Urgent - Your experiences of social care needed

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi Marie,

Yes, we want positive stories as well. Some areas do already provide good services and its really important to get the message out there about what works, so that the bad areas know how to sort themselves out!

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to respond to this.

Steve
Steve you only need to link to the STV news website for my story!

The link:

http://news.stv.tv/scotland/102338-a-ca ... her-story/

It's all there already, it was the special report for Carers Week in Scotland!

marie x
Positive stories from England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland all the "new" measures cover England only - as the Scots have "FREE" residential social care now no wonder they are positive .
First let me apologise as this is a very, very long post.

About six years back I was going through a divorce and moved out of my husbands home an into my fathers house. It is a big old Victorian house and was arranged like 2 flats with facilities both upstairs and down. The first thing I did on moving in was clean the place from top to bottom as it was filthy. Up until this point my father had kept our visits limited in duration, frequency and when we were their we were not allowed to wander around the house. He was ashamed of the state of the place. As he became more disabled he was no longer able to keep the place up and my lazy fat good for nothing stepmother did nothing but sit on her backside. She is an epileptic but very mild and her condition always seems well control with the medication she takes, but my father made a rod for his own back by ‘looking after her’ and not letting her lift a finger. She got to the stage where she became so fat through inactivity that her medication began to fail and her doctor was getting very cross with her.
You may wonder what this has to do with social care, but it will help to understand the back ground.
Having got my foot in the door I intended to stay and told my father so. I made loads of improvements like putting in a new kitchen etc, to the house.
My dad was very pleased to have me around and we became closer than we had been in a long time.
All the time [through the direct payment scheme] my dad had a morning and evening carer come around to help him get up and go to bed.
Well I’m sure you all know whats coming, they turned up at any time they felt like it, if they turned up at all. Never the same person twice and the standards they kept were awful! But no one would take my complaint as I was not my dads next of kin, my step mum was.
I called social services and tried to explain that my step mum was not fit herself, but always hit the next of kin wall , as she always said they were ok. I honestly think my dads scared of her by this stage as she had an awful temper, and he was surcoming to dementia.
Again I could not get him help as not next of kin.
The only food my step mum fed him was thing like frozen portions of fish, anything that could be microwaved. I worked full time and cooked him something everyday, but I even caught her eating his food [as well as the potion I cooked her]
He had a fall and I used my savings to get rid of the offending carpets he fell over, replace them, redecorate the hall it was in etc, but unknown to me my step mum had made arrangements for my dad to go into a home and never return to the house. When I found out I tried to fight it, said I would give up work etc and care for him myself. But by this time his dementia was so bad the hospital managed to talk him into saying he wanted to go into the home. [Something he had always made me promise would not happen up until then]
My step mum was in her element as she could play the devoted wife by visiting him, getting friends to drive her, but have to do none of the work for his care.
It was a BUPA care home and after 3 weeks in their tender care he got gangrene so badly that the hospital would not operate on him and decided with my step mum that my dad should have a ‘merciful’ death by them withdrawing his feeding etc. I had no say whatsoever. Not next of Kin.
I sat and listened to him, for five days beg and plead and cry ‘to make it stop’ until I pinned a doctor up against a wall and threatened to kill him, [the doc], if they didn’t ease my dads passing with extra morphine.
They did and my sons, daughter, granddaughters and I managed to spend a really good afternoon with him. The extra morphine made him so high he had no pain and was able to hold a proper conversation with us and we all had a good laugh.
The hospital called my step mum in, and when she arrived he was getting tired, so we left. I couldn’t face being there when he went.
The hospital called me to say he had passed away and I returned to the hospital just to see him one more time. At this stage my step mum accused me of killing my dad with my actions.
I went back to work a few days later only to receive a phone call from my step mums relative to say I was being evicted from the house.
My step mum had at some stage got my dad to sign the house over to her so there was nothing I could do and lost my home as well as my dad.
I had a complete breakdown with guilt and worry and it took me a year to recover. I’m sobbing now just writing this.
I feel that the ‘care system’ not only badly let my dad and myself down, I feel it killed him.
I now look after my mum and they will drag her away and into a home over my dead body.
P.S. my dad was cremated and I have no idea where his ashes are, my step mum wont tell me and I cant find out through offical channels as , you guessed it I,m not next of kin
Oh you poor thing. After reading a case like this something should be changed regarding Next of Kin. It's just an easy way out isn't it? Any problems given to "officialdom" by anyone other than Next of kin is easily dealt with by saying those words, "Sorry. You're not next of kin". You were his daughter. Doesn't that count for anything?

I am devastated after reading what happened to your poor dad. I know homes aren't good but to let him go like that is unforgiveable.

I really am lost for words. Isn't there anyone in the legal profession that can help you?
Thankyou for understanding, you have hit the nail on the head. It was far far easier for the care services to dismis me than to do anything. Unfortuatly nothing leagaly could be done I was told by a solicitor. In English law someone wife or husband is next of kin , not thier children. In America ite the exact opposite. I dont think either way is right myself, all imediate family memebers should be next of kin.
I trust no care services now and never will as they could have so easily done something but chose not to.
plus I did blot my copy book by threatening to beat the c**p out of the doc, but better me than my sons.
What an awful cautionary tale! If only your father had signed a Power of Attorney in your name, and left you the house in his will, then you would have been home and hosed. Still, I suspect the law was correct, and you cant have two next of kin constantly scrapping, that wouldnt help matters at all.

I think we carers need to get smart and demand a proper contract (like a pre-nuptial agreement) before we take on any caring at all - and there should be conditions attached. We are far too easily taken advantage of through our own ignorance and kindness.

My own experience of social care in Scotland has also been mostly positive; both for my father in law, and also my son. But its slow.... very slow. If you are persistent, you can usually get good things to happen.
George said:
as the Scots have "FREE" residential social care now no wonder they are positive .
Thankfully, we're not using residential care George!
That's not why our services got a positive reaction either.
The service is good and that's all there is to it.
marie x