help i've upset the home

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by susan, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. susan

    susan Registered User

    Aug 18, 2003
    east sussex
    Dear All
    Got in from work tonight and there was a message to phone the manager of the nursing home!
    I contacted the care commision on Tuesday regarding my concerns over the pressure mattress my dad has as it keeps going flat and he ends up on wooden slats! i reported the problem Sunday and my husband sorted it out as the nurse had not got a clue! Went in thursday and it was flat again - asked the nurse to sort it out - how long it had been flat - who knows!!
    Without me knowing care commision visited Thursday - a friend also phoned them as her mum has had a fall and broke her hip - missed the chair when she went to sit down!
    Phoned the manager and got told that if i was not happy with his care that i should look for somewhere else!! -The care commision went in yesterday not just for me but for my friend as well - i feel i have created a real problem but in the long run i only want my dad cared for properly!
    I really am so angry the red wine will go down well tonight!!

    winger in top form! what do i do now!! Sue
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    First port of call has to be the care home manager.

    I'd try and arrange a meeting face to face with him, where you can explain the situation - that you saw the problem, reported it, sorted it, etc. Did you report it directly to the manager at any stage? - if not, then I'd recommend you do so in future.

    I'd suggest always going up the management chain in the home before going outside. Get as much in writing as you can in future - to the manager, and his reply. Then if nothing is done, escalate it.

    I have no knowledge of your particular circumstances. But, in my ignorance, I'd be inclined to do the following:

    If you are generally happy with the care provided by the home, then tell the manager that. Build up the positives. Pat him on the back a bit. Then say you were really concerned for your Dad because this particular problem wasn't addressed. I'd also say "sorry, I should have come to you first, but I was so worried... blah blah..will in future though I'm sure I won't need to...yadda yadda".

    If the home is generally not good, then mount a holding operation until you can re-locate him.

    This is a difficult situation and one that I think we who have relatives in care homes always think we may face.

    I make sure I talk to the manager of Jan's home at least a couple of times a week to build a closer working relationship. I point out shortcomings all the time, but because of our working relationship, she knows that I mean it for everyone's best.

    Good luck!

    And enjoy the wine. These things are rarely as bad as we think they are. [the situation, not the wine!]
  3. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Brucie,

    I agree that the Care Home Manager should be informed initially. But - do you agree that the Manager's response is correct? If I was a Manager of a Care Home, then I think I just might be a little more inclined to listen to the problems and at least attempt to resolve them amicably before I started on the defensive and asking for patients to be removed.

  4. susan

    susan Registered User

    Aug 18, 2003
    east sussex
    Dear Brucie and Jude
    Have over the past year raised concerns over several issues with the care manager and she has limited english and is very defensive -maybe i didn't make myself clear - angry/ upset when i posted - but she has assumed we have complained as the care commision went in anonymously and 3 people have put in complaints. They were inspected 1 month ago and everything was tickety boo with lots of staff.
    Apparently my dad's pressure matress should be alarmed and it's not so when it goes flat no-one knows!
    I have met with this manager several times and all is resolved and then goes awoll again - really don't know what to do - i can't visit daily, but worry when i don't go in.
    Why she was so nasty to-night i don't know but tried to point out that i only want dad comfortable - why do they make things so difficult? Sue
  5. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Sue,

    The Manager is probably feeling pretty snappy after being reprimanded on 3 separate issues. If you have spoken to her and still are getting no ongoing results, then you have every reason to complain.

    Stick with it.

  6. susan

    susan Registered User

    Aug 18, 2003
    east sussex
    Dear Jude
    My biggest concern is dad - what if the staff have also been snapped at by the manager - i hope to god that they are not nasty to him. My mum and sister are going to visit tomorrow - i am staying out the way - sad situation but i don't want to escalate things further. Mum and sis are also concerned at what is going on.
    I have to meet on Monday with manager - just hope i can hold it together - sis is coming with me - also trying to contact social worker - but her phone is always engaged.
    Why do i feel guilty - i am only trying to help dad - if only i could bring him home - but i have no room and mum will just not cope.
  7. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    #7 Kriss, Nov 5, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2004
    Do not feel guilty Sue - you are your Dads voice - and he's the only one you owe anything to.

    Sounds like you tried to deal with it through the right channels and the manager wouldn't have reacted in that way unless HE had something to feel guilty about!

    I'd be worried sick for him as well - do you have a positive relationship with any of the other staff? If not then I'd be looking to move despite the trauma of the upheaval.

    I'd be tempted to put something in writing to the manager stating the shortcomings. Make sure you include the positive blah blah bits that Bruce referred to as well, and then finish with a veiled threat that if the level of care Dad receives should fall short of the standards that can be reasonably expected, having made him aware of the problems, that he/the home would be liable.

    Ok - maybe I'll edit that bit later and tone it down but I am angry for you!

    I think you really do need to make a formal statement if you have any hope of rescuing the situation. The air needs clearing and I guess you have to make a judgement of what tone to apply.

    Who does the "manager" report to?

  8. susan

    susan Registered User

    Aug 18, 2003
    east sussex
    Dear Kriss
    Thank you for that i needed someone other than hubby to say i was doing the right thing - i really feel down to night - i have kept a diary of what has happened over the past year - the pressure mattress being the main issue - i still feel 'what have i done' but what else could i do!
    I am speaking to care commision on Monday to see what they have to say about their visit - unfortunately when you need them they are out the office, mind it was 4.30pm after i had finished work.
    i will put everthing in writing to the owners of the home, but it has just changed hands - no we were not informed - just found out from a carer.
    The carers are lovely except they are restricted to what they can do - one that just left said 'watch things carefully'!!!
    He was one of the last english speaking ones in the home - the other one will be leaving shortly, as she is pregnant. - oh that sounds almost racist - but we find it so difficult to communicate with them - this i raised with the care commision'

    Brucie - have just got chair for dad - thank you for your help in a previous posting.
    Thank you Sue
  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hello Sue

    My first reply was obviously based on minimal information, so here's a second one.

    For me, the prime thing is to assure the accommodation for the person with Alzheimer's, even if, in the short term, there are things that are not as they should be. To find your Dad out of the present home with no-where else to go would be stressful, at the least.

    Hence my comments about working through the hierarchy of the home management structure as a first stage.

    You have done that. I appreciate your comments about the difficulties of working with a manager whose first language is not English. They naturally feel disadvantaged and possibly pressured and will always be on the defensive about the language, let alone any shortcomings in care. Some such folks turn the whole thing around and become aggressive and unhelpful. Some will just be in it for the money - this applies to anyone i the position. There are good ones, there are bad ones of all varieties.

    In Jan's home there is a good mixture of staff. Many English, many from the Philippines, many from Africa. The filipinos and African ones are particularly good because of their traditional family supporting values. The others are there because they want to be - and that is as good.

    All very good, but language can be a problem with the best of them [and that includes the native English speakers!] as they have so much to do, so many responsibilities. Building a good relationship with all of them helps immensely, so I do that. I'm not slow in telling them when something is wrong and as they know the level of care I give to Jan myself, they accept that as constructive.

    The manager is English and helpful, and that is so important. Her line manager supports her - and me - which is doubly good.

    If you have tried to get through the proper channels and that has done no good, then there seem to be a couple of options. Move your Dad, or put up with it, while trying to improve things.

    Your ability to move him will depend on your funding regime, the availability of alternative homes within a sensible distance, etc.

    It may be good to review what would be your emergency plan if the home asked you to remove Dad.

    Try to cover all angles, but the prime thing is to ensure that Dad is safe under whatever circumstances.

    Best wishes
  10. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Bruce is quite right ,ensure that Dad is alright,that's the first priority.
    Then please do not let these people off scott free,explore all avenues of complaint and make sure that full publicity is obtained.
    Keep us posted
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Dear Sue, is it not possible to get them to replace the matress with one that works? Hang on in there, hope the meeting on Monday is not too fraught. Love She. XX
  12. susan

    susan Registered User

    Aug 18, 2003
    east sussex
    Dear all
    Thank you for your replies- today delivered dad a therapy chair - found his bed with a mattress and a pressure mattress on his bed which takes away the protection of the cot sides - he will manage to roll out of it - i am now really upset as i specifically said to the manager that he could not have both on his bed and she is not around at week ends. A nurse that has just left told us a month ago that the bed is dangerous for dad with both on it.
    i did not see this my husband and son delivered the chair - but now i really don't know what to do - do i go in tomorrow and raise my concerns again or leave it to Monday and speak with the manager.
    As for an alternative home we only have a choice of 2 in a 20 mile radius - this one is 10 miles away from mum - the other one is awful!! they all seem doped up.
    We are looking at having him reassessed as his physical needs are greater than his mental needs - but if we are being funded SS will tell us where to go and we can not choose - it may end up worse than we are at present!!
    I really don't know what to do for the best at the moment, my mind is in turmoil and i don't want to rock the boat until i hear from the care commision - i am still angry that the manager has presumed it us that has complained, when i know others have as well and she has not spoken to them like this.
    If i could get him out i would but his nursing needs are so great it is not possible - my house is not suitable as we have not got the space - i would dearly love it and mum is too depressed with life to cope with him back home!!
    oh b..... why can't a fairy god mother land or i win the lottery!!!!
    wishful thinking thank you all sue.
  13. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    Hello Sue

    I feel so much for you - I have been literally worried sick in the past too.

    when you said 2 homes in 20 mile radius was that homes offering demenita care? If so & your Dads changed needs mean a general nursign home may be better for him - maybe you would have more choice now?

    I moved Mum from an EMI home to general nursing after she became immobile & very withdrawn - I felt the hectic atmosphere , shouting etc that sometimes occurred & in particular the noise in the dining room - like a school canteen only worse - was all detrimental to her. So glad I did that now - at the time I felt awful - no tknowing if it would work out OK.

    Now Mums nursign needs are greater - not obviously so - but hte attention to detail in new home give me so much confidence in them - the constant observation of skin colour to watch for sores developing etc etc Theres still not enough stimulation etc but at least Mum is as comfortable as possible.

    I had similar experience too with Inspectorate jumping in when i had reported sometjhign in confidnece - jsut wanted them to know - didnt want Home to get away with it - but didnt want Inspectorate to act - obviously 'confidential' had a differnet meaning to them - even when they did not disclose my name since I was only person ot have certain knowledge it was oblvious it was me that leaked the story !!!

    Are you near an Alzheimer's Society Branch ? sometimes ther is someone who can accompany you on visits for moral support . Also Crossroads or Age Concern or similar offer advocacy service in some areas. That would provide someone who could speak on your behalf, it just makes it easier as tney are not so emotionally invovled.
    Hope things are better for you soon.
  14. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    What a totally appalling situation to know that one cannot make a valid complaint without fear of reprisals to loved ones. I must be missing the point, but I quite thought that Care Homes, meant exactly that.

  15. susan

    susan Registered User

    Aug 18, 2003
    east sussex
    Dear Chris and Jude
    Firstly i agree with Jude 'care home means caring and not inflicting pain on someone that can not express themselves any more and secondly why i am feeling guilty for the homes inadequecies - i did not visit today as i really have only just calmed down and i also have a huge pressure of work to get my head round for the coming week - no doubt marking late til to night.
    I am going tomorrow and mum is going as well she seems a lot better just hopr the manager does not get to her before i arrive - i pick her up when i have finished work.
    Chris - isn't sad that with all the emotions and stress that we have to battle our way through more due to our decision to place loved ones in care and that was the saddest day of our lives then- i really wonder if it were possible to care for him at home- sadly whether it be in a home or at home the stresses and frustration of the circumstances never goes away - the worry of if the am i doing the right thing - the dad i have lost - but the ultimate thing is 'I WANT HIM COMFORTABLE AND CARED FOR !!!
    rambling - sorry
    Just hoping that he is ok and will speak tomorrow after i have spoken to the care commision tomorrow and visited love to all for better day tomorrow!! Sue
  16. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Susan, sorry to have no helpful solutions, but just wanted to say I feel for you. I will add you to my list for prayers, Connie
  17. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Susan,

    Very best of luck for your meeting today. Will be thinking of you.

  18. frazer

    frazer Registered User

    Sep 9, 2004
    care plan

    Dear Susan, this may have been covered, but have you agreed a care plan with the home - detailing what you want carried out for your Dad - we did this in detail, including likes & dislikes, stimulus, hygene, etc. We "negotiated" this with the matron when dad first went in. This may work for you.
    Having said that, sadly our relationship with the home broke down and two weeks ago they gave my dad 2 weeks notice out of the blue. I dont mean to frighten you, but this is the reality. A week or two earlier, when we had asked for a simple attention to be given, we were crisply informed that the home was a business. We are now in a desparate position, constant harassement from the home to remove dad, but nowhere to take him. The matron has put the word out to other homes and we are getting refusals. Lesson: make sure you control the timescale if you need to move your dad. The system is stinks, we are the real carers, and one day ww will rise uo and overthrow the system.
  19. Shakey1961a

    Shakey1961a Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Why oh why oh why do care homes seem to exploit the elderly?

    I have had cause to contact the CSCI on more than one occasion when my mother's pad was full and overflowing and making her clothes wet. everyone else had been taken to the toilet but they left mum till last, in fact they forgot about her. She has only just been treated for "Nappy Rash".

    Also my mum was given her main meal in a desert bowl. I told the home that mum had a normal appetite, and on a normal dinner plate it looks more. She has even eaten seconds on many occasion. How daft can you get?

    Care homes seem to just like to make a quick "buck" and don't care about the residents. The one mum's at even has the lounge left unattended with a TV going all the time and there have been a few falls by residents who have been wearing just socks on a wooden parquet floor.

    It's diabolical!!!
  20. susan

    susan Registered User

    Aug 18, 2003
    east sussex
    Dear all
    Life goes on!!!
    The manager of the home who did a brilliant job of upsetting me for the week-end has gone on a weeks leave?? After requesting a meeting with me today!!! How convienent!
    Went to see dad -he was on an pressure mattress with 2 mattresses underneath of which neither fitted the bed - they were 2.6 mattresses on a 3ft bed! Yes he had wriggled himself to the side where there was no mattress and the new!!! pressure mattress was not working at the top half - god help us.
    Have not got hold of care commission today - she was on another visit and i had limited time in between lessons - will try again tomorrow.
    Dad looks really comfy in his chair - had to get him out of bed to sort the pressure mattress.

    Frazer - his care plan is in full detail - i can not fault them for that - and bar the bed problem and making sure he gets all the relevant treatment for his psoriasis, they tend to run out of the prescription creams and head shampoos. all is ok. It is the continuing checking up is draining on top of looking after mum and work.

    Thank you Jude and Connie for your thoughts - just wished the meeting had happened.

    I feel very let down tonight as i thought it would all be sorted -wishful thinking - i should know by now that they wouldn't make it that easy!!
    Thank you all love sue

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