Contacting Social Services without Dads permission?

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Admitted hes really struggling to get up and down the stairs. I've tried to bring up the subject of stair life before but hes not having it.

We had similar conversation about his shower (had it converted from bath he couldnt get in). When it was all done he said it was the best thing he'd ever done. I'd bet my mortgage that the stair lift will be the same!

Trouble is SS came around a few weeks ago to do the assessment when he fell recently. He just tells them yes I'm fine and they don't push it. Part of it with him is the risk of having to part with cash to pay for some it out of his huge stash.

It just seems obvious to me to think about and plan these things before he cant get up the stairs at all. Yes I know you're going to say, leave him alone in his own mess but I'll end up being the one to sort out the entire mess when it all goes wrong (i.e. he can't live there because of the stairs).

Will SS even speak to me if I try to call them?
Maybe OT in health may be a better route?

You could talk to his doctor possibly
Paul, yes you can talk to Social Services without asking dad's permission, and they have a duty to listen, as you are concerned about an elderly vulnerable adult, and they have a duty of care. However, they might decide not to intervene, but it would mean that should something happen, your conscience would be clear, and that is very important.

Sadly, dad is sliding down a slippery slope of frailty, mental and physical, and probably won't accept any help until he reaches crisis point. Goodness knows, you have been a really good son to him and done your very best.

You can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink. My mum could have ended her days in her own home, for 50 years, if she had just let me clear all the furniture from her main bedroom, fit an ensuite, and redecorate it, but her vast collection of furniture she would never ever use, and her illogical attachment to it, meant that this never happened. Once in the nursing home on a permanent basis, at £1,000 a week, she realised that she should have done things differently, but it was simply too late.
Yes, definitely talk to Social Services. If I had waited for my mum's permission, I would still be waiting some five years on! I would also put it in writing to Social Services, with copy to dad's GP, stressing their "duty of care" and asking for an urgent OT assessment. Sadly, in these cash-strapped times, those who shout loudest get listened to.

Good luck, I know it's not easy,
Anne
Thanks all. Like I said, trouble is they did an assessment a few weeks ago. Which seems to be to ask him and he says no I'm fine and they toddle off.

BB - Yes I can see that happening to my Dad. Its obvious to everyone apart from him that he needs to plan ahead a bit. i.e. Realise his legs are getting worse and think about things. Well, he doesn't even have to think he just needs to listen to me.

But, we had the conversation a few weeks ago which went like this:-

Me - "So Dad in terms of living arrangement what do you want to do in the future?"
Dad - "I love living here no way am I ever moving or going into a home".
Me - "OK if we can get a few things sorted you should be OK. A stairlift is something you're going to need, if not now in the future".
Dad - "No I don't want one - I can manage"
Me - "Thing is if you fall again and do more damage to your legs then what are you going to do? It takes time to get a stair life sorted so now is a good time. If you can't manage at home then there might be no option and all that money you saved will be gone".
Dad - "That'd finish me off if they took it all off me!"
Me - "Right so lets get a stairlift sorted".
Dad - "No. I can manage. Social will want some money off me for that - Im not wasting my money after saving all my life!"

The only one who can't see how things are going to progress is him. Its going to go one of two ways as far as I can see:-

1) Hes going to pass away before he can't manage like he is.
2) Hes going to get worse and what I said above is going to happen. Which will make him very unhappy indeed and probably will finish him off.

Dad really does not do illness well. Like I said, hes phoning GP because his legs are aching. Met one of my wifes elderly relatives yesterday and it just highlighted to me. This poor guy has got a stoma bag, bowel cancer, its spread to his lymph nodes, hes got 5 weeks of chemo ahead and they've told him his future is bleak. Hes driving around still, hes laughing and joking and says "there's worse people off than me!". Dad has a cough for a week and he thinks hes dying!

Sometimes I pray that its going to be option 1 for Dad....
Can totally relate Paul. My husband will not let me install a shower in his bathroom yet he cannot get up the stairs now so how long is it going to be before he falls in the bath. Ditto bed downstairs - he won't let me clear out his junk from his office - keeps saying he does not have long and I can do it when he is dead.

Only advice is to put it in writing to SS and explain your concerns and that he is a vulnerable adult.Sadly if he can convince them he has 'mental capacity' then they may well back off.I had a similar situation with my late father last year. I would also personally write to his GP.

I totally agree it is going to get to crisis point with your father (and my husband) and then a Nursing HOme may be the only option. Does your father realise that if he breaks bones at his age he may well end up disabled for the rest of his life? Wishing you all the very best..
helena_1512 wrote:Can totally relate Paul. My husband will not let me install a shower in his bathroom yet he cannot get up the stairs now so how long is it going to be before he falls in the bath. Ditto bed downstairs - he won't let me clear out his junk from his office - keeps saying he does not have long and I can do it when he is dead.

Only advice is to put it in writing to SS and explain your concerns and that he is a vulnerable adult.Sadly if he can convince them he has 'mental capacity' then they may well back off.I had a similar situation with my late father last year. I would also personally write to his GP.

I totally agree it is going to get to crisis point with your father (and my husband) and then a Nursing HOme may be the only option. Does your father realise that if he breaks bones at his age he may well end up disabled for the rest of his life? Wishing you all the very best..
Thanks Helena. Yes thats part of it too - why waste money at this time of my life. Even he doesn't know why the money is there, he just knows he doesn't want to waste it. Its like monopoly money to him.

I've tried GP in the past. As you say, the answer you get is that he has mental capacity. I suspect it may be the same with SS.

It appears that mental capacity does not mean you can't be unbelievably stupid and stubborn it seems. Yes I know and everyone else knows what is going to happen in the event things go wrong - apart from him.

I phone him every 2/3 days. It turns into a 30 min moan about how bad his legs are etc. I try to be sympathetic but he is 83 and is mobile so hes not as bad as some. It all seems to play on his mind. A few months ago he had issues which were stress related (unable to swallow properly) because he flaps so much. As he gets older, he just cant seem to accept illness and makes himself worse.
Well I do understand the legal implications of 'mental capacity' but frankly in many cases I feel it is an SS and GP cop out and an excuse for not taking action.Totally agree that one can be very stupid and borderline a danger to oneself but still be considered to have it! My late father was not eating or drinking much and sending the carers away yet it was a total nightmare to get him taken into hospital where he did die. I often wonder if we had got him there earlier.........but his GP gave up his afternoon off to come and try to get him to go into hospital voluntarily and he refused. In the end, they had to inject him. I spent a long time with the ambulance crew and the GP........they are in a hard situation I know....

All I can do is send you best wishes. It is like living on a knife's edge isn' it? Waiting for the next crisis. But we can only do our best and work within the 'system'. My husband is 78 and yes, he reminds me very much of your father. But if my husband falls when getting out of the bath and breaks a bone it will be his fault as I have tried and tried to suggest a shower and have the money to pay for it plus he is now saying he is losing control of his ankle.This could be as sign of low blood pressure or even heart problems but he won't discuss it with the GP, as they might cart him off to hospital in an ambulance. Accident waiting to happen. I will try to tactfully mention it to the GP at the next appointment. Just take care of yourself and your own family is the only advice I can give. I am younger than my husband and thankfully in good health but the sheer awkwardness does get me down as I am sure it does you.
helena_1512 wrote:Well I do understand the legal implications of 'mental capacity' but frankly in many cases I feel it is an SS and GP cop out and an excuse for not taking action.Totally agree that one can be very stupid and borderline a danger to oneself but still be considered to have it! My late father was not eating or drinking much and sending the carers away yet it was a total nightmare to get him taken into hospital where he did die. I often wonder if we had got him there earlier.........but his GP gave up his afternoon off to come and try to get him to go into hospital voluntarily and he refused. In the end, they had to inject him. I spent a long time with the ambulance crew and the GP........they are in a hard situation I know....

All I can do is send you best wishes. It is like living on a knife's edge isn' it? Waiting for the next crisis. But we can only do our best and work within the 'system'. My husband is 78 and yes, he reminds me very much of your father. But if my husband falls when getting out of the bath and breaks a bone it will be his fault as I have tried and tried to suggest a shower and have the money to pay for it plus he is now saying he is losing control of his ankle.This could be as sign of low blood pressure or even heart problems but he won't discuss it with the GP, as they might cart him off to hospital in an ambulance. Accident waiting to happen. I will try to tactfully mention it to the GP at the next appointment. Just take care of yourself and your own family is the only advice I can give. I am younger than my husband and thankfully in good health but the sheer awkwardness does get me down as I am sure it does you.
Thanks Helena. It is a cop-out. Especially for social services. They ask him if hes ok and he says yes and they go away. Problem solved - not their fault if anything goes wrong because he said he was ok and mentally he is just about ok.

As you said, its a thin line. Any "normal" person who looked at some of the "decisions" my dad currently makes would be horrified. I don't understand why SS can't dig a bit deeper when its plainly obvious whats going on. Surely a lot of old people have got the attitude of "I'll manage on my own"?

Same with the GP. A few months ago he called them out probably 3-4 times a week for about 5-6 weeks. Also, called ambulance about 5 times. In the end, the GP stopped coming out but no-one ever sat him down and looked at why he was doing this. 95% of what was wrong was in his head - one hospital appointment where they must have said the right thing and he was cured.

But, yes, accident waiting to happen is right. He still rushes and flaps around (my Dad is the most unchilled old person ever - hes constantly flapping/stressing about somethint) when his body can't do it. Hes going to fall again soon.

And of course, as I've said, there is nothing in place to help him really.
Really annoyed with Social Services. Basically, they've said they won't refer him for a grant because last time they visited he said he was ok.

Its plainly obvious to everyone that hes not ok and, in fact, just saying that because a) he can't be bothered b) doesnt want to spend money. But I guess their butt is covered because hes said hes ok.

It just doesn't make sense. Its going to cost a lot more WHEN he next falls and ends up in hospital for months because he can't go home!