I know you are very busy and as Aunty Cath’s illness may be long and complicated I thought I should write you a letter in an attempt to clarify my position and enable communication between us. I feel that although we are uncle and niece, in reality we are virtual strangers to one another.
When I visited Aunty Cath this Wednesday I was told that she had no shoes to wear, only slippers. As you may know Aunty Cath’s continued improvement relies on her being able to exercise both physically and mentally, I was advised by staff that Aunty Cath’s mobility would be improved by her wearing shoes and she will be able to walk comfortably outside when D and I take her out.
When D and I took Aunty Cath out she brought her handbag as she wanted to go to Blaylocks and buy a new pair of sandals, when she looked in her purse she had no money so was unable to do so.
This to me suggests a possible problem that we might easily overcome, as you know D and I visit Aunty Cath every Wednesday, one of the tasks we could perform is to write a shopping list and take Aunty Cath out to buy the items that she requires. I feel sure C or another staff member could hold money for Aunty Cath, to be released when Aunty Cath goes shopping. Naturally receipts would be filed if necessary.
This would enable Aunty Cath to buy the items she needs or wants, would encourage her to feel she is independent, would help me to feel I was of some help to Aunty Cath and would possibly make your life a little easier.
I also feel Aunty Cath needs to be visited by a Chiropodist, healthy feet would also improve her mobility. I don’t know if the care home will arrange for this visit, I know when my mother was in a nursing home I paid for her to be visited by a chiropodist it is not expensive though at about £15 a visit. Would you like me to arrange a visit or will you?
I have continuing doubts regarding the position that Aunty Cath’s care home stay must be paid for by herself and not by the NHS, there continues to be a national controversy concerning the issue of NHS funding and means testing, which does seem to mean that each patients family needs to check very carefully if the NHS trust is in fact acting illegally.
The first step is to get a copy of the Strategic Health Authorities Continuing Care Criteria, Aunty Cath should have an assessment for continuing health care, we would need a copy of this, there is an appeals procedure, and in any event we may apply for a review as Aunty Cath’s condition changes. Would you ask the social worker for copies of these please and send them to me?
The Alzheimer’s Society advise:
“The Alzheimer’s Society encourages anyone who thinks they have been wrongly charged for care to complain. It is important in individual cases and because we must highlight the injustice of people with dementia being wrongly charged for care. Along with Help The Aged, Age Concern England and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
We also want to highlight the injustice of people whose primary need is a health need being wrongly charged for their care.”
I have found the Alzheimer’s help line to be very informative, their remit is for all types of dementia, their leaflet
“When does the NHS pay for care?” is very clear and informative.
“Understanding Vascular Dementia” gives details of Aunty Cath’s condition.
Although I don’t know I feel sure they would be able to advise you regarding Enduring Power of Attorney if you should feel you would like some support from them. As I understand EPA only give the legal right to look after Aunty Cath's financial and legal affairs.
Their number is 0845 300 0336
The Age Concern advice line number is 0845 077 0755 also very good.
In any event I am advised by the Age Concern advice line that Aunty Cath is entitled to an attendance allowance of £62.25 is she receiving this allowance? What date does the 12-week grant she was given run out do you know?
Sorry to be firing Questions at you R, that’s why I’m writing this letter so my concerns and suggestions can be clarified in one place instead of in a phone call when one or other of us, may be tired or busy.
I have taken Aunty Cath’s Nativity set and will keep it safe for her and set it up at Christmas. I have told her this but she may not remember.
I plan to CC this to D, Uncle F, Aunty M and Aunty Cath I Hope you are all well and drinking lots of water this hot summer, have you been out on the water Uncle F? Probably the best place to be!
Love to B and V.