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89 year old grandad can't cope on his own

(8 Posts)
NichyNoo Sat 31-Aug-13 20:57:41

I'm asking on behalf of my mum who is really upset and worried. My extremely feisty grandad is now 89 and lives alone (nan died years ago). He has physical problems - a worn out heart valve that doctors are unlikely to operate on due to risks of general anaesthetic. And now he is rapidly going downhill mentally. He isn't taking his medication, isn't really eating (can't chew), sits 'watching' TV and ranting, has his heating on super-hot all the time, is registered blind due to eye problems. He is lying constantly....literally telling lies all the time about doctors, about phone calls he has...everything.

My mum has tried to contact his GP. She has been waiting for a call back all week but not heard anything yet. She (plus her brother and all of us family) live an hour away. Him living with family is not an option for various reasons (my mum's husband has brain tumour and she is already his carer, my uncle has an adult daughter with very specific needs).

What do we do? If we contact social service will they help? Grandad was dirt poor growing up and now has lots of money squirreled away from all the benefits he receives but he refuses to spend a money of it. He basically needs someone to go to his home morning and night to make sure he dresses, eats and takes medication but he will refuse to do it if he has to pay and my mum is worried as she thinks it will just be some random person earning minimum wage who comes and who will exploit him. He really needs a nursing home but would refuse that point blank. he is so cantankerous that they would probably refuse to take him. Will social services help? Will a charity help (he lives in Southport). Where do we turn???

flowerpothead Sun 01-Sep-13 09:15:40

NichyNoo, that sounds like a really difficult but sadly not uncommon situation. I'm no expert (I'm a pharmacist on a stroke ward) but I think the GP is going to be the first point of contact and the referrals to social services will come from him/her. Unfortunately it sounds like the issue hasn't quite appeared on the GP's radar. Could your Mum make your Grandad an appointment and go along with him to discuss her concerns (book a double appt if it could take some time). They are busy people so it pays to remind them, it's almost certainly true in healthcare that it's the squeaking wheel that gets the oil.
There are so many levels of care available. They will try and keep him in his own home if possible along with his wishes. His medical condition will probably determine whether or not he is eligable for carers free of charge but the GP will know a lot more. They may do a dementia screen if he is getting confused.
Good luck and I hope you manage to get him seen soon.

whataboutbob Sun 01-Sep-13 10:59:13

Hi nichy as FPH says is is a v difficult but not that uncommon situation. It sounds like your grandad has a degree of dementia, or maybe something reversible which is making him extra confused eg a UTI.
Re the finances, I believe the situation is that if you have £23 000 or more in the bank then you have to pay towards nursing home care. Below that you don t. say whether he is in a council flat or owns the property, but that would be relevant to funding.
A telephone consultation with the GP could be requested, to outline in no uncertain terms how bad the situation is. If your grandad is unsafe in his present living arrangement ( sounds like he is) the GP can t ignore it.
Finally, your grandad refusing to go into a home doesn't t mean he won't . It depends whether he has capacity to make decisions for himself or not. A specialised panel could determine that. Good luck.

NichyNoo Sun 01-Sep-13 12:50:47

Thank you. He owns his own bungalow and definitely has at least £23,000 in cash hidden away. He has been on lots of disability allowances for years and simply never spends the money (nothing to spend it on).

I'll get my mum to phone the GP again and ask for social services referral. I think they have been involved in the past when he was registered blind (well severely partially sighted) due to macular degeneration but they didn't offer much help. He seems to have gone rapidly downhill in the past month so I think now is the time to act sad

pudcat Sun 01-Sep-13 17:05:43

Can your Mum arrange for a home visit if your Granddad is awkward about going to drs. It could be something simple like an UTI - renown for causing aggression and confusion.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 12-Oct-13 02:21:19

My nan is 93 years and has refused to leave her home to go into a home.

SW has set up carer's to come in 4 times a day to coincide with medication times (otherwise they are not taken. 40 boxes of tablets were found previously). They cost £70 per week.

Meals on wheels bring lunch and

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 12-Oct-13 02:22:03

Dinner every day.

Contact Age Uk for advice.

canyou Sat 19-Oct-13 01:33:23

OP if he has gone down hill rapidly over a month get a GP assessment he may need antibiotics for a UTI. My GM would get infections all the time, we knew by her mental state eventually she was on constant low grade antibiotics for months but it worked,
She stayed in her own home with twice daily home help visits and meals n wheels until she was 98.
But ples a GP Visit asap may help immensely.

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