Bad start to the week

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Gill W, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi all,

    Just thought I'd drop in while the pc is available, can't seem to get near it now the summer holidays are here!

    Our weekend went very well, with the subject of Care Homes being broached with Gran, and it went down very well. On friday, Gran had told her carer that she was sick of sitting on her own with no one to talk to. So we leapt on the topic of moving her down near us so that she would see lots of people. It went down a treat, beaming smiles, all of that. Even my aunt was pleased, with no complaints about travelling or the distance involved etc. Mam was so pleased she nearly fell off the couch!

    So on a high, we contacted the nursing home we've chosen, and arranged for Gran to go there Tuesday (today) to have her hair done with the hairdresser, have her lunch, and have an assessment done at the same time. We're going great guns, by this time, feeling positive.

    Monday morning, everything went awry. To cut a long story short, Gran had been "withdrawn and quiet" on sunday, and on monday morning had refused to get out of bed when the carer came, saying her back was sore, and she didn't want any breakfast. She was left in bed having been given her meds and a cuppa. At 10am, the befriender who visits mondays couldn't get an answer when she rang the bell, and she didn't want to use the key in the key safe to get in. The guy who delivers Gran's meal couldn't get any joy either, and went away having refused to use the key safe. The meals company rang mam and told us they hadn't been able to get in, and mam contacted Gran's GP to see if we could have the Rapid Response team out to her again, or the district nurse. Mum heard no more for about an hour. She rang me, told me what the problem was and I contacted Gran's GP to see what was going on. The GP rang me straight back, he was with Gran as we spoke, and he said he was going to get her admitted to hospital. She was unable to move, totally incomprehensible verbally, and asked me for information as to what she was usually like. Having told him she was usually mobile and sometimes confused, he advised that I get there asap as he had to leave and was going to make arrangements to get her to hospital but she shouldn't be left on her own in the meantime.

    Mam and I went up, didn't know what to expect, and arrived to find the carer had arrived for her usual lunch time shift. She was on the phone for someone to come and give her a hand to help with Gran, she told us to "come and see how she's lying". We found poor Gran lying widthways across her bed with her feet dangling over the side to the floor. She was flat on her back, no pillows or anything under her head, it looked like she'd made an attempt to get up but for whatever reason hadn't been able to and laid back and never moved again. She yelped when we tried to straighten her and get her lying on the bed the right way. So we just raised her legs and propped them up on her commode with a pillow under her feet. I did a quick check over of her, she had all appropriate sensations, but was talking gibberish. An ambulance arrived after a couple of hours, by which time Gran told them she didn't have any pain anywhere, hadn't had all day, and should she have pain? Was that the right thing, to have pain?

    Anyway, we got her to hospital and it was determined she most likely had a UTI, or a chest infection. She was dehydrated and is now on a drip, antibiotics are being delivered via the drip. The nursing staff have said she is not fit to be discharged back home. She is still very confused, she's convinced herself she has had an operation.

    We've now had to contact SS and ask for them to fast track the process for getting Gran to the home we want her to go to. The home have said they can take her on as soon as they have an assessment of her, either by fax or by someone going to see her. They are ready and waiting for her, anyway. Mam says Gran is likely to be in hospital for another 2 or 3 days. We've asked the hospital to help us to get her discharged to the home, rather than to her own home. We've even told them we will pay for a week or two's home fees privately if SS haven't caught up with us by the time she is discharged.

    Thank goodness it was only an infection affecting the poor soul. Seeing her lying across the bed with nothing on but her undies was quite distressing. I think when we moved her, her back hurt because she'd been lying in the awkward position for so long before someone got to her. After we'd lifted her feet and propped her head up a little she seemed to pick up and be able to get her words out better. She was still waffling, about the Germans, those little boys, anything she could think of that would come out reasonably easily I think. I gave her some sips of water through a straw, and a cooled cup of tea. I talked to her about coming to live near me, and painted a rosy picture of how nice it would be for her. She seems delighted at the knowledge she can have visitors every day, the smile was lovely. She kept reaching up to move a stray hair from my eyes and complimenting my sun tan, bless her. I promised her we were staying with her to go to hospital, and promised her faithfully that she wouldn't be forgotten about when she moved to the Care Home, that I would be in to see her EVERY morning when my boys have gone to school. She asked me to promise we wouldn't forget her, and I crossed my heart for her. She held my hand while she was having blood taken, she was an absolute trooper. She managed to get her words out for the nurses when they were explaining what was happening to her, and yet when she tried to talk to me again, the ability was gone.

    Although we'd have hoped for a better start to the week, there could be positives from the negatives, in that we get her into the home near me much more quickly than we would have done going down the normal route. The main thing is the poor thing hasn't had a stroke, which was winding its way through my mind all the way up there. She's in the right place and can't wander from there, so we can sleep well for a couple of days.

    Keep you posted as we get news.

    Gill
    xx
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Oh Gill, what a fright you must have had. I must admit, the word stroke came into my mind too as I was reading your description. What a relief that it's only an infection.

    It's a blessing in a way, your Gran's safe in hospital, you've got her into the home you wanted, auntie can hardly argue now, and you'll be able to visit your Gran every day. The best possible outcome to a terrifying situation.

    You and your mum have done so well, your Gran is lucky to have such a loving family.

    Please let us know how she gets on.

    Love,
     
  3. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    I will, Hazel, no worries.

    My heart was pounding as I drove mam up there, and I know mam was stressed to death because she could hardly speak when she rang me to tell me what was happening. What did make me a wee bit cross was that she knew there was possibly a problem at 10am, we spoke after that and she never said a word bless her. She didn't want to make me worry for nothing.

    I also didn't like to hear that people were reluctant to use the key safe. That isn't very helpful, when these people who are going to Gran's house know we live 30 miles away, and for us they are our first alert system. We kind of rely on them to alert us to any problems Gran's having, because she refuses to wear the alert bracelet. We've told them to use the key without hesitation in future, but hopefully the need will not be there.

    Watching Gran's fear when the ambulance staff moved her onto a seat was awful, she looked so frail and afraid, she kept telling them not to drop her. I sat beside her for ages before they arrived and she kept holding my hand when I told her we wouldn't be letting her go to hospital by herself. The ambulance took so long to arrive she'd forgotten she was going by then! lol

    Heaven knows what she meant by pain in her back, she told the nurse at hospital she'd not had any pain. Mam and I wondered whether it could be her kidneys causing pain if she had a urine infection.

    Poor thing. She said we were lovely to look after her like this, and I told her it was because she'd been a good mam to my mam, and my mam is a good mam to me, so it's come back round for her now. It's our turn to be good to her.

    Gill
    xx
     
  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    So pleased at the outcome Gill. It is a relief to know that it was not a stroke.

    Once again it demonstrates how someone can be overlooked by carers coming in, or meals being delivered, or not.

    She will be discharged to a safe environment. Please keep us informed. Thanks,
     
  5. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    I will Connie, thank you.

    There are several little niggly things I could pick on and complain about but I'm trying to focus on Gran. They say everything happens for a reason, and maybe this will be a blessing in disguise.

    Gill
    xx
     
  6. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Gill,

    I'm so sorry about the trauma you've gone through, but I think you are right - everything happens for a reason. As awful as it was it has brought things to a head and your Gran will now receive the help and care she needs.

    Love to you and your Mam
     
  7. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    They do say all thing happen for a reason , Just my way of thinking :rolleyes:

    So i was pleased to read that your grandmother is recovering and is in safe hands now, to look after her health


    sounds like a lovely lady :)
     
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,536
    Kent
    Hi Gill.

    So often it takes a crisis to force a decision and hurry things along. It`s awful you had such a scare but as it happens it all seems to have turned out well.

    You will all have a few worry free nights and know your Gran`s future will be safe.

    Take care, the worst is over.

    Love xx
     
  9. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    420
    Hi Gill,

    just wondering how your gran is doing. Wanted to say too that I'm glad it wasn't a stroke. As I was reading your post the other day, I thought, oh goodness, this sounds as though your gran had had a stroke...

    Hope she's recovering and glad things were not quite as bad as you feared.

    All the best
    Tina
     
  10. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hi Tina,

    Thanks for the message.

    Quick update.

    Gran was diagnosed with a urine infection and was put on IV antibiotics, as she had a drip up to rehydrate her. She seemed to respond well, although the confusion seems to have been exacerbated on a permanent level; sometimes she can say a few words quite clearly, most often she cannot get her words out at all.

    On wednesday of last week, she had the drip taken down as her fluid intake was good, and output had increased, even though it still stank to high heaven. She was then put on oral antibiotics.

    She's off her food good and proper, tho her chart indicates she's eaten a bowl of soup and sandwiches on one particular lunch. There's no indication of whether she ate all of both or just part of both.

    Mam had a much needed day off last friday, my sister took her for a pamper day, so I went to visit her. When I asked the nursing staff how they were toileting Gran, no one seemed to know, they had to go and check. They hadn't helped her to clean her teeth either, so I managed to walk her to the toilet with me to get them done.

    Mam went in yesterday, and I was horrified to hear of what was going on. There appears to be no accounting for the fact Gran is an Alzheimers patient. Mam got there to find her sitting in soaking wet pants, (they're using pull-up tena pants), her teeth were manky again. The lunch dishes were still on Gran's table at 2.00pm, her antibiotic was lying in the pudding bowl, and her paracetamol and multivitamin tablet were lying on the floor!!!!!! The staff had obviously plonked them on her table and walked away, not making sure she'd taken them before they did so!!! I was furious! The doctor had said she was arranging for physios to get Gran a bit steadier on her feet, yet nobody was able to tell mam whether they had been to her or not. It's no good asking Gran, she won't remember who has and who hasn't been!

    She was very agitated friday afternoon and kept asking me to drop her off home when I left. She kept telling me she'd been thinking about getting on the bus to go home because she didn't want to stay there any more, she told me "I won't do it again, I don't know why they put me in here just because of what I did." She thought she'd done something wrong and had been put there as punishment for it?! Poor thing had wrapped her hairbrush up in tissues, and had her glasses case tucked in her knickers.

    We've had contact from SS today to say that the home near me is set up and ready to accept her when the hospital have given the go ahead for the release. There was a discrepancy over the fees on friday but I'm presuming that it's been rectified.

    Now I'm looking for some ideas on what sort of things people have taken in with their loved ones, to help them settle in? We're organising some clothes to have ready in her room, but were wondering if anyone has any ideas about what sort of things to have around her to help her settle? I thought her own bedding might be a good idea, some of her photos and pictures from home? Does anyone have any ideas for me? Panicking a little now that the hard bit is to come, and want to try and make it as painless as possible. any suggestions welcomed.

    Thanks.

    Gill
    xx
     
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,536
    Kent
    Dear Gill,

    I`m so sorry your Gran had such a bad time and sincerly hope she settles when she goes to her new home.

    Take a few very familiar items but please don`t take anything valuable, just trinkets and ornaments, photos and anything else that`s meaningful to her, but won`t upset the family should it go missing.

    I hope things will turn out well and wait to hear better news.

    Love xx
     
  12. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Thanks, Sylvia, I'll keep you posted.

    I was very disappointed to hear of the state that Gran was in, I'm on the verge of complaining to someone. I appreciate wholly that she isn't the only patient on the ward, but for heavens sakes, there must be someone who can help toilet her and with her hygiene?!

    My aunt has packed a few things I believe, but I haven't been able to get to Gran's yet to see whats been done. Mam is going to let me know as soon as we need to get cracking with things, so I'll mention your message of nothing valuable, tho I don't think Gran has much in the direction.

    Fingers crossed things go smoothly. For all she was agitated, she still showed some pleasure at moving down beside me. I hope and pray that she takes to the home, it's a lovely place, I've been there about 5 times in all since Gran was diagnosed. And I'm literally across the road so can go to her often.

    Gill
    xx
     
  13. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Gill, your post made me cry. It's so cruel to treat people like that in hospital, no wonder your gran is so unhappy.

    We're working hard in our area to try to make sure that sort of think can't happen again, we're doing training days for trainee doctors and nurses. I just hope it has an effect. You can be imprisoned for treating an animal like that.

    I hope your gran is discharged soon and you can make her comfortable on her new home.

    Love,
     
  14. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Gill

    Your posts struck me as being so similar to my Mum's a few years back. Mum had an emergency hospital admission and eventually ended up being admitted to a care home.

    Like you I found that hospital staff are not geared to dementia patients. They cannot cope with the time required as they are frequently short staffed. Mum really came on when another patient who was in for observation but who was a carer in a home took her under her wing having realised instantly what was wrong.

    Mum also worsened whilst in hospital but improved dramatically once in the nursing home. If able get her discharged to the nursing home as soon as you are able, they are far better at caring for our loved ones than the hopsital situation.

    For Mum we took photos and her special ornaments. Things may go missing but it a balance for you on how much they mean to your Gran.

    One of my regrets was that once Mum was better we never made arrangments for her to go back to her house for a visit before the house was sold. I know that at the stage my Mum is at now it makes no difference but if you as a family decide to take her back for a visit depending on how she is, to choose anything she wants to take to her new house etc. my care home would have sent an experienced carer with us..something I only found out after the fact.

    I am so glad though for you that this cloud had a silver lining, For Mum it was the same and we never had to persuade her into care. I just told her that she was there until the doctors said that she could cope.

    Good Luck to you and your family

    Mameeskye
     
  15. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hazel, you must be built the same as me, I burst into tears telling my son about what was happening. Then I got angry, and now I'm absolutely seething!

    Mam has been over for a natter this afternoon and to fill me in on how things are going. She told me she'd been to see Gran today as usual, and found her soaking wet again. However, there was a tube of cream on her table. Some long-winded name that mam couldn't remember. When she asked the nurses for some information on where things were at, they all stared at her like her head had just spun round in circles. She saw what I meant when I told her the staff didn't have a clue what was to do. Anyway, mam asked Gran if she wanted to go for a wee, and said that she thought she'd detected that Gran had had a no.2 (sorry for this, but it's part of the discovery) and asked her if she had. Gran said no, but when mam looked, she had actually had one. So, the usual clean up had to be done, at which point mam discovered blood on the toilet paper. Looking more closely, she discovered Gran has an extremely sore bottom, and deduced that this is what the cream was for. None of the staff have bothered to mention it. Mam said that if we saw a sore bottom like that on a baby we would be doing all sorts to relieve the discomfort. Can anyone imagine what it must be like, having a sore bottom like that and having to sit in a wet pair of pants until someone decides to change them for you?! Poor Gran must be in agony with it, but she's a very timid little thing and doesn't bother people with things. Her teeth were rank again, too.

    Gran has been on the ward now since wednesday last week, and has been in amongst elderly ladies who are, (for want of a better description, and sorry for the way this may come across), on their death beds. Whilst we were there last week, the curtains were drawn round every bed while the body of a deceased lady was removed. Gran detected something was going on, but we hadn't the heart to tell her what it was. We lied that it was someone needing to be bathed in private in their bed. A little old lady on the other side was shouting for help for at least an hour when I was there last week, and not one person took the time to stand beside her and see what the problem was. She caught my hand as I went to the bin and asked me to help her. Asking her how I could help, she asked me to help her get into the chair beside her bed. I can't lift I'm afraid, my spine is too damaged, but asked the nurses to do it. As soon as they did it, she was quiet and nodded off to sleep!!!! An hour of shouting for something that took them two minutes! Gran has now been moved from the corner bed at one side of the dorm to the centre bed on the opposite side, so she now doesn't even have the window to look out of.

    I am of the opinion that none of the staff have the first idea of how to look after an Alzheimers patient, and I mean no disrespect but there are so many foreign nurses on the ward that can't understand english let alone a patient with dementia when they ramble and get confused.

    I am on the point of storming up there, packing Gran's things and putting her in my car and bringing her to my house til the home is ready for her. I can't believe that qualified nursing staff can leave an eldery person in the state Gran has been in. I was a student nurse when I damaged my spine years ago, and I never EVER left an elderly, upset or confused patient on their own for the periods that Gran has been. She may aswell have been at home!!!! My patients were always given breakfast, given the means to wash themselves or assisted with a bath/shower, and provided with the means to clean their teeth every morning I worked. It's something I always do, why shouldn't they have the chance to feel clean and tidy and respected? Would the staff stand back and watch their parent/grandparent/other relative be left to their own devices in hospital? I THINK NOT!! They seem to be leaving her to her own devices, knowing that she had carers in the home environment, which would indicate to any sensible person that she has diffilculty with things. Its not rocket science is it?!

    I'd better stop now, because I'm driving myself up the wall here. I am so angry and upset, but cheered by the news that Gran is still looking forward to being down here with me. She's had a look at the map and can see where she will be in relation to me, obviously she'll need reminding every now and again but that's easy. Please god, let the home ring tomorrow and tell us she can be brought down and made to feel welcome and cared for!!!!!

    My faith in the NHS is rapidly declining I'm afraid. Sadly disappointed with the quality of their care.

    Gill
    xx
     
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Gill, I'm not surprised you're so angry. It really is shameful, the way your gran is being treated. And imagine what it must be like for elderly patients who do not have anyone else to look out for them. What a way to die, after a liftime af work and service. It makes me so mad and upset too.

    Fingers crossed that you hear from the NH tomorrow. Could you give them a ring and tell them how urgent it is?

    Sorry I can't be of more help, but my thoughts are with you and your gran.

    Love and hugs,
     

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  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    its disgraceful is all I can say

    my friend a while back told that she seen that happen also , how they treat the elderly people with dementia in wards , could not really believe her till I read what you wrote

    I hope so to for your grandmother sake xx
     
  18. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    Hazel, the hug was wonderful, thank you. I'll pass it on to Gran when I see her.

    Margarita, "disgraceful" is the polite way to describe it, isn't it? lol I can think of lots of choice words to use but I know I have to restrain myself.

    It defies belief that the elderly today are treated with such total lack of respect and care. I once saw a program on telly, a documentary with Tony Robinson? One of his comments about the lack of care for the elderly has really sprung to mind lately.

    How I would love to go in that hospital and show them all how I was taught to care for people, elderly or not. I remember when I started my RGN training, we had to do some role play in the training school? I was playing the part of a nurse and another student the patient. I instinctively sat on the bed beside the 'patient' and immediately jumped back up, thinking I'd broken the rule as regards cross infection. The tutor roared loudly, "Sit back down, that was wonderful, the first piece of close up care I have seen displayed by a single student in years!".

    Nowadays you can't sit on the beds because of MRSA, well I guess the NHS have to try and pass the blame on to others for spreading the germs, eh? I know not all staff are the same in hospitals, and I hope I've not offended anyone, but what I have seen in this particular hospital makes me scream.

    Not once has any nurse come to Gran's bed and said "Are you ok there Mrs Steel, anything you want or need? Have you been to the toilet lately?". Nothing whatsoever, just a nurse sat in the corner of the ward tapping away on the laptop.

    The home are at the ready Hazel, they are just waiting for the hospital to let them know that Gran can be discharged. The doctor has been round today and said that they will be looking at discharging Gran sooner rather than later. It can't come soon enough for me, I actually feel guilty that Gran has been treated as such when I promised her she would be looked after and made better. What a dead promise that turned out to be. I shall have to look at my choice of words more closely in the future, although if hospitals are needed in the future she'll be in my area and I'll be able to keep things monitored more closely.

    Lots of prayers being said tonight in my family.

    Thanks for your support guys and gals, I really do appreciate it. I feel like I have an extended family now since I joined TP. A huge source of comfort to me and mam.

    Gill
    xx
     

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