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Grandma being assessed by Social services

(27 Posts)
devilman9050 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:36:48

Hi all,

Long story, but to cut to the chase, AIBU to expect Social Services to take less than 3 months to assess my Grandma??

Back in November, my Grandma who lives on her own was found by her neighbour wandering in the street. The neighbour took her in, gave her tea and biscuits etc and took her down to the doctors to make sure she was ok. Doctors had to notify the social care people, who bundled my grandma off to a care home 15 miles away to do an assessment.

My mum lives about 30 mins away, but since they cancelled 90% of the buses has no realistic way to get to my grandmas anymore as she doesn't drive. I live 2 hours away normally, but have been staying with my mum as i've got a temporary job working close by. While i've been there, i've been taking my mum down to see my grandma regularily.

We had no choice around where she was placed, which is half an hour further away from my mums, she's not the most mobile of people and would have to take 2 buses and walk a little ways to be able to see my grandma.

Initially Social services said they would pay for the care home until the assessment was complete, but what they actually meant was they would pay for 1 week then my grandma would have to pay for the rest. So, essentially, social services have no incentive to do the assessment with any speed, as they are not paying for the care.

the bit that really annoys me, is we have found a really good care home right next to my mums house that are happy to look after my grandma, but until the assessment is finished they won't take her. So my grandma is stuck paying £550 a week, when we have somewhere that would be better for her (as they do more activities and the staff seem to care more for the residents) and better for my mum because it would take literally 5 mins to walk there, and £200 a week cheaper!

My grandma is starting to suffer from dementia, but for Social services to take 3 months to do the assessment is ridiculous.

It was worse over xmas too, because I was back home with my family, my mum had no way to get to where my Grandma is until i started back at work on the 2nd Jan.

Bit of a rant, but just wondered if anyone else had been through the assessment process and whether there was anything we could do?



whenim64 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:29:21

Hi devilman what a difficult position to be in, and you set out the story in such a reasonable way. There will be more experenced Gransnetters on here than me, but I feel you do have grounds to complain that this situation is unacceptable, and if your family is paying this bill, you are entitled to have the right service. I woud ask to see a social services senior manager and tell them what you have said here.

grannyactivist Thu 10-Jan-13 21:36:33

No idea what the rights and wrongs of the SS side of things are, but I would notify the SS in writing that you have found alternative accommodation for Grandma and will be moving her on such and such a date and will they please expedite the assessment, for which you have waited in excess of three months so that it is completed by this date, - then in BIG BOLD LETTERS write Copied to ******** (your MP).

cheelu Thu 10-Jan-13 21:57:26

You could go to Citizens Advise Bureau as even if they can not help you they can point you in the right direction,,best of luck with it...

merlotgran Thu 10-Jan-13 22:00:44

Try AgeUK, devilman. They might be able to give you some advice. I have always found them very helplful with regard to any issues in my mother's care.

annodomini Thu 10-Jan-13 22:07:56

merlot is right. AgeUK is best for age-specific issues. You might also contact the member of cabinet on the local council who is responsible for Adult Services and express your discontent with their procedures.

Mishap Thu 10-Jan-13 22:17:52

If your grandma is paying for her own care she should be able to go wherever she wants to. It used to be the case that if SSD were not being asked to contribution a CCA could be done to clarify the needs, but it was not essential. My Dad put himself into a home for a few weeks when he had a broken arm - he paid for it himself and SSD had no involvement at all. They ndid not even know it had happened.

This is a useful link:

Why not write to SSD and tell them that it is your plan to move her to a new home nearer her family on such and such a date?

Gina123 Fri 11-Jan-13 02:16:01

I worked in Adult Social Care in Local Government and found that when a complaint was sent to the Head of Social Services our Team leaders came back from their meeting with the managers wanting us to get whatever problem sorted out as quickly as possible for them to report back.

Mishap Fri 11-Jan-13 10:45:20

A solicitor's letter to head of SSD will send them all scurrying I am sure; and it will cost you very little. I used to tell my clients and families to do this and it worked like a charm!

devilman9050 Mon 14-Jan-13 08:06:25

Thanks for your comments all, bit of an update....

My mum spoke to Social services on Friday and told them we had found her somewhere better (I thought she had already done this a while ago) and their response was, 'because she is self-funded she can be moved anytime as long as she's happy to move'!!!!

It takes the p* that its gone on for several months before they've bothered to say this, although it is partly my mums fault for not chasing the SS on a regular basis, or finding out exactly what the process was to begin with (she hasn't seemed to respond too well to me nagging on about it!).

It does infuriate me sometimes but at least we'll have somewhere better for her to stay, my uncles drove up from Norfolk yesterday and took her to see it.

They said she quite liked it, had a nice view of the garden etc and they do a lot more activities with the residents, rather than just letting them shuffle around (unless that's what they'd rather do).

Not sure how quick things will move now, hopefully not too long, but it's going to be tricky to get her to understand she won't be going back to her bungalow. She's had her stuff packed up ready to go home most times we've been to visit her!

I'm still trying to convince my mum to complain, i'd be lying if I said it wasn't about the difference in cost but the standard of care appears to be better at the new place, and she wouldn't have had to spend Xmas 'alone' if the SS had told us this 2 months ago!



Ariadne Mon 14-Jan-13 11:29:56

Bump. (to get rid of the Demon!)

Mishap Mon 14-Jan-13 13:52:28

This is what I thought - so glad you have cleared that up now.

NfkDumpling Tue 15-Jan-13 07:16:39

Glad it's all worked out ok. It seems to be something that's impossible to plan for. There are so many books - readable books - out there on how to bring up babies and potty training but nothing on care for the elderly, how to decide what accommodation is available and exactly what Social Services are there for. Apart from telling you they won't fund it. Whatever it is, they won't fund it. We've given up even bothering to contact them.

My mum is being forced to look for housing with care and we think we've found somewhere close by. Fingers crossed it works out. But she refuses to move until a home is found for her dog. The Cinnamon Trust are on the case, so fingers crossed.

Nanado Tue 15-Jan-13 08:25:43

This is another reason why we should all give Lasting Power of Attorney to a trusted relative or friend. Most people will know about the Financial Power one, but there is another for Health and Welfare.
An old friend of ours, whose wife had not given him this power before she became incapable, had Social Services and her niece team up against him and she was placed in a home against his will for 'respite care'. He was fit and well and was more than capable of looking after her and had do so for many years, even though he was in his 80s. She had been well fed, bathed etc. while in his care. But no, the niece and the SW knew better.
She only lasted a month in the home....usual story, meals put out but not helped to feed herself, dehydrated, left sitting in her own faeces. He's never forgiven himself for allowing this to happen.

HildaW Tue 15-Jan-13 10:07:42

Derek, we had dreadful problems with FIL - he was self funded and back in Oxfordshire that basically ment they washed their hands of him. We could not even get any 'off the record' advise as to where to start looking for care homes!!
Its a dreadful situation and I think will only get worse with all the financial problems. My only advice is for families to really stand together, decide on what you want and all work together.
Powers of Attorney are vital as soon as a family member can't make their own financial decisions, in fact my husband has already organised his (with me) he is still working and fully functioning in all departments!!! The trouble is that dementia and other illnesses can change personalities and persuading a frail family member that they need to make such an arrangement can be difficult. Thankfully FIL had made his arrangements when he was quite well, so at least we did not have that problem.

Nanado Tue 15-Jan-13 13:21:27

hilda you can't make a Lasting Power of Attorney unless you are fully mentally competent. Once dementia has set in it's too late. People forget this. Your husband has done the right thing.

They come into force when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 13:46:26

I've had one for years!

Nanado Tue 15-Jan-13 13:54:16

No comment!

jeni Tue 15-Jan-13 14:05:53

NOT ACTIVATED I hasten to add!grin

FlicketyB Tue 15-Jan-13 15:47:05

It makes me so angry that Social Services make life so difficult for people struggling to cope when older members of their family that they care about suddenly have health or care crisis when Social Services could themselves save time and money by working efficiently.

I and a cousin were caring for our aunt and uncle after the usual sudden crisis. My cousin is a hospital consultant and I was then a Home Visitor with Age Concern (as was). Even with two of us trained and knowlegable in the care sector we could not stop an inappropriate hospital discharge, grossly inadequate Social Services assessment and traumatic return home followed by an even more traumatic sudden removal into care. I made an official complaint and made life awkward and difficult for Social Services for several months after. They admitted some problems promised that 'Lessons would be learned' but failed to make clear what lessons and who was learning them.

Derek, it is difficult when the elderly person expects to return home. With one of my relations when he went into care we talked first of a period of convalescence and then talked about staying until after Christmas, and then waiting until winter was over. By that time he had been in the care home five months, was well settled with a group of friends he had made and himself sugested that he stay put. Would that work with your grandmother?

HildaW Tue 15-Jan-13 15:52:39

Nanado, you are quite correct but I probably did not made myself quite clear. Yes, I know you have to be mentally competent to make the Power of Attorney, I was thinking more of subtle personality changes that take place as some folks age. In their 50s they fully appreciate the trouble that can be caused by not having matters in order but in their 70s they feel its 'all too much trouble' ...........and yes, I speak from experience.

Mishap Tue 15-Jan-13 15:55:36

We both took out P's of A as soon as my OH was diagnosed with PD. Now we know that the children (or either of us) can make proper arrangements without hassle.

I did it myself - it is not difficult - but it is tedious and you need to do a flow-diagram as things need to be signed and witnessed in exactly the right order. And it is not cheap even without a solicitor. I did manage to get a reduction in the fee on income grounds but applying for that involoved reams of paper and photocopying of evidence of income.

But we are both glad that we have them and they are safely stashed away in the fireproof box - and the children know where it is.

HildaW Tue 15-Jan-13 16:09:26

Well done Mishap - and that reminds me of the other bit of advise I was given - as you say, whatever provisions you make be they wills, trusts, letters of Attorney - let those who need to know, where they are.

Nanado Wed 16-Jan-13 04:48:32

I just re-read your post hilda 10.07.42 and realise what you meant.

Nanado Wed 16-Jan-13 04:53:23

flickety if there's one phrase that makes my blood boil it's lessons will be learned. Those concerned my as well say "we were too stupid/lazy/inept to anticipate that if A wasn't done then B would follow inevitably".
It's now developed as a catch all for gross stupidity, laziness and incompetence angry