North Lincolnshire 1
Is this the standard of service we can expect from North Lincolnshire Council and ***** Care Home?
Our Mum (dob 1931) suffered a PRES seizure in Aug 2015 within 12hrs of been unsafely discharged from hospital after receiving an emergency bowel operation .
Prior to PRES Seizure 14.08.15 we had a normal family life . We lived within a 3-mile radius of each other, I spoke to mum on the phone every evening for at least an hour, she came to my house every Sunday for lunch and most Saturdays we went out . She came caravanning with me and her great granddaughter, my brother also had a close relationship and visited mums on a weekly basis and spoke on the phone during the week.
Our Mum was a law-abiding tax paying citizen – as a family (prior to this trauma) we never had any previous dealing with Social Services and have always relied on each other for help and support.
This was a traumatic event for us as a family. Mum spent several weeks in ICU (she had a DNR in place) and because our mum became disabled overnight, we were not prepared. My brother and I worked full time. My daughter wanted to look after her grandma which was fully accepted and Mum was pleased (but concerned because she required 24/7 care). Since the PRES seizure she became blind, paralysed, unable to hold anything and incontinent .
This was a temporary measure until we found mum a more suitable home that would accommodate mum and a bedroom for someone to stay overnight (she lived in a very small one bedroomed bungalow)
It soon became apparent that this was too much for granddaughter on her own (with our support – whilst we still worked) and we all agreed (including mum) that it would be a good idea for mum to go into the care home (next to where her bungalow was) for respite until we had bought a more suitable house that would accommodate mums disabilities.
THIS WAS THE WORST DECISION WE HAD EVER MADE
Below are a list of dos and don'ts that in hindsight would have resulted in our mum receiving a dignified and peaceful end to her life.
DO NOT let a hospital discharge anyone without having a ‘care plan’ in place and you should be involved this discussion
DO NOT answer any questions regarding the patients' financial position (ie own their own house)
DO NOT arrange for anyone to go into a care home unless absolutely necessary (these are not for ‘care’ they are for financial gain for shareholders)
DO NOT discuss anything personal with the care home staff (eg we are removing mum at the end of the month – we are not happy with xyz) - they will start blocking you and making visits difficult and start withholding information (it does sound melodramatic but it has happened to thousands of carers)
DO NOT believe everything social workers tell you. - question everything. Contact ‘The People's Care Watchdog’ team – they will provide support and provide unbiased advice if possible
DO NOT trust or think that the care home has your loved ones best interest
DO NOT trust or think that social services are there to help you and your loved one – they are there to protect the care home who need all beds full (they need the care homes on side to take socially funded services users and use self-funders to support that)
DO NOT trust or think that the Care Quality Commission (CQC they are not fit for purpose) are there to help you if report any concerns – again through experience they always believe the care home
DO ensure you have Enduring Power of Attorney for both Financial and Health
DO ensure you have a hard copy and a scanned copy - if you have a Power of attorney that was arranged by a Solicitor before 2007 And therefore, NOT REGISTERED -
DO ensure you are involved in any care plans
DO ask to see medication records on a regular basis (but not in any regular pattern)
DO visit at different times of the day and different days of the week (do not follow a pattern) if the care home tells you, it will benefit your loved one, they are lying … it is to help them...
DO record all conversations you have either on your phone or hand written notes - if they unhappy about this – it is a ‘red flag’ warning
DO check your loved one for (obviously discreetly) for bruising etc
DO place a hidden camera in your loved one's room (abuse is a more likely risk that privacy and dignity)
DO remove your loved one as soon as you suspect or have a ‘gut’ feeling (do not inform either the care home or social services before you remove them)
DO ensure you are involved with all assessments –if either care home or social workers say you cannot be involved that is incorrect information.