Law Regarding Leaving Alone

I am my dad’s full timr carer. He has vascular dementia. He can’t walk or raise the alarm in an emergency. He is not bed ridden but leaving him in a chair could be problematic as he can’t position himself. Should he be left alone at all? Is going to shops briefly acceptable? A walk around the block less than an hour? I am still on career break. Is going back to work even part time possible because he can’t raise the alarm or exit the house?

Hi Jason
You might want to speak to the LA re special smoke alarms. I had a smoke alarm for Dad which linked into the lifeline so if it went off the lifeline people came out as Dad wouldn’t have heard and more latterly not had the sense to press the lifeline.

I’m really concerned that you don’t seem to be getting any help for dad, who is clearly in need of support. When did Social Services last do a Needs Assessment for him and a Carers Assessment for you?
Do you live with dad? Who owns the house?
Does he have over £23,000 in savings?
Claiming Attendance Allowance? Exemption from Council Tax?
How old is dad, and you?

He doesn’t qualify for Council help. He has assets over 23K. Council dismissed his trust set up at same time as diagnosis because of terms not timing. I didn’t challenge. I doubt he would qualify for continuing care even now judging by check list. We had “Council” carers in when he came out of hospital for reablement due to the only time in 3yrs of getting a UTI. That doesn’t give me much break. 45 mins X 4. I would rather do it myself as I know it’s done properly. They were poor. There is no daycare as they can’t accommodate him. A local one didn’t really want to change his pad or position him. I do every single thing for him. He might feed himself a sandwich or hold a cup with assistance depending on mood or give his teeth a tickle with a brush.

In those circumstances, I hope he is paying you a substantial amount to reduce his savings below £23,000? This would be entirely lawful and should not be regarded as deprivation of assets.
Can you not find someone privately who can come in during the day?
Do you have POA?

Legally there is nothing stopping you leaving your dad alone. (If you were to walk out and not come back that would be social service problem legally, not yours!) You have to consider that you need to have time out from full-time caring. Yes there is risk leaving him alone even for short periods but everything in life involves a degree of risk.

In terms of returning to work though, I do think that more telecare would need be put in place before you could consider doing so, albeit part-time as you say. Specifically, having full motion sensor activated system so that if he did slip off the seat trigger alarm and someone could attend.

I am guessing you are in Englandshire where personal care is not free. I have to say that I wouldn’t have paid for care previously provided so can empathise with your situation. I would, though, second BB’s suggestion of looking for a private carer though as thr situation as is, leaving aside your work, is simply not sustainable. To contrast, my mum is not nearly as far along dementia path as your dad (its motivation/inability to recognise her needs rather than lack of capability being main problem) and withdrawal of her personal care at end of november is causing me (not to mention social services) to consider seriously whether staying at home for more than immediate future is feasible even tho is getting personal care visit around midnight for pad change. Already had respite stay as a result of no morning visit.

As he is self funding you can contact which ever care agencies you can and see what they can suggest and offer, and at what cost. No one single person can cope a lone 24/7 for someone with increasing dementia.
I spoke to neighbour tonight whose husband died 19 years after being diagnosed, 11 of those being spent in residential Home.
No one can care alone for that long, you need to start out side help now, and be prepared to increase it when necessary to meet his needs., and yours

This doesn’t mean you don’t love him, it just shows you are caring and thoughtful and ensuring he has the help he needs at the times he needs it


Residential or not is a huge dilemma for all concerned. For my own physically disabled mum, we reached the point where we had tried every alternative, and residential became the only option left. It wasn’t what either of us wanted, but it was what she needed, someone around any time of the day or night.

Lifeline smoke alarm - I don’t know if that would be suitable as if he was called up he probably wouldn’t press any buttons or talk clearly.

Sitting in chair with sensors - again probably not suitable as it would require someone to position him. I was full time work up to Jan 2017, but was coming back to sort out his problems. If he was left a drink on the side he probably wouldn’t be able to give it to himself. Sitting in a chair or in bed.

Finances - he has 97k in savings and a house woth just over 200k. I don’t have my own home and savings under 10k as this is the family home. He went away for 10 years. He pays all bills. I don’t take any extra money for myself each week, although I am loosing around £250 including pension. I lived rent free in his house for those 10 years - so in effect about 59k in rent.

My sister comes round for 2-3 hrs a week usually and so does my niece. We both have POA.

“Lifeline smoke alarm - I don’t know if that would be suitable as if he was called up he probably wouldn’t press any buttons or talk clearly.”

He wouldn’t need to communicate. The alarm that dad had was for people unable to communicate or react in a fire . The alarm goes through to the lifeline team and they come straight out with the key and call the fire service.


Not sure if I’m too late to the party, but I recently bought an elderly alarm for my mum through

They didn’t have exactly what I needed on their website (a bed sensor as we were worried about my mum not getting back to bed when she nipped to the toilet). They sorted it anyway.

There’s a few providers out there, but this is the one I went with and they were really helpful.

Hope you get the POC you need, I know how stressful and tiring it is.