1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. kevan

    kevan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2010
    7
    greater manchester
    Hi

    My dad has always liked a drink, and has descended into alcoholism. Unlike many people he only drinks in pubs, never drinks spirits and is rarely the worse for drink but despite all this there is no denying he is an alcoholic.

    Two week ago i called him and he sounded unlike himself, i met him and he was dishelvelled (which is unlike him) confused and his eyes had a "wild" look. I took him too hospital where he has been since. He was given vitamin b and within 24 hours he looked more like his old self but is confused, and has no short term memory.

    I looked up the symptoms and it looks like korsakoffs(everything fits in with this)

    Despite me saying this, and numerous blood, urine tests and a CT scan the hospital cannot find anything wrong.

    Last week they told me he was medically safe to be discharged, i disagreed since he lives alone and i cannot care for him full time.They are waiting for physchiatric team to assess him.

    I am worried that they just want to get him out ASAP which means he would be very vulnerable. Indeed they lost him yesterday and rang me to say they were calling the police! they then found him but the fact that him going missing was enough for them to call 999 flies in the face of the fact he is safe to be released according to them.

    plenty of nurses have been great but sadly some are just ignorant. I know that hopsital may not be the place for him but i am so scared they will kick him out leaving him to his own devices. Bare in mind he has been in hopsital 12 days and still doesnt know he is there.

    he is 62 does anyone have any ideas to help him and us?

    the only good thing is that he is still his amiable self cracking jokes ect just cant remember what happened 2 mins previous
     
  2. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    Hello Kevan:
    I am sure you will get much advice here.

    My first thoughts are you should contact Social Services within the hospital as they can be involved with your Dad's care on discharge. If there is a problem here please contact PALS within the hospital.

    Your Dad may well be medically fit but not mentally fit. Try asking for a mental assessment including your Dad's ability to cope at home, before discharge. That might get the hospital to ask for an urgent assessment.

    Good luck
     
  3. Vonny

    Vonny Registered User

    Feb 3, 2009
    4,577
    Telford
    Hi Kevan,

    Whatever your father is suffering from, it certainly sounds as if he's too vulnerable to be allowed to go home on his own.

    Well done for sticking to your guns and saying he still needs help. I hope the psychiatric team can assist as mainstream hospital probably isn't the best place for him. Would your dad agree to being moved to a psychiatric unit? Just a thought but he may be better placed there than in hospital.

    Sorry I have no other suggestions and hope someone will be along soon who can help.
     
  4. kevan

    kevan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2010
    7
    greater manchester
    whats PALS stand for?

    not sure if he would agree to pyschiatric ward but then again he is so forgetful at moment that he wouldnt really know anyway

    my main concern is making sure that someone is with him 24 hours a day at moment. I'm hoping that he may make some sort of recovery (as is possible with korsakoff's) in time but whatever way he is still alive (i thought we may lose him when i met him the other week)and he still has a lot of his normal conversational ability, just prone to confabulations and forgetting everything.

    thanks for all your help
     
  5. Necion

    Necion Registered User

    Hi Kevan, welcome to TP. You will get lots of support here, although I'm not experienced enought to give any real advice.

    The only thing I would like to say is, until a few months ago, I didn't know a thing about scans etc, but I now have learned that CT and MRI scans show the structure of the brain, then a TP member told me of SPECT scan which I'd never heard of before, which shows the functioning of the brain.
    I see dad is waiting for a psyciatric assessment. My husband is in the middle of tests, he had a CT and 2 x MRIs which showed nothing, he then had referals to neuropsycologist and psyciatrist, both of whom I asked about a SPECT scan. The psyciatrist said that is the only type of scan they use in their testing. John had his SPECT on Friday, told about 1 week for results.

    I realise this isn't really anything to go on, but thought you may be interested if, like me, you're new to all the medical jargon.
    Keep asking medics for any advice you need, look things up online so that you can be prepared for the new words and proceedures. I believe Knowlege is Power!

    Please keep in touch at TP and let us know how you get on.
    Love, Necion. x
     
  6. kevan

    kevan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2010
    7
    greater manchester
    thanks

    i would agree knowledge is power,think the doctor was surprised when i started to use words like confabulation,and stated key symptoms of korsakoffs
     
  7. Vonny

    Vonny Registered User

    Feb 3, 2009
    4,577
    Telford
    PALS = Patient Advice and Liaison Services and you can contact them if you're unhappy about any aspect of your dad's care in hospital. There should be a PALS office in your hospital.
     
  8. piedwarbler

    piedwarbler Registered User

    Aug 3, 2010
    7,188
    South Ribble
    Hi
    I'd use the phrase "unsafe discharge" if you can - hospitals are supposed to avoid them! And this sounds like it could be one. I wish you well.
     
  9. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
  10. MrsP

    MrsP Registered User

    Mar 19, 2005
    115
    The hospital team should perform a mental capacity test under the Mental Capacity Act to determine if your Dad has the ability to make decisions and care for himself. You can also throw in about the Safeguarding of a Vulnerable Adult as these are both powerful acts which are designed to prevent a person being discharged from hospital unsafely. I work on a ward with many alcoholics and these are invoked frequently - the hospital must be aware of them.

    Hope this helps.

    Kate.
     
  11. kevan

    kevan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2010
    7
    greater manchester
    Thanks for advice. Went seeing him yesterday and he was worst he had been in terms of being restless and confabulation of events. He kept tryin to walk out of his ward and i had to guide him back to his bed physically. Apparently he is going to the pub! In a way he is better as he was dressed and shaved. But he was convinced that there was a bar on his ward. First time he was not just compliant and easy to pacify.felt like the nurses where blaming him even though he cant help it. Bit fed up today.
     
  12. kevan

    kevan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2010
    7
    greater manchester
    well my dad was moved onto a secure unit. he has improved no end since then but still has no ability to record any memories. which means he has no insight into his condition.today he was moved into a home. they rang to say he was refusing to eat unless i came. spent an hour with him he was upset and asked who decided to stick him in a home. tried to explain that everything being done was in his interests. very upsetting leaving him. he is still relatively young and his intelligence is still there. just pray he settles in. hard hard times these
     

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