Judgment concerning what would be in the best interests of an 84-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s Disease in terms of her residence, care and support, and contact with her children.
RP is an 84-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s Disease who lives in a flat above the flat occupied by her daughter, EP. RP is also in regular contact with her son, JP, who lives in London. Since early 2017, RP has been receiving various private care packages which have been authorised by the Court. One care package broke down on 22 September 2019 following an allegation by EP that a carer had bitten RP. The subsequent package which was authorised by the Court was reported to have broken down on 28th November 2019 due to an allegation that EP was stopping carers from carrying out their duties with regards to RP. The issues before the Court of Protection were
“what is in RP's best interests in terms of her residence in the short term up to nine months; what is in RP's best interests with regard to her residence in the medium term beyond nine months; what is in RP's best interests regarding the care and support she should receive; what is in RP's best interests with regard to her contact with EP and JP; and how should any deprivation of liberty ordered by the court be supervised going forward.”
EP suggested that RP would like to return to Scotland where her sister resides and, in the longer term, live in a bungalow. This was opposed by the other parties involved in the case, including JP, RP’s son, and the local authority, who agreed that RP should be transferred to Extra Care Housing with a live-in carer, with the current restrictions upon EP’s contact with RP to continue. These parties also agree that RP should remain in her flat in the short-term where she can receive care from her current care agency.
The Court of Protection held that it would be in RP’s best interests to remain in her flat with her current care providers, before later being transferred to Extra Care Housing. Clayton J was also in no doubt that the restrictions upon EP should continue in order to ensure that RP’s care packages do not break down. It was, however, agreed, that EP should continue to have unsupervised contact with RP, such as through a weekly meal out and to be able to provide emergency care when necessary, and that this should be organised through a contact plan.
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