Do I Complain and How do I do it

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by kindheart, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. kindheart

    kindheart Registered User

    Jan 18, 2007
    39
    Hi everyone

    hope you can help,

    Mum suffers from AD VD I dont know which as I have had two diagnosis. Mum recently went into respite for four days this is only the second time in two years.

    When I collect her this monday I was told she had an accident (messed herself) and they had to bath her and that she had become aggressive with the staff in the following days.

    When we arrived home she was quite distressed, and took off all her clothes.

    I discovered that she did not have a bra on she had one vest one which was not hers ( mum likes two vest). She had a pad on and net nickers but not a proper pair of nickers on. All clothing was supplied for the complete four days.

    she has bruises on her right wrist, left upper arm and both legs just above her knees.

    It seems quite clear that they man handled her to bath her and I am not at all suprised she become aggresive with the staff.

    What should I do? I only care about mum and I do not intent to use this care home again for respite.
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Most likely it is a diagnosis of mixed dementia. My wife Jan had been diagnosed with both Alzheimer's and Vascular.

    People in care homes as residents or on respite often take exception to the staff doing pretty much anything. Can't blame that, as they may not appreciate just why they should not go here or there, or need a bath, or need toiletting - or need feeding, or medication.

    Before Jan had been at her care home, I didn't realise just how easily people bruise. Bruises don't necessarily mean rough treatment.

    People who have dementia can be strong, and the act of their twisting their own arm when someone has a light grip can in itself cause bruising.

    That does not make it less upsetting, and we should always seek more information of circumstances, but it happens.

    In your position I would ask to see the care home manager and ask for more information.
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,094
    Kent
    Hi Kindheart,

    It must have been so upsetting for you to see your mum in this state.

    It doesn`t however necessarily mean she has been mishandled. The bruises could have come from her struggling against being bathed or changed, or she could have knocked herself.
    The only way you will find out is to ask the home.

    The clothes situation is hard to handle. I remember seeing my mother without a bra and only a vest, for the first time. But think about it. If your mother has been struggling against being bathed and changed, it is much easier to put a vest on her, than a bra.

    These are big adjustments for you. Never be afraid to ask, if you have doubts about quality of care, but try to be ready to accept simple explanations.

    You look after yourself, Love Sylvia x
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Kindheart

    How upsetting for you to see your Mum in that state. It's not surprising you are upset, we none of us like to think our loved ones are being mistreated.

    I agree with the others, your first step is to see the Manager of the NH and ask (calmly) for an explanation. As Bruce says, until you have this, you don't know if the bruising was accidental.

    Love and hugs,
     
  5. kindheart

    kindheart Registered User

    Jan 18, 2007
    39
    Thanks everyone

    Thanks for your comments and it has given me something to think about.

    I think I will definately arrange a meeting with the care home manger to voice my concerns.

    I do not like to think that mum was a victim of abuse and I dont believe this is the case.

    Mum is also Italian and sometime in stressfull situations reverts to italian.

    I have had exeprience of mum having accidents at home, she feels hugely embrassed and tries to hide the from everyone. Having an accident in a care home without me there knowing how to coax her into the bath etc I just think they didnt take enough time with her to deal with the situation as I would of done. I realise that they cannot possibily know all the things I know about mum and just were a little rough with her.

    I cannot see at the moment how on earth I will be able to arrange respite again in the future either at this care home or any other.

    Mum as been difficult all week and keeps telling me about the bruises in her way, that they did it. She as been off with the carers that come into the home as well, at the moment I dont think the four days respite was worth it.

    Thanks everyone
     
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,094
    Kent
    Hi Kindheart,

    There is no way anyone is going to know your mother as well as you.

    If she were in full time care, they may get a chance to learn more about her, but during a few day`s respite it`s unlikely.

    In addition to that is the cultural difference. I have this with my husband who, although he`s lived in the UK for over 50 years, is now clinging to his roots more than ever. I think this may be because his long term memory is clearer than his short term memory.

    Try to get to the bottom of it with the home. You will surely need respite again, and if you can get a satisfactory explanation, it will help you for next time.

    Love Sylvia x
     
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Kindheart

    I can understand that you feel you won't be able to have respite again. It's so worrying when you have cared for someone for a long time, to trust them to strangers, and even worse when you feel they have been mistreated.

    I agree with Sylvia, you have to try to sort things out with the NH, otherwise you will never have the confidence to do it again. I think the language difficulty may have had something to do with it, particularly as you say your mum would have been distressed and embarrased at the time. She possibly didn't understand what they were trying to do, and was resisting, while they were just trying to clean her up.

    Distressing for all concerned, but I'm sure you can sort things out.

    Love,
     
  8. soulsmilin

    soulsmilin Registered User

    Feb 13, 2007
    43
    Tyne and wear
    hi kindheart,

    Usually at every care home one person is put in charge as care worker for each client, this is usually the person that is going to be working closest or at work with them for the next couple of days, might be worth asking to involve this person when you meet the manager.

    Might be worth also, writting out a bit about your mum such as A4, stating what likes, foods, and ways to encourage or behaviour tendencies, running through this gives insite on hand for any worker that may not be aware how your mum usually reacts,

    soulsmilin
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,094
    Kent
    What a useful tip soulsmilin, I`ll bear that in mind for future reference. Thank you. Sylvia x
     
  10. ginger

    ginger Registered User

    Nov 13, 2005
    21
    NE Lincs
    I agree if the NH are made aware of problems with bathing or other care needs it may help, I did this for my mother. My mother was always very particular the way she dressed had her hair. On my first visit to see after she was admitted to nurising home I noticed that she had no bra on and her hair was parted through the middle. I went to speak to the Home manager and asked if they could ensure she wore a bra, and that her hair was brushed the way she liked it. If this is written into her care plan all staff are aware. Bruising can be caused through the skin becoming thinner = ask the staff what happened , this will settle your mind. If you are not happy with anything concerning your mother's care ask questions. A good NH will not mind your questions.
    Take Care
     
  11. EllieS

    EllieS Registered User

    Aug 23, 2005
    170
    SOMERSET
    Hello Kindheart

    Although I wouldn't want to disagree with the advice people have given I must say that I would be very very angry if my Mum had bruises that could not be accounted for.

    Staff in Nursing Homes are supposed to be trained to handle these situations aren't they? If they'd had a problem bathing your Mum which resulted in the bruising it would have been good if they'd told you wouldn't it?

    Would it perhaps be an idea to ask her GP or District Nurse to have a look at them - she may well confirm what everyone is suggesting. But however you look at it, it's surely a good thing for the professionals to be aware - IF there is any possibility of abuse, it's important that the right action is taken - after all the NHome has other full time residents and we don't always check our parents out all over do we, and their memories and conditions are often such that they wouldn't mention anything to us.

    They are so very vulnerable we owe it to them to be open and honest with our concerns even if it means looking stupid or paranoid.

    That's what I think anyway.

    While visiting Mum a few weeks ago I noticed one of the residents with extremly bad bruising on the front of her face with a very nasty cut on her nose - I wanted to ask how it had happened but it wasn't my Mum so I backed off! It did worry me though and maybe I should have enquired further.........

    Ellie
     
  12. kindheart

    kindheart Registered User

    Jan 18, 2007
    39
    thanks again all for your coments

    there is some sound advice here and some things I shall indeed be taking on board to ensure if mum goes into respite again this will never happen again.

    However I will just mention that two years ago when mum was in hospital for assement she once again had bruises on her wrists when I asked her how they happened (she was a bit clearer then in answering questions) she said another patient had done them. I did point this out to the staff who were not overly concern with them, again I did not like the staff's attitude at all but did not take it further.

    I just feel that my mum deserve better treatment, after all if it was one of their parents they would not like it one little bit if they came home from a stint in hospital, respite etc with bruises.

    I do not believe there is any excuse what so ever for bruise a patient, my mum is gentle, sweet and very afriad when confronted with strangers.

    I believe this is my fault as I should not have entrusted my mums care to anyone else as they do not appear to have her best interests at heart but just to do a job.

    I am feeling very ashamed, that I opened my mum up to such a situation.

    Today after we got dressed I come down stairs to find her in tears, she grabbed my hand and asked if I was going to leave her, she obvously had a very nasty experience made worse by the dementure and she is too vuanable to be able to cope with it.
     
  13. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    Please try not to blame yourself for this happening. It is not your fault. It would be very difficult to find out how the bruises were caused. If your mum had been mistreated in some way then no one is likely to own up to it so you can never know for sure. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't ask the question, however. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You obviously care about your mum immensely and she is lucky to have you.

    Brenda
     
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Kindheart

    Please don't feel like this. You love your mum, and have done the best you can for her. All you can do now is try to find out how it happened, and also try to ensure that it doesn't happen again -- but there are never any guarantees.

    Once you have satisfied yourself as to what happened, you have to put this behind you. If you brood on this, you will make yourself ill, and then you won't be able to care for your mum.

    However the bruising happened, it wasn't your fault.

    Take care of yourself, and your mum.

    Love and hugs,
     
  15. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #16 Margarita, Feb 24, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
    I am sorry to read what an all full experience your mother had a respite; do you have a social worker? As that would have been mine first port of call in complaining if that happen to my mother,

    When my mother gets home from respite I find her more unsettle anyway even without what happen to your mother , so that’s what may be happening with your mother .

    Try not to let this put you of from having respite , as all home are not the same also you could ask if they have any bilingual speaking carers next time around as I find my mother really enjoyed her last respite , because they was a young carer that spoke Spanish to my mother as my mother seem to be reverting back to speaking her mother tongue Spanish , she does it a lot to my children without realizing it .

    I have to repeat my English in to Spanish for my mother to understand me and then sometime she still does not undertand me and I have to repeat it agina , so they could have been a lot of confusion with your mother and the carer trying to get your mother to understand them in getting her into the bath , but that is no excuses not in this day and age, so even if it gets you no where in complain to care manger as I am sure your never get the truth out of them , make sure social service for the elderly in your area get to know about it , for any future elderly people they may send they , so they don’t get treated like that . someone has to regulate theirs care home
     
  16. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    I agree with Brenda and Skye. Your mum is lucky to have a loving , concerned daughter who taakes a close interest in her care. You were not responsible for anything that happened to your mum. The home was. The homes are earning good money for 'looking after' our loved ones and they should do it with loving care. I do know that bruises can crop up very easily though, with frail skin and flesh, but you should certainly ask them to say how they occurred, without getting too accusatory, if that's possible. Don't be hard on yourself, youa re not to blame. You were trying to look after your mum AND yourself, and that is a very sensible thing to do. Love
     
  17. kindheart

    kindheart Registered User

    Jan 18, 2007
    39
    warm fussy feeling

    thanks again for all your support

    I am very grateful for this forum the advice and support cannot be measured in words.

    but I whilst I take on board all you have said about blame, guilt, responsibility etc.

    do you all remember that warm fuzzy feeling when you were little safe comfortable out of harms way etc, thats what my mum gave to me and thats all I want to give to mum, I do not think that is too much to ask.

    I needed a break I do not deny that my siblings are no support at all in fact to be trueful they are a complete hindrence and all they seem to be concerned about is how little it effects them and is the money safe.

    this is a shameful admission but it is trueful as I see it. I am not prefect and cannot continue to care for mum 24/7 without support from someway. I know this.

    If this had been one of my children I would feel the same way as i do now, except I would rip the arms off any one who hurt one of my babies, and mum is no different. just because she is an adult.

    or is she, this disease is so hideous that it takes away any adulthood my mum may of had. My mum was a stand up person and would never have allowed any thing to hurt her children.

    Now in her later years when she needs me I have failed her.

    Bruising of any kind on a child would be abuse in any language, however I do realise that her mature form makes things difficult but even so. All week the distress of this situation has been slowly surfacing crying ect.

    how can I in my right mind entrust my mum to services that just dont care enough. I would not entrust my child to a childminder who did not care enough!


    sorry to go on about this but this has really effected mum and therefore me

    really sorry to winge on
     
  18. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    There is nothing shameful in what you are saying. You cannot be expected co cope 24/7 without support. You have not failed your mum in any way whatsoever.

    It may be that the care she received was not as good as it should be and I can understand how it would shake your faith in 'the system'. My mum was not treated as well as she could have been when she broke her hip in the first home she was in. That is hard to come to terms with. However, that does not mean that there are not homes out there that will look after elderly people well. Many people on here praise the care their relatives receive.

    There is no need to apologise for anything on here. We are all here to help one another as best we can.

    Take care
    Brenda
     
  19. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    You aren't whinge-ing on. You are understandably hopping mad and very upset. However, you haven't failed your mum and I don't believe you ever will. There is a world of difference between bring up a bonny baby and trying to care for a person with dementia. The one grows wiser and stronger: the other declines. The task of supporting a person with dementia is a thousand times more challenging than bring up a baby, and you never knew what was going to be asked of you. None of us did, when we began to see how dementia advances.

    There is an equal responsibility which should be shared between the siblings, though in practice it rarely is. You have done far more than your equal share, so without actually going around and beating your sisters up, do try and think positively about yourself, and at least stop beating yourself up.
     

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