Adults with learning difficulties; do you just have to leave until things get bad?

For issues specific to caring for someone with learning disabilities
Hi all, just a quick question.

I think I've mentioned before I have a step brother with learning difficulties. He's in his forties, never had much to do with each other as kids but have seen more of him since his mum died three years ago. He's lived on his own since then.

Personally, I don't think he should be living on his own. He doesn't eat healthy meals (I'm not sure he really understands what healthy meals are). He's got some health problems that the hospital said are diet related and can be sorted out by eating plenty of fruit and veg; his response to that was that he had veg with a Sunday roast someone cooked for him so he was already doing that. His DLA appears to vanish every month and he's never really sure where it's gone; he buys endless amounts of second hand furniture at ridiculous prices and has just paid the last instalment on a second hand TV which he doesn't even know the price of because he's just paid what someone's told him to each month. He borrowed £40 from me last week and then tried to pay my back £80; I told him that was too much but his thinking was that because I gave him 4 notes he had to give me 4. I explained that I gave him four tens and he had twenties so only needed to give me two but he was confused and worried that he'd not given me enough.

He's no hobbies or interests, doesn't go to any groups or any kind of training or college, can't read or write so very difficult to find a job of any kind, he's already been sanctioned once and went without money for six weeks. I've offered to do loads for him in terms of getting him a social worker/social care package, college, help at the job centre, groups and so on but he doesn't want to, which is fair enough and obviously I can't make him.

I feel terribly sorry for him but in all honesty I find him very hard work and taking him out with my son is quite difficult; I find him more work than my boy and feel my boy misses out a bit if we're doing things with my step-brother as I spend more time with him than I do with my son.

So I've sort of got to the point where I think I need to accept there's not really much I can do. I wouldn't see him go without, but I do worry about him getting ripped off and being vulnerable. He's a terrible gossip and repeats anything he's told so there have been problems with neighbours getting cross about him talking about them and he's not able to understand he shouldn't do it. I sort of feel I've done as much as I can to help and not really done much! So in the sense that he doesn't want help, is it a case of you just have to take a step back and if things do get really bad just deal with it if that happens?
It can be a case of step back and let him get on with it..but,
I would call S.services and tell them what you have said here. He is vulnerable..
You have a life, and it sounds like you have made every effort to help him.
You can't let it impact your life to the level it seems to have already. You need support from S. services.
They can put a care plan in place for him.
I'm going to get a bit bossy now! ;) I have a few yrs in S.Services, ok a few yrs ago.. but , I know you can demand a care plan be put in place.
You must tell them he is a danger to himself or others... What you have said, he is...It is a sad thing to say, but the truth for your family. xxx
I'm surprised hes on JSA, if he as mental health issues, maybe some kind of ESA would be best for him.
karen james wrote:I'm going to get a bit bossy now! ;) I have a few yrs in S.Services, ok a few yrs ago.. but , I know you can demand a care plan be put in place.
You must tell them he is a danger to himself or others... What you have said, he is...It is a sad thing to say, but the truth for your family. xxx
karen james wrote:I'm going to get a bit bossy now! ;) I have a few yrs in S.Services, ok a few yrs ago.. but , I know you can demand a care plan be put in place.
You must tell them he is a danger to himself or others... What you have said, he is...It is a sad thing to say, but the truth for your family. xxx
Hi Karen,

Thanks for all the info, it's a bit tricky to sort things out from my end. I did contact SS a couple of years ago explaining all his difficulties and the sorts of problems he was getting into. They didn't do much other than arrange for a support worker who works for a local charity to come round occasionally; she seems to pop round for a coffee and that's pretty much it.

At the time I contacted them it was Christmas time, he had no money, gas or electric and was letting local teenagers come round his flat in the evenings. They were smoking dope, playing computer games round there and generally annoying all the neighbours. Neighbours complainted constantly about it and eventually SS were called in from a child protection point of view (some of these kids were only 12 and what on earth their parents are doing letting them go where ever they wanted all evening I don't know). At that point I contacted SS on his behalf, with his permission as he said he wanted some help then. I also wrote to his father (who is married to my mother, I don't have any contact with either of them) and explained what was going on, his father went nuts at me for sticking my nose in and then my step-brother wouldn't speak to me for six months, which is even more of a worry because then you don't know what's happening.

He's recently moved, not that far away but he's not round the corner like he used to be so he can't just pop round if he needs something. I'm just quite worried that if I go to SS again now he won't talk to me again and then I'll have no idea what's happening. I can do it anonymously, I know, but he'll know it was me and if it's anonymous then I can't be very demanding because you sort of need to go round there and make a lot of noise.

So I do see where you're coming from and agree completely that in an ideal world that's what ought to happen. It's just in practical terms it's a bit of a mess!

I will think on it. I know he sees the local housing lady quite regularly, I did think I might try and have a word with her and see if she can do anything, might be better if the referral comes from a professional he's involved with? There's also a local PCSO who was very involved with the kids going round the flat business, he's a really nice bloke so he might be able to suggest something as well.

Thanks for all the info, I will keep thinking it through, it's a bit of a pickle!
royd wrote:I'm surprised hes on JSA, if he as mental health issues, maybe some kind of ESA would be best for him.
I completely agree with you, Royd, he's been on JSA for twenty six years, you'd think someone would have twigged it's not the right benefit! I have offered to sort out getting him reassessed and he's refused, and I offered to make sure the disability employment advisor at the job centre is aware of him and working with him and he refused that as well. It's difficult, he's aware enough of what's what to make his own decisions but doesn't understand things well enough to make the healthiest choices, unfortunately.

The postive thing from this situation is that it made me realise how vital it is to make sure support and services are in place and that everyone that knows you knows what to do if you die and leave someone with learning difficulties behind. I've started sorting things out for my son as an adult now and he's only twelve. But it really made me realise how difficult it is if there isn't someone sorting everything out for you.
I thought I'd update this as things seem to have improved a little, I'm wondering if someone else contacted social services? He seems to have a support worker who's suddenly appeared and she's told him he's not to buy any more second hand stuff without speaking to her first. I'm guessing someone has been in touch about the money he's spending on over priced second hand furniture, it seems to have made some difference anyway. And he's agreed to try sailing with us this week (I've been asking him to come for two years!). There are some lovely people there with learning difficulties so I'm hoping he might start making some friends and feel a bit more confident about trying other things.
Obviously,I've just come in on this,and have been reading the thread.
I was getting more and more worried,but am pleased about how things seem to be going.Hopefully,it's still good?
I've got a nephew who's just moved from one sheltered accommodation to another,and couldn't be happier,so I know that it is possible for things to improve.
The caree who won't accept help except on their terms is one of the regular problems we have on this forum, and so far nobody has managed to come up with a cast iron solution! I suppose all we can do is take an interest and not try to interfere too much, but it is damned hard. People with borderline mental health and learning difficulties, and older people who cant accept their fading limitations, seem to be the most vexed and thorny carees.
I certainly would ensure that there is a trail of correspondence with social work raising concerns, and that you keep copies and replies. Apart from that, there isnt a lot you can do, but the sailing sounds like a great way to keep the contact going, good idea!