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Carehome manager

skinnny

New member
May 5, 2020
9
I was wondering if anyone has had problems communicating with their carehome.
Yesterday I asked to speak to mum, as I'm trying to phone or see her about 2 a week. The nurse said the line was busy with another resident and they would phone me back. When the call did come through I was put through to the manager, who asked me if I was ok, I said fine I just wanted to speak to mum as it had been a little while. She said oh I thought it was only last week Thursday.
I said yes that's right but that I liked to speak to her 2 a week as she only been there about 6 weeks.
She then went on to explain that they only had 1 phone for 20 residents and no incoming line when in use. I said well I'll fit in with you, whenever its convient to which she replied she would get a member of staff to phone about 4pm, which never happened.
I know shes ok and settling in but I think communication is important and there phone system is really not my problem.
Am so frustrated but for the sake of mum I am holding my tongue.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,347
Kent
I think the care home is being quite reasonable if they only have one phone for 20 people @skinny if your mother needs to be escorted to the phone and other residents need attention.

If your mother is able to use a phone, would it be possible for you to provide her with a mobile phone and then you would be able to speak to her more frequently?

You know your mother is OK and settling in. We know care homes are under additional pressure because of the virus. There may be staff absences or illness and residents needing more attention than usual.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
465
The care home where my mum is ( also been there for a short time, less than six weeks after five weeks in hospital) are so busy, I don't know how they are managing. It's a home only for pwd so although they are trying to keep residents in their own rooms, many like my mum ignore that. But they only have one lounge open and the majority of residents are fed in their rooms. Normally, most people eat in the dining room and sit in one of the lounges.

So the staff are running round, in and out of rooms, taking temperatures several times a day, doing WhatsApp calls to family and trying to keep everyone happy! We have been asked only to phone between certain hours, avoiding their busiest times but it is still difficult to get through - I have to be persistent!

It's extra difficult for us as we have not had a tour of the home nor met the key members of staff but I just have to accept the situation.

Could you find out if there is a good time to phone when the staff are less busy or when the phone might be free? Avoiding meal times might help.
 

Jale

Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
462
Sorry but I don;t think they are being unreasonable - the home that mum is in has about 20 residents on each floor and there is only 1 line to each floor. I appreciate that it is frustrating but I think the homes are doing the very best they can under difficult circumstances, yes it would be nice to be able to contact our loved ones when we want to but we have to see things from the other side of the coin as the saying goes.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
766
Hi @skinny, welcome to the forum. I think it must be quite difficult at the moment in Care Homes, but they should have called you back if they had agreed to do so. I can understand your need to speak with Mum for peace of mind and there are some good suggestions. There are other supplementary ways of staying in touch with Mum and to let her know you are thinking of her, perhaps you could send her a letter or even card with a note inside and perhaps a photo or something she will connect with? It will probably be a lovely surprise for her and something she can re-read (and perhaps be novel each time). Just a thought. I hope you get to speak with Mum soon.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,276
I don't think the home is being unreasonable. I agree the lack of return call is annoying, but the home my mother-in-law was in was exactly the same with one phone line and numerous residents and that was well before the pandemic. I used to send personalized photos of family as postcards with a short script to my mother-in-law using the app Touchnote when we were away.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
635
Something I have noticed. My Mum (late stage mixed dementia) is in a chain-run care home. They send out emails to all relatives in all homes (residential and dementia) saying that you can phone to get updates on your relative, have skype calls etc.
The reality is a bit more pragmatic.

They are very busy. Mummy would struggle with a phone call let alone skype. If I get a senior member of staff, they can give me a good update. Others sometimes less so depending on how much they have seen her. To be fair, if she has a medical or other issue, they do phone me.
Homes are under a lot of pressure. To care for loved ones as this very difficult time and to offer relatives ways to get in touch. It is hard if you haven't seen the home and she hasn't been there long. Mummy has been at her home for a few years now and I know how they run and the fact that even at the best of times staffing is always an issue.
I try to phone once a week and send cards - one with a sound chip, where you programme a short message was particularly liked. Homes don;t always do communication very well but they are under pressure
 

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