1. jonno321

    jonno321 Registered User

    Aug 30, 2019
    12
    An update:

    1) Since I last posted, we had a 3rd meeting with the manager, which was unproductive as ever. However, in October, this manager was replaced by the current manager who couldn't be more different. She is proactive, has listened and understood our concerns, genuinely seems to care and wants to do the right thing. We are cautiously optimistic that things will improve. Similar to your situation, the new manager has an enormous challenge on her hands.

    2) The carer who NHS 24 (safeguarding) phoned us about to ask permission to report was subsequently suspended and then fired.

    3) Out of the blue, safeguarding phoned us several weeks ago, requesting a meeting in person with ourselves, the care home management team and other members of the local council involved in such matters. This was to discuss the incident where the staff member was fired, in addition to all the other issues. We have a follow-up meeting in a few weeks to assess progress by the care home.

    4) Safeguarding have also informed us that CQC are likely to want to meet us to discuss everything.

    5) Some of the very disruptive residents have been moved to line of sight of the carer's station and that has improved the situation massively.

    6) Unfortunately, some of the terrible carers remain, but we have made it known to the new management, who are on the case.

    In summary, things are slowly improving, but as you can appreciate, time is not something we have on our side. Indeed, having to spend so much time dealing with the inadequacies of the care staff and the negative effect this has had on dad, with regard to his mood, eating etc. is draining for us, but we have no other option.

    Care/nursing homes, especially those caring for residents with dementia who can't speak up for themselves, need far greater inspection/intervention from independent, external agencies to ensure that they are meeting the needs of the residents.
     
  2. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    308
    Female
    It does sound as if things are starting to be improved, and hope that the new manager will be the proverbial New broom sweeps clean.
     
  3. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
    That's good progress @jonno321 i am pleased things are improving.
     
  4. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,830
    new manager - that sounds hopeful!
     
  5. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,830
    I read your posts & think wow! How lucky you are to have new management & a safeguarding team that are in your corner.

    our safeguarding meeting was weeks ago - we are still collating information & getting medical assessments to prove that as non professionals we are correct in our safeguarding issues being raised!

    to say I’m a little jealous is an understatement. Dad barely drinks anything & the management are reluctant to provide for Dads care needs!

    I am thrilled that safeguarding is working for you in a positive way - it gives me hope!
     
  6. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
    @jonno321 @DesperateofDevon please forgive me for hijacking this thread with my story but following on from my previous comments above I wanted you to know what had happened in our situation.
    Mums care home which is in special measures is improving slowly with the new manager in post. She is gradually replacing the agency staff with permanent care staff some poached from her previous care home. Due to widespread shortage of care staff it does seem to be a case of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'. She has also taken on as permanent some of the better agency staff. A premium has to be paid to release them from the agency contracts.
    CQC are due to reinspect in Dec I think & the home are confident of an improved report. I sincerely hope they do turn it around & that it eventually becomes one of the best in the county. Believe me its much needed in my local area.
    Sadly for us now it's the end of the journey as mum passed away in hospital yesterday. She had been there for 4 weeks following infection due to aspiration & Uti. Infections were cleared but it was these that caused her decline.
    I had to raise concerns at the home about mums cough. Staff either weren't aware of her infection or didn't think to report it. I noticed a change in mums voice on the Monday but she wasn't coughing. The next day she was. I rang on the weds to enquire how mum was & the manager was informed by senior staff she was coughing during lunch but no concerns. I went to visit after work thurs & saw straight away she looked unwell & tired & had a dreadful cough with phlegm but was still in happy mood. I asked the staff around at the time if anyone had arranged for mum to see a dr but got shrugged shoulders from agency staff. Went to manager & expressed by concerns & annoyance at the inaction & as it was now the evening she put mum on the dr visiting list for the following day 'to put my mind at rest' as it didn't appear urgent at the time.
    Friday mum worse & dr called an ambulance due to low sats & high temperature. By the time she got to hospital she was unconscious & was in resus for most of the night. In fairness we hadn't picked up on the Uti either although it wasn't surprising given that they had been virtually constant in the last few months. The dr there said they would not take mum to intensive care if she deteriorated further. I agreed.
    Hospital managed to clear the infections & were then putting pressure on us to get her back to the care home despite the fact she was barely eating & drinking & regularily needed a drip. We stood our ground with the hospital & repeatedly refused to allow mum to be sent back as we now wanted a NH to look after her once it became apparent we were looking at EOL care. It helped that the registrar was in agreement once the care home situation was explained to him. Also being in special measures the carehome were not allowed to accept her back without CQC permission. The manager did come & assess & expressed doubts that they could meet her needs in their current situation.
    Mum developed hyper delirium & it was one of the worse things I've witnessed. It then became hypo delirium which meant she was in a deep sleep most of the time & barely conscious. Decisions were made to stop all drips etc & only pain relief was given.
    Things rapidly deteriorated whilst waiting for fast track CHC funding & in the end was too frail to move, passing away 1 day after NH assessment. They also agreed too frail to move.
    So you must be thinking why haven't we made an official complaint about the lack of action at the care home. Despite the problems there they do have some good staff who unfortunately were either not working on the day or were not involved with mums care at the time. Things are changing for the better & various authorities continue to be involved. Mum was happy there & we were mostly happy with her care but had to keep a close eye on things. I don't think some of the staff were experienced enough to deal with her late stage dementia. The manager knows who they are. I have told her I feel they let mum down. It is up to them now. It may not have made any difference to the outcome if the doctor had seen her sooner. I simply have had enough now & don't want any more conflict just nice memories of her time there. The staff did love her & are genuinely upset.

    So that's the end of mums story. I never did a thread of my own preferring just to read & comment on others. I don't want to start one now but just wanted to tell you how our story ended as a warning in case others are in the same situation.
    Goodluck everyone involved in such battles. Don't ever let your guard down. A move to better care is always worth considering if you are not happy. Sometimes a crisis involving hospital is the gateway to this X
     
  7. charlie10

    charlie10 Registered User

    Dec 20, 2018
    375
    @Moggymad.....so sorry to hear about your mum, this is truly a dreadful disease that affects everyone. I hope that you can relax your guard now, and take time to look after yourself. Take care xx
     
  8. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
  9. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    449
    Bedford
    @Moggymad so sorry to hear about your Mum. I am sorry that you have had to battle at times with the Care Home. Mum is going into a home on Tuesday but I will remember your words about considering a move if unhappy or have concerns about a home. Please take some time for yourself now
     
  10. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
    Thank you @Bikerbeth i hope all goes well for your mum. My mum lost all anxiety once she settled which didn't take too long. Good luck
     
  11. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    558
    Female
    Sending my condolences following the loss of your mum, peace to you both.
    xx
     
  12. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
    Thankyou Dimpsy
     
  13. Quizbunny

    Quizbunny Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011
    94
    Very sorry to hear your sad news, and hope you are now able to relax and focus upon the happy memories you have of your mum.
     
  14. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
    Thankyou Quizbunny
     
  15. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,830
  16. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
    Thankyou X
     
  17. jonno321

    jonno321 Registered User

    Aug 30, 2019
    12

    Dear Moggymad,

    Very sorry to hear the news about your mum and condolences to you and your family.

    What you say regarding moving care homes is true, however, until the move has occurred, you never know whether you are going out of the frying pan and into the fire. My dad was moved from his previous care home, where he had been left to deteriorate to such an extent that he was essentially unconscious when we arrived, with very low oxygen levels, pneumonia, significant weight loss etc, which the care home had not acted on. We had to really fight to get an ambulance, as the care home had decided to make dad palliative, and we spent the next 12-24hrs of the hospital admission wondering whether dad would survive. Fortunately, dad pulled through, and as soon he was fit enough to move care homes, we did, and he is much closer to use now, where we can keep an eye on things. He has regained all the weight that he lost (and then some!) and, despite being older, he is in a much better physical/mental shape now. It has been extremely hard work getting him to this stage, but it was worth it, we see him frequently and have made many new happy memories. If the care staff at the previous care home could see dad now, I'm sure they would feel thoroughly ashamed of the way they treated him and wrote him off.

    Another care home dad has been at in the last few years, failed to call an ambulance when he had had a fall at 05:00. We arrived at 09:00 to find him in agony, yet nothing had been done, no medical attention sought. We called an ambulance immediately and on this occasion it turned out dad had suffered a double fracture of the pelvis, so no wonder he was in extreme pain. Once again, this was a (nursing) home which sat on a clearly unwell/distressed resident and only through our intervention did dad receive the medical attention required.

    Unfortunately, what we have come to learn over the years, is that although there are some good carers, they cannot make up for the bad carers which infiltrate both nursing and care homes. The big problem is that, as a rule, there is zero accountability in care homes and unless relatives visit, the carers, particularly when they are caring for dementia residents, can do as they please and no-one is any the wiser.

    As you say, it is important that relatives never let their guard down. It shouldn't be this way, but after all we have seen and experienced over the last couple of years, we have come to accept the reality of the situation and know that if we weren't to be vigilant, dad would likely suffer, yet again.


    Best wishes
     
  18. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,830
    oh that’s so sad. But I think it’s a common theme.

    some of the European carers have repeatedly told me that they don’t have Dementia in their countries as their elderly don’t have convenience food!!!

    Obviously training in CH needs to be reassessed & dementia specialist homes should be ashamed if that’s what senior staff members still believe!

    Sadly profit will always come before care needs
     
  19. Moggymad

    Moggymad Registered User

    May 12, 2017
    406
    Female
    Thanks @jonno321
    My goodness what a terrible time your dad & yourselves have been through. Makes my experience look like a walk in the park. I do think that in such circumstances as yours relatives should be able to involve the police for support & protection of their loved one. The nursing home next door to mums care home (same care group) have had a residents death investigated by the police. I think it had something to do with medication. They are now in special measures as well. As usual everyone is tight lipped about it so I doubt we will get to know what happened. Truly shocking.
    I think you are right about elderly being written off when they get ill. It was always in the back of my mind whether the care home or even the doctors tried that hard with residents who had a DNR in place like my mum. In mums case however it was in part down to agency staff not being observant or properly committed to their caring role & senior staff being too busy to notice. Communication is a big problem.
    Interesting what @DesperateofDevon says about European carers not having dementia in their countries as I was told more or less the same thing that dementia was quite rare in the home country of the carer I spoke to.
    It's very wearing mentally to be constantly monitoring but your persistence likely saved your dads life. I hope he will continue to have some good quality years ahead. Wishing you all the very best of luck.
     
  20. jonno321

    jonno321 Registered User

    Aug 30, 2019
    12

    Hi,

    I think that our experience with safeguarding, so far, has possibly been productive since it was safeguarding who contacted us due to the serious circumstances that our dad had found himself in, courtesy of the care staff. Safeguarding then contacted us again, out of the blue, to arrange a face-to-face meeting, to discuss various issues and we have another meeting with them in a couple of weeks to assess progress.

    Had we contacted safeguarding off our own back regarding the numerous issues we have come across at the care home, who knows whether their response would have been so proactive!

    If you aren't already, I would keep a log of the issues you come across, clearly dated/timed with which staff members were responsible. It is very useful to have such a record to refer to when you discuss problems with the manager/safeguarding etc.

    Dad's main problem is also eating and drinking, and it is an ongoing challenge to get the care staff to understand the consequences of an elderly person not meeting dietary requirements. With dad, it is not that he has lost his appetite, but that he prefers to eat smaller meals/snacks and is overwhelmed by a large plate of food. Getting the staff to understand that and adapt to HIS needs, is the greatest challenge we have ever faced.

    I hope you have success with safeguarding eventually and things change for the better.

    If you are happy to do so, it would be interesting to hear how things unfold with your safeguarding/care home situation.

    Regards
     

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