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The Friends of Dorothy Saga - Episode 5

roger1941

Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
43
0
East Kent
www.alzheimers.org.uk
Jim: Hello Peter. I'm just phoning to talk further about 'Denis Bryant' being placed at 'Sackville Lodge'. Do you still have a room available?
Peter: Yes we still have the vacancy. I see that he is a single man, do we know if there are sexual orientation issues?
Jim: Well, he hasn't confirmed it and at this stage in his dementia it is difficult to know for sure. Why do you ask?
Peter: To be frank, if he was gay I would want to know what his HIV status was before confirming the place. I have the other residents to consider


Anyone know what Denis's rights are in this situation?
Is it justifiable to ask such a question about HIV status simply because a man is gay?
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
0
Bolton
No it is not right to assume HIV positive status because of sexual preference.

The only problems I could see relating to HIV status would be the falling and cutting yourself issue. I know my husband has had some serious falls, cut his head and has bled profusely.

If HIV can be transmitted by blood contact, then of course precautions should be taken. I would imagine anyone with any type of infectious disease would have a medical history and we are all used to being asked what in our opinion might be seen as offensive questions. I would also expect that relatives would be truthful and inform the manager of any home if there was any serious medical problem before admission.

I'm sure it must have felt very hurtful to be asked such a question. I think we all have been asked to answer yes or no to some medical questions to which we could take offence.

Best thing to do is to answer truthfully but raise your eyebrows at the same time to indicate that you are somewhat shocked to be asked this. That's the tact I always take in situations where I'm feeling uncomfortable to say the least and offended to say the most.

xxTinaT
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,445
0
I think it would only be acceptable if all residents were asked to confirm this. It's not just HIV that is a blood born virus its hepatitis as well and for all I know, others too. And I would suggest that any responsible care facility should be using barrier methods when dealing with human waste anyway.

It's a pretty specious comment anyway - it's not the other residents that would be at risk. Care workers maybe, but not other residents. There is far more danger to most residents from visitors with colds etc.
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
0
Bolton
That is definately WRONG!! I would go wild if any tests were done on my partner wirthout consulting me! What did you do about this?

xxTinaT
 

JPG1

Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
3,391
0
Roger,

This is unacceptable. And it is doubly unacceptable if your partner is tested without anyone bothering to consult you.

What does 'being single' have to do with sexual orientation?

'Being married' doesn't give a reliable indication of sexual orientation.

And would 'being divorced' or 'being widowed' also require an explanation of 'sexual orientation issues'. No. Of course not.

I would ask whether they have procedures in place to test each and every potential resident for C-diff, for MRSA, and to name just another one, for STDs, if that's the way their thinking needs to be challenged.

I'd want an answer to that question.

Also, it would be interesting to know whether they test each and every 'non-married' member of staff for 'sexual orientation issues'.

The use of the word 'issues' bothers me.:(

Stay with it, Roger!!
 

robertjohnmills

Registered User
Nov 16, 2008
225
0
66
Bexley in Kent nr London
Discriminatory Questioning

I most certainly hope this was not a recent event. If it was it demonstrates how little progress there has been in both sexual preference discrimination, knowledge of STI's and HIV. I would submit formal complaint to home and if you receive an inadequate apology and no plan to preclude it from happening again, why don't you forward the matter to Quality Care orgainisation who audit healthcare establishments for governance and practice.

I know my Partner is listed as "Single" on our local NHS Hospital computer because there is no "Civil Partner" in the drop down menu. After all it has only been about 5 years since it came into being :)
 

roger1941

Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
43
0
East Kent
www.alzheimers.org.uk
Thanks for those responses.
My own experience of my partner's testing took place a number of years ago and at that time I knew precious little about dementia and therefore, I am sorry to say, that I was so at sea about the whole experience that I didnt say anything when they told me they had tested him. I guess I was more relieved than anything else that he wasnt positive. I went on a steep learning curve after that and learned to eye ball people and shout when the need arose. I remember writing about it afterwards and wondered if everyone was tested, straight or gay.
The other reason for writing this scenario was that someone has told me that the incidence of HIV in american residential homes has risen significantly recently and I'm trying to get hold of this research. I guess it stands to reason that the rise of HIV within the gay community in the 80's will see more single positive guys either in residential or receiving domiciliary care.
People do have 'thoughts' about single men,and similarly when I tell people that my partner had died they often ask if it was AIDS, and if they dont ask, they certainly think it!
Anyway I want to thank all of you who read my stuff or respond to it because you enable the awareness raising to take place.
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
0
NW England
I’m ignoring the sexual orientation bit on purpose ... everything on that score has already been said by others ....... the whole issue of being tested or screened for anything without consent is horrific? How come you weren’t consulted about that and yet you were informed of the results? (Or was your partner able to tell you at the time without any breach of patient confidentiality?) And if he was able to tell you the results was he able to understand what the tests were for? Which makes it doubly horrific? I’ve been through an HIV test myself many years ago (and no, I don’t feel the need to justify why) ... the amount of counselling for myself – and partner pre-test and pre disclosure of results - was humungous – and rightly so ....

This is not just stereotyping/prejudice/discrimination (not sure what your preferred word is) about sexual orientation but about a dementia patient not being given equal rights to consent for investigations (and treatments where appropriate) .... or if they are unable to consent, deferring to next of kin/attorneys/carers for consultation prior to any action being taken ..... GMC guidelines in the UK only came to force on this issue in 2008, so are perhaps no use to you ‘after the event’ ... but if you wanted to pursue it give me a nudge and I will send you some links,

Love, Karen, x
 

roger1941

Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
43
0
East Kent
www.alzheimers.org.uk
Thanks Karen.
Essentially the story about the testing was that the consultant psychiatrist told me they had done it when I went to talk with her about my partner's diagnosis of pre-senile dementia.
I would stress that this is some time ago and we have hopefully moved on since then (though sometimes I am not so sure about all of us).
You might also like to know that not long afterwards they moved him to a residential home without telling me they were going to do it.!!!! LOL
Yes I laugh now because the result is that I've become the campaigning maniac I am now!!!!
Best wishes