Desperate for advice please

My parents lived at home 160 miles from myself and 130 miles from my sister. Recently we moved mum who is 88 and dad who is 87 to a really nice residential home 10 minuets from my home.

Over the last four months I traveled 7000 miles back and to taking my parents for appointments, visiting each other in hospital and sorting out crisis after crisis. My sister could not take the stress anymore and under her doctors instructions stepped back leaving me to deal with everything.

The last three years there health got worse and worse. Neither of them could cope with life and my sisters and my life was spent sorting problem after problem out for them.

Two years ago we activated power of attorney for finances unfortunately they do not have it for health. I took over all there financial dealings and had all the post sent to me. Dad was getting so upset as he could not cope with anything that came by post. By myself taking this pressure off him he was less stressed.

Mum was seeing a mental health nurse at home after years of depression. Every day for the past two years she will cry as life is too overwhelming for her. It is so sad to see.

Things came to a head in January 2018. From that point my sister and I have no life. Everything revolves around mum and dad, each time we went to visit intending to stay for a few days it always stretched out to three or more weeks as something needed sorting.

Both mum and dad had two hospital stays due to falls and collapses from March to August. Again we had to stay to take them to visit each other. We were shopping for them online and in the local shops, we arrange for cleaners to visit twice a month and a gardener to look after the garden. We had milk, bread and potatoes delivered to the house.

Dad has hart failour, due to poor circulation his leg is weeping.
Dad was phoning the district nurses every day demanding home visits. He would tamper with his bandage on his leg to get them to go, they even bandaged his good leg to passify him but this did not work.

He phoned his GP everyday demanding home visits. He was phoning the chemist most days asking for medication that he was hiding then forgetting where he put it. Dad was phoning me up to five times a day.

He would demand I visited forgetting I had only just got home, he would shout then hang up and then phone again. The phone became a thing of fear for me, everytime it rang I felt sick. If I went out there were left messages and most made little sense. On top of that most days I had calls from all the professionals mentioned above, and other issues from mum and dad to deal with, it was a nightmare.

My sister and myself were being told by social services and every professional that mum and dad needed to go into care. We tried to keep them at home so organised a care company to help out.

We put into place a company that would look after all the things mum could not cope with after asking what she needed help with. The company would give out meds, put out and bring in weekly bins, carry out washing and ironing prepare meals and some shopping.

None of this worked because mum and dad keapt complaining how they could not cope to me but at the same time would not let the carer’s do anything.

Mum and dad for a long time had been taking either no medications or taking too much. When we cleared the house we filled and returned to the chemist 15 bags of out of date or hidden meds.

This was a real worry, when the carer’s took over dad was hiding meds saying it was his property and mum was taking lorazepan over and over as neither of them could remember taking any medication.

I bought the carer’s lockable boxes to keep there meds in and had to get the chemist to take new supplies and physically put tablets in these boxes as dad was hiding them before the carer’s arrived.

My sister and myself tried to find mum and dad a home in there city, it was all arranged that they would go in for respite and hopefully stay. At the last moment they changed there minds.

In August dad collapsed and was taken in the early hours to hospital. During his three weeks stay he presented so many safeguarding issues to the staff that I was told he would be discharged into an EMI home permanently.

He had a nurse sitting with him twenty four hours a day, seven days a week because he was a risk to himself and other patients.

Mum had already asked if I could find a home for her and I said that if she did not change her mind again there was a nice one near to me. While dad was in hospital I had to return home as everything was so far behind in my life.

I asked mum to come with me as she was not safe on her own and would be unable to visit dad. I explained we could visit the home near me with a view to her and dad moving in together. I phoned the hospital and they were happy to discharge dad there when he was well enough. I also spoke to dad a few times over the next three weeks and explained the situation he was in. He said as long as mum and he could be together he would be happy to move.

Mum visited the home and loved it agreeing to move there with dad permanently. Three weeks latter they moved in and have been there now for two months. Everything was going well for them after the initial adjustment. I am able to visit and was just starting to catch up on my own life.

After this very long explanation I come to why I have posted on this forum.

Three weeks ago social services visited dad, I was knocked for six when I was told based on dad being able to say he was in a home being looked after by nurses, that in her opinion dad has capacity and wants to live back in his home town. I said as both my parents had lived there for all of there lives then it’s natural they would say that.

I was told I should not have moved them and should not have sold there house. My sister and myself have power of attorney for finance and property, we have taken legal advice and have been reassured that we have acted within the law.

The house was sold to pay for there home fees as you can imagine paying for two is extremely expensive. As far as my sister and myself were concerned they were now living in the residential home, there was no point leaving there old home empty with winter on its way. If the house had any burst pipes or vandalism it would not be covered by insurance.

Neither mum or dad have been diagnosed with dementia or to my knowledge even been assessed by there GP. I was told in March by dad’s doctor that he had dementia but it turns out know that she did not record this. Mum most definitely has early onset as her short term memory is zero and she as no capacity regarding her needs or safety. Dad has all the classic symptoms and has not got capacity regarding his needs or safety.

Dad has always mentally bulied mum, that is why she has terrible depression. Dad has always deflected anything he does not want to do onto mum saying it’s her that does not like something.

He is telling me and mum is telling me that they are very happy in there new care home and want to stay here. But social services are telling me they want to go to a residential home back in there home area. It’s all very distressing and confusing , I believe dad as always is telling mum what to say, with her poor memory she is getting very upset not understanding what is happening. The staff at the care home have recorded mum stating that she wants to stay where she is.

More worryingly they are telling social services that they are missing there friend’s and don’t get any visits. I am visiting every week mostly twice but they don’t remember, my sister comes up every four weeks to stay with me and visit.

I can’t seem to get social services to understand that dad has always been a loaner and has no friends. Mums friends obviously are the same age with the same medical problems.

One has just moved into a home another is going too soon as the family are looking for a suitable home. Mum only has two friends now who are house bound and will not be visiting. Also how long might they live due to there age.

On ballance surley it’s clear mum and dad are in the best place near to family. Can I stop social services moving them?

If they make a decision to move mum and dad can I tell them as I strongly disagree with there poor decision that they will have to take full responsibility and have to arrange everything.

When I say I am suicidal I mean I am actually at such a low point I can see no way out of this nightmare.

I have no strength left to organise the move and set up anything that needs dealing with other than looking after there finance’s. We have already tried everything and none of it has worked. I know when mum and dad realise no one is going to visit them including my sister and myself they will be so upset.

Any advice would be a great help.

Oh Ron, what a mess. It’s a wonder you have coped as long as you have. This is way beyond anything my family has dealt with, but I am sure when forum members wake up there will be people who can start to suggest ways forward. For the moment, well done on getting the legal advice about the house. There will be help here soon.


Welcome to the forum. I too have had many battles having had four disabled parents/in laws, all now passed away.

Don’t ever believe a social worker. Ask them to communicate via email in future, so you have evidence. Put your phone on answerphone, and take control of your life once more.

How old are your parents? Has the house sale gone through?

You have done all the RIGHT things, but reached what I call Clapped Out Carer stage, you have done so much for so long that there is nothing left for anyone.

You need a SPECIALIST solicitor to deal with this now, and then tell SSD that the solicitor is dealing with everything from now on.

Go and see your GP, explain the situation, and ask the GP to write and say that you are so exhausted you can’t do anything more to help.

Most crucially, you said that in hospital dad had a permanent “guard”. Did the hospital do an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist?

Next, check that the social worker is qualified. Go to the HCPC website and check.

Ask the GP to make arrangements for dad to go to the Memory Clinic for a formal dementia assessment.

Of course mum and dad want to go “home” but the sad reality is that the “home” they are thinking about probably doesn’t really exist any more, their friends will either have died, or become frail themselves.

Hi and thank you for taking the time to reply.

I am retired with limited savings I can’t afford to seek advice from a SPECIALIST solicitor.

I have had a NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Carried out three weeks ago where mum and dad are now. I wish I had not done so as it was because of this social services got involved and dad did not qualify, what a supprise!

I have already made arrangements for dad to go to the Memory Clinic for a formal dementia assessment through the GP and waiting for an appointment. At least you have reassured me that I am going about this the correct way.

Much appreciated,

Hi Ron,

This is dreadful.

If your parents are incapable of looking after themselves the Continuing Healthcare should be granted. You say there was an assessment done three weeks ago - who said he does not qualify? If there has been a decision made jointly with social services and NHS and your input, then you should appeal. Easily said, I know.
I can understand it’s a problem with social services involved, but I don’t think you can go on as you are without social services being involved.
Just two minor points. I really feel for you and understand everything you say about your parents needing to be near you. No doubt social services in your area would do a lot to get your parents removed elsewhere just to protect their own finances.

CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare ?

Main thread with the full sp on both :

Hi Ron
I am wondering if the main reason behind all this is that Social Services are worried they will have to pick up all the funding once all the money from the house has been spent on care home fees. If you had gone through the financial assessment route with social services they would probably have put a charge on the property to reclaim their money once your parents ahd both passed away, and in the meanwhile would have placed your parents in a lower priced care home.

Another reason may be just that the social worker has been on a training course on capacity and it is such a hard thing to prove or disprove. My dad had Vasc dem so his memory and to a certain extent his basic wants were never in doubt, that is until the last few weeks when “wanting to go home” referred to a childhood home of over 70 years ago.

What exactly have the Social workers asked for in veiled threats? How do they think he can home if it has been sold? Is he near using up all the funds from the house? Are they shouting safe guarding concerns? Are they hinting or acusing you of doing something wrong? When you are at “clapped out carer” stage any flippant remark from SS can play havoc with your head.

Ron, I was not suggesting that you spend your own money.

As you have POA for finance, and your parents have money, then it is THEIR money not your own, which you should be using. Make sure you keep a list of all your expenditure and reclaim it at the end of every month. Presumably you have a debit card for their bank accounts?

I expect Social Services became involved because DOLS (Deprivation of Liberty) are currently “flavour of the month”. (Google for info). The rules are soon changing again!

It is normal that CHC applications are first refused I’m afraid. Were you involved in the assessment and given a piece of paper with their scores afterwards? If not, ask for it to be done again, properly this time. Have a look at “Care to be Different” and also the Grogan case for CHC, which involves someone with dementia.

It’s extraordinary, isn’t it? Here are your parents, FINALLY safely settled and happy in a care home near you (as happy as either can be)(your dad sounds a really horrible tyrant - your poor mum!) (and poor you and your sister as bullies don’t usually have just one victim)…and now interfering SS want to muck them about again!

Honestly, it’s insane!

As others are surmising, the only POSSIBLE reason that SS are sticking their noses in is because they fear they will have to pay for the residential care once the self-funding money runs out.

AND, another thing - YOUR local SS (ie, where your parent’s residential care home is) basically want to ship your parents back to their ‘place of origin’ (where they used to live) so that WHEN they run out of self-funding money, they will have to be paid for by THAT local council!!! I’ll bet that’s what this nonsense is about!

Can you run the numbers to work out exactly how long the money from the house sale will last your parents in self-funding? That at least gives you a timeline.

It’s completely daft SS getting antsy about this - your parents will be self-funding wherever they live in a residential home!

And when they run out, the council (whichever it is) can insist they move to a cheaper care home anyway!

By the way, one ‘ally’ that you will have on your side is the manager of the care home they are in now! To him/her, your parents are ‘valuable customers’ - TWO residents both self-funding! Talk to the manager, get them ‘on side’ as the manager will definitely want your parents to stay (that is, alas, unless your horrible father is making life a misery for them and all the other residents as well as his poor wife). Care home managers ‘know the system’ and know how to ‘play it’ - they know what to say to SS and how to deal with them, etc etc.

To be honest, I think, if this cannot be resolved and the stupid SS simplyu backs off and leaves your parents alone (as thye damn well should!) that you and your sister should simply ‘wash your hands’ of your parents affairs completely. Resign your PoAs and let SS do whatever they want. Just ‘walk away’.

Neither you nor your sister have ANY legal ‘duty of care’ for your parents, and SS know that.

To be honest, the only person I have any sympathy for here is your poor mum - not your dad.

But really, as if SS hven’t got anything better to do than mess arouind with people who don’t need their help and didn’t ask for it! There are SO many people desperately waiting for SS to pull their fingers out and get things done - and your parents are NOT!

No wonder everyone hates social workers - they’re not there when they’re needed, and they stick their noses in where they are NOT needed!!!

Also make sure mum and dad are claiming Attendance Allowance and the “Funded Nursing Care Allowance”. The manager of the home will know if they are already being paid this, in Hampshire this is paid automatically to nursing homes, but that may not be the case where you live.

Has the “boundary” issue raised by Jenny been mentioned by the SW?

How are the social workers getting access to your parents in the first place?? Who let them in? Why are they involved at all?

My MIL was self funding in her residential care home and no social worker ever went near her! There was no need for them to stick their noses in! I paid her fees out of the joint account she’d set up with me, and I liaised with the care manager and nursing staff to ensure my MIL had her needs met OK. She got a little funding from the NHS via Continuing Health Care, and I was involved in those meetings with the nice-but-clearly-exhausted (!) former nurse who was the NHS CHC lady for that particular care home. A care home member of staff sat in as well.

I just don’t see what business it is of the social workers in the first place???

As for whether or not your parents do or do not have mental capacity, again, that is the decision surely of their GP! The care home will now be providing the GP for all the residents, and if the GP says they don’t have capacity in all respects and their memory is shot to pieces and they are ‘not responsibile’ for what they are saying, again, that should trump whatever rubbish the social workers are coming up with!

I really don’t see why the social workers are so fussed about this, considering your parents are self funding. The ONLY persuasive reason other than ‘busy-bodying’ (!) is if indeed they fear th self-fundin will run out and the LA will have to pay the fees - so that’s why the SW are desperately trying to ship your parents ‘back home’ into another LA area!!!

Whatever you do, TRY to ‘stay calm’ with the social works (hard, I know, as they will use any non-calm behaviour on YOUR part to label you ‘difficult’ or ‘obstreperous’ etc etc. Gruelling though it is, you have to work ‘with’ the wretched system, play them at their own game, and slither around as slimily as they do. Or, alas, they will ‘win’.

Many thanks for all of your useful replies.

I agree with you and now I am wondering if the main reason behind all this is that Social Services are worried they will have to pick up all the funding once all the money from the house has been spent on care home fees.

I am invited to a Safeguarding meeting with social services next Tuesday. They have asked to see mum and dads bank statement and a spreadsheet I have showing all of there savings. Can not think why they want to see this unless they think I have something to hide or they want to see how much funding they have.

With your comments it makes sense why they are asking. I am very happy to provide this as I have nothing to hide and do not want more agro if by law they can demand this information. They will see mum and dad have enough savings to pay there home fees for about fourteen years, so hopefully they will see that and leave me alone.

Sorry two more questions spring to mind. We have used the power of attorney to sell the house, we are just waiting for contracts to exchange any time now.

Can I be made to stop the sale?

This will cost more wasted money compensating the buyer and paying legal fees to estate agents and solicitors.

Can they take power of attorney off me eventhough there is no dishonesty involved.

It will break my heart if I walk away from mum and dad but it is interesting to see your comment that I can do so legally. I am at the point where I can not do anymore and now need to consider my health.

In answer to the last person. I regret now asking for a continuing healthcare assessment. This what caused SS to get involved, up to that point no one had met them or new they were there.

Ron, I know you said you can’t afford legal fees, but I do, do, do urge you to get legal guidance on what you HAVE to do in respect of nosy parker SS, and what you can legally them to do by way of the ‘eff off’ rule!

Because, to my mind, wanting to see your parents’ bank statements etc is NONE OF THEIR DAMN BUSINESS!!!

If your parents can truly afford 14 years of residential care for the two of them, that is something like AT LEAST £70,000 a YEAR (because you don’t get residential care for less than a hundred pounds a DAY per person!) which means they must have a house worth close to a MILLION POUNDS!!!/*

Others here may confirm this, but IF you are using your parents’ money to pay LEGAL FEES ON THEIR BEHALF (ie, to keep nosy parker SS off their case!), then I would argue that is PERFECTLY JUSTIFIED.

(ie, if YOU can’t afford legal fees, THEY can. And you are ONLY doing this for THEIR benefit - as a dutiful son with PoA!)

Please check out your legal rights, and ideally hand the whole wretched matter over to lawyers to tell the SS where to get off etc!

I can’t believe you are putting up with this! DO NOT cooperate with SS unless you are LEGALLY OBLIGED TOO.

I sense, alas, you are woefully inexpericned (and clearly totally exhausted!) in the hard truths about caring for parents, if you didn’t know you have NO obligation to lift a finger for them. Legally, you can let them die in a gutter if you wanted. NONE of us has ANY legal responsibility for another human being if their are not our children and still minors! (And even then we can reject them and put them into care!)

PS =- at the very, very least, please please email the team of experts at Carers UK itself (quicker than phoning as the help line is usually busy), and put it to them whether you have to speak to Social Workers AT ALL!!!

Why not simply tell them at the moment you can’t make that meeting, to give yourself more time.

IF it is legally none of their damn business, do NOT let them get involved any further, and damn well don’t let them know about your parents’ finances. NOT THEIR BUSINESS!

PPS - in respect of whether you are entitled to sell your parents’ house, having PoA for them, I would assume ‘yes’ but for sure your conveyancing lawyer will know! They CANNOT process a sale that is ‘illegal’, so they will know for sure if you are legally entitled to complete this sale. That they know already you are doing so as PoA, must argue that it is PERFECTLY LEGAL.


Social Services have NO RIGHT to demand to see the bank statements etc. as you have POA, no authority to stop the sale of the house. The only power they have over you is the power you let them have. They are “exceeding their authority” I’m sure.

I would insist that the meeting to be postponed until such time as you can arrange for a lawyer to represent mum and dad to attend the meeting.

Hi Jenny
You have reassured me and at my low point that’s what I needed. So pleased I found this site you are all extremely helpful.

I will attend the meeting on Tuesday as I do not want them to interpret me not going as not being interested. I will not disclose mum and dads assets after your advice, I thought it wrong but did not want to start off more wrangling if they could make me .

Than you.

Play them at their own game!!

As you have POA you are required to treat all matters concerning your parents money as confidential, to disclose such information would be negligent on your part!!

I am guessing if there is a substantial property involved that parents savings may exceed £26k in a bank and if so I believe SS can be told to mind their own business. They can only ask for a financial assessment when savings get near or are expected to soon get near this limit.

For peace of mind and brain rest if the savings from the property sale will last as long as 14 years and this is reasonably going to be sufficient for your parents life expectancy then it may be easier just to show them approx details of expected sale together with your POA . They will have the address so could make a reasonable estimation of value with a quick google anyway. I know it is paidful to have to divulge parents finances but there seems to be no reaso to worry other than the stress of being badgered and fearing you are in the wrong. It may just be easier to show them that money is readily available and that you hold POA- for a quiet night’s peaceful sleep.
If you are comfortably off and will be covering all expected fees privatrely then why line the pockets of solicitors? (Gosh I am sounding so much like my dad).

Ron, if you do go to the meeting - and I agree with BB that you should postpone it until you have taken legal advice on behalf of your parents - then tell them right at the outset this if for YOUR information only.

Do not give THEM any! I like BB’s recommendation that you tell them you are acting on behalf of your parents as PoA and will need to check with your parents’ lawyers (no matter you haven’t instructed them - why should SS know that?) as to what you are entitled to say. Be polite but adamant.

Say you are there to listen to what SS have to say, and will bear it in mind when you seek legal opinion on your parents finances and circumstances.

‘Smile and be civil’ - and say NOTHING.

If they ask for information, eg, how much money your parents have, tell them ‘I will need to consult their lawyers to see what, as their PoA, I am entitled to disclose, and will get back to you with their answer in due course’.

Just keep repeating that. Don’t be ‘difficult’ or ‘obstreperous’ - just smile and be civil, and say you will be back in touch when you know what you can legally disclose.

You can ask SS WHY they want to know this information.

Personally, I wouldn’t even give them the address of your parents house, or tell them anything, or the state of play on the conveyancing or sale. Keep repeating ‘I must check with my parent’s lawyers before I disclose any private information to others.’

Don’t believe ANYTHING the SS may tell you at the meeting. Plenty of folk here on the forum KNOW from their own experience that social workers DO get it wrong sometimes, and simply ‘do not know’ the regulations and the law.

Also, and this is a really good tactic as well as being of real practical use, go into the meeting with an A 4 pad and write down EVERYTHIGN they say, and ask them, quite deliberately, to repeat something or clarify something. Let them SEE you are writin it all down (They won’t like it, I can tell you!)

If they object, again, you smile and be civil, and say you need to make sure you have understood their concerns accurately, so that you can discuss them with your parent’s lawyers.

Oh, you don’t have to give SS the NAMES of any lawyers at all - none of their business at this stage.