New to forum - looking for advice

I’m hoping for some advice regarding my MIL who has undiagnosed dementia (memory clinic ass Jul 22). She has not been well recently and is on her third stay in hospital. First for an accidental o/d of her pain medication and the last two for falls, she has problems walking and sometimes even standing. She has had carers coming in but since the first fall, her mobility was so bad that they had to leave her in bed wearing incontinence pads. (She is not incontinent, just could not stand). We have not seen sight of her care plan, if there is even one arranged yet. The carers came in originally after the overdose and it has increased since then, to four visits a day. She has not seen an occupational therapist, nor has a home visit been done. We were awaiting one urgently last week but due to another fall (she was trying to get to the toilet) she is now back in hospital.

The hospital are saying things like, we will be discharging her when her bloods are back to good levels (on warfarin) but to be honest the bloodwork is only one issue. How can they discharge her without a proper care plan, an OT assessment of her and the home and knowing this is her third stay in 5 weeks.

We don’t think she should return home as she is only there due to huge input from social services and my poor husband who is running her house as well. When at home she calls all the time, cannot do anything apart from sit in the front room watching tv, or she is asleep all day. Social services send in carers to feed, dress her but we are doing her washing, shopping, cleaning the house, sorting the garden etc…taking to appts. She won’t go out of the house, well she is not able to now without a wheel chair and cannot even come to our house as we do not have a downstairs loo.

She is not aggressive in any way and can sometimes chat normally, she refuses to even consider going into a care home and does not like it at all if mentioned. We feel that this would be best for her, but unless she not not have mental capability, which they currently say she does there is nothing we can do. Memory clinic appt is not until July.

My main questions then go back to the hospital and the care plan and occupational therapist, can we say that it is fundamental that she has these things in place before she even attempts to come home. It is such a worry, last week was horrendous we found her on the floor numerous times crawling to the toilet, then she had the fall and went back in.

Sorry this post is so long, we really do not know what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Lynn.

First off, welcome!

Secondly, the Helpline might your best start - I suggest you email them!

Just a quick point: did they assess her mental capacity or did they assume it? Legally they must assume unless there is cause for concern - and raising the concern is perfectly reasonable, on the basis of how did the overdose happen if it was accidental?

Thank you for your reply, they did an AMT test after the accidental o/d said she had delirium and to get a memory clinic referral. She scored 6/10 in the test which suggests cognitive issues. However after her last visit to hospital (she is back in again now) they put on the discharge form that she has full mental capacity. She just wanted to get home, no thought as to how she would manage at home. She did not manage even with carers coming in, mainly due to mobility though. Thank you for your reply I will do as you suggest and email the advice line.

The hospital should not send her home without a proper assessment first.
Does she live with you, or in her own home?

I’d complain straight to the CEO of the hospital, and say that they are not following proper discharge procedures, especially assessing your ability to care, and your husband’s. You CANNOT be forced to care.

Thank you for replying. She lives in her own home, but only with extensive support. Carers daily, nurse for medication, we do cleaning, washing , shopping, manage house etc… we can’t carry on though it’s just too much. Last week was a horror. I had to wash 3 duvets with faeces, due to her issues etc.

My MIL expects my husband and me to do all the above, but it’s so hard. She won’t entertain the idea of a care home.

We have not even heard from anyone all week, no idea what’s going on. Called PALS still nothing, expect it’s due to the bank holiday. We are adamant that she will not come home without a proper care plan at the very least and it has to include everything that we do too.

Thank you for your comments.

Sounds as if you’re doing everything right, Lynn.

Don’t let them tell you the rules have changed because of Covid. While that was a possibility during the lockdowns, currently no council area has announced (as they have to) that they are relaxing the rules due to pressures from Covid.

Any update op.

I’d leave it to the member to report back if or when they were able to or wanted to.
There could be all manner of reasons for no response and while it would be good to hear good news, the space to do what they need to do is the best thing to give them. If they need more help they will return, otherwise just hope that all is well.