Where do I even begin?

edited 18 June at 9:51AM in Disability Money Matters
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triage999triage999 Forumite
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edited 18 June at 9:51AM in Disability Money Matters
My father is 65 and had a stroke just over two weeks ago, he had an initial stroke during the first lockdown in 2020 leaving him with weakness down his right side. 

He lives in and owns his own home and is married, however this is where it gets complicated. 

His wife still works, her profession means she is out of the area for weeks at a time and used to come home most weekends, since my fathers stroke this has become less and less, she hadn’t been home for over two months prior to this stroke and it was me who received a call from my father saying he thought he needed an ambulance which was a logistical nightmare with me living over 6 hours away from him. 

I had been in contact with his wife leading up to this, after his last stroke and before this one, she had told me she was fed up with coming home and the house being a ‘state’ and had been telling me it was down to him being ‘lazy’, he was capable enough to call a takeaway but not buy food shopping etc whilst away nor clean or look after himself. 

In a nutshell he was taken into hospital for two weeks and she did not call him once, it was he who initiated contact and me who took responsibility for his needs and NOK duties.  The care when he was in hospital is another matter entirely and  I have raised a formal complaint.  

I travelled down to him last weekend and was horrified by what I found when I arrived.  I had not been down for over two years due to COVID and work commitments (I’m in the services) but spoke to him several times a week where he told me everything was fine, he was doing okay and she was home most weekends, not something I could push/prove purely by phone. 

My father is half the weight he was, very frail and unsteady on his feet, slow in his speech and cognition and clearly not able to cope on his own let alone run a large home.  It was heartbreaking to see when he is one of the most intelligent and independent men I have ever known.  

It got worse, I arrived at his home address around 4pm and spent until 1.30am the next morning cleaning/washing his clothing/ binning mouldy food from the fridge and trying to get it semi sorted for his return home that morning.  

It has taken from last weekend until this to thoroughly clean and get on top of everything, he has a beautiful home that he’s worked his entire life for, he was also in the services and upon retirement paid the mortgage off.  

He has spoken with his ‘wife’ twice during the last week for a total of around 10 minutes.  She hasn’t indicated when or if she is coming home and has shown little interest, I had a brief chat with her ‘whilst biting my tongue’ and she actually said ‘I’m not coming home on weekends just to be a carer’ I was livid.  

I’ve had some difficult conversations with my father this week around selling the house, moving near me, taking on power of attorney so I can deal with his medical/financial affairs as he just won’t cope with forms or lots of information.  

I’m at a loss what to do? I’m terrified about leaving him later this week, I was due to go home yesterday due to having work today but have extended my leave.  He has an initial care package in place for 4 weeks, rehab carers that come in twice a day but even this hasn’t settled me. 

His carers are not a timed service so turn up within a four hour window morning and late afternoon, they have a 30 minute limit in which to provide ‘support’ he gets up around 7am but they’ve not been arriving until around 11am, this week I have taken care of everything so there’s not been much for them to do if anything other than getting to know him and he them. 

He’s meant to wash, dress do breakfast and prepare a meal for lunch whilst they are here, I don’t know how? He will then be left on his own until the evening to basically fend for himself.  

I would like to put him in the car and just take him home, however, although my home is big enough and I have a spare room he would not manage with the layout, stairs etc, he also has dog who is coming home this weekend.  I have two dogs myself and he would not cope with three on his own whilst I’m at work.  

The other issue is I don’t want him leaving his home until his affairs are in place and house sold, I will not be giving his wife the opportunity of taking his last bit of pride away from him.  

He called his wife yesterday to catch up, she was out having a lovely day shopping without a care in the world whilst I’ve been putting in 18 hour shifts sorting his home, throwing out condiments/freezer food/dried goods dated between 2010 onwards, doing all his meals, physio exercises and getting him out for short periods.  

I asked him how he pays his bills, he still has the same standing order set up to a joint account from his own account where all the bills go out of, he hasn’t changed this payment from day dot even though he no longer has a mortgage to pay.  

I’m at a loss what to do, where do I go from here? 

I have had a lifeline fitted, been in touch with Age UK who are going to help occasionally assisting him with shopping and washing his clothes, his stroke physio is coming in weekly and has also completed a safeguarding referral.  

Any advice that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.  









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Replies

  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    I'm really sorry to read about what you and your Dad have been going through.
    The marriages/family board is generally busier and you may be able to get some advice there.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/categories/marriage-relationships-families
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    Are you in touch with adult social services and does your father have a social worker?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • triage999triage999 Forumite
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    Are you in touch with adult social services and does your father have a social worker?
    The referral was done last week by his stroke physio who came to the house midway through me cleaning it, she saw for herself the state it was in.  

    I’m going to contact SS directly on Monday, he hasn’t got one assigned as of yet. 
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    Also - has he appointed Lasting Power of Attorney?  If he has not, but still has mental capacity to do so, this is urgent.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • diystarter7diystarter7 Forumite
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    Sorry to hear about this OP

    The life line is a good start.

    Have you discussed setting up a webcam with dad so you can see him?

    Tell social services if dad agrees that you are the urgent contact and if you wish to be the first contact for home help, ot, pt, soc workers, etc etc.

    Tell soc workers your concerns and that he is vulnerable and may be taken advantage od

    NB: Have you/dad considered a shelter home near you it can be done, via social services or a private shelter scheme?

    Btw, most people don't wear their alarm/lifline pendant or forget to wear it and if that is the case, they also do watch-type alam buttons and a lot more, EG falls snesors etc but they may cost a little more.

    Good luck

    ps - its never easy getting a soc worker not in london not sure where you live

  • triage999triage999 Forumite
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    Also - has he appointed Lasting Power of Attorney?  If he has not, but still has mental capacity to do so, this is urgent.
    I will be doing this Monday, we have discussed this already, thank you! 
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    The 4 weeks support is usually health funded to give someone help while further care needs assessments are done by social services. 
    Your dad is entitled to have a Care act assessment of his needs to identify what support should be going in.

    https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/arranging-care/care-needs-assessment/

    With his consent, I would contact social services to check that he is in their radar and to tell them he won’t manage when the current care package ends. The system is overloaded at the moment so stress the safety issues and that he won’t manage without help.
    Any support that he is given will be financially means tested, but that shouldn’t be done till after the assessment. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • edited 19 June at 12:06PM
    turnitroundturnitround Forumite
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    edited 19 June at 12:06PM
    Are he and his wife at the point of separating completely? If so, would she agree to selling the house then perhaps he could come nearer to you. How long have they been married?

    Im not sure how POA would wok of he ha joint accounts with his wife.
  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    Are he and his wife at the point of separating completely? If so, would she agree to selling the house then perhaps he could come nearer to you. How long have they been married?

    Im not sure how POA would wok of he ha joint accounts with his wife.
    If divorce is something to be looked at you have to take value of unclaimed personal pensions into consideration. A professional person could have quite a large pension, maybe tit for tat, I won’t take anything from house if you leave my pensions alone.
  • BrieBrie Forumite
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    Sounds like he's lived there some time.  Does he know/like the neighbours?  Would any of them be able to help?  Thinking just as an emergency contact, have a key, just ring the door bell or be able to walk in just to check all is ok.  Likewise his Dr surgery may have a "friend" that could stop by regularly.

    Also suggest you get a key safe for the house.  We had one fitted outside my inlaws door so carers or emergency services could access the place.  When we moved to our current abode with MiL we had another installed here for the same reasons.  It's a good alternative to giving a random stranger/neighbour a key.  The Dr's surgery should know how to access it as well in case the nursing team needs to come out for some reason - check ups, blood pressure etc.  

    Can you access his bank accounts?  Should he have a joint one or should he set one up without his wife and move things to that?  He could have one joint with you for convenience or you could get third party authority on an account he has.  That was you can help pay bills and monitor things financially for him.  Might need to get your name added to his various utilities, phone etc as someone who can manage things on his behalf.  May be worthwhile printing off a number of letters to post to the various companies getting him to sign them and letting them know officially.

    Have you/he applied for attendance allowance?  Sounds like he would be entitled to this on the lower basis (doesn't need 24 hours assistance) and that would help pay for carers attending.  

    Is he the only owner of the house or is his wife on the deeds?  She sounds like she doesn't care so likely would be willing to split even if it's not a divorce.  And if the house is sorted then there's less to keep him based so far away from you.

    while you're sorting power of attorney also check on things like his will, who he's beneficiaries are on any pension or insurance policy.  If the wife is exiting then he should update things sooner rather than later.  Also does he have a do not resuscitate logged or perhaps does not want one?  Difficult to discuss but better that you know his wishes.  

    good luck with sorting things.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
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