Advice please: Elderly mil cannot carry on living with me

(473 Posts)
joystir59 Sun 28-Feb-21 18:36:45

Sorry if this is a bit long:
My DW died in July. Her mum had been living with us for some years at this point. There is another daughter who is very hands off and lives approx 200 miles away
Mil is 87, poor sight, poor hearing, bad mobility, not able to manage her own affairs or communicate without extensive help, struggles to use the shower. I support her with shopping, laundry and overseeing things like GP reviews. She hasn't left the house for years. She is reclusive and uncooperative, will not grant her surviving daughter LPA, hasn't written a will, doesn't like anyone coming in to provide care or support e.g. if I want to go away. She is scared of being left alone at night and not able to leave the house unaided.
I have decided that she cannot continue to live here and I'm not prepared to become her carer and give up my freedom. I also don't think her needs are being met, and this will get worse. I want her to go into a nursing or residential home near her other daughter so daughter can oversee her care.
I understand she will need a Care Needs Assessment. Does anyone know if this can be done here where she now lives but then be used by the local authority in her daughter's area? Does anyone know how difficult it is to get an assessment that a residential home is needed?).
Any advice on any aspect of the process gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
BunnyRuddington Sun 28-Feb-21 18:42:22

I'm so sorry for the loss of your DW and the situation that you now find yourself in.

I don't have any experience of getting care in another area but from what I've read on here, it might be worth calling Age U.K. and talking this through with them thanks

joystir59 Sun 28-Feb-21 18:49:25

Thank you for reading my post and yes, good idea, I will try Age UK tomorrow

OP’s posts: |
BunnyRuddington Sun 28-Feb-21 18:55:06

I hope you get somewhere. Our DMIL went into care last year after developing delirium and being treated in hospital. She's in a care hike in the same area though, I understand that it's more difficult if you want care in another area.

If she was placed on your area, would your SIL provide toiletries, pocket money and clothes/shoes/slippers etc when needed?

BunnyRuddington Sun 28-Feb-21 19:06:47

And please update us with what Age Concern say thanks

justchecking1 Sun 28-Feb-21 20:21:43

All the assessments will be done by social services in your local area. They will then place her near her daughter if that's what she would like. It will all be funded by the local area unless she is privately funded

HumourReplacementTherapy Sun 28-Feb-21 20:39:37

That sounds incredibly hard. So sorry to hear about your DW. You're right, and I'm a bit flabbergast that her other daughter hasn't stepped up!
My experience of adult SS is that they are very slow to respond. You'll need to be firm.
I hope it works out for you.

BunnyRuddington Sun 28-Feb-21 20:43:03

My experience of adult SS is that they are very slow to respond. You'll need to be firm.

This is my experience too. I was friendly but phoned DMIL SS almost daily until she was in a suitable home.

AcornAutumn Sun 28-Feb-21 21:44:15

Are the MIL and daughter on board with this?

If so, it seems as if the daughter should be doing all this?

My understanding is that local care assessments happen in the area the person currently lives in.

If she has funds, can't she just pick a care home and if they have space, they will take her?

AcornAutumn Sun 28-Feb-21 21:46:10

"Just pick" might sound flippant but at one point, we looked at care homes for dad and it was a case of him choosing - luckily didn't come to that, but that was the process and he could only choose by what we told him because getting him there to visit was too big a nuisance.

joystir59 Sun 28-Feb-21 21:48:49

Mil has small amount of savings, no property to sell, so care home will need to be funded. Her daughter really resents having to deal with her mother. If she refuses I'm.going to have to just be really hard and insist SS deal with this.

OP’s posts: |
AcornAutumn Sun 28-Feb-21 21:53:51


Mil has small amount of savings, no property to sell, so care home will need to be funded. Her daughter really resents having to deal with her mother. If she refuses I'm.going to have to just be really hard and insist SS deal with this.

I see

I am sorry you are having to deal with this and at such a hard time.

Elouera Sun 28-Feb-21 21:56:01

I'm so sorry on the loss of your DW flowers

Do you have contact with the daughter? Have you told her the entent of her mothers needs and that its not YOUR responsibility to look after her? What are her thoughts? What does the MIL want to do?

I'm unsure from your post if you are male or female, but either way, it must be difficult to provide intimate, personal care like showering to your MIL! If not being done now, it sounds like it might be needed very soon!

This needs to be managed sooner rather than later and agree with others to get in touch with age UK or your local authority. I'm suprised you have managed to carry on for so long since your wifes death if I'm honest, but I'm sure you have had so much on your plate.

You need to time to grieve and time for yourself. You are certainly in no way being unreasonable to want your own life back. Best of luck and keep us posted. Sending a virtual hug x

CovoidOfAllHumanity Sun 28-Feb-21 21:58:52

If she lives in a house entirely owned by you and you no longer want her to live there then it's your right to essentially kick her out. Her age makes really no odds.

I mean I know it sounds harsh but you have no legal obligation (and you only have a moral one if you had eg promised your partner)

You should be clear that you are making her homeless as the LA then have a duty to house her. If you do not make this clear they will try to get you to keep her. It's best to be very clear.

You ring up the local authority (number in phone book) and ask to be allocated a social worker to do a needs assessment and financial assessment under the Care Act. Make clear straight away that you take no responsibility for her and will be giving her notice to leave in x weeks. The assessment is the responsibility of the LA where she lives now and they will have a duty to house her but it's likely they will be sympathetic to her being placed out of area near her daughter unless it's very much more expensive (they will still be paying)

If she has savings over 26,500 she will need to fund her own placement but the LA would help her find one

If she has capacity to make her own decisions then it's up to her whether she moves nearer to her other daughter or stays in current area but she cannot choose to stay with you if it's your house and you say no.

The LA will likely contact her daughter so you don't have to do that if you don't want to unless out of politeness.

It sounds harsh but you need to be very clear that you will make her homeless and you are not in any way responsible for her if you want her to be housed elsewhere otherwise the LA will not take responsibility.

Mischance Sun 28-Feb-21 22:03:22

I am sorry to say that the speediest way to get action is simply to tell social services she can no longer live there and is effectively homeless. I am presuming she has no financial interest in your home. They will then class her as a vulnerable adult and are obliged to make an assessment.

Sadly, if she has no funds, they will place her in a care home that they (or whichever authority she lands up with) are willing to pay for - these are never the best homes. Frankly some of them are grim.

I am so sorry to hear about your wife; and also the dilemma that you now find yourself in.

Purplewithred Sun 28-Feb-21 22:04:01

If the care home needs to be funded you need to call your own local social services ASAP for an assessment. Tell her you are not able to meet her needs. They will want to do a financial assessment first. Do you have power of attorney? How does she feel about moving out? If her care needs to be funded then ss may not feel residential care is necessary but that she can manage with carers. If she is a local resident the council at her daughters location may not agree to fund her care.

All that said, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why you should be her carer. Get on to the council tomorrow.

CovoidOfAllHumanity Sun 28-Feb-21 22:05:08

Once I was notified by a gentleman of his intention to move to Thailand in 2 weeks without his elderly mother who had no funds and neither had made any plans except 'let social services deal with it.' She was indeed housed by the LA as she had a right to be but 2 weeks was pushing it. 6-8 weeks is more realistic but do give a deadline otherwise nothing will happen.

CovoidOfAllHumanity Sun 28-Feb-21 22:07:43

I would advise telling them you will be making her homeless rather than that you can't meet her needs even though that sounds nicer.

If you say you can't meet the needs they will suggest putting in a care package to help you to do so. Best to be very clear even if it sounds brutal.

hatgirl Sun 28-Feb-21 22:09:11

My advice here is assuming that MIL moved in with you through her own choice and continues to have mental capacity to make a choice where she wants to live.

She is currently deemed 'ordinarily resident' in your local authority therefore they currently have the duty under the care act to assess her care needs.

If they agree that she meets the criteria for residential care then they will make the placement, either in your local authority, or if MIL requests it in her daughter's local authority. The responsibility for arranging and funding this remains with your local authority if she doesn't have the means to fund it herself.

If after they have done an assessment your local authority feels that her needs aren't yet eligible for residential care then they will work with her to move her out to some other kind of accommodation either in your local authority or in her daughter's local authority if this is what she wishes. If she isn't eligible for residential care and chooses to move to the area her daughter lives in then the local authority there will be responsible for assessing for and arranging her care once she arrives with them. They will probably appreciate a copy of your local authority's care act assessment though!

It's a bit more complicated than that but that's the gist of it.

Shallysally Sun 28-Feb-21 22:12:29

Hi OP. Social worker for adults here. The first issue is if your mother in law has capacity to make a choice about where she resides.
She will need a Mental Capacity Act assessment, along with a Care Act assessment of her needs.

If she has capacity, but is unwilling to consider moving, you will need the support of other family members to help you to have the conversation with her.

If she lacks capacity regarding this decision then a best interest decision will be made by the local authority on her behalf. This decision will be made in consultation with yourself and her daughter.

You need to consider what might be best for you your mother in law. Will her daughter be willing to visit if she is placed in a residential placement near to her daughter?
Will you visit her if she is placed near to where you live?
Think about her quality of life, who is familiar to her, who will bother with her.

Phone the local authority’s access team for adult services and they will support you further.

Bargebill19 Sun 28-Feb-21 22:12:29


Op. Please take note of covids post. It is spot on. I will add - You will have to be very firm and insistent with adult social services though. (Using words such as, duty of care, and safeguarding of an elderly frail person usually ensure they at least listen) Be aware that nothing happens quickly. Speak to Age concern too.
Best of luck.

CovoidOfAllHumanity Sun 28-Feb-21 22:16:08

First action is call up your LA and ask for a care act assessment

The worst case scenario from your POV is she has capacity and doesn't meet criteria for residential care. She then needs to go on the housing list and bid for properties which she/ daughter may not be keen to do. However if you have made her homeless she goes to the top of the housing priority and there is an urgency that won't be there if she is currently adequately housed with you. This is why some harshness is required if you don't want the status quo as it appears that she and her daughter would be happy it continue and have no incentive to move her on.

CovoidOfAllHumanity Sun 28-Feb-21 22:20:45

ShallySally you are coming at it from what's best for MIL which shows you are a good social worker but my reading of OPs post was that she perhaps doesn't feel that way.

In the end whether MIL has capacity or not abs whatever she wants she she can't stay in someone else's house if they don't give permission.

I fear this will not be changed without some upset on both sides.
Might be wrong. Might be too cynical but that's my fear.

MrsElijahMikaelson1 Sun 28-Feb-21 22:31:57

Tricky situation but I’d lay my cards on the table to her daughter... she’s your mum, not mine-she’s no longer able to live with me-I do not want that... shall I drop her down to you or to a home you have found.

She’s not your responsibility. Her daughter needs to step up

AcornAutumn Sun 28-Feb-21 22:47:10


Tricky situation but I’d lay my cards on the table to her daughter... she’s your mum, not mine-she’s no longer able to live with me-I do not want that... shall I drop her down to you or to a home you have found.

She’s not your responsibility. Her daughter needs to step up

She's not her daughter's responsibility either though. And the daughter is in a much easier position.

It has to be down to the local authority.

I know someone who left her mother in a home, told them never to call her unless it was the death call, and then had to change her number because they carried on calling!

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