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accessing help to get a relative into care if they won't go - Carers UK Forum

accessing help to get a relative into care if they won't go

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
I have read with interest about difficulties other carers have. Sadly it provides some comfort. I help with the care of my 94 year old mum who is still in her own home.She has carers 3 times a day -an hour in total. I call in 3 or 4 times weekly and when called out .
Mum has vascular dementia and has deteriorated quickly over the last few months. Her memory is poor hence she has left the tap running twice recently and flooded the kitchen out. One thing remains the same her wish to stay in her own home. However I am convinced she would be better in a care home which would be self funded. It would be safer for her instead of the existence she has now sleeping in her chair downstairs , not washing and not letting anyone help, forgetting to change her clothes and risking danger through her forgetfulness.I am increasingly stressed doing my best to keep her in her own home but seeing my own life slip by needing to be available whenever the alarm goes off etc.
I have power of attorney ref financial matters but that's all .Who makes the decision that someone needs to be placed in a home when the person says he/she doesn't want to g? Who decides mental capacity ? Please share any knowledge/advice you have based on experience.
Roy, tricky one - I can see why your mum wants to stay home - we all want that for ourselves, don't we?!


You say she is self-funding. Is that going to be partly out of savings, as well as the value of her home once it's sold?

The reason I ask is this. If she has savings (or even if you have, and can loan them to her until her home is sold and then be repaid out of the proceeds), then how about if she moves into a care home but doesn't yet sell her home. Then, if this is feasible, why not bring her back home from time to time (ideally, say every weekend, or midweek, or every other weekend, whatever you can manage), so that her time in the care home is also punctuated by 'going home time'......

I'm a great believer in 'sleepovers' that lets them get out of the home for a while, and I do think that helps make the decision to move into a home 'less drastic'.

Now I do realise that if she has dementia she might find it confusing, but does that really matter too much? Care homes, in my experience, tend to like to try and stress that residents consider the care home 'their own home' .....'This is your new home Mrs xxx'....

Well, the residents know perfectly well the care home is NOT their home! I personally think it's better for residents to think of the care home as a 'live in hotel', where they are waiting on hand and foot, all meals provided and their is a programme of daily entertainment going on (rather like being on a static cruise!)

Anyway, this is just a thought, but it might possibly prove a way of getting your mum to accept that 'some of the time' she needs to be in a care home being looked after, and then she can also come home 'for weekends' and have you there to look after her.

After a while, or when it becomes financially necessary to sell her home for care fees, or if her health worsens, then having 'time at home' will end. But by then she'll have got used to the care home. She may even have forgotten her old home - I don't think my MIL remembers her flat any more, even though I talk to her about it.....
Thanks Jenny , unfortunately her mind is set to having nothing to do with a care home -she has always said that before her dementia was even diagnosed.Its the one thing that doesn't seem to change. She may not know what day it is o what time it is but her view of going in a care home stays the same. It is not within my part of my power of attorney.Who decides or how is it decided.Does she have to have an accident which seems increasingly likely probably by falling as she is more chair bound and likely to fall when she tries to get up.
Hi Roy
I think Social services may be able to help, even if Mum is self funding. If she is diagnosed as having dementia and is a danger to herself, taps etc, then she will be on their radar as a vulnerable person, so come the day you scream 'help' at them they might move in and basically 'cart her off'. However that isn't experience, that's surmise.
Another option may be a 'live in carer'. There are such people I believe and I've also read on here that they cost about the equivalent of a Home. How would Mum react to that idea?
An hour a day doesn't seem to be sufficient, so you could increase that, presumably Mum is paying for that, and if you have financial POA then you can arrange.
Mum is only going to deteriorate, so I agree that something needs to be done, despite her best efforts.
Has Mum refused Respite too? Guess so. I wonder if any of the Homes near where Mum lives do a 'day care' service. If you could get Mum to go for a day visit for a while, she may realise that it isn't so bad.
My 99 yr old Mum is very, very gradually coming round to the idea of Respite, with a view to long term. She, like your Mum has been absolutely dead against the very idea. It's because she is frightened, thinking of a Care Home as a sort of 'Workhouse', still very much in the minds of her generation. She's housebound, because a ramp is also on her 'never' list, so I can't get her out for the day. However I have been bringing people from my chosen Care Home in to see her and she is becoming reconciled, mainly to 'help' me.
I must admit in my search for somewhere I thought Mum would like, I visited a number of places which seemed to match her worst fears. Shook me a bit because I expected better. Have you been to look yet?
Roy, I don't know what happens in terms of 'forcing' someone into a care home because, as you say, it sounds like it depends on whether they have legal capacity any more. If they don't, then 'someone else' has to....and one would assume that then that 'someone else' can dictate what happens, just like a parent can with a child.

But I believe you would have to go to the Court of Protction and things like that, and then you become a legal guardian or whatever which has implications of its own (eg, you can't then 'abandon' your caree becaue you'v acquired a legal 'duty of care' maybe???)

However, I guess you could also opt for the drastic step of 'walking away'. You tell SS that you are no longer involvd in your mother's care, and that she is a vulnerable adult, on her own, with diminished mental capacity - and see what happens! I guess at some stage they will have to 'take her into care for her own safety' and then that will be that. If they put her into a care home you don't think is good for her, whether you then have the power to put her somewhere else, I don't know - ie, I don't know whether having 'opted out' of her care you can then 'opt back in' once she's safely in a care home!!!!

Others here may know, or presumably email the experts at Carers UK for an official answer?

At the moment, your mother is 'getting her own way' because you are constantly 'giving in and going to her'.....the deadly irony is that she can't 'reason' any more, and isn't actually aware that she's effectively 'blackmailing you' (because you're scared naturally that she will come to grief if you don't respond to her alarm calls.)

How about trying to play 'hard ball' and telling her you won't visit, (except in emergencies) if she doesn't agree to go into a home?

It really is desperately sad - I can understand why she doesn't want to go into a home...

Have you considered a live in carer for her? If she is selfunding this may be no more expensive than a care home (depending on area etc). My friend gets a live in carer for her dad (who lives with her, with dementia) for when she needs a break.

I know this is a harsh way of looking at it, but if your mum has other major physical health issues, what is her likely life expectancy and could you 'tough it out' until the end comes naturally? That said, another member here took on her mum at 91 (her mum, not herself!) and her mum is still going strong TEN YEARS LATER.....

I suppose the only other 'possible possible' option would be to rearrange your own living situation, and maybe create some kind of granny anexe for your mum. She might accept living right next to you (but with a separate space for you to insulate you) as an acceptable compromise between staying in her house and going into a home. Would that be feasible at all?????
In the worst case scenario, either the GP or Social Services can act. SSD need to be involved, to assess mum's mental capacity as they are responsible for the protection of vulnerable adults. This duty remains even if she would be "self funding". Can I also suggest you look at the NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Assessment and Framework Google will find them.
THANK YOU all for taking so much time and trouble to post your thoughts.It is very kind and much appreciated -a trouble shared..... is the saying that comes to mind. Though not a trouble halved when I was called out at 9-30pm last night to find mum had not had a fall and was totally oblivious of having set the fall alarm off. The sink was blocked up with leftover food from her teatime meal and there were used incontinence pads in the washing machine .Fortunately the washer is always switched off so she can't set it in motion. It doesn't do much for our deteriorating relationship but we shall see what today brings.
Roy, you should NOT be picking mum up after a fall, because you are not medically qualified to check her over to make sure she is OK. You also shouldn't be doing it because you might do your back in. Sadly, there are many current and former carers here who have permanent back injuries.
Next time mum falls, call the Ambulance Service. Not only will they save your back, and check mum over, they will assess the situation and come to their own view about mum's current accommodation and her safety.
My own mum was prone to falls due to spinal compression, and I couldn't pick her up even if I wanted to, after I had major surgery, so mum had a Lifeline round her neck. Their call centre had instructions on their system that they should call the ambulance and then call me. Each time they went out, they would make a report which went to the GP. In some ways it is the easiest way of getting the medical profession to take note of a declining situation, and has the added advantage of you not being blamed too much!!
I have a friend who is a very senior member of staff at the ambulance service. He has assured me that it's absolutely fine to call his staff out for elderly people falling over, that's part of their service. You wouldn't believe some of the reasons other people call them for!!!
Thanks bowlingbun - the problem was she had set the alarm off accidentally so it was another false alarm. I would have called an ambulance had she been hurt.
Roy, I had the same issue myself. The only way I ended up getting my mum into a nursing home was when she ended up in hospital and I refused to carry on caring. My life had indeed slipped away when caring for mum!Essentially there has to be a medical professional who decides on mum's mental capacity. If they decide that she is capable of making her own decisions, there is very little that can be done. Can you contact her GP (write to them if they won't speak to you, quoting patient confidentiality), expressing all your concerns? Lay it on as thick as you possibly can, ie neighbours' safety if mum leaves taps on etc.

I suspect that Social Services will not be too helpful if mum is self-funding but you may wish to try them too. By the way, I would suggest if mum goes into a home, that you do NOT have her back for weekends. She will be more and more confused and will think she is returning permanently. Only my opinion but personally I think it is kinder to keep her in one location.

Incidentally my mum always said that she would refuse to go into a home. Once there, she settled down surprisingly well. Admittedly, the dementia by then was quite severe. She went into a home where she previously had been for respite. The home and the staff were therefore relatively familiar to her. Would it be possible for you to need to go away for some reason and therefore mum to need respite? It may get her used to the idea ....

Good luck, it is a very tricky one, Anne