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Mum sectioned in spite of my best efforts

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Ash148, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    Tomorrow, my mother will be sectioned based on the wishes of her nursing home and doctor, supported by my siblings, against my wishes and strenuous efforts to prevent it.

    Mum is not disruptive, abusive, or displaying any of the challenging behaviours that are common with dementia. Her crimes are continual pacing, inability to sleep and unreliable eating patterns. How can this make her a danger to herself or others? I know that this would have been her very worst nightmare throughout her life; in spite of serious episodes of depression, she was never willing to engage with the mental health system. Now I understand her wariness.

    Don't want to ever have to engage with my siblings again.
     
  2. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,455
    Ireland
    Ash, I know this must seem like the worst thing possible. But how is your mum doing physically? Continual pacing and inability to sleep -and unreliable eating patterns - must be taking a toll on her physical health? If she is continually pacing, she is using up a lot of energy, which she can probably ill afford if she is not eating properly.

    Hard as it is, try and keep an open mind. Perhaps the place the doctor has in mind have a better level of specialist staff to help your mum.
     
  3. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    Many thanks Lady A. The thing is, Mum has such a strong constitution, my brother calls it Duracell batteries, and I truly believe she is choosing her own dementia journey and should be allowed to do that. I also believe from previous experience that the hospital's answer will be to sedate her heavily, which would have been abhorrent to her and is to me. But I do know that it is out of my hands now. Mourning the loss for her, and also mourning for myself the loss of my siblings, as I don't think there is a way back from this experience.
     
  4. Torontonian

    Torontonian Registered User

    Hi Ash148,

    I wonder once they take her in, would they not do all kind of testing and then decide if she is suitable for this place or not?

    Our nursing homes here have locked and unlocked units.. for those who try to run away, they are placed on a floor with doors locked but not like the sectioning you are mentioning.

    Please keep good thoughts, things may not turnout as they appear to be.

    About siblings... hope you all work it out..

    Sorry for your troubles..

    Take care
     
  5. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    So, we met the psychiatrist today, my siblings, my dad and me on the phone because I'm working abroad this week. Decision is taken and because there is a bed available today, I won't even get the weekend with mum before she's admitted. Psychiatrist not even willing to estimate for how long, but at least six weeks.
     
  6. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
    Ash, listen....for 6 weeks Mum will get constant attention, She will get her medications balanced and her behaviour patterns evaluated. The powers that be would not willingly sacrifice a bed if they thought for one moment that Mum didn't need help. Loosen the reins for a while.....NO I am not saying stop caring, but you can visit and question and perhaps re-build relationships, while Mum is getting attention.
    Good Luck..x.x.
     
  7. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,127
    eastern USA
    I'm sorry you had to be away while all this was happening and sorry too to see what is going on for you. It sounds as if the CH made the rumpus, making me wonder if just a different CH could have been found.

    I did want to say that my father's vascular dementia took him in the ways you describe as your mother's journey. He too would have been aghast at some of the things he did. He would pull at his pajamas and beg for scissors, because he had to cut off this bit or that bit that bothered him. He paced endlessly at night. He thought he was talking to his mother when talking with my mother, his wife. It was the pacing that finally did him in: he fell hard and burst a vertebrae and disk, making it impossible for him to walk without pain. So the pacing must be what was the key here for your mother. If she falls, the CH could be held responsible, and they probably don't want that liability.

    I'm sorry. Very sad for you and your family. I fell out dreadfully with my family, as they could have afforded in-home caregivers and he would not have died in the hospital, as he did. But my mother didn't want him home any more, and my sisters sided with her. We were out of communication for about a year. Funny how things turn out, though: my sisters didn't want my mother in their homes, and so here she is, with us.
     
  8. keywest67

    keywest67 Registered User

    Mar 19, 2012
    169
    Coventry
    Hi Ash148,

    I do understand what your going through as my Dad was Sectioned and put in a mental health ward and I have 2 sisters.........at the time it happened it felt like hell on earth, it was awful to see him in such a terrible state with his Dementia, surrounded by other in a similar state or worse........what I witnesses in there was a true horror I won't lie....however......he was there about 8 weeks and once he had been assessed and after endless meetings with the consultant they did manage to get some medication which made a huge difference, he went from crawling down corridors, endless pacing up and down,he had no idea where he was or who were were at times, to waiting for me asking to take him home........it gave us the chance to have him home for 12 months before he declined again and eventually went into a CH.
    It's very difficult but in my opinion it's better family's stick together to get through these tough times, I know my Dad would have hated any rift in the family over him.
    I hope that with the assessment they do on your Mum it will help her in the long term, despite the roller coaster ride to get there.
    My Dad was never himself distressed about where he was in the assessment centre under section, I think it was worse for us than it was for him to be honest although I know not everyone was like this.

    I do feel for you, it's so terribly hard to see those we love in this way, I still feel almost a sense of disbelief it happened to my Dad, take carex
     
  9. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    10 days into mum's hospital stay, I feel that she has definitely taken a significant step down, whether due to the move or maybe it was in the offing anyway. She is still endlessly on her feet, averaging two hours sleep a night although they now have her on a whopping sleeping pill dose plus sedatives in the evening, as well as all her other medication, but she is no longer able to manage even a basic sentence, her words are jumbled up and understanding her needs has become hugely difficult. Also, she often seems not to recognise family members or even have any interest when they visit. Yet, she is still managing occasionally to ask "why?" am I here and to ask to go home. What can I say to her, when she is there against my strongest wishes? So far, all of the ward staff seem kind, but she has had a different carer assigned to her every day so far, no continuity of care, or understanding of her likes and dislikes.
     
  10. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
     
  11. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    Witzend, you have it in a nutshell. Also, my brother does not accept that mum should be at risk of falls; I would far rather she were in a more homely environment and accept that risk. I also think he and my sister have an unrealistic expectation that the hospital will be able to come up with a medication mix that will make mum settled and sedentary. She has been a walker from the beginning and that's unlikely to change now, plus she's already been tried on all of the main options: the various anti-psychotics and Gabapentin, plus various other drugs and has either had major side effects or no beneficial effect. From everything I've read, mum is not particularly unusual, nor is her behaviour especially challenging, so I think the care home have let us down.
     
  12. Salute

    Salute Registered User

    Jan 19, 2015
    1
    Truly sorry

    I'm truly sorry for you. It's devastating I know. I visited my dad yesterday. He cried his eyes out and told me how sorry he was! It was heartbreaking. He was having a good day and realised where he was ( horrible nursing home). I have fallen out with my mother and sisters. My dad didn't stand a chance. They had him locked up and once that DOLS signed effectively threw away the key. He has not had a breath of fresh air for 12 months....shocking. They took Power of Attorney themselves so I couldn't be part of the decision making progress. With the right medication and advice he could have stayed home.
     
  13. Slippers

    Slippers Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    6
    It is important to keep the lines of communication open with staff on your mother's behalf. Ask what medication she is on and the dosage. Write it down. Ask for the spelling. If asked why explain she likes you to talk about her medication so its important to be kept informed. Ask what each medcation is for. Ask about any changes in dosage.

    Search for the medication online to find out the side effects of each drug.
    Search to ascertain if drugs may clash

    You need to log all the changes in her behaviour as they could be possible side effects of the mediction. She needs you to take an interest and you need something to focus on.

    If staff are too busy ask that it can be written down for you to collect on your next visit. Sit with your mother, stroke her arm and listen to her. Always make a point of asking the nurse about any changes in her medication. Both drugs and dosage can make a difference.

    you obviously care and this is a way you can help her.

    You have to make the time and show a desire to communicate before medical staff will provide any information. They assume relatives don't want to know otherwise.

    It is difficult but you can make a difference.
     
  14. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    Your brother is not unusual, I'm afraid. Some people do seem to think care homes should be able to prevent all falls, and there is something amiss or neglectful if they don't. But even if you had the person at home you cannot watch them every minute - you are up and downstairs, in and out of the kitchen, in the shower or loo, answering the door... One old chap at my mothers CH fell and broke his arm while a carer was just a couple of yards away - but she had her back turned seeing to someone else while he decided to get up from his chair. He is like my mother - a wobbly wanderer. They do their best. My mother fell again the other day - they always let me know - but thankfully no A and E or visible damage this time.
    I am so sorry for the situation with your mother. It does seem wrong.
     
  15. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thanks Witzend. I think sadly I am falling out badly with siblings, which is so unfortunate as we are all trying our best and all have mum's best interests at heart, just diametrically opposed views as to what's best for her. Sad that I am currently wishing they were "invisibles".
     
  16. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    Dear Salute, thank you. I too worry about fresh air and sight of the sea and sky for mum. The best way to give her an hour of clam was always to drive to the sea to watch the waves for a while. Now she is confined to 50 square metres of a hot, stuffy, soulless hospital ward.
     
  17. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,967
    Brixham Devon
    Ash-I'm sorry to read about what you and your Mum are going through

    Just a suggestion-could you ask if you can take your Mum out for a drive? Even if she is on a section 2 or DOLS you may still be able to do so. I know I was allowed when Pete was sectioned/on a DOLS. Emphasise that she loves fresh air and it may do some good.

    Take care

    Lyn T
     
  18. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    Hi Slipper, I ask about medication on every visit. On Saturday, the nurse would not show me the chart but read out the list of medication for me. I have researched all of the drugs extensively, and each time look at mum's observations chart since my last visit. I know she isn't eating enough and visits aren't allowed at meal times, which is a great pity as she will eat if dad and I sit with her and encourage her. I have started to bring little meals for her at allowed visiting times, her favourite things like shepherds pie. Dad brings ice cream and strawberries. One sister brings yogurts. I saw the meal that she hadn't eaten the other evening and it was very unattractive: hospital food with thick gravy sludge over everything, not surprising she doesn't eat.
     
  19. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,593
    Yorkshire
    The manager of MIL's CH told us when she moved in that they could not guarantee she would not fall but she would be found very quickly and given immediate, appropriate treatment. That's all one can ask of a CH.

    As for going outside, once things settle down (and the weather improves) there should be nothing to stop you doing so, even if it means using a wheelchair. Those were the most enjoyable visits with my mum - I used to push her a mile and a half into town, buy her an ice cream and we'd sit companionably people watching. Perfect when she was no longer able to talk. When she was more mobile, I used to drive her out in the car, just for a change of scene.

    We also took MIL in a wheel chair out into the CH garden this summer and she loved it.
     
  20. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    276
    Dublin, Ireland
    Dear LynT, I have asked and been refused so far I'm afraid, but will keep asking. They say that because they have secured 1:1 nursing for mum, they can't allow her off the ward.

    When I visited on Saturday, i wasn't allowed in, as there was an "incident" - male patient being extremely aggressive- and all patients confined to their bedrooms for safety. I asked if mum could come out to hospital coffee shop with me as an alternative but that wasn't allowed either.
     

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