We are looking after my mother-in-law as she fell. She has been diagnosed with early dementia at the beginning of the year. She lives in the Midlands, we live in Yorkshire. We feel she needs support as she’s not taking her meds for blood pressure, the whole meds thing is totally confusing, I’ve tried a weekly pill box but she can’t set it up. We’ve contacted Social Services to ask for advice and they need to assess her when she goes back to her 7th storey flat!!! They have said we mustn’t allow her home until an appointment is made and we must also be at the appointment. Can we force her to stay with us, as we are daily having the same aggressive conversations about we can’t stop her going home. It’s grinding everyone down. Can she insist that she be taken home or can we stop her as she’s saying she’ll just leave and go.

Hi Lynn,
welcome to the forum.

You could ask the pharmacist to make up her tablets in a blister pack/dossette box for her.

Was she in hospital in the Midlands before she was discharged to your care in Yorkshire?

Unless she has been assessed to lack capacity, she cannot be made to stay somewhere she doesn’t want to and social care know this. As she is in the early stages of dementia, she may well be deemed to have capacity for some decisions but not others. She probably feels more comfortable in her flat, as it is more familiar to her. Personally I think social care are taking liberties. She needs an urgent Needs Assessment asap. I would contact them and say you cannot keep your MIL at your house against her will as it is a deprivation of her liberty and she requires an urgent Needs Assessment. If necessary, point out that if she falls again or has health problems as a result of with her confusion with her medication because of lack of support arising from a delayed Needs Assessment - you will hold them responsible and she could easily cost them more money. If you are getting nowhere with the duty social worker, take their name and ask to speak to the team leader/manager. Log all calls you make and try and converse using email as then you have written proof of what was said.


How old is mum in law?
Do the flats have a lift?
Is it a council flat?
Is anyone making any attempt to rehouse her somewhere more appropriate?
She cannot remain with you, you cannot be forced to care for her.
Given her dementia diagnosis, ideally she needs to be in some sort of supported living with a warden, but such places are very rare.
It is most definitely the responsibility of Social Services to sort this out.
Make a complaint via the councils website.

It may be worthwhile talking to the National Dementia Helpline as the experts there can be good at pointing people in the right direction. The details are

National Dementia Helpline
0300 222 11 22
Our helpline advisers are here for you.
Helpline opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday
9am – 8pm
Thursday and Friday
9am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday
10am – 4pm

Live on-line advice is also available in the UK and you can see the details of that if you follow this link