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Elderly parents

Need advice about getting my 94 year old Nan into a residential home (long)

15 replies

PoptartPoptart · 05/10/2012 17:17

My Nan is 94 and lives alone. She has short term memory loss, angina and is incontinent. She is also very unsteady on her feet and has fallen over several times which has involved ambulance being called and several hospital visits. Luckily she has never broken anything. She also frequently has dizzy spells and is on tablets for this, although they do not seem to help.
She has all the aids to help her, zimmerframe, bath/bed rails, a stair lift (although she is actually now house ridden), an emergency call button, incontinence pads, etc.
Since March this year she has had carers go in to her three times a day to give her the medication and to make her meals, clean her up, etc.
However, it has now got to the stage where this doesn?t seem to be enough. She is constantly calling my dad (her son) crying, saying that she can?t cope and doesn?t want to be alone. It is really tough on my dad as he lives on the other side of London (as do I) and it is an hour?s drive to get there. He also still works full time (he is 65 but due to finances he won?t be giving up work any time soon). I also work and have young DC?s. We feel so helpless. Moving in with my parents is not an option as they both work full time and there would be no one there during the day to care for her. Moving in with me also isn?t an option as we live in a two bed flat with DC?s and there is no space.
The carers clean her up after she has messed herself, however if this happens just after they have left she then has to wait another 4 hours for the next carer to come in, which she won?t do, so she tries to clean herself up and ends up in a right state. The last time I visited there was poo everywhere, on the floor, all over towels, her nightwear and all over her. It is not hygienic and I hate seeing her in that state.
The best solution all round I think is for her to move into a residential home. However, as she does not own her own property, social services have flatly refused due to the fact that they are unwilling to pick up the cost.
This woman was born in 1918, been through world wars, worked and paid her taxes all her life. In fact, she was still working and contributing up until the age of 70 due to the fact she loved her job so much.
It is heart breaking and I need to do something but I don?t know what?
The doctor and her carers all agree that she would be better off in a care home, but social services have the last word and they say no. Their opinion is that she can manage, but I don?t think she can. The falls are getting more frequent and she is distressed all the time, plus the hygiene issue.
When I spoke to someone from SS they said that they have worse cases than my Nan, people who are literally bed ridden and rely on carers to change them, feed them, give medication, etc.
I feel society is completely letting her and other people like her down. How can I get social services to step in and provide her with a residential place? Any advice much appreciated.

OP posts:
Ragwort · 05/10/2012 18:34

Can you ask Help the Aged charity for some advice (think they might be callsed AGE UK now or something like that) - I remember they were very helpful when my grandma was in a similar situation.

Can the actual carers say anything to their bosses? Or try getting a formal referral from the GP (not sure how that works).

Very sorry, it sounds like a very difficult situation for you all.

PoptartPoptart · 05/10/2012 18:46

Thanks Ragwort, I will try to contact Age UK for some help and advice. Her carers agree that she should have 24 hour care, as does her doctor, however the big wigs at SS won't budge due to the fact they will have to finance it and it will impact their budget. It's shocking. Getting old is very frightening.

OP posts:
AThingInYourLife · 05/10/2012 18:53


That is awful.

My Granny is the same age. It must be awful for you all to see her unable to cope and not getting the help she needs and deserves.

AGoldenOrange · 05/10/2012 19:02

Right, I've just been through this with dp's nan.

Would the GP be willing to put it in writing that in his view that she needs 24hr care?
You would also need to push to have a mental health assessment, this needs to be done by the GP.
With the SW, follow EVERYTHING up in writing!!!
If you feel that she needs to go into a home, call up the duty SW and say that you need respite.
If she does have another fall, get an ambulance out to her.

AGoldenOrange · 05/10/2012 19:05

These people were helpful

QuickQuickSloe · 05/10/2012 19:29

I left social work six years ago because I felt I couldn't do my job with such limited resources, it seems that they were actual golden times based on this.

I am quite shocked that her needs aren't comsidered critical.

  1. Are her carers provided by social services? (They could be a private agency funded by social services or their own home care)
  2. If not, has she had an assessment of need by social services? They have a legal duty to do so under the NHS and community care act 1990.

    I am assume from your post that she has been assessed quite recently but isn't meeting their eligibility criteria. Many local authorities are only providing services to people that they assess as in critical need. It may worth asking about their eligibility criteria. If they fob you off insist under the freedom of information act.

    A letter from her GP will help, as will anything from any other health professionals. Does she have any support from a memory clinic or is she under a psycho geriatrician. A letter to the director of social services from her county councillor will be very effective as will contacting her MP and getting them to weigh in.

    Don't be backward in coming forward, but aim your communication at the director of social services, or the principal officer of the older people's service. The social worker dealing with your Nan's case will be powerless to produce more funding but if you believe the assessment isn't accurate insist on another one. Your Nan should be given a copy of all assessments done on her needs. This isn't a freedom of information issue but a legal requirement as part of the community care assessment process.

    Finally and this is a terrible thing to say if she falls again and is admitted to hospital by ambulance insist on a hospital social work referral. Insist on a multi disciplinary assessment (including a psycho geriatrician) and refuse to support her discharge back home. It's amazing the way money for a residential placement can be found when there is a risk that an NHS bed is ging to blocked.

    I' m so sorry that you and your family are being treated like this Sad
QuickQuickSloe · 05/10/2012 19:30

Sorry that is a bit garbled, stealth typing on iPad while trying to settle DS.

missnevermind · 05/10/2012 19:44

When she next has a fall, phone an ambulance and get her admitted to hospital. Then refuse to let them send her home.
Make as much fuss as you want. We recently did this for my grandad and he is now is a lovely home with round the clock care and new friends.
He in no way as bad as your nan sounds.

PoptartPoptart · 05/10/2012 22:06

Thank you all so much for your advice and support, it is all really helpful. I am going to sit down with my Dad and talk it all over and decide on a plan of action, as things can't go on like this. Actually, I got a call from my dad about 3 hours ago saying he was at the hospital with my Nan after her carers called him tonight saying she is unable to walk unaided at all and has very bad diarrhoea. He is still at the hospital with her waiting while they do all sorts of tests and are waiting for the results. It is unclear at this point whether they will keep her in, but I really hope they do as the poor woman sounds in no fit state to be sent home. Thanks once again for all your help

OP posts:
AGoldenOrange · 05/10/2012 22:15

Sorry to hear she is in hospital, I would second what missnevermind says refuse to let her come back home.

PoptartPoptart · 05/10/2012 22:30

Yes, I did mention that to my Dad when i spoke to him briefly on the phone. I think by the sounds of it they will admit her tonight, so I will have a chance to have a proper chat with him tomorrow

OP posts:
AGoldenOrange · 05/10/2012 23:13

All the best OP

PoptartPoptart · 20/10/2012 21:36

I just wanted to give an update to those of you who were so kind to respond to my OP, and to anyone else who may be going through a similar situation. We finally got SS to agree to put nan in a residential care home after a very strong letter to the head of SS copying in all and sundry, her doctor, current carers, local MP, etc. They did various assessments and her case went before a panel. They were still reluctant to agree (because of the cost I think because she certainly met their eligibility criteria). They finally agreed after I told them that if they send her home it would be a case of when she falls again, not if. I was really clear that I would be holding them responsible if she hurts herself and they had put her in that position. Nan was crying at the assessment and begging not to have to go home to be alone as she couldn't cope. Anyway, she will be moved from hospital to her new home on Monday. It is such a relief knowing that she will be cared for and not be alone and scared anymore. So thank you all so much for your kind advice and support x

OP posts:
stopcallingmefrank · 22/10/2012 10:06

I hope all goes well with your nan's move today, Poptart.

missnevermind · 24/10/2012 08:39

Well done Poptart.

My Grandad love his residential home, he seems to think he is living in a social club Grin

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