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At what point does someone with a dementia type illness be considered unable to manage alone?

(13 Posts)
SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 14-Sep-12 13:52:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CMOTDibbler Fri 14-Sep-12 14:13:25

I think its a combination of things really, but mostly to do with safety as food, cleanliness etc can all be assisted with by carers going in once or more a day.
My grandmother had to enter residential care when she was a) vunerable to people coming to the door b) a danger to the house in terms of putting inappropriate things in the microwave (cooker had been permanently switched off) and c) wandering

For my mum, she's ok at the moment as dad is there, but if anything happened to him she'd need care as she can't be trusted with her medications and is vunerable to phone/door/post scams

Parly Fri 14-Sep-12 16:14:00

It will depend on each individual but generally speaking, things shift towards a person being “unable to manage” if they are no longer considered to have a safe and secure environment, are putting themselves or anyone else at serious risk and can no longer safely carry out day to day tasks that enable them to eat, drink, keep warm, clean and healthy etc.

Mobility problems for someone living alone can usually be helped by means of a small care package or aids and adaptations etc to help them live independently. On its own, reduced mobility won’t warrant a person having to give up their own home.

sandyballs Wed 19-Sep-12 08:09:05

My mum has had dementia for about three years but was managing ok with carers going in and me and my brother. She was reasonably happy but grubby and not eating enough unless we forced it. I often pondered the question you have asked.

The tipping point occurred a month ago when her neighbours rang me at midnight to say mum was wandering up and down the street in her night clothes, hammering on doors looking for dad (who died 20 years ago). She has been in hospital ever since and we are trying to find a care home for her.

Thymeout Sat 22-Sep-12 10:21:06

We managed to keep my mother in her own home till the very end when she was admitted to hospital through refusing to eat or drink. But her mobility declined at the same rate as her mind (vascular dementia) so she was never at risk through wandering, falls, fire etc. She was basically chairbound for the last 3 years, 4 LA carers p.d. and weekly visits from family to cope with cleaning, shopping, hair washing etc. 5 hr roundtrip, so difficult to do more. (Tho' I still feel bad about that.) Lots of phonecalls. I tried to build up a relationship with individual carers who rang me when they were concerned about her, or problems with the house.

It was a v sad and stressful 5 years. With hindsight, it would have been easier for us if she'd gone into a home, but the social worker said it would probably have shortened her life and at least she knew where she was. Own bed, recognised the view from the window etc. I think perhaps we missed the critical point when she would have been able to adjust. She was adamant she did not want to move.

So I'd say it is possible to keep someone with dementia in their own home, but only if they are more or less immobile. And if the LA is agreeable, less likely if funding has been cut. My mother owned her own home and they would have saved a lot of money if they had refused to subsidise visiting carers. But they never put pressure on us to move her.

If you are going the residential route, probably the sooner the better so they have more chance of adjusting.

Best wishes, OP. Two years from her death, I am still finding it difficult to process the emotions I put on hold while I was coping with the day to day practicalities of her long term decline.

SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 23-Sep-12 22:06:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lilymaid Sun 23-Sep-12 22:11:31

Has he already had a mental health assessment? This can be arranged via the GP.
Are you seeking financial assistance for care home fees?

procrastinor Sun 23-Sep-12 22:16:24

Just a quick point - there will need to be a formal diagnosis of dementia and a proven lack of capacity with regards to this issue. I have been personally really surprised by someone actually having capacity and who wanted to go back to their own home even though we thought there was an incredibly high chance they wouldn't cope. There was nothing we could do to stop that. In a hospital based system it seems to fall to the doctors to make a capacity assessment, but I don't know if it's different in the community.

Thymeout Mon 24-Sep-12 18:09:45

I think, if SS are already involved, I'd ring them first. My mother first needed carers after a stay in hospital. They wouldn't discharge her till a care package was in place. At that point, her dementia wasn't obvious. Her confusion was thought to be connected to a uti. But she was never the same after getting home. (I think she'd had a mini stroke, but this was never confirmed.) The LA arranged for a mental health assessment which was done in her home, with my brother present. He was shocked at how little of the test she could do, particularly copying drawings, remembering a given set of words. She was OK on the dates of WW2 etc. The diagnosis was 'severe short term memory loss'.

Have you arranged for a Power of Attorney? It's much easier if you can get this in place before a diagnosis.

Hope you have other family members to help you.

dementedma Sun 14-Oct-12 20:17:54

Dad has dementia and a lot of physical problems. GP wants him to go into a home, dad says he will kill himself first. He manages OK with his hygiene, meals and medication by using a system of notes,white boards,colour coded messages etc but he is deteriorating and his memory is very very poor. I think he can still manage at home with support but he is terrified of being put a home against his will. Does anyone know if the LA can do this?

gingeroots Mon 15-Oct-12 09:42:26

Don't know but would suspect not .

Suppose a person might be sectioned if a risk to themselves .

Sounds as though he's managing ,could he have a little support from carers ?

Hope someone comes along soon who knows answer .

gingeroots Wed 17-Oct-12 10:55:23

dementedma - have been hoping someone would come along with the answer to your question .
Age Uk are very good and from my own research I've found this from their factsheet nos 37

If you do not want to go into a care home

You cannot be forced to go into a care home. However if you unreasonably refuse to accept a place in a care home after a thorough discussion, social services is entitled to consider it has fulfilled its duty to assess and offer services. It may then inform you that you need to make your own arrangements. To fulfil its statutory duty, social services must show that you are refusing a care package and have persistently and unequivocally refused services on more than one occasion.


awbless Wed 24-Oct-12 23:00:04

Agree re Age UK, they are really helpful and knowledgeable.

Also the Power of Attorney is a must to be able to sort out pensions etc. get this done ASAP.

MIL has vascular dementia and has been in a Care Home since Jan. Up until then she was in her own home with Carers coming in 4 times per day. Very similar to other posters, she left the house at night knocking on people's doors looking for her husband (dead 20 years), she took all of her medication in one go, so for us it was her safety that prompted us to look for a care home - but it wasn't easy. The local authority seemed to want her to stay at home with Carers coming in, rather than her go in a care home. We really had to 'shout' loud! Not a pleasant time. GP was good in helping us and my DH really had to lay it on thick about how bad things were. It din't help that his sister had "always promised mum she wouldn't put her in a home". What alternatives she had we never got to the bottom of. Easy to say but what did she think she was going to do when the time came?

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