Advice/not next of kin: Hi My sister suffered a bad... - Headway


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Advice/not next of kin


Hi My sister suffered a bad stroke in May 2013, since then she's made slow progress. She's got the highest level of NHS care package and during the day has a carer while her husband is at work. She's been in respite for the last 2 months, so they can monitor her paid levels. She wants to go home, but she's been told she has to wait for a meeting to be put in place with the care team, the social worker & the local team who look after her case. But no can tell her when this will never be. My brother in law, who is next of kin isn't replying to any message or calls from either my parents or I. We totally understand (or are trying to) that's it's really hard for him too (she was 41 when this happened). But as he's next of kin they won't tell me/my parents anything. So we have no idea how to help/what's going on. I wondered whose decision is it to allow her to go home? And can you have more than one next of kin? Also, If he decides he doesn't want her to come home, does she have a say in the matter? Sorry it's s long one. Thanks!

16 Replies

north i am confused, if she married why is your brother her next of kin?

are you asian

Hetty56 in reply to steve55

She said he’s her brother in law

steve55 in reply to Hetty56

hetty my apologies. as her husband, he will automatically become her next of kin, unless she is capable of requesting someone else.

until they can contact her husband, the team will be unable to discuss with him her future care needs. depending on these care needs, she may be allocated so many care hours per day paid for by the local councils adult care services, which may or may not include a through the night service,leaving her husband responsible for her night care needs.

having taken all of this into account and after many heart wrenching thoughts, decided a care home would be the best option........................this is where the hard work begins.

steve x

If one has full capacity then it's your choice, you can discharge your self etc, if your capacity is impaired then by network meeting/best intrest meetings.

In terms of access to information, how is the realationship with the brother in law? You could contact the respite Center as familly but that would be a nuclear option.


i do know when my sister and I wished to speak to the consultant looking after him at the time. My mum was next of kin, with my dad's permission we were allowed to meet and consultant freely discussed my dad's health and our concerns. The social workers etc may wish to have written consent from your sister, or contact and speak to her. It must be very difficult but hopefully your sister and you and rest of family , and your sister can say what her wishes are.

If her husband is not communicating with you, it really leaves you no choice. .if he has decided on different plans than discharge home,, at least you will be aware, however difficult this must be for all concerned.

steve55 in reply to Sem2011

sem no its her brother in law whos the next of kin


Thanks. Soz for confusion I meant my brother in law (typing on phone!) the relationship with my bro-in-law is ok, he's not a big talker and shares only minimal info. But recently he's stopped doing that. He stood by her this far, I just wonder if it's all too much got him. Which made me wonder if I could be her next of kin (as well). I don't know if she has full capacity, she makes lots of her own decisions about when she wants pain relief, when she gets up, what she eats, etc. She chose the decor at her house, can give me orders :-). I don't have a medical background. I wondered if her going home was all around her care package. Thank for help.

steve55 in reply to Hidden

north yes it would be. being assessed as to how much support she will get from the family and how much carer support.

working out how much the council will pay for her care and how much the will be expected to contribute


I would suggest that you contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau to find out the legal ramifications of this. Perhaps it would be sensible if you and your brother-in-law were made joint Power of Attorney so that, if she cannot make any decisions for herself, you can make them for her. Maybe a nice letter to the brother-in-law suggesting that you feel that, as this has gone on for so long, he might be glad of a bit of help and suggesting that you could take over some parts of her care to give him a bit of respite?

I know in our area, putting a care package together takes months and months and it is so frustrating for relatives who are put under so much pressure.

Good luck.

Your brother in law has been her Carer every night and every weekend for 3 years, and then working during the day which means he is actually been working 24/7 for 3 years! As a Carer for my husband who had a stroke and cardiac arrest 12 years ago at the age of 47, I totally understand the stress he has had. He probably doesn't want to continue being her Carer, no matter how much he loves her, but can't actually say it out loud. (I know the feeling only too well). They won't be able to send her home if he is unwilling to be her Carer - simple.

Unless you are willing to look after her yourself (and give up any hope of having a normal life) then I don't think there is really anything you can do. If her husband won't answer your phone calls then try an old fashioned letter, stating exactly what you are willing to do to help him if he decides to have her home again.

I may sound harsh, but having had no family help I myself I speak as I find.

Hidden in reply to mp3mills

Thanks for your honesty. We've offered him endless amounts of help, along with all her friends (who live local and truly want to help her) but he declines most of the time saying he can do it on his own. He's a proud man, but he's only human. I've seen first hand the pressure he's under but I'm not sure how I can help him. I've emailed him as you've described in a letter, but got no reply. I have to think of my sister's future and want is best for her, if he feels no longer able to look after her. I truly wish I could help out more with her care, but I live 45 minutes away have 2 small children and run a business. My parents are on hand whenever he calls, as are his parents. Thanks for reading this.

My ex-husband suffered a catastrophic haemorrhage, and after his surgery the consultant wanted him to be transferred to a highly reputable rehab unit in Liverpool. The nursing staff had told my son and daughter that, with intensive speech and physio therapy, his quality of life could be greatly enhanced.

However, his wife, being next of kin, wanted him within a more convenient visiting distance, so had him discharged to a nursing home local to her address.

My son and daughter desperately wanted their dad to have the best possible treatment regardless of the travelling involved, but were allowed no say whatsoever in their dad's care, despite consulting a solicitor.

That was just 4 years ago, and our son & daughter were told that next of kin is 'everything' where a patient with severe impairment is concerned.

I'm sorry that you have to suffer a similarly heart-breaking situation with your sister. I only hope your brother-in-law will come to realise the despair he's causing to you and your parents and allow you some input.

Sincere best wishes, Cat x

Hidden in reply to cat3

Thank you. I'm sorry to hear of your family's suffering. It's easy to think that your alone when situations like this happen. I wish him the best recovery possible. Thanks.

cat3 in reply to Hidden

Sadly, Geoff died in 2014 from pneumonia. But thank you for your kind words, and I hope sincerely that your sister's situation will be resolved in a way which is satisfactory to you, and all of her loved ones. xx

steve55 in reply to cat3

its on my drs records my wife deals with me and any problems ive got

I as understand it as next of kin if he says no to her coming home they won't release her however if she is able to care for herself I don't think he will get a say. They will want to release her and they will no matter what he says. They will need the bed. Re him not communicating I think you will have to go to a solicitor who can change things for you xx

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