Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Awake again and chundle chundle

Have read posting about the new Mental Health Act on Shrink's blog. It got me to thinking about the rights of the patient (person), what is considered acting in a person's best interest and who (when someone is 'appearing' to be incapacitated) is the right other person (or persons) to act for them.

Reflecting back on the last year with my Dad, I do believe his capacity (ability to make decisions in his own best interest) is in flux at and alot of the time it is frightening for me as his daughter(and the only person who is about or shows any real concern in his care).

I am not sure if he will survive another year like last year and I am not sure I will either. That most probably sounds over dramatic but carrying continual worry for someone (and alone) when their relative is mostly in states of distress is soul destroying. Particulary worrying that mental health services seem to think that is okay or perhaps it is more a case of them not thinking much about his needs at all.

So how does the mental health act come into this. Well, I may decide that a capacity assessment needs to be done on him. I have done this in the past, when he was starving himself and he was taken into a general hospital and transferred from there to an acute unit.

The problem in doing this now. Well there are a couple of problems I envisage. Firstly, if a capacity assessment is done and he is seen as incapacitated then he is most likely to be put in an acute unit. You have to, well I do, look back and see if that helped him in the past and I can't say that it did. He didn't seem to get any better in acute care. The other concern I have is that the assessment could be used as a way of doing nothing..dependant on who carries itout and what their criteria is.

As I have written before, I would like a dementia assessment done on him either to confirm he has the disease or not. Not because I want an excuse to put him in care...but I want to know if what he and I are dealing with is constant depression or something else..or a combo of.

And then the question of a care home keeps coming into my head. Would he be better there. The monitoring side of it (if that actually goes on) in regards towhat he takes and when would be something that I am not able to provide for him. In fact, what meds he takes and when are a concern for me now because yesterday he was off his face, having taking 4 zopiclone the night before. Over medicating himself, he does on quite a regular basis although, as far as i am aware, the most zopiclone he took before in one go was 3 tablets. Still too many, I think.

I am not able to provide much for him, because he refuses alot of what I offer. Perhaps in a care home, he would be able to accept that care. Perhaps he refused what I offer because he doesn't want to burden me. The ironic thing is that I don't mind doing things if they help him and I can see they help him. That helps me but this continual trudging through the mud is doing neither of us any good.

Having spoken to his care co-ordinator last week, and we both agreed to see if his lift in mood (or so it seemed) was likely to continue before meeting up, I have now decided that we need to meet up next week with Dad. A couple of good days in amongst 364+ bad ones is not progress and I certainly do worry that his self medication is highly dangerous to him.

I am not sure how I am managing to live with this but for sure I am using lorazepam more...and that is mostly because there is fekk all else..or anyone else..who can, or does, help carry this load.


  1. Mandy
    Sorry you are in this dilema. i do think your Dad is probably too proud or concerned about you to accept your help and that he needs some help, but like you I don't know if care home would be the best place for that. You know him and I guess if it comes to that you will have to see that he gets the best support that is offered/available to him.
    It seems from what I read that he is a state of limbo. In that he probably knows he isn;t coping and can't cope on his own but is not ready to give up his freedom and independance. I know either of you can't continue as you are.

    I think it would be good for you to be able to relinquish some of your responsibility, and have more time/energy to concentrate on keeping yourself well. With Em, Dr J and your Dad to have to look after to different degrees it is just too much for anyone. Running yourself into the ground will not help anyone and no amount of Lorezepam will make you into superwoman!
    Take Care
    x x x

  2. Not a lot I can say that will help. thinking of you.........

  3. Hi Lareve

    I relinquished my aim to be a superwoman years ago :>)

    I would be comfortable letting go of some of the the responsibilities if there was a service that was prepared to pick up on them.

    As for Dr J. I don't feel any responsibility to/for him. I have realised I am too old, too tired and too fed up to carry on with the situation as was. I don't blame him...such is his illness..but I am not a counsellor or MH professional nor am I a door mat or punch bag.

    And for sure the lorazepam will not make things better (practically speaking) but it does stop me going right under or off me rocker. That will do for me x

  4. Thanks Pebbles

    You take care there x