Fall out of Care Home Window

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
Hello, I am fairly new to TP, I have posted a few comments and wanted to create my own thread as I am feeling desperate and don't know where to turn.
My Dad was diagnosed in 2017 with Vascular dementia and Alzheimer's, he has been living on his own and hascalways been fercely independent, the main support is from myself, sister and brother.
On 29th November had his first walkabout in the middle of the night, and one incident during the day when police were called and he was found 4 hours later.
For 3 weeks we took turns staying in his floor as he only has one bedroom.
The hearbreaking decision was made and he was admitted to CH for respite over Xmas.
It was already established by SS and care at review on 7th Jan that he was unmanageable and they couldn't meet his needs and a more permanent placement elsewhere was the next step.
I discussed taking him back home to stay with him in the interim but was 'advised by husband and family this wasn't a good idea.
To cut a long story short, he fell out of his first floor bedroom window of said CH on the 9th January and has been in hospital for 2 weeks with 2 fractured vertabrae broken sacrum and head injury, a safe guarding enquiry is underway, his symptoms of agitation, confusion and fear have increased tenfold in hospital, the plan is to transfer to another hospital to wait for social needs and discharge planning.
My question is, should i take him home during the interim and move in as I am terrified he may die in hospital. I love my Dad and have always been so close and would do anything for him, would I be doing the right thing by him or would it make things for him worse and add to his confusion, anxieties, I believe a hospital is not the right setting for someone living with Dementia. He is safe, he is being 1:1d with staff, he hates it and is constantly trying to 'escape' as he did in the care home. I dont believe any of his emotional needs are being met. I am a mental health nurse and feel I am letting him down and could be doing more.
Would this be a good idea in the short term??
It breaks my heart seeing him going downhill on a daily basis.
I've read a lot around TP and found it helpful, it thinks what's happened to Dad has been neglectful and it's heart breaking.
I would appreciate any support, advise and guidance very much as I am at the end of my tether. I am off sick at the moment. But feel that if I don't bring him home and look after him (hopefully short term) the guilt would make me sicker anyway??
 

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
Further to the above, he does have a package of care at home, whicj would have ro be reinstated, support workers 4 times per day, and other safeguards, sensors on his door and a GPS watch.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,007
Scotland
I think your heart is ruling your head which is understandable but probably not sustainable. With his level of disturbance he needs 1:1 care as you have pointed out. When do you sleep, shower, shop, rest if you take him home? Be very honest with yourself when making your decision. Stand outside looking in as if advising your dearest friend what to do. There are no easy answers with this illness but giving yourself a breakdown helps nobody.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,351
Kent
Hello @Anmarg

It is quite shocking no safety fixtures were on the windows of the care home but that doesn`t help now.

It will be dreadful for you to witness such a downturn in your dad but even so I would be very careful about any decision you make now.

Whatever safety measures you put in at home your dad will still need 24/7 care indefinitely and you know his dementia is progressive and today is the best he will be.

A hospital is not the best place for your dad I agree but his physical and mental health need sorting for now. meanwhile could you try to find a good care home which will meet his needs.
 

Juliematch

Registered User
Jun 24, 2017
129
What an awful time you are having. How on earth did he fall out of a window? I thought they had locks on them. In my opinion it would probably make things worse if you brought him home.I understand your thoughts.My dad is in hospital (waiting for a new care home)and I too thought about bringing him home until one could be found.His last home could not meet his needs. I quickly talked myself out of it as I know he’s deteriorated since I cared for him and I wouldn’t be able to cope. The guilt you feel is normal.We carers have guilt about all aspects of care of our loved ones. Just trying to do our best for them.Sometimes we just have to accept that it’s out of our hands. We know Hospital is not the place for dementia patients but at least they are cared for. Would your dad be safe at home?That is the main question and would you honestly cope. If you are already off sick then I think you know the answer. I now know I would feel out of my depth and it makes me sad as I to have a very close relationship with my dad. I hope things get better for you and your poor dad and keep posting as I’m sure others will be along to help you make your decision. Just remember you are very important for your dad and you need to get well.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
1,605
Sorry that you are going through this difficult time but I agree with others that taking your Dad home is not a good idea and will not guarantee his safety. From what you have previously posted he used force to break the window restricters in the care home, plus social services have deemed him to be unmanageable with a care package. He needs to be somewhere secure and although the hospital environment isn't good for those with dementia his medication will be reviewed and he will be safe.

Is your Dad deemed fit for discharge at the moment? As part of the discharge planning process you will be able to provide input with regards to where your Dad is moved to but as the police and social services are involved, and safeguarding investigations are continuing, I'm afraid that it won't be as simple as you saying that you want to take him home. There will need to be a 'best interests' decision based on what is best for your Dad's safety and well being. Your Dad wasn't safe at home due to his wandering, and you looking after him 24/7 when unwell isn't sustainable and will be unsettling for your Dad. You are not letting your Dad down, listen to what your husband and family are saying and concentrate on getting yourself better.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,300
South coast
I seem to remember that you said that he broke the locks on the window in order to escape. He is still trying to escape from the hospital. He will probably try and escape from your home too. What will stop him trying to break down the door or escaping through windows there? He wont be reasoned with and you wont be able to restrain him.

It is an awful thing that has happened and your reaction is completely understandable, but as marionq said - your heart is ruling your head. He needs 1:1 24/7 in a secure environment, and you cant provide that - however much you want to.
 

Splashing About

Registered User
Oct 20, 2019
373
I suspect your dads condition would cause him to try and escape from wherever he was so being at home with you would not give him solace. It would impact on you and your family and be difficult to resolve and more distressing for your father once he was moved again.

My feeling about my family being in care is that it allows me to be free to provide additional care and support rather than the impossible task of providing one to one as an individual. So I add to the care package. The care home becomes home. Don’t get me wrong it’s not ideal at all and I have had little sobs and difficult emotions on many an occasion but it’s the best in a bad situation I think.

It’s incredibly hard to deal with the emotions of wanting to make things right when at the basis of the problem is a disease which we cannot fix...we can only manage. Finding a home that is trained, staffed adequately, staff appear friendly and kind and provides a safe environment is your goal now. Both my family members have this sort of home. They are out there.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,277
North West
I love my Dad and have always been so close and would do anything for him
The ties that bind us @Anmarg. It is painful seeing your dad this way, and many on here will say the same thing. I think the others have all given you an honest answer and mine is the same, a care home is now the right time. I was the same in some rspects in wanting to keep mum at home and tried really hard, because I was thinking with my heart and trying to keep a promise I could no longer keep as @marionq has said.

Your dad sounds unmanageable in the home environment, and you probably have some insight of this as a mental health nurse. This whole episode has already made you unwell and taking your dad home will only impact on your wellbeing more in the long run as you encounter sleepless nights, prolonged agitation, attempts to wander, raised anxiety and paranoia, possible episodes of being combative and so on, not to mention trying to administer basic care needs. The other thing is it would involve more moves, which is unlikely to help.

The decision is yours to make, but your dad needs a place that can give him constant round the clock support and allow him to be who he is now with dementia and not who he was before. Care homes aren't perfect as @Splashing About mentioned, but they become a solution when managing someone at home, no matter how much you love them becomes unsustainable
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,833
London
I was watching Casualty yesterday, and I was shouting at the TV when Charlie brought Duffy home from the care home because he felt so guilty. I've seen a trailer for next week, and it's all going to come to a head. Yes that's TV but very close to the knuckle. Bringing someone home with such complex needs is nearly always a bad idea, and if just for the fact that you're only one person, and there is more staff in a hospital or care home setting. What will you do if he does exactly the same thing at home and tries to climb out of a window? Things don't magically get better in his own surroundings. He has already been deemed unmanageable, so what makes you think you can manage? Don't let misplaced guilt dictate your actions. Think with your head, not your heart.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
597
High Peak
I very much agree with the other posters and wanted to add this:

If you did take him home and something bad happened - a fall, escape, violence, whatever - how would you feel?

I'm guessing you'd never forgive yourself. So please don't do it. Your father needs a team of professionals to look after him now.
 

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
I think your heart is ruling your head which is understandable but probably not sustainable. With his level of disturbance he needs 1:1 care as you have pointed out. When do you sleep, shower, shop, rest if you take him home? Be very honest with yourself when making your decision. Stand outside looking in as if advising your dearest friend what to do. There are no easy answers with this illness but giving yourself a breakdown helps nobody.
Thank you#Maronq
I think your heart is ruling your head which is understandable but probably not sustainable. With his level of disturbance he needs 1:1 care as you have pointed out. When do you sleep, shower, shop, rest if you take him home? Be very honest with yourself when making your decision. Stand outside looking in as if advising your dearest friend what to do. There are no easy answers with this illness but giving yourself a breakdown helps nobody.
Thank you for your reply @marionq, It makes a
 

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
I wanted to reply to you all individually as I cannot thank you all enough for your replies and support.
I needed to hear all your collective experience and honesty. Seeing it in black and white, when you take the emotion out everyone one of you make perfect sense.
I know you are all right and due to the risks the decision may be taken out of my hands but doesn't hurt any less.
I to saw Casualty last night and wondered how that would play out.
I will spend my energy dealing with the meetings and Safeguarding processes and professionals and more importantly, a positive outcome for my poor Dad, a care home that can meet his needs, physical and emotionally. I will keep posting.

With much love and gratitude to each and every one of you. X
 

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
I think your heart is ruling your head which is understandable but probably not sustainable. With his level of disturbance he needs 1:1 care as you have pointed out. When do you sleep, shower, shop, rest if you take him home? Be very honest with yourself when making your decision. Stand outside looking in as if advising your dearest friend what to do. There are no easy answers with this illness but giving yourself a breakdown helps nobody.
Hello@Marionq, thank so much, what you say makes perfect sense.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,450
Dorset
I would like to add that with his history, you might well find that no care company would be prepared to take on a contract to provide care at home anyway.
His needs are such that residential care has to be your only option. You can still care for him by working towards the best result available for you all.
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,497
Oh my lovely, the answer is adamantly NO!
Your Dad would be trying to escape from wherever he is, you cannot be alert 24/7 or give him the care 24/7 he now requires.

Your Dads needs are beyond what you can provide now, your unconditional love & calm support are the best you can do.

please let the authorities sort this one out, try & step back your Dad is now safe & his pain can be managed in hospital.

Believe me I wanted to bring myDad home to die but caring for someone 24/7, the organisation alone is daunting... requiring two or more people to lift, specialised mattresses & beds, arranging nurses etc to administer licensed controlled drugs/ pain relief, O/T assessments & physio. Add to that incontinence issues, changing the bedding & washing it; preparing food etc .........realistically how can one person do all of that

I do understand the heartbreak of safeguarding issues, my Dad passed away & his is ongoing.

if I could give you one piece of advice it’s let the processes take place at their own speed & concentrate on being your Dads daughter. You have to grieve these changes & give yourself time to do so.

At last Dads as safe as he can be, it’s so horrid that you have all gone through this & im so sorry about what’s happened. But.. a little bit of me is thankful that this didn’t happen while you & your family were going above & beyond to help your Dad & advert the incoming crisis. Sadly something was going to happen at some point, that much was unavoidable.

my aged mother tried to get out of a moving car as she saw someone she wanted to speak to. Thank goodness she didn’t knock anyone over with the open door & forgot she had a seatbelt on! She has attacked her neighbours not just verbally but also physically !
Along with lots of other signs of cognitive decline we have had to act in her best interests; it’s hard to do but we had to remove my Dad from her care & place him in a care home. He passed away recently & with all the safeguarding issues I am only now slowly coming to terms logically with the whole mess.

so please be kind to yourself
Sending love & ((((((((((hugs))))))))))

I hope I haven’t spoke out of turn or upset you but I know how much that pull to care for your loved one tares at your insides 24/7; by letting you know you are not alone in this sort of experience might help a little
 

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
Dear @DesperateofDevon, in no way have you spoken out of turn.
I appreciate your honesty and support, I so needed that!
I cannot be more upset but the guidance and voices of experience on TP have helped me so much and will support me when I have a 'wobble' It is invaluable to know im not alone.
I wish you much love and support with all your on going issues, it sounds like you have really been dealing with an awful lot and I hope you are looking after yourself too.
Thank you again
 

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
I would like to add that with his history, you might well find that no care company would be prepared to take on a contract to provide care at home anyway.
His needs are such that residential care has to be your only option. You can still care for him by working towards the best result available for you all.
Thank you @Banjomansmate, you're words and support mean so much, I am overwhelmed by the responses, and you make a very good point.
Thanks again
 

Anmarg

Registered User
Apr 9, 2019
25
Hello everyone,
Further to my previous posts, we are having a further Safeguarding enquiry this morning to be given feedback after my dads fall out of care home window.
We have appointed a solicitor and am not sure whether he should be present at this meeting.
Could anybody advise please, I did ask the question and was told we would need to postpone so that the care home could decide whether to bring along their legal representation.
I am not sure what to do and would appreciate any guidance.
Many thanks
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
1,605
Speak to your solicitor to obtain advice from them as to whether you should attend the meeting without legal representation.