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Care Home how involved can I be?

(6 Posts)
TapasGirl Mon 24-Mar-14 07:28:06

My Step mum can no longer care for my Dad and he is now in a temporary care home. He has mobility issues, confused (93) and can do little for himself. Falls regularly (face badly bruised at the moment). Social services need to assess him this week with a view to providing a permanent home.
He has no money (and is in council home) so cannot pay for his care.

I am sick with worry about where he will end up and have told my Smother that she doesn't just have to accept anything but she is saying we have little choice and he needs to go where sent particularly as he has no money. Is there anything I can do in terms of speaking to the social workers. She has always been very controlling and we don't have a great relationship. Her family are very concerned about her and I just feel they don't really care where he ends up as long as she is ok. Everytime I say anything about getting involved or speaking to anyone she is very negative about my involvement.

As his daughter would his social worker allow me to be involved with his care home choice or does this come down to his wife.

I live 100 miles away, work full time with a young family but manage to get to the current home once a week.

I feel so sad and helpless and never imagined we would end up in this position.
Thank you.

mamadoc Mon 24-Mar-14 07:39:07

Well your SM is right and she is wrong....

If he is in a temporary placement then there may be time pressure to move him and it will not be possible to wait for the perfect place to come up. Also social services will only pay a 'benchmark' rate for a bed so in many areas some expensive places are ruled out. So she's right that his choices are reduced.

However as his daughter you have a right to be involved just as much as she has. 'Next of kin' has no status in law (unless he made a health and welfare LPA). If he is confused and isn't able to decide for himself then the social worker is obliged to consult family members about an important decision like this. They may not know that you exist or have a different view if your SM doesn't tell them so I would try to get contact details and contact the SW yourself.

Do you like his current placement? Often a temporary placement can be fairly easily turned into a permanent one and it does avoid another confusing move for him.

TapasGirl Mon 24-Mar-14 07:56:39

Hi Mamadoc thanks for your advice.
How do I find out who the SW is?
Yes, I do like the care home but he told me yesterday that he has never been so lonely in his life.
I mentioned it to staff and they said that it's all new and confusing for him.
The problem is that where he is at the moment it is too far for SM to get there by bus and she has to rely on family for lifts. She wants him to be closer to her so that she can visit daily (by bus) and spend longer with him. which I hope she will do.
I just think she won't challenge any decisions but doesn't want me involved.

It's such an emotional time.

mamadoc Mon 24-Mar-14 08:04:11

Easiest way would be to ask her to tell you but if she won't you could ask the care home. They are likely to have it recorded.
Or you could try ringing his social services dept (number in phone book) and if you have his details they should be able to find it.
I guess they will want to confirm who you are before they talk to you but I can't see a reason why they wouldn't.

mamadoc Mon 24-Mar-14 09:55:01

I was being a bit strictly factual in my previous replies but I do understand how hard it is. My wonderful grandparents who had a big hand in bringing me up both ended up in care in their 90s. It was hard at first but we felt at peace with it as a family in the end and they had good care. Granny especially was much happier in the home. She had always refused to go but at home she was lonely and cried a lot despite a lot of carers and visitors. In the home she knew she was not alone even if she didn't exactly have much conversation at the end.

I am sure it will help him settle and feel less lonely if SM can visit more. Can you bring some of his things from home? Photos, pictures, ornaments etc that might help him feel more settled and in time he will get to know the staff and maybe other residents.

The AD society have a 'This is me' document that a lot of care homes and hospitals use which I think is really nice. Basically it is for family to write down some things about the person; likes and dislikes, hobbies, family, life story and it helps staff get to know that person better. You could ask if they have that or a similar thing?

TapasGirl Mon 24-Mar-14 14:15:49

Hi Mamadoc Thanks again for your update.
that is a great idea about the 'this is me' document and hopefully if the care home have one it might prove to be a good sign.

We are planning on taking in his things when he goes to his permanent home as at the moment he is in temporary so will have too many things to move with him.

We are going to buy a tv for his room too which might help. I just want to sob everytime I go to see him as he looks so pitifall. When he said he had never been so lonely I felt so helpless. I just want to put it all right for him but it seems having little money when your old gives you very few choices.

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