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First time posting - I need advice, - Carers UK Forum

First time posting - I need advice,

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
My 91 year old mother in law has been looked after for the last 4 years by my fil, also 91.
After a series of falls, a brilliant paramedic rang a few numbers & a rapid response team arrived.
For 2 days a series of carers assisted but soon recommended my fil find a respite bed for wife so he could have a rest.
Within 3 hours of returning home she started falling again & my fil completely broke down no longer wanting to care for her.

My husband is an only child & neither of his parents would except any help from us, oh we tried.

Any way a 2nd home was found for an initial 2 weeks respite care with my fil vowing she would never return home, he hated her etc etc.

On 10th day my mil was admitted to hospital with a discolated & fractured ankle.
No fault of care home, we believe it was the result of diabetes,
Can the hospital/ adult social services force my fil to have her home after discharging her?
She’s incontinent and won’t even let hospital physio help her. It’s like being with a very controlling petulant child.
He is going blind and my mil wouldn’t let the carers help her.
His GP believes she was playing him up, he is a broken man.
Any ideas? We want the best for both of them but cannot afford a care home for more than 3 months. My fil has already self funded 3 weeks of respite care because he was so desperate
I'm very sorry to read about your situation and I am certainly not the best person to advise you. I hope that you can be given your own separate thread by the moderators in the morning.

I think your FIL can certainly not be forced to take your MIL back.

You should not be funding a care home. It should be based on your MIL's finances. There should be an assessment. You should also investigate applying for Continuing Healthcare for your MIL, which depending on your postcode may be harder or easier to get - financing of social care and healthcare provided by the NHS if she qualifies.

There should be a 'safe discharge' from the hospital and her future care, probably in a home, should be sorted out before she leaves hospital. If the Continuing Health Care application fails, she will be self-financing if she has more than £23,500-odd in assets.

I am not very good on the details but I am sure that in the morning others, who can explain more accurately than I can, will be along.

Are you worried that the hospital may discharge her immediately? There should be a way of preventing this. The PALS - Patient Advice and Liaison Service - at the hospital should help. I wish you the best of luck.
Hi, and welcome.

Very often on this forum we read that it can take a hospital admission to 'crack open' an increasingly unsustainable care situation and it sounds like this has happened now your inlaws.

Firstly, something for you ALL to bear in mind - NOT ONE OF US has ANY legally binding 'duty of care' towards ANYONE else (even parents of minors can 'abandon' them!) (horrible, but true). This certainly applies to adult children refusing to care for parents, or for spouses to refuse to care for each other, etc.

So your FIL has NO legal 'duty of care' towards his wife whatsoever.

Very often, however, the NHS and the SS try to 'con' us into making us believe we HAVE to care - we HAVE to take them back and go on looking after them. NOT TRUE. But often you have to point that out to them forcibly. (We also, by the way, have NO financial responsibility for them - also something we sometimes have to point out - my local council said to me recently in respect of my MIL in a home that 'families always have to contribute' NO NO NO as I said!)

Anyway, that's the 'ground zero' so to speak. Your FIL has NO obligation to lift a finger for his wife ever again. End of.

However, that can be complicated by the fact that they may be financially 'involved' with each other - eg, they jointly own their current home, and have savings together. Even so, legally, your MIL only owns half the home, half the savings. And when it comes to paying for residential care, then only HER share is taken into account, not his. At the very least, he should preserve is share of the home and savings.

As Greta has says, if your MIL's 'net worth' (ie, savings share, house share) is worth more than £23,500 she will have to pay entirely for her own residential care. (The council MAY pay for her, putting a charge on the house to be paid back to them after her death - others here know this better than I - and the team of experts at Carers UK itself - best to email them).

I completely agree about the 'safe discharge' issue - your FIL should write to the hospital telling them that he is NOT either able, or willing, to look after his wife again, and therefore she cannot come home again. That if she is put in an ambulance and returned it will be an unsafe discharge.

Now, the hospital might try and send her home - one member here says she had to keep the house keys of her mother's house and warn the hospital the paramedics would not be able to get into the house!

If hospital have the keys already (eg, in your MIL's handbag), then your FIL could change the locks. He could also simply move in with you and your husband for a short period. This is so that IF, say, the hospital discharge your MIL back to her home and say they will set up a team of care-workers to come in and look after her, IF that proves 'impossible' (ie, your MIL needs 24x7 care, which is very likely now) that will itself 'prove the point' that she has to be in a care home now.

One thing you must NOT do however, is let your MIL be discharged to YOU, as that will 'land' you with her and it it will be much harder to 'force her out' and into care.

You don't mention whether your MIL has dementia, but it sounds like she is not totally 'mentally responsible' any longer.
Thanks to both you and Greta.
When I told meeting yesterday of physio, ot & Ward discharge manager we had been told on good authority that my fil didn’t have to have his wife back home they said it was untrue, so thank you again for your encouraging words.
A friend & neighbour of in laws is a district nurse so I knew she was probably correct.

We are waiting for solicitor to draw up poa papers etc but it takes so long.

The situation is a nightmare without health professionals throwing these curve balls at us.

If money was no object we would find a nursing home and self fund.

I’m sorry if anybody else has found themselves in this situation, my heart goes out to you.
My head is sore from constantly hitting it against a brick wall.
All I ask from professionals is for honest help, too many people are being railroaded by lack of knowledge & financial restraints.

God help us if we need help ourselves in the future!

Watch this space.
You are being bullied, make no mistake. There is absolutely no point in sending her home to fail yet again. First step must be to ask for an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Assessment". Hospitals know they should do this as a matter of course for all elderly patients, but often "forget" so they can get rid of their patient, get their bed back, asap.
There is good news, as FIL is over 60, living in the house, the value of the house is completely disregarded when doing a financial assessment. They are supposed to do a Carers Assessment before doing discharge plans, to ensure it is a "Safe Discharge". Has this been done? Does mum have over £23,000 savings in HER name? Do they have over £46,000 between them? You can choose to have the financial assessment done either as a couple, or individually, you can choose, not Social Services, which way it's done. However, Social Services should only become involved AFTER the CHC assessment. You will gather I have also had a running battle with a variety of hospitals. I can't find the relevant documents here at the moment, but if you go to AGE UK's website and search "Paying for Residential Care" you will find what you need. Our Carers UK helpline can give you "chapter and verse" of the regulations, don't ring, email them, and they can go through the personal circumstances in confidence.
Come back here whenever you need. It was a simply awful time for me, and mum. Be sure to look after yourself, especially eating properly, even if you don't want to, because everything seems worse on an empty stomach.
Thank you so much. I mentioned we wanted NHS Continuing care assessment several times in our conversation at the hospital just to make sure they knew we would put up a fight!

They also mumbled something about they didn’t diagnose dementia at the hospital but would give her memory test. Mil is on trauma ward with fractured ankle.
She has no interest in trying to get mobile again having spent the last 4 years getting waited on by my fil & son.

I’ve also read on the Alzheimer’s sites there is a ‘Hostess mode’ some people can go into & I recognised my mil straight away so they will probably say she hasn’t problems.

It’s going to be an uphill struggle but thanks all these wonderful forums my husband & I feel better armed.

His parents have fallen through the net thanks to negligent GP who just didn’t want to know when we asked for help in September last year, so incontinence, memory loss and erratic behaviour have gone unnoticed and we’ve been left to get on with it.

With stubbornness & pride on my fil side and useless gp surgery on the the other this is the situation so far.

I won’t take no for an answer but I feel cross and angry on behalf of all the other families out there having to fight for help, whether for elderly or disabled.
All we’re asking for is some compassion and a point in the right direction.

Sorry about the ramble but I feel tired, both OH & I are 65 this year, which is no age but we’re feeling ground down having to fight their corner all the time.

Oh well to quote Gary Oldman, ‘put the kettle on’
I recognise those feelings!!
Please make a day soon to "step off the treadmill", don't think about parents, look at emails, answer the phone. Go out, enjoy yourselves in the real world. Even if it's just a walk and a pub lunch, reconnect with each other. It may seem a waste of time, but you need to recharge your emotional and physical batteries. Just for a day, put your own wellbeing at the top of the list.
Oh dear, you won't get compassion from the NHS or SS- ALL they want is the bed back and to not spend money! It is their only priority now. You WILL have to fight for everything alas.

BUT, look to future when your MIL is 'forever' in her care home, your FIL has his life back, and so do you and your husband.

Do remember that IF they don't diagnose dementia, then yes, your MIL may 'self-discharge' and they can't stop her - BUT your FIL can simply 'not be in the house' when she arrives.

She really won't last 24 hours 'on her own' will she, and then the issue is forced back on SS etc.

Say firm, and prepare to dig your heels in and not give in - they will do anything to make you give in and take her back, so that's the sticking point you have to stick to.

Good luck.

PS - could you INITIALLY self-fund a care home place, then pull out a 'pass the buck back' to the LA??