Gransnet forums


Judging a society by the way it ...

(18 Posts)
Jacey Tue 13-Mar-12 20:05:46

takes care of its elderly??

How is it possible that a couple married for over 60 years are being separated by our "caring" society??

He has Parkinson's disease (amongst other issues) ..has to be placed in care home. Wife cannot go into same home not deemed to need fulltime care/medical support ...she has to be placed into a residential home.

Can anyone explain this to me? sad

Carol Tue 13-Mar-12 20:12:57

No - it's inhumane! If she doesn't need full time medical care, she must therefore be an invaluable source of support for her dear husband, so what better option than to accommodate them together?

jeni Tue 13-Mar-12 20:14:12

Disgraceful! This should not be allowed to happen!

Annobel Tue 13-Mar-12 20:16:39

Could this be a breach of their human rights?

jeni Tue 13-Mar-12 20:29:22

Don't go there! It is a nasty sloppy bit of legislation that is the best reason for us opting out of euro law that I know! It causes more problems than it solves! angry

Annobel Tue 13-Mar-12 21:22:58

Their MP should be raising hell about this disgraceful separation.

Mishap Wed 14-Mar-12 09:15:41

This is getting back to the workhouse.

I know why it happens - I have worked in SSD - it is to do with the cost of care and assessed needs. At one time, if you wanted to go into a home, you could choose to do so, and, if you qualified, get help from the state with the fees via income Support rules.

A new rule then came in that you had to have an "assessed need" before the state would help with the fees, so everyone now has a "community care assessment" which decides whether you really need residential or nursing home care. If you are assessed as needing it, then you get help, if not then you don't. Clearly in this case, the wife is fitter than the hubby and that is why they have finished up in separate homes.

There is no doubt that this is complete nonsense - I can understand that they do not want to see a valuable nursing home place taken up with someone who does not really need it; but surely they can put two beds in the one room and be a bit flexible.

Definitely a case for ringing the national newspapers, contacting the MP and Age Concern etc. and making a big stink about it - is there family who can take this on?

I remember being referred a lady in hospital in her late 70s who had had a stroke and everyone said she needed to be in a home. I talked with the OH (who was a sprightly 92!) and he said "We have had a 60 year love affair and I am not about to let her go now." I got her home!! - no way was I going to let them be parted. They need a sympathetic SW to fight for them who is prepared to stick his/her neck out - this is truly a disgrace. What a way to make them end their lives!

susiecb Wed 14-Mar-12 09:18:02

This is why flexible supported housing solutions are the answer and more authorities need to get into this model which is the one which will be most needed as our generation ages.

absentgrana Wed 14-Mar-12 09:22:34

I thought separating elderly couples was a thing of the past – gone for least least thirty years, if not longer. This is really appalling.

wotsamashedupjingl Wed 14-Mar-12 09:22:55

I suppose they would have to be separated if the wife was still able to live at home. I can see that they would need different kinds of care. Hopefully she would be taken to visit as often as she would visit if she was still in her own home.

wotsamashedupjingl Wed 14-Mar-12 09:24:41

We don't know what the other issues are. Or how advanced the Parkinsons is. He might need full time nursing.

Annobel Wed 14-Mar-12 09:37:47

Homes that are dual purpose do exist - they have nursing beds and residential care beds. With some thought, surely this kind of facility might have been found. Though not necessarily in the same room, the couple could have been under the same roof and the wife could have spent as much time with her husband as she liked, while also being able to socialise with other residents.

wotsamashedupjingl Wed 14-Mar-12 09:42:29

I agree that would be the ideal.

Mishap Wed 14-Mar-12 10:01:45

There is a way round it - I spent my whole career finding ways round the rules in order to humanize them. Their SW needs to get his/her act together and stick his/her neck out. I was always in trouble with the "powers that were" but my clients had no complaints! Rules are made to be bent - their counterpart SWs in the children's services will be falling over themselves to keep families together so the same rule should apply to the elderly.

Carol Wed 14-Mar-12 10:20:35

Quite right Mishap that's what social workers are for - to use their ingenuity, think laterally and problem-solve for their clients, instead of kow-towing to senior managers who have forgotten what they came into the job for. We used to say in probation that if you don't get complaints from senior managers, you're probably not stretching yourself and your abilities to push the boundaries for the benefit of clients, many of whom were also SSD clients.

Same with form filling - write what you want them to know on the form, instead of being contrained by their questions. If there's a one inch square box to explain someone's harrowing existence, use that box to say 'see my attached letter' and tell them the whole story - hate bureaucracy!

goldengirl Wed 14-Mar-12 10:21:31

My aunt has dementia and my uncle has just had a fall. They went into a home for respite but now are considered unable to cope on their own. My uncle is quite spritely for his advanced age and there is nothing wrong with his brain - he's just a bit shakey on his pins. He is naturally upset at being in a home but it does cater for both of their needs and they are together. Where is this home? Australia!!!!!!! If they can do it why can't we?

NannaJeannie Wed 14-Mar-12 14:40:09

Annobel is so right, there are plenty of dual purpose care homes. My aunt is in one where there are actually 3 units: residential, nursing and alzheimers. It would be perfectly acceptable for the couple in question to be under the same roof, but share their days together, in the lounge or the lady could be taken to visit her husband in a wheelchair. In my aunts Care Home, there is lots of mingling between units, staff take residents in the lift to different lounges, or take them to sit outside in the garden.

I wonder if the couple in question have offspring and they are able to advocate for their parents?

Jacey Wed 14-Mar-12 18:28:31

Well ...perhaps this is another post-code lottery thing hmm