Looking for advice

Hi all, new to the forum and new to the situation. Pretty lost at the moment so hoping for a bit of advice.

I’m 32 and an only child, I always lived at home with my elderly parents. My mum was medically high risk but still capable so no caring was required, though during lockdown she was shielding so I had been doing all the shopping and paying bills etc. Her older sister was undergoing assessment for dementia but it was decided that she was still doing ok, though things were starting to look a bit worse with her memory and everyday things.

Then in January my parents and i got really ill. I tested negative for covid but it turns out this was a false negative as both my parents were taken to hospital, tested positive and subsequently passed away within a few days. As a result of losing her only sister, my aunt’s capacity took a major nose dive and she was struggling a lot.

I’m the only family she has left and I have replaced my mum as power of attorney so the legal stuff should be ok, I’ve finally got access to her banking so i can set up DDs for all her bills and check everything is going out on time. I’m trying not to spend too much time with her because i will need to go back to work at some point and I’ve been told not to do too much because i won’t be able to continue it, which makes sense. We’ve been able to get carers coming in to give her medicine and make sure she eats and that’s been huge.

Last night i took her medicine round for the week (she has a locked box now after some went missing) and got a shopping list for today. While i was getting ready to leave this morning i got a call from the carer saying there was no food in the house to make lunch and the tin opener was lost, so I explained i was just going to get shopping. When i dropped it off however my aunt said “Oh yes i didn’t have anything this morning so I just went to the local shop and got some meat for sandwiches.” This is despite the doctor telling her on video call not to go further than just around her sheltered housing complex by herself as twice now she’s lost track of where she lives :frowning: these are just the incidents that I know of, fortunately I was with her both times and was able to make sure she got home ok.

Do you have any advice on what I can do to make sure she has what she needs and also dissuade her from going out alone? I’ve duplicated shopping with the warden or a neighbour before too when they will ask her if she needs anything and she forgets she has already spoken to me about getting it.

I’m struggling enough just trying to look after myself and my own house right now without trying to help her as well, I keep waiting for things to improve but it just feels like there’s always another thing going wrong or coming up that you dont expect :frowning:

If you made it to the end thank you for reading all the way through.

Hello Lauren and welcome to the forum.

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve lost both your parents recently and that now you are having problems with caring for your Aunt.

Seriously I think now is the time start considering a care home for her. Her dementia is only going to get worse and it probably won’t be long before she needs a team of people caring for her and keeping her safe - her needs will exceed what you alone (even with the help of Care Assistants) can provide. And that’s the key - needs trump wants.

I would suggest that in the first instance you contact your Local Authority and arrange a Needs Assessment for your Aunt
Depending on the outcome of this and depending on her financial situation you can then make decisions as to the best way forward.

Your work has to be your top priority, so you can keep your income!
Aunt cannot take priority, the more you do the less outside help she will get!
Does she own or rent her home? Have over £23,000 in savings?
Has she given Power of Attorney to anyone.
Now lockdown is easing invest in your future well being and see a private counsellor. It will help you come to terms with everything that has happened and look forward to the future.