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Our neighbour...

(370 Posts)
MrsSchadenfreude Sun 22-Feb-15 21:28:09

He is in his 80s, has been in and out of hospital for the past year (he has mental health problems and is often kept in for several weeks), recently went through a very messy divorce to someone less than half his age. He has become increasingly more and more paranoid that "someone" is out to get him, a professional person, who is being paid by his ex wife. He thinks that people are getting into his flat all the time, moving stuff around and stealing his money. (The stuff, and money, inevitably turns up in perfectly logical places, like his wallet, a folder he keeps personal documents in etc.)

He is frightened to be on his own in the flat, and as a result, bangs on our door three or more times a day, to ask our advice about whether he should call the police about this person "breaking into his flat". He asks to come and sit in with us, wants to stay the night. We are quite happy to give him a cup of tea or have him for dinner from time to time, and do so, but it has now reached the stage where he is driving me absolutely round the twist.

I used to work from home one day a week, but have had to give this up, as he just comes and bangs on the door, if he doesn't see me leave the flat. If he catches me or DH on our way out to work, he detains us, talking about the "break ins". I don't want to be rude, but I couldn't get away from him one day last week (he started crying) and was an hour and a half late for work.

I know he is scared and lonely. I know he is old. I know I should be more tolerant, but he is making my life a misery. I can't step outside the flat without him being right outside my front door. He has carers in twice a day, but he is very rude to them, and they hauled me up the other day when I was working from home, claiming that he had accused him of stealing his money, when it was in his pocket all the time.

We have his daughter's contact details, and have told her what she is like. She just thanks us for being nice to him, and says she doesn't live locally, and has a busy life so can't come up very often.

I've started going into work really early, so that he can't detain me (he usually gets DH instead) and trying to coincide coming home with when his carers will be there, so he doesn't bother me then. It's got to the stage where I feel like a prisoner, and my hours are being dictated by this man. Any ideas what I can do?

Methe Sun 22-Feb-15 21:31:42

Speak to social services. It sounds like he is a very unwell man who perhaps would be better off living in a supported environment.

BetterTogether75 Sun 22-Feb-15 21:33:54

Agree - try social services. If he is a housing association or council tenant maybe try speaking to his housing officer too? Age UK helpline?

fizzycolagurlie Sun 22-Feb-15 21:34:20

I agree with Methe. Also SS should be able to send people round daily (consistent people not changing all the time) to check he is okay / chat with him about his concerns and assess him.

minionmadess Sun 22-Feb-15 21:34:25

I would be telling his dd exactly what you have written here and that you will be ringing SS for advice.

You sounds lovely, but cannot carry on like this.

laughingmyarseoff Sun 22-Feb-15 21:35:19

It's not his fault but he is being harassing towards you and that's not fair at all. He's being very anti-social, through his own declining health true but you shouldn't hate being at home.

Can you call age concern for advice?

PiranhaBrothers Sun 22-Feb-15 21:39:58

Agree with contacting social services. He's not coping, his mental health sounds like it might be deteriorating.

MidniteScribbler Sun 22-Feb-15 21:41:21

I'm not sure about the UK system, but I imagine there is something the equivalent of what we have here which is the Office of the Public Advocate. They can take on guardianship of people with impaired capacity to make their own decisions.

I do think you need to call his daughter in the first instance and be incredibly firm with her. Her father is not coping living independently anymore, and she needs to either make some serious decisions, or hand over guardianship to whichever body in the UK does that. If she continues to avoid responsibility, I would be calling her each and every time you are harassed by him, regardless of time of day or how many times per day it happens. She needs to be aware of just how much this is impacting on your lives. And whilst he is not aware of his actions, it IS harassment and you have every right to take action to have it stopped. You sound lovely, but it isn't your responsibility to care for him outside of what neighbourly courtesy dictates. It would be worth keeping a diary of what goes on, as if he does get to the stage of getting the social services involved, then you can provide them with valuable information about his actions and activities that will help them make the appropriate decisions for his care.

Quitelikely Sun 22-Feb-15 21:48:49

Gosh this man is seriously ill and his meds aren't very effective.

Please contact your local SS department because he needs an assessment of sorts. This assessment will determine the risks he poses to himself and others.

Because he has carers in it is possible that he has had an assessment and deemed fine to stay at home.

In that case you might have to bite the bullet and tell his dd that he needs to reduce visits to your house. Or you could tell him this yourself I. The nicest possible way.

Royalsighness Sun 22-Feb-15 21:51:42

Call the council/SS and also call dementia uk and see if they can help but to me it sounds like he needs to be cared for in a home environment

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 22-Feb-15 21:59:17

Thank you, everyone, that's incredibly helpful. He doesn't want to go into sheltered accommodation, because if he does, his flat will be sold to pay for it, and he wants (understandably) to leave it to his two daughters. I can see how, superficially, most people would think he is fine, and OK to live on his own (he said he had an assessment when he was released from hospital the other week, and they apparently said that he could manage well with carers twice a day). I don't think other people (even his DD) get this constant paranoia that we do, about people breaking into his flat.

I will speak to AgeUK/DementiaUK and possibly Social Services (although they must be involved already) after I've spoken to his daughter.

mrsfuzzy Sun 22-Feb-15 22:33:06

you sound a complete angel coping with this gentleman, but he is not your responsilbility at the end of the day, how the heck is d? d so busy that she can't take time to get him sorted out with social services ? take about shifting the work onto some other mug, tbh hid dd sounds as if she'd rather wash her hands of the situation, it's a very sad situation.

Definitely contact social services,the poor old guy needs help.

His carers shouldn't be pulling you up and telling you things about him though,and that would actually make me question them!

toobreathless Sun 22-Feb-15 22:39:26

You sound fantastically supportive (not being sarcastic!) what a lovely neighbour you are.

Agree contact SS and register a concern. He very much sounds like a Vulnerable adult and at risk, this should hopefully trigger some sort of review. Be very clear you are concerned about the risk to him, of self neglect, further deterioration in his mental state, exploitation from others rather than being too descriptive about the impact on you. If there are safeguarding issues this is the sort of thing that should hopefully trigger a proper assessment and more support.

engeika Sun 22-Feb-15 22:41:52

Sounds like dementia/ mental health problems. You must contact his DD every time.

(Too easy for her to abdicate responsibility, (and inherit the house), he needs a supported living environment - probably a care home at this stage.

Bugsylugs Sun 22-Feb-15 22:45:39

To be fair unless he engages and agrees social services will be less than helpful. They will only intervene if person agrees or is assessed as lacking capacity.
I would contact the local safe guarding team

ARoomWithoutAView Sun 22-Feb-15 23:03:30

You may want to remind dd that if she doesn't get involved then SS may do and her inheritance may be lost. She may not care of course.

Adarajames Sun 22-Feb-15 23:05:39

The carers shouldn't be telling you anything regarding him as you're not family and they should be respecting his right to confidentiality! Def need to contact SS soon as can, and keep s log of everything as it's likely you're the only one who sees this part of his needs so he's not being fairly assessed as to the help he needs. I've an older neighbour who is disabled who became quite dependant on me and it really drained me to point where actually started to impact on my own MH, and I've had to withdraw a lot from it to take care of myself better so I know how hard that can be and how guilty we feel having to do so, but it's so important to look after yourself first flowers

mimishimmi Sun 22-Feb-15 23:25:44

Rather than mental health problems, all these symptoms are typical of dementia. He needs to be assessed and possibly put into care.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 22-Feb-15 23:28:02

Adara, I think the carers just wanted a witness that the money was in his pocket all the time, and that they hadn't stolen it, as he was alleging.

Adarajames Sun 22-Feb-15 23:34:00

Yes, possibly I suppose. The rest really does need reporting / investigating, the poor man must be so stressed and scared, and he needs proper support, not relying on you op; you're so a wonderfully kind neighbour but you really need help to sort this out x

But they shouldn't have done it and them telling you doesn't make you a witness,does it? I would also be wary because,given his fears and what he says,he would make a prime target for theft as nobody would believe him!

Mrsrochesterscat Mon 23-Feb-15 00:26:31

If you say his dilusions are not as obvious to others, then perhaps the best way you have of getting SS to take notice is to not stop him from calling the police when he gets these ideas. The police will cotton on to the delusion aspect and will make a referral to SS every time he calls. It sounds like he needs somebody to take notice of his needs.

Mrsrochesterscat Mon 23-Feb-15 00:29:02

That should say "As you say...", not "If...".

Adarajames Mon 23-Feb-15 00:31:22

Good suggestion MrsRochester, the police are obliged to contact SS re vulnerable adult issues, and should move it up the priority level in probably overloaded SS cases

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