Local authority refuse to fund care home place

Briefly- Mum, a self funder in care home with dwindling savings.
I contact council to carry out care and financial needs assessment.
Got news today that request has been turned down. In their opinion her needs can be met in special care housing!
Mum has diagnosis of dementia, is 93, has not lived on her own for 12 years. Lived with me for the past 8 years prior to going into home and then needed prompting to eat & drink. Cannot rise out of chair without assistance, has problems holding a cup, gets up several times a night and has stated quite plainly she does not want to be on her own.
If they go ahead with this I fear for her safety but I will not take her back as I could not cope with her now.
Social worker is sympathetic and said she will take it back before the panel with additional evidence but I am not sure who could provide this. Mum was with me for 8 years. She fell maybe 4 times a week but never broke anything and because she is a small lady we just picked her up and she was fine so there won’t be anything on record. Because she was non compliant and refused to have careers when with me I felt there was no point in involving SS as all they would do is offer that service which my mother was refusing. She also refused to go to respite but did go voluntarily into the home. Has anybody been in a similar situation?

Diane, they are disgracefully “trying it on”. DON’T PANIC.

First, can I assure you that whatever happens, you CANNOT be forced to have her move back in with you.

I’ve been in a very similar situation, it’s really horrible, so be kind to yourself through this, a few extra treats to help you get through, or planning a holiday later in the year, will help sustain you.

I hope some of the following is useful, obviously I don’t know your specific circumstances, but the ideas might get you started, and make you realise what else you can do, or need to find out.

It sounds like they are just trying to take a short cut to this decision, so you need to be stubborn as a mule insisting that they follow the relevant legislation to the letter.

Also find out more about the council’s Carers Policy (you should have been given one before your last Carers Assessment) and also find out what the council’s policy is for people in mum’s position, might be called Elder Care, or something else. Social Services HQ should be able to send you copies of both.

“Panels” are not a lawful way of deciding things like this. I came across the relevant paperwork last night, will try and find it later today.

What “Extra Care” facilities are local to mum? Are there places are available immediately??? I suspect none, this sort of provision usually has a long waiting list, sometimes years. (Ask them for details of whatever places they are suggesting, and then do a bit of research.

Write down a full list of mum’s needs and print off a few copies. I mean everything, from shoe laces to hair brushing, whatever mum needs someone else to do should go on this list.
Go and talk to the Manager of the facility, give her a copy of the needs list, and say, “Can you manage mum’s needs?”

Then there are the practicalities. At her age, with dementia, she cannot organise the complete contents of a new home???

As she has dementia, she lacks capacity to manage her money. Do you have POA?

Have Social Services given you a copy of mum’s recent Needs Assessment?
It has to be updated if mum’s needs have changed, their suggestion appears to be that her needs have lessened, at 93 with dementia!!
Have Social Services given you a copy of your new Carers Assessment?
Have they done a formal Financial Assessment, asking for copies of all recent bank statements, savings accounts, etc. etc.

You need to start a diary, recording who you speak to, name, date, position in the organisation, what was said, time of the call/visit.
Also record anything mum is doing out of the ordinary.

It’s always helpful to do a jobs list, everything you need to do, cross it off as you go along. Computers make this really easy, Putting the list in priority order

Thanks very much for your reply Bowlingbun.

You have made some very good points and suggestions and I have noted them all- it will definitely help me.
I know they can’t make me take Mum back and I have made it clear I won’t take her back but of course they want the cheapest option.

I have no up to date reports or input from others as no one was involved - I did the lot!
The memory clinic discharged her after about 5 years, the GP reviewed her meds but that was about all. The practice nurse for the elderly cake once a year to give a flu injection. We did have sitters who came to sit with Mum who could write a report maybe and Mum enjoyed their company but of course I would want it to detail all the support she needed from them whilst they were here and basically Mum would get herself washed & dressed but it would take her 3 hours and they would let her carry on at her own speed and just provide tea, meals and company which I was very grateful for but I don’t think it will show her need for 24/7.

I have not been given a copy of the assessment- should I have one?
I just feel that she requires 24/7 care that only residential provides. That is what I provided for 8 years until I could no longer carry on and in the last year I was up 6-8 times a night. She does not want to move anywhere, she is quite content and feels safe. On the LA website they say in special care housing 24/7 care to meet needs is supported by ‘smart technology’. I fear this is being used as a substitute for any kind of human care at all.

A copy of the Assessment ?

A MUST … should detail exactly what will happen , and who will be responsible for delivery.

If CHC / NHS Continuing healthcare enters the equation :


Someone isn’t doing their job properly!!
Have a look at the HCPC (Health Care Proffessionals Council) website and see if the person concerned was qualified.

The write a short and “innocent” looking letter asking for copies of mum’s last Needs Assessment and your last Carers Assessment.

Just that, nothing more.
You WANT them to send you out of date assessments or a letter showlng they’ve never done one.
Have they sent you written advice saying that “Extra Care” is suitable?

Done a Financial Assessment?

ALL this should be done BEFORE it ever went to panel.

Let me know when they reply.

Thanks bowling bun.

The assessment was conducted by a student social worker but she was accompanied by a qualified mentor to ‘guide’ her.
I have asked for a copy of the assessment but she is now on leave till next week so I don’t expect to get it till then.
I thought the finance assessment had to be done afterwards so as not to be seen to possibly influence the decision making, altho I have already sent off info on that at their request?

What they have told me is that the decision is deferred till Extra Care Housing has been considered as an option. The SW said she will talk to them to see if this is appropriate. She thinks not.
As I had some free time I visited 2 places offering this in the borough where I live. I consider it may have been appropriate 10 years ago but not now. My Mum could not adjust to the change. Interestingly both places said they would be reluctant to take someone whose needs were already being met in care home because they would be offering less and at that age and with that infirmity they would find it hard to adjust and possibly lead to behaviours that they could not deal with. They also said they can only deal with dementia up to a point that their staffing levels allowed. More deterioration and they would have to move on to specialist facility. With all this now in my arsenal I have been advised to write my own 'impact statement containing all this to be submitted with the next lot of paperwork. What do you think?

Ensure CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare is , at least , mentioned.

If you don’t ask , you don’t get.

Make sure you get a written copy of the statement, and then go through it with a highlighter. For anyone to suggest “extra care” without doing their homework first is not acceptable. Usually with a Panel the relevant social worker has written a report. All sounds very haphazard and slipshod to me.

That sounds dreadful, Diane. What a situation to be in. Above all else, you need to stand firm. You cannot and will not be available should they refuse to fund mum’s care home. Smart technology is not a substitute for human care.

Yes, you should have a copy of the Carers Assessment. If they refuse to give it, I would send a complaint to the Chief Executive.

In addition to the points made by Bowlingbun, I wonder if it is worth speaking to a solicitor specialising in elderly care about the legal position. The first half hour would be free. I had to fight my local authority about nursing home fees and they only backed down when they received my solicitor’s letter telling them that what they were doing was unlawful. Your situation is different but it may be worth investigating. Also, look on your house insurance to see if legal fees are covered.

Good luck,