Dealing with nursing homes

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Registered User
Feb 28, 2008
Macclesfield, Cheshire
Hi Margaret, I have worked permenantly in several care homes for the last 20 years, and also on agencies in many more. In My experience Id say most of them were pretty good BUT even in the BEST Ive worked at there have been issues with applying clients creams, and grumpy night staff who are cross at being "bothered" during the night. As a more senior member of staff I have had to deal with these issues and the only way to do it is to focus attention on them. Firstly write down your concerns in a letter to the care manager. Explain you are satisfied overall but these areas need attention. Then ask if there are any other complaints about night staff? Ask how often they recieve a night inspection from senior staff. Ask what is done for people wandering at night. Ask to read the previous night reports for your mum on the days you visit. TELL them you would like your own written record of how many nights your mum wanders, and what was done when it happened. TELL them what you want to happen if your mum wanders..."I would like mum to have a cup of tea and sit with staff for 10 minutes and then be returned to her room If she cant sleep could she please watch tv." If wandering is a problem every night ask for a referral to the GP.

Do a bit of detective work where the cream is concerned. Check the tubes to see if they are going down.Is the cream kept in her room where carers can get at it easily or in the meds cupboard where they have to ask for it? Actually, if it IS in mums room ask to have it locked up so carers HAVE to ask for it...the senior on the shift will know then how many times it has been asked for! Ask for a copy of the MARR sheet to be left in mums room for carers to sign when they apply cream. Is there a notice by her sink reminding carers to apply it and where to apply it? If not, make one. Ask if mum could initial a sheet to say she has had the cream.

Activity co-ordinators should be filling in care plans to say what they have done with a client. Ask to read it. It should not only say what mum did, but how she enjoyed/ didnt enjoy it, and any other comments made such as what she would like to do next time.

Basically, what youre going to do is intensify your focus and be a complete pain in the bum for a short while! Records can be falsified, but with your intense focus on the situation, you are telling them "I know something is going on here and I want something doing about it". They WILL react even if they think youre interferring! The care manager will also be REQUIRED to look into things for you, and if there is no improvement you should ask for a solution. Some carers, especially over worked ones,dont see creams, activities and wandering the same way you do, ie important! How many agency are on shifts? because they often arent told about creams.
I hope this helps you a bit and good luck. Oh and just a word of reassurance....this DOES happen in the very best, caring and loving homes so it is no way an indicator that mum isnt safe or happy.
All the best, Zoe xx

[Moderator note: for the full context of the thread wherein this post was located, please see

I have moved this advice to resources as an excellent example of how to tackle worries with relatives who are in a care home.

I'm going to close this thread and make it sticky. Please reply to the original thread and so this one does not lose focus and disappear in a mass of replies.

I can re-open this thread to add more examples as and when that seems sensible]
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