Help any advise please really worried

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by CJK, May 13, 2008.

  1. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    My mum has been in a care home since Feb 26th she has now been in hospital five times due to falls/being pushed over (they are not sure which as no one is around when shes either falls or is pushed over, she has scratches on her neck and body sometimes and hospital say it looks like she has been in a fight)she has also had four other episodes where she hasn't been sent to hospital but has cuts and bruises. Its now becoming really stressfull at home coz as soon as the phone goes we are awaiting to see if we have to go to the hospital again where we stay all night sometimes until they find a ward for mum or send her back to the home (she hates hospitals due to spending a lengthy stay in one when she was younger). I feel so sorry for mum we had cared for her for last 5 years then she went into a home which seemed really nice I thought she would be safe there but she is losing weight, is covered in bruises due to these incidents and she seems completly out of it now. Can anyone give me any advise I have seen the management at the home and they say they can't follow her everywhere and these things happen but I feel really awefull everytime I see her.
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,592
    Kent
    I find that an unacceptable excuse. Your mother is not being cared for as she should be. the home is being paid to care for her and it is failing in it`s duty.

    I would write a formal complaint to the management of the home and to the CSCI.
    Either the staffing ratio is totally inadequate or the staff are inadequate, one or the other.

    Five falls plus scratches in three months is not good enough. Your mother deserves better.
     
  3. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    I agree with Sylvia, it is not an acceptable excuse and I too would suggest writing a letter of complaint to whomever you can. Too often I have seen patients in homes ending up being stuck in bed because a 'fall' has caused hip breakage...horribly I suspect that sometimes the homes prefer this as a patient stuck in a bed is easier to manage.
    Your mother has a right to safety. The problem is the home may claim that she is unsafe to walk and will then set about restricting her to beds and chairs...if it truly does seem to be more likely that its not her falling and in fact she is being pushed or hit by other patients (and this does often happen - there used to be a lady who would slap my Dad)...then I would advise asking the hospital to put in writing their observations, so that the home can't go down this track.
    If it turns out that she is falling often...(we never could tell with Dad) and the home starts to restrict her mobility, then the only solution I can offer is what I used to do, is to make sure you go in and take her for walks...I even used to time my walks with Dad to ensure he had at least a 30 minute walk a day...
    Again though this may not be possible depending on your circumstances and how much time you have to be able to visit...
    Whatever the case, your poor mum and poor you...my heart goes out to you both..I remember too wel how distressing it was to find that Dad had had a fall.
    Which reminds me...see if you can determine if there is a pattern occurring as to when these falls happen, it could be pinned down to a certain shift, refer my poem about a certain staff member at my Dad's home who always seemed to be on duty when Dad had his falls, mainly because I think she used to get him up walking, but never bother to sit hum down again, and he wasn't able to sit down without help, so I think he used to just eventually fall down: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkingpoint/discuss/showthread.php?t=2080
     
  4. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    I am just writing a letter to the management to see what they say I don't want to complain about the staff as they are really nice but am going to say I think they must be really understaffed (thats what one of the workers told me anyway)I don't really want to move her as this is her third home (two were respite) as she will be even more confused, I just feel really rotten she has suffered from cancer twice had an abusive marriage and now ended up in a nursing home not a great life really.
     
  5. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    #5 jc141265, May 13, 2008
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
    The other thing to check is her medication regime. If they are giving her drugs to calm her or help her sleep at the wrong time of day, this could be causing falls...I only suggest this as you commented that she is seeming more out of it as late...we found out after my Dad got out of the home he was living in that he was being given his calming drugs in the mornings so it was any wonder he seemed out of it all day. AND they were giving him these drugs without our permission and when we asked about whether they might be giving him sleeping drugs up front (as we were concerned about how out of it he seemed) they denied it up front (despite the fact that we would have been okay with it, if they had just told us). The paperwork however told us the truth.
     
  6. SHANDY

    SHANDY Registered User

    Jan 24, 2007
    26
    injuries

    we had the same with my mom, i have posted this before, last week i had a call from the home to say my mom has a fall and cut her head, i went to the home to find she had been cleaned up, and was having a late tea, she told me that she could't stop the stick from coming down on her, the following day she had a big black eye , all her face was bruised and a cut on her forehead, a resident of the home carries a walking stick and is known for hitting people with it. my dad took mom into see the manageress, and all she said was , you must make sure she has her walking frame as they can;t be behind her all day, pathetic excuse ,but what can we do? when we asked what had happened, the carers said they just found her bleeding on the floor - pathetic really.

    shandy
     
  7. Carolynlott

    Carolynlott Registered User

    Jan 1, 2007
    232
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    I really feel for all of you whose loved ones have been hit. My Dad has been hit, but he too has done some hitting. He became agressive in January and walloped residents and staff with his walking stick as well as the plaster cast on his arm (he broke his arm the second night in respite care). He calmed down with antipsychotics, which are only now being gradually withdrawn. He has a habit of irritating some of the others with his incessant talk of bank statements etc and tries to organise them as if he was still "in the office". This has resulted in nasty gashes on his arm and hand. Also Dad wanders a lot - as many do - up corridors, into any room that's not locked - into places where there is no supervision.

    It really is so difficult for the staff - a lot of the residents are like loose cannons - you just don't know when they will fire off. I have sat and watched for hours sometimes and the atmosphere can be very tense trying to gauge who might do what to whom. The only safe way would be a one to one staff ratio - but of course that's impossible. All you can hope is that they do their best, and of course everything is soon forgotten - my Dad had no idea how he got the gashes anyway.
     
  8. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    541
    Dear CJK

    My opinion is that no one could possibly know what is happening to your mum - it could be this, it could be that, it could be because of this or that!

    What is important is that someone is responsible for investigating what is happening and I suggest that is the Manager. I would suggest that you don't interpret what might be happening but take an active interest in what steps the Manager intends to take with regard to investigating this matter.

    I do hope it gets sorted because someone has a responsibility to find out what is causing this.

    Love and best wishes

    Helen
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    H CJK

    You're absolutely right to write to the manager and ask him/her to investigate.

    If your mum is being hit, this certainly needs to be investigated although to a certain extent I accept that the staff can't be everywhere, and these episodes can flare up with absolutely no warning.

    You should also be questioning the medication. If your mum is being tranquillised, you should have been informed and consulted.

    If neither of these is the case, you have to accept that some people with dementia do fall. The balance can go, and they can simply topple backwards like a tree falling.

    I've just posted that this has happened to John today, and I've seen it happen to others while I've been visiting.

    Is your mum in a residential home, rather than a nursing home? I can understand how upsetting it must be for your mum (and for you) to keep having to go to hospital. It might be that she now needs nursing care, where she could be treated in the home, unless concussion is suspected.

    Anyway, I think you're absolutely right to ask for an investigation, rather than go in with all guns blazing. It's so much better to have the staff on your side.

    Love,
     
  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Ooh, I am not sure who to reply to or what to say. Mum had a complaint about another resident who moved into her room, there is another resident who threatens physical attack with her stick (or even her fist) though it hasn't happened yet. I marvelled the other day that there wasn't fisticuffs between two residents, neither of whom understood what was going on.

    With 3 or 4 (if you are lucky) staff on duty covering 3 floors, it isn't surprising that things are missed. Not sure what you do if your parent is threatened or injured as a result of another resident who has just as much need for care as yours does.

    Hmmm....

    Margaret
     
  11. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    I have completed a letter to management but haven't sent it yet as I am meeting the social worker who arranged for mum to go into care at her care home next Wednesday. The Social worker said he was called by the home but he was only told about the current accident resulting in mum going to hospital and was totally unware how many times this had happened before till I called him, he also said most homes were understaffed with homes only meeting the basic requirements needed. Will post a reply next week to say what happened, social worker is hopefull they will prepare an action plan but will wait and see if they will take more notice of him than me.
     
  12. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    update

    Sorry not been back for a while as had to visit my daughter down south, anyway met social worker and staff at home, we tried to find ways to solve problem, they are sending her to a fall clinic (not to late June this was earliest appointment) I suggested staff check her foot wear more often as often she has slippers sizes to big on her feet or one shoe and one sock, and asked if she could have Complan (those suppliment drinks) as she is not eating they said they would try. I think staff rely on relatives to go to the nursing home and help out due to short staffing (I try my best to visit but work full time and we also care for my housebound mother in law). I have written a letter to my MP to complain about staffing levels (The BBC have an article about dementia patients and staff and there is a call for a debate on this)so don't know if it will do any good. The staff try there best but I suppose its all about money to the people who run these homes, I just feel guilty whenever I see my mum now and just want to close my eyes so it all goes away, I expect other feel like this too.
     
  13. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    Up date

    Mum has been in hospital further 2 times since last thread and has also had a couple of incidents not requiring hospital. Some involved the other resident who has been attacking her, the home are now keeping the other resident on one to one as she has attacked others in home. Unfortunately due to the amount of times my mum has been attacked she is now so fragile she is falling over on her own accord. When we visited on Saturday she was unable to get up at all and didn't know who we were and couldn't communicate, the home are getting a doctor in to update her condition and see if she now needs residential nursing care, social worker not keen (Not sure if it because it costs more money or he is really concerned about her going to nursing care). I don't know what nursing care is, and what conditions they will be in so am quite scared.

    I just feel so terrible now, I wish I had never put her into care, I know it would have split the family (my husband said he would leave) and I would have had to leave work as well but anything would be better than the horrible guilt I am feeling right now everytime I look at mum, its almost unbareable.
     
  14. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    Sorry I thought I had written a post saying we found out mum was being attacked by another resident, she had told us she was but the home would not believe her until now when staff have seen a couple of incidents one being when other resident broke my mums nose a couple of weeks ago but now it has got to the point where mum has been injured so often it has really affected her so even though the home are dealing with other resident it is too late to help my mum.

    I hate the way she is suffering, I thought she would be safe and taken care of but shes not and I feel angry with the home and myself for putting there.
     
  15. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi CJK

    I think you are right to be angry with the. OK, some people with dementia can become aggressive, and can attack other residents, but it shouldn't happen more than once!

    There should have been adequate supervision, and if this was not possible, the person concerned should have been transferred to an EMI unit. Just my view, you understand.

    As it is, it sounds as if your mum does now need nursing care, and I think you should push for this. Yes, it does cost more, so SS will be reluctant if they are funding, but if your mum needs it, thay have to provide it.

    Don't be afraid of this. It means a higher staff ratio, and there should always be a qualified nurse on duty. It should also mean that patients will be frailer, so there is less chance of further attacks.

    And please don't feel angry at yourself. You acted for the best for your mum, and were not to know that she would not be properly cared for. None of this is your fault.

    Love,
     
  16. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    HOme have just informed me Mum is on her way to hospital again now due to problems with bowels (she has a stoma due to bowel cancer) then home said they are looking into reaccessing her (don't know when). After reading your post I have decided I will go for nursing for her if it is better for her, thanks for your post it has given me a bit of a push forward. Going to find out whats happening at hospital now so will post tomorrow.
     
  17. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I hope it's nothing too serious with your mum. It certainly sounds as if she needs nursing care.

    Let us know how she is,

    Love,
     
  18. CJK

    CJK Registered User

    Mar 28, 2008
    14
    liverpool
    Since last post mum cannot communicate and is immobile. Her arm is one huge bruise where hospital tried to take blood and her whole arm starting to swell. Its a dark black and mauve all over and looks really bad, she is also suffering with pressure sores. The care home say she cannot stay in the EMI residential ward any more and are waiting for the mental health nurse to re assess her next Wednesday. I had a look at the EMI nursing ward and I felt really sick the patients were shouting at each other and I was told they fight in the afternoons and mum if she starts walking again could well end up falling again and back in hospital. She is now so out of it she just sits in a chair staring ahead. she cant walk on her own and needs help with nearly everything. The head of the unit said she would be better in the general nursing unit if she is not mobile. Terrible thing to say but I am wishing she isin't mobile so she can go to general nursing as I think she would be worse in the EMI nursing she just needs some peace for what's left of her life.
     

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