92 year old, lack of where to go for support … …
2007 – 2014
I have a son of 30, he has bad ME and Crohns disease and very unwell. We get no help or support. My neighbour has a son with lots of drug problems who seems to get no end of help. Why don’t we get some help? My Dad is 92 and was living at home, he has mental health issues and we cannot find out what he is entitled to financially. The old folk work all their life and then they don’t get help they should.
We have to continuously as a family do all the running round to find out things. There is a lack of where to go for support and for support for mental health issues. And for help for placements into the right nursing homes. Dad has dementia, and he became not safe at home. Social services adult team did an assessment, they never even looked at my Dad, they were speaking to me and just ticking boxes. He was getting out of the house. But all felt he was coping! He was coping because the family were there that’s why!
Whilst assessments were being done he was trying to eat their notebook. He got up and went to the gas cooker whilst they were there and I let him so they could see what he did and the risks, he just turned the gas on, no match. But still they said he didn’t need more help. They couldn’t see the true picture, he didn’t get support to go into the correct care home to be helped. Why not?
Things deteriorated, I was very cross and we had to call the GP to continue to say how bad he was and we needed help, who sent a psychiatric nurse to assess. We were advised to go to a residential home we were told could cope with him, which was the wrong advice and inappropriate. They were sedating him and we would find him sitting in a chair dribbling. They couldn’t deal with him. We were told he had to go somewhere else. We had to move to a psychiatric unit for 9 months and then to an appropriate home. Referrals to correct places for the level of dementia that the person is suffering is not happening. It happened to us and we are hearing it so many times.
The situation is the same when they have to go to hospital, they haven’t got time to give them what they need, the care needs are not being met. We were recently in Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford, and waiting for transport to go home with Dad. We had to wait over 3 hours with Dad in a wheelchair couldn’t move, hungry, with a pad needing to be changed as he has to be hoisted, sitting uncomfortably for that length of time, he was trying to shift himself in the chair at 93 years old. This is very distressing for someone with dementia. The care home when we got back said it was disgraceful but they hear it all the time. Three hours is ridiculous! When the taxi came, the driver said they could not strap Dad in properly so I was told when we went round corners to hold onto the wheelchair.
When my Dad has been in the psychiatric unit my Dad was allowed to wander and went into the room of another resident who thought he was a burglar and hit him a number of times, he was badly bruised in the head and face. As the family you want the best care, you unfortunately always have to be the voice when you don’t get this and when you raise genuine concerns you are made to feel that you are interfering or that you are a nuisance. Many times I thought is it me? Or are other families being treated like this? In your heart you know it all wrong being treated like this. When an elderly loved ones receives injuries, the homes should let you know, they don’t.
My advice is ask how it happened, ask exactly what happened to the care staff, to the nursing staff and if it can’t be explained sufficiently, keep an eye on thing at all times and be constantly aware.