Mum is DEFINITELY not happy now

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Margaret W, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hi again,

    Oh dear. Visited on yesterday. Found mum asking another resident if she was okay, did she want anything? How nice. She spotted me at one. "oh I am glad you are here, lets go to the back of the room, I need to talk to you". So we did.

    Out it came. "I have had a dreadful time. I haven't been able to sleep in my own bed for a fortnight (5 days actually), there is a man in there, they won't let me in". I explained to her that was cos the lift was broken, and they couldn't get the gentleman down to his room, so mum had had to sleep in his room. I hoped this would only be for a couple of nights, and so did the staff, as the lift engineer was due on Saturday, then a part was needed to be delivered on Tuesday, but it transpired that the lift cannot be repaired, they need a new one. So I explained this to mum, and learnt from the staff that she would be back in her own room tonight. They had had to get medical help to move the chap downstairs to his own room. And they had done it cos my mum had been so confused being in a different room, not for the benefit of the chap. Well, sorry it took 5 days to do, but at least they appeared to recognise my mum's rights as well. I get the impression they were surprised by her degree of confusion. Mum presents very well at times, you see, and it is difficult to imagine she has AD, but she definitely does.

    Then the next bit. "As well as that, there were the two people who pushed me to the floor". I try not to be gobsmacked. "What do you mean mum?". "Well, they just pushed me over, and he hit me and she hit me, and he hit me again". WHAT?

    I realised that the Activities Co-ordinator was listening in, so I said "Do you know anything about this?", and she said "Well, yes, I do, Marian has told me about it today, we have had a lovely session today when I asked them all to write something about themselves and Marian said "well I won't write about the people pushing me over", and the AC had said "what do you mean, Marian?". So mum had told her that a man and a woman had pushed her over to the ground. The AC immediately reported this to the manager. At that point we knew nothing more. So I tried to get a bit more out of mum, while the AC (I know not a carer, not qualified, but a lovely young woman) listened in. When did this happen, mum? About two weeks ago. Why didn't you tell me? Well you haven't been here for two weeks. Not true, I was there 5 days ago (missed the usual Tuesday visit, too much work). Are you sure it was a fortnight ago? No, but it wasn't yesterday. Okay. Why didn't you tell the staff? I didn't want to be a nuisance or get anyone into trouble. Where were you when it happened? I don't know. Were you in your room? No. Was it night time? No. But you see, mum confuses day and night anyway, so that is not reliable. And for the past 5 days she has been in a different bedroom, so that is another confusion for her. She didn't know where she was.

    Were you in your nightie? No. Was anyone else there? I don't think so.

    Has it happened before? Well, no, but the woman is nasty to me in the night if I get up early. Ah, she has been saying for a few weeks that the night staff are nasty to her. So that rings a bit of a bell.

    I said "I am going to talk to the manager". "What for". "I think she should know that someone has pushed you to the ground". "Oh, I don't want to be a nuisance". "No, mum, you are not being a nuisance, but no-one should push you around, and I need to talk to the manager about it". The manager, of course, already knew, cos the AC had told her.

    We chatted about it. We agreed there is a difficulty in believing a patient with AD, but she did agree (and I have to say the staff at the home really KNOW my mum and her personality) that it was odd for mum to make up such a story. Yes, she hears voices, yes, she gets up in the night, but they had no experience of her making up stories about real people. Plenty of stories about dead people. She accepted the possibility that this abuse (her word) might have really occurred. She did say there were some residents who frequently made up stories (though none about abuse by staff), but mum was less likely to do so than most.

    She asked if it would be okay to come and chat to mum about it. Yes, I said. So she came up to the lounge. She was incredibly pleasant to mum. Who was the man? Oh, he was Joe, I think, he is 28. How do you know he is 28? Well, I thought the young woman with him was his daughter, and he told me she couldn't be his daughter cos he is only 28. Correct. Joe is a night carer, and he is 28. What did his daughter look like? Oh a big girl. Tall, dark hair, fat tummy, overweight really. Hmm, that sounds like Amy, said the manager. I said, I don't recognise these names, do they not work in the day? No, only at night. Next question, are they new? No. But Amy hasn't been on duty for the last few days. Next question - have you seen the daughter in the last few days. No, I haven't says mum. Hmm. I can see the manager weighing this up. Then we get a quirk. But his other daughter has been on duty. I have seen her today. Not sure what that means. There are, unfortunately 4 care assistants who look very similar. All a bit overweight, all tall, all dark-haired. So we are a bit thrown.

    Were you hurt when you fell? Oh, no, I was fine, I got up myself. Didn't they help you up. Well, I just got up myself. And then what did you do. Well, I turned to him and said, don't you push me, and I pushed him! What did he do then? Well nothing, they just went away. We are a bit confused as to whether he pushed her first, and then she pushed her, or vice versa, and mum has forgotten.

    Why do you think he pushed you? Well, I don't know. He might have been asking me to do something and I didn't hear him, I am deaf you know, and I didn't do it right, so he pushed me. Was he meaning to hurt you? Oh, I don't think so, he was just fooling around I expect. But why would he push you? I don't know, but it doesn't matter, I don't want to get him into trouble, cos he might be worse next time. So is mum giving him an excuse so he won't take it out on her? Mum has some suprises in her make-up. She was brought up in a relatively rough environment, and I know we are going back 70 years, but I dare say she was in situations where you pretended that the person who was threatening you was really okay, so he wouldn't continue threatening you. My dad undoubtedly experienced situations where someone threatened him and it ended up with a beating (my dad would have won, cos he had the brains to do so, if not the brawn, cos he was a skinny teenager).

    The manager's face changed at that. Oh, No, Marian, if someone has pushed you it is not acceptable, it is assault, and I will make sure it doesn't happen again. It doesn't matter to me whether he was fooling around or not, pushing a resident is not acceptable. Oh, said mum, a bit reassured that she was being valued.

    It seemed to me that the staff recognised the descriptions of the two people, though there was some doubt about the female, as her description could have fitted 2 or 3 females on duty at night. But mum insisted it was not night, yet Joe only does night duty. So we are not sure.

    The Manager then asked my mum if she would mind her looking to see if she had any bruises on her body (but we don't know if this was two weeks ago or yesterday). Unfortunately mum, like me, bruises very easily, we only need to brush a cushion and we have a bruise. We found a small, newish bruise on her arm, but really nothing to indicate she had fallen to the floor.

    The manager and the carer who accompanied her were both reassuring that if mum had any problems with staff or anything else, she was to tell them at once. Mum did seem happy with that.

    The manager admitted she had never experienced this before, and asked if I wanted to make a formal complaint. I said I didn't think I could, cos I had no evidence. I suggested she should call in the night staff, or staff she felt fitted the description my mum had given, and ask if they were aware of any unusual occurrences, before proceeding any further. She wasn't sure. She instinctively felt that she should suspend the two night staff pending investigation, but didn't know if she had the right to do so - and didn't know if she could find other night staff to cover tonight!! I appreciated her problem. She said she would contact her manager for advice. The care home is part of a group of companies.

    So, I have left it in her hands. I admit I am worried. Scared even. But I have no evidence to support suspending particular members of staff, and even less hope of proving any abuse. It could all be in mum's mind. I really can't imagine her having been felled to the floor and not been bruised. I also can't imagine her not crying out for help (though my mum is no wimp). I suspect that if anything did occur it must have been at night, cos there are so many staff around in the day, not just the care staff, but the housekeeper, the laundry lady, the catering staff, the maintenance man, they are all in and out of the residential areas during the day. And of course other residents, although most are demented in some way, they are also able to recognise another resident in distress. In fact, it is really nice to see how some of them help each other.

    So, any advice folks?

    It is now 3 a.m., and I am wishing I had brought my mum home for the night, not that I could cope with her. The staff tell me she goes to bed at 10 p.m. and is up again and dressed at 12.30! Today she thought breakfast was odd, cos it was her usual cereal and toast and she thought it was dinner time. She tells me she had no sleep last night cos there was no bedroom for her. And I have already posted on here that she is hearing someone calling her name, apparently she is now getting up in the night and opening other residents' bedroom doors asking if it is them who are calling her, so they have had to lock her in her bedroom at night.

    I thought it would all be easier once she was in a care home. Ah, you can all tell me different. Today I also got an old pair of specs mended for her, cos her new ones have been lost. She needs new specs, but there is no local optician that will visit the home. Also no dentist that will visit the home (she lost her top dentures in hospital 4 months ago).

    Gee, give me strength!

  2. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    manchester, uk
    Hi Margaret

    Wow, So sorry to read your posting, i could feel my blood boiling as I read it. I'm sure in a situation like this the manager can do almost anything to protect the resident. If I were the manager I think I'd call the staff involved in and have word, but not mentioning your mothers name. And see what they had to say for themselves. I'm sure if they felt the need to suspend the staff involved they could arrange agency staff at short notice.

    I just hope that it was more a case of they just put their hand on her shoulder or something to try and incurage her back to her room, and not a full blown push. With regards to locking her in her room at night, I think I would be a bit uneasy about this. I don't mean to worry you more but what if there was an emergency ie fire what would the procedure be?

    My Nanna was the same, she went through a stage of getting her days and nights mixed up. She'd go to bed and a couple of hours later would be up again. The staff at her home were really nice and would let her sit and watch the telly or walk round with her for a while to try and get her tired again.

    With regards to the glasses you may find they will go missed alot, this is one of the things that seems to happen in homes. Does the home not arrange to take a few residents at a time to the opticions and dentist, if they can't arrange for them to go to the home?

    Please keep me posted, as you have me worried now. I hope you mum is ok. My heart goes out to you at this time and please please keep us posted with any outcome.

    Take Care
  3. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Dear Margaret,

    This is a terrible situation and one that needs to be investigated. I really feel for you it's hard trying to fathom out what is actual fact and what's fiction. I can understand your stress over this matter.

    Once when my MIL was in a public hospital she told me a RN on the night duty was very nasty to her. My MIL also got up at all hours through the night and I didn't believe what she was telling me because I didn't think that this would happen. It wasn't until another patient pulled me aside and told me that what my MIL was saying, was actually true. The RN was very annoyed with her getting up through the night. My hubby dealt with this matter.

    Margaret, I truly hope that this isn't true and that your mum is soon back in her own room and that she settles in soon for both your sake. Regards Taffy.
  4. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    Margaret. I'm really sorry to read your post. It's so hard to unravel fact from fantasy when someone has dementia. My mum was incredibly distressed in one of her homes because she said that she had been improperly examined by a carer, but we never found out what , if anything had happened. In her case she forgot her own distress after a few hours although we tried very hard to work out who the alleged offender had been.

    On another occasion she was adamant that some children had rushed down a corridor and knocked her down. At that time there were schoolchildren visiting the home for a one-off carol concert but the idea about children running around still crops up from time to time, two years on. No one could confirm my mum's story and again, she forgot about the trauma ina few hours.

    I think that the person in charge does have the right to suspend the staff and indeed might be criticised if s/he didn't do so if s/he thought that they might be putting the residents at risk.

    The part of this posting which stays with me is the fact that your mother has been unhappy about the night staff previously and I would want to know what supervision of staff takes place at night time, does management ever visit unannounced at night to see what is happening? Have the staffing levels at night been up to standard?

    Don't forget that you could speak to a CSCI inspector too, to see what they think of this home and to give further advice.

    You mention that your mother lost her top dentures in hospital four months ago. My mother lost her lower dentures in hospital. It is the hospital's responsibility and I suggest that you write to the hospital lodging a complaint about this and ask them to arrange for your mother to be provided with a new top denture. It is bad enough that people with dementia sometimes have problems with their appetites and feeding without losing their dentures as well. In our case it took a bit of pushing and the hospital tried to shrug off their responsibility, but we found a dentist eventually and the hospital paid the cost. There should in any case be an NHS community dental service who visit elderly people in their homes. Your local Primary Care Trust may be able to help you on this as they are responsible for the community dental services.

    The dentures still go walking around but the new denture has my mum's name printed on it, underneath and I have asked that staff always take her denture pot down with her during the day in case she takes her dentures out. The teeth were in the habit of disappearing tediously frequently and once got thrown away as someone had wrapped them up in a napkin and another member of staff mistook the bundle for breakfast-time waste.

    There must surely be an optician who visits this home? What is happening to all the other residents with failing eysight? Glasses too can have names inscribed along the 'arms'.

    Please let us know how things go. My heart goes out to you and your mum. Love Deborah.
  5. carolr

    carolr Registered User

    Jul 12, 2007
    Dear Margaret

    This is terrible such a worry for you and all of us with loved ones in this situation, I can understand how scared you feel and helpless I would think. However the manager of the home seems to be as concerned as you are and is going to investigate further, how do you decide what it the truth and what is delusion or confusion surely you must err on the side of caution as your Mum has given such detail. Could they not question the other resident too surely if this is an abuser at work your mum will not be the only victim. I feel for you and hope that the home come up with an acceptable solution.

    Best wishes
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Margaret,
    I would like to know how incidents at the home, day or night are logged.

    If your mother is up every night and causing concern, I would expect it to be logged. If she refused to go back to bed, I would expect it to be logged. It is the only way shift changes can be fluid, if one shift knows what the other shift is doing.

    If any member of staff is told of an incident, that member of staff should be able to check the notes to see what actually happened. If logs are accurate, even if information is withheld, a pattern of behaviour may emerge which would give a clearer picture.

    I would ask the manager what has been recorded with regard to your mother`s night-time behaviour.
  7. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Margaret,I hope this incident is resolved asap.The fact that your mum can name names is a good start.A push,a tap,or a prod?It makes no difference what happened,it happened and your mum obviously has it on her mind.I wonder sometimes wether care staff have the relevant training and are aware of what abuse is.Suspension of the named staff pending investigation should be automatic,but alas we all don't live in the same world of care(sadly).I hope this incident hasn't made mum fearful of "whistleblowing".We need more like her to protect our elderley.please keep us elainex
  8. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Margaret

    Sylvia is right, ANY incident should be written in their accident book no matter how small.

    I would personally be livid if the NH locked my mum in her bedroom. The fear she could feel getting up in the middle of the night and finding the door locked, the thought of her standing there looking at a locked door brings tears to my eyes. And as already mentioned the danger of her being locked in and a possible fire is dreadful.

    The bottom line is, we put our loved ones in a NH so that they are safe and well cared for, we have a right to expect no less than that.

    If mum needs gentle persuasion to go back to her room 100 times a night, then so be it. If they give you the old chessnut of staff being stretched, well thats their problem and not yours. Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but its just the way I feel. Sadly it another fact of life, some NH's run on a low staff to resident ratio so that profit margins are higher, which is a disgrace if that means residents are not getting the care they should be, and lets be honest here, are paying for.

    The pushing incident, well I'm sorry, if there was a whiff of abuse, I would want staff suspended and a full investigation carried out. We all of us I'm sure like to think that this kind of thing doesnt happen, but sadly it does. Your mum seems to be quite clear about the incident, all be it a bit confused about when, the NH have a duty of care for your mum.

    and I have to say the staff at the home really KNOW my mum and her personality) that it was odd for mum to make up such a story.

    That would be enough for me to be really worried, it is possible to have one bad apple!! In any event, if there was an accident that mum ended up on the floor, for what ever reason, it should have been recorded, and if it wasnt, why not, alarm bells should be ringing, if they have nothing to hide. You should have been informed straight away.

    I expect mum's NH to tell me all, and at any time day or night, and they do without me even asking. I had a call just last night, mum bless her was upset, she got it in her head that I was 'upstairs' and they wouldnt let her go look for me. So they phoned me straight away, of course I was worried to death just reading on the phone that it was the NH calling, and already running for the car keys (thinking the worse that it was another heart attack), but I just talked to mum on the phone, told her about the new wooley tights I had bought her that day, and that I would be over to pick her up on Sunday. I phoned back 15 minutes later to check she was ok, she was tucked up in bed, enjoying a cuppa and a chat to one of the night girls. I rang again this morning, still in bed, having her breakfast, quite happy.

    I feel I am able to trust the staff looking after mum, and thats the very least we deserve.

    Sorry Margaret if this came across as a bit of rant, I really do feel for you and your mum, you should be able to sleep at night knowing that your mum is safe and as happy as she can be.

  9. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    I forgot (being unwell) to agree with Sylvias post.Anything that mum does that is out of character or is becoming her character should be recorded in her care plan and on her "Activities of living" plan.If things are recurring then the G.P should be informed (a selfish reason for covering care staffs backs really).Handovers with staff on every shift should highlight any residents problems of the day,week,month!My advice would be that on youe next visit ask to read mums care plan.If you don't agree with ANYTHING,then speak up,and TELL them you want to be involved with the care plan,monthly,6 monthly?whatever you feel necessary.sorry if i have overstepped the mark.just care,thats elainex
  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your advice and support, as always.

    I am not coping well with any of this. I did far better with my mother in law's stroke and my dad's death from stomach cancer, but I'm sure you all know why - cos it's a mental problem and not a physical one. My elder daughter told me she was Bulimic 8 years ago, and I really struggled to deal with it.

    If you don't mind me explaining, I just want to hide in a cupboard and for it all to go away. As I did with my daughter. Of course, I didn't hide in the cupboard, I made wheels turn, but instead of feeling a sense of purpose and intention, I felt I was floundering in deep water and couldn't swim. I expect that's how you all feel.

    I've even found practical things like selling her house, paying off final bills etc. an emotional strain - and I'm an Accountant dammit! I put it off for weeks.

    Today, I know I should have rung the home to see how mum had been during the night. But I didn't. I kept meaning too, in half an hour, but I didn't. Maybe I should have visited, yes I should, but I didn't. Give me a brown paper bag to put over my head and it will all disappear.

    What you are all telling me, I think, is that I should make a formal complaint. I am brilliant at complaining when I have strong grounds, and usually win. So why I am I so hesitant at this? I am now shaking with trepidation at the thought. Despite my professional background, in all this I am just a daughter like all the other daughters on this site (and sons and other rellies), and the emotions are the same for us all.

    The problem is mum has imagined things before that have not been true. Two men and a woman living in her house and turning the telly on. Friends visiting for a cup of tea. The hairdresser in the care home being her neighbour from her old home. People are shouting her name all the time. None of it true.

    She is also very confused regarding the supposed woman involved in the pushing incident. And when it happened. Two weeks ago she says. But she has no concept of time, she thought I hadn't visited for two weeks, and I had been four days earlier. So if the supposed incident had occurred in the last 4 days, it couldn't have been the woman she is suggesting cos she hasn't been on duty. Mum says the woman has been serving teas this week, but there is no woman who has been serving teas who has been doing night duty. But was it at night? Mum hasn't a clue what is night or day, her confusion is getting worse. She says it didn't happen in her bedroom, it was in a corridor. I cannot see any way that could have happened in the daytime without other staff noticing. There are always staff around, and if mum had been pushed to the ground, she would surely have shouted out just with the shock, whether physically hurt or not.

    I agree (and so did the manager), that whether it was a playful push, prod or whatever, it was not acceptable.

    The problem about suspending staff is that we aren't really sure who to suspend! The bloke, maybe, as mum is pretty sure about him.

    I'm sorry, I'm not good at tracing who has said what to me. I take the point that if a resident needs persuading to go back to bed 100 times a night it should be done, but practically it can't be done. They have two night staff (most homes of that size have only one). Mum doesn't want to watch the telly (they have given her one in her room so she can watch it if she wakes, but she isn't interested). If she goes to the day room and no-one is there, she goes around looking for people and waking them up. The staff have the other residents to consider as well.

    I am not that concerned about her room being locked. I think I explained it wrongly - mum is not locked in as such, all bedroom doors are locked from the outside, but can be opened easily from the inside. It is a standard Yale lock. I will check that she knows how to do it, but it is the same as she used to have at home.

    I have seen the night report book, it documents all the occasions when my mum has been getting up and where she was found, and how she responded to the request to go back to bed. So I am happy with that. There are also shift changeover notes every day, with no mention of mum having fallen or having been pushed.

    The manager tells me she has had no other reports of difficulties from other residents, and believe me there are several who would have no problem in speaking up, and several who would have no problem in making stories up just for the fun of it!

    Agency staff? This is a small country town laden with care homes. All agency staff are fully employed. But I do know that some of the day staff are happy to come and do a night shift occasionally when needed.

    Care Plan? I have already posted on that, never seen one. Next job (but another I am shying away from - why am I such a wimp?).

    Not aware of any spot checks at night. The two carers have been working there for quite a while (as have most staff, one of the things that I found good about the home).

    I think mum was already cautious of "whistleblowing" - despite her dementia, she is not totally daft. The manager and senior care worker both reassured her that she should speak up at once if anything else happened.

    I'll try the hospital regarding the dentures. The care home has no visiting optician or dentist (I have learnt today that there are no opticians or dentists in the area who do home visits anymore, because the government has withdrawn funding for them). I would gladly (no, not gladly, cos mum has contributed to the government all her life and I wouldn't like to add up how much me and my husband are currently contributing), pay for private visits, but no dentist or optician in the area has the time to do them.

    I hope I have absorbed everyone's comments so far. I have no problem with people being blunt, I thank you all for your support and kind words, but being a pragmatist, I need advice on what to do as well - even if I don't take it! I am just not good at doing it. Bring out the brown paper bag!

    I think I will now put my concerns in writing to the Care Home, perhaps with a copy to the managing company. Then I am sure that it is on record. I will try to be factual, but also will have to include some opinion, as that is what it is all going to be based on at the end of the day.

    Much as I don't want my mum to have any more delusions, I am praying that this is one!

    Thanks everyone, you are stars. What on earth would we do without this site?


  11. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Margaret

    We all totally understand how you are feeling, isnt it always the case, you think you have it all sorted, and wham something else comes along.

    I am so pleased that mum can get out of her bedroom if she wants to at night, and you are going to check she can manage the Yale lock.

    I think I will now put my concerns in writing to the Care Home, perhaps with a copy to the managing company. Then I am sure that it is on record. I will try to be factual, but also will have to include some opinion, as that is what it is all going to be based on at the end of the day.

    Thats a fantastic idea, at least if anything has gone on, who ever it could have been will know you are watching.

    Please dont be so hard on yourself, you are doing your best, and yes its easy to be superwoman......................... when its not your family. I'm not a paper bag kinda girl................ for me its under the duvet:eek:

    Please keep posting, we are all here for you.

  12. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    Hi Margaret,

    I'm just like you in that I can't bear to go down the path where people will think I am a trouble maker!! I seem to be on the surface a very 'together' person, forthright to a fault but the older I get and the more problems dementia causes, the more I can't face complaining. When I do complain, invariably things get very complicated and I end with a twisting in my stomach and a sleepless night. I gave the ward sister a bill for new glasses as they had lost his new ones the day after I bought them (up to date 5 pairs have been broken/lost). That was two months ago and I haven't heard a thing. Have I the courage to persue this??? Not on your life!!

    I worry that I'm going to cause a fuss about something trivial, I worry that I can't go on complaining about all the varied and troubling things which happen on a daily basis, I worry all of this will rebound on my husband etc., etc., I worry that the staff might label me a troublemaker - I feel like the lion in the Wizard of Oz - I need to go somewhere to find courage xxx TinaT
  13. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hello all,

    Visited mum today, wouldn't normally have done so, but I had to. I should have visited yesterday, but put my head in the paper bag.

    She was slightly improved. The night staff (the two daughters as she thinks they are) had been nice to her, and made her a cup of tea in the night. I hope this means the manager has had a word with them. Pity that she needed to, but I appreciate that staff can sometimes do things wrong perhaps without realising.

    Yes, I know, I am giving them a long rope. I will keep an eye on it.

    The fella has not been on duty since, though I know he was scheduled for Thursday night, so I wonder if he has been switched around, or even suspended.

    I don't know.

    But mum feels happier that she doesn't need to keep quiet if she thinks anything is wrong. And more importantly, that she won't suffer if she speaks up. You see, mum still has a strong sense of what is right and what is not. She has a little spark in her that rarely surfaces, but I am proud of her that she is able to know when something is wrong.

    The thing is she has been totally thrown by this change of rooms, and I will have to make it clear that it must not happen again. I think the staff were surprised as to how badly she reacted, as I have said before, mum presents as quite normal most of the time, but it is becoming clearer and clearer that she is not, and this episode only serves to prove to me that she needs care 24/7.

    I wish I was able to say I had found the perfect care home (are there any?), and was 100% happy with it, but I can't. Perhaps one of the measures of a good care home is how they deal with incidents and complaints, and I feel that they probably have dealt with this issue pretty well.

    I did feel that the manager, the senior carer, and myself, were trying to get to the truth as part of a team. We weren't on opposite sides, we were on the same side - my mum's side. We discussed my mum's comments together.

    Anyway, thanks as usual. I don't know what I would do without you all.


  14. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi Margaret, I am glad that you found your mum a little more settled. I would also let the home know that you would prefer that your mum doesn't have to change rooms again, just to reinforce how upsetting this was for her.

    Margaret, I doubt if anyone could say they were 100% happy as there will always be some problems and if the problems are addressed by the home that has to be a good thing. I'm disappointed with a few things where mum is and they are things that I never thought for one minute I would have to address I just took these as normal care procedures.

    I can see my mum going down hill and even though every visit she thinks she is coming home I honestly think that she is more settled there than she was at home there is less for her to worry about and it is dementia friendly which she needs.

    I started to look into what was available in high care just to be prepared for, if or when, mum needs it. Where mum is, is low care but they have turned two wings into high care but I'm not certain that I'll take that road.

    When I was researching high level care homes I came across a home which had a Electronic Reporting System it is described as a clever alert system that ensures residents are discreetly monitored for round the clock safety. Personally, I think that this would be a great advantage it would cover all aspects of safety.

    I can understand that some may feel it to be a invasion of privacy. The initial expense would be out of the question and the governments wouldn't be interested as there would be no revenue for them. Shops fit surveillance cameras some street corners have them, speed cameras are everywhere. If only our most vulnerable could be monitored.

    I hope that everything goes well for you. Regards Taffy.
  15. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    You are in a very difficult situation. My mother also makes endless allegations about everyone..including me. however I take some comfort in the fact they are she makes allegations about me which I know are fantasy they why should anything she says about anyone else be true either?
    She doesnt actually know who is who any more, and on one occasion will claim a certain carer has done various things to her..then on another she will say the same person is always so nice to her and deny ever having said anything about them in the first place.
    She claims to be pushed out of bed..punched etc...but she doesnt have any injuries , where I know she bruises incredibly easily. of course the worry is that if ever something really DOES happen then nobody including me is ever going to believe her.
    She also makes allegations about her stuff being stolen but she herself hides it away ..Im not sure if this is an actual attempt on her part to get someone into trouble or if she just forgets.
    Of course I have mentioned it to the manager but I felt mean doing it...I certainly dont want to spoil someones career!
  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire

    I would welcome surveillance cameras in care homes, at least in the corridors and communal rooms, perhaps not in bedrooms at first.

    Natashalou, the problem is that mum DOESN'T go around saying detrimental things about the staff as a rule, it seems to be concentrated on the night staff (though she said it wasn't night, I think we are pretty sure that it was).

    Well, we shall see. As I said to everyone, I was impressed with the way the manager handled it, but wish she had come back to me by now and told me what action she had taken.

    Thanks to you all

  17. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Taffy.I am afraid cameras in care homes are an invasion of privacy.Although residents don't have a claim to basic human rights when in a home.families ,visitors and staff do.I agree with the principal of it,but to put it in practice?i don't think the legal system would cope.(my home not included of course!)love elainex
  18. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    I for one would be more than happy to see CCTV in care homes, why not, they are everywhere else in our lives, and if it stops the abuse of just person, then it would be doing a good job. Just my opinion.
  19. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Just to inform you, I received a letter today from the care home manager to say she had initiated an internal invesitgation into mum's allegations, and had spoken to the two suspected staff and was awaiting their reports. Seems she is covering her own back with this. But perhaps she has been advised to get a report from the staff, as part of the complaints procedure.

    Not quite sure what it all means, if she has spoken to them presumably they responded in some way. But mum says the ladies on the night shift have been much nicer to her, but she hasn't seen the fella for a few days.

    I will be visiting tomorrow to see how mum is.

    I am still impressed by the home in general, hope we can sort out this hiccup, albeit very distressing to mum and me. I have thought about nothing else all weekend, have turned down a night out, have snapped at my husband for nothing, have sat for hours with head in hands.

    You've probably all read that I don't have a good relationship with mum, but to imagine her being abused in any way raises my shackles, well it would for any old person being abused, but suddenly I am the great protector! I just think back to my dad who died three years ago. If he thought my mum was being abused, the suspected abusers would be dead by now, and my dad would be in prison, totally proud of his response. So I have the same attitude, nobody is upsetting my mum and getting away with it.

    Okay dad, I am doing my best for mum.

    Love to you all

  20. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    I spoke to the manager on Wednesday, she had contacted both the "suspected" care staff within seconds of each other, and got the same story from both. The incident had been recorded in the incident book, but due to problems with the lift, the incident book was not filed in its usual place.

    It seems that mum was very distressed at not being in her own room (I told you I think about that), had gone to bed at 9.30 and was up again at 12. Normally, the lounge is in darkness, the night staff sit in the downstairs dining room, but cos that is being decorated, they were in the first floor lounge, and mum thought it was breakfast time. Joe had tried to persuade her to go back to bed with no luck. Mum then went to the loo, and when she came out, Joe tried again. I get the impression that mum was turning a corner out of the loo as Joe guided her down the corridor and she lost her footing. Not unlikely, mum has been dodgy on her feet for a long time. After she fell, they took her back to her room and asked if they could look at her body to see if she had suffered any damage, but mum refused.

    Both staff (we were right, it was the night staff, despite mum's insistance that it didn't happen at night), have given the same story verbally, they have both provided written statements, and the manager has counselled them both with the result that if they have repeated attempts to get my mum back to bed and they meet with resistance, they should allow her to stay up and keep an eye on her. I suggested they should let her stay up for an hour, and then suggest it is bedtime and try again.

    The incident apparently occurred only two days prior to my mum telling me about it (not a fortnight as she said), at a time when she was very confused and at a time when the staff were also coping with additional problems.

    I feel I have to accept this was just a blip. The manager is going to provide me with a written report, and to be honest I don't think it will do the home any harm to have had an incident reported that has been properly investigated and action taken - after all, it is only when things go wrong that you know the true colours of an organisation.

    Mum seems okay about it, and feels confident again with the staff.

    I have to say, I was impressed with the manager's attitude to the allegation, she did not dismiss it, took advice on how to handle it, and it would seem HAS handled it. She said she felt that the two members of staff were reliable people, and also said that if she felt they were not, she would have no hesitation in dismissing them.

    So there we are, friends.

    Thanks for all of your postings of kind words, it helped so much.

    I am in tears now, thinking how frightened I was a week ago, how worried, not knowing what to do. Just glad that I took it forward, and that it was accepted as an allegation from a caring relative and not a witch hunt.

    Thanks everyone


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