I have been working on another Guardianship application. It is an interesting scenario. I thought I would present a scenario based on some of the issues in the form of a fictional case study. I have been liberal with the actual details which have been changed fairly dramatically to protect the privacy of those involved. The following is quite far removed from the actuality.
Mr and Mrs A are a loving couple. They have been married for over 50 years. Mr A has an unspecified dementia. He is becoming more aggressive, verbally and physically and Mrs A after much heart-wrenching, cannot manage to care for him at home. She doesn’t want to move him into residential care but she can’t cope.
Mr A moves. He is at a local care home. It isn’t as near as it could be. Mrs A feels guilty but Mr A settles. Mrs A feels so guilty that she takes Mr A back home after about 6 months. Mrs A can’t manage. Of course, this is contrary to all ‘professional’ advice – but honestly, what’s advice against love and years of marriage and togetherness.
But after a few days seeing that it is too much for her to manage, Mrs A wants Mr A to go back to the residential home. Mr A doesn’t want to go. He is at home and his wife is with him. She looks after him well. Why would he want to move back to a residential setting?
Mrs A, meanwhile is almost literally tearing her hair out. She is getting no sleep, no peace. Mr A is verbally abusive and is refusing any outside help. There has been physical abuse in the past and it may be the time we are teetering on the brink.
Mr A can’t be gently persuaded. He can’t be persuaded by any means and his wife is now desperate. She hasn’t slept for days which become weeks.
His mental health has not deteriorated. He has a diagnosis and treatment plan. Hospital admission would simply be a means of displacing him from one setting to another.
So what can we do to ensure Mr A moves?
This is where we considered the Guardianship application. I think we considered all other possibilities.
We needed a means to convey which the law changed recently to allow. Moving via a ward would make the move more disruptive. Mr A did not have capacity.
I wonder this kind of situation does not present itself more frequently. And if there were any other possibilities? And if the best decision was finally made?