My Father

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I am my husbands carer and he has recently come out of hospital - his kidney function went down to 9% - not sure why - combination of anti biotics and painkillers. He also has a psoriasis flare up which is a nightmare but his dermatologist and nephrologist are talking.
My problem now is my 79 year old father He had a heart problem diagnosed on 15th March - this resulted in a visit to a heart specialist who does not want to see him again until December and Warafin - the dose is now more or less stable but he does need regular blood tests. But he seems to have lost all interest in life and keeps saying he is depressed. I am very limited as to what I can do for him, I have suggested getting Age UK out to try and get Attendance Allowance and also get paid help to clean and take him shopping - a friend does his shopping but she works full time and she too is at the end of his tether. He is very forgetful and keeps telling me the same thing - I try to phone most days. He keeps saying his affairs are in the hands of social services, but as yet there has been no contact and I have no number to follow up and no paperwork! I wrote to his GP because he fell before Xmas and hit his head and would not go do the GP then. His GP phoned him and said his blood tests showed he was not taking the thyroid pills and if he did not take medical advice he would end up in the infirmary so hopefully the surgery are now aware of my worries. I am also worried about his money situation as he tends to keep a huge amount of cash in the house since he had his housing benefit stopped for having too much money in the bank. Several friends have tried to help but all our suggestions are rejected and all we get is that he is depressed. Not sure what to do. He also hates my husband and keeps saying he does not want my husband to inherit. I then suggest he changes his will only to get ' I may not have anything to leave anyway'. Frankly I was so upset yesterday I was borderline writing to his GP, and his solicitor saying I was no longer prepared to be next of kin, and not seeing him for a while. AT this rate he and my husband will out live me, as i cannot be a carer to two very difficult old men.Having problems getting husband to eat - he can't walk easily due to his legs peeling. However if my father does have dementia and is ill then obviously I have to try and arrange help - I am an only child so no family to turn too and one of our mutual friends feels as frustrated as I do - every suggestion rejected and she thinks he just wants attention and is going to walk away. Not quite as easy for me though....any ideas please? Sorry for long first post but just had enough and it is starting to affect my mental and physical health now.
Hi Helena
Oh my goodness what a lot you are having to deal with at the moment.
I only have a minute or two for a quick reply right now, it should be easy to find a phone number for your Dad's social services. Try looking on his council's web site, if no luck then PM me your Dad's town and county and I will google for you.
Having such a large amount of cash sitting around at home would give me complete kittens, this is an accident waiting to happen, a normal burglary, a fraudster praying on the elderly, maybe at a later date a carer or cleaner stumbling upon it. If it was me I would prioritise sorting that first of all or you won't have the funds available to pay for any help in the future.
Sounds like Dad could do with a referral to the memory clinic, can you speak to his GP?
Once you get phone number for SS , chase up needs assessment. If dad has only recently taken out large sums from the bank he may need to justify it anyway should he ask for a means test.
Thanks I have the number and was going to ask for a Community Care Needs Assessment but my friend who has the care agency has said that SS will ask if I have my father's permission to chase. If I say 'no' - he has asked me not to chase it - frankly think he has not applied, they won't be able to deal with me as my father has Mental Capacity! I cannot lie and say I do have his permission. As far as I can acertain, he is cashing his pension and not spending it. I cannot easily remove it because frankly that would feel like stealing and not quite sure where he keeps it but would guess under the bed!
Thanks for your reply. I think the one positive thing is that the GP has been told my worries and that I CANNOT help on a regular basis at this time in my life. I think the GP can go to SS without my Father's permission so hopefully this will get sorted....especially if he is not taking his tablets. I realise sometimes things have to get to crisis point before people get or indeed accept help they need.
Definitely a very tricky and stressful situation for you. You seem to be the only person around on whom 'everything' lands!

Do you think there is any chance your dad would agree to you having Power of Attorney for him? That would put his financial affairs under your say so, and you could rest easier on that score.

If you removed the cash from his house and simply paid it back into his bank, that would not be stealing - it would be safeguarding! BUT, would he then just take it straight out again?

Sadly, as dementia (or MH - or both!) sets in, it can be very difficult in terms of finances. It's all, all too common for those developing dementia to get very lax about money, and they are, in deed, prime targets for the vile scum who prey off the elderly and confused.

At the very least, could you persuade your dad to get a safe of some kind, and keep the cash in it?

Sad though this is, I do think the priority in your life has to be your husband, rather than your dad. And it does sound like the time has arrived when your dad can no longer live a truly independent life.

Although it will be an effort, could you set aside some time to get his care sorted, whatever SS etc can do by way of getting carers in for your dad. And, say, having a mental capacity test as well.

Do you think your dad would respond well to the idea of going into a care home yet? If he did, would he have to be self-funding (ie, savings/assets/property worth over £23k) or would he be under that limit and so be eligible for council-paid care?

It's definitely good that your GP (your father's as well?) knows you can't take on any more hands-on caring.
This is certainly dreadful and I have no direct experience.
But as far as power of attorney is concerned, you definitely need it for the future when your father may have worse dementia and no longer be able to give it. But as long as he is capable of understanding things, I don't think you can use it to override his wishes (but I agree that putting his cash in the bank would be a good thing). I have power of attorney for my brother who is confused and forgetful but not demented, and we discuss things together, although actually I make all the decisions, but the time has not yet come where I can take complete control. So we got the power of attorney signed in 2006 and registered in 2013. I have removed his debit cards and he has no cash! I have a debit card in my own name as attorney for his bank and I do our finances online. But we live together.
All I can think is that your GP needs to be reminded more often and more urgently of the dangers, as he might be too busy to think about any particular patient very often.
Well he does have friends but one lady is exhausted taking him to the GP surgery for the Warafin and doing his shopping and has a full time job. He could frankly get a taxi there and back - I can understand when they were constantly changing his tablets, and he needing someone to help him write down and remember changing dose, but it seems to have stabalised. Another friend has suggested same things as me, mobile phone if he is scared of going out, cleaner, Age UK to try and get benefits and maybe a befriender and she is on the verge of backing away now too as she just cannot cope with him - she feels he is wallowing in self pity and enjoying the attenion of having Tina running round after him. But it is not fair on Tina to let her do so much which is why I have been trying to gently suggest paid help.
He has been playing us off against one another but we are now talking so that has to stop. For example, he said Cheryl had offered to come round and do his shopping and washing every week! I checked this because Cheryl has health problems, lives 6 miles away and has her own father of a similar age. Cheryl was horrified and said that she had offered to do his shopping IN AN EMERGENCY and not every week.

He is a difficult man. No Jenny I just cannot do any more right now. I cannot physically take the money to his bank as I have no idea where he banks - he tends to use a post office giro because he does not even pay his rent by cheque - offered to post it for him, but has to go into office and pay cash - he is in sheltered housing. He offered by Power of Attorney a few weeks ago and I agreed to be Joint with a friend of his but he has not progressed it. He can be very awkward and whilst he has 'mental capacity' there seems very little I can do. I just hope GP will act on my letter because from what i can ascertain, they are the only ones with the power to contact SS on his behalf.

I try to phone every day, and I am getting some shopping added to my Tesco which I will try to dash round tomorrow. My husband and father hate one another so really not easy. I guess I have to just back off and pray that a trajedy does not happen before my father gets help. We do not have an easy relationship and are not really close but I will try to do my best but yes, my husband is very poorly, not eating properly, and not able to walk so I am pretty much housebound right now. Basically anything strong enough to control his psoriasis tends to affect his kidney function and his skin is peeling badly so I am terrified of an infection - they think the antibiotics he had for a UTI and the painkillers tipped his kidneys over last time. Nephrologist and Dermatologist talking about best way forward. I just have to step back but it is hard - just cannot take responsibility for my father at this moment in my life - my expertise would lie in getting Age UK out and suggesting carers but he won't employ a friend of mine who has offered or my neighbours girls as he says they are too close to me! But they are totally trustworthy. Rant over - really helped thanks for reading and replying!
Hi Helena
You can download all the forms for both the financial and health powers of attorney online, fill them in yourself and then get your dad to sign them which is much cheaper than getting a solicitor to do it for you. If he has already mentioned this then maybe he will go along with it. It is a minefield later on if you don't have these powers in place.
You have an enormous amount of stress atm, I hope you can get a few minutes just for you each day to chill a little.
Take care
Tracy