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How can you get help for relatives who are not coping?

(12 Posts)
Ripeberry Mon 03-Jan-11 19:52:35

Bit of a difficult one this. My parents are both in their mid 60s but my mum has bad dementia and is totally incontinent (both).
My dad works from home and 'cares' for my mum.
But for the last few months she has become weak and lives upstairs in the bedroom.
He REFUSES all help, from us and from friends and to be honest, my mum is suffering as she has not had a bath or shower now for a year and he will not let anyone look after her.
As long as she stays quiet and leaves him alone then he's not bothered.
He does clean the bedclothes and tries to give her bed baths but he is not coping at all.

He refuses to contact his GP as he says he is useless, he will not change doctors as he says no one will take her on (but he has not even tried).
He says he will NEVER have carers over and to make matters worse is that my mum is lighting candles in her room and today he sent me an e-mail to say she burnt half the carpet!

Is there anyway that I can alert someone to check on my mum? He won't even tell me who the GP is now and I'm not sure if they will help me due to patient confidentiality.

It's daft that there are more laws out there to protect animals than elderly people with dementia angry
If he knows I got help for her, he says he'll disown me hmm WHAT CAN I DO?

catinthehat2 Mon 03-Jan-11 19:55:50


ruddynorah Mon 03-Jan-11 19:59:52

What is he afraid of? Carers being useless/abusive/expensive? Your mum being taken away from him?

LowLevelWhiiingeing Mon 03-Jan-11 19:59:56

You can ring social services and refer your mum yourself. Your dad may mean well but your mum is vulnerable and is actually suffering neglect which is abuse.

There are laws to protect vulnerable adults too.

Please ring.

KurriKurri Mon 03-Jan-11 20:04:48

I would contact social services and speak to someone - explaining what you've said on here. And also organizations like age concern would be worth contacting for advice.

SS will provide help if it is needed (and it clearly is) has your mum been officially diagnosed with dementia?

My dad has alzheimers and is also incontinent. SS provide a carer to wash and dress him each morning and a male carer baths him 3 times a week, he goes to a day care centre twice a week, mum gets help with the water bill (because of extra washing), and they've provided him with a special bed guard, a foot rest awheelchair and a walking stick.

So there is help out there. The carers really don't interfere in my mum's life at all - they just pop in, do what's required and leave - takes about half an hour morning an evening.

Ripeberry Mon 03-Jan-11 20:05:39

He is not afraid of them. He is just not a people person and has NEVER had anyone in the house to do anything, not even plumbers or decorators. He has to do everything himself.
But he does not see it himself.
Is there a special number that I can contact?
They are in Wales by the way.

Ripeberry Mon 03-Jan-11 20:11:33

Kurri, she has not been diagnosed as my dad won't let anyone see her. She went in hospital last spring as she had fallen down the stairs and broken her ankle, but even there, no-one tested her, they just dealt with the ankle.
She has good days and bad.
If you see her face to face she is 'not there' but sometimes she phones us and sounds perfectly OK.
A nurse used to come out to see her to do the dressings and my mum would chat perfectly well to her and be quite lucid, but as soon as they went she would go all 'out of it' again.

The problem is the GP, he reckons mum is faking it, yes she likes to lie around in her own if angry
My dad just thinks she will never get help due to her previous problems (bi-polar) all her life.
I just don't want them to get hurt sad

LowLevelWhiiingeing Mon 03-Jan-11 20:25:34

Ripeberry, I'm so sorry, this must be very distressing for you, but denying someone healthcare is definitely abusive sad

You must ring SS and explain the situation. Make a list of things before you call if you have to, but your mum is not having the quality of life that she deserves and is entitled to, regardless of any prior mental distress she may have had.

In our borough you just ring the town hall switchboard and ask to speak to someone about a new adult social services referral. If you wanted to let us know which council they live in, I bet we could find you the number (but of course not if you don't want to give details).

KurriKurri Mon 03-Jan-11 20:26:40

The GP should refer her to a consultant psychiatrist to determine the nature of her dementia, if he's not prepared to do that, she needs to see another GP.

It's obviously a very difficult situation - and I'm very sorry you are having such problems, its hard enough to deal with the illness alone - without extra complications.

Good days and bad days, moments of lucidity and then losing it, are very typical - we get this with my dad and he is in a fairly advanced stage of the illness.

Contact SS (ring county council to get the contact number)and Age concern and ask their advice. Quite honestly, if your mum is incontinent and lying in her own excrement, she is clearly very poorly and vulnerable whether she has dementia or not, so her actual illness is irrelevant to some extent.

And they will help her on that basis - i.e. she needs care with hygiene if you explain the situation. I imagine they have people who are experienced in dealing with people who are reluctant to receive help, - so they might be able to get through to your dad. Good luck.

ruddynorah Mon 03-Jan-11 20:36:13

Age concern is now age uk. They will be very helpful.

KurriKurri Mon 03-Jan-11 20:36:49

this site might be useful for info. and numbers for you.

Ripeberry Mon 03-Jan-11 21:50:15

Thanks for all your advise, I'll do some calling around this week.

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