Review meeting - what to expect?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Dave W, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    Having given serious cause for concern after three months of daily visits from carers (both Social Services and then private), my Mum was admitted to hospital for assessment about a month ago. She seems to have no sense of how long she's been there (visiting yesterday, she thought she'd been there a year), is frequently upset and distressed during my visits (every time I arrive, she's adamant I've come to take her home, and my partner and I have to manouevre ourselves slowly out of the conversation and 'escape' to get away), although this week she seemed more lucid at times than during previous visits (she was moved to a hospital nearer her home in which the consultant who's been seeing her since earlier this year is based).

    The hospital have asked me to attend a review meeting next week - what should I expect, be prepared for, and mentally brace myself to go through?
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Sounds to me as if they have completed their assessment, and want to explain things to you, and discuss what are the next steps, and put a plan into action, since the hospital can do no more at this stage.

    There will probably be Social Services there, a hospital rep, a doctor.

    Generally, [this was certainly the case for me] the family will have put off thinking what happens next, hoping that things can stabilise as they are; or, they will appreciate what is likely to happen next, but are awaiting confirmation of that, and the timing, and the support they may hope for.

    This meeting is probably to move things on from that point, in practical terms.

    Just brace yourself generally. It is never nice, and with this disease there is no winning, just making the best of a situation at a particular time, and doing one's best for the patient.

    The others at the meeting will normally realise all this and do all they can to help you.

    If you have any questions, doubts, suggestions, fears, etc, the meeting is a good place to air them.

    The worst thing may be to realise that your Mum may not be going to her own home again.

    Then again, she may, if they come up with a regime that will permit that.

    Try not to pre-judge the meeting, it may pleaseantly surprise you. Or not, as the case may be.

    Best wishes.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    Thanks, Bruce

    Bruce, thank you for such a quick reply and for your kindness. I suspect you're almost certainly right in that they have already arrived at their decision.

    My partner keeps reassuring me I'm doing the right things, and that she's currently safe and being looked after, but I keep letting The Guilt Monster (wonderful description, which ever TP-poster came up with it) sneak in and clobber me. The hardest parts for me to cope with at the moment are:

    * Mum's distress and constant demands to be taken home (although she was also doing this when she *was* at home, but it's someone easier to deal with standing in the family home rather than the middle of a psychiatric ward: I don't know whay I feel that). She's always been a very emotional woman - especially when she doesn't get something she really wants - but her condition is making this far more marked. And her level of denial is quite extreme - she gets very resentful at any attempt to offer any help with anything, even when it's very obviously needed. It's hard not feel pretty hurt by it, even if you do tell yourself she probably doesn't mean it (I throw in the probably in recognition of some of her behaviour in decades gone by!)
    * the sense of dread at all the stuff I'll have to take care of if they do decide she should be in full-time care. Getting POA with the Bank seems to have been a ludicrous bureaucratic struggle: I used to write training courses for Banks, and they obviously need several more. Their sympathy for the situation has been impeccable; their ability to sort themselves out has been dire. Facing up to possibly having to sell the house from a distance and much more is a dreadful prospect.
  4. Loiner

    Loiner Registered User

    Oct 29, 2005
    Leeds, UK
    I'd add a caveat.
    As it's been said reviews can be a bit hard, but remember one thing, it is in the best interests, and you should have the final say in that.
    Don't let them force you to something u aren't at least comfortable with. They may think they know best but they don't have to live with it, you do, just stand your ground if they try to push you somewhere u don't want your mum to go

  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I'll second that!

    Don't be afraid to shout, if necessary.

    In my equivalent meeting, I just managed to avoid hitting the [female] doctor for out of order comments, but only just.

    ...and I'm not a violent person ... except where Jan's interests are prejudiced!

    Good things did happen for Jan after that meeting, and the doctor was banished from our world.
  6. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    Dave W
    i would suggest taking a list of questions you might want to ask. Also make some notes of the main points - better still get your partner to do this then you can concentrate on what's being said. If you feel uncertain about their suggestions, ask for some time (days) to consider/ discuss them. That way you can reflect on what has been said, ask advice etc before taking a big decision. it is ahuge burden to act on our parent's behalf so don't feel pressurised into a hasty decision. As family you are your mum's representative - your views are therefore the most important ones as she cannot understand the severity and implications of her condition.

    About the guilt - we all feel that at times, whatever decisions we take. Thinking too far ahead can be daunting - sometimes you cope better with the one step at a time approach. You are doing your best and will continue to do your best to make the right choices for your mum's care. At the moment you need this review meeting to get as much information as you can form the professionals so that you can come to your own view as to the next stage. Good luck and keep posting if you need help.

    Blue sea

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