Worried about mother

I think this may be posted on the wrong sub-forum. However, I am not sure where to place it. The issue is a little sensitive, so please feel free to move the post if this is appropriate.

My mother is 92 and has no formal diagnosis of disability. However, she is frail and she gets a little confused at times. She is cared for by my brother, who may very well have his own needs. My mother and brother live on an isolated farm.

I visit as often as I can, but it is clear that my mother is perhaps not being looked after well as she should be. Yet, although the house is very run down and dirty, it has been like this for as long as I can remember. Indeed, the state of the house etc was mentioned when I was at primary school fifty years ago.

My mother has fallen down some stairs and broken her hip. About six months ago, she fell down some steps to the pantry and cut her head. On both occasions medical professionals who have attended my mother expressed serious concerns about the way she was living and her ‘unkempt’ state. Added to this, a scan has revealed an aneurysm on her aorta.

This time, the expression of concern is more serious. My brother said that he has been told assessments will be made by social services before my mother can return to the house. He is very worried that he will not be able to adaptations they will require. He is also distressed because he fears she will not be able to return to the house due to safeguarding issues.

I am torn. My mother wants to come home. She has lived there for nearly seventy years. The farm is her life in many ways. Yet I know there are safeguarding issues involving not only the environment, but also my brother’s ability to meet her basic needs.

If I dropped one or two work commitments, I could visit every day, but this would also depend on my son’s ability to drive me to the farm (he has serious mental health issues). I could also help my brother to pay for carers.

My main concern is that even if we managed to get at least a couple of rooms in a comfortable state, and made sure my mother had carers every day (and/or I came to help out) this would not be considered enough.

I am sorry for the ramble. I am very worried about my mother, but I am also concerned about my brother. I think I am looking for a way of predicting the outcome, even though this may not be possible.

You can’t please everyone all the time!
However, it does sound like you need to take charge of what is done, as “supervisor” not do all the it yourself though, so that mum can end her days clean and tidy in the home she loves, with the aid of a lot of paid care.
How big is the farmhouse?
Would it be possible for mum to have her own rooms?
A downstairs lounge and downstairs bedroom?
Is there a downstairs toilet?
Does mum have over £23,000 in savings?
Do you have Power of Attorney?


Thank you for the really helpful reply. The good news is that my mother has had an operation and has received an implant for half her right hip. She has come round after the operation and is now receiving some post-operative physiotherapy . She has a rash on her chest which the dermatologist is going to assess. So, it looks like she is responding to treatment.

I have offered to be with my brother is any physical assessment of the environment takes place. He tends to get very anxious when visitors come. The church group that my brother and mother attend have also been down to the farm daily and I have the contact number of the leader of their small group at church, who has offered to come to the farm if my brother needs help.

I do think it is possible to make two rooms habitable and one of these rooms will be a bedsitting room for my mother. The plumbing needs attention because there is no readily available hot water and the toilet only flushes if water is poured down it. However, my brother has said he has the means to pay for the repairs. He needs to have these things repaired before the assessment takes place.

I think paid help is the way forward. Although my brother is anxious, he has stated that he thinks paid care is the best thing. My mother will probably be OK with this if she realises she will need the care to remain at home.

I think, in due time, my brother may also need some help

Hi Janet,
I’m pleased that your mum’s op was successful.
It sounds like your brother has a lot to cope with - running a farm and caring for your 92 year old mum full time.
Your brother needs your help and support. It can be very difficult knowing where to start on repairs after years of neglect.
Talk to your brother and decide where to start and make the necessary arrangements together.
Once you’ve made a start you’ll both feel much better about it all.

Just a quick update. My mother is making excellent progress. She is walking, with a frame, from her bed to the toilet and the hospital are keen for her to be discharged as soon as possible (early next week).

My brother has had the plumber in and the leaking boiler has been removed. A new boiler cannot be put in until the floorboards are replaced, so I am going to see if the joiner can be enticed to get the job done as quickly as possible. The toilet will also need replacing. A commode is coming tomorrow.

I am waiting for a new single bed to be delivered and that is going into the front room and a massive clean up is going to take place, involving both my sons, this weekend.

It looks like she will be coming home and that there will be some positive changes to her environment. However, she will need carers and she has agreed to this, according to the social worker.

BEFORE SHE COMES HOME make sure you have full details of the care plan.
Mum is entitled to six weeks of free reablement care, make sure she gets it.
Make sure you know the name of the care agency, and the name and phone number of the manager.
Has the Occupational Therapist actually been to the home with mum. She should do.

Hi Janet, I’m very pleased to hear that your mother is recovering well. That is good news.
And well done to you for all what you’ve done.
Best wishes,

Beware Friday discharges! It means that if there is a problem no one is available to resolve it over the weekend. I was sent home on a Friday after a knee replacement told that the equipment I needed was being delivered. It wasn’t. I’m nearly 6ft tall, really needed the chair raisers and raised toilet seat. Finally delivered 4 days later!!!


My mother came back to the farm on Tuesday. Although we knew discharge was imminent, it seemed to come very suddenly, a short phone call from the social worker at 11 to say she would be coming back in the afternoon.

She is very fragile and on a lot of medication, including opiates. She has osteoporosis and is deficient in vitamins B12 and Folic Acid and she has hypothyroidism. She has supplements for all these issues, but I also think my brother will need some support with ensuring she eats properly.

The care package is in place, but my mother needs someone with her all the time. I go down as often as I can (every day after work commitments), and my brother is doing the lion’s share of the caring.

To be honest, I am quite shocked to see how frail she is. However, at 92, after major surgery, she will be a bit fragile.

Thank you again for the support.

Where are the FREE Reablement Carers??
Ring the CEO’s office of the hospital, speak to the PA and make a formal complaint using the words “UNSAFE DISCHARGE” (hospitals can be fined for these!!) and demand in no uncertain terms that the free carers are arranged immediately.

Just a quick phone call is NOT acceptable. We’ve had a few instant discharges in our family, in each case they went catastrophically wrong overnight, one resulted in readmission to the hospital, the other an emergency admission to a nursing home.


I am sorry. I forgot to mention the carers. She has a district nurse who comes every day, and two carers who help her wash and dress. Yet, I think she needs more care, and I am just not quite sure how able our family are to provide this.

It’s NOT up to the family! Ask Social Services for an URGENT review of the amount of care provided under the Reablement scheme. If you think she needs much more, write a list of what extra she needs. Under the Continuing Healthcare Scheme, IF she qualifies, then it can be free residential care OR free care at home. Ask Social Services to do a “checklist” assessment for this, regardless of whether or not they think she qualifies, as it then gives a starting point. If in a months time, she has gone downhill, this should work in her favour for CHC. Sadly, a lot depends on where you live.

Hi Janet,

So sorry to hear about what is going on. I am glad your Mum is making progress though.

I don’t know what local authority you are in but in ours, you can contact the Housing department who come to do an assessment of the property and allow up to £5K worth of repairs / updates to keep the house habitable for someone with health issues. We had an assessment of our house and they said they would put in a stair lift for Mum so that she could remain in this house.

I don’t know if the scheme is still running but Martin Lewis off of Money Saving Expert was going on about a GREEN HOMES GRANT or whatever it was called where they are able to do certain repairs or put in boilers etc for free if the person is on certain benefits etc. You might want to have a quick google on it. I know of people who have had extra insulation put in to keep the house warm and had new doors put in etc. You might as well get it done for free if it’s available.

Wishing you all the best and good luck.