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Social worker visit and permanent care home for Mum - Carers UK Forum

Social worker visit and permanent care home for Mum

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Mum has lived with me for over 2 and a half years in my home. Mum is 90 years old and suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis, had a stroke 7 years ago with speak difficulty and word finding, bowel and uterine prolapse, heart failure, some memory loss and is doubly incontinent.
Mum has had respite that first started in December for a week and I try and get respite for her as suggested by Mum's social worker, every 6 weeks.
Because Mum's name is down on 5 private care homes waiting lists, for respite, I cannot always get it and then I apply to the council maintained care home, but it has to be through the social worker.
The last time I applied in June for respite, as there were no beds in the private care homes, the social worker said that this is the last time that I can apply to the council run home, she said that the home may be closing down and she doesn't want Mum getting used to there, as it's not fair to her.
Then I got mum into a private care home in June(the same as the first one last December).
I was also told that they had an empty permanent bed coming up and didn't know when a respite bed would come up again, when they fill the bed.
I suggested to my brother and sister, brother lives too far away to care for Mum (and work commitments) and my sister has poor health and might occasionally cover for me a few days, but it's unpredictable when she can come. that there was a permanent bed available and I wondered about booking that bed for Mum to be able to go into respite then any time when I needed a break. The bed would have to be paid for as a permanent bed and the care home said Mum could go home in between any time and the bed would be there when I was ready for a break again.
I suggested that it might be 3 weeks in there and 3 weeks at home.
I thought that if Mum went in there permanently, then she could easily deteriorate and feel unwanted, as she is easily depressed and this is what happened when she had hospital admissions over the last 3 years - she suggested that I called the doctor/ambulance because I didn't want to look after any longer. Plus when Mum did come home from this respite, Mum had a large bruise on her leg and a large abrasion in the cleft of her buttocks, which I have carefully looked after and it has now healed. I wouldn't be able to physically do any checks like this if Mum is mum is in permanently as she is always in the sitting room amongst other residents.

Mum agreed to this suggestion of 3 weeks in the care home and 3 weeks back in my house, so far. (The payment side of things will be dealt with by my brother as he has power of attorney)

In the meantime, when I informed the social worker of the plan, she said that she was concerned that mum would not understand the new routine of 3 weeks in care home and 3 weeks in my home, so she asked another social worker to assess Mum's capacity and to ask mum a few questions whilst Mum was having her respite in the care home.
The 2 social workers then came to my home this week, whilst Mum was back home.
The social worker who spoke to Mum in the care home said that Mum said she wanted to stay in the care home all the time as I am not home all the time and there are people there (in care home) all the time. She said that my mother said I am out a lot and too busy to look after her and she worried for me and felt it was too much for me. yes, I have been overstretched with looking after 2 grandchildren, 3 days a week and working 2 days a week and regretfully I have shown my stress sometimes when trying to leave the house on time in the morning.
After I get Mum up in the morning, help wash and dress mum in bathroom, tablets and breakfast - I then go out. Care workers come in twice a day to take Mum to bathroom again and give her drinks and make her lunch. I am back by 6 at the latest.
I said to the social worker that my child sitting has just been reduced to one day, it will make a big difference, but also I said that Mum may have meant that she was happy in the care home at present, but she has word finding difficulty (because of previous stroke) and cannot do a sentence and often gives up as she struggles to say the right words then forgets what she is saying. I said that I was not certain that mum would want to stay permanently really and not come home. I asked had she spoke to mum about the 3 weeks in and 3 weeks at home, it doesn't have to be 3 weeks , it can be 4 weeks and 4 weeks or anything really.
The social worker said she would now ask Mum if she wanted to stay permanently there, she spoke to Mum and said 'do you remember me and what I said in the care home?' Mum said yes, the SW then said 'what did we talk about?' Mum said ' I don't know and I feel ill and I want to go to bed now and never wake up again!!'

Mum has always said this when she is not feeling well, both of the social workers then decided to leave and now I have had an email from them saying that they want to come back to the house to see my mother alone, without me being there, on Thursday, next week.
I have discussed this with my brother by email and he said NO, he did not want mum being seen alone, he wanted to be there, as he thought a family member should be but he was only free on Saturday and Sundays.
I have emailed the social workers to say that they need to liaise with my brother to arrange to see mum.

I myself haven't brought up the subject again with Mum as she is under the weather and now want to leave it to my brother.

I feel that if Mum is paying then it is a private arrangement between us and the private care home?

I would be grateful for any advice, please.

Hi Christina
In a way I agree with the SW. I obviously don't know your Mum but from my experience with my 99 year old Mum I would suggest that the three weeks on three weeks off will be very stressful and unsettling for her. She will become increasingly confused and upset as to where she belongs and the differing routines. I have found that being familiar and comfortable with the 'routine' is very important to the very elderly.
Are you happy with the chosen 'Home'? Do you think Mum is happy or happy enough in the chosen 'Home'? If the answer is yes then I seriously suggest that you allow her to live there. There is nothing stopping you spending as much time with her as you like, or taking her out, or bringing her home again for the day or even the weekend if you consider she is comfortable with that. Ask yourself whether you want this weeks on weeks off routine for her or because you feel that you 'ought' to look after her as much as you can?
Don't let your sense of 'duty' blind you to what Mum actually needs. Don't let it blind you to what you yourself need either. Don't forget that Mum is going to get increasingly 'needy' and you might find the three weeks 'at home' getting more and more impossible.
If you have a place in a good home and Mum is comfortable there, then grab it, let Mum find her feet, get to know people and that very important 'routine' and give her as much visiting time as you feel you should or feel she wants. It's not prison. If you find that it's not actually as good as you thought (and give it some weeks before you judge) you can always jail break her out.
If your brother has POA then he, and only he, can speak and make decisions as if he were your Mum.
Just maybe, your Mum would like to live there and if you see her frequently she will not feel 'abandoned' and making sure someone is looked after 24/7 when that is what they need, is not dereliction of care or duty.
Think about it.
Letting go is the hardest thing of all. As mum is "self funding" then the fees are going to be around £1,000 a week. I hope the attorney has been paying you a similar amount of money per week for all the care you have been providing over the last 30 months?!
If mum is in a home, you DON'T have to see her in the common room. The home my mum was in had little mini lounges where people could see relatives, offer them tea and coffee etc, and then of course mum has a room of her own where you can talk privately too.
If you and mum are happy with the home, let her stay. Then you can call in to see her as often as you want, have her back to your place for the day, but let her have a team of carers looking after her 24/7.
Thanks for your replies.

To be honest, I cannot face letting mum go permanently to the care home yet, although I know I may have to face up to it at some point.
I feel that Mum may have been trying to say to the social worker that she prefers that care home to the previous one that she went to previously for respite.
Mum would likely refuse being taken back home for just one day's visit as she cannot travel in a car, she needs wheelchair to transfer into a wheelchair access minibus. She also doesn't find travelling comfortable because of the jolts of the transport and her arthritis.
Mum did seem to settle into the care home, but I think as much as anything, she knew it wouldn't be for long, as I reminded her on occasions that she had only a few days left, then she would be coming home the next day etc

I thought that every 3 weeks change was as long enough time to get used to, either way.
There are only about 10/15 residents in the care home, the staff are all the same. The home is maximum 10 mins drive away in the minibus.
Mum is not demanding or needy in any way at all and I can increase the care workers to come in at home, if I needed to. (they come in am and afternoon) But if Mum's health deteriorated, then I would consider whether it was time for permanent stay in care home if I had difficulty managing, I certainly wouldn't move mum without being guided by my family and social worker's advice.

Just for interest, the costs of the care home is £520 per week, but a retainer is paid to the care agency at home, for when Mum goes into respite of £100 per week, which is half of the £200 normally paid for care workers at home.

I did ask my brother, who has POA, 2 years ago if I could use Mum's pension money (£113 per week) which is paid into post office, so that I could buy Mum's clothes, baby wipes, extra incontinent pads as we always run out long before new ones arrive from NHS, food and treats. I also ask my brother for a contribution of heating costs from Nov - March when we have to turn up the heating as she feels the cold easily.
He gave me money also for big items such as a bed when Mum first arrived at my house and a bigger wheelchair and remote recliner chair.
Mum has never, ever wanted to be 'put' in a home and each time when I have let her know about the up and coming respite, she gets very low and looks very sad.
When the careworkers who come to our home asked mum how she was when she arrived back home, Mum said she would be glad to sleep in her own bed. (It is a double bed, she cannot turn herself because of her large size in the care homes single bed) I was going to buy a queen size bed for when Mum goes next to the care home and the manager has ok'd it.

Oh well, my brother will hopefully be the next person to ascertain from Mum her wishes, when he next travels down, usually once a fortnight.
Thank you once again for your advice.
Hello Christina
Sorry to read about your difficult times.
May I just put my take on nursing,care home situations. My husband is now in a nursing home because he had strokes then vascular dementia. His consultant firmly advised me that it would be in his best interests and mine. It's far from what I wanted ( we've been married for over 48years) It is what is needed though for safeguarding issues. It was explained to me and my family that it can take 3 to 4 months for residents to settle. This in my husband's case is proving to be true. He went in at the end of March and is settled as much as he can be. Yes he says every visit, at some point,come on let's get going etc etc. I have to get round that one way or another. He can't walk. The situation is very heartbreaking.
My take is that as far as hubby is concerned,he would most definitely be more unsettled and confused should he be able to come home occasionally. It seems that it's the same for all of the residents. I wonder if it would be more confusing and unsettling for your mum? Even for you? In my very humble opinion I fear it would be.
You take care and my thoughts are with you. Keep in touch with the forum and let's us know how the situation goes
Pet 66
Thank you Pet66 for your reply.
I have read all your posts with interest and know it has been very difficult for you too.

I see my mum now, watching her own choice of TV, she loves musicals, enjoys her meals most of the time, she seems content and I am relaxed, except for the thought occasionally of when things may change for Mum and I.
I am on holiday from work for a month (I only work for 2 days a week) and my baby sitting has been very much reduced until next January, when Son's partner goes back to work part time. But the other Nana will be available too then. (She had an operation on her leg)
I am hoping that Mum will not be in a hurry to make her mind up to stay in the care home permanently.