Family's fear dementia patient will be 'put in a home' against their wishes

Derek Buckley has dementia but his family maintain he's perfectly capable of living at home with assistance

Derek Buckley has dementia but his family maintain he's perfectly capable of living at home with assistance, and did not need to be sectioned - Credit: Terry Wheeler

A family fears a vulnerable relative with dementia will be taken out of hospital and put in a care home against their wishes.

Derek Buckley is in hospital after he was taken from his Wymondham home and sectioned on October 17 when he "failed" a mental health assessment performed by Norfolk County Council social workers — which the family claim was without their knowledge and left Derek distressed.

But given he was technically free to leave hospital when his sectioning order was successfully appealed by his brother-in-law and lasting power of attorney, John Reeves, his family say a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding order was placed on the 75-year-old.

The order and allows staff to keep Derek in the hospital for as long as is necessary.

Derek loves spending time with his cousin Terry Wheeler and his brother-in-law John Reeves

Derek loves spending time with his cousin Terry Wheeler and his brother-in-law John Reeves - Credit: Terry Wheeler

But with his time there coming to an end his relatives are terrified any "discharge plan" will recommend putting Derek in a home.

Correspondence between the family and social services reveals that social workers are convinced this is the appropriate course of action and that "live-in care", which is what the family wants, is not feasible.

Family members disagree with this wholeheartedly.

Craig Chalmers, director of social work at Norfolk County Council, confirmed staff were in communication with Derek's family about the case.

Most Read

He added: "To date, an assessment of needs to support discharge planning [for Derek] has not been carried out from the current hospital admission.

"This will be carried out by the multi-disciplinary team when appropriate. 

"We are not at the stage of making any decisions."

Terry Wheeler, Derek's cousin

Terry Wheeler, Derek's cousin, said the family wanted to do everything to keep Derek as independent as possible for as long as possible - and not rush to put him in a care home - Credit: Terry Wheeler

Mr Reeves said he was not trying to be obstructive.

He explained: "We want live-in care for Derek. We want him to have as good a quality of life for as long as he can. 

"He loves going to his dementia club twice a week and popping to the local shops, or out for an Indians with me and his cousin Terry. We don't want to take that away from him until we absolutely have to.

"He watched his wife die in a care home. 

John Reeves

John Reeves, who has power of attorney for Derek, said he couldn't believe he hadn't been informed an assessment was taking place until the day itself - Credit: Terry Wheeler

"I understand if the live-in carer doesn't work, but I don't understand why we can't at least try it first. Nobody seems to be listening to us."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter