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Wandering from care homes

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Callandergirl, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    96
    I haven't been in Talking Point for a long time. My husband died on May 29th after a 9 year struggle with contingencies dementia. He was admitted to a care home because he was a determined wanderer who was getting into dangerous situations and the mental health team were worried for him, and for me.
    While in the first care home he got out after watching to see the numbers being punched in the door pad but they got him before he left the porch. We transferred him to a home nearer to us and he never settled. He made repeated attempts to get out and fortunately was stopped at the front door, until the last time when he got out through an un-alarmed fire door upstairs then through the fire door downstairs which was alarmed with a nurse alarm and no one took any notice. It was dark outside and he began walking through the housing estate. Fortunately a resident in the estate who visited the care home, recognised him and took him back. Within half a mile of the care home lies the river, a main road and a level crossing!! After each attempt to leave, the care home played catch up and installed key pads, firstly on the door then on the lift.
    He had been assessed by the home before they took him and they knew he was a wanderer but they took him. They have a dementia unit but after the last attempt they issued an eviction order - via a phone call delivered by an agency nurse. For 8 weeks I searched for another home till eventually, after pressure from the cpn and the local authority they decided that the medication regime which they hadn't even given a chance to work was shortening him and they would keep him. He died 2 weeks later.
    At the moment I am waiting for figures from the care inspectorate in Scotland regarding the numbers of people who wander out of care homes. This is a big problem in the US where there are litigation lawyers who specialise in this problem. I believe it is also a big problem here but we don't hear about it! I want a regulated, minimum level of security to be in place in every home which states that it will look after people with dementia. People talk about preserving privacy and dignity and the rights of the individual. What seems to be forgotten is the duty of care to keep people safe. I welcome comments please because I believe we need to raise awareness and make the care homes spend the money we give them to protect our loved ones.
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Well that must have been massively scarey for you. But I'm not sure there aren't already standards for closed units. I mean obviously having an unalarmed door sounds like a failure, but watching which pin is inserted or following a visitor out: I'm not sure you can legislate for that.

    In other words, I think you might be attempting to get a rule imposed where the rule already exists. I suspect what you should really be doing is looking at enforcement. For example, if there is a pin pad, staff should be expected to treat it with the same caution that they would if they were withdrawing money from an ATM. If visitors are leaving, they should be visually checked that they are in fact visitors.
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I have to say, I'm in the us and Im not sure you would really like our solutions. For a start - when you have a litigious society, expenses go way up. My mil who does not have dementia but who is as infirm as you would expect a 95 year old to be, pays close to $5k a month for what is really just extra care housing. I really do not think the American model of lawsuits is really what you want.

    And there's nothing to stop someone in the UK from suing if they have had a loss.
     
  4. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,520
    Ireland
    In my husband's Nursing Home, the door code was changed every week for security, and the code was never given to visitors, no matter how regularly they visited. You had to be let in and out by a staff member - one of the care staff. The maintenance staff couldn't let visitors in and out. Visitors also had to sign themselves in and out, giving the time they arrived, time they left and who they were there to visit.
     
  5. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    96
    I don't want a litigous society, I'm trying to avoid it! Also we in the uk are often paying much more than the equivalent of $5000. I just want alarms and key pads to be in place to start with, but thank you for reading my post. I appreciate your contribution.
     
  6. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    96
    Thank you Jennifer. They had no key pads initially, only a hidden switch which he sussed out. The keypads arrived because of him and they had either no alarms or inadequate alarms on the doors. My point is that if they are going to take a lot of money from people and promise to keep them safe, they have to Hachette precautions in place and, as you say, enforce them.
     
  7. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    96
    That sounds like a responsible scheme which every home should have to follow.
     

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