East Riding Council
My relative has been in four care homes since the onset of Alzheimer’s. Initially she was cared for at home by another relative but the stress of looking after someone with complex needs is very demanding and proved too much. It was not an easy decision to find a care home but it felt like the only option.
In the first care home she was left unattended and fell and broke her hip. In the second home, despite knowing her history of falling she was left in a bed without the sides pulled up, risking another fall onto her healing hip. She only stayed there for a week as the lack of care was visible with other residents being left alone to stare into the distance in cold rooms for hours.
The third care home began well but we had various issues including my relative being lifted out of bed in the middle of the night by a confused male resident and dressed. I witnessed residents repeatedly calling for help and being ignored. I tended to other residents when I could – giving them a blanket or a drink or wheeling them from their isolation back to the sitting room where they were asking to be taken. My relative became ill with flu in December 2019. We repeatedly asked for a doctor to see to her but in the end she was urgently transferred to hospital.
In the fourth care home my relative was ‘locked down’. We raised issues with safeguarding as we were concerned about inadequate fluid and food intake and visible weight loss and deterioration. We were also concerned about staffing levels and were told by the owner ‘we have to make a profit’. We tried to raise these issues with the care home manager, the social worker, MP’s, Local Authority safeguarding but were repeatedly ignored. 4 months later, my relative ended up in hospital. An x-ray showed that her bowels were so impacted that she had vomited. She was dehydrated and constipated which can be lethal for an elderly person. Despite raising concerns with the hospital and they agreeing that her state showed neglect she was returned to the care home without our consent.
We eventually were able to bring her home where she has put on weight and improved by being cared for by family and three times daily visits from care assistants.