Quietly into the night?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by jc141265, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Ever get the impresssion that the staff in the homes our loved ones live in (when they can no longer live at home for whatever reason) are kind of in a hurry to rush our dads/mums/wives/husbands etc down that path to total incapacitation and eventually death? :confused:

    Every week we seem to be struggling with Dad's home staff, over Christmas they kept insisting that we needed to buy him some kind of deluxe lounge chair so that he had his own chair that would be comfortable for him to just lounge in all day. We said that we were not going to do so until he started showing signs that lounging in a chair all day was what he wanted. :eek: Call us paranoid but we began wondering if they just wanted for him to have his 'own' chair so that he could become like the many of the other residents, unable to walk, chair ridden but oh so much easier to look after, and move around. (There are plenty of chairs available for him to sit in at the home, they wanted us to buy him one that basically is on wheels)

    Now for the last two weeks they have put him on 'soft' foods. We understand the concept of 'soft foods', eventually folk have to eat soft food because they begin to be unable to swallow properly and there is a danger of choking on normal foods and also that liquid and other bits and pieces will be sucked unintentionally into the lungs which could lead to pneumonia. The reason they have put Dad onto soft foods is because apparently a week ago he had choked badly on his dinner. They said they will get a speech pathologist to assess him, but that is yet to happen and in the interim their procedure is to put him on soft food. Have you seen the gunk that is soft food? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to eat only that unless there was no other option. As it is , we are currently still feeding Dad normal food on our visits to him and there has been no sign of choking. Maybe its irresponsible of us, but frankly, the man has dementia, sometimes he can't coordinate his physical actions, it is no surprise that occasionally he will choke, trip, hurt himself etc. Personally (and with the consensus of the rest of the family) I would rather Dad die doing things he enjoyed, even if it means a violent and horrible death, rather than slowly and miserably curling up into a foetal position, become a weak whimpering little old man and then eventually dying. Again we also suspect that they main reason for the push for sloppy food is that its far easier and quicker to feed him that. :mad:

    This is just a personal rant, and I understand everyone's case is different and some don't even have the option of hoping that they could avoid a long slow death for their loved one, some may think its more humane as well. My rant has to also be understood that it is about my father , a unique individual, a man I know as a fighter, a roarer, a man who will grit his teeth and bear pain rather than admit he is licked, a big man, a tall man, a strong man.

    Last but not least, don't worry I know all our options with negotiating with the home, what our rights are, his rights and what the home is allowed to do. We will keep refusing to let them push us and Dad around, but damn it would a lot easier if they stopped thinking they know better than us. They might know aged care, but they don't know Dad, they don't know the Dad that still resides there inside that body. I am also aware that most of these things they want to do with Dad come down to the home covering its ash so they can't get sued....unfortunately a sign of the times.

    I just hope that bureaucracy won't eventually tie our hands on these kinds of matters, the last thing I want for Dad and the last thing I believe he would want is to be forced to go quietly into the night. :(

    Some of you know my personality quite well by now....I get it from him, we're not the quietly into the night type people now are we?? :p
     
  2. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Hi Nat

    I absolutely agree that our loved ones deserve to get as much as help they can to live as full a life as possible.

    Maybe we are lucky in the home Mum is in, but the carers seem to be the complete opposite to your Dad's carers.

    We visit at all times on different days and the staff are continually laughing and chatting to the residents. Music is playing most of the time and residents are encouraged to sing or dance to it, there is always a member of staff in the lounge.

    After lunch there is a quiet hour when the residents can have a sleep, but otherwise it is a lhappy, active environment. The reason they do this is to make a clear difference between night and day and to ensure the residents have as much proper sleep at night as possible.

    The residents who have walking frames are encouraged to move small distances regularly to maintain their strength for as long as possible, and although some, including Mum, have problems swallowing, the food freshly cooked and mashed up, for example mashed potato, mince and fresh vegetables mashed with a fork.

    I have not heard of anyone having to buy their relative a chair when in a home, but maybe it is different here. I know that as we are paying £2000 a month for Mum's self-funding care, a request from the home for anything as basic as a chair would not be received too well!

    Kathleen
     
  3. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Now there's the understatement of the year so far!

    More power to your elbow Nat, you go Girl!

    Best wishes
     

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