I have a mother with vascular dementia. She owns a house in which my 2 brothers live. They are her carers. They have reached the point where they are no longer prepared to care for her, or can provide suitable care. She cannot cook, barely wash and dress. She is declining mentally and physically rapidly. She labours with the stairs and cannot be left alone. We cannot get her to take medicine and struggle to get her to eat or drink sufficiently. She is also in pain but will not go to the doctors. She has recently had a step down in cognition now not remembering what room she sleeps in. She is very difficult to help as wont answer questions or express her needs clearly. Is there a route to try to get her in to a care home? Can a mental capacity assessment be initiated and then my brother says they are no longer prepared to look after her. They can stay at my house if need be?
Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum. Mum now NEEDS a team of carers 24/7. Lots to consider, so to work out what to do, can we have a bit more information?
How old is mum, your brothers?
Does mum own or rent her house?
Does she have over £23,000 in savings?
Is she getting Attendance Allowance?
How old is mum, your brothers? 81 and just about able to walk. Brothers 54 & 56 so house means tested.
Does mum own or rent her house? Owns - house worth £180000 at a push. House needs work doing as no hot water.
Does she have over £23,000 in savings? She has some but not sure how much.
Is she getting Attendance Allowance? I doubt it. Wouldn’t know what it is.
Attendance Allowance is a non means tested benefit for disabled elderly people. Who is managing her benefits? Claim immediately! Are your brothers working? If not, one would be entitled to Carers Allowance.
Why doesn’t the house have hot water?? A grant may be possible.
The council may not consider the value of the house, they can make exceptions, and there are other options to consider.
Has mum had a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and your brothers, a Carers Assessment each? These are vital now.
Google NHS Continuing Healthcare checklist assessment. IF mum qualifies then care is entirely free.
Hello Mark, welcome to the forum
Sorry to hear about your situation, understandably you want to find suitable care for your Mum. Have a look through our help and advice pages to see what you’re entitled to, you can also contact our helpline on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or email email@example.com with any questions.
Thanks Bowlingbun for your comment. The points you are raising are more long term considerations if we thought we could care for her in the house with outside help. I don’t think that is an option at the moment. The house has not been maintained properly for decades hence no hot water. Pretty soon she will not managed the stairs plus she has been a bit of a hoarder so it full of stuff making any modifications very difficult while she is there. I think we’d need a respite care spell and assessment to adapt house. She is also declining rapidly. I’m thinking more short term here like trying to get her into hospital for an assessment. Then say we can no longer look after her at discharge. I don’t think my brothers are up to the task now. She is waking them up in the middle of the night asking them to do crazy things like a move a door.
Mark, my mum had to go into a nursing home for the last year of her life, she was too physically frail to live alone, even with a full time carer, according to one hospital. However, it’s important for all concerned to explore various avenues before making what should be one last move. The last thing mum wants is to yo yo in and out of hospital or various nursing homes.
Read the NHS Continuing Healthcare Framework, especially the “checklist”. As I said previously, if mum qualifies, it’s free until her health improves, which won’t happen with dementia.
Your last message gives lots more information about the state of mum’s health. Definitely contact Social Services for an urgent Needs Assessment and respite care, stressing the need for respite is desperate. If you can, make a written list of all the things mum has been doing. Short term respite if mum has limited means is free.
Even if mum does go into residential care, the council may disregard the value of the house. The helpline will be able to talk to you about the rules and regulations, and the various options available.
Thanks bowlingbun. Appreciate your thoughts.
My mother lived at home with my Dad and had dementia, which we were all in denial about until it became too severe and she became violent towards him. She had pains in her legs, increasing deafness and would drink whatever alcohol she could find and insisted on administering her own medications that obviously she completely messed up. She attacked my father one day so we called social services for help who arrived almost immediately to assess her. We told her that it was a nurse from the local surgery to look at her legs which worked. They told my sister and I that it was unsafe for her at home and she was taken into an assessment centre that day where she stayed for 6 weeks. It was considered unsafe for her to come home. We were totally shellshocked and wracked with guilt but they were absolutely amazing to her and to us. With regular meds all her pains and deafness disappeared (?) and she forgot about alcohol! We were then given a choice of suitable homes for her in the area and there she went for the next 2 years of her life where she was really happy and thankfully recognised us all when we visited. As my father owns the house he had to contribute to her care but it was never a hurdle and their main concern was for her safety and to alleviate the situation we were all in. I think my point is don’t be scared to ask for help from the NHS, they are amazing, and your mother will be in a better and safer place where you can visit. Ask for an assessment.
Siob, your dad should NOT have had to contribute because “he owns the house” . The rules for couples is clear. They can choose whether to have a financial assessment “individually or jointly”. So if MUM had over the £23,000 threshold herself, then MUM should contribute towards her care. What assets dad had should not be considered. Councils should have explained this before any financial assessment. In any case, if dad was over 60, it’s value should be completely disregarded. Council staff, especially social workers, plead ignorant, or are ignorant. I would suggest that dad goes to a solicitor to discuss this further. I reclaimed £8,000 from Hamshire CC as they didn’t apply the rules properly, claiming I’d signed something on mum’s behalf when I knew I hadn’t. Unfortunately for them, I’d studied Business Law at degree level!!!
Your first contact should be to Social Services and say that your mother is unable to cope living alone, your brothers unable to care and that she needs an urgent care assessment. In these cash-strapped times you can bet your bottom dollar, Social services will do everything they can to avoid your mother going into care, ie suggest carers coming in up to 4x per day etc etc. it may be worth getting your GP on side. You need to stand firm on this (and united). Social Services will do a financial assessment to determine how much your mum has to contribute to her care, if anything. Yes, if CHC assessment is made, care would be free but don’t get your hopes up, very difficult to get funding when dementia-related.
I went the respite care route myself, told Social Services I could cope no longer, needed two weeks off. Although very difficult, it did mean that the care home got used to my mum and she to them, so when the time came for permanent care, it was an easier transition than it would have been otherwise (still not easy).
while all this battle is going on, it is worth you or your family visiting care homes (make sure they are nursing homes with end of life care available) to see what is available in your area.
Good luck, not an easy time,
Thanks folks. Really appreciate your input.