Advice - stepdad advanced dementia and mum unwell also(14 Posts)
I hope someone here might be able to advise me on what to do.
My stepdad has advanced Alzheimer's (can no longer speak, wanders, incontinent). My mum is is carer but increasingly she's unable to cope.
Her health has now taken a turn for the worse (lots of symptoms that suggest Parkinsons, very high BP so having lots of tests. She also seems increasingly under confident. Her memory is fine, but she gets confused more easily than she used to).
I live an hour away and have an autistic son who I am a carer to (altho I do manage to work a bit part time).
My only sibling lives abroad.
My stepdad also has 4 kids - 2 of them also live abroad, one is undergoing breast cancer treatment and the other lives far away also with an autistic child. So no one is 'on hand'.
I feel like it's time my stepdad went into care, and would like my mum to live nearer to me.
She's reluctant because a) she thinks she will have to pay £900 a week for his care which she can't afford (surely this can't be right) and b) she thinks it will be the beginning of the end for him.
And it's harder because he's not my actual dad (who is still alive and well elsewhere). It feels like it's my step siblings who should be perhaps navigating this, but they don't share perhaps the same concern for my mum as I do.
I feel like I want to help and support her but it's all just so complicated and frustrating for me.
I'm a practical person - I have managed to get good support for my DS by being proactive, and fighting! But I don't know where to start in this situation.
Start by helping her to find she will have to pay for care for dh and if so how much the local good homes cost. Has she seen any homes? He may well blossom with the right care and stimulation. Get a general feel for the finances and what she would like in an ideal world. Could they have live in care , for example?
She does have a financial advisor so I did think maybe a meeting with him, her and me might be the right next step.
Should she and my stepdad also have an assessment by the local authority to work our their assets and how much they would have to pay towards stuff?
First thing would be to contact his g.p for a medical review and capacity assessment and call his local adult social services department to arrange a care needs assessment, this will be at his home and will look at what help he needs. It may be that he could stay at home with carers and home adaptations, or they might suggest he would be safer in a carehome. Once they've done the assessment ask about how much funding he may get, even if it's only attendance and carers allowance then you will know how much he may have to pay. Good homes are about 1,000 a week where we live but some people do get social funding. It may be a good idea for his g.p. to come up with a plan about his prognosis and potential, the alzheimers association have a lot of info on their website. Do you know if anyone has power of attorney. If he is at risk and your mum is struggling to look after him it can become a safeguarding issue which social services can advise you on. The care assessment is based on his needs and not how much money they have, your mum can also ask for a carers assessment.
I've spoken to my mum this eve.
She has power of attorney for her DH.
It turns out he has had a care assessment and he has too much in savings to qualify for any support. He's had some adaptions at home, but he's declined quite a lot since then.
So I think the next step would be a discussion with her financial advisor. The care home she would consider is £900 pw.
I just need to help her get from a to b I think at the moment.
That's actually very reasonable for dementia care, round here it's twice that. Have you checked the price with them, they sometimes have a headline rate and change it after assessing the patient. Where FIL went, the headline rate was £1200, they wanted £1800 ad we bartered them down to £1500
Has his health got worse since his assessment, if so ask if he can be re assessed, this will help in finding the right carehome if that's the plan, they will need to know what he can and cannot manage and that they can meet his needs and have the right staff. I would also ask for a capacity assessment, the health and welfare p.o.a. can only be used if he lacks capacity and the home will ask for it anyway. If he has nursing needs he may qualify for a funded nursing care contribution which is paid directly to the carehome.
OP I'm in a similar ( ish ) situation - I really hope things get better for you soon
I can't understand how £900 a WEEK is acceptable for any normal person
Have you looked at getting carers in to help out for your mum? They do sitting services maybe for a few hours at a time which will allow your mum to get out and have a break. Also do one hour calls and 30 min calls up to 4 times a day. Might be worth looking at that first if care homes are too much x
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user as a PP said, £900 pw is not high at all for round the clock residential specialist care. Even homes that cater exclusively for those funded by Social Services have a 1:8 carer to resident ratio and then you have additional catering/housekeeping/admin, senior nurses etc etc. plus actually running and maintaining the building.
From memory the threshold for self funded care is £23k and then a contribution until savings are diminished to £14k.
Their house wont be counted as your mum will still need somewhere to live. If she sells up to move closer to you though and the house is worth (eg) £500k they may insist that she buys somewhere smaller and cheaper to continue to self fund. I'm not sure about that though so please don't take it as gospel.
From memory the threshold for self funded care is £23k and then a contribution until savings are diminished to £14k. And if savings are less than £23, they look at income too.
If they're in a care home, and get any contribution to funding from the LA, then you can't get Attendance Allowance.
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