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AIBU Not wanting my MIL to reside beside Recovering Alchoholics?

(13 Posts)
Cherrytree59 Wed 26-Aug-15 21:13:13

My MIL is at present in sheltered accommodation provided by The Housing Association. She is 90+ with Dementia. As her only living relatives (other than my son + daughter who both have small babies) we decided that due to her health conditions, great age + the fact where she lives is no longer warden controlled (due to cuts), we would apply to the housing Ass for a move closer to ourselves , unfortunately there is a long waiting list in our village ,but they offered her a sheltered flat about 5 miles away. Which is much closer than at present. As there is no warden also at this sheltered scheme we had to make an app to go + take a look. When we went in to the building we asked a man the way to the office, he was younger looking than 55 the age the shelter housing was originally built for (55 yrs plus) , So we assumed a visitor. On the way to the office we passed more men all younger than retired residents. Whilst being shown the vacant flat by a housing officer, I mentioned all the men we had passed and she said they were in fact residents. I said they looked younger than 55. She then told us that they were + that they were recovering Alcoholics .I'm afraid we refused the flat, even though it had the same lay out as the flat she is in now, which would be great for a dementia sufferer. I asked the lady from the housing ass if she would be happy to put her mother in this housing scheme, She declined to answer. I would like to say that I have every sympathy with recovering alcoholics + their journey. They are themselves vulnerable people. But my MIL is also very vulnerable. She is unable to make the decision by herself so we have had to do what we believe to be in her best interests. Even though it would make life easier if she was closer to us. Is it right that the housing ass put these two different types of vulnerable people together in what was a scheme built for mainly aged people?

Alea Wed 26-Aug-15 21:35:25

I would go with my instinct as I believe you have done. This does not sound like the ideal place for an elderly woman with dementia. Surely at her age, your mother would be much better in warden assisted/supported housing. It sounds as if rules are either being bent or ignored here, who knows what other shortcuts they might be making?
Unless we are talking about a huge journey, the difference in distance should not matter if you have peace of mind regarding her welfare and well-being.

vampirequeen Wed 26-Aug-15 22:20:25

I agree. Two vulnerable groups with very different needs.

Gracesgran Wed 26-Aug-15 22:25:59

I know that councils who have had bungalows specifically for the older infirm are now using them for anyone with medical needs so I wonder if this is becoming a general policy.

I agree with Vampire and Alea if it feel wrong it's probably not worth risking. I do hope one comes up in you village soon.

fluttERBY123 Wed 26-Aug-15 22:46:00

Interesting - recovering alcoholics seem always to have a person they go to if they feel they are in danger of falling off the proverbial, so in a way it makes sense for them all to be together to bolster each other up. On the other hand it would only take one of them lapsing to upset your mother at a given point.

If the sheltered housing was originally for 55+you could go for freedom of info. Where are the docs saying 55+ and where is the doc that says no longer just 55+. I might be inclined to call the local paper and see what they think and what they could find put. You have decided not to put your mother in there but there could be trouble ahead for someone else if the situation is not clarified.

FarNorth Wed 26-Aug-15 22:51:25

Calling the paper seems unnecessary at this stage, and unkind to the recovering alcoholics who have done nothing wrong, as far as we know.

What is 'sheltered' about accommodation if it has no warden?

MiniMouse Wed 26-Aug-15 23:11:35

We had a similar experience with a relative at her sheltered scheme for the over 55s. Unfortunately, the police were frequently called out because of the actions of the alcoholic/substance abuser. I can't understand the rationale of putting people struggling with addiction issues in with elderly folk. They were terrified because of them. Not fair on either party. Also, there was no resident warden, just a morning and evening call over the lifeline service. So much for elderly care angry

Nelliemoser Wed 26-Aug-15 23:52:04

Regardless of the recovering Alcoholics it sounds as though your mother should be living somewhere with more appropriate support than she seems to be getting.

Anniebach Thu 27-Aug-15 09:35:48

Can your MIL not live with you ?

Teetime Thu 27-Aug-15 09:49:00

Regardless of who else currently resides in the scheme if you feel the level of support and the resident mix will not benefit your MIL then you have made the right decision. Having said that I would add that I once had the management of several such schemes including a separate scheme for people on a Home Office licence. I have to say that they were the best residents ever, helpful, polite and caring and above all wanting a quiet life.

Anniebach Thu 27-Aug-15 10:03:24

Things have changed, far more elderly stay in the property they own. Building of social housing came to almost a grinding halt following sale of council houses. Under fifty fives need homes too, they are only allowed one bedroom because of the bedroom tax so there are more now moving into sheltered flats /bungalows ,

fluttERBY123 Thu 27-Aug-15 11:21:52

Dunno about under 55s being allowed 1 bed flat. A couple with 2 daughters or 2 sons are entitled only to a 1 bed flat - 2 sleeping spaces including the living area. In practice a man under 55 in reasonable health will not actually get anything from local govt. They get directed to Shelter who are likely to say sorry.....their best bet is to look for HMO - homes in multiple occupancy - where they share facilities.

bikergran Thu 27-Aug-15 12:17:12

My mum n dad are in sheltered accommodation (flats own front door etc) there are people in other flats who are/have been alcoholics, I also have friends in another part of the next town who also have alcoholics in some of the flats, they were originally for over 55s but this seems to be being overlooked one time Sheltered accommodation meant just that, that it was safe and In a safe and Sheltered environment, hence the word "Shelter" but it seems this is fading away and unless you have a very good warden, then it seems to be coming very much like any other flat etc.