Contact with Medical/social services when in care home

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by windyridge, May 30, 2009.

  1. windyridge

    windyridge Registered User

    Apr 7, 2009
    12
    UK
    Hello

    mum has recently moved into a care home after a period of months when we tried all other living arrangements we could think of to cope with her alzheimers, none of which worked. She is not settling well and it is so hard trying to keep some perspective on what is possible, and what is the best place for her. One extra worry at the moment is that we now dont seem to get any information and views from external agencies and professionals. Moving to a care home means a new GP but he or she has not contacted us to let us know how things are. The consultant (a different one to the one we had before) has been in and taken of off aricept, but we dont know why. Her current MMSE score has not been communicated to us. There is now no contact with any social worker or community mental health team. Its like being cut adrift as though now she is safely stored away out of the community in a home there is not need to bother any more. Who should be contacting us re assessments and evaluations? shouldnt the change in drug regime (which seems to involve more tranquilisers) have been discussed with family members?
     
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    I would say yes it should of been discuseed with the family. Even thought I have not experience of mum being in a care home environment permanently.

    I am sure someone will pop in soon with suggestions on what to do .

    Its good to read that your mother settling in the home .
     
  3. loveactually

    loveactually Registered User

    May 30, 2009
    8
    Banstead, Surrey
    Snap!

    I had exactly that experience when my mum was transferred to a care home, there was a definite feeling that there was a collective sigh of relief from the psychiatric team caring for her! My mum has vascular dementia, so I can't comment on your specific problems, but over the last 3 years, I have found that the people who shout loudest get the best results. Get the Manager of the care home on your side, ask his/her advice. The next of kin has a right to be told about all treatment, medication etc., and if you're not being told, you need to raise it with the GP - I'm guessing it's a GP assigned to the care home? If so, ask to speak to him/her, ask to speak to the Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) assigned to you. The two things that seem to get a reaction are putting things in writing and mentioning that you don't want to make a complaint, but you wonder if you should because of what's happening. I know this may seem extreme, but it does work. I hate complaining, but I've learned over the last 3 years how to get a result in this situation! Making fuss will NOT disadvantage your relative, but it will just bring you higher up the list of priorities. Hope this helps.
     
  4. windyridge

    windyridge Registered User

    Apr 7, 2009
    12
    UK
    Thanks for that, loveactually, and for the advice to keep on asking questions!

    We have been given to understand that now she is (parked) in a care home there is not longer any involvement of the CPN, which I guess would mean we could not contact her. (She did see mum when she was first transfered into the home, but not since - an added complication is that it is in a different NHS area and local authority....)

    I guess we should start by calling the GP and asking about the rationale for the change of drug regime...

    Thanks again! Is your mother happy now in her care home?

    Windyridge
     
  5. DIL

    DIL Registered User

    May 30, 2009
    93
    Hi.

    My MIL is in a secure psych. geriatric unit at present. She has rapidly deteriorating vascular dementia.

    Things came to a head when her husband (main carer) had a stroke recently, we tried caring for her here, then respite care but unfortunately after she assaulted a nurse she was eventually sectioned.

    I understand exactly your frustration, the community team were excellent at keeping in touch and keeping us informed, and were very supportive. Since she has been in the home I do feel a bit "adrift".

    The residential home never contact me, though have said they are happy for me to contact them. Which I do regularly, with varying degrees of success. It depends who you speak to, but you have to remember that they are busy actually caring for the residents and can't always spend too long on the phone.

    The best thing to do, I've found is to get the names of one or two of the staff who work with her directly, and ask for them directly when telephoning. Ask specific questions, "How did Mum sleep last night?", "What meds is she currently taking?" rather than a general "How is she today?"

    You can also make an appointment with her GP at any time. But its probably down to YOU to ask THEM. Tell them if you don't feel that you are involved enough in their decisions. Hard , I know, but you do have the right to be informed.

    There should be a Care Manager who works for the home assigned to your Mum and this is your (social care) point of contact now rather than the Community team, who won't become involved until (unless) they start to consider discharge or moving on elsewhere. In my experience however, they seem to do little until things are medically stable. (We are not at that point yet.)

    Hope some of this helps. It may be different with different health authorities, but I recognise how you are feeling and thought I'd let you know how I've tried to deal with it.

    I hope that your Mum settles well, its a difficult time.
     
  6. JPG1

    JPG1 Account Closed

    Jul 16, 2008
    3,396
    Hello Windyridge

    Without knowing exactly when and how your Mum moved to the care home, or where you live in the UK, all I can do is tell you what happened with us:

    Once the care home became the only option, I was told not to cancel the tenancy agreement at the sheltered housing for at least 6 weeks, because the Social Worker said there had to be a review after the first 6 weeks in the care home. (Sounded slightly odd to me, because it was by then obvious that the sheltered housing was out of the question any way – but I paid for the following 6 weeks anyway. And when I asked the SW about reasons, she said that if I did close the tenancy, I could be seen to have made someone homeless!) That review was to see if things were working out in the care home.

    So I would have thought that – if a SW was involved in the original placement of your Mum into care home, then a SW should still be involved at least until that first 6 week review has taken place. They do vanish into the mist after that though. And if your Mum is now in a different local authority area, then it will be a different ballgame altogether, with a different SW/SS team, of course. Ask the Care Home manager when the review normally takes place, and who arranges it, who attends etc.

    As for the change in medication: if it was changed by a Consultant, then you could contact that consultant to discuss the reasons. And ask him/her to keep you informed. Or the GP may be able to explain and/or put you in touch with Consultant.

    The care home manager should give you the names of whichever staff are the ‘named carers/Keyworker/named nurse’ charged with looking after your Mum. And the manager should give you the details of whoever carried out the latest MMSE too. It may have been the Consultant who changed the meds, or it may have been the GP. Who knows?

    Did the Care Home give you their ‘guide to the care home’ – with details of all the services/activities/contacts in/for the care home? If not, it would be worth asking for a copy.

    As DIL suggested, you should contact the new GP (who may be seeing all the residents in the care home) – he/she may be only too pleased to have your input as well, especially as the new GP will know little of your Mum’s history, other than the paperwork.

    I think you’ll probably find that the Mental Health team will be in the background now – only coming forward if there are problems the care home can’t handle, or if your Mum needs specialist input.

    Hope things work out well for your Mum.

    .
     

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