What To Do ?


Registered User
Sep 22, 2006
I really dont know what to do for the best, things are getting worse,
I am visiting my Mother for the weekend and Friday she got up early
for a change, was eating well and almost seemed like her old self,
then yesterday she didn’t want to get up, didn’t eat breakfast but
had her lunch in bed, finally got up very cross about three PM, then
was falling asleep in the chair a lot of the time, but was a bit
better later and made herself cups of tea, I cooked her a lovely meal
for dinner but she only ate a small part of it, but all was well
until ten last night when she went to make a cup of tea before bed,
then she rushed back in to me saying something was wrong, I went into
the kitchen and the top of the cooker was on fire, she had put the
plastic electric kettle on the gas hob, it had melted half way down
and all the melted plastic was burning, I managed to put it out and
spent the rest of the evening chipping burnt plastic from the hob,
and opening doors and windows to let the smell out, afterwards she
didn’t seem to realise what she had done or what the consequences
might have been, now I dont know if she can be left alone and dont
know what I am going to do, she has always said she does not want to
go into a home and does not want to live with me, I dont know if I
could live with her because of mine and my families problems, there
is no-one else to help.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Memori - this is very hard but really, I'm not sure you have any other option. When it comes to safety issues then you just have to, I'm sorry to say, go against people's expressed wishes and recognise that this is part of dementia - they have no understanding of their situation. Does she have a social worker? You're going to have to be very firm about this, both to the powers that be and you mother. I have to say, it is very rare that anyone will say "oh yes, I want to to go into a home" - 99% of the time it's the other way, yet that is what is necessary sometimes.


Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
Dear Memori:
This is a tremendous problem for you but I am sure you will get more comments from others who have had similar situations.

My own thought is you, and maybe also your Mum, should see her Doctor (behind her back if you have to). That should lead you to see someone from Social Services. I think alarm bells will ring when they see a safety problem and don't be afraid to emphasise this. The outcome is hard to predict but maybe some support at home may be the answer for a short time. When things get really difficult you may find that your Mum will decide for herself when a Care Home is her best option.

Good luck and best wishes Jan

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Memori,

Only you can decide whether or not your mother is at risk if she continues to live by herself.

You can try to ensure her safety by buying kitchen equipment she can use without incuring danger, but it will be difficult to get everything right.

Does she have a Social Worker? Is there anyone who can advise you?

My mother had a couple of `accidents` in the kitchen, and she eventually was at risk and was glad to go into a home. She changed her mind once she was there, and wanted to go home, but I`m afraid once she was in the home, it was permanent, as the lesser of two evils.

IT sounds as if your mother is at that stage now, or working towards it. It`s not a pleasant decision to have to make, I know.


Registered User
Sep 22, 2006
Thanks for replying yes my Mother has got a Social Worker as she has
just started having care workers in at lunchtime, when I am not
there, so I will talk to her, I have also had a very nice therapist
from the Memory Clinic visit in the past so I might contact her or
Mums Doctor, but she has a new Doctor as her old one has left and I
dont know who that will be as yet, and I have been thinking about
ringing Age Concern do you think they could help in any way? I have
not been in touch with them yet but know they have carers meetings in
my locality, I still have not sorted out the financial problems, and
the attendance allowance I sent the forms off only to have a phone
call from them to say that Mum had to sign the forms herself, and
they have not been returned yet, but as she refuses to believe she
has any problems I dont know how I can get her to sign.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I sent the forms off only to have a phone
call from them to say that Mum had to sign the forms herself, and
they have not been returned yet, but as she refuses to believe she
has any problems I dont know how I can get her to sign.
Yes that right , unless you have POA then you can sigh it . Could you not say to your mother that all elderly people can get it , it be an extra income for her , just a little white lie to get her to sigh it .

you can talk to SS about getting technical assistants , for your mother in the kitchen for the cooker . ( if your mother lets you )

she had put the
plastic electric kettle on the gas hob
what kind of Kettle was it ?

was it one of those that is not connect with a lead , so can be moved around , get her a new one that can't be moved around its always connected with the lead .

I have been thinking about
ringing Age Concern do you think they could help in any way? I have
not been in touch with them yet but know they have carers meetings in
my locality,
Sounds like a good idea .
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Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Just a sec - yes you CAN sign on someones behalf - I did it for my mother even without an EPA

The form says (on page 5 http://www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/claimforms/aa1a_print.pdf):

If you cannot sign the forms yourself

If you cannot sign the form yourself, then the person who fills it in can sign it for you. But they must tell us why they are signing for you. There is a space on page 2 of the form for this.


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
Yes; you do not have to have EPA in order to claim Attendance Allowance on someone else's behalf. If you have EPA then you just do the forms and tick the box marked "I have EPA" so it does simplify things!

If you do not, you complete the forms, sign it, but you also have to fill in the box where you explain why you and not the person concerned are doing the application.

You may also apply without telling the person, and there is a section you can complete after ticking the box marked "I am applying without telling the person".

AFAIK usually the only acceptable reasons are that the person would either not understand, or would be caused distress.

It is also possible to apply to be made responsible for, and in receipt of, benefits for someone else. If you wish to do this, you will normally be interviewed by a social worker because they need to ensure you will be acting in the person's best interests.

If you have EPA then you already have the necessary powers.

So, they have made provision for people who become incapable but who have not made arrangements for management of their affairs.


Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
Ashford, Kent
I guess making the decision of when to put someone into care is a personal thing.

My Dad lives with us, and at the moment he is, shall we say, pleasantly confused.

We have 2 children (7 and 13), and my husband and I both agree that we will keep Dad here with us for as long as we can. Our cut off point will be when he is a danger to himselves/our children or when the physical needs (i.e. if he becomes disabled/incontinent) become too much of a strain for me to cope with.

For me, my Dad setting fire to the home would be the signal for me to seriously consider a home.



Registered User
Sep 22, 2006
The kettle was an electric one with a separate base, I dont think
there are many that have wires attached these days, she had only had
it at Christmas, as her last one that was the same packed up, I think
it had got wet and the electric’s stopped working, she has had an
electric kettle before that one and has used them for years, but when
I bought the one at Christmas I did buy a kettle for the hob as
well, which I hope she will be ok with, I just wish I had got a
cheaper electric one, she had put the gas out under the fire but
didn’t understand why it was still burning, the plastic that melted was burning, it gave me more of a scare than her, and when I said that if the powers to be said she was not safe alone what would she do she said she
would tell them where to go!
I do not have P.O.A. as yet, but was told that I could apply for her attendance allowance benefit, as she would forget what she had done,
so I did explain this on the form, but when asked on the phone if she
was managing her own affairs I had to say yes, so they said she would
have to sign it, also the forms said to apply for carers benefit at
the same time but when I rang the B.E.L. inquiry line they said to
apply for the attendance allowance first, as I will be 60 in a few
months I thought it would not be paid after that but I have heard
conflicting reports about it.
Ive been having heated discussions with my children about what to do
for the best, but I still dont know what will happen.
Thank you all for your replies, I feel less alone now.