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Can people with dementia live alone at home? - Page 6 - Carers UK Forum

Can people with dementia live alone at home?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
119 posts
Wish I had that GP! At least he listened and understood.
JHR57 wrote:I truly do NOT want my Mum to go into residential care and will cope with her at home for as long as I can but the response from the Social team has been along the lines "well of course you don't want her to go into a home because you have to consider the value of the property which we assume will come to you, but you do realise it is classed as an asset and will be taken into account" - Well of course I DO and I ended up ranting at them which I don't think as helped at all - I firstly tried to explain that 11 years ago I gave up a job of £30K per year to help Mum look after my Dad post stroke and received a wage of somewhere around £1.29 per hour for the privilege of doing so...
It is becoming increasingly obvious that any one who cares for their loved ones out of love not financial gain is tarred with this mercenary brush. I am fully aware that the proceeds of Mum & Dads home will eventually have to pay for her care because as I get older this "JOB (Just Over Broke)" becomes more and more difficult.
JHR, no wonder you had a rant, what a terrible attitude from social services! They have NO RIGHT to imply you're only trying to keep your mother in her own home to protect your inheritance! It is THEY who are being mercenary, because THEY are desperately trying to keep their own budget under control and they dress this up by trotting out the same old mantras like 'it's recommended that the elderly stay in their own homes for as long as possible... elderly people often go downhill once moved into a care home... the move to a new environment can be too much for them' all of which is designed to make people back away from putting their elderly relatives into care.

For me, I believe the line about people going downhill once they go into care is based on a false premise, because chances are that an elderly person already has serious health issues and is on a downhill slope by the time they go into residential care - so it's not a case of residential care being the cause of it! When I got Dad admitted to his care home just over a year ago, from the rehab ward of the hospital where he'd been recovering from a fall, the social worker suggested that Dad could come home with 4 care visits a day, even though Dad couldn't cope with the stairs any more and refused to sleep downstairs. I think it was all based on the fact that it would cost them money once Dad's savings had dropped (which has now happened).

It really is very difficult deciding on the right time for an elderly person to go into a home, but every case is different and the family is often in a much better position than SS to judge the needs of their caree. I was seeing my father most days, witnessing the falls, taking note of which carer's visits he'd completely ignored/slept through, finding his broken hearing aids and blood stains where he'd fallen on the stairs. I knew how much he'd eaten/drank and how many days it had been since he'd last washed/changed his clothes. I'd seen the weight drop off him and witnessed my mother sat in the corner, unwilling/unable to cope with his dementia. The SW met him briefly in hospital, when he was washed, in clean pyjamas, drinking a cup of tea and playing down all his symptoms in a state of blissful denial. No way did the SW have Dad's best interests at heart, nor did he have the relevant facts to make a wise decision on the best course of action for the care of my father. He saw a snapshot, I had lived through the film!

Dad is quite happy in his care home now. It's not perfect but the staff are very kind to him and he's content in his own way, so I'm glad I didn't listen to the SW's 'advice'. In truth maybe I moved Dad into the home sooner than others might have done (I had suffered a lot of stress supporting him at home for years, part time, so yes I wanted the move for my sake too), but I think it's better that I got him in there when I had the chance, rather than risking him breaking a hip as he couldn't cope with the stairs. It's a judgement call and never easy.
My Dad is still at home and the thought of a care home is absolutely a last resort and something he would hate more than most. I'm fortunate that Dementia is not really part of the equation although he has his moments. Yes - hands up on my side , the finance is a big issue to. I'm first to admit I don't want to loose the house as it's my home to and even 4 carers a day is probably cheaper than residential care if it comes to that.
I've already made the decision I'm better off financially by not working than working and paying carer bills.
I've supported families with their loved ones at home towards the end in my care job and although it is tough, you know what's going on and can be involved with all the decisions.
I would add that Dad was in hopsital (cottage hospital rehab) for 3 months plus last year and the hospital were excellent at keeping him in right up to the 100 day funding limit, despite his desire to go home, they could have thrown him out much sooner so all credit to them.
Henrietta, there has been a recent judgement which said that in your position, the LA could not insist on the house being sold as it was your home, and to sell it would make you homeless. So the LA could only assess the father concerned on his income and savings EXCLUDING the value of the house. I hope that puts your mind at rest - the CUK helpline will be able to provide full details I'm sure.
Hi Bowlingbun
How did I miss hearing about that? Does that apply if it is in Dad's name only- not joint owners? Interested to read more on that if anyone can help.
Sent you a PM. Apparently under certain circumstances it applies if you are not one of the owners, or even living there. It all depends on what you see as "home".
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Your mum at 77 is still relatively young, her needs are still relatively low, and you are still of working age. I found the use of the term "Granny Dumping" offensive. My mum died last year at the age of 87. She never had good health, and was housebound for 30 years. Mum in law had Alzheimers, father in law had bowel cancer and heart failur , dad had prostate cancer. Our son was brain damaged at birth, due to a trainee midwife without supervision. My husband died suddenly from a massive heart attack soon after his dad died.
Time and time and time again we had relatives dumped back on us, unfit for discharge, readmitted within 24 hours. NHS procedures totally ignored, no aids, no care package. How can anyone think of sending someone home alone with an arm in a sling and no help when they rely heavily on a Zimmer frame?!?
Family carers do their very best, often a bit of extra help would make a huge difference, but it's seldom forthcoming. We are the first victims of any cuts.
I've been a full time carer for almost 40 years. You can go home at the end of a shift, you get paid a good salary. Now I'm a pensioner I don't even get Carers Allowance!
I'm currently in Crete on a very rare holiday, but even although it was planned last year I can't fully relax. My son's carers are not doing things properly and I'm emailing Social Services.
Carers need more understanding from nurses within the NHS, especially those caring 24/7 with no respite. There is a case on here where parents have to be in hospital with their son 24/7 because nurses don't have the required skills!
I find the words ' Granny dumping ' very harsh.
My dearly loved husband is in a nursing home. Has vascular dementia and strokes. I visit 4 to 5 times a week. Our younger daughter goes 3 times a week and older daughter once a week( more in school holidays when she's not working). Our grandchildren go regularly and our 16yr old grandson goes on his own very often. He's wonderful with his grandad. I hardly think that's dumping him. We had no choice in the matter due to his complex needs. Not our want,but his NEEDS.
Other residents have partners visit everyday. Admittedly,some residents go not receive visitors. One youngish man cared for his mother full time for a long time. Toilet needs the lot. He now just cannot cope with seeing her in the very sad situation she is in. He joined in with a family and advocates meeting and was so full of grief it was heartbreaking for the rest of us. Who am I,or anyone else to judge? He certainly hasn't dumped his mother. She is cared for.
To think that staff may call relatives granny dumpers is hurtful to read.
I am aware that some people are left in a home without visitors. Perhaps it is out of selfishness, perhaps the relationship wasn't ever good. Who knows.
I felt I had to have my say on this subject
Er, I don't think Simon is calling it 'granny dumping' himself! He's saying that is what it gets called in hospitals to describe callous attitudes by the 'dumpers' - ie, family that just 'want shot of' an elderly relative who has become a nuisance.....

I read that he used the term critically, not approvingly!!!!!

However, the question of 'is it (morally) right to put mum/dad in a home' (or however it is phrased!) is, rather like my original question, not really easily answerable. it's a real 'it depends' question!

Yes, there are relatives who simply don't give a toss, and just want to 'granny dump' as fast as possible (there's a daughter described as thus in one of the New to Caring posts recently!) to get her off their hands.

But there are other relatives who have done their best, but simply can't do any more. Are they 'granny dumping'? No, they are at the end of their tethers.

Finally, there is the VERY tricky moral question of 'Whose life is more important? A very elderly person who has had their life for much longer than their own adult children have, and whose care absorbs 24x7 of their children's time, and takes over their children's lives completely?'

The issue of 'sacrifice' surfaces very swiftly alas.
119 posts