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Neglect of feeding and personal care in nursing home. - Carers UK Forum

Neglect of feeding and personal care in nursing home.

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Hi everyone,

I am sure you will be as shocked as me when you read this story, it beggars belief to be honest.

In August my mother finally went into care, the reason was I could no longer take the physical assaults and injuries, apart from the Alzheimer she was as fit as a fiddle.

Any this is a beautifully located home, "allegedly dedicated" for dementia sufferers, it even has a lovely name " Memory Lane" the level of accommodation is terrific, the quality of the food. When you see the menu's and the dining room is set out like a top restaurant, they promise you all sorts, sadly that is where it ends.

Mum had been there for about 5-6 weeks, when we had a review with her consultant. There were several concerns raised by me, mums weight loss, finding her with meals uneaten and just aimlessly wandering around the corridors. The fire alarm door at the end of the corridor is always being opened by residents, when you go in you hear it, there never appear to be any staff about, and have lost count of the items in those first weeks found not only mum but other residents outside unable to get back in. There were no activities being done at all.

As you all know there are numerous assessments done as mum was being put forward by her consultant for funding.I have reams and reams and reams of care logs showing the level of feeding support and drinking support mum needed, so they knew well in advance the level of support she required. I did challenge the staff several times when we found her with uneaten meals in her room, "oh we don't give one to one feeding support, we believe in allowing freedom of choice"!!!

All along the corridor window ledges there is an array of fruit and sweets and raw vegetables and crisps, well when you have someone who has the most horrific sweet tooth, it is very obvious what she is going to do. Oh its ok, she has snacks through out the day!!!

anyway I said I was not happy and if they were not going to provide the level of care promised then mum would need to be moved.Clearly the home did not wish to loose a lucrative client and continuing care were not happy either and said that it was what was in mums best interests. Yes I totally agree and being some where that she is not being given feeding assistance and not having her personal care done is most definitely not in her best interests. It would only continue and the longer it did , the more serious the impact on her general well being.

Unfortunately they felt that I was s not best placed to make this decision and despite having written instruction from mum, under the mental health 2005 act it was not valid, so they sent an advocate into the them home. She went in spoke to staff and took every single word they told her as gospel. Never at any point did she seek to confirm anything, either from family, doctors, carers notes and agencies and deemed it safe and fit.The home claimed that mum was habitually late for day care and never ready when they called to pick her up, again reams and reams of care logs confirming they were her till the transport came, and they left as she did, but the advocate sought no corroborative evidence for anything they claimed.

Well on the 05.03/2013 there was another case review, held at the home, it was conducted by a bank nurse, myself, my daughter and mum's consultant present. Prior to going I had typed up a list of concerns, a copy for the home and one for the doctor.

We arrived early and went to see mum, who was in bed again, the bedding had old food stains on it, and she had a very sore cut on her arm, clearly her skin was very dry and itchy, she scratched it till it made a hole and bled. There was no evidence of this having been cleaned or dressed. We left to head round to the front office to meet the consultant and staff for the review.

As we came out mum's room another female resident walked past, she was wearing one slipper, a jumper and pair or pants (underwear ones) we were horrified to say the least, there were at least 6-9 other family members visiting who were in that corridor at that time, and most just stood in shock and awe, not a single member of staff present or visible either on the unit.

At the front we sat waiting on the doctor arriving, he did and went to see mum. Just before his arrival at 3 pm the manager returned from having been out with another female, who then went into the spare office, the one used for relative meetings, sat down lifted her laptop, got a coffee and took up residence in the room.

After he saw mum, he came back, and was surprised to find the room not available. I will go find a member of staff, this he did. He returned to reception to where we were waiting, the female member of staff said, well you can hold the review here in reception or go to the unit. The unit had a little more privacy than reception, not much, as it is just inside the main door entrance to the unit, so you have staff and family members coming in and out, you also have the residents wandering around.

I gave both the bank nurse and the doctor my list, she did not even look at it, put it under mums folder and said she would pass it on to the staff.The doctor read it and instantly marked areas, he about mums weight, to which we were all told she has lost 4.8 kilos ( 11 lbs in old money 3/4 of a stone). They had been recording her weight once a month since my concerns in September!! yet failed to notice this amount of loss or do anything about it or inform anyone!!!

Her doctor went mental at this he is a very small quiet man but he flew out that chair and was livid, controlled but livid " I am sick fed up having this conversation with the staff and management in this home" it is an on-going issue and I have had enough, I have another resident who has been subjected to this as well.

Then he asked about her personal care, she had "an assisted wash" that morning, the previous wash had been on the 1st March. At this point I said she has had 1 bath that we know of since coming in here, please check back and tell us when she last had a bath or shower. The bank nurse went back 6-8 pages and there was no record, at this point she closed the folder, there were other questions we asked, she could not answer. She was not properly equipped for a start and do not believe ti is the place of a bank nurse to conduct case review.

It appears they have also changed her GP without informing me, or even consulting and seeking agreement.

As we were leave the doctor told the bank nurse to make sure she informed the management and all other staff that under no circumstance had she to be fed in her room again, and she had to be given proper assistance.

It will come as no surprise that on the Friday my daughter and I went to visit and low and behold there was her lunch sitting on the table in her room uneaten!!!! we also had a look through the folder in her room and discovered that on her MAR chart the fact she is allergic to penicillin!!

To think they are charging a minimum of £900 a week for this level of care!!!!!

In 8 years of my care she did not lose weight and she did not go a whole day without a strip wash. Showers would have been ideal, but it was just a no go area and felt as did her doctor and the carers that 2 strip washes a day was better than nothing and yet the the experts have succeeded in her loosing a significant amount of weight and failing to give her an adequate level of personal care!

Her consultant told staff he was making a safeguarding report over these issues and yet 4 days later despite know this they were still flouting medical instruction and advice! how arrogant.

Sadly as mum has been there for so long now it would cause her much more distress to move her now, this should have been done at the time. Continuing care and the advocate should hold their heads in shame at the line and attitude they took, an old woman has been subjected to neglect as a direct result of their actions.

I contacted the CEO of the company on the 05/03/2013 and was promised an urgent inquiry and a senior management person would be in touch shortly, until this morning heard nothing, I emailed them again expressing my disappointment and have just had a reply, they are sorry but due to staff annual leave it is proving difficult!

I have also made a complaint to the CQC.

My mother is not the only one in this situation and it is proving very difficult to get this story out to a much wider audience. I respect confidentiality which is why the name of the company and home has not been made, am happy to talk to newspapers . tv and radio, and names need not be used, but this is a topic no one wants to deal with.

If we do not get stories out there and make the wider public aware, nothing is going to change...the CQC are over worked and under staffed.

ok that's the story so far.... lol Image
There are alot of people not in our situation ie. relatives & friends who think these homes, especially the dear ones , are wonderful. They think all you have to do to save your own sanity is put them into one. I have only had experience of two for respite care and it is enough to put me off for life.
I cannot do this to someone who has been a wonderful husband for a good 50 years. When he was mostly well, his words to me were 'you will be there to look after me'. Little did he know what would be involved.
It saddens me that this will be the first year when special occasions will mean nothing to him, one day is much the same as another ie. our 57th wedding anniversary on Easter day, my birthday 10 days later and even his birthday 6 weeks after that.
Sadly, it could apply equally to the hospital mum was in last year. Always most particular about being spotlessly clean, she had one hairwash in a month, and no bath at all - apparently there was no accessible bath in the whole of the elderly care department!!! This wasn't an old hospital, it was built relatively recently. When I called in to see her the day after she'd been discharged, because I could SMELL her from the front door!!! However, as soon as she'd had her customary daily bath, and her hairdresser had been to wash and set her hair, she was back to being my mum again, and immediately felt so much better. We both agreed that it was better for her to have a sleep in nurse than go into that hospital again.
Daffy my mother was not put in a home to save my sanity, it was due to 9/10 months of physical assaults, many of my injuries required hospital treatment. so forgive me but I take exception to the They think all you have to do to save your own sanity is put them into one

You are lucky that your husband has not got violent and aggressive tenancies and quite frankly I hope you are never subjected to the level of violence I was. The point of my post was to make people aware of this and also sometimes "we" think we are the only ones in this position, it was not to be accused of " saving my own sanity"
Bowlingbum am pleased to hear that things worked out much better for your mum....I have looked after mine for almost 8 years...I hope you informed the CQC of what happened, I know they are over worked and under staffed and funded, but they do still deal with all complaints. Image
My son and I visited mum on Friday just gone at lunchtime, we saw a member of staff dropping off soup at her room and leaving her to feed herself, in the room they have been told not too, and no support.

She had 4 layers of clothing on, I sat and fed her the soup, we were almost finished when the member of staff came back with fish and chips and decided it might be best to stay and assist feeding mum, as I had already cut her fish up into small manageable pieces and put it on the fork for her. This was when the staff decided to stay and help her!!!

As if that is not bad enough, just found out that the manager and clinical lead of this home have been promoted and given a brand spanking new flagship home in this town which is opening in June!!!

Is it just me who think promoting people for neglecting the most vulnerable in their care is wrong??

Will her management style change NO... will she do anything different NO.. people will still be at risk of neglect..

Surely the fact a consultant wrote they were neglecting her nutritional and personal needs carries some weight?
Hi Jacqui,
Had very similar things happening the last time I booked mum in for respite. That's what made me decide she was better off at home with me and I was better off without respite as I would not be able to relax wondering what they were doing with her wherever she was.

Never could find the manager at the home we chose and later neither could the lady from the CQC. I gave the home full written instructions of mum's needs and foibles, one of which was that she will become seriously distressed if undressed by a male so she should only be bathed by females. At my first visit I was told that they'd given her a bath but had to call on Alan to help out.
I got told that they hadn't given mum her medication as it wasn't needed !
It was preventative medication.

They sent her home in someone else's knickers and bra. The knickers didn't fit so weren't even pulled up all the way. They hadn't put the seat pad on the wheelchair. Most of her clothes were missing. Her suitcase wasn't sent home with her.
They wanted £800 for this 'holiday'.

Cutting a long story short we were eventually contacted by a manager who said that the reason I hadn't had their letters of explanation was because they'd been sending them to an address up the road. I said well now you know our address can you send me copies. I never got them.
I also never paid their bill and reported them to the CQC. I have not seen a negative review of this home so whatever is going on is not reaching the public so they can be aware of the consequences of choosing this place for respite.
There were so many other things. They sent her home without all her medicines so I wasn't able to monitor her blood sugar until I'd managed to get the equipment.
I'd had to go back to the home several times to rummage through their laundry to try to locate mum's clothes.

Just wouldn't bother again. When they came out to assess mum before accepting her for respite we got told how great it was, how they had loads of fun and took great care of their 'residents'.

Another place mum almost went to for day care was where she was taken to by mistake by the transport that was arranged. They couldn't bring her home so she had to stay there for the day. That home while looking the most expensive and high quality had left her sitting unchanged for the whole day she was there despite me sending her in with a change of clothes and spare tena pants.
A few weeks later that home contacted me to ask if I'd like to send her to them regularly instead of the home we'd chosen, as mum had had such a lovely time with them and had told them how great it was.

You just despair don't you.

Scruffy.
I had a very similar experience with my wife in an nhs 'unit' in Yeovil,the toilets were fouled with faeces and urine they stunk to high hell,they made a complete mess of her diabetic care by giving her the normal meals with no proper portion control thus her BM was in orbit,they lost her clothes in the laundry,i could go on but i think you get the idea,i would not risk putting an animal in one of those places,they are not fit for human habitation.