Care homes! (Just having a moan really)

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Libby, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    625
    North East
    I haven’t been on-line much recently – too busy at work and knackered by the time I get home, so consequently have been falling asleep in front of TV at around 7.30pm (I’m sure that’s not normal – I keep promising myself I’ll make an appointment at the Doctors)

    Anyway, the reason for my post is my Mum’s Care Home or should I say Mums lack of Care home!

    I was in to see her on the Saturday before Xmas and she was complaining about her leg hurting, so on my way out, I mentioned it to the care assistant. She immediately went in to see Mum and when she touched her leg, Mum flinched. The carer said that her lower leg felt really hot and that she would mention it to the senior. They said that they would keep an eye on her, and I left it at that – quite happy that she was in good hands.

    Then on Xmas morning, my brother rang to say that he had just been in to see Mum and that she wasn’t feeling too good and her leg was hurting and he had mentioned it to the staff. I told him that the staff should already know after my conversation 2 days earlier, but he said it didn’t sound as though they had known about it.

    So I put on my angry hat (Xmas morning – bah humbug and all!!) and went down to the home at 11.45am to find 5 members of staff sat at the desk outside mum’s room. Mum was asleep on the bed, so I just asked them how Mum was – they said she was fine although she had mentioned to my brother about her side hurting. When I told them that I had already mentioned her pain 2 days earlier, they said they knew nothing about it. I asked if my concern shouldn’t have been written down on her file, so they got it out and there was nothing there. I just felt so annoyed that it was Xmas Day and I was having to have a go at them when it was the last thing I wanted to do. But I felt as if they didn’t care about her at all. But surely to work in a Care Home, you have to have a caring nature, and if you don’t then, what the hell are you working there for!!!

    Anyway, I woke mum up, and she seemed OK but just didn’t have any interest in Xmas Presents

    Then I rang the home on the 27th and spoke to yet another senior to see how mum was. She said she was OK and again when I mentioned that she hadn’t been feeling well, she knew nothing about it! But to give her her due, she apologized that nothing had been registered on Mums file and said that they had just bathed her and she had complained about her leg, so she was going to phone the Doctor to come out to see her.

    So am just waiting for them to let me know when the Doctor is able to come out

    I know this is a long boring post – I don’t expect any replies – I think I just needed to write it all down to get my annoyance out.

    Merry Christmas everyone and all the best for 2007

    Libs
     
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london

    No the feeling , hope they sort the pain out for your mother

    Stress with all the worry and working , who can blame you . don't need a doctor to tell you that :eek:
     
  3. Grandaughter 1

    Grandaughter 1 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2006
    141
    Hampshire
    Hi Libby

    I don't want to alarm you but my Grandad had lower leg pain which was hot to the touch and it turned out to be a DVT.

    This was last year and it was treated fine with Heparin/Warfarin I believe.

    I would keep on at the care home staff as that sounds appalling.

    I hope you get it sorted and your mother feels better soon.

    Louise x
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    what is DVT Louise ?
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    Deep Vein Thrombosis. I have to say, that was my immediate thought as well (my MIL has had several episodes of this)

    Jennifer
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Libby

    It's very bad that they haven't been logging your mum's problems. If it is DVT, the week's delay could have caused major problems. If she hasn't seen a doctor today I'd insist on a hospital visit - if it's anything like here, GP surgeries will be closed until Wednesday.

    I would also think their negligence warrants a formal complaint, it's very worrying that something like that could be ignored.

    But I hope your mum has seen a doctor by now, and that all is well.
     
  7. Grandaughter 1

    Grandaughter 1 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2006
    141
    Hampshire
    Yep as Jennifer said it stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis or blood clot. It is very common in the elderly or immobile people (ie travelling on long haul flights)

    Grandad had to have the drugs to thin the blood and therefore cause the blood clot to disperse as otherwise they can travel up the veins and enter the lungs.
     
  8. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    #8 DeborahBlythe, Dec 29, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2006
    Libby, it makes you want to spit when things like that happen. I hope that your mum gets proper care very soon. A formal complaint is a good idea to make them buck their ideas up. Ask for the home's complaints procedure if you don't already have one. Write a letter to the manager of the home marked private and confidential. Keep a copy, and if you don't get a satisfactory response within the agreed time limits, or if the reply you receive is not satisfactory, take it up with the nearest office of the Commission for Social Care Inspection. ( Check out www.csci.gov.uk
    for the nearest office) Resist the temptation, if you feel any, to spread your annoyance beyond the home's procedure, i.e. to local press, because it will antagonise them and breach your mum's confidentiality, but the formal procedure should be enough to shock any complacency.

    Please also see the thread Complaints started by Norman.
     
  9. nicetotalk

    nicetotalk Registered User

    Sep 22, 2006
    155
    stretford
    Hi libby

    I agree with deborah i would complain that is just terrible, i always remember when my mum was in one particular care home they rung my dad to say she had fallen anc cut her head nothing to worry about they said. When my sister and i went to vist i could not beleive what i saw. A doctor had come out shaved a big area of her head and she had about 5 stitches in her head it just broke my heart. As for people who work in care homes yes they are surposed to care but from my experience there are those who dont.

    take care kathy
     
  10. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    429
    east sussex
    leg problems.

    My husband also had a swollen leg while in his last care home. it was badly handled and he ended going to hospital for a x-ray and a ultra scan and he was returned to the home with no result. During this time he also lost the abilty to walk, after being given an antibiotic his leg which had also been weeping from blisters returned to its normal size. On reflection having googled the problem i would say he had celulitus but this was not actualy spoken of. I have now moved him to another home where he seems to be better cared for. I have registered complaints to the hospital for various reasons and also the care home. There were many reasons for concern while he was there.

    Cynron x x
     
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,738
    Kent
    What is it with Care Homes? How do they get away with such sloppy care? They are inspected regularly, complaints are made by visitors who suspect slipping standards, but most worrying of all, they are staffed by people who seem to accept neglect as part of the norm.

    I know some homes are good, with high atandards, but that doesn`t excuse the others.

    What does it say about a society that allows this state of affairs.
     
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    I agree, the whole thing does make you wonder. It's not like it's not possible to do it right. Case in point - I've just (7.30pm) had a call from one of my mother's carers - they're taking her off to hospital to have her leg checked out. She fell this morning, and although she says it doesn't hurt, the leg seems to be getting weaker and weaker.

    Jennifer
     
  13. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    The Care Home are failing in their duty, if they don't take prompt action when a health problem occurs. If I tell a Care Assistant that my Mum has a headache or an ache or pain, the Nurse in charge appears very quickly to find out what is wrong. The Nursing Home also keep meticulous daily records of Mum's condition so that I can always find out if she has been off colour or has been behaving unusually.
    The NH staff take their responsibilities seriously and Care Home staff should too. I wonder if inadequate training could be an issue?
    Kayla
     
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Jennifer

    Sorry about , your mum, you must be worried, being so far away, but at least the NH staff are on the ball.

    Let us know how she gets on.
     
  15. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    625
    North East
    Thanks

    Many thanks to you all for your posts

    Louise - I did think of Thrombosis, (Google search on hot legs!) but the Care Home have told me that the doctor has been out to see Mum and that everything is OK. I wished that they had rang me to tell me when the doctor was going, as I would have liked to have been there. Mum has a tendency to tell carers and doctors that she’s fine! (She doesn’t like to be a nuisance)

    But my brother and I are going to request another meeting at the home to let them know of our unhappiness at the lack of communication– the Manager has always seemed to want to help, and I know that some of the carers at the home do genuinely care. I’m sure that all of my concerns should have been logged on Mums’ file – and I want to ensure that going forward, this will happen

    Deborah – if we don’t feel that the meeting goes well, I intend to put it all in writing in a more formal complaint. Thanks for the advice

    I’m also going to ring the doctor next week just to put my own mind at ease.

    Went in to see Mum today and she did seem OK – I felt her legs and they didn’t feel particularly hot and she was standing up alright.

    Libs

    Jennifer – hope your Mum is OK now – is she like my mum in that she will insist to anyone but family that she’s fine as she doesn’t want to be any trouble!?
     
  16. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    Oh yes! The carer said to her "you wouldn't tell me if you were in any pain. would you?" and she said "absolutely not!" I'm still waiting for a call - my concern (well one of my concerns) is that she's had another stroke, although Michelle (carer) said that she's fine apart from the leg. It is the leg that was damaged by the strokes before, but I suppose the weakness could be due to all sorts of things. Hopefully, she won't have to stay in hospital overnight.

    I'm glad to hear that your mother's leg seems to have calmed down.

    Jennifer
     
  17. Grandaughter 1

    Grandaughter 1 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2006
    141
    Hampshire
    I am so pleased that your Mum's leg doesn't appear to be serious.

    I hope the meeting goes well and the communication/care improves.:)

    Louise x
     
  18. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    Oh rats! Had a call - they're keeping her in overnight and she's currently waiting for x-rays (although they don't think anything's broken). Some mention of physio, but I doubt that'll continue. I spoke to her briefly and told her "cooperation" is the word of the day, but I doubt that'll do much good either. I've asked Michelle to make it as clear as she can that not only does she have short-term memory problems, she will try and walk on the leg, with the liklihood of falls, but again, I expect that will not be passed on, going on prevoous experience.

    Jennifer
     
  19. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    Libby, I'm feeling slightly guilty about my last post to you. The advice I gave was 'textbook' advice for the ideal situation. I.e Stick in a complaint and make them answer for their actions. But the circumstances for complainiing may not be ideal, and you must proceed carefully.

    I apologise for writing such a gung ho message. It is one thing to spread forthright advice around, but you are in the thick of this problem and you must choose the course which is right for you and for your future relations with the care home. That is the only way really, if you are otherwise satisfied with the home. If you are thinking of moving your relative anyway, then maybe a robust approach is still the best way to deal with the issue. I would have no qualms about suggesting the complaints route with public services. They are more geared up to handling them. Care homes are however,a different bag of cats. Even with all the 'standards ', registrations, and inspections to which they are submitted, they are still , in my opinion, pretty much a law unto themselves. I see them as a bit feral and prone to irrational and spiteful reactions like untrained polecats. Perhaps the best advice is to wear kid gloves.

    Hope this doesn't sound like pussy-footing!

    You are quite right to go for the meeting. Good luck.
     

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