Residential Care

I have a problem and wonder if anyone has any answers for me!

My 94 year mother-in-law lives about 10km from us in our local town here in the Charente. She has a ground floor flat with a small garden and as she is very healthy, the five minute walk to the café for company , was ideal. I have done her cooking, washing, admin, etc and arranged a cleaner, since she came to live here nearly 4 years ago. Her family in the UK have health problems and cannot even accommodate her for holidays.

The problem now, is that she has decided she wants total care and I cannot provide more than I do now. She has decided( I think for attention) she cannot go out and she has also developed a paranoia convinced we are against her!

Her first choice is to return to the UK but she cannot do this unless she can stay somewhere and my sister-in-law is not in a position to look after her until she is assessed by social services. I have tried to arrange temporary care but she has to be resident to be assessed for that or care in a private home but these are beyond our budget. The ones in the locality of her other son have asked to see a guaranteed £150,000 to cover 3years rent!

So now, I am wondering if anyone knows a 'maison de retraite' which has other English residents. I'm not expecting the staff to speak English or anything like that, but perhaps, if she can talk to other residents from time to time that would be a solution.

Alternatively, I will need to get more help for her in her flat here but this is not something I have experience of,so although I can speak French quite well, I don't know where to go or what to ask for.

I know many of you who contribute on this site are very experienced about life in this country or are French, so please can anyone give me some pointers in a direction which might solve this problem!

Thank you in anticipation

Good luck.

It can't go on for ever!

Thank you. I hoped people on this network would know exactly which organisations I need to contact. I think they have built new offices for this one in our town recently so I will go in this afternoon and investigate.

David is right - the first person you need to talk to is the assistante sociale: go to the centre communal d'action sociale or the centre intercommunal d'action sociale. Nobody else is as clued-up about what the various possibilities are.

My parents-in-law (mid 80s) have various nurses/physiotherapists who come every day, sometimes several times, for their specific health problems (m-i-l has dementia and is diabetic so needs that managed & f-i-l has just written off his shoulder by falling off something when he decided to do some pruning. This is the solution for the moment as thay understandably don't want to move into any sort of care place.

I am sorry to hear of the death of your mother in law but thank you for the advise. I will follow this up.

having reccently had to put my french mil in to first a convelasance home before a place in the local maison de retraite was available the best person to speak to is her assistante sociale (ask at her commune's mairie who covers the commune) Mil spent 3 months being stabalised (made confortable, she had terminal cancer) and waiting before a place was available - sadly she died 3 weeks after arriving :/ As a word of warning the conseil generale will require ALL her children to fill in a dossier re their ressources for the participation of the costs - it is VERY expensive, over 1000€ per month. We actually got the dossier to fill in 2 months after she had died

Thank you. I asked about immediate respite in the area her son lives but was told no respite without assessment and without respite, I have nowhere for her to stay. Basically, she came to France because she lived 3 hours from her other son who was already sick then and was annoying the neighbours with her late night demands for attention. She turned down residential care in 2011 which was her right in the UK and so I hoped with our help and regular visits she would be less demanding. I have discovered behaviour problems I never imagined because my own experience was of my own grandparents and parents, who are always very helpful and understanding. UK would be much better for her as I think she needs a psychiatric assessment as well as general needs. She is in fact very healthy as she has a medical every 10 weeks . She can walk without aid and some distance too,climbs into a bath, dresses herself and can do little jobs like washing up and washing knickers but she has decided she isn't getting enough help and is spending a lot of time lying on her bed which is not sensible. If I remind her the doctor says she should sit up or move around,I am lying! And she has a list of imaginary illness which the doctor examines her for every time, finds nothing and therefore again, I am,lying to the doctor. He talks to her in English or at least emphasises I am translating properly to her but she has decided this is not the case. I am afraid apart from the practical things like cooking and washing, I can no longer help her. I have been told that she probably won't meet the residential criteria for the UK but I know she won't be able to look after herself. I already have POA for her financial affairs because she has no concept of monetary value.

Hi just wrote you a long reply 're your m-i- l first choice of English Res home &lost the whole thing! In brief she could trial respite in a care home in the UK in area of her choice. Adult Social Care have a duty to assess , they look only at her finances &will take into account Ordinary Residence. More tricky in this case as out of UK for several years. However she is a U K citizen & they must assess if requested. May assess as insufficient needs but happy to give you pointers 're what they are looking for....if you want to look still at UK options. Do PM me if so. I worked for Surrey for many years in this field until recently.

Thank you both for the suggestions. I will look into both ideas.

Do you know if I just go into ADMR or do I need some recommendation from someone else e.g. doctor ?

You could also try the local ADMR (aide a domicile millieu rurale) who when your mum has been assessed, can help with the everyday tasks ands extra care that she needs (getting up washed and dressed in the mornings, preparing meals, housework, company, putting to bed etc. The assessment will be carried out to determine her capacity to carry out these tasks and determine how much help is needed for which she may be able to get financial assistance (something not forthcoming for people going into a maison de retraite) You also may be lucky enough to have english speakers working for the organisation ;Good luck.

I think your first stop should be the local mairie. The mairie should be able to arrange for you to talk the situation over with the assistante sociale. She (nearly always she) can then help you and your mum gain access to the services/assistance that she needs.