My widowed mother is nearly 90 and lives alone in a McCarthy & Stone retirement flat. I used to take her to the supermarket with me once a week to get her shopping and that was all the contact we really had apart from giving her a lift for blood tests etc.
A few months ago she started struggling to walk which she said was due to breathlessness and rather than me take her to a clinic for warfarin blood tests it was suggested that a nurse visit her to take her blood. At this point the nurses discovered that her legs were swollen and bleeding and she now has regular nurse visits to bandage her legs.
The nurses have raised concerns with me about how she is coping alone. Yesterday a nurse called me as my mother had fallen over and could not get up on her own. Luckily she had not been on the floor for long when the nurse arrived.
The nurse says that she is struggling to take her medicine and there are tablets all over the floor. The flat is in a very dirty condition. There were feces and urine on the carpet in the hall. All she is eating is ham sandwiches and cakes. She never changes her clothes, she is not washing herself or her clothes.
Clearly she needs help but she is refusing to accept any. If a carer were free I might have a chance of convincing her but she definitely will not pay for a carer to come in and she absolutely does not want to go into a home especially as her savings would soon vanish.
She has a total income of about £200 per week and the service charge alone on the flat is over £1,500 a year so I can understand her concerns over money.
My sister has not spoken to her for 40 years. I am trying to help where I can out of a sense of duty as she has nobody else to turn to but I don't have the time or desire to visit more than once per week. That might sound harsh but there are historical reasons why I maybe should have cut contact with her like my sister has done.
The nurse mentioned something about safeguarding, self neglect and social services to me on the phone and also suggested the state of the flat might be causing health issues for other residents in the block too.
I have no idea what safeguarding etc implies or what could potentially happen next?
She does not like the warden who is on site 5 days per week 9-5 and does not want her to come into her flat any more. Does the warden have a right to enter or can she insist the warden stops going in?
The warden told her I should be going over every day cleaning, cooking etc which did not go down well with myself or my mother. She also told my mother that the furniture needed dusting while she was stuck on the floor yesterday.
My mother would rather everyone left her alone once her legs are sorted out and feels the nurses should not be poking about in her kitchen, bathroom or bedroom without her permission. I know she has a right to enjoy private, family and home life without unjustified interference from public authorities but the nurses have a duty of care and need to raise any concerns they have.
I have no idea what to do for the best. I've tried reasoning with her to get a carer but she point blank refuses. She has had a recent test to make sure she has mental capacity and she does so while she might not be making the best decision she does have the power to make that decision.
I applied for the 2 LPOA's recently but as the Attorney I do not want to get pressured into doing something like sending her into a home if that isn't what she wants.
Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you.
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