1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Sorry to be hypothetical but a story I have heard today has driven me to posting this ........ and ask for anyone who can offer any advice to help ......

    This 65 year old woman is in an NHS hospital .... not a specialist dementia care ward - with no definitive diagnosis other than she has 'some form' of dementia - perhaps caused by lack of oxygen to the brain following a major heart attack? ... perhaps something else? Perhaps a combination of 'something elses'?

    This woman is frightened by other 'residents' on the ward ... some of whom clearly have 'mental health' issues and exhibit symptoms which would be distressing to anyone, let alone a 65 year old woman who herself is confused and frightened .... This woman is subject to being 'toileted' once every 4 hours when staffing allows ...... this woman is most often toileted by a male nurse against her wishes ........

    This woman has family who are concerned for her ...... a family who has been given one prognosis that this much loved woman might have no more than 12 months to live .... more than 18 months ago ....... a family who now has no prognosis ..... and diagnosis rescinded ....... this woman has a family left bewildered ....

    This woman has enjoyed being allowed to 'go home' - to her partner and her family ....... for a few days, or a few hours .....

    This woman is now being denied this ... on the basis of a consultant suggesting it is difficult to settle her on her return to the hospital ...... (takes his poor staff at least an hour - oh, how my heart bleeds for them!) ....... Seems this woman has a consultant who can decide what is in 'her best interests' ....... but cannot diagnose what exactly is causing her problems?????? How could someone be so definite about one thing without the other???????

    This woman does not fit any stereotype of an Alz sufferer (if any such thing exists) ...... this woman's symptoms are said to be unique (alternative medical speak for 'we haven't got a clue!'?) ....

    This woman - and her family - surely still have rights to dignity, to choice ...... and not to be dictated to .....

    This woman could be our mother, our wife, our partner, our parent, our uncle, our nan (for 'woman' substitute man throughout) ... most of all ... any thoughts to help those who love and care for 'this woman' gratefully received ......

    Thank you.

    Karen (TF), x
  2. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    When we were having problems with my mum's hospital care we consulted PALS who did help a little. Maybe this would be worth considering in this case.

  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    First of all, I feel very sorry for this woman. She seems to have neither choice nor dignity in her present situation.

    I have a few questions, though.

    1) Why is she in a general ward? Does that mean she has medical problems too/

    2) What are her dementia symptoms? If they are severe enough to stop hame visits, should she not be in a specialist ward? Or do medical problems preclude that?

    3) Who is her next of kin? The partner? The family? Does she have SW, advocate, carers representative?

    4) Does anyone have POA?

    5) Why can she not be discharged to a NH?

    6) Has there been a case conference, and has a care plan been set up?

    I agree, it's a horrifying situation. If it was a relative of mine, I'd be jumping up and down demanding answers. It sounds like a return to the dark days of the Victorian mental hospitals.

    I realise that you're having to preserve confidentiality, but I'd love to hear more.

  4. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    I think that all NHS staff should have proper training in the care of dementia patients and should learn about the needs of older people in hospital. There should be carers in the wards who look after the more vulnerable and protect their rights.
    I know that my Mum seemed to go more and more downhill in hospital, because of the lack of care and understanding of her needs, but once she was in the Nursing Home she started to eat properly and put on weight again.
    Relatives should also be kept better informed. I'm glad that Mum never needed to go into hospital to stay again.
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I would be inclined to get in touch with Mind (mind.org.uk) because although I would agree that Pals can be helpful, I would think there were some issue of unlawful dententiion here (I assume she's been sectioned) and this section might be relevant http://www.mind.org.uk/Information/Legal/LegalbriefHR.htm
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #6 Margarita, Jul 20, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
    If the person has not been section , just admitted in the NHS hospital , as in say they are in a dementia unit within the hospital

    The relatives have every right to take them out of the hospital completely, Or if when they wanted to just for a few days over ruling the consultant .

    I would be telling them I'm taking my mother home at weekends and bring her back on Monday , sorry if it courses to much work for the staff settling my mother back in to your patten of work , but its my mother human right , if my mother was in a care home I could do that .

    and don't worry I am looking for a care home for her , in the meantime I am taking mum home at weekends or during the week and bring her back & if you still have an issue with this I shall talk to my lawyer about it ( even if I did not have one I would be saying that )

    Also Its my mother Human right to be wash by a woman , as its causing her distress, being wash by a man & if you can't respect her wishes I am talking to my mother social worker about it
  7. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007

    whilst I understand this line of thought I think it might be very problematic. My older son (who has mental health problems) did for a while have a relationship with a young woman who was in a mental health unit.
    I didnt actually know this at the time and therefore allowed her to stay with us at the weekends. But when she went to return one monday, which she had to do as she had no permanent home, it transpired her bed had simply been given to an emergency admission.
    although the hospital didnt turn her away, she simply had to sit all day and take whatever bed was available in any part of the hospital each night until a bed in the mental health unit became avaialble long term again.
    My son asked me to help and I did try but the bottom line was there was no bed full stop and if she hadnt left at the weekends this situation wouldnt have arisen which is true.
    Id be very concerned that any pattern of taking this lady home for short periods against medical advice might lead to a similar situation
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #8 Margarita, Jul 20, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
    Talk about a controlling system , that is a real outcry that they can do that with someone that is in a hospital unit for dementia .

    I know of people that our out patents in a menial unit are under the age of 30 & live in the hospital, so have the freedom to go come when they are stable to do so , spend a night t home

    But to have that control with someone that has dementia that is being taken out of hospital to a family home and they could just take the bed away is terrible , just because the consultant say no .

    I could not believe that my brother who is in a mental health unit , the nurse told me they have one of those unit for people with dementia, downstairs to my brother unit and they live they

    why would a person keep letting them live in they dementia unit within a hospital , after assessment rather then a care home or nursing home is what I would like to know please .

    I know a few people that live in a care home , nursing home & are allowed to go home every weekend .
  9. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire

    Would the person's GP be able to help?



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