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MUM HAD SERIOUS FALL AT CARE HOME ...

Roman223

Registered User
Dec 29, 2020
262
0
Hello all. I wasn't sure where to post this. I've been off this site for a while having been very poorly with my own health and dealing with lots of difficult issues of my mother's. Since the last time I posted my mum has had 2 falls. Infact as I'm writing this she had a serious fall at the CH yesterday. I am still reeling with the event! I had a visit booked to see her. Only to be informed when I had arrived at the CH mum had had a fall. I was taken to the Dining room. My mum was lyjng on the floor crying out in pain. She had the fall at 11am and my visit was at 2pm! Yet no one had bothered contacting me to inform me .... 3 hrs she had been laying on the floor. She sustained a broken hip. She is in hospital as I'm writing this. Apparently no carers were in the dining room when my mum fell. I understand that the staff keep giving her diazepam to calm her before givjng her a shower and she had one just before the fall. Is this normal? Is this what happens to elderly people. Pop them a pill to calm them down and hope for the best. Apologies about the long winded post, but I am very concerned about my mum having had so many falls. Are the CH looking after her? Could this have been prevented? Is it the CQC I write to re: complaints sbout CH's? If anyone has any advice? Greatly appreciated.
 

Cazcaz

Registered User
Apr 3, 2021
282
0
I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. We had a similar experience in January this year. Mum went into a CH for 2 week respite. During her time there we raised several issues with the CH about her (lack of) care, they did nothing. On the day we went to collect her, she was brought to the door on foot and clearly in pain with a member of staff holding her arm, when we pointed out that she has a rollator in her room, they went and got it - why not let her use it? But more importantly she had a bruise on her forehead, when we asked about that we were told she had had a fall THE PREVIOUS DAY. Mum was in so much pain she ended up in hospital…..a (stable) fractured pelvis.

We have contacted the CQC but they don’t reply. Apparently they compile a list of issues reported to them for their next inspection visit. Total joke!
 

Roman223

Registered User
Dec 29, 2020
262
0
Thank you for your reply Cazcaz. How is your mum now? Did she have to have an operation? I think more needs to be done in Care Homes overall. I realise they are understaffed but there was not one carer/member of staff in the dining room when mum had her fall!!
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
4,321
0
Midlands
Its very distressing but stop and consider a few things.
Did you know she was prescribed diazipam to calm her? How often is she given it to enable a shower? Seems a bit of a sledgehammer.

Was she on the floor waiting for an ambulanc? What else could they have done ? Anything they could have done to ease her distress during that wait that they didnt? Unfortuately that ist an over long wait for an ambulance.

Not good that they didnt tell you of the fall earlier, but at least they held their hands up and admitted that it wasnt witnessed. Is it usual that residents are alone in a room?
 

Cazcaz

Registered User
Apr 3, 2021
282
0
Thank you for your reply Cazcaz. How is your mum now? Did she have to have an operation? I think more needs to be done in Care Homes overall. I realise they are understaffed but there was not one carer/member of staff in the dining room when mum had her fall!!
They couldnt operate on it. They/we just have to wait until it’s healed but as mum also has osteoporosis it’ll be a LONG wait. They hospital staff have been wonderful though and she has physio regularly so hopefully she can recover Ok. It hasn’t really affected her Alzheimer’s, she has a couple of confused days and apparently tried to get out of bed when she wasn’t allowed, so they made her bed around her tightly so she cant get out. Sounds awful but it’s really ok.

Shes now convalescing in a NHS supported CH as the doctors decided her mobility wasn’t good enough to go home (yet). But the staff at this CH are just wonderful, nothing is too much trouble, always happy to talk to us. She can now walk short distances with her rollator, so hopefully she can come home soon. 🤞
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,843
0
South coast
Falls are almost impossible to prevent. You can be stood right next to someone when they fall and not be able to stop it. As mobility decreases with dementia falls are, unfortunately, more likely. My mum had several falls in her care home - mostly she was no more than shaken, but on one occasion she broke her wrist and then, later on, she broke her hip. She wasnt taking any medication to calm her down, it was just that her mobility was in decline. My OH is also falling a lot. He is at home and I cant prevent falls here either. Both of them were referred to the falls clinic, but they could not suggest anything that would help. Both OH and mum are/were supposed to use a walking frame , but neither of them do/did, despite reminders, due to the conviction that they dont/didnt need them

Falls are really not easy to manage with dementia.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
800
0
Mum lived with me and was rarely out of my sight.

She was constantly falling - her record was 13 in a week.
I had exactly the same problem as @canary - she didn't use the frame, she didn't need the frame, she would put it neatly in the corner of the room and then lurch to the the chair (and fall over), she would drape her cardigan over the frame, then walk with it and trip over the cardigan, she would hold the frame back-to-front and refuse to be corrected,.... so many opportunties to fall. She would throw herself at the chair / bed from a few feet away, rather than get close, because she was afraid of falling, and she would always try to rush.
Absolutely nothing I said made any difference. Even if I was standing right next to her and encouraging her to take a couple more step before sitting, she would suddenly drop to the floor.
In the end I just had to accept that she was going to fall, and continue to fall, and that it would eventually be catastrophic. It was, she badly broke her leg , was unable to comprehend the physio and became almost immobile.
 

Muttimuggle

Registered User
Dec 28, 2021
328
0
I am sorry to intercept here and mention my own mother's situation at the moment also causing many problems which are talked about above. My mother is not in a care home, but lives alone in a big house, and has had 4 falls since last Tuesday, one only minor. Paramedics called 3 times. In hospital two days and they were wonderful. She's been sent home with all sorts of adaptions, assessments and aids which have been coming thick and fast. Unlike other unfortunate people here she hasn't broken anything (yet) but the bruises are enormous and she is to be put back on her blood thinner next week, because of the risks of not being on it. She doesn't really want any of the equipment, some of it improved substitutes for old, and the services who bring it says they cannot make her. I am fearing the next tragedy. I am at a loss about what to do. She also leaves the walking aids at a distance and that sort of thing.
I hope your mother is comfortable. The services you have been experiencing are more than frustrating. I hope you are able to improve the future for both your mother and yourself.
 
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Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
1,011
0
My mum fell out of bed at her care home recently and was found on the floor car the 4am check - mum is checked on every hour and turned every two hours. It is protocol to call paramedics for every fall even though mum did not appear in pain and was fast asleep, tucked up in the duvet! The carers are not allowed to lift residents up from the floor.

Mum had to wait on the floor from 4 am to nearly 10 am as she was not considered an urgent case and a carer had to sit with her the whole time. After two very traumatic hospital stays earlier this year, it has been agreed by her doctor, care home staff and family that mum will not be taken to hospital unless she needs an X-ray and will be allowed to remain in the care home with support from the district nurses for end of life care. So despite the paramedics wanting to take her to A&E, mum remained at the home but everything, including a phone call with me, was recorded on her care plan and in the falls book which is part of a cqc inspection.

I think in your case, you should have received a phone call immediately to inform you of the fall and of the actions taken by the staff. My mobile phone is on silent overnight so I missed the phone call made at 4.10 am so I have now given the care home my land line number as well.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,017
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @Roman223 , I hope your mother is now in hospital and her hip has been sorted. My mother has had a lot of falls in both the care homes she's been in. Twice she's been sent to hospital to be checked over. The second time she was on the floor for eight hours as there were no ambulances available to take her. That wasn't the care home's fault, just the strains on the service here. Both times she was fine and returned to the home after being checked over. I don't know that there is anything to prevent falls. Mum's new care home decided to encourage mum to stay in bed as they felt her reluctance to eat was making her light headed. Now she really doesn't seem to want to get up at all, which may just be the progression of her dementia but doesn't feel great either. I agree the home should have contacted you, but mistakes happen. I wasn't told my mum had covid. It was only when my sister in law phoned up she was told. The home was sure I'd been told but it was a case of one person thinking someone else was contacting me and vice versa.
@Muttimuggle , that is a worry about your mother. It really sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Next time she ends up in hospital maybe it will be time to push for some respite care at the very least.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
888
0
My mother had quite a few falls in the last couple of years she spent in her care home and I worried about whether this indicated a lack of care. I was told by the home that one carer alone can't stop the person falling because of the risk of injury to both the person and the carer. My mother was a wanderer and she would, without warning, bend down as if to pick a flower, which made her very unsteady. She would also just suddenly 'drop down'. I had one awful outpatient visit with her when she wouldn't stay in the wheelchair and insisted on walking about. Again, there was the sudden 'dropping down' and it was impossible for me to support her. Fortunately, a Macmillan volunteer at the hospital saw that I was struggling and kindly came to help. She and I each took one of my mother's arms and walked about the lobby area of the hospital until patient transport arrived. It was a real insight into what the carers in the home had to contend with. Most homes don't have enough staff to provide two carers to accompany one resident as s/he wanders about the home for hours each day.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,399
0
High Peak
My mum, in a care home, was standing talking to a carer. Another resident walked up, pushed my mum who went down on her bum and...snap! She broke her hip. The carer was right there but it just wasn't possible to prevent what happened or catch mum.
What I can tell you is that the care home have to report these things to social services safeguarding and there will be an investigation into how it happened. You will be consulted. They will try to establish if things could have been done differently or if there are different things they could do going forwards. In your case, the thing that jumps out is that if they have to give your mum diazepam before personal care, they need to then supervise her whilst she's 'under the influence' as it's well known such drugs can make people more wobbly than usual.

Sadly, the answer to your question, 'Is this what happens to old people? is yes. Dementia makes people wobbly. Drugs needed for other things can make them wobblier, so it's a fine balance. Care homes are short staffed and can't do one-to-one with every resident. Old ladies break easily. **** happens :(

For what it's worth, my mum recovered well and was quickly mobile again, albeit with a frame. And lived another 2 years. I met the daughter of the resident who had pushed her over and the poor woman was completely mortified, couldn't apoloise enough for her mum's behaviour. But I pointed out that my mum could just as easily have pushed her mum and that dementia was to blame, not the two old ladies.
 

Roman223

Registered User
Dec 29, 2020
262
0
My mum, in a care home, was standing talking to a carer. Another resident walked up, pushed my mum who went down on her bum and...snap! She broke her hip. The carer was right there but it just wasn't possible to prevent what happened or catch mum.
What I can tell you is that the care home have to report these things to social services safeguarding and there will be an investigation into how it happened. You will be consulted. They will try to establish if things could have been done differently or if there are different things they could do going forwards. In your case, the thing that jumps out is that if they have to give your mum diazepam before personal care, they need to then supervise her whilst she's 'under the influence' as it's well known such drugs can make people more wobbly than usual.

Sadly, the answer to your question, 'Is this what happens to old people? is yes. Dementia makes people wobbly. Drugs needed for other things can make them wobblier, so it's a fine balance. Care homes are short staffed and can't do one-to-one with every resident. Old ladies break easily. **** happens :(

For what it's worth, my mum recovered well and was quickly mobile again, albeit with a frame. And lived another 2 years. I met the daughter of the resident who had pushed her over and the poor woman was completely mortified, couldn't apoloise enough for her mum's behaviour. But I pointed out that my mum could just as easily have pushed her mum and that dementia was to blame, not the two old ladies.
Thank you Jaded 'n' faded for your reply. I realise that falls occur but there have been many falls in this home plus other incidents which I have pointed out to the manager albeit I don't really think she listens or is quick to point out that my mum is this and that they can't do that. Maybe I'm just being cynical but there were no carers in the dining room and at least 8 or 9 residents! I have spoken to my mum's medical centre and she should not be given meds to calm her down on a regular basis as it was only a temporary measure for a few weeks. Sorry I'm just really annoyed .....
 

Roman223

Registered User
Dec 29, 2020
262
0
Hi @Roman223 , I hope your mother is now in hospital and her hip has been sorted. My mother has had a lot of falls in both the care homes she's been in. Twice she's been sent to hospital to be checked over. The second time she was on the floor for eight hours as there were no ambulances available to take her. That wasn't the care home's fault, just the strains on the service here. Both times she was fine and returned to the home after being checked over. I don't know that there is anything to prevent falls. Mum's new care home decided to encourage mum to stay in bed as they felt her reluctance to eat was making her light headed. Now she really doesn't seem to want to get up at all, which may just be the progression of her dementia but doesn't feel great either. I agree the home should have contacted you, but mistakes happen. I wasn't told my mum had covid. It was only when my sister in law phoned up she was told. The home was sure I'd been told but it was a case of one person thinking someone else was contacting me and vice versa.
@Muttimuggle , that is a worry about your mother. It really sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Next time she ends up in hospital maybe it will be time to push for some respite care at the very least.
Hello Sarasa thank you for your comments. My mum is now in hospital and due to have surgery tomorrow. I understand that you are seeing things from both sides but when I got to the care home mum was lying on the floor! No one was sat with her or comforting her which I believe someone should have been! She was crying out in pain. They just left her on the floor. I still think they should have done more! And it was no mistake that the CH did'nt ring me. There are a number of carers that could have made the call - it's no excuse ....!!
 

Roman223

Registered User
Dec 29, 2020
262
0
Its very distressing but stop and consider a few things.
Did you know she was prescribed diazipam to calm her? How often is she given it to enable a shower? Seems a bit of a sledgehammer.

Was she on the floor waiting for an ambulanc? What else could they have done ? Anything they could have done to ease her distress during that wait that they didnt? Unfortuately that ist an over long wait for an ambulance.

Not good that they didnt tell you of the fall earlier, but at least they held their hands up and admitted that it wasnt witnessed. Is it usual that residents are alone in a room?
Jessbow: There are lots of unanswered questions that I will try and find out. I knew she had been prescribed it in February when she was lashing out at residents to calm her! But I did not know she was being given it before a bath or shower occasionally! She was prescribed it temporarily and I have been told she should not have been given it recently. The medical centre were not aware of this.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
12,614
0
Southampton
someone should have stayed with her so they can monitor her and get back in touch with the ambulance if she deteriorates or another problem emerges that they have to call them back. they leave them on the floor so they dont cause her any more injury and yes they should have phoned you. did someone just pop out of the dining room? they should have put screens round your mum as well to provide dignity and privacy. i hope your mum has a successful operation and gets better quickly.
diazepam can make people sleepy so not sure its a good idea to give it to her before a shower. there are other ways
 

Roman223

Registered User
Dec 29, 2020
262
0
Thank you for all your replies and for trying to reassure me! I am however frantic, nervous and everything else as I'm really scared for mum!! She's never broken anything in her life. She is 86 yrs old. I wonder if she is going to cope! You all have your stories to share with relatives and yes we are all pretty much in the same 'storm'! However distressing and choppy it is. x
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,399
0
High Peak
I'm sorry you are so upset - I can understand why. When we move a loved one to a care home, we trust the staff to take extremely good care of them... and sometimes it seems as though they are doing anything but. You also have the unfortunate attitude of the manager (not uncommon!) and poor communication (also not uncommon!) to deal with.

All this will prepare you for the experience of having your poor mum in hospital :(
It's not a good place for people with dementia so the storm may continue... Fingers crossed for you both.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
1,011
0
Now that I understand that your mum was left alone on the floor after her fall, I would be very angry and upset as you are. Someone should have been with your mum al the time and you should have been contacted immediately. Even though it put extra work on the rest of the care team, my mum had someone with her until the paramedics arrived to help her into bed. Once the night team ended their shift, the care home manager sat with mum to allow the dat team to carry on with breakfasts etc. I was first phoned at 4.10am although I was asleep with my phone on silent so not helpful really!

I think if I was you I would chase up the safeguarding referral and possibly be questioning if this is the right place for mum. Luckily we do have confidence in the quality of care mum gets but we constantly touch base with the senior carers so we can work together in mums best interests. For example this week we bought a new style of non split drinking cup to see if that would help mum to drink without a Carer sitting with her for a couple of hours to remind her to drink and mop up the spills when she threw the cup at them! They do provide cups of course but had tried every type they had so we did some research and were able to get something very quickly.

I don’t think I would leave mum there if I did not have every confidence in the quality of her care - I would guess that mum is the most demanding and time consuming resident they have!