Looking for advice on dealing with social services
I’m a full time carer for my parents. Dad is wheelchair bound and needs help pretty much all domestic tasks. He’s very frail. I’m officially his carer. Mum has a multiple dementia diagnosis and I have to do all personal care, she’s incontinent and can be aggressive. Dad has had carers to get in and out of bed for the last 3 years. Mum has no support but for me and we have recently got her going to a local care home twice a week for 4hrs each time. After previous mental health issues can be very difficult with health professionals. She is approximately stage 6 dementia with moderate frailty. Looking after them has been my life for over 10 years now.
Basically both my Dad and I are exhausted and can’t cope any more! After a particularly bad weekend I was advised to contact SS and request care needs assessments for both parents. Rightly or wrongly I feel Mum needs full time care in a care home now.
When I first spoke to SS they said they couldn’t take any details from me with out both parents consent, as I didn’t have Mum’s I’d need to get consent or a mental capacity assessment saying she didn’t have capacity. A new Dementia nurse was coming to touch base with Mum and agreed to do assessment and surprise surprise she doesn’t have capacity. She also raised some welfare/safety concerns after talking to me (Mum can be aggressive to Dad, has started wandering, has falls and no longer feels their home is where she lives) The nurse then sent a copy of her report to SS and told me she had spoken to them and that she’d given my details. I had a call later that day from a lady who didn’t say who she was but said she’d been “ sent over a lot of information on Mum” and asked what was I looking for!! So I started to try to explain, she stopped me when I mentioned the care home and asked why there as she preferred another local facility(?) then she stopped me said she needed to speak again to the dementia nurse.
After hearing nothing again yesterday I called SS again, as the chap I spoke to could find no ongoing report he took all details ref both parents. Today I get a call from another lady who introduced herself as Dads social worker and told me I’d had an in depth conversation with her colleague (Mums social care worker ? Not sure of difference) when I questioned “in-depth” she did give the name of her colleague and then ran through some questions. Again she queried why the care home (basically we previously had a relative there and found it pleasant, Mum had been there to visit multiple times so I could get her to go)
Now both are coming to see my parents on Monday and I feel overwhelmed by the thought of try to deal with both all at once! Both women have made feel that I’m either making a fuss/being a nuisance. I don’t really know what I should be saying or asking for??? HELP
So we’ve had the visit and I’ve left Dad with a very upset and confused Mum!!! These appointments are so stressful, we know it’s going to set her off for hours if not days! Why is it she can’t remember where the loo is but knows we’ve been ‘horrible’ to her and it lasts for ages!
Question: They seem to be offering multiple carer visits for personal care and meals, mixed with day care visits for up to 4 days per week. Can we request a care home placement instead? Cost wise at a rough count it would be cheaper and day time visits won’t help Dad with the torture of no sleep!!
Megan, part of the Care Act requires the LA to tell you how much the assessed needs will cost, as a “personal budget”. This is something they often “forget” to do, but it IS information that you should have been given, so write for it.
Then they should have discussed how this money was best spent, again, something else they “forget” to do.
You and dad are absolutely entitled to be involved in decision making. Was dad given a Carers Assessment, this too should have been done BEFORE any decisions about mum’s care arrangements were finalised.
Download the Care Act Statutory Guidance, it’s all in there.