I have been caring for my Father and Step Mother for the past 5 years with lots of help from my Step Sister. Step Mum had to go into a home for Dementia just over 3 months ago and my Father has been going downhill over time for some years. Since Step Mum went into the home he has been much worse and not able to take care of himself at all despite Carers going in twice a day.
He has had several falls and very unsteady on his legs and he had a broken hip 2 years ago that kept him in hospital for over 3 months where a pacemaker had to be fitted as well due to a heart condition that had been undetected until then.
We have had to put him into a home this weekend and it has been utter hell quite honestly. He really wanted to go and willing to pay for it himself and threatened suicide if I did not get him into one quickly. He had only been in there 10 minutes and started being very abusive to me and saying he was going home one way or another no matter what!
On the advice of the staff we left him with them but I felt terrible leaving and the guilt I felt was overwhelming! He called me over 30 times begging and pleading to go home. After calling the home they said this happened more often than not and that it would get better and not to answer his calls or call him direct.
I did not sleep well or my Step Sister either. I think we were both expecting a call to say he had got out or something.
However, this morning he has now changed his mind and left messages saying he was very sorry for being abusive and that he likes it there. The staff say he has been very chatty, taking his meds, eating and drinking without any trouble. He is initally there for a 2 week trial and hopefully this will be extened if he remains happy.
This has not helped my terrible feeling of guilt. I dont know how to stop the feeling. I would be happy to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience and how you managed to deal with it.
What are you feeling so guilty for?
Did you ask for him to have so many health issues? Of course you didn’t.
Either you die young like my husband who had a massive heart attack in his sleep at the age of 58, or you live longer and your body gradually runs down over many years. The older you live for the more illness you have.
As children, of course we want them to be the parents of our childhood, young, fit, agile, vibrant, but we can’t arrange that for them. All we can do is help them in their journey through life, support them, and do our best. Sometimes, they have such severe needs that one person cannot meet them. This is when they NEED 24/7 care from a team of staff.
It’s SAD that they need so much care, my mum was so frail at the end of her life that nursing home care was the only option left.
My worry now is that he is just playing along now and hoping to go home in 2 weeks time as this is the amount of time paid for initially until we knew he was ok there. He is not in a fit state to go home and never will be now.
He has stopped calling now but the home say he is doing fine. This may be act though as he is very manipulative.
Time to think seriously about his finances then. Sorry, I know it’s a lot of questions, but the answers will guide you to the best solution.
Does he own or rent his house?
Do he and mum between them have more than £46,000 in savings? (Social Services cut off point)
How is mum’s care being funded?
Who paid for dad’s “first two weeks”?
Has anyone told you about NHS Continuing Healthcare, free care?
If your mum has dementia, when she was living at home, was dad claiming her exemption from Council Tax?
Are they both in receipt of Attendance Allowance?
Attendance allowance is for people over 65 who need help at home because of an illness or disability. You could get: £57.30 a week if you need help either in the day or at night. £85.60 a week if you need help both day and at night.
While dad was still living in the house, the value of the house should be totally disregarded.
Your TOP priority must be getting their Attendance Allowance forms completed asap. They have missed out on thousands of pounds by the sound of it.
If mum had dementia, then reclaim her share of the Council Tax they have been paying due to Severe Mental Impairment. There would be a good case for arguing that dad had SMI too, as he can’t manage at home on his own. It’s easy to claim and can be backdated. Don’t miss out on any more money.
Also tell the council that dad is now in residential care. I think there may be a council tax “holiday” while the house is being sorted out.
As far as fees are concerned, they should use up their savings first before you need to think about selling the house.
Do you want to move in there and live in the house in the future?
Are you an only child?
I think that is a common trait of the elderly.
What you have to focus on is what he NEEDS not what he wants.
My own mum ended up in residential care for her last year, after a series of hospital admissions, the last one for six months, after she developed sepsis and lost her ability to walk.
It wasn’t what either of us wanted, but she needed staff on call 24/7 and the only place that was available was a nursing home.
It was an incredibly tough period in my life, my brother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in Uruguay 6 months earlier, too ill to fly home, he died weeks before mum developed sepsis, so I had two houses to empty and sell, one after the other.
Make sure you take home any valuables in dad’s house, and tell his insurance company that he is no longer living there.
Just ask if there is anything you are not sure about.
As you have a sister and a step sister, be very careful that he doesn’t try and play you off against each other.
When he says anything about the home, going home etc. use vague statements like “let’s wait and see how you are next week”, and of course next week never comes.
At mum’s home the Matron/Manager was very good, I could go and see her at any time if I was concerned about anything, and all the staff knew I was Mrs. T’s daughter. I did, however, have a special advantage, one of the directors of the very large company that owned the home lived next door to me, and I accidentally on purpose let the Matron know!