Gransnet forums

Care & carers

Daughter worried about her Dad (my ex.)

(15 Posts)
TriciaF Sun 08-Jan-17 19:32:59

We've been divorced since the 70s, but our children still care about him, especially eldest daughter.
He re-married to someone who is as unstable as he is, but she does look after him. He's in a bad way physically, spending many years on lithium and is now very frail, rarely gets out of bed, toilet accidents etc. He's 80.
Daughter visits regularly, not always welcomed by the wife. He does have a carer from the council who comes in daily.
Sounds to me as if he should be in a care home, it's too much for H. to cope with. But she won't accept help or advice.
Our 2 sons live abroad.
Any ideas? Should he have a social worker?
I'm worried on behalf of our daughter who lives 200 miles away, works full time but visits when she can.

kittylester Sun 08-Jan-17 19:40:01

I think its a case for Adult Social Care but he may have someone already involved if he has carers going in.

You've done a good job Tricia, if your children still care bout him.

GracesGranMK2 Sun 08-Jan-17 20:03:08

Please be careful about interfering. If he has a carer, and they are not paying for this themselves, he is already within the system and he is married to someone else. Your daughter can do whatever she can do to help when she visits but his main support is coming from his wife and it is better not to undermine that - it is what he chose.

You say he is on Lithium which means he is probably bi-polar or something similar and you will know how difficult this can be from your own marriage with him. Nothing, but nothing, is perfect when it comes to caring for someone. It is sad but it is true.

If you really feel the need I should suggest your daughter gets in touch with the Adult Social Services in his area as Kitty suggested. You may believe it "Sounds ... as if he should be in a care home" but his wife may have already found that chance would be a fine thing. There is quite an aggressive (probably the wrong word) attitude to keeping people at home, particularly if the LA is going to have to pay. My best advice is that your daughter helps the wife when she can so that she is in a position to help her father.

kittylester Sun 08-Jan-17 20:08:43

I think Tricia is looking for info for her daughter not to interfere herself.

GracesGranMK2 Sun 08-Jan-17 20:15:08

I just read the questions Tricia asked Kitty and tried to give and answer.

Barmyoldbat Mon 09-Jan-17 12:15:29

GracesGran has given excellent advice and that is exactly what I would do. His care is in the hands of his wife and carers, adult care team will already be keeping an eye on things and doung what they can. Suggest your daughter just keeps in contact.

radicalnan Mon 09-Jan-17 12:48:13

The powers that be, must be aware and so is his next of kin, so I imagine he is getting all he is entitled to, what we think people need and what the system provides now, are often very different. Lots more nursing care done at home to avoid bed blocking and because patients prefer it.

Barmyoldbat Mon 09-Jan-17 13:47:09

He properbly, likee rest of us, doesn't want to go into a care home.

TriciaF Mon 09-Jan-17 14:13:25

Thanks for the replies, no I certainly wasn't thinking of intervening myself. I'm just eternally grateful to H. for the way she's looking after him. I know she has her own problems, she takes off now and again.
It was only for our daughter who is a big worrier and very conscientious.
As GGwrote, H. is doing what she can and best not to undermine.
I had thought DD could contact the social worker to at least give her contact details. But maybe best to keep a low profile.

VIOLETTE Mon 09-Jan-17 14:51:05

Sorry to hear your dilemma ..difficult to know what to do for the best to support your D ....if your ex and his wife are known to Adult Social Care and if the problem is a mental health one, they may have been allocated a mental health team support worker ? your D could talk to them (I guess nowadays she.he would need permission from your ex and his wife !) .....MIND could also provide some support if only to talk through the problems ..and if possible to maybe find a support group to talk things through with all helps !

As Marjorie Wallace was saying only this lunch time on the News mental health is often the poor relation of health care, especially when resources are so stretched in the NHS ...there is just not the funding necessary as with so many other things like care for the elderly etc ...and getting help and support is difficult

In an ideal world there would be accommodation for anyone who wanted or needed to have full time support and assistance available ...if only ! (I don't mean like the asylums !) more like, say, a retirement village for those with specific needs ! but I guess I dream on

Good luck !

Ness57 Mon 09-Jan-17 15:09:10

My ex husband was an alcoholic and this addiction also led to many physical problems so he eventually virtually lived on the sofa. My son is an only child and his Dad's wife (who also has health problems)had no children. My son lived 150 miles away from his Dad but visited and phoned regularly (although his Dad never remembered any of these contacts and constantly complained that my son had deserted him). I felt so helpless and was so concerned about the effect this was having on my son, who eventually managed to get his Dad's GP and Social Services involved. My ex and his wife though were adamant they didn't want any intervention. If your ex has a daily carer then he is being monitored and if more in depth care or residential care were needed I'm sure the carer would report this. It is wonderful that your daughter is still loyal to her father as was my son to his. I feel though, as I think you do, that this is something that you wish they had never had to experience. Unfortunately my ex passed away 11 months ago and my son still remains in touch with his Dad's widow. My son knows he did everything he possibly could to help his Dad and to keep the relationship going - even though he received many knock backs from his father. You need to let your daughter keep visiting her father, to maintain their relationship and to let him live out his life as he wishes. I understand it is hard as we want to protect our sons/daughters.
PS I always asked my son about his Dad to ensure he opened up and didn't keep things to himself. I listened when he needed to talk but knew when to back off when he didn't!

SparklyGrandma Mon 09-Jan-17 15:17:23

TriciaF he will have a social worker at the local council if he is receiving care already. Your daughter as one of his immediate relatives, if not next of kin, could contact the Adult Social Services and ask to be included in his care planning and also ask to speak to someone now about his care as his condition is unsafe and needs re assessing?

if you google 'Directors of Adult Social Services UK' you get a website that gives contact details for every department in England and Wales including email addresses for the top person.

Good luck.

GracesGranMK2 Mon 09-Jan-17 15:53:23

I was certainly not meaning to sound unkind but I know from my own experience that offering to help the person who is the main support is not only more useful but it prevents problems being made that they will have difficulty dealing with.

My ex is bi-polar, had a massive stroke about 12 years ago (he was not discovered for about 24 hours which didn't help) and has now been diagnosed with a dementia. He had left the longish relationship he had been in subsequent to our divorce just prior to the stroke which has left my daughter as his carer. In a way we are lucky in that what I have learned with my mother is a help so I can support her and she can support me but in each case we are clear who is the main support.

I still think that offering to help his wife is the best thing your daughter can do Tricia and it may be in the very areas that make you both feel better. Would she like help in ensuring her husband has an up to date needs assessment? Would she like your daughter to find out if there are any additional benefits they can claim? Can she do some shopping for them? It is all these sort of things that may seem overwhelming after a day spent being a support in the way H is.

f77ms Mon 09-Jan-17 16:07:18

I don`t agree that he should be in a care home ! , obviously it would be less of a worry for your daughter but if that is not what either of them want then it would be cruel to even suggest it . His wife is obviously doing the best that she can as she must be quite elderly too . Maybe just suggest to DD that she looks into any further help they could get in the way of benefits or support , she is too far away to help in any other practical way except maybe stocking the freezer with easy type meals when she visits .

TriciaF Tue 10-Jan-17 10:18:47

Thanks for all the advice - you people are so kind and helpful.
I'm passing on various suggestions to my daughter.
His wife is much younger than him, mid 60s I think. But will still be finding it difficult.