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  • FIRST POST
    • MilduraS
    • By MilduraS 11th Apr 18, 9:33 AM
    • 20Posts
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    MilduraS
    What support is available for sister with bipolar disorder?
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:33 AM
    What support is available for sister with bipolar disorder? 11th Apr 18 at 9:33 AM
    Hi all

    Although this isn't a money saving issue I'm hoping some of you might have the experience to help. Apologies but this is going to be a long post.

    My sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 10 years ago, she's now 27. She hasn't worked since she was diagnosed. She had been living with my parents but they have moved to Denmark for work last December. She is still living at their house though they are in the process of selling it. They had asked her to move with them but she refused.

    While my parents were living with her she had a support worker who visited every couple of weeks and apparently was helping her find a council house. She was doing ok at the time.I live about an hour away and only recently got a car. I went to visit her for the first time yesterday and the house was filthy with rubbish up to a foot deep everywhere. She said she's been eating but I managed to fill five bin liners with the rubbish just in the small galley kitchen. The fridge contained a few condiments and two bottles of milk that expired in January. It was also clear that she hadn't washed in a while. Within a couple of minutes of me arriving it was clear she hadn't been taking her pills. She was frequently talking to herself and bursting into fits of laughter. She was able to respond to me coherently but I later found a packet of pills buried under the rubbish and when I asked where the rest of her pills were all she could say was "oh they're around here somewhere". I haven't found them yet. I spent over 12 hours cleaning downstairs yesterday but still need to go through the rooms upstairs.

    I feel incredibly guilty that I hadn't visited her sooner and that things have gotten so bad. My mum left her contact details with her support worker and I foolishly assumed that they would contact my parents if they became concerned. I can only assume that the support worker has stopped visiting because I can't imagine anyone seeing that house or her would leave her there.

    Given that she's an adult, I think it will be very difficult to get involved with her treatment. I don't know who her support worker is and I have no way of contacting them to see what has happened though I will ask my sister for their phone number today and give it a try. Before I make the call, does anyone know what support people with mental illness should receive? If my sister told the support worker she doesn't need any more help and they just left her to it, is that ok? Could they have taken her off the books if she stopped answering the door? If she stopped getting prescriptions for her medication should her GP have intervened? She's been admitted to the mental health wing at the local hospital several times in the past ten years and as far as I know, was still attending appointments there every couple of months.

    The prescriptions include anti-psychotics because she had suffers with hallucinations and became extremely violent before being diagnosed. I'm really just at a loss right now and I have no idea how to get things back on track. Is there any way I can get someone to speak to me about what help she is receiving? It looks like I'll be living here for the foreseeable and commuting to work but eventually, when she's back on track and I can go home is there any way I can get her support worker to call me as soon as they become concerned or if she stops responding/ attending appointments?
Page 1
    • Ames
    • By Ames 12th Apr 18, 10:22 PM
    • 17,722 Posts
    • 31,332 Thanks
    Ames
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 10:22 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 10:22 PM
    I have type II Bipolar, I can only go on my experiences but there isn't usually much help.

    Hi all

    Although this isn't a money saving issue I'm hoping some of you might have the experience to help. Apologies but this is going to be a long post.

    My sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 10 years ago, she's now 27. She hasn't worked since she was diagnosed. She had been living with my parents but they have moved to Denmark for work last December. She is still living at their house though they are in the process of selling it. They had asked her to move with them but she refused.

    While my parents were living with her she had a support worker who visited every couple of weeks and apparently was helping her find a council house. Even if she got the top priority this could be a long process. There just aren't enough one bed properties to go around. I was already in a council flat and it took me a year to move to a new place, which is in a terrible area, although that was to a two bed. She was doing ok at the time.I live about an hour away and only recently got a car. I went to visit her for the first time yesterday and the house was filthy with rubbish up to a foot deep everywhere. She said she's been eating but I managed to fill five bin liners with the rubbish just in the small galley kitchen. The fridge contained a few condiments and two bottles of milk that expired in January. Not eating is serious. Perhaps it would help to get to the bottom of why - if it's going out to get food then helping to set up regular deliveries could help, but only if it's stuff that she can eat when she has no motivation. For instance pasta with a jar of sauce is something that most people would consider a quick easy meal but when I'm at my most depressed that's a level of cooking that's way beyond me. It was also clear that she hadn't washed in a while.Poor self care is a common feature of bipolar Within a couple of minutes of me arriving it was clear she hadn't been taking her pills. She really needs to see her GP as a matter of urgency, but if she's hypo/manic getting her to see the need for it would be difficultShe was frequently talking to herself and bursting into fits of laughter. She was able to respond to me coherently but I later found a packet of pills buried under the rubbish and when I asked where the rest of her pills were all she could say was "oh they're around here somewhere". I haven't found them yet. Does she have a dossette box? I wouldn't take half my pills if I did't have them all set out. If necessary it can be arranged that her pharmacy can put them into a dossette and deliver it ever week but again she'd have to request it. I spent over 12 hours cleaning downstairs yesterday but still need to go through the rooms upstairs. Is the problem that she's messy and untidy due to mood, or is she a hoarder? It sounds like the former if she's not stopping you from binning things. If you can get the place sorted then having a cleaner come round regularly would be good, if you could find an understanding one. If the latter then there are specialists in hoarding but the help doesn't come cheap.

    I feel incredibly guilty that I hadn't visited her sooner and that things have gotten so bad. My mum left her contact details with her support worker and I foolishly assumed that they would contact my parents if they became concerned. I can only assume that the support worker has stopped visiting because I can't imagine anyone seeing that house or her would leave her there. Round here support workers help someone for a maximum of two years. It's quite possible that her support came to an end. It's also possible that your sister just stopped the service, you'd need to know which it was to be able to know what the next step would be.

    Given that she's an adult, I think it will be very difficult to get involved with her treatment. I don't know who her support worker is and I have no way of contacting them to see what has happened though I will ask my sister for their phone number today and give it a try. Before I make the call, does anyone know what support people with mental illness should receive? It doesn't really matter what they 'should' receive. In many cases there just isn't anything out there. Round here most of what there is comes from charities. For years I had nothing, partly because of falling between the gaps in provision but largely because I had a really rubbish GP. Since changing last year things have improved a bit. If my sister told the support worker she doesn't need any more help and they just left her to it, is that ok? Assuming your sister has the capacity to understand the decision shes making then yes, they have to abide by her wishes. The level of capacity is much lower than you might expect. Could they have taken her off the books if she stopped answering the door? Hopefully they should't do that - they should be looking into getting access and urgent care. But if she answered and told them she didn't need/ want their help the they'd have to take that at face value. If she stopped getting prescriptions for her medication should her GP have intervened? Same as above. Hopefully the GP would chase it up, but I don't know if their systems would pick up that they hadn't been requested/picked up. And she'd have to be very, very ill to be sectioned which is the only way they could force her to have medication. She's been admitted to the mental health wing at the local hospital several times in the past ten years and as far as I know, was still attending appointments there every couple of months. They'd be the people to pick up on her illness, not the GP.

    The prescriptions include anti-psychotics because she had suffers with hallucinations and became extremely violent before being diagnosed. I'm really just at a loss right now and I have no idea how to get things back on track. Is there any way I can get someone to speak to me about what help she is receiving? Only if she gives you permission. You can contact her doctors and raise your concerns, but they won't be able to discuss anything with you. It looks like I'll be living here for the foreseeable and commuting to work but eventually, when she's back on track and I can go home is there any way I can get her support worker to call me as soon as they become concerned or if she stops responding/ attending appointments? Only if you took on the legal role of appointee, but she'd have to agree to it.
    Originally posted by MilduraS
    A lot of it depends on whether she's turned down support, or whether it's just come to an end, and how much she'll agree to in terms of you being involved.

    Do you know what benefits she's getting? Her best bet might be private help if she can afford it. Professional mental health support might be out of her reach, but things like a cleaner and food deliveries should be affordable.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Apr 18, 11:36 PM
    • 12,064 Posts
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    pmlindyloo
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 11:36 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 11:36 PM
    Since she does not appear to be taking her medication then I personally think you should make an appointment to see her doctor.

    Although it is true that a doctor cannot disclose details about your sister's condition they can intervene under the Mental Health Act.

    https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/speaking-to-gp-about-someone-elses-health.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCategoryID=158
    • sheeps68
    • By sheeps68 18th Apr 18, 6:01 PM
    • 645 Posts
    • 508 Thanks
    sheeps68
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 18, 6:01 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 18, 6:01 PM
    You can contact her local social services team (just call relevant local authority) and express your concerns regarding your sister. They will be able to locate who that worker is or was.
    • hello007007
    • By hello007007 28th May 18, 12:45 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    hello007007
    • #5
    • 28th May 18, 12:45 PM
    • #5
    • 28th May 18, 12:45 PM
    The cleaner and food delieveries seem like a brill idea. I have bi polar 2 and it can be crippling.

    I have heard that people with mental health conditions like bi polar can get direct payments. You have to have or be assessed my a mental health social worker. The direct payments are paid by the council for things like cooking, cleaning and personal help. Ask the social worker for more information. Maybe they can get her some support as she has no one else.
    • hello007007
    • By hello007007 28th May 18, 12:48 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    hello007007
    • #6
    • 28th May 18, 12:48 PM
    • #6
    • 28th May 18, 12:48 PM
    Your council or area may also have a 'meals on wheels' service. She may also be able to apply for PIP. You are lucky she has a mental health social worker (if the SW is good).
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