My old mother

Hi new to the forum… have a 94 year old mother with mild dementia… adamant that she wants to stay in her own home and
not go into a care home. Social Services have assessed her several times and say she is coping at home with carers 3 times a day. My brother and myself do not agree this as we see her not coping with so many things… I have lasting power of attorney… but am told she is capable of making her own decisions… just wondered if anyone else has had or is having similar problems and any solutions. Thanks :

Hi Maureen,
Very important, do NOT promise Mum that she will never go in a Home. It’s a very hard promise to break if/when there’s no alternative. Instead say ‘only when we can’t all manage any more.’ DO get yourself clued up on the Homes in the vicinity, check out their ‘ratings’ and go visit some so when/if the time comes, you have some idea of where would be best. Might not happen for a while, but Scout’s law –be prepared!
Make sure Mum’s Needs Assessments are up to date and that people like the Occupational Therapist and Continence Nurse have visited in case there are any aids available that she hasn’t already got.
Has she got one of those alarms worn on the wrist or round the neck to summon help if she falls perhaps?
Does Mum have attendance allowance? Exempt from Council Tax if she has been diagnosed with dementia?
Could she afford a cleaner? Bit of extra help and another person to check up on her between care visits?
I’m guessing that you don’t live with her. How far away are you and your brother and how often do you see her? At her age and if she has dementia she could deteriorate very quickly. Beware of ‘knee jerk reactions’ e.g. ‘come and live with me Mum.’ Very rarely a good idea.
What do you think Mum isn’t managing at the moment?
Would she try ‘respite’ for a week?

thanks for that Elaine… mam has carers (3 times a day)… she has a wrist alarm… and does get Attendance Allowance… I have just organised an Age UK cleaner to come in as from next week…

She has been very paranoid today… talked about us whispering about her (when we were actually talking in the kitchen about something else)

Spoke to her Social Worker today… so calm, so composed… wish she had to deal with it … I asked her about getting an up to date assessment from a doctor at the memory clinic… she was very evasive… so I am going to contact them myself tomorrow…
No way is she coming to live with me… (this person she has become due to the dementia is not my mam) she has become someone I don’t have feelings for… other than resentment about what my life is now…

Social Services have offered a 2 week respite so I am visiting the home she lives opposite… (where her sister was for 10 years) I wonder if she would be happy in there as she loves company, is very charming and chatty to people (not me!!!) and I feel would have something more in her life than sitting alone all day apart from carers and my visits…???

Why s the social worker so blase about it alll. it’s my life, her life and I just feel brushed off every time I contact her. She always comes up with a practical solution but is adamant that mam is coping. Any way thanks for replying xx

Hi Maureen,
To give her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps the social worker is blasé because she has so many clients on her books that she just cannot allow herself to feel too much sympathy for any of them.
Is Mum fully funded? Much cheaper to have carers –and you of course- than pay for a Home out of the budget. While Mum can be considered to have capacity and has expressed a wish not to go to a Home, then she can be left where she is, making her own decisions, However if she is officially diagnosed to not have capacity, and you have POA, then it’s a different can of worms. But I’m second guessing her motives and intentions without any knowledge,
IF Mum will go for respite, and she is already familiar with the Home over the road, it sounds like an excellent idea to take advantage of the offer, as does an up to date assessment.
You seem to be pretty ‘on top’ of things practical, but even so arm yourself with knowledge concerning what Mum’s rights and your rights are. Does Mum own her house for instance? If you can get her into a Home, what kind of place is needed, where the money is coming from. Her local LA website might be a source of information and there’s loads on here and on Age UK too.
It sounds like Mum would be better off in a Home with capacity to deal with Dementia patients and you would certainly benefit if she was cared for 24/7, especially as she will inevitably deteriorate.
You feel that you have already ‘lost’ your Mum. That means you are grieving with all the feelings of anger, sadness and isolation which come with grief. Be kind to yourself too.