apoogies in advance, for this rant - I am so mad I don't know where to start!!
My mother went into respite care for the first time a month ago. (She is in the later stages of Vascular dem). The care home was awful and too far for me to visit as often as I wanted to, so I found a nice place near me. Before mum was moved, she appeared to be suffering fairly bad constipation (the care home were feeding her nothing but jam doughnuts, as it was all she would eat). I asked countless times for them to up her fluid intake...for the constipation and regular uti's.
by the time she was transferred to her new home, she was unmanageable. Aggressive, agitated, couldn't sit still, wouldn't eat, drink, take medicine etc.
Because her doctors notes were not yet with the new care home, NO DOCTOR would see her. The care home couldn't manage her, and didn't seem to know what to do. I made a proper fuss and eventually they called the paramedics. We were then taken by ambulance to A&E and I was left in a box room with my highly distressed mother. I must also mention, my mother is blind.
We were there for four hours at night time. My mother was offered no pain relief, no fluid and no bed/trolley. I didn't believe what was happening to us. I was spoken to rudely by staff when I asked for someone to help us and eventually a student was sent to take notes. after waiting again for some medication, I finally broke down in tears and began to walk my mother out of the hospital - figuring, at least I could take her to my house and give her pain relief and a bed. Staff came running and finally gave mum diazepam until they could find her a bed to admit her. The next day, she was still in the same state and the staff on the emergency care ward clearly just wanted her gone. They said she had no medical reason to be there....even though she was bent double, clutching her abdomen and incredibly distressed (she had still not been to the toilet) and was very de-hydrated. The care home refused to take her back and I was faced with the prospect of her being admitted to a general ward. Unthinkable.
Luckily a social worker, understanding the situation, talked the care home around and my mother is back there. She finally got to see a doctor the following day who upped her pain relief and mum was finally 'unblocked' but her agitation is still very high and she is still clutching her stomach.
It's all terrible - what kind of rotten system leaves an elderly, dementia patient with no access to a doctor and only A & E as an option?
Even worse, I have now noticed bruises appearing over her arms, where she has obviously been badly manhandled and I don't know if this was hospital or care home staff.
I am stressed to death, FURIOUS with the nhs and just want to bundle my mother and take her home - but I can't manage her myself and the guilt is colossal.
I'm sorry for the length of this message, but if anyone should find themselves in a similar position, I would just say this.....do anything, but A&E must be a very very very last resort....and even then.....
ps I have written to the hospital and the D of H to complain - for all the good it will do.
thank you for listening. x