Application by local authority about the return to home of AC, a 92-year-old, in circumstances where her son, GC, who had been her main carer, had hoarding issues and where both of them lacked capacity in certain areas.
AC had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and both AC and GC had been diagnosed by the expert as having a hoarding disorder. Additionally, GC had had other mental health problems including Asperger’s Syndrome, anxiety and OCD. AC had been moved to a care home after an order to clean the house had been made. The local authority was concerned that AC’s care and support needs could not adequately be met in the home environment, as the volume of hoarding continued to present a serious health and safety risk.
HHJ Clayton acknowledges that AC and GC’s human rights were engaged and could "not be satisfied that a final placement at the care home would be an appropriate and justifiable interference" with AC’s article 8 rights. She also agrees with the Official Solicitor at  that a trial at home is in the best interests of AC as it is founded in
“the consistency of her wishes to return, with her having such a strong sense of belonging to her home, to wanting to be where she has looked after people for three generations, where she can remember the past. I concur and add that that she has a strong desire to continue to live with her son, who moved back home to help care for her when her husband died, some 11 years ago, where she has familiar things around her, which takes on an even greater significance with someone who is likely to have a hoarding disorder herself. There is no doubting the importance to her of her relationship with GC, nor her strong desire to become reunited with her pet cat, Jasper. It is these issues which are of magnetic importance in this case, when I bear in mind, she has lived in her home for 40 years, that she is now 92 with straightforward care needs and a limited life expectancy.”
While a trial of care at home was not without risk, she concluded it was a manageable one.
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