How we help: protecting older person's right to live in her own home
The Law Centre’s community care team is often called on to help negotiate with trusts on behalf of older people who lack capacity.
In a recent case, an elderly woman with advanced dementia had been cared for at home by one of her sons for some time, with support from the local health trust. There had been no concerns about her care.
Other relatives felt that she should be in care and organised for her to taken into a nursing home against the son’s wishes. Aware of the disagreement, the trust should have made a formal decision on what living arrangements were in the best interests of the mother and if necessary seek a ‘Best Interests Declaration’ from the High Court. This was not done. Instead, her care team informed the day centre that she attended that she would be taken to the nursing home later that day.
In the nursing home, she suffered distress, disorientation and severe unhappiness. She resided there for 14 weeks before a friend referred her to the Law Centre’s Community Care Unit.
The Law Centre adviser contacted the trust, citing local health and social care law and guidance and explaining that this case also raised deprivation of liberty and right to home and family life issues under the Human Rights Act.
The client was returned to the care of her son. She is now happily living back at home with appropriate care.