Meg’s eighty-five year old mother Violet had severe arthritis, a heart condition and was showing early signs of dementia. Home care support was arranged and funded by Social Services, and Meg and her sister took it in turns to support Violet on Sundays. When Social Services changed their criteria, Violet’s funding was reduced. Following reassessment by her social worker, shopping and a monthly visit to her sister were no longer funded. Also, Meg’s request for support for her mother during the night in case she wandered into the road, was refused as was considered a low risk because Violet had never actually left her home at night .
Meg contacted Relative Matters to see if we could help. This is what we agreed together to ensure Violet’s needs were met:
Look for other ways to do things
Meg’s sister Rose could take her laptop and mobile broadband when she visited Violet each week. Then, she could go through what shopping her mother needed with her and place an order on-line. Delivery could be arranged for when Meg or Rose were with their mother so they could put her shopping away.
Reprioritise care time
Meg had a demanding job, so was unable to take Violet to see her sister during the week when it was more convenient for her aunt. Meg could arrange to support her mother on one Saturday afternoon each month, which freed up some of the care worker’s time so that she could take Violet to see her sister during the week.
Use assistive technology
Meg could buy a Wander Minder and place it by Violet’s front door. This is a small unit with a motion sensor and timer that can be set to emit a pre recorded message at night telling her mother that it is unsafe for her to go out as it was nigh-time. Meg could also purchase a contact mat, which has a battery-operated transmitter designed to be placed under the front door mat. When stepped on, the mat triggers the transmitter and alerts the carer. As she lived nearby, Meg could respond quickly if her mother tried to leave the house.
Keep the older person at the centre
These measures combined, resolved the problem and provided the reassurance Meg and Rose needed.