Forced discharges by social services

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I was in the same situation just before christmas when my husband was in a mental health ward for three months after attacking me in the night after hearing voices and seeing dead relatives in his room.
My children and I fought with the doctors and social workers to have him placed in a care home but his Psychiatrist insisted he would be ok omce he was put on anti-physochtic drugs.
I went down the same route of saying that if he came home, I felt I would be in danger, but was told that it would be my decision whether I wanted to move out of our home but as the house was in both our names, then he was entitled to live in it.
I had to eventually agree to having him home as I had no where else to go
but had a lock put on his bedroom door, which I lock every evening once his carers have settled him for the night. At least this was I can sleep safely but I am also able to hear him if he needs attention during the night.
The powers that be are not interested in the health and well being of their patient's carer, all they want is to be able to tick another one off their list and wash their hands of them. We are left to struggle on our own.
Irene, that's a scary situation. Do you think the anti-psychotic drugs have sufficiently calmed your husband, and that he can be trusted to take them? I do hope so.

Grimly, I suppose the only alternative left to you maybe - assuming your husband does not actually have another violent episode that requires re-sectioning - to divorce him? It's a horrible reason to do so - as in, just to enable you to feel safe in your own home! - but that would at least mean that you can 'get away' if you see what I mean.

But it's awful that it should come to that (ie, if there is no other reason for divorcing!)

What does your husband want? Does he want to be 'back home' or would he actually rather be in hospital himself? I was wondering whether it might be possible for you to both to 'sell up' - or, if your children are adult - give them half the value of your home after selling it, or even just gifting it to them, and then you yourself moving to a rented flat where there is no room for your husband?

As you say, in the end, this all comes down to saving the NHS money on hospitalising your husband.
It has been known for Social Workers to put unfair and unreasonable pressure on relatives.

I have been "bullied" and told inaccurate things by a social worker myself.
I give my husband his medciation as he can't manage the blister pack with only one hand. He seems settled just now and has accepted that he has to have the bedroom door locked each night. However, when he had his last "brain storm" and became violent, he had been fine during the previous weeks, only becoming very paranoid in the last few days. Just hoping the anti-psychotic drug keeps working. He needs everything down for him, the carers shower him and dress him morning and night but I am on my own coping with him during the day. If he is well, then it isn't too bad, he rests in his room most of the day - his choice, he has a catheter and finds it uncomfortable to sit in a chair too long, and watches his telly. It's when he has a toilet problem that I find it very difficult. This morning when the carer came in, his catheter had bypassed again, god knows how this happens, and although he has a pad on and a pad on the bed, evrything was soaked, including the sheet, so it was a bed stripped once more. He also has no control of his bowels since the stroke, they just don't work so he is either constipated, or when they do start to go, he isn't aware of it. Now this is manageable if the carers are here, but really difficult for me on my own to get him cleaned up and changed while having to make sure he doesn't fall over.
This is a man the social work say doesn't need to be in a care home! When we were looking for a possible place for him last year, the residents of these home were much fitter than him, ok, he is mentally on the ball, but his physical disabilities are much worse than the residents we saw. Ofcourse it is all to do with money. They knew fine that I would not leave my home which I love, and also that I have been with Brian since I was 16 when we met and celebrate our golden wedding in April. Just because you don't feel safe with someone at night, doesn't stop you loving them and worrying about them. I know it is the stroke that is the root of the problem. My husband would never have attacked me if he had been in a sane mind at the time but unfortunately the damage has been done and I always lock him in at night so that I can sleep safely.
When my family went to one of the meetings in the mental health ward with the docs and s.w. my youngest lad put the point over that if he had attacked his wife and had been taken into custody, would she have been forced to have him back in the house against her will, and they couldn't find an answer for him!!
I don't leave him alone for very long, just nip to the shops or to the local library as he is so unsteady on his feet and I don't want him to fall.
So I am looking forward to the weather warming up so that I can escape
to the garden which I love and keeps me occupied.

my garden
Can't you go to your GP Irene and say that you are really struggling to cope? Would SS grant you some respite? I do know how hard it is. My husband is not quite at that stage yet but I do not feel happy leaving him alone as he too is unsteady on his feet. I do feel for you.Your son is quite right - if he had attacked his wife NO WAY would she have been bullied into allowing him home. The emotional blackmail because you obviously care for your husband is very very unfair. What would happen if you were ill or had some sort of breakdown?
When he was in the mental health ward, I went down with Pneumonia afrer having been soaked walking to the hospital from the car park and having to drive home again with a wet back. I have had pneumonia many times and it always floors me. If he had been at home I certainly wouldn't have been able to look after him.
When his social worker came to see me prior to him returning home, I returned a carers assessment form telling them I had no family nearby and no emergency backup in case I took ill, but they weren't interested.
I asked my doctor to write to the mental health ward telling them I wasn't able to care for him at home but she wouldn't do it. All I got was gobbligook of an excuse. She did say that when patients are sent back home, they are usually left to pick up the pieces, whatever that meant.
The weather has been horrific here with squalls of torrential rain and wind so I am not venturing out the door in case I get ill again. I do get our heavy shopping delivered and buy a lot of things for him off the internet.
The amount of incontinence products that the nhs allows you is a joke and the quality is absolute rubbish. He gets the full amount of attendance allowance and this is spent on bed pads, wipes and his clothing which is continually being washed and tumble dried. Don't even mention the leccy bill!!
The social work have got him into a really nice daycare centre where he goes two days a week. This is in place of respite, as it was making him very unsettled being away from home at night. At least he tolerates it and knows that he has to go, and that I need a little time to myself.
I know it's a horrible thing that has happened to him and not one we ever contemplated for our old age. I wouldn't wish a stroke on my worst enemy but what scares me is how long I will have to look after him. I am 71 now, same as him, and not being horrible, but he could go on like this for a long time, being waited on hand and foot by me, but my own body is deteriorating, back, hips, legs, weak wrists which hurt when I try to help him at the toilet. I am on painkillers for my back every day to keep it calmed down because if it gets strained, the large muscle twists and it's agony and I have to go to bed and stay flat until it eases, usually a couple of days. Obviously I can't do this if I have to look after him and before I got these new tablets, the carers would come in at night to find me in tears with the pain and waiting till they got him settled for the night so that I could go to bed.
Sorry for going on so much, but other carers are the only people who know what we are going through. Outsiders only see the "poor patient", never a thought is given to the "poor carer"!
Irene, this is only a thought, and might be useless, but here goes.

Though home-equity schemes are generally held to be dangerously 'rip off' (or at least highly financially expensive in the long term), I'm wondering whether, if your home is your love (and your garden!), entering into a HE scheme would release sufficient money to mean that your husband could be self-funding in a care home? That way the SW would have no power to veto it.

Obviously, the HUGE downside of HE is that when you die (or your husband), then there will be nothing left for your children to inherit, the HE company takes the residual value (their 'fee' for loaning you the money they released to you).

BUT, you are 71 - life is VERY difficult as is, and the NHS/SS seem to be refusing to pick up the tab for the level of care your husband now needs. So, unless your children are desperately counting on inheriting from you (!), maybe 'dying broke' is a better option for you if it enables you to have a decent quality of life NOW, when you need it....

Do you actually want your husband to be in residential care, or would simply having more care-workers assist you make your life 'doable'?
PS My MIL with dementia will 'die broke' unless she reaches the end of her life before she reaches the end of the money she got from selling her flat......luckily, the family don't 'need' her money, so it's all going on her self-funding care.
You could throw back to social services an argument that they (social workers) sometimes use to
try to "twist relatives arms" You could say "Can you guarantee my health safety and welfare please"

Often they expect relatives to be able to cope without giving the relatives accurate and honest information, in my experience
jenny lucas wrote:Irene, this is only a thought, and might be useless, but here goes.

Though home-equity schemes are generally held to be dangerously 'rip off' (or at least highly financially expensive in the long term), I'm wondering whether, if your home is your love (and your garden!), entering into a HE scheme would release sufficient money to mean that your husband could be self-funding in a care home? That way the SW would have no power to veto it.

Obviously, the HUGE downside of HE is that when you die (or your husband), then there will be nothing left for your children to inherit, the HE company takes the residual value (their 'fee' for loaning you the money they released to you).

BUT, you are 71 - life is VERY difficult as is, and the NHS/SS seem to be refusing to pick up the tab for the level of care your husband now needs. So, unless your children are desperately counting on inheriting from you (!), maybe 'dying broke' is a better option for you if it enables you to have a decent quality of life NOW, when you need it....

Do you actually want your husband to be in residential care, or would simply having more care-workers assist you make your life 'doable'?
Sorry to disagree Jenny but this isn't very sound financial advice , for anyone let alone Irene in Scotland.

Yes, anyone can find and self fund themselves into a Home willing to take them but equity-release is not a good idea. It would be best to first talk to the Home's Manager about ways of paying fees. They will have options, including placing a future charge over any property, but it would only be on half of any jointly owned property.
In any case Irene or anyone in a similar situation should consult an independent financial adviser and/or solicitor too, both to check the contract with the Home and to see if there are any other options.

One doesn't need 'cash upfront' or a high income, other ways exist, but tread cautiously, with professional advice.