision and also if she has diagnosed Alzheimers and is unable to look after herself then she is unable to make the decision to sign POA and this should definitely be investigated
So sad, thank goodness you are looking after her.

The RSPCA will help with the cat if he is suffering too