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SOCIAL SERVICES ENCORE - Carers UK Forum

SOCIAL SERVICES ENCORE

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I read with interest Steve's mention of problems with social services. I list below my problems with them in the 11 years since my mother was diagnosed and went into care.
My mother has severe dementia and paranoia. Officially diagnosed in may 2003 and sectioned in the July 2003. Prior to sectioning I was attempting to find a warden controlled home for my mother who was a very stubborn and independent lady. Both the consultant and myself had told the social housing that she should not be told she had dementia. The consultant also emphatically told me that he was making her a section 117 and insisted on pointing out to me what this meant: that she would never, ever have to pay for her aftercare!

MISTAKE 1. We couldn't understand why she had gone over so quickly, until we returned to her home to ensure everything was locked and secured and found a letter in the middle of her table from the housing authority stating that they 'were sorry she had dementia '. It was dated just a few days previous. There first mistake.

Prior to my mothers diagnosis it came to light that a member of the family (my brother) and his family were taking advantage of my mother - using credit cards, bank accounts and then when she was sectioned moving into her house - which after it took a solicitor two years to remove them they had stolen everything and wrecked the house. The police did nothing only said it was my word against his that he couldn't have the house, items and bank money! However everyone was made aware of the situation - home, solicitor, courts, social services etc.

MISTAKE 2. In 2004 we found a lovely home for my mother where she was very happy for many years. However during her time there the social services who are supposed to call a yearly review, but I think they only ever held three or four as far as I can remember - they invited my brother along to a review and not myself or my daughter who also has care of her grandmother.

MISTAKE 3. In 2011 the private home she was in was closing down and we were given 28 days to find another home. I had been living where I ran a business - but it was not a problem : I started phoning around and my grown up children began visiting suitable homes. Two weeks into the 28 days a social worker visited the home and gave staff 15 mins to pack her bags and moved her without telling us and without telling us where to. When I tracked my mother down the home they had placed her was totally inadequate: a first floor room with no stair gate - she has a broken hip and constantly wanders around - that was the main issue there were others. When I finally tracked down the social worker she said '...it has nothing to do with you, you live in France and as far as you are concerned you do not exist.' She then (as well as the solicitor the courts had placed in charge of my mom when I asked for in 2003 to be made a ward of court and who had sided with the social services) proceeded to go on holiday. This was in July / August - the busiest time for my business in France (and as a result by 2012 I was forced to close the business and am now selling my home). I charged the Social services with Safeguarding issues at which they said I could find a suitable home and move my mom again.

She was moved to another suitable homely place which lasted about six months before she became ill and violent and was expelled from the home - funny side is I now have a mother with an ASBO! Following this she was placed in hospital and now a home at some distance. So from the closure in July 2011 to now she has been forced to move home 4 times - now on her 5th.

MISTAKE 4: At all times as I said, I have made it clear to everyone the background of my mother and family problems on her diagnosis, so everyone was aware of the potential safeguarding issues.
Six weeks ago (February 10th to be precise) I visited my mother and it was bought to my attention that she had had lots of visitors recently - knowing my daughter to be away I queried this. It turned out that my sister in law (my mothers daughter in law - who she never ever liked and who stole everything from her) had begun visiting my mother. I instantly said this is not only a safeguarding issue (my mother had recently been getting very bad bruises that no one could explain) but also a human rights issue - since my mother never liked her it is a infringement of her rights to force her to sit with that person.

I spoke with everyone: the home, the solicitor, the social services - each said they would look into it. One by one they came back and said it was nothing to do with them. Six weeks on I find out it should be the social services who deal with it in their safeguarding team. Since Monday 24th March I have continually barraged them with calls and they have promised to call back, each time I am given another name as a contact - now a list of 10. Wednesday they said they would phone back by 5.30 - no call. Today they said they had handed this urgent issue to someone - yes that's right - who is on holiday and doesn't return until Monday! I said not good enough - action now and was asked to phone back. They just phoned back ' the case is too complicated it has to go to a social worker ' - who will be back on Monday!!! Have just been asked can I prove my mother doesn't like her daughter in law and can I prove that they stole from her 11 years ago!!!

Guardianship Office I phoned .... cant get through. Solicitor doesn't want to know. Ombudsman wont do anything until my complaint with social services has come to fruition. Human Rights and safeguarding means nothing to any of them.
Hi Anji,
Have you considered or tried to engage a carers advocate ?
They represent you or your mother and they know yours and your mother's rights.
They will make phone calls on your behalf and attend meetings with your best interests in mind.

I had a terrible time with social workers just over 12 months ago and was at my wits end until I discovered advocates.

Scruffy.
I read with interest Steve's mention of problems with social services. I list below my problems with them in the 11 years since my mother was diagnosed and went into care.
My mother has severe dementia and paranoia. Officially diagnosed in may 2003 and sectioned in the July 2003.
.
Have you ever considered the possibility that your mother was telling the truth, however implausible it sounded?

ETA: Social Workers & GP's can easily assume diagnosis based on symptoms & they often don't have the time to really work out what is really going on.