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Elderly parents who can manage

(14 Posts)
Daddylonglegs1965 Tue 19-Mar-19 11:04:34

Morning dad has early stage vascular dementia (he’s up and down but doing ok at the moment). My mum is currently in hospital. They coped before but my mum was shattered (mainly extra washing and. Hanging bed frequently as my dad sometimes incontinent during the night) and worry as he would wake confused not knowing where he was and mam was worried he would fall down the stairs), mam did all cooking, washing, food shopping from local Spar, light house work and worried a lot about my dad. My dad also doesn’t wash himself. My mam also advocated for my dad at numerous hospital appointments as he can’t hear very well but refuses to wear a hearing aid. I don’t know how they will manage or for how long they will manage for when my mam gets out of hospital. At the moment short term myself and two siblings are plugging the gap and visiting hospital but I wouldn’t/couldn’t do this longer term as i’m shattered running two homes.
Dad is extremely stubborn and cherry picks what he wants to listen to or take on board. The hospital have told my mum they will do an OT assessment before my mum is released and my mum is saying she’ll manage and they don’t need any extra help or care (she is also stubborn and a bit of a martyr).
I have forms to complete for power of attorney for when my mam is better and gets out of hospital (not dementia related) I also got a form for attendance allowance to complete for my dad but when I started it I wondered whether it was too soon to fill it in? From what I have said do you think this is the case please? Anything else I/we can do please? Thanks

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 19-Mar-19 15:24:31

I can't answer your main question as I'm applying for Attendance Allowance at the moment.

You need to get involved in the assessment process. Tell them firmly that you are not able to provide any support (or understate what you can provide), and set out clearly your concerns if they don't get support - the AA form is a good framework for reminding you of all the problems (even ones that you've grown to think of as normal). Lack of personal hygiene, refusal to wear hearing aid (and therefore being cut off from communication), night wandering, incontinence are all relevant. As is your mother's "resolute independence" - it's an issue which is affecting the quality of care for your Dad.

In financial terms, they'll be means tested for contribution to cost of care, but this doesn't include the value of the house while they're still living in it.

My advice would be to outsource everything possible - personal care, cleaning, etc - and save yourself for the things that only you can do - advice on decisions, researching sources of care, filling in forms etc. The "management" and administration side will only increase as they get older. And you need space to be a daughter - to visit for the enjoyment of their company.

MrsCat1 Tue 19-Mar-19 15:42:01

I have successfully applied for both POA and Attendance allowance in the last few months. From what you say I definitely don’t think it is too early to get POA in place. It takes about 3 months to come through so the sooner you get started the better in my opinion. And things can change very fast with the oldies.

Regarding Attendance Allowance, a lot of it is about Personal care. Does your Dad have continence issues and need help? Does he need help washing? Does he need help choosing clothes (otherwise would wear dirty ones)? If your Mum wasn’t there to support him, would he have to go into some sort of residential care? If the answer to these questions is mainly ‘yes’ then I don’t think it is too early.

When I originally applied for Attendance Allowance for my Mum, I (stupidly) played down the issues that she faced, and she was turned down. However, I appealed and in the process learned a lot more about it. Give loads of detail and do not hold back!

thesandwich Tue 19-Mar-19 16:55:30

I found carers association gave brilliant advice for attendance allowance- age uk offer similar, helping you spell out a bad day, not a good one.

Daddylonglegs1965 Tue 19-Mar-19 18:54:09

Thanks it’s very difficult and my parents hide a lot from us.
A very bad day could be dad wetting a double bed, peeing around the bedroom floor, being confused about where he is and talking nonsense, shuffling badly and barely able to move and be very confused about his medication etc. He hasn’t washed properly for ages and my mum reminds him to change his clothes etc.
A good day he can crack jokes, go on a brisk walk on his own, contribute to a conversation etc

Beautifullycalm Tue 19-Mar-19 19:15:15

Sorry you’ve had a bad day flowers

MrsCat1 Tue 19-Mar-19 22:37:21

Sounds to me like it is time to apply for Attendance Allowance and that he would qualify. Good luck. 💐

NewName54321 Tue 19-Mar-19 23:18:48

Whilst your mum is in hospital you have some leverage, as the hospital will want to discharge her as soon as she is medically fit so they can free up the bed.

Ask the ward to arrange for you to have an appointment with the Discharge Social Worker, in person or by phone. Explain that your mother can not possibly be safely discharged until x/y/z are in place in the home to support her and your DF, otherwise there is a very real chance that she will not be able to recuperate and will need to be readmitted.

Ask for an urgent Needs Assessment for DF, and either a Needs Assessment or Carer's Assessment for DM, whichever is most appropriate. One outcome to push for is that your DF should be referred to the continence service. Also, you might find that he would let carers carry out the personal care that he won't let your DM do for him.

NewName54321 Tue 19-Mar-19 23:29:19

Regarding Power of Attorney, from what you say your DM should be able to do them for herself. Whether DF can depends on whether or not he has the capacity to understand this.

It is still possible to make descions on behalf of someone without POA so long as it is clearly in their best interests. The problem you may have without POA is if your siblings disagree on what should be done.

Apply for the Attendance Allowance.

Daddylonglegs1965 Wed 20-Mar-19 14:31:02

Thanks all. Unfortunately my Parents don’t have the internet and hate form filling as it throws them into a panic if too many questions. So I was going to try and set up a hotspot on our iPad and try and complete the forms for Power of Attorney and Attendance Allowance with them both present at there house or I could get someone from a local Carer charity to come round and do POA for them with me present for a nominal fee (cheaper than a solicitor). Both parents have capacity at the moment but think DF may decline quite quickly. I also have two siblings so I need to do this ASAP being the eldest, probably most capable most organised and include my siblings in POA. Is it worthwhile doing POA for finance and health. Thanks again for the much appreciated advice.

Grace212 Wed 20-Mar-19 15:16:15

you can download and print the PoA forms. I don't know about the Attendance Allowance ones.

I'm getting both Finance and Health for mum.

what has been helpful in the interim is getting third party access to mum's current account. It was much quicker to sort and means I can pay bills for her. She also doesn't do internet - well she does for YouTube etc but she won't do anything official online.

LPA takes ages to come through so I can't comment on how useful it is but others find it very useful onhere.

MrsCat1 Wed 20-Mar-19 16:02:31

I printed them off and completed most of them myself (both parents have poor eyesight), having gone through the basic principles with them. I organised a ‘signing party’ and had two sets of neighbours round one day to do all the witnessing. Make sure you get the signatures done in the right order. I know people who have had them returned if this isn’t followed scrupulously. We did all the signing at one time which makes this easier.

MereDintofPandiculation Wed 20-Mar-19 17:02:24

You can download Attendance Allowance forms, which run to about 40 pages. Provided the need has already existed for 6 months, payment will be dated from the date of receipt of the form. Or you can ring 0800 733 0122 to ask for a dated form, in which case payment will be from the date of your call, provided you return the form within 6 weeks (and the condition has already lasted for 6 months).

Worth doing both LPAs. You can have more than one attorney, and you can name reserve attorneys in case the main attorneys die or become incapable. You can also give the name of friends or relatives who are to be told when the form is registered with the Office of Public Guardian - this is a safeguard against the person being pressurised into granting PoA.

If you have more than one attorney, you can specify that decisions are made jointly - all attorneys have to agree - or "jointly and severally" - one attorney can take decisions without involving the others. If you are all of like mind and trust each other, 'jointly and severally" offers more flexibility - you don't all have to sign when drawing out £10 pocket money for you parent, for example.

Health and Welfare LPA can only be invoked when the person has lost capacity, so it ensures you can fight their corner if they have dementia or if they're in a coma.

You can specify that a Finance LPA can be invoked while the person still has capacity - so you can, for example, take over the main bank account and major expenditure, and leave them with a bank account with a small amount of money in for pocket money.

BlueBell50 Fri 29-Mar-19 22:42:26

Age UK filled in the Attendance Allowance form for us, initially the lady who came doubted my Mum would get anything but she finished up getting the higher amount. My Mum hated it but has now accepted it helps her. Definitely go for it.

Agreed it is never too soon for LPA (I’m thinking of doing it for myself). Once it’s in place it’s done. In my job I speak to lots of families who say it’s made so much difference to their lives to have it in place. I sold it to my Mum on the basis that I could speak to the bank for her.

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