Somebody else's glasses

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by hendy, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    My dads got FIVE pairs of glasses at the moment, all in various states of disrepair. He wears them indiscriminately, even though at least two are for different things. He sometimes put two or more pairs on at once which looks very funny. I'm not really sure what situations he considers wearing them, but I know that he uses none of them to read because he uses a magnifying glass!
    He spends quite alot of time faffing around sorting different "combinations" of pairs to wear, losing then, finding them, losing them again, and then says "I dont actually need glasses you know!"
    Ive got a feeling its not the AD....Ive got a feeling it's just dad!:D
     
  2. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    #82 hendy, Mar 16, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
    Hi Margaret
    I completely understood your reply. Its a difficult one for teachers! After all we do get holidays. However... during term time your life is not your own. An impossible situation when caring for a loved one with dementia and raising a family. I am considering going on supply to avoid the situation that I have just had to deal with, where I have not been able to put my family or Dad as a priority when they have really needed me.
    We have just recently been ofsted'd, the inspection coincided with my Dad being admitted to the Assssment Ward after the nursing home could no longer cope with him. Professionally speaking, I was working up til 11 pm every night to make sure everything was just as it should be etc. I didn't see Dad for three days... what I found, when I did see him, prompted this thread. The work pressures that I am now dealing with are horrendous when coupled with the stress of everything else, its making me ill. I am working with a class at present who are the most difficult I have ever had to deal with(anti-social, deprived and neglected low attaining)They are making outstanding progress, but at a price. I've got to keep going til July, just hope it doesn't finish me off altogether.
    So I'm busy deciding what to do for the best as well.
    take care
    hendy
     
  3. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Hi
    Zoet
    Your Dad does sound confused with his 'glasses situation'! I know the feeling- when I've been using reading glasses it seems to make my eyesight worse not better!!
    Does your Dad need a trip to the opticians? Would this help out at all? At least if you went with him, the optician would be able to tell you which glasses he should be wearing and if he needs a new prescription. My Dad doesn't read or watch telly anymore, but he does need them for getting about safely as his eyesight is really bad and he's unsteady and prone to falls.
    Zoet you have had such a nightmare to deal with, its lovely to read your posts, they are so cheery and up-beat.
    take care
    hendy
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #84 Margarita, Mar 16, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
    Not a upright piano , but do have a Yamaha digital piano , it look like an Electronic keyboard , but the sound is much better, also the price was better then a upright piano

    I don't know how to leave those link just open a post I done in the poem thread .


    But I made this poem up , while playing around with the keys on the digital piano. as back then my mother was sharing with me her years of when she was 16 , it did feel like she was in that time in her mind , but now she does not talk about those years anymore or may be just does not remember those years any more


     
  5. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Margarita
    Thats a lovely poem. I tried to imagine it being played on your wonderful digital piano. I have a really old digital piano it looks scruffy but still sounds good.
    Your post reminded me of Christmas day when Dad came for dinner. James, who has a lovely voice, sang a couple of songs for Grandpa. My Dad himself was a good singer and had been a boy soprano. When he heard James he joined in and sang 'Danny Boy' word for word and in tune. Although he cannot communicate easily, he hadn't forgotten the words of the song. I played a few other tunes(that he used to sing) on the piano and Dad again joined in. Another special moment.
    take care
    hendy
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #86 Margarita, Mar 16, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
    its so amazing really how they can remember the words to a song , but can not communicate a conversation , over the years with my mother I find that when one of my children or even myself start to have a conversation with her she can't answer back , she pick up on the last word she can identify with a similar sound and sing a rhyme out of it , its like she changing the conversation to a level she can understand Identify with .

    My piano is now in the shed in the garden , as when we moved to our new home last Jan 07 , it was stored in they it reminds me of the time when I was finding it all so depressing with mum losing her memories of us all as a family , bit irrational thinking I know to associate my poor piano with past sad memories . but knowing me what make me sad to look at ends up in the charity shop . so I end up getting a a grand piano as my front room so big now that it would fit one . So I can make up a new song :D about how time did move on, thus coming teams with it all . so when this time also move on & I look at my new piano it make me feel Good :)
     
  7. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Margarita
    Its not irrational at all. We have to find a way of dealing with sad memories - even if it means putting them in a shed or sending them to the charity shop!! I think you should get an enormous grand piano and go for it with some new songs!!
    take care
    hendy
     
  8. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Latest visit to Dad

    Took whole family to see Dad yesterday, again armed with cream cakes etc. He seemed a little more agitated, but was able to sit down for a bit ( and a cake)then he was off wandering again. I think it was a bit much for him with all of us, but it was a one off really.
    The iron on labels arrived so was able to organise Dads new clothes. I have bought Dad another pair of brown velcro shoes with 2 straps. They have been labelled, written on etc. I just hope these stay in his posession, as he found the first lot to be comfortable. And that's saying something. I might just add that Dad has an old crush injury to his foot,(this is another story) which means he finds it hard to get shoes that dont cause him pain, or that fit properly. This is why I was so cross about the new pair(or any other pair of shoes) going missing. I had to mention this to staff as they had no idea that he had these old injuries. Hopefully they'll take more care of this new pair.
    Dad still had his own glasses on and still had his own toiletries all present and correct. I think I've scored a minor victory there. Now just waiting for news about Dad seeing neurologist and waiting for SS... I have to say that Dad is getting good care in hospital and although it is not ideal, It will take quite a deal of reassurance to trust him going to another nursing home again... especially after the poor standards of care he received in the last one. I still feel bad about this. Have to wait and see
    hendy
     
  9. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    Hendy, Ken's shoes used to go missing until I hit on the idea of using bright red, or white nail varnish (depending on the colour of the sole)and painting his initials very large on the sole instep. Given Ken's fettish for shoes and slippers, this has worked remarkably well in helping the staff to locate them.

    Sadly I've had to give in with the glasses. I take a pair with me, put them on whilst I'm with Ken, and then have to take them off him until the next day when I visit. Did you see my post where a senior staff nurse asked my why was I bothering to bring glasses at all?

    We've visited his new care home together for a few days now to familiarise Ken with the staff/layout of the place whilst his bedroom is being cleaned and prepared. What a lovely sight to see glasses on resident's faces, smart, clean clothing, even jewellery on the ladies! And, glory of glories, there are activities of one kind and another every day. I think Ken and I have finally reached heaven!!


    xxTinaT
     
  10. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Tina
    Thanks for your post. The nail varnish idea sounds great, i'll take a bottle with me next time I see Dad. Having recently made an effort with my own nails - I have available every colour under the sun! I think in the case of Dad it must be other patients who have a shoe fetish. He really has no idea what he's got on his feet, unless they're hurting him.

    Yes I read about your experience with this particular nurse. Did you ever follow it up? I thnk I might have had to 'go for the jugular' if anybody said that about Dad!! I suppose the really worrying thing about that 'nurse' is what other patients have had to suffer because of him. It really doesn't bear thinking about...

    I think Kens new home sounds fantastic. It has renewed my hope about them a little. You have done so well to find it. Top marks!! May I ask, Tina what you did to track it down?
    Take care
    hendy
     
  11. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    #91 TinaT, Mar 18, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
    Footwork Hendy - just that. Relentless slogging around so many places and spending at least an hour there and then having a second visit.

    My first and most important battle was with the consultant. She wanted him to go to an EMI unit. The EMI units in my area are appaling!! All are privately run and I came away from them in pieces, emotionally drained. So my major battle was to stabalise Ken, then convince the ward staff and the consultant that he was capable of being cared for in a kinder environment than the ones I had seen.

    When I go to any care establishment, I look at the layout of the place. I have to bear in mind that Ken's particular form of dementia means that he needs to wander around constantly. If the home has only one room where residents are expected to sit around - then that is immediately crossed off my list. Again to refer to the number of public rooms, is there another room that Ken could go to if he didn't like a particular resident, or to get away from a particularly noisy, disruptive resident. Is there a separate dining room which can be used for other activities during the day? He needs a corridor, preferably with some seating somewhere along the corridor and more than one room to wander in and out of. I look at the garden area - is it easily accessible? How is the garden layout? Will Ken be able to wander around the garden on safe, well laid paths? Is there seating and any shade for very hot days?

    Then I try to check (without asking) how many residents there are and how many staff I can see on duty and how the staff interract with the residents. I ask can I come and have a meal with the residents as I think it is important to see how the staff deal with mealtimes. Do the staff take time and patience with the reluctant eaters? Are special diets observed? Is there a choice of a cooked meal / sandwich type food? I also ask how many night staff do they have. I try to observe how the staff interrract with residents and how long have the staff worked at the care home? How do the staff interract with each other - do they work as a team? I chat to any staff I meet and try to find this out without appearing to be too inquisitive. Have any staff been on a recent 'refresher' type course? If they do not want to chat with me or appear distant with me, then this care establishment is also crossed off my list.

    I look at the residents themselves, how they are dressed, are residents wearing glasses, are the ladies wearing any bits and pieces of jewellery - a sign for me of good care is that residents still seem to have their own, individual personality, reflected in how they are dressed.

    I look at what facilities the care home provides for recreational activities. Do the activities which are on the notice board actually take place? Where do most activities take place? Who organises them? Are there any outside groups which come into the home? How many TV's, DVD players, Radios? Again this supposes that there are enough rooms for residents to have a choice of whether to listen to a radio or watch tv. I sit and watch TV for a while to see if the programmes being shown are relevant to the age group of the residents. Is there a 'smoking room' and has it got proper ventillation? Is there a whiteboard where today's date is displayed, what the weather is like and what activity will take place today and is this in a prominent place and used by staff to help residents to know what today's date is.

    Are the toilets clean? Are they well positioned and are there signs informing residents that they are toilets. Above all else, does the place smell clean??? Residential homes do have their own particular smell and I am not asking for pristine, Febreeze smells to gently waft around. But essentially there is a difference between an acceptable 'institutional' smell and a downright offensive, unbearable smell.


    ......I expect by now you are sorry you asked me Henny ------

    a ps added 10/2/09 My husband has been in his EMI home for a year now and I would like to add just one or two more more points from my experiences

    Laundry facilities are important. Are/is there dedicated laundry staff or is this a job just for night staff (as in some homes).

    If a resident does not like to eat in the dining room, can food be served elsewhere - ie: in a sitting room, or bedroom? If a resident does not want to eat at the set time, is his/her food saved for when he/she does want to eat?

    Does the home have a visiting chiropodist? hairdresser? Are there regular visits from a community psychiatric nurse to help to assess medication needs?

    Will you (the main carer)ALWAYS be informed if it is felt that medication needed to be changed?

    None of the above are unattainable dreams - all of the above are concerned with the quality of life which we would expect for our loved ones, and all of which I have found in my husband's care home over the past year. Good luck and every success

    xxxTinaT
     
  12. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Tina
    Wow! You should be a care home inspector!! Ken's so lucky to have you sorting things for him! You have raised some really good points in this reply. You're so right, these things are reasonable expectations. I've got to say that I had the most depressing afternoon reading through Care home inspection reports for areas near me. One of them was positively horrific(I can feel a letter to my MP coming on ...)And the others were well... is 'adequate' really good enough?
    As far as my Dad's concerned, the wandering aspect is going to be crucial for him.
    At the minute I am waiting for SS to take the lead with NH, as I am feeling very pessimistic about the idea. On Thursday, though a friend has kindly offered to take the children out for the day and I thought I might be able to do some 'foot work' and recon. (can't spell this) then. Thanks very much for your reply. I will let you know how I get on.
    take care
    hendy
     
  13. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    Hendy,

    I take any CSCI report with a pinch of salt!! They have given good reports on places where I wouldn't allow my dog to live!!
    Trust your own judgement. No one has more interest and knows your dad better than you do and knows instinctively what is best for him.

    The very good care home I found for Ken is a Local Authority run home. It is the cheapest I have visited - not that this was my main concern as Ken is fully funded - and -it is the best I have seen!!! The report from the CSCI on the home(done last year) mentioned that more 'activities' were needed and it didn't score well in any particular area. All I can say is that the staff have put tremendous efforts into organising daily activities!! So perhaps CSCI reports are useless from our perspective but useful in encouraging the care homes to move in certain directions.
    xxTinaT
     
  14. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Tina
    I see what you mean, the home my Dad just left was rated good in nearly all areas - but there were areas causing concern to me (un-documented falls etc) that I haven't even mentioned on my thread. So it really is a case of good old fashioned foot work! Thanks again
    take care
    hendy
     
  15. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,442
    Tina - I'm bookmarking your post so that next time someone asks about how to go about selecting a home I can direct them to it - really excellent work. I particularly liked the jewelry part: my mother's carer's always got to her to select a piece of jewelry or a scarf, and you are so right, it is indicative of treating people like individuals.
     
  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    70,111
    Kent
    Thanks jennifer, what a good idea.
     
  17. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Where does Dad go now?

    To anyone reading
    Has been an eventful day. As the children had been taken out for all day on a trip. I was able to put some theory into practice! I had been expecting SS to suggest a suitable home for Dad following assessment. I had earlier expressed my concern that this was premature, because he is presenting with other problems that are 'under investigation'. However, I spoke to a senior nurse today to try and get an accurate picture of where things are at with Dad. We talked in some detail and I was able to get quite a bit of useful information. Especially regarding future care. As it turns out hospital have recommeded that Dad needs higher staffing levels and specialist psychiatric nursing, whatever the outcome of any investigation, this is unlikely to change.
    I had thought I would have been able to look for suitable nursing homes and even have a choice! This has since turned out not to be the case. In my area there were only three nursing homes that came anywhere near this criteria. Looking at inspection reports ruled out one straight away. This left two others, one had 88 places and the other 22. Going on general advice from nursing staff, i went to go and look over the smaller home. ( I am going to check out the others as well so I can say I've done my 'footwork')Also to research prior to sending a letter to my MP...
    The staff were lovely and the nurse/manager showed me around. Using Tinas 'checklist' I was able to tick every box,just about. The manager explained that it was a specialist home that nurses dementia patients with other enduring psychiatric conditions and is highly specialised. It was really lovely, welcoming, clean. There were activities taking place. The patients were well presented. Difficult behaviour was being managed etc. Unfortunately they have no beds. Following this visit a number of other phone calls to social services, care home laison. SW was a load of rubbish. However CH laison lady is running the nursing review panel for Dad. I had met her before when there were problems at my dads previous nursing home, so she knew where i was 'coming from', and as it turns out this particular nursing home I found, was the only one that is likely to be suitable for Dad. I think I was able to add extra weight to the cause because i was able to relate the instances of Dad 'being aware' of his surroundings e.g. singing at home, feeling depressed, which won't have been in any hospital assessment. Anyway, Top of my list and top of her list. What a relief! just waiting for Wednesday when we'll know what Dad needs will be assessed for sure. It has been continuing care before and I think it likely to be again. Just have to wait and see.
    There are still so many questions and issues, but now I've got someone else influential on 'our side' its one little victory so far, but many more battles still to be fought yet.
    bye for now
    hendy
     
  18. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,442
    It sounds so positive Hendy, so well done you.
     
  19. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    Oh Hendy, I could cry with relief for you. As you say, it is still early days and you might have a few more 'rounds' to go but the fact that both yourself and the professional are 'singing from the same hymn sheet' will surely count for something. If you think this is the best place for your dad, then my advice is stick to your guns and be relentless in explaining the benefits for your dad of this particular place.

    I forgot to put in my 'footslogging' post that I also, as you do, feel that there is an optimum number of residents - too many and the place becomes an institution - too few and you might not get the space your dad needs.

    The home Ken is going to has 23 permanent places and 2 respite places.

    God bless you for all the hard work you are putting in to try to get things right for your dad.

    xxxTinaT
     
  20. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    70,111
    Kent
    It`s so uplifting to read posts like yours Hendy. You must feel like the weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
    Love xx
     

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