SItuation worsening, returning to forum

Hi. First joined 5/6/7 yrs ago when widowed Mum was vaguely diagnosed with vascular dementia after a series of headaches and a scan. Doc was not definite, but advised POA, which we did thru solicitor, but it only covered money & property.
I probably should get the other one, do I need a solicitor? I’m an only child, Mum and I live together, in fact I"m her only close blood relative, unmarried, 60, so solicitor is also finance POA severally, just in case.
We went back to Doc 3 yrs ago when Mum began to forget a bit more, Doc and I put a lot of it down to recent house downsize, but we arranged a Carers assessment, and a mental capacity visit. The MC visit was a nightmare, the first time he turned up unannounced when I was out and I came home to find her in bits, not knowing what it was about. He apologised and came again the next week, with me present; I’ve since learned that he is not considered competant by people I know who have been involved with him. (His report was factually inaccurate, my name is wrong three times - not surprising when he took no notes!)
Carers Assessment similarly had no outcome, except to contact if my own health failed - and I was made to feel in the nicest way that I’d wasted her time!
The short term memory is now definitely failing, not remembering having eaten, forgets how to alter the tv, or where things are stored, whether we’ve food in the house etc., but it’s intermittent. She reads for hours, enjoys TV but doesn’t remember when a programme comes on again. Still doing washing and ironing, and a lot of the cooking if it doesn’t involve the oven (which is digital and therefore a mystery). Unable to use a mobile phone, we’ve tried three times over maybe 10 years
Luckily not yet incontinent, though I did suspect some small leaks which seem to have now stopped, and no trace after the skirt was washed. Difficult for a son, however mature, to look after Mum so intimately.
For weeks, months maybe, she’s had a sore throat, and a bit of problem swallowing. The throat thing happened before, maybe 12 yrs ago, and after tests was dclared non-existent, but Mum hated the pipes up the nose and is of ocurse scared it will happen again only to be told there’s nothing again. Every time I suggest Doctor she says she’ll be OK. Unfortunately to get named Doctor here is usually two weeks, she won’t see some of the others.
As you can tell, I"m beginning to struggle. We have no family in the UK, and those few we have and are in contact with are all elderly or sick. Friends are very kind but I know this cannot go on. Luckily, although not working any more, I am a church organist so have to be out several times a week.
It is now 03.28 on Sunday morning, I’m going back to bed to try to sleep having got this off my chest. Thanks for reading.

Hi Markyboy.

The first thought that occurred to me was … what do YOU want to happen ?
( A continuous problem that I wrestled with for 10 years without finding a solution beyond what I was already doing. )

Additional outside care support … if feasible and affordable … or , perhaps , consideration of moving your mother into a care home ?
( Assuming that CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare is NOT a factor here ? )

Obviously , the latter comes with all sorts of questions and considerations which , if that is the chosen route , we can help with.

Your mother … what are her thoughts ?

Feasible … given that you are her carer ?

And , your thoughts on those ?

The future course is yours to set … unless events dictate otherwise ?
( On the care homes front , my reply to a posting yesterday would be a good starting point : )

A few quick questions.
How old is she?
Who owns her home?
Does she have over £23,000 in savings (Yes/No)?

Hello and welcome!

Have you asked for a needs assessment or not?

Hi Markyboy
I’m not qualified enough to offer advice but just want to wish you luck with the way forward.
Take care

Thanks for the replies and the wishes.
To answer questions asked: Mum is 86, I"m 60 unmarried, and we live together in a house we own outright and moved to 5 yrs ago, which is in joint names to protect it. I was told not to put it in my name alone in case something happened to me. She has less than £5k in savings, I have a bit more and a rented-out commercial property; I don’t know where that will leave her.
I haven’t had a recent assessment, but I know I really do need one and will look into it when the surgery reopens.
I’ve also got a POA (Care) ready for when I can get a couple of friends in to help us complete it.
Is there anything else I should be doing?
I can fully understand that there is no easy answer, but it helps knowing there are others out there. Friends are very good with suggestions, but there’s always the fear of ‘talk’ and Mum wouldn’t like that. She knows she gets confused, and asks ‘what’s happening to me’ but won’t let me book the doctor, and when dementia comes on TV she expresses sorrow for ‘these poor folks’ just as she does for frineds and relatives with it, but doesn’t recognise the same thing in herself. This I’m assuming is quite usual.

Your welcome.

Indecision is often the bane of family / kinship carers … until it’s almost too late too change things.

Whatever route chosen will not be plain sailing … no route ever is.

Several options have been set out to assist you.

The ball is firmly in your court … and tough decisions may now have to be made.

Raise or … fold ?


No, there are no easy solutions. I would book a GP appointment for mum, not of course because she needs a dementia assessment :wink: but maybe an elderly persons check-up. I phoned my mum’s GP and asked him to see her on this pretext as mum would have refused. The advantage to a diagnosis is that she may be able to get tablets to slow the progress of the disease down.

Additionally, I would contact Social Services and ask for an urgent care assessment. There will come a point when mum needs more help than you alone can give. Also, look into what support is available locally - Alzheimers Society branch, Admiral nurses etc.

Please don’t delay POA as if mum gets too bad, she will not have the capacity to sign. I did it through a solicitor which was not too expensive.

I too cared for my mum on my own without any support from friends or family and it was very hard. This is a marathon, not a sprint, you need to bring in resources around you so that you can cope.

Wishing you all the best,

I would echo what others have said about getting the POA sorted out without delay. My brother and I have recently obtained POA to allow us to manage our aunt’s finances (we did it ourselves without a solicitor) and it took nearly 3 months from the application being submitted until the POA was registered and received.

It’s a very cumbersome process. We did not list anybody on the form as persons to be contacted about the application to give them an opportunity to object (we’re her only relatives so there was nobody else) and the OPG still had to allow four weeks for people to be notified although it wasn’t applicable! Ridiculous.

Our application for the Health and Welfare POA was rejected because the witness had signed one page in the wrong place, so we had to start all over again with that one, and it has still not been issued. Last weekend our aunt was discovered unconscious on her bedroom floor (she’s 95 and lives alone) and admitted to hospital, so it would have been very useful to have had the POA in place already. However, the doctors are being very good about consulting my brother about her treatment (he is her next of kin) so that is helpful.

Although a POA may not be registered for 3 months, if you kept a copy of the signed form, then that clearly shows the patient’s intentions, and should be respected by a doctor. It certainly was in my own mum’s case.